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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm really frustrated as I got rid of my old SPD pedals and cleats and bought Speedplay Zeros. The pedals and cleats were put on by an installer at my cycle shop. I went to use them for the first time last evening and I managed to get my left shoe and pedal to "clip in" with a great deal of effort. I could not get the right side to work at all -- no matter how much pressure I put on it.

I thought these pedals were super easy to get in and out of; my first impression is not so stellar. I am I doing something wrong; do I have a bad cleat; will they loosen up over time (make it easier to get into)?
 

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Wasn't sure what you were referring to but did a search

SPEEDPLAY : HIGH PERFORMANCE PEDALS

and these are the babies I've been looking to replace my spds with as well. I don't really like the fussiness of normal road pedals.

The reviews of them that I've read are that the cleats are incredibly difficult to get right but once they are the pedals are great. So, I'd head back to the shop and get them to tinker some more.


This is from one of the reviews at Wiggle. Their prices are the same as our local shops so I won't be buying through them but they had the reviews...
The cleats needed a bit more care and they came with a comprehensive set of instructions. There are several shims supplied to enable the cleat to fit different shoes, as they must fit on the bottom of the shoe exactly to work as they should. Once fitted to my shoes (DHB carbon road shoes) they needed surprisingly little setting up compared to SPD cleats. The range of movement takes away the need to position them in exactly the right place/alignment. The float feels a little strange at first, it feels like your feet are twisting on ice as there is no resistance but you soon get used to it. Clipping in the first few times isn't easy as the cleats need to get 'worn in' and you can't do it whilst pushing at the top of the pedal stroke as your feet slip off of the pedals, do it with the pedal at the 6 o/clock position and it's a lot easier. Clipping out though is very easy, I had a crash two days after I fitted them and they released my feet with no problem, they also took a hit in the crash and came out with no damage apart from a few scratches.

Although they were quite expensive I have not regretted buying them, and with the availability of spare parts I don't envisage using any other pedal system in the future.
 

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If I understand your difficulty correctly, I had something similar happen with a new pair of Bontrager shoes and my SPD pedals.

The shoes had an inner "tread" adjacent to the clip, and the clips were set just below the tread level of this inner piece of rubber. Kept them from clipping into my pedals, which are the ones with the black rubber surrounds--I think Shimano 424s.

The fix is either a rimless pedal, like the Deore, or trimming a bit of the inner tread rubber to allow the cleat to be at least level with the tread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the feedback. I will try one more time before going back to the store.

A little background: I have been riding with a group of cyclists for about a year now and I bought a Trek road bike that had SPD pedals. This worked out well as my shoes that I had for spin class at my gym has SPD cleats. However, I had a very hard time getting my shoes to click-in while out on the road and I was therefore always being left in the dust. So - I decied to start this riding season by treating myself to these Speedplay pedals with the hopes of having a strategic advantage out on the road. The result is that I can't ride at all - hence my overall frustration.

What is interesting is there is a Youtube video on speedplays where a guy had the same issue as me (could not get the right side in). Unfortunately that video did not provide a solution.
 

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Just going back a step: spd pedals can be adjusted to be looser. You should always be the first clipped in if you have double sided spds... the downside is you don't have the knee stability of proper road pedals.

The right pedal is always stiffer on worn-in pedals because you clip out less frequently on the mucky chain side... well we do down here because it also moves your body away from the traffic. Maybe in America you put up with greasy legs to avoid standing in traffic?
 

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If the metal plate on the cleat is tightened down too much it makes
clipping in and out of Speedplay pedals very difficult (it causes the spring clip to
bind). Try loosening the 4 screws a bit, maybe 1/4 to 1/2 a turn. Also a drop of
oil on the metal spring helps.

Marty
 

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JSB....any luck on this? I have been looking at Speedplay pedals lately thinking they may be my next major purchase for my road bike(s) so I am curious what your solution was.
 

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I had the same exact problem. After trying to clip in with my right foot for what seemed like 20 min I was ready to take them back and say they were defective.. all of a sudden it just clipped in. Clipping in and out after that was very easy. When I went to clip in my left foot I had the same problem again. It seems like it's very hard to clip in the first time you try, but after that it's not hard at all. My suggestion would be keep trying until you clip in.
 

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I am not a fan of Speedplay. I have the chro-mo zeros. I have had the same problem clipping in since I bought them. I assembled the shims and cleats using a torque screwdriver so I did not over torque the screws.
I find that the issues of clipping in/out distracted me so much that it was dangerous. So I went back to my Time RSX pedals.

I find that Speedplay system of mounting is over-complicated with their tons of shims and screws to mount the cleats. You have to lubricate the cleats each time you use them, which I did using Speedplay's dry lube. If you walk on them you should use the covers, which I have. Oh and yes you have to lube the pedals regularly using the Speedplay grease gun.

So I went back to the Time RSX. The cleats are much easier to mount, just 3 hex bolts. Time's cafe cleat are designed to be walked on without covers. And they are simple and easy to clip in/out. The only thing I like less is the spring re-centering. You can adjust the tension using a 2.5 mm hex wrench. I was able to adjust the cleat so that the re-centering didn't bother me.
Here is an article comparing the Time Pedals vs Speedplay.
Bikesport Michigan Online - Reviews - Time RXS Pedals.

