After suffering from back problems while on my bike, and spending a year heading to physios to try and sort these problems, I was advised to try Speedplay pedals. It was a recommendation from a friend which was mainly due to their excellent adjustability. After switching to these pedals, my back problems went away and I was able to enjoy bike riding again. Since changing to Speedplay I haven’t looked back, so for anyone suffering from problems or looking to change their pedals, here’s my guide on Speedplay pedals, including how to look after them to ensure they last.
The major difference with Speedplay pedals is that they are built the other way round compared with other types of pedal, so the spring is in the cleat. This has meant that the pedals are duel sided, so no looking down and fumbling at traffic lights while you’re trying to get away quickly. This is also a huge benefit for racing cyclists, especially in crit races where a fast start is important. The pedals have more corner clearance than other brands, which is another benefit for during races. They are also easier to adjust, and have more adjustment than other pedals.
Getting into the pedals is slightly different than other pedals, but once you are use to this it is easier. As long as the cleat is on the pedal it should engage, so no need to use the old trick of catching the pedal with the front of the cleat and flicking it into position.
The other main difference is the stack height is lower than on other pedals, which should help with efficiency. It may also mean that you might need to lower your saddle slightly if you are changing from another brand, but this is something that would be looked into when buying Speedplay pedals.
The entry level model of the Speedplay pedals come with a Chrome-moly axle, which still offers the same performance features as the more expensive Speedplays. To save weight the next level up come with a stainless spindle. To further improve weight saving the top of the range pedals come with a titanium axle and weigh 82g each.
These pedals also come in a pave version, which do as the name suggests. These have been raced tuned to cut out excess material to help handle harsh conditions, such as in the cobbled classic races.
The aero pedals were chosen to break the hour record by Bradley Wiggins. These pedals have a dimpled surface to reduce wind resistance are were developed for time trials where every second counts. These pedals come with the walkable aero cleats as standard.
A new addition to the Speedplay range are the Speedplay walkable aero cleats. These help with grip as the cleats have a rubber attachment on the bottom to aid with walking. This makes walking into the café for your coffee & cake a lot easier!! It also has the added benefit of further protecting the cleats from wear, and further to this they are dimpled to help air flow while on the bike.
To help with the bed in period of these pedals, you should apply dry lube to the cleat springs. This will make it easier to clip in and out of the pedals. This should also be done regularly to help the cleat engagement and also keep the cleat clean. If the cleats do become dirty then a quick degrease of them and re-lube will get them back working as normal.
The pedals come with a grease port, and Speedplay recommend they are greased every 2000 miles or 3 months, whatever comes first. If the pedals spin freely they need re-greased, as this is a sign that they don’t have enough grease in them. Speedplay have their own grease gun and marine quality grease which makes the job easier. When using this, the grease should start to change from a black colour as all the old grease is forced out.