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About Speedplay X-3's . . .(12 posts)

About Speedplay X-3's . . .speedisgood
Mar 31, 2002 1:15 PM
Not to beat a dead horse, but I gotta post something about my X-3's. I noticed that when you hold the pedal body flat on a table and spin the axle, the pedal spindle "wiggles" as it spins. Both of them do this, not super-noticeable on the bike but it's there. I only rode them around 300 miles or so, and never crashed or abused them.

Obviously, this is due to poor quality control. Interestingly, the pedals are made in China vs. the USA for the X-2's and X-1's.

I called Speedplay and they were very understanding about the whole issue and told me to send 'em back. I'm waiting for them to send some back at this point.

I just thought the people should be made aware of this little issue I have. Thanks for reading.
And the meaning of this would be?Kerry
Mar 31, 2002 5:23 PM
I'm not defending the wobble you experienced, nor do I know whether this is typical or whether you got a bad pedal, but given the design the Speedplay pedal, it hardly seems that this wobble would have any significance. If it had play or binding, I would be worried. But unless this was indicative of impending failure, or you could feel it through your feet, how would it have any effect on the field performance of the pedal.

Note: such things as tolerance issues like this are one reason that some people are willing to pay the "outlandish" prices associated with the top of the line, rather than save $$ on lower line equipment. Whether it is worth that $$ is completely up to the purchaser to decide.
Here's your answerspeedisgood
Mar 31, 2002 10:32 PM
First, the wobble WAS noticeable, but when I first noticed it, I just wrote it off as in my head or just going from one bike to another or the crank arms were bent. Obviously it was the axles. It just feels weird going from one bike w/o the wobble to another that does.

Does it affect performance? Probably not. But you wouldn't want a new set of crooked bars that cost 100 bones, would you? You would be able to adapt to them and use them, but it would be annoying as hell to have paid your hard earned cash for something defective in some basic way.

BTW, when I purchase pedals, certain conditions are expected to be met by any reputable manufacturer regardless of price; relatively straight axles are one of them. I can live with fewer bearings, bushings instead of bearings, heavier wt., etc. for cheaper prices. However, a cheaper price for Speedplays is not an excuse for axles that wobble as they turn; it's not like I plucked these out of the Chen-Shin reject bin.

The second thing is, if the wobble is the way it's supposed to be with X-3's, then maybe someone should warn other potential buyers that this problem exists. People can't decide if it's a tolerable problem unless they KNOW about the problem in the first place. It's not like I just got one bad bearing out of 10,000--the axles are noticeably bent, both by feel and visually, on BOTH pedals.

Now, I'm not a metallurgist, but I'm guessing that the solid cro-mo axles don't get bent that much just from someone accidently dropping them, painting them wrong, assembling them wrong, or looking at them funny. There would have to be some inherent flaw in the production of the axles themselves. And IF that's the case, then other axles are likely to be flawed also, until they change the faulty manufacturing process.

In case anyone missed the plot in the last couple paragraphs, here is a brief synopsis: please be aware that there MAY be some issues with quality control of X-3's axles. This message is for people considering purchasing these pedals only.
Good answer, thanks for the info (nm)Paul
Apr 1, 2002 4:19 AM
Here's your answerDrD
Apr 1, 2002 7:04 AM
I bet the axles are fine (it's likely made on a lathe - hard to mess it up too much, unless the threads are on improperly, which would be a different problem altogether) - more likely is that the bushing pressed into the pedal body is crooked, causing the pedal body to be at an angle to the axle - could lead to problems with the one bearing in the pedal (since the force on the bearing will be uneven) - probably the only thing you could do is send them back - hopefully the new ones aren't the same way!

I guess Speedplay farmed out the X3's to reduce costs and hit a lower price point - sort of like what Kestrel has done with their forks. (pretty common practice industry wide, actually)

Then again - maybe it's a sign - get the X2's! ;-)
re: About Speedplay X-3's . . .TonyR
Apr 1, 2002 10:23 AM
I'm fortunate that I have an LBS with guys who I can trust. They've earned it with soild advice about any number of products. For example they clued me in that 190lb sprint types (me), should be very careful about being weightweenies. Advice that I should have heeded, and without going into detail, learned was correct the hard way.

