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New Speedplay Pedals - Comp or Zero?

  • 28-12-2022 1:51pm
    Registered Users Posts: 7,637 ✭✭✭

    Hi all,

    Typical middle aged weekend warrior here who tries to get out at least once a week during the winter (prefer spin classes in miserable weather) and at least twice a week the rest of year usually made up of one 40-50km midweek spin and anything from 70km to 120km on the weekend depending on what sportive or other event is on the horizon.

    I'm very happy with my bike and set up generally but I've never been happy with my SPD-SL pedals, I just don't like the faffing around trying to get the pedal right side up after every traffic light or other stop. Some people seem to intuitively get it right quickly and easily every time but I often find myself half stopped or having to pedal right footed whilst flicking the left pedal around and trying to guide the cleat in.

    Once I'm clipped in I'm happy with how the SPD-SL's perform and I've adjusted each pedal so unclipping is how I like it i.e. easy to unclip on the left but firmer on the right as it's my left I unclip when stopping. I also replace my cleats once they are getting worn down.

    I've been looking at the updated Wahoo Speedplay pedals and the dual sided nature of them really appeals to me. The €150 entry level Comp model would be fine for my requirement but I'm not sure whether the "Easy" tension cleats they come with are the right option for me or whether I should pay the extra €80 for the Zero model which come with the "Standard" cleats?

    My instinct is the Easy cleats probably suit my needs best but given I'm putting 90kg thorough the pedals I want to make sure I'll stay clipped on especially when climbing!

    Has anyone got any experience or advice to share on the different cleat options? YouTube is usually great for comparison reviews but for the life of me I can't find anyone who's been geeky enough to do video comparing the Easy cleats with the Standard cleats.


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,595 ✭✭✭✭Squidgy Black

    I recently did the same swap, went with the Comps but absolutely hated the easy tension cleats from the get go, didn’t feel secure at all, and ended up buying a set of standard tension cleats for 50 quid. Much more comparable to the Shimano cleats. If I was to do it again I’d go straight for the Zeros no question about it.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,221 Mod ✭✭✭✭CramCycle

    There is something wrong with your SPD SL pedals OP, Shimano pedals are weighted so the toe end is up to make clip in easier. A few brands don't do this, but it's the reason I'd go for Shimano pedals. Have a look how they hang and practice while leaning against a wall before packing them in.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,637 ✭✭✭54and56

    Whilst I'm a big fan of buying non brand products if they are proven quality I never ever stray from trusted brands when it comes to anything safety related such as tyres, brakes etc and just wouldn't feel confident with cheap non branded cleats or pedals. I'm sure loads of people will use them and they'll be fine but I don't trust the quality control of copycat manufacturers and don't want to be the guy who ends up with a unit that fails and causes me to crash.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,637 ✭✭✭54and56

    Thanks for the feedback, I hadn't thought of that.

    This is how my pedals hang when I'm unclipped. I spun both pedals around a few times and each one does end in this "toe up" position each time so whilst I don't think there is actually anything wrong with my pedals I hadn't previously copped that the pedals should be in that position every time I go to clip in so before I jump ship and invest in new Speedplays I'll try visualising how the pedal is sitting each time I go to clip in on my next few spins and see if that helps me to get into the pedal first time more frequently.

    I think up to this point when going to clip back into my left pedal (the one I unclip when at traffic lights etc) I sort of went "searching" for the toe in section and tried to get that parallel to the ground or "flat" before then inserting the cleat which is (now you've pointed it out) obviously not how the clip in technique is supposed to work. I'll try "hooking" the cleat up into the pedal on the next few spins and see an old dog can learn a new trick!!!

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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,221 Mod ✭✭✭✭CramCycle

    Pretty much, and something that catches alot of people out. I know some other brands don't have it weighted and you do have to search. With the Shimano, you sort of graze your foot overit, and then push off and it clips. The other option you could start practicing is simply trying not to unclip and practise what looks like a track stand. Don't do this in front of others though until you are good at it as you will be laughed at by motorists and cyclists alike.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,483 ✭✭✭hesker

    I have Look Keo which are very similar to SPD-SL. They aren’t weighted either but I have adopted an approach to not worry about clipping in immediately. It means having to forego fully standing starts. I have my right foot clipped in and push off then sit down and put my left foot down and pedal away for about 10 yards. If the pedal is the right way around just clip in. If not just flip it and clip.

    I find this takes the pressure off from having to get it spot on first time and you can freewheel a little until you get it locked in. You have to avoid putting too much pressure down until you do get it clipped in or your foot might slip. But it works well for me and avoids that stalling risk if you have trouble clipping in right away.

    Post edited by hesker on

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,637 ✭✭✭54and56

    I'm not bad at slowing and balancing at lights etc but don't think I'll ever get that proficient!!

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,637 ✭✭✭54and56

    Thanks Hesker, what you describe is what I currently do but I hope with @CramCycle's advice I'll do less of it going forward.

    The real issue I have with the one footed starts is not foregoing fully standing starts it's that where I need to start on an incline if I don't get the left shoe clipped in straight away I'm basically trying to climb one footed or if I try to use my left leg with my shoe just resting on the pedal rather than clipped in I often end up slipping off the left pedal and losing momentum which on anything more than a gentle incline means I lose momentum and risk stalling if I can't get the right leg to come to the rescue.

    I'm definitely going to follow @CramCycle's advice for the next few spins but if I'm too old a dog to learn that trick I think I'll somehow end up justifying the Speedplays 😩

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,247 ✭✭✭koutoubia

    I Made the move to speed play during the summer due to a recurring knee injury.

    If you are going to do it avoid the easy ones.

    I also bought the ones you mentioned in the trace velo video from ali express. They look the part but have a bugger of a time trying to stay clipped in even with the supplied cleats .

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