Wahoo Speedplay pedals are the most popular clip-in road bike pedals on the market. And within the Speedplay range the Zero is the most popular option. The key features that have made them such a “must have” pedal system for so many cyclists are:
- Loads of adjustability over a wider range than other pedal
- Dual sided clip-in for faster getaways
- Walkable design without damaging cleats
Full Speedplay Specifications
- 6mm Left/Right adjustment
- 13mm Fore/Aft adjustment
- 0-15 degree float
- 0-7 degree release angle
- Cornering Clearance: 39°
- Walkable design for enhanced stability when walking
- Low stack height 11.5mm (3 Hole) 8.5mm (4 Hole)
- Dual sided clip-in (except Aero)
- 53mm Q factor (Zero has 56, 59 and 65mm options)
The Zero is the only pedal that comes in more than one axle length. The standard option is 53mm—the same as the other three pedals—but it’s also available with 56mm, 59mm, and 65mm axles. The catch here is you can’t swap axles; you have to buy a complete pedal with the axle length you need. The other catch is you can only purchase the Zero with the 56mm, 59mm, and 65mm axles at a bike fitter or local bike shop.
- Weight between 169gm and 232gm a pair
Wahoo Speedplay pedals come in four versions
They are all based on the same “lollipop” design with the springs and jaws in the cleat, not the pedal, and dual sided clip-in (except for the aero which is single sided). This means the pedals themselves are little more than notched discs.
The four versions are: Speedplay Aero, Speedplay Nano, Speedplay Zero, and Speedplay Comp. All the pedals have triple sealed maintenance free needle bearings and install with an 8mm hex key (Pre Wahoo Speedplay used 15mm wrench flats).
The Zero ($229.99). This is the most popular Speedplay pedal. It’s a dual sided pedal with a stainless-steel axle and a weight of 222 grams a pair plus cleats The Zero comes with standard tension release cleats.
The Zero is the only pedal that comes in more than one axle length. The standard option is 53mm—the same as the other three pedals—but it’s also available with 56mm 59mm, and 65mm axles.
The Comp ($149.99). A version of the zero with easy tension release cleats and a chromoly axle. Apart from this they are the same as the Zero. The Comp weighs 232 grams a pair plus cleats.
The Nano ($449.99) is a lightweight version of the Zero. It has a carbon composite pedal body and a titanium axle. Pedal weight is 168 grams a pair plus cleats. The Nano comes with standard tension release cleats. NB: These pedals have a 180-pound (81.6kg) rider weight limit.
The Aero ($279.99) is a single-sided pedal with a dimpled aerodynamic cover on the bottom. It comes with standard-tension cleats and a pedal weight of 224 grams a pair plus cleats.
Both the standard and easy release cleats come with Speedplay’s walkable cleat cover and have independently adjustable inboard and outboard float (zero to 15 degrees). The cleats mount directly to four-bolt Speedplay-specific soles, or most three-bolt soles using the included adapter plates. Either cleat can be used with any of the new pedals and are backward compatible with original (pre Wahoo) Speedplay Zero pedals.
Standard and Easy tension release cleats are available separately for $54.99 a pair
Replacement Walkable cleat covers are available for $29.99 a pair
Another significant change is Speedplay’s distribution channel which has been substantially beefed up. This is important because the Zero’s extra length axles are only available through their distribution channel and can’t be bought through the Wahoo online store.
Adjustability is the biggest strength of Wahoo Speedplay pedals
The main reason that Speedplay pedals are so popular is their range and ease of adjustability
There’s a three-bolt plate with different shims that you use to ensure it sits flat against the bottom of your shoe.
Then there’s a four-bolt system that sites on top of this for the cleat itself, this allows you to position your cleat with even more precision.
Adjusting is just a case of loosening or tightening two bolts with a hex key once you remove the walking cover from the cleats. You have a lot of adjustability from left/right and fore/aft movements as you secure a plate to the sole, then with the cleat fitted onto the plate, you can micro-adjust it to get the position perfect.
1) Q Factor – Pedal Platform Width (Axle length and Left/Right adjustment
The width of the pedal platform determines how your feet hips and knees align. If the width is too large the pedals force your feet wider than your hips, causing your knees to rotate inwards. If the width is too short your feet are narrower than your hips causing your knees to pop outwards when pedaling.
The platform width can be adjusted by changing the axle length and/or by adjusting the lateral position of the cleat.
Speedplay pedals come with a fixed axle length of 53mm. Speedplay Zero are also available with axle lengths of 56, 59 and 65mm, these longer axle versions need to be ordered from a Wahoo dealer as they aren’t available online. Because of the sealed bearings the axle can’t be changed so they come as complete pedal sets
All Speedplay pedal sets have 6mm Left/Right adjustment on the cleat
2) Stack height
Stack height is the distance from the centre of the pedal axle to the sole of your foot. Stack height influences saddle height and pedaling efficiency due to increased rocking torque.
In general a smaller stack height is better because it’s more efficient and more stable. Speedplay pedals have a very low stack height, smaller than almost all the competitors at 11.5mm for the 3 hole fitment and 8.5mm for the 4 hole.
3) Cleat position is adjustable in 3 planes: Float, Fore/Aft, Left Right
Speedplay pedals offer a wider range of cleat position adjustments in the 3 key planes than any of their competitors.
- 6mm Left/Right adjustment
- 13mm Fore/Aft Adjustment
- 0-15 degree float
Speedplay also offer a base plate extender kit to further increase the range or fore-aft positioning.
Speedplay has a very wide float range of 0-15 degrees and is non-centering, meaning there’s no spring pulling your feet back to the centre. This lets your feet find their natural position. It’s very smooth and you never feel you’re fighting against friction or preload as your leg cycles through its stroke. Left and right side float are independently adjustable, as are inboard and outboard float.
It’s easy to fine tune how much “heel in” and “heel out” float you have or you can lock the cleats in a fixed position.
The Bottom line
Although at first glance Speedplay pedals may seem expensive, they have so many features and benefits it’s not surprising that they often outsell all other manufacturers pedals put together.
Considering the cost of a decent road bike and the potential for joint damage of a bad bike setup (or slipping over when walking in hard plastic cleats) I wouldn’t think twice about buying a set.
PS: Wahoo Powrlink Pedals with built in Power Meter could be launching soon
Details about the upcoming power pedal are scarce although we think the launch is imminent. Read our Ultimate guide to the Wahoo Powrlink Zero
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