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Talk to me about Speedplay's

JesseDJesseD Posts: 1,961
edited January 2017 in Road buying advice
Have been using Shimano pedals for a while now, and have generally been happy with them however I need to buy some new pedals for the new machine and for some reason have been considering Speedplays?

What are people's thoughts, any good?

Is the cleat/pedal interface easy to use, are the secure when sprinting? How do you clip out of them?

Any information or opinions are welcomed
Obsessed is a word used by the lazy to describe the dedicated!
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Posts

  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,918
    Used them for years. Brilliant.

    Ajustable float
    Double sided clipping. Very easy to locate and very s secure

    I couldn't using anything else now. Cleats are expensive compared to other systems and you do need to do a bit of maintenance on the pedals to keep them smooth but they are great pedals.

    The only downside is walking in the Cleats can be tricky but they are not for walking in anyway. They can wear quickly too. I have had the metal ring that adjusts the float break on them once from fatigue but that was after a lot of miles
  • JesseDJesseD Posts: 1,961
    What's the life of the cleats like in comparison?

    What sort of maintenance are you talking Smoggy?

    Which ones would you recommend, not sure of the hierarchy with Speedplay, Shimano is easy as DA being the top then Ultegra etc
    Obsessed is a word used by the lazy to describe the dedicated!
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,918
    edited January 2017
    JesseD wrote:
    What's the life of the cleats like in comparison?

    What sort of maintenance are you talking Smoggy?

    Which ones would you recommend, not sure of the hierarchy with Speedplay, Shimano is easy as DA being the top then Ultegra etc

    I would say cleat wear is comparable to say spd-sl and you need to grease the axels on the pedals from time to time. Not difficult just remove the screw in the end and grease gun until it starts to run clear.

    No real hierarchy as such. I use zero stainless steel axels. You can get steel which are heavier and titanium which are lighter or the pavé which are obscenely expensive. Other types light light action or just slightly different clipping in but not really lower quality
  • JesseDJesseD Posts: 1,961
    Just googled the cleats and yep not cheap at £35 a pair!

    What drew me to them is the float which would be better on the knees
    Obsessed is a word used by the lazy to describe the dedicated!
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,918
    JesseD wrote:
    Just googled the cleats and yep not cheap at £35 a pair!

    What drew me to them is the float which would be better on the knees

    That's what attracted me. You have 2 grub screws on the clear to adjust toe in or heel in limits. You can set no float at a desired toe angle if you prefer or have a large float
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 2,642
    If you use Keep on Kovers the cleats should last virtually indefinitely.

    Maintenance of the cleats is limited to giving them a dribble of oil every so often and the odd wipe out with some kitchen roll or a rag. The pedals themselves just need some fresh grease pumping in every few thousand miles.

    Clipping in and out can be a bit stiff at first but they soon loosen up.

    In use, they are fantastic. Double sided obviously a massive plus point. Lovely secure click when they engage. Loads of adjustability.

    Would never go back to single sided Shimano type pedals.
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,918
    mrb123 wrote:
    If you use Keep on Kovers the cleats should last virtually indefinitely.

    This is not the case. If you look at the cleat, the plastic raises that guide the metal horse shoe shaped float plate / clipping in plate will wear down at the edges and eventually they become difficult to clip in. It takes a while to wear but they are certainly not indefinite in life
  • 964cup964cup Posts: 1,359
    Another very happy Speedplay user here. I have them on (fx: looks over shoulder) 5 bikes in all, mix of stainless and Ti axles. You can make them very light with Ti axles, Ti butterflies and screws. They need regular maintenance - a two minute job per pedal with a screwdriver and grease gun, about once every three months unless you ride in the rain all the time, in which case it's more like every six weeks. The cleats last forever IF you look after them - either get the walkable ones, or buy Keep-On Kovers (which, as the name suggests stay on all the time - Chinese copies of the covers are available for pennies which are identical, your conscience may vary), make sure you clean them occasionally (I take mine apart every six months or so and clean them thoroughly) and keep them lubed. They're easier to walk in than Look or Shimano with the covers on (and completely hopeless without covers).

    I originally went with Speedplay-specific shoes (Sidi Genius and then Wire); for these you need to get the wear plate to sit between the cleat and the shoe sole to protect the carbon. That way you get the ludicrously low 8.4mm stack height. I've switched to Giro SLXs recently, which are three-hole only, and can't say the extra 3mm of stack is that noticeable - on the other hand the fact that both my shoes now weigh the same as one of the previous ones is noticeable.

    Spend time getting cleat placement and float adjustment right - out of the box the cleats have a lot of float, both toe-in and toe-out. They'll be hard to clip in and out of until the spring loosens up (happens quite quickly) so don't be discouraged by initial impressions. Once you get used to them nothing beats the ease of entry of a double-sided pedal, and nothing saves your knees like a bit of float.

