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  • 28-09-2010 10:48pm
    Registered Users Posts: 296 ✭✭

    I was thinking of changing from Look to Speedplay pedals, does anybody have any advice, experience, advantages, disadvantages? Thanks in advance!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,616 ✭✭✭FISMA

    I rode Look pedals about a decade ago. Rode a friend's bike and went out the next day and bought three sets: road bike, backup bike, and mtb.

    They are that good. After you ride them for a while and try a pair of Looks, you will feel as if you're too restricted.

    One of the best decisions I ever made. I now ride the stainless pedals.

  • Registered Users Posts: 296 ✭✭Staro

    Cheers FISMA, I have had a very kind offer to try out a set, so I guess I will be purchasing a set after trying :-)

  • Registered Users Posts: 638 ✭✭✭LastGasp

    I got Speedplays to save my dodgy knees as they have variable non-centering float so your joints can take up the natural position. A lot of other pedals claim to have float, but they constanly "spring" you back to the assumed central position which is not what I wanted. It can take a bit of getting used to the feeling of riding on them, but I think they're great. I have the Zeros now. I don't think you can adjust the float on some of the basic ones. If you get them, make sure you grease them every few months, depending on usage. I didn't on my first pair, and the bearings eventually fell apart.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 426 ✭✭High Nellie

    I started using the Light Action because of dodgy knees and they seemed to help.
    However, I have two regular road bikes and a hack bike for the crappy winter roads, so I had to buy two pairs of pedals (should be three really). The cleats need replacing at least once a year and I think both peadals probably need to be repalced too at this stage.
    So, that's pretty expensive. I should probably change to Zeros at this stage, but I'm now wondering if I should chance going back to the conventional ones because of the cost.
    As mentioned, the bearings also have a neat greasing point which is a very good idea - hubs etc should have the same I think.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,830 ✭✭✭doozerie

    My Look pedals were getting a bit elderly so when it came to replacing them recently I changed to Speedplay Zero as I had read such good things about them (plus I wanted pedals that brought my foot closer to the pedal spindle). I've used the red Look cleats for years so am used to float but the float with the Speedplays is certainly more noticeable. I can see why people with injuries are so enthusiastic about them but for me, with an old knee injury that cycling can aggravate, I haven't perceived any advantage of the Speeplays over my Look pedals - I have had problems with my knee when using Look in the past but adjusting the position of the saddle slightly sorted that out so the issue in that case was not the pedals.

    One thing to do before committing to a pair of Speeplays is to check their website. They have a list of shoes on there so you can check for your own shoes and see what those particular shoes might need in terms of shims, etc (all provided with the cleats) when fitting the Speedplay cleats. The challenge is to create a flat surface for the yellow cleat to attach to. My shoes, a 2005-ish pair of Specialised BG Carbon's, proved a bit problematic. I couldn't achieve a completely flat surface but got close enough to make me think I'd have no problems. However, having tightened the four cleat screws to what I thought was just enough, I had problems clicking in. I loosened the screws a little which helped but the screws then started to come loose while riding (which is not obvious when your shoes are already floating about anyway). When I looked closer, I found that the head of one of the underneath three screws attaching the black Speedplay cleat directly to the shoe (yellow cleat then attaches to this) was catching slightly on the pedal. I swapped it for a screw with a slight thinner head and filed it down a little and that has made a difference. However, I'm still trying to find an adjustment point for the four screws which leaves them tight enough to hold the cleat without coming loose but not so tight that they make it harder to click into the pedal. I'll probably end up having to apply fresh threadlock to them, I expect. In short, they are an awful lot more fiddly than Look cleats. If your shoes are specifically listed on their site, I'd expect (hope for!) less problems, but my shoes weren't specifically listed as such, they just fell into a general category/range of Specialised shoes of that age.

    So I find Speedplays at least as good as the Looks in use, but they do have the advantage of being physically smaller so less likely to clip the road on bends. Plus the lower stack height is beneficial too (remember that you may have to lower your saddle a little with these pedals). The Speedplays are lighter too, which may or may not be important to you. The hassles I have had with the cleats though have taken some of the shine off them for me. If my knee issue was more prevalent, then maybe I'd see greater advantage in Speedplay over Look, but as it is I've found both pedals to be fine for my knees. Overall, it's hard to gauge whether the Speedplays were worth the extra cost for me (over a new pair of Looks). I'm going to stick with them though to see how they fare longer term, which means I'll also end up buying a pair for my other road bike so that I can use the same shoes with both - the costs really start to rack up though once you have to kit out another bike with them.

    Oh, and I've read a comment online from someone who said they'd asked Speedplay directly about the advantages of the stainless steel version over the chromoly version. According to Speedplay there is no difference in strength or flex, the stainless version is just less susceptible to rust. Based on that, the chromoly version seems like a good choice if you don't mind regularly checking your pedals to tackle any signs of rust that might appear. And should you be considering the titanium version, their website lists a rider weight limit for those.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,830 ✭✭✭doozerie

    As regards greasing, Speedplay recommend re-greasing the pedal surface and cleat springs after/before every ride, or every other ride in dry conditions. Use a dry lubricant for that, something like White Lightning or similar. They recommend re-greasing the pedal bearings every 3,000 miles (as far as I can remember), for which you'll need a grease gun and an appropriate grease.

    On the plus side, the pedal bearings are therefore easy to maintain (no opening of pedals, removal of bearings, adjustment of nuts/cones, etc.), but the regular greasing of the pedals and springs is a bit tedious. It's a quick job, just a bit of a hassle sometimes. Having said that, I've read comments from people saying that they never grease theirs and they've never had any problems, though I wouldn't go that route myself. By all accounts the cleats can prove difficult to release if they are not looked after, or pick up dirt while walking, so I think the hassle of regular greasing is worth it to minimise the risk of that happening (again though, my Looks have been virtually free of maintenance for years by comparison).