In case you missed the memo and thought that Speedplay had just disappeared from the market you wouldn’t be alone. Wahoo purchased Speedplay near the end of 2019 and that is when things pretty much went radio silent. We weren’t sure if this was a buy to kill or buy to improve, but knowing how many people love their lollipop pedals we hoped it was for the best.
Then in August of 2020 we got word that there was a redesigned pedal launching at the end of September. We got some very early samples and started riding them. The launch got pushed and pushed as Wahoo looked to refine the entire lineup rather than just launch the improved version. On acquisition of Speedplay there was a lot of SKU’s and options between colors, styles, cleats, axle lengths and all the small parts. This is not the Wahoo way so they have cleaned house, a deep clean.
THE NEW SPEEDPLAY OPTIONS
The new Wahoo Speedplay line includes the COMP ($149.99), Speedplay ZERO ($229.99), Speedplay NANO ($449.99), Speedplay AERO ($279.99), and the Wahoo POWRLINK ZERO power meter (price to be announced). The COMP, ZERO, NANO, and AERO are available for purchase today from Wahoo dealers and WahooFitness.com. POWRLINK ZERO will be available in summer 2021. The ZERO is also available in four spindle lengths from a local dealer.
The Speedplay line includes two cleat options: Standard Tension (included with ZERO, NANO, AERO, and POWRLINK ZERO), and Easy Tension (included with COMP). Both cleat options are compatible with all pedals in the new Speedplay lineup and are backward compatible with all earlier Speedplay Zero models. Both of the cleats will have the same 0-15 degrees of adjustable float as well.
WHAT IS GONE?
Well as you could guess the never successful Syzr that in its defense had its moments but they didn’t outweigh the drawbacks. Also gone is the Light Action pedal that has been replaced with the Easy tension cleat. This means the same pedal body style without needing to buy a new system if you want more tension or adjustment. Also gone is all the Color options. This is the real bummer if you ask us as it was one of the few pedal systems that had a large assortment of color options. Also gone are the Frog and X Series pedal systems. It’s not clear if the flat pedals will get an update but we doubt it.
ARE THEY BETTER?
First things first, what is the same is the pedals retain their dual-sided profile (except on the Aero), which allows for a simple and easy clipping in. The new design is also backward compatible with previous Zero pedals so your old cleats will work on the new design and vice versa. This is great for those already invested in the system that might just need new cleats.
The new design extends the metal bowties that were on each side of the pedal so there is a continuous metal edge on the contact surface. This updated pedal body is to increase durability. Wahoo has also changed up the bearings to a sealed bearing with no grease port. This will minimize the need for regular maintenance. One of the biggest upgrades for us is the removal of the 15mm pedal wrench flats in exchange for an 8mm hex wrench. In previous Speedplay models there was only a few that had this and we had asked for it to change for years.
For a few at the office the Speedplay system has been their go-to pedal on the road for years. The dual-sided entry, and highly adjustable cleats allow for a more customized fit. The setup of a Speedplay cleat is still the same and is still more complex than the three-bolt alternatives. But the extra time it takes to set them up also lends itself to more setup options for position. You don’t need a Speedplay specific shoe and they still fit the typical three bolt style shoe perfectly.
We will keep this short and sweet. Honestly, they are about the same. This isn’t a bad thing or a good thing, the changes were not to improve the feel and function. The changes were to improve the overall user experience and durability. The bearings no longer need to be serviced as they did before and the lifespan we have been told should be extended. With that said we have pedals from 2009-2010 that are still working flawlessly so durability wasn’t really an issue on the pedal side of things if you ask us.
The cleats seem to be very similar and since the Walkable cleats hit the market we have had little issue with them either. We do have one of our cleats placed pretty far off-center and it does allow the cleat to wear the pedal a bit but nothing to worry about. After testing the new alongside the old we had forgotten that there was a difference. The biggest thing for us is we no longer have to hunt down our 15mm pedal wrench to swap pedals, thank goodness.
If you have been a Speedplay user then you are likely relieved because it was getting worrisome. Now if you are a Speedplay user that never upgraded to the Zero system, you are now forced into the change, but let’s be honest that was coming either way. Light Action users will need a new system but there are still plenty of cleats on the market if you want to hold out for a few years.
Overall the changes are made are to improve the user experience and to simplify the selection. Dealers don’t have to carry all the colors in all the styles and can instead stock more of each style. We are most excited about the power meter version and hope to get a set of those in to see how they fit all the tech into such a compact design.
For more info head to wahoofitness.com