    The only downside (apart from cost) is that the cleats will gum up and stop clipping in if you get them muddy or full of sand/earth, so be careful when taking a natural break or otherwise unclipping at the roadside. Once you've got the cleat gummed up, it's a real pain to clean out, really requiring a cafe stop and some attention with a napkin and a suitable scraper. Happens to me about once a year, so hardly a disaster. I have thought about the Pave pedal as a winter solution - might revisit that, as it apparently fixes the problem.
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,918
    83587-largest_1_speedplay_gap.jpg

    AS much as I love them they are not as resilient as others say

    Top right of the pic is a small plastic ridge that guides the float clip. This wear away every time you clip/unclip until the metal clip its holding can move about and can even snap.

    speedplay_weakness.jpg

    Here is a new one. compare to the top pic
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,918
    speedplay-cleat.jpg

    Probably describes it better
  • meesterbondmeesterbond Posts: 1,240
    I think the above pretty much covers it... I've got them on every (road) bike I own after trying Shimano, Time, Crank Bros and just prefer them.
    The missus uses the light action ones as a way of getting used to clipless but they're really not recommended for racing or any heavier usage.
    You can swap the axles and bits out with after-market parts (although they're not widely advertised as Speedplay apparently get a bit litigious if you start opening selling replacement bits for their pedals). That seems to be the way to get them seriously weight weenie if that's your thing... personally I just stick with the Chromoly ones in whichever colour matches the bike.
    They're no more expensive than other brands higher end pedals, but with Speedplay there's really not any cheap, entry level... you start at £100 and go up from there the lighter you want to go.

    First few rides it feels like you're walking on ice a bit but you can tighten up the float if you like (which sort of defeats the purpose) or just get used to it.
  • I recently got them and love them. You can now buy them with walkable cleats. I haven't done many miles in them so can't talk to their longevity, but the walkable cleats are v easy to walk with. I have a mate who takes off his shoes if walking around a cafe. I'm happily hobbling around.
  • SolisSolis Posts: 166
    Been using them for years and could never go back, I'm still on X Series, which are the original model and whilst older technology they will not suffer the issue, SmoggySteve points out. Echo the above about Chinese Keep-on Kovers, only slight downside is moisture can get trapped between the cover and cleat face which results in screws getting corroded, so I swap the manufacturers screws for stainless.
  • Don't overtighten the screws installing the cleat - that'll make clipping in much , much harder also.

    Especially when new, it helps to clip in with side pressure as if you're rolling your foot sideways a bit - like edging a ski or ice skate then rolling your foot flat.

    I set my float up by adjusting the 'heel in' until the shoe just grazes the chainstay, then give it another turn of clearance or two... up to you how much float you desire/like.

    Do get the keep on covers (if you go for the chrome-moly set as it comes with a standard cleat) or the walkable cleats - 'naked' speedplay cleats on hard cafe/toilet floors are like ice skates...

    Start saving up for the pave version..... have not had to clean any gunk out to clip in with them since splashing out on them...

    Rather than the pricey speedplay grease gun, the usual recommended alternative is this :-
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Weldtite-Teflo ... B00JQN50PM

    (Don't be put off by this sounding like a lot of faff and work - as mentioned above it's infrequent greasing and trivial. Usually when you spin the pedal by hand and it spins completely freely several turns it's time for some grease.... when new you'll note it'll spin by hand smoothly but only one revolution or so)
  • JesseDJesseD Posts: 1,961
    Thanks for the advice all, think I am going to go for a pair and if I get on with them change my winter bike to them as well.

    Which model is it best to go for, what are the differences apart from weight which I am not that bothered about, are there any other features that the higher models bring it is it primarily just weight?
    Obsessed is a word used by the lazy to describe the dedicated!
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,918
    I would say get the chromoly ones and if you are converted buy some stainless steel spindles on eBay and swap them out.
  • meesterbondmeesterbond Posts: 1,240
    I've got stainless, chromoly and Ti and unless I was holding one in each hand I wouldn't be able to tell the difference (other than the ti spindle is slightly greyer)
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 2,642
    Just get the chromo ones unless weight is a consideration. You can always transfer them to the winter bike in due course if you decide to get another pair.
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,086
    JesseD wrote:
    Thanks for the advice all, think I am going to go for a pair and if I get on with them change my winter bike to them as well.

    Which model is it best to go for, what are the differences apart from weight which I am not that bothered about, are there any other features that the higher models bring it is it primarily just weight?

    i m sure that the cheaper ones dont have the full amount of float adjustment in the cleat.

    i tried them coming from LOOK pedals and no matter what i did re adjustment, i developed a nagging knee ache - i went back to LOOK and it went almost instantly, i think its because SP require more of an effort to unclip.
    My GF swears by SP and can't ride nothing else.

    imho unless you ve a specific issue, why bother with the hassle and expense?
  • Had them for four years now and on all my bikes except my winter bike (eggbeaters). Just bought the pave version for my cannondale.
    Highly recommended, pricey for both pedals and the cleats but IMO worth it. You can now get the new aero version of the cleats which come with a walkable surface, although these are around a tenner more than the standard cleats.
  • or the pavé which are obscenely expensive.

