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2 more pedal questions regarding Speedplay and SPD-R.....(23 posts)

2 more pedal questions regarding Speedplay and SPD-R.....Bruce J.
Feb 6, 2002 9:21 AM
1. Does anybody know if a titanium spindle is made for the SPD-R Dura Ace?? That would be nice.

2. Also, with the SPeedplay's extremely "icy" float, do you think this robs power or effort in trying to keep everything aligned??

Thanks, I'm about to commit to a pedal system and just wanted to get some ideas from experienced cyclists.
re: 2 more pedal questions regarding Speedplay and SPD-R.....mixinbeatz
Feb 6, 2002 9:51 AM
I don't know if there is a titanium spindle for the dura-ace pedals. I have broken a few spd spindles, so strength may be a factor with the Ti. I just got some SPD-R pedals as of recent, and this is my review. I think that these pedals are flawed by design. The way the cleats are made is just pure strange. The engage ok, but there is nothing really smooth about them. They just don't feel as clean to engage, disengage as looks I have ridden. The adjustment screws take a while to get dialed in, and I am still not convinced that they release with the same tension every time. I didn't get the dura ace- but the pedal design looks the same through the product line. These pedals are ok, but I would not buy them again.
I have the 7700s and....Bruce J.
Feb 6, 2002 10:02 AM
I absolutely love them. No, they arent the smoothest on entry and exit, but.........they just feel so good and so low. This has me convicned that there is something to the rumor that the closer you are to the spindle the better. I just think they are a bit heavy. I was eyeing my buddies LOOKs from the rear and it seems to be close to an inch off the spindle with that thick cleat in there. The Shimano cleats are designed to slide in below the spindle, maybe thats why they look weird to you. Lube them up and you'll get used to them.

The slight entry and exit inconveniences only happen maybe 2-3 times a ride. On a MTB this would definitely be a more important factor.
$200 pedals should be near perfect.mixinbeatz
Feb 6, 2002 11:17 AM
Slight entry and exit inconveniences should not happen on $200 pedals... Period. Other companies have figured it out, as far as I am concerned the pedals are among the only weakness in the shimano lineup.
I really think its one of their best pieces of work.Bruce J.
Feb 6, 2002 1:53 PM
Like I said, they dont feel the greatest upon entry and exit (.005% of the ride) but once youre in (99.999% of the ride) theyre awesome. Im more than willing to give up a little for that .0005% part of the ride.

A Ferarri is not the most convenient upon entry and exit either:) But once youre in the thing.....

I just wished these SPD-Rs weighed the same as an X1.
A pedal is judged by how it functions.mixinbeatz
Feb 6, 2002 2:34 PM
I do not see how you can judge a pedal simply by how they feel when they are clipped in. If this was the basis for evaluation, than all pedals would rate the same. The release mechinism is what is either going to save your ass or ruin it. This is 2002, a company should be able to make a pedal that both rides well and has a solid release every time. Have you ever tried look, or time? In my experience, they engage, and release in a very predictable fashion. With the shimano's, that is not my experience.
re: 2 more pedal questions regarding Speedplay and SPD-R.....Elefantino
Feb 6, 2002 10:04 AM
If you're considering Speedplay (sounds like the X/1s), here are some things to know from an X/2 user (I'm too heavy for X/1s):
• The "skating on ice" feeling goes away very quickly, as your legs adapt to the pedals and cleats.
• I have found that the X pedals seem actually help me on climbs, perhaps because I'm using more muscles. (A few people on this board think I'm wacko for saying so!)
• The one advantage Speedplays have over every other major pedal system is the ease of entry. It's a no-look, stomp-and-go entry. After my first few tries, I never had to look again.
• If the float with the Xs is too much but you like the ease of entry, consider the Zero. It has the same ease as the X but has adjustable float from 0 to 15 degrees.

Well put on the Speedplays, and...Tig
Feb 6, 2002 10:17 AM
to add my personal experience with them (X/2's), I felt the ice feeling at first as well. It soon went away and I no longer even feel the float sensation all that much. My pedal stroke has even smoothed a slight bit more thanks to the natural positioning. I can understand why some might not like them in a sprint, but mine have felt secure (I don't sling the bike side to side).

