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Speedplay Frogs or Zeros?(15 posts)

Speedplay Frogs or Zeros?Tower
May 29, 2003 7:12 AM
I'm considering a switch from my SPD's to a Speedplay pedal.

Looking at both the Frog and Zero version. I like the Zeros because of the adjustable float. I like the Frogs due to the recessed cleat.

1) Are the Zero cleats difficult to walk in? As difficult as Looks?
2) Are the Frogs seen on road bikes, as I think they are for MTB use.
3) Coming from SPD's, how difficult will the transition be to free-floating speedplays. That's difficult to answer person to person, I know.
speedplay zeros....C-40
May 29, 2003 7:39 AM
have an adjustable float (hence the name "zero"). They would be no different with respect to float than other minimal-float pedals.

The standard speedplays are free-floating. They take a little getting used to, but one or two rides does it for most folks. Speedplay cleats have aluminum bottoms, so they are as slick and difficult to walk in as most others. Rubber protector caps are available to protect the cleat and increase traction.

I switched from LOOKs to speedplay about 5 years ago. No regrets.
May 29, 2003 9:49 AM
Are the zero cleats as "tall" as the look cleats? Meaning how much of a toes-up do you have?
tall cleats...C-40
May 29, 2003 10:19 AM
Speedplays might be a bit shorter than LOOK cleats, but not much. Practice your duck walk.

Personally, I never take but a few steps in mine. They ain't made for walking.

The biggest improvement is in the distance from the foot to the center of the pedal spindle. They work great with SIDI shoes. The cleat fits right into the recess in the SIDI sole. Compared to LOOKs, your saddle height could be up to 1cm lower. I think it improves pedaling action to get the foot closer to the pedal spindle.
I use Frogs...PdxMark
May 29, 2003 9:19 AM
They are intended for MTB use, and particularly for MTB shoes, but I use Frogs & MTB shoes on my road bikes. They are great pedals. The float is very nice, and the pedals are exceptionally easy to get into and out of.

The entry motion is different from SPDs. Entry into SPDs is like a ski boot, toe in, heel down. Entry into Frogs is more of a slide from behind. It's even easy on my fixed gear bike. SPDs would sometimes be tricky for me to get out of. Exiting Frogs is fool-proof.

I chose Frogs because I prefer MTB shoes. I often ride alone, and in my commuting I carry no tools/tubes etc. In either case, I always assume I could be walking a couple miles. Hence my preference for MTB shoes. As it turns out, the only time I ever ended up walking was during a brief period when I switched from MTB shoes to road shoes... Then I decided to try to ride my hobbled bike when I should have just walked, and I crashed. I think it was a karma thing. I only have MTB shoes now.
Did you trim the tread?Tower
May 29, 2003 9:48 AM
I currently ride MTB shoes as well. It was more of a $ issue than anything. I didn't have the dough to spend on road shoes/pedals when I bought my bike.

Did you have to trim the tread on your shoes at all to get the cleat & pedal to fit?

Can you walk easily in the Frogs? I can walk easily on the SPD cleats though there is noticable clicking/grinding.
Did you trim the tread?PdxMark
May 29, 2003 11:05 AM
Yes on Sidis, no on Shimano. Walking is very easy. I could walk too on SPDs. I think walking in MTB shoes and Frog cleats is MUCH easier that road shoes and road Speedplays cleats. Road shoes/Speedplays one can walk around a parking lot, into a store, etc., but a 1-2 mile walk, ot more, would be living Hell, I think.
re: Speedplay Frogs or Zeros?Chen2
May 29, 2003 10:07 AM
I switched from SPD's to Speedplay X-1's and liked them immediately. I can see no reason to limit the float unless your feet are really long. The X-1's have shorter spindles, less Q-angle, and more clearance in turns. Speedplays are much quicker to engage and disengage, therefor safer. And I've never had an unwanted release. My knees thank me after every ride.
I wear a size 12 US nmTower
May 29, 2003 10:43 AM
re: Speedplay Frogs or Zeros?Roundabout
May 29, 2003 1:01 PM
I too use Frogs with mountain bike shoes on a road bike. A nasty fall climbing marble steps in road shoes with Look cleats many years ago (13 stitches in my forehead) convinced me that walking in bike shoes is an option worth preserving. I was using SPDs until late last year. The float took me no time at all to get used to. Occasionally, I still notice it when unexpected but my knees are definitely better off for the change. It has never caused me any concern. An added bonus, installation and adjustment of the cleat is easy. The only drawback is that there is no spring release. If you crash, your foot might not come off the pedal.

If you get Frogs, make sure you get the newer Frog II (I think) cleat. It is a redesign that is worth having. The cleats are more reliable. I have noticed that at least one LBS still had Frogs with the old cleat.

Another bonus, Speedplay makes longer spindles if you want to play with your Q-factor.
May 29, 2003 1:50 PM
Everybody's got oneChen2
May 29, 2003 2:51 PM
The Q angle is the angle between the thigh and the lower leg. In general women have more Q angle than men because their hips are wider but their are other considerations. I suppose the Q factor is the difference between some standard and what you've got. Ie, are your bow legged or knock kneed like me. Sindle length may effect how comfortable you are on the bike, but the bottom line is a shorter spindle has more clearance in a turn (and slightly less weight).
Everybody's got oneRoundabout
May 29, 2003 6:07 PM
I understood Q-factor to refer to the distance between the planes in which the pedals rotate, i.e. related to bottom bracket width and spindle length. Q-angle is a new one for me.

I have a size 13 foot. When my cleats are set up in a neutral position with most pedal systems, my heels hit the cranks. I do not think my feet turn out excessively. It is just that the problem is enhanced by larger feet and short spindles. Turning the cleat to avoid hitting the cranks puts added stress on my knees. Longer spindles fix the problem.

Some pedals have longer spindles than others, and some (now)offer Q-factor adjustments.
May 30, 2003 10:32 AM
The stainless steel Speedplays have longer spindles than the titanium models. The stainless Zeros may be your best choice because of your foot size. The float limit can keep your heel off of the chain stays. Sounds as if you've already figured that out. The Q-angle thing, if you are interested, is described at some of the medical orthopedic sites. I think the need to have Q-factor adjustments is relative to Q-angle variations in riders. But the same adjustments could help those with king size feet.
re: Speedplay Frogs or Zeros?wolfereeno
Jun 1, 2003 1:40 PM
I went from SDP to speedplay x3's. Getting use to the float was tough at first but some nagging knee pain I was having with the SDP's went away pretty quickly.

I also bought a set of frogs recently and love them. I've been switching them back and forth between my road and mountain bike trying to decide if I will bite the bullet and just get a second pair.

The reasons I like the Frogs on the road bike are the same as others have related. Normal shoes. Easier in and out. Lots of float....

Maybe I'll just use the X3's now for really really long rides.

But the transition between SDP and either speedplay was easy for me. Getting IN to the cleats is different (top down on X's, back to front on Frogs). But getting out is identical if not easier on both.