    Got mine for £200 from Sigma Sport. Not as expensive as the nanogram version @ £550
  • hsiaolchsiaolc Posts: 492
    JesseD wrote:
    Just googled the cleats and yep not cheap at £35 a pair!

    What drew me to them is the float which would be better on the knees

    Look around in the forum.

    I've wrote about this too many times. Search them.

    Just get Speedplay.
  • speedplay-cleat.jpg

    Probably describes it better

    Every set of speedplay cleats ive had over five years did this and it made no difference at all they worked perfectly with and withhout that little bit - I love them and this wear does happen but doesnt matter at all.
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,918
    speedplay-cleat.jpg

    Probably describes it better

    Every set of speedplay cleats ive had over five years did this and it made no difference at all they worked perfectly with and withhout that little bit - I love them and this wear does happen but doesnt matter at all.

    Yes it does matter. The bit of metal at the end can snap off and then you can't clip in anymore.
  • speedplay-cleat.jpg

    Probably describes it better

    Every set of speedplay cleats ive had over five years did this and it made no difference at all they worked perfectly with and withhout that little bit - I love them and this wear does happen but doesnt matter at all.

    Yes it does matter. The bit of metal at the end can snap off and then you can't clip in anymore.

    Well all I can say is every set Ive ever had did this and I rode several of them for many months after it happened and never noticed any problem.
  • sungodsungod Posts: 12,801
    perhaps it's down to individual clipping style

    i've used speedplay zero for 6-7 years and not had the plastic bit wear away on any cleats, change them every 2-3 years, the ones on my commute shoes have the plates very badly worn but the plastic bits are still fine

    never had any of the wobble that some seem to suffer

    maintenance is a bit of dry lube every now and then, grease the bearings if you notice the pedal spins more easily than usual (though on my commute bike i once ran one dry so long it seized!)

    fwiw last year finally tried the walkable ones, really like them, covers are still ok, it's important to not turn on the ball of the foot, i managed to stretch one a bit doing that, still fits securely but i think if i'd gone a bit further i'd have needed a new cover; the round 'plugs' they supply are useless though, the things just fall out, gave up on using them
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,918
    speedplay-cleat.jpg

    Probably describes it better

    Every set of speedplay cleats ive had over five years did this and it made no difference at all they worked perfectly with and withhout that little bit - I love them and this wear does happen but doesnt matter at all.

    Yes it does matter. The bit of metal at the end can snap off and then you can't clip in anymore.

    Well all I can say is every set Ive ever had did this and I rode several of them for many months after it happened and never noticed any problem.

    If it's not happened to you fine but just because you personally never had a plate snap does not mean it can't. I have first hand experience of the very tip of the metal horse shoe shaped plate snapping and afterwards you can't clip in. I only wits I hadn't binned it now to show exactly what I mean. But I have seen other pics of the same fault online.
  • speedplay-cleat.jpg

    Probably describes it better

    Every set of speedplay cleats ive had over five years did this and it made no difference at all they worked perfectly with and withhout that little bit - I love them and this wear does happen but doesnt matter at all.

    Yes it does matter. The bit of metal at the end can snap off and then you can't clip in anymore.

    Well all I can say is every set Ive ever had did this and I rode several of them for many months after it happened and never noticed any problem.

    If it's not happened to you fine but just because you personally never had a plate snap does not mean it can't. I have first hand experience of the very tip of the metal horse shoe shaped plate snapping and afterwards you can't clip in. I only wits I hadn't binned it now to show exactly what I mean. But I have seen other pics of the same fault online.

    Sure I didnt mean to suggest it couldnt happen, just saying its never happened to me because the op asked for peoples experiences of speedplays - ive never had any problems at all and thats all I meant.
  • JesseDJesseD Posts: 1,961
    Good news is a guy who works for me has a pair on his TT bike that he's not using at the moment as well as a pair of spare cleats, am going to try them for a couple of weeks and see if I get on with them before I fork out £100+ for a pair.
    Obsessed is a word used by the lazy to describe the dedicated!
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,918
    JesseD wrote:
    Good news is a guy who works for me has a pair on his TT bike that he's not using at the moment as well as a pair of spare cleats, am going to try them for a couple of weeks and see if I get on with them before I fork out £100+ for a pair.

    You will love them. I love them. I know I have highlighted issues cos I think if there are you should know but day to day they are an excellent pedal system.
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