Speedplay Pedals -These Simple Pedals Are Complicated

Before You Go Too Far Down The Page…

I found this video to be uber-interesting…even though 18 of the world’s best cycling teams ride with Speedplay pedals, here’s the guy who invented them and who’s kept them in-house.

And I thought they were some giant corporation.  Don’t miss this short video…

There’s a whole lot more going on with Speedplay pedals than I ever imagined. These are the guys who really tackled the issue of float, but they didn’t stop there.

One rather insignificant feature that immediately caught my eye when looking at Speedplay pedals is the dual side entry. In my first race, I went from starting near the front of the line to ‘off the back’ within the first 100 meters of the race.

The embarrassment of pawing at the Dura Ace pedal with my left foot in an attempt to clip in left a real scar in my bike racing psyche.

With the ability to clip into either side of Speedplay pedals, my clip-in ineptness would have been reduced by a factor of two.

Speedplay Pedals Have A Very Low Stack Height

When riding on speedplay pedals, the surface of the sole of the shoe essentially sits on the pedal itself. Set up like this, just about all the force you can get to the bottom of your shoe gets to the pedal. speedplay pedals

Low weight is taken to an extreme with the Nanogram Zero Titanium Speedplay pedals. Using titanium for the spindle, aluminum for metal parts, and carbon for the body, the Nanogram is weighs in at 65 grams per pedal. That’s 2.3 ounces per pedal. For purposes of comparison to other models, that’s 130 grams (4.6 ounces) per pair.

When a racer starts doing crits, the ability to pedal through a corner becomes important. Speedplay pedals excel in this department since there is no pedal sticking out beyond the shoe and less pedal extending below your shoe.

On my mountain bike pedal page I wrote about the importance of being able to lubricate the pedal. On the Speedplay pedals you can remove the screw at the spindle on the ‘frog’ side of the spindle and lubricate it with a dry lube or grease.

There Are Three Speedplay Pedals Families

The Light Action Speedplay pedals are built for riders under 175 lbs. The combination ofspeedplay pedalsthe title ‘Light Action’ and the rider weight limit may lead a reader to conclude that these are characterized by low weight. This isn’t the case as the spectrum of Speedplay Light Action models ranges from 164 grams per pair for the titanium version to 210 grams per pair for the chrome-moly set.

The term ‘Light Action’ actually denotes that these pedals employ a unique low-force, high- security latch mechanism.

The next family of Speedplay pedals is the X series. These seem to be the Chevrolets of the line. Not too much sexy to write about them.

Speedplay Zero Pedals

This is where the $630 Nanogram Speedplay pedals live. The ‘Zeros’ feature a cleat system that allows for some real customization in the ‘float’ department. There are two screws on the cleat that add speedplaynanogramor reduce the amount of float on that pedal. You can have different amount from pedal to pedal. Additionally you can adjust the float to be more or less with regard to internal or external rotation.

If you put the bike on a bike trainer, your assistant (or fitter) can adjust your float while you’re still clipped in. Pedal for a while, adjust, and pedal some more, adjust, you get the picture…

Speedplay Pedals Even Have Accessories

***Longer bolts are available to attach Speedplay cleats to cycling shoes with extra deep recessed threads in the sole.

*** There is a protector shim to go between the shoe and the cleat. This protects the clear coat on the carbon sole and it keeps the cleat from ‘riding’ where
you don’t want it to go when you’re tightening the cleat onto the shoe.

*** Coffee Shop Caps are elastomer protectors you put over your cleats when you’ve stopped at a coffee shop to show off your high end Nanogram Speedplay pedals. They supply a bit more traction so you won’t fall on your Assos shorts while strolling along with an espresso.

*** The Speedplay Platformer is a removable platform-style add-on that enables you to pedal to the registration table before your race without having
to put your cycling shoes on. It temporarily transforms your Speedplay pedals into a platform pedal. Brilliant!

*** A Speedplay Fore/Aft Extender Base Plate enables more variation in the ability to position your foot forward or backward on the Speedplay pedals in relation to the spindle.
With this accessory you get an additional 5mm forward positioning and 14 mm rearward positioning.

*** A Leg Length Kit allows you and your hardly trained professional to attempt to equalize any perceived leg length discrepancy.

*** Of course there are also replacement cleats, although these are hardly accessories, but rather necessities.

*** And then there is the collectible tin that the $630 Nanogram Speedplay pedals  come in…

The guys at TriSports.com have done an excellent job of explaining Speedplay pedals in this YouTube production.

We Also Recommend-
Clipless Pedals-  Saving Your Bacon!
Mountain Bike Pedals- Good For Jumping Over Roadkill
Road Bike Pedals- Which Ones Cost $625?

You can get twice as much when you keep your eyes
open for deep discounts at Bike Nashbar.
(There are about 19 different Speedplay pedals products at the above link.)


Cycling pedals Wiki article
Cycling shoe ehow article
Homepage from Speedplay pedals
Speedplay pedals

4 Responses to Speedplay Pedals -These Simple Pedals Are Complicated

  1. Taz says:

    Two new photos taken from the Speedplay 2011 product catalog have now been added to the article above. These two catalog pages add a whole bunch of specific information about the new Speedplay Syzr mtb pedals!

  2. Bill says:

    Be sure that the 4 screws holding the cleats are not too tight. The wire spring needs to float freely in the housing/cleat. If it does not, then ingress is difficult and possibly incomplete.

  3. Ron Fritzke says:


    I’m still using my Shimano pedals, so I don’t have a lot of insight into your Speedplay ingress problem. Anyone else have a similar experience as Paul’s?


  4. paul says:

    Darn, after two rides I’m STILL struggling with ingress. What’s the best tip for getting onto these pedals?

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