Speedplay is known for its iconic dual-sided ‘lollipop’ pedals that were invented in a California garage in 1989. Speedplay pedals were an evolution from the traditional ski-based clipless technology we’ve come to know, offering a host of benefits that standard clipless just can’t do.
Speedplay pedals are characterized by their double-sided entry system, where a rider can step on either side of the pedal to engage the cleat. The foot is free to rotate from side to side about the center of the pedal. Speedplay pedals are said to be easier to clip on & off to, and their significantly less straining on the knees due to their adjustability and movement features.
WAHOO SPEEDPLAY PRODUCT LINEUP
After the company being acquired by training behemoth Wahoo, they have relaunched with a streamlined product lineup.
- Speedplay Comp
- Speedplay Zero
- Speedplay Nano
- Speedplay Aero
- Speedplay Powerlink Zero Power Meter
The first three pedals (Speedplay Comp, Zero & the Nano) are currently available for Indian riders and we will be detailing only these for the moment.
All use the same signature Speedplay reversed engagement system—the spring and jaws are in the cleat, not the pedal—with adjustable float, so the differences are mostly in the materials. All pedals spin on one cartridge and one needle bearing and install with an 8mm hex wrench.
SPEEDPLAY PEDALS OVERVIEW
When talking about the features that the Pedals have to offer, it is useful to start with the Speedplay line’s mid-range pedal, the Speedplay Zero, as this one offers the most variance between the pedals, while the only other differing factor between them being their build materials.
1. SPEEDPLAY ZERO
It is a dual-sided pedal and uses a stainless-steel axle, with a weight of 222 grams per pair. This pedal comes with a standard-release tension cleat.
The Zero is the only pedal that comes in more than one axle length. The standard option is 53mm—the same as the other three pedals—but it’s also available with 56-, 59-, and 65mm axles. The catch here is you can’t swap axles; you have to buy a complete pedal with the axle length you need. “The pedals aren’t built in a way that allows for easy disassembly. A trade-off for durability” explained a Wahoo representative. The other catch is you can only purchase the Zero with the 56-, 59-, or 65mm axles at a bike fitter or local bike shop.
2. SPEEDPLAY COMP
The Speedplay Comp has a Chromoly axle and comes with light-release tension cleats but is otherwise the same as the Zero. This pedal has a weight of 232 grams a pair.
3. SPEEDPLAY NANO
The Nano is simply a lighter version of the Zero. It has a carbon composite pedal body and a titanium axle. The weight for these is significantly less at 168 grams a pair. This model comes with standard tension cleats.
WAHOO SPEEDPLAY CLEATS OVERVIEW
In the past, Speedplay Cleats weren’t cross-compatible with all their pedals. Quite frustrating as a rider.
So Wahoo has simplified the system by offering two types of cleats – Standard Tension, which will be black, and Easy Tension (grey), both of which feature 0-15 degrees of adjustable float and both of which can be used with all the pedals in the new range. Both are also backwards compatible with the old Zeros models of Speedplay.
The Standard Tension Cleat is dimpled and comes with an integrated cleat surround for an increased aero advantage. It’s a race-level cleat built to handle the demands of the most powerful riders.
The Easy Tension Cleat has a light-action spring for easier pedal engagement, offering a stable and secure platform for all-day riding comfort.
Both versions of the cleat come with Speedplay’s Walkable Cleat Cover which protects your cleats when you walk while offering protection to the mount and screws. It also makes it easier while walking by giving you more traction and a more comfortable step.
WAHOO SPEEDPLAY MAINTENANCE
Another fact of Speedplay that could catch the new user out is the regular maintenance required. Speedplay recommended greasing the bearings every 3200 km or more frequently in “wet or dusty conditions”. New grease needs to be injected through a grease port at the side using a grease gun in order to replace the old grease.
Speedplay also recommended lubing the cleats with a dry lube “as often as before each ride to significantly prolong the lives of both cleats and pedals”. The redesigned Speedplay pedals have sealed bearings so that there’s “no need for regular maintenance” according to Wahoo, with dry lubing for the cleats now just optional.
A noted issue with Speedplay pedals, even the new ones, is that they are not very good when exposed to the elements. The pedals and their design are not supportive of wet and dusty conditions, as their design leads to water and dirt getting trapped underneath the cleat covers leading to rust and dirt buildup if you’re not careful with cleaning up after a dirty/dusty/wet ride.
WAHOO SPEEDPLAY SPECIFICATION OVERVIEW
Wahoo’s acquisition of Speedplay was the perfect match. Both companies have reputations for innovation, and both have devoted fans whereas other brands just have ‘users’. Wahoo has brought Speedplay into the 21st century without losing any of the brand’s original appeal and has made their products more approachable and accessible across the world, with their global network.
If you’re looking to for the pedals of the future, Speedplay pedals offer ease of use like no other, and are now available in India through our store. Grab them while you can!
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WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CYCLING:
I love the freedom which comes with riding a bike. On my Hardtail MTB , nothing is an obstacle, I seamlessly flow down trails and through traffic like water in a river. And that flow gives me immense satisfaction and the continued drive to get back on my bike the next day.
DISCIPLINE: Mountain Biking & Commuting
CURRENT BIKE: Marin Bolinas Ridge Disc
DREAM BIKE: Cannondale TOPSTONE Carbon Lefty 3