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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,301

    My .02 on Speedplay Light Action pedals for newbs (ie me)

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    I'm 5'3 and 145lbs. I mention this because some people say that lighter women (which I'm not) may have problems with Speedplay Zeros, which I'm not convinced is necessarily true, but I have read that. I'm coming from 6 months on the cheapest SPD-SLs.

    The things that bugged me about the SPDs were that they are one-sided and even on the easiest "setting" I had to muscle my way out of the pedals. It would take me two or three tries and when you're tired that can be tough.

    The shop put on my pedals while they were doing some adjustments and my fitter put on my cleats for me. I wanted him to do it because I wanted my feet to be in the exact position he had already fitted me for.

    The Positive:

    Took me about 10 minutes hanging onto the back of my couch to get into the pedals. Once I had gotten in a couple times it was a cinch, so I took them outside for a spin.

    SUPER easy to get in and out. In fact, I'm not sure that it might not be too easy, but I'll need more time with them to decide on that. The float is really nice. There have been plenty of times I've wanted to move my feet around more, but didn't want to unclip. This should do the job in that area.

    The Negative:

    The metal cleats that make me feel like I'm going to fall on my *** as any moment in the house, out on the road. I'll probably invest in some Keep On Kovers to alleviate some of that. Anyone have any experience with them? The other thing about the cleats is the sound of them on the road is like fingers on chalkboard for me. It gives me the heebie jeebies.

    There's no "click" like I'm used to to confirm you're clipped in. I think that's going to be more of a "feel" thing instead of a heard thing. It's not totally silent, but it is very quiet, not loud like my old ones.

    I'd definitely recommend them as first road pedal for anyone interested in something easy in and out.

    I didn't bring up the maintenance issues with the cleats/pedals because I'm interested in function. If the function is good enough it's worth the extra effort in the maintenance department.
    2012 Jamis Quest Brooks B17 Blue
    2012 Jamis Dakar XC Comp SI Ldy Gel
    2013 Electra Verse

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Rowland Hts, CA
    Posts
    461
    Thanks for comparing the SPD to the Speedplays.

    I think that next time I am due for new shoes, I will buy some Speedplay frogs for my mountain bike shoes (which I use for road biking)
    2014 Liv Lust
    2013 Specialized Fate Expert with carbon wheelset (sold)
    2012 Specialized Amira Elite
    2010 Santa Cruz Juliana with R kit and Crampon pedals (sold)

    2011 Specialized Ariel Sport,suspension post,Serfas Rx Women's Microfiber saddle (sold)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    I never even considered buying the pedals without the covers. You are not supposed to walk in them without the covers.... it degrades the cleat and is just dangerous. The only maintenance I do is some lube on the cleats every 3-4 weeks.
    Some people complain about the covers, but since I've always used them, it's just natural. Keep some extra ones around the house, cause they can disappear!
    As far as not hearing the "click," my X series (they are the older version of light actions) do click, but the Frogs I have on my Guru don't. It was different, but if you really listen, there is a subtle click, which you can feel more than you can hear.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,301

    Re: My .02 on Speedplay Light Action pedals for newbs (ie me)

    I have the regular covers for when I'm off the bike. I was referring to the Keep On Kovers that you can wear all the time, even while riding, so when you stop at lights, gas stations, etc.
    2012 Jamis Quest Brooks B17 Blue
    2012 Jamis Dakar XC Comp SI Ldy Gel
    2013 Electra Verse

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    130
    I would totally get the keep on covers, they will extend your cleat life as well as making minor walking and even stopping better. I refused to buy them for the first two years and two sets of cleats(used the coffee covers) but now I am a total convert. The lubing of the actual pedal is part of the maintenance, my DH uses a syringe for that bit. The maintenance issues with the speedplays is important though, inspection, screw tightening, regular cleaning (especially once you get the keep on covers). I don't know if that differs from other systems though. Having got mud in them some weeks ago (thoughtless grass walk) and almost being stuck on my bike at a gas station, did teach me that. I also have little homemade covers for the keep on covered cleats in case I have to walk any distance on mud or gravel. Imagine a barbie sized shower cap, that is what I rigged up. I have not needed to use them yet.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    43
    thanks for posting this

