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Speedplay Frogs vs 959s vs new ATACs vs Eggs...(10 posts)

Speedplay Frogs vs 959s vs new ATACs vs Eggs...SS_MB-7
Nov 26, 2003 9:00 AM
I'm going to be on a new shop team for the '04 season. My disciplines are (in order of number of races): MTB, cyclocross and road. The team is going to be sponsored by Speedplay. I'm being offered a set of free Speedplay pedals for MTB/cross (Frogs) and road (Zero or X-Series). The catch is, if I take the pedals, I must use them.

I have zero experience with any Speedplay pedals. I've owned lots of Shimanos (535s, 737s, 747s and now 959s), lots of Time ATACs (3 pairs of Carbons and 1 pair of Ti), 2 pairs of the first generation Crank Bros EggBeaters and 1 pair of BeBops.

Thus far, the 959s are my favorite pedal. They've been bomb-proof through a year's worth of racing, training, etc. I've only had 1 incident in over a year where the combination of mud, snow and leaves jammed them-up....I then swapped to Eggs and was fine. Other than that, the 959s are an excellent, reliable, consistent pedal.

I liked Eggs, but I've been burned by them a couple times: 2 busted cleats, 1 busted pedal (outboard bearing failed causing the body to separate from the spindle), excessive bushing slop, etc. Granted, I've yet to find a better pedal in the mud, snow, etc. The 959s come pretty close though. In each case, Crank Bros was quick to warranty the issue, but that does me little good during a race/ride when I can't race/ride.

What I don't like about the Eggs and ATACs is the "floaty" feel, lateral movement, etc. The 959s are very solid. The new ATACs seemed to have addressed this issue, so I'm curious about this. Also, my older ATACs all suffered from bearing slop, cracked top plates and buster cleat retention springs. Not to mention, both the Eggs and ATACs had cleats that wore through very, very fast...relative to the 959 cleats.

Also, I found that with the Eggs and ATACs, the cleat retention clips wore through the base of my Shimano 220 Carbons and 320s way too fast.

As for the BeBops....I absolutely hated them. Yes, they are damn light but they were completely inconsistent for entry/exit. I sold them after a week.

My concern with the Speedplays is that they are very similar to the BeBops. The cleats looks very clunky and look very prone to trapping mud, snow, small pebbles, grit, gravel, etc. Again, I've never used Speedplays, so this may not be an issue. Also, they have lots of free float.

On the road side of things, I've used Campy Record pedals, Look 396s and am now on the new Shimano Ultegras. By far, the Shimanos are the best I've tried....quiet, reliable, consistent, etc. I found the Records to be very inconsistent for entry/exit, the cleats wore-out very fast and they creaked. With the Looks, although the entry/exit was far more consistent than the Campys, the bearings developed premature play and they developed the infamous Look creak...argh!

As it stands now, I've asked my shop if demo-ing a set of Speedplays would be an option. Still waiting a reply.

Any comments on Speedplays (MTB and road)?

Ride Hard,
Mike B.
You'll hate 'em...skateparks
Nov 26, 2003 9:44 AM
If your favorite pedal is the Shimano, you will have a difficult time liking the Speedplays. I have used every pedal you mentioned except the Campy's and I agree with every word you said.

I tried Speedplay X's and after about 2-300 miles took them off...hated the float, it felt like I could not trust them on the sprints. wife rides and loves them. Go figure. She has also been on Frogs for 6 years with no complaints.

MTB and CX- Speedplays are awesome in the mud (and snow) and engage very easily. I like them better off road than on, but still prefer the solid feel of the Shimano's. I did ride Frogs religiously for about 3 years but switched back (while being a shop owner) because it was difficult to swap bikes unless you had Shimano's.

Opinions only...

I love Speedplays, but . . .Dropped
Nov 26, 2003 10:42 AM
In my experience, Speedplays are completely useless in the mud. They just won't engage. On the road, or in non-muddy conditions on the MTB, I swear by Speedplays. I love them. But if you're going to have lots of mud on your cleats, forget it.

