Advantages of Speedplay Pedals

I’ve been riding Speedplay pedals for 7+ years now and I feel that they are the best pedal system out for a number of reasons. Primarily, they offer the most fit adjustments. It is possible to adjust the cleat in a fore, aft and lateral orientation. More importantly, the amount of float can be independently adjusted on each side – heel in towards the bike and heel out away from the bike. People suffering from knee pain can really benefit from these features!

An added benefit of Speedplay pedals include the ability to quickly “clip in.” Since the pedals are double sided, it is very common to clip in on the first try. Riders with traditional pedals like Shimano and Look typically spend a few seconds searching for the pedal. In a group ride setting, being able to clip in quickly is a huge benefit! A lot of newer riders struggle with clipping in and as a result, a large effort is needed to get back into the group.

Despite all the benefits, Speedplay pedals have some trade-offs. Initially, it may be harder for riders to learn how to clip in. The pedal system is not as intuitive as a Look or Shimano pedal. However, once the technique is mastered, it is the fastest and most consistent engagement system out. Secondly, the cleats require occasional maintenance. While the maintenance is minimal, it is a necessary function to ensure smooth operation and reliability!

If you have any questions or comments, reply below or send me an email to!

*Shame on me for having such a dirty drive train!*

2 thoughts on “Advantages of Speedplay Pedals

  1. I have been riding on Speedplay for years and this article is correct. They are the best peddles I have ever owned. There are several price points also depending on the build material and even the least expensive are some of the lightest peddles out there. I personally did not have any issue with a learning curve on these and they just worked. I found them quite intuitive both in form and function. I love the rubber protector plates that they come with for walking.

    The cleats attached to the shoes do require a little cleaning from time to time to remove debris if you walk in them without the rubber plates; but, I am generally neglectful to them and have never had a failed clip in due to junk in the cleat even when they are a bit filthy. Cheers and good peddling.

  2. I tried Speedplay for about six months, then went back to my Look Keo’s. I never got used to the clip-in – being just a little bit off in position prevented successful engagement. With the Keo’s, I never have to think about the position, it just slips in. But the real killer was that putting my foot down on nearly any unpaved surface collected enough debris that I couldn’t click-in at all. Worst was stopping to use the porta-john during the Wildflower Century. Soft dirt, and nothing handy to clean out the cleat. I didn’t like having to always put on the rubber covers before stepping on dirt. There was no apparent benefit to the Speedplays, so onto eBay they went.

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