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Speedplay or What?(8 posts)

Speedplay or What?Psychler
Apr 27, 2001 8:23 AM
I need pedals...been a mtb biker for decades...The Speedplay's intrigue me ( technology, weight)...What are the downsides to this pedal (besides "excessive" float)? What are the alternatives? Afterall, whatever I spend the cash on is an investment that I don't want to blow....hard to sell used anything.
keep 'em clean, et alsimstress
Apr 27, 2001 10:02 AM
The cleats need to be kept clean. Clogged-up cleats spell difficulty in entry/exit. Dirt/gravel is okay, mud is not! If you need to walk in mud, like to get to the porta-potty during a rainy ride, be sure to use the cleat covers ($10). Otherwise you may find yourself disassembling your cleat to clean it on the side of the road.

Replacement cleats are almost $40, but I hear that you can get many miles out of them because they are metal.

I switched from Look's to X-2's this season. At first, my feet felt squirrely when I got out of the saddle, but I get out of the saddle without hesitation now.

If you decide to get Speedplay's, try to get the X-2, at least. I've heard of bearing problems in the X-3.
keep 'em clean, et alMrCelloBoy
Apr 27, 2001 11:26 AM
The "excessive" float is actually a plus on the road bike (in my opinion). It helped end some knee pain I'd had previously.
Bearing ProblemsStewK
Apr 27, 2001 4:48 PM
I have to second the bearing problems with X-3s. I have a pair of X-3's with about a thousand miles on them and the right one doesn't spin smoothly all the time. I have to take it apart and take a look, but will probably go with the X-2s next time.
Bearing ProblemsDrD
Apr 27, 2001 6:03 PM
The main "problem" with the X/3's (and X/4's, which are the same thing, just an oem version) is that they use a sleeve bearing/bushing in the body of the pedal, and a single cartridge bearing in the middle - if any crud gets in, or the grease gets out, the sleeve bearing isn't going to be real smooth.

The X/2 and X/1 (different axle materials for the two of them - PH17-4 stainless vs. titanium) use two cartridge bearings on the outboard side of the pedal, and a needle bearing in the body of the pedal.

If things aren't turning smoothly, try just pumping them full of grease (all of the speedplay pedals need to be lubricated regularly (once or twice a season), otherwise you run the risk of killing the needle bearing (X/1 and X/2) or sleeve bearing (X/3 or X/4) and possibly taking the pedal spindle (which the bearings ride upon) with it.) as you pump the grease in (while turning the pedal), the old crud is forced out.
Apr 27, 2001 8:58 PM
I have used speedplay pedals for a while. They aren't the most comfortable pedal on the market. Look and Time will give you less hot spots. I also found that the speedplay gave me some knee irration as well. If you prontate, this may be fine, if you supinate it may not be. I have found Look pedals to be much more comfortable for my alignment needs. Try before you buy.
Apr 28, 2001 7:25 AM
MY choice has been unexpected pullouts and easy releases.."excessive" float is incorrect: "not limited to a 6° float" is my choice of more stiff knees after a ride longer than 40 miles..The X1s (Ti) have a reputation of 'possible' shearing after a spill and they're limited to a 185# rider. Maintenance? I don't know of any cleat that doesn't require it...(although I haven't tried Coombes)
Brand-new Speedplay user.boy nigel
Apr 28, 2001 6:40 PM
People do use MTB peds for road bikes; only a matter of what you're personally comfortable with. I believe that road shoes (being specifically designed for road riding, not hoofing on dirt, etc.) have stiffer soles, however. They may also be more breathable (depending on the design, of course) and made for longer, hotter trips.

If you're concerned with weight, then road goods are always lighter.

I just got some Speedplay X-2s this past week. I've ridden on them three times--once around town/errands, once a twenty-miler, and a hilly sixty-miler today. My old pedals were Sampson Stratics (no longer made), and they had some float to them (maybe about six or nine degrees), so I was used to float, though not unlimited float. I was anxious to see how I felt when riding them, as any new user would be who plunked down $165 on new pedals.

Certainly had to do with my being used to float, but from the FIRST ride on them, I was used to it. They don't click when you disengage (they do when you step in, though), but the release angle is enough that, unless one has an unusually sloppy pedal stroke or really dances around excessively (inefficiently), there's no way to pull out. This was my biggest concern. I had NO problems standing up and pedaling hard, including climbs and sprints. When sitting, I can wiggle my feet around (like that "walking on ice" feeling), but I never feel unsafe in the least. I figured before buying them that, if SO many people use them with great satisfaction, I'm sure I can get used to them. First ride, they were GREAT.

Big/nice plus: true no-look entry. I always enter with my right foot down and left foot standing on the ground. Once in (I don't even have to look at the pedal when entering), I simply pedal around to where my left foot always enters (bottom of stroke), and I'm in, audibly and confidently. For some, this may take a few rides (I live in the city, and am used to clicking in and out more repeatedly than country riders), but you'll find it happens soon enough. This is a true pleasure, especially for city/town riding with lights, traffic, and pedestrians.

Give 'em a shot; you'll get used to them in time, I'm pretty sure.