They are easy to set up with Sidi's, and simple to use both with entry and unclipping. They may not be for everyone, but I sure enjoy mine. The new Zero's are a bit pricy though.
But if........Bruce J.
Feb 6, 2002 10:39 AM
youre using more muscles...dont you think thats a bad thing? When our speed depends on our oxygen deliverance to the muscles, wouldnt this take away from the quadriceps supply?

I guess the question is this: Do they really require the rider to utilize more muscle?
Feb 6, 2002 11:06 AM
No they don't require you to exert more strength (use more muscle). I ride X-1's and enjoy them very much. I see no reason for the Zero's. BTW the X-1's are a bit shorter in spindle length than the X-2's if that makes a difference to you. I takes about one good ride to get use to the float. I think you can get on and off faster than any other pedal.
looking at it the wrong way...ohio
Feb 6, 2002 11:11 AM
yes, we are limited by how much oxygen our lungs can absorb, and how much our bloodstream can deliver to our muscles, but we are also limited by muscle fatigue and how quickly our muscles can process glycogen. If you can utilize OTHER muscles (not MORE muscles) you can give the major ones at least partial rest to burn any lactic acid build-up, and replenish their glycogen supply. It's the same reason that on long climbs, every once in a while you want to get out of the saddle an crank, or you feel the need top change hand positions.

Your not using MORE muscle because for most striated muscle is off equal efficiency, so if you're not increasing your total power output (that is your not speeding up), your burning the same amount of oxygen/glycogen no matter what muscle group your using, assuming you're not flailing wildly, and really messing with the smoothness of your stroke.

So theoretically if some smaller muscles can be utilized because of the increased float, it could help prevent muscle fatigue... theoretically. in theory. it may or may not be true.
That's what I meant to say...Elefantino
Feb 6, 2002 11:43 AM
... but I couldn't remember the term "striated muscle."

Bottom line: Go Speedplay. You won't regret it. And their customer service is the best in the bicycle industry, IMNSHO.

Mike The Striated Muscle Man
Im not following your logic.Bruce J.
Feb 6, 2002 1:46 PM
If you have to use extra muscles to keep things aligned, how would this help prevent the muscles that give you forward motion from fatiguing?

First off, Im sure its a minor loss, but, lets just say, for example, you had to constantly clench your toes on both feet to keep your shoes from falling off, are you saying that this is going to cause you to be less fatigued because its all striated muscle and youre using more of it??

What Im saying is this, it seems like it involves more muscle to sprint, stand or climb hard. Wouldnt this necessitate more oxygen?

Does this make any sense or am I just babbling?
Im not following your logic.Elefantino
Feb 6, 2002 3:47 PM
We're both babbling.

Buy the Speedplays. You won't regret it.
Oh, now I see what you're saying...ohio
Feb 6, 2002 4:07 PM
You're right, if you do NEED to use more muscles, to perform extra work that you wouldn't normally have to perform then yes, it's less efficient. But for the most part all of this alignment is performed by the ligaments in your knees and ankles, not muscles, which is why the pedals are good: they allow those ligaments to be in their most relaxed positions instead of working against them.

What I'm talking about is being able to utilize different muscles to push and pull on the pedals. They're performing the SAME work as the major muscles, not EXTRA work. Say you're doing pull ups and you do a bunch palms facing you. Your biceps and fore-arms get all tired and you can't do anymore, but if you switch to palms out, you can use your lats and pecs to do more pull-ups. Same work (lifting your body) different muscle groups because of different hand alignment. It might not be that drastic with feet and the slight changes in position that we're talking about with speedplays, but it's certainly possible. You'll also climb better if your knees don't hurt.
do you need the float?Dog
Feb 6, 2002 4:19 PM
In my case, with the Speedplays I felt like there were extra muscles working against each other to maintain alignment, sort of like doing a bench press with free weights compared to a machine. If you need the float, then that's good. If you don't, I think it may be more efficient without it. Just my experience. YMMV.