    I've been kicking around making the transition to cleats. It's a bit like taking the training wheels off isn't it. My biggest fear is not being able to get my foot free at a stop light. I like the idea of practicing it with the couch at home though. I hadn't thought of that. I thought I'd go round and round the street in front of the house hoping the neighbors wouldn't notice.
    cryin' won't help ya prayin' won't do ya no good

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,301

    Re: My .02 on Speedplay Light Action pedals for newbs (ie me)

    My first ride with the clipless pedals I got on the bike, clipped in, got about 2 feet and promptly fell over with the neighbors in the cul de sac watching.
    2012 Jamis Quest Brooks B17 Blue
    2012 Jamis Dakar XC Comp SI Ldy Gel
    2013 Electra Verse

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    I don't see the need for what you are describing (covers on all of the time). Not sure why it would be needed for stopping at a light. I've only had 2 sets of pedals in 9 years. We do maintain them, though. And, I am not particularly easy on stuff. If I get off of the bike, the regular covers go on. Always. I never walk in any dirt/sand/etc. without them.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,301

    Re: My .02 on Speedplay Light Action pedals for newbs (ie me)

    Mainly because those cleats feel super slippery to me at stops such as stop lights etc.
    2012 Jamis Quest Brooks B17 Blue
    2012 Jamis Dakar XC Comp SI Ldy Gel
    2013 Electra Verse

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    43
    Quote Originally Posted by thekarens View Post
    My first ride with the clipless pedals I got on the bike, clipped in, got about 2 feet and promptly fell over with the neighbors in the cul de sac watching.
    that is fantastic

    I'm a hobby photographer so I'm afraid that my neighbors have seen me doing a lot of strange things like crawling around in the yard with a macro lens looking for bugs.
    cryin' won't help ya prayin' won't do ya no good

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    130
    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    I don't see the need for what you are describing (covers on all of the time). Not sure why it would be needed for stopping at a light. I've only had 2 sets of pedals in 9 years. We do maintain them, though. And, I am not particularly easy on stuff. If I get off of the bike, the regular covers go on. Always. I never walk in any dirt/sand/etc. without them.
    That was my attitude until I got them, other than my cleats never lasted more than a couple of K miles (pedals will be fine, mine are getting on for 5 yrs). Speedplay cleats seem to really wear down pretty easily. I live semi rural/ interface suburban so I doubt I am hitting any more red lights than average.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,301

    Re: My .02 on Speedplay Light Action pedals for newbs (ie me)

    The other reason I thought they'd be nice is our club always stops at gas stations for mid ride breaks. Having those on I wouldn't need to put the full covers on since I wouldn't be walking in gravel or dirt etc
    2012 Jamis Quest Brooks B17 Blue
    2012 Jamis Dakar XC Comp SI Ldy Gel
    2013 Electra Verse

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    I do replace the cleats every couple of years; 2-3 years and I usually ride 2,500-3,000K a year. I just chalk it up to the cost of doing this sport and being comfortable. My knees were not happy with spds and I knew I'd never be able to get out of some of the other types of pedals! The only time I had an issue with them is when DH built a shim for my left cleat and I had a lot of trouble clipping in. I got rid of the shim.
    If I am doing a ride with a lot of stopping, I ride my other road bike, which has Frogs. But, the normal stops for lunch or bathrooms, I guess I'm just used to whipping out the covers. The 3 other people I ride with the most also use them, so I guess it doesn't seem weird. I hardly ever ride with a group, but the group I most often ride with has a lot of people using mtb shoes on road bikes, for some reason.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

 

 

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