How does this relate to Speedplay. I have X-2's and love them. As stated, I'm not a lightweight, and am pretty tough on bikes and components. When I bought my pedals they made it clear that they felt that the X-3's were good for a stand-bike (where you shouldn't be mashing), and maybe for a low-mileage (re:recreational rider), and that's it. Hence, the X-2's on my roadbike, and the X-3's on my standbike.

Buy the X-2's.

I know now the error of my waysspeedisgood
Apr 1, 2002 6:38 PM
Yeah, I was just trying to cut corners since these peds were going on my dedicated TT bike (relatively low miles, no bad weather, etc.) so the price was attractive.

However, if you thumb thru CC, Nashbar, Performance, Excel, etc. none of them elaborates on the fact that the X-3's are SO much more inferior to the X-2's. "Cro-moly axle instead of stainless steel" is all they say. I shoulda checked it out first! Note to self: ask questions on RBR forums!

I bet DrD is right in his post. That bushing or the design is probably at fault. Maybe Speedplay will see the light and upgrade me for free! [Yeah, right . . . ]
CC, Nashbar, Performance, ExcelTJeanloz
Apr 2, 2002 6:06 AM
Not exactly a bike shop are they?
Very truespeedisgood
Apr 2, 2002 12:20 PM
But I think the catalogs still shoulda said SOMETHING. And the guys at my favorite LBS can have wrong info also, eg., one guy I normally trust told me that X-2's don't have needle bearings. Of course, we all know now that they do. Go figure. Ultimately, it's the buyer's responsibility to know what he/she is purchasing.

Caveat emptor.
Let price be your guide?Kerry
Apr 2, 2002 5:41 PM
Let's face it, the X2s are $165 and the X3s are $100. It is very reasonable to expect significantly higher quality for that 65% increase in price.
That's funny!speedisgood
Apr 2, 2002 7:08 PM
I can't believe you're even stating this argument. If price dictates quality, and subsequently performance, then you should buy those Stella Azzurra Lario bars for $499.95.

By your logic, they should be 500-1000% better than your standard aluminum ITM, Deda, Profile, whatever bar. Yes, they're beautiful bars and I'm sure there's a lot of labor going into the bars but does that justify the price, but is it worth THAT much to upgrade to them? I challenge you, Kerry, to find that significant difference in performance.

Hey, you're right about the pedals, though. The X-2's ARE 65% better: they have an extra outboard bearing, they have an inboard needle bearing instead of a bushing, they have a higher quality steel in the axle. But I don't think that it's unreasonable to expect the axles in the X-3's to be aligned correctly!

Is that what you would consider an "upgrade" in performance? Then maybe you could call Speedplay and tell them that they can sell more X-1's by making X-2's faulty, say, by not greasing the needle bearings. Then they would freeze up on riders and they would have to buy the more expensive models "if they want the LUXURY of having greased bearings."

See, having the extra bearings and a lighter axle are luxuries you pay for. I agree with that. I'm OK with that. But having misaligned or bent axles IS NOT something that I need to upgrade from, it is expected that they should be straight and spin true.
That's funny!TonyR
Apr 3, 2002 1:30 PM
Price shouldn't be your guide. I've bought less expensive stuff that's worked fine, and sadly have bought some pricy stuff that failed. Riding friends (who aren't posers), guys at your LBS (who've been there for a few years, and hopefully ride as much as you), and yes this forum are great resources.
A good rule of thumb is to see if there are reviews of a product here. If there are, read them, and do so VERY carefully. Then post questions and see what happens. If there aren't any, just do the later. I think you'll be suprised by the answers you can get to some very esoteric questions.
In terms of mail order, I'd only buy stuff that I have used and like or am completely sold on. This applies to everything, not just bikes.
Being a school teacher, I don't have tons of money to burn on bike stuff, so I like to get stuff that works and hopefully will last. This methodology has served me well.