That said, some people have had a different experience. Seems like for everyone who hates Speedplays in the mud, you find someone else who loves them. Maybe they work differently depending on the type of mud?

So, best to try before you take them.

My crossbike will definitely have Shimanos.
a vote for speedplay zero'siliketoridebikes
Nov 26, 2003 11:14 AM
speedplay zero road pedals are money. you can set the float however you want. more inside, more outside, more everywhere, or none at all. they are my first road pedals (for my first road bike) but so far they have not failed in a sprint. and yes, they were tested on a WEEKLY basis, not just one cat 5 road race. they can be a little inconsistent to get into. that is my only complaint. it may be that I screwed the cleat onto the shoe a little too tight. also, they have big time cornering clearance which helps out in criteriums. I haven't tried speedplay mountain pedals yet, but I share your comments on the ATACS. I've never had a time ATAC get too muddy to clip into.
a vote for speedplay zero'sLove2du
Nov 28, 2003 7:47 AM
If you like the 959's stay with them. You will not like the float of the speedplays. You will feel like you are pedaling on ice. As for the mud issue the speedplays will be easier to engage than the 959's. If you decide on going with the speedplays give it some time using them because once you do learn and become confident with the speedplays they are nice.
i use frogs for cx and mtn biking...marcoxxx
Nov 28, 2003 8:46 AM
from your discussion you may not like Frogs if much free float bothers you. plus the cleat will clog up & will not engage. other than that i luv them, but i like their easy exit and float myself and low wt too. i have noticed first time users of frogs coming out of the pedal for some reason and sometimes i wonder if i am engaged or not. for agressive upper level racing i would prefer more solid secure feel, but i do not race that much.
Love Hate with Frogspeter in NVA
Nov 28, 2003 6:23 PM
Used them since they came out (X series on road) and love the float-my bio mechanics needs it. Frogs release very fast and hardly ever accidently...unless you're not really clipped in, which happens quite a few times. There is no noticable click and the newer cleats gave me weeks of trouble before I could figure out how to get into them.
I tried the ATACs which always worked but were harder to release. If they had the Frog free float of 20 degrees (they are only 6 and not free) I would switch. The ATACs are much heavier than the Frogs.
Eggs by far....snwbdrhoon
Nov 30, 2003 1:49 PM
Candy's are awesome.

Eggies are awesome too.
Eggs by far.... but not candy'sLove2du
Dec 3, 2003 9:00 AM
Eggs are great but don't get the candy's. They are impossible to get into when they are full of mud.
Dec 1, 2003 10:45 AM
Frogs work really well. They work well in mud but when it gets really thick like hardening clay, they're not perfect. I love them and have them on all of my bikes. That said, don't get them. If you like that "locked in" feeling like a ski boot, i.e. the shimano and others, you'll *hate* the frogs. It's like you're riding on little slippery pivots and it just feels wierd at first. This is heaven for anyone with knee pain but hell for those that want that locked in feeling.

The reason I love the frogs is that they never come out accidentally. There's the rare case where you think that you're in but you are not. But if you accidentally pop out, it's a function of twisting your foot improperly vs. any kind of mech issue with spring tensions and such because the design doesn't have any spring tension settings - they don't apply.

The beauty of these pedals is that any issues staying in or getting out are entirely a function of the rider, the pedals just do their thing. When the cleat rotates 30 degrees (or whatever) then the shoe is free with *NO* pressure. If you like that then these are sweet.

As the cleats age, they do get sloppy so expect to replace them every season. Also, the only moving part on the cleat can break on occasion but this is indeed a rare event and likely due to me using non-approved shoes (I run the shimano/lake rigid sandals). Plus speedplay has updated the cleat design and they *may* have tweaked that a bit. Actually, the wear issue may also have been addressed with their latest iteration.

I abuse these pedals/cleats. I bash rocks, I hike over sharp rocky sections grinding the cleat along the way and they hold up rather well.

oh yeah, use the grease ports & the bearings will last forever.