re: 2 more pedal questions regarding Speedplay and SPD-R.....sodade
Feb 6, 2002 6:00 PM
I agree with everything that Elefantino said - except for the ease of entry bit. For me, the entry is the one glaring problem I have with my speedplays. If you don't line the hole up instinctively (its not like ya can see the hole) and you try to intantly pedal (like when you are at a stoplight and you gotta go ASAP), your shoe will slip off the pedal and you will smack your shin hard and you will scream that you hate these fu(*&ng pedals! After wacking my shin three times I am either getting better at instinctively finding the hole, or maybe I am just avoiding mid-ride clip outs...

In every other way I love the pedals dearly...
Feb 6, 2002 4:02 PM
I know I'm in a very small minority here, but the Speedplays I tried for over a year just would not work for me. Besides the running in mud feeling, especially out of the saddle, my lower legs, all the way up behind my knees, always got very sore and tired. It was as if my lower legs were working hard to keep my feet aligned. Also, after a hard double using lightweight shoes, I had a bad bruise on he bottom of both feet that perfectly matched the size and location of the pedals. I gave up on them then.

The new Zero's might be better. I don't know if I'm willing to risk another $280 to try.

With Looks, I have no similar problems. It's night and day.

On the other hand, there are some great things about Speedplays -- weight, ease of entry and exit, no accidental exit, and simplicity.

The thing is, you likely won't know until you try them for a while. Some love them. Some don't.

Thats kinda the way I felt.Bruce J.
Feb 6, 2002 4:49 PM
I rode the Speedplays for two rides and it felt taxing to the calves.

Thats why I currently like the SPD-Rs. YOu can just let your calves relax and let the pedal do the work. Similar to LOOKs but they are much lower, dont squeak like a duck, and weigh a little less. Disadvantages are they are a bit tougher on entry and exit. You have to lower your seat quite a bit too compared to LOOKs.

The Looks are nice overall though.
Feb 6, 2002 5:46 PM
I got agree with you Doug. I guy I know that rides super long distances that is still trying to recover from achilies tendon damage from that free float feeling of the Speedplays. I don't think you could pay him to use those pedals anymore.
Another ex-Speedplay userAnvil
Feb 6, 2002 7:24 PM
I used to use Looks and Times and then I switched to Speedplays on road bikes for so long I can't even remember when, it's been years, so I know a little about them. But, I always had a nagging knee problem that I didn't have on my MTBs and after repeated efforts to figure out the problem (positioning, etc.), I finally just put my MTB pedals on my road bike. End of problem. Tried Speedplays again, this time with different shoes, problem came back. I almost hate to admit this in a public forum since I'm not a Shimano guy, not rabid about it, just not a fan, but I tried the DA SPDRs and, well, it's perfection for me. No more knee pain, no more hot foot, no more polishing my crank arms with my heels. I'd be leary of the new Zeros, those expensive cleats with the little exposed screws look like they'd hunt for rocks and gravel and such to bend themselves on.

All that said, pedals are a lot like saddles and bars and the color hair you prefer on women, it's all personal preference. What works for me may not have any relevance for anyone else.
OK, I wasn't going to mention this ...Elefantino
Feb 6, 2002 7:41 PM
but I met some guy, and he told me that every pedal system — except Speedplays — falls off approximately 10.2 miles into the 14th ride, except on Tuesdays.

Well that's what he SAID!

Seriously. A good LBS that sells Speedplays and SPD-Rs probably has them on bikes that you can try. You'll find the right ones, and you'll be happy.

Blame it on the Vicodin
Speedplay FloatXeke
Feb 6, 2002 8:17 PM
Regarding the float, the Zeros are no different that the X series. The X series free float right out to the release point; the Zeros free float out to that screw-adjustable point, then snap-release. That release point is the only functional difference between the two models. (BTW, the X series and Zeros are not interchangeable. The two screws adjust the inside and outside release points independently)

Pedals are much like saddles in that what works miracles for one rider will cripple the next... unfortunately, pedals are a bit more expensive than saddles, so we end up in threads such as this one.