Oh and one last thing, Speedplays are designed in the USA but are made in Taiwan. The Times are designed/made in France. Why can't we make anything in this country anymore?
 

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Came across this when I was having trouble clipping in.

This is what I did and it seemed to work - add lube to springs, used my multitool as leverage to push the springs in each direction to work the lube in. Clipped in and out several times while leaning against a wall, same side as I was trying to clip into. Kept foot flat and had to use a little wiggle to get it to attach. Finally, took the bike back outside (as my first attempts were useless) and clipped in and out several times (maybe 10+ each side).

I switched from spd and already I like these so much more. I actually have power on the upstroke unlike the spd pedals. These also made my knees hurt a lot less.
 

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I don't use Speedplays so I can't really comment on your situation but I just can't figure out why all the love for them. Every person I know that uses them has a multitude of problems, especially if they get any dirt on them. Every cycling forum that I'm on has numerous threads about problems with Speedplays. I'll stick with my SPD pedals.
 

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After my ride this morning I've managed to decrease my central park lap (6 miles) time by 2 mins and clipping in and out has become MUCH easier. My right knee which gave me trouble w/ the old spd pedals now clips right in and no more knee pain while clipping in and out.

Also, on a bumpy downhill which my foot tended to fly off of my old spd pedals, I stayed clipped in and felt much safer.
 

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After my ride this morning I've managed to decrease my central park lap (6 miles) time by 2 mins and clipping in and out has become MUCH easier. My right knee which gave me trouble w/ the old spd pedals now clips right in and no more knee pain while clipping in and out.

Also, on a bumpy downhill which my foot tended to fly off of my old spd pedals, I stayed clipped in and felt much safer.
Sounds like the SPD issues you were having are related more to cleat placement and tension settings rather than the pedals themselves. I got into road cycling in November of 2010 and have ridden SPD M520 pedals (both road bikes) for almost 6,000 miles and have never had an issue. The shoes (Specialized BG Pro) and cleats were adjusted by my Retul fitter when I got my Defy. I've never experienced as much as a hot spot riding on them and I do a lot of 100K + charity rides a year. Are the SPD pedals you were using Shimano or are they Welgo or some other brand? That could make a difference as well.
 

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I've had speedplays for years and they've been great. Really easy to clip in and out. I bought a set for my wife's roadbike and she cannot get them to clip in. We've lubed the spring, worked it back and forth repeatedly, loosened the screws on the plate...nothing is working. She tried my shoe and it clipped in on the first try. Not sure how to break this in if it won't even clip in once. Now we've wasted an entire morning when we should have been on a glorious ride. Good times.
 

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Sorry I'm late to the party. I had the same issue and after tearing down the cleat and rebuilding it, I found that the metal "tension ring" was upside down. Flip it over and you should have no problem clipping in.
 

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I hope you get your problem solved. You are having similar issues as some of my buddies on my Saturday riding club. After a year using Speedplays, one guy is still having problems with them, especially when they get dirty. At one time, I was actually thinking of going with the Zeros, but I think I'll stick with my M520s.
 

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John_V said:
I hope you get your problem solved. You are having similar issues as some of my buddies on my Saturday riding club. After a year using Speedplays, one guy is still having problems with them, especially when they get dirty. At one time, I was actually thinking of going with the Zeros, but I think I'll stick with my M520s.
I've actually never had any real issues with mine. They've been dirty, but I make sure I tear down the cleats about once a month and clean them and my shoes really well. I also lube the pedals at the same time. The only issue I had was when I rebuilt them once and put that "tension ring" back on upside down. Once it was flipped over that clear engaged perfectly, It sound like that is exactly what happened in this situation, and I'm really surprised that the mechanic at the LBS didn't realize it or figure it out while trouble shooting the problem.

I'd like to try out some other pedal cleat systems because the Speedplay Zero's are all I've ever used. I guess being happy with a product limits you on some things. I definitely recommend Speedplay and plan on purchasing my next pedal/cleat system from them.
 

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What I have found most often when people are having problems with their Speedplay cleats/pedals is that the wrong shims were being used. If the Speedlplay cleats are not flat they will bind up and be very difficult to clip in and unclip.

I love the Speedplay Zeros. I used to ride with Look pedals until a friend suggested I try Speedplays when he saw me fighting with the pedal at a stop light. I have never regretted my switch. They are finicky with dirt but I have not found them to be a hassle. They would not be a good system for CX or MTB. If you do those you probably have different shoes and pedals for those disciplines.
 

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Yesterday I tried to install my new Speedplay Light Action pedals. I have been using Shimano pedals for more than 20 years. But after I broke my lower leg in July I wanted to use pedals that are easier to get in and out.

When I installed my Speedplay pedals everything went well with the right pedal. But I couldn't get into my left pedal, no mather how hard I pushed.

Then I unscrewed the left pedal and laid it flat on the floor. That way I could use more force. I finally managed to get in with the left shoe. After that it worked just fine! Already love the pedals ! Thinking about using Speedplay pedals on all my bikes...
 
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