Speedplay Zeros problems

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by SSB

So ever since I picked up the new bike, I decided to make the change to Speedplay Zeros from Look Keos. Even though I didn't find any problems with the single-sided entry of the Keos, 1 out of 100 times I would miss it and end up slipping my foot off, added with a few minor knee problems, I went to Speedplays.

I am finding them incredibly difficult to clip in so far with my 125 lbs weight. When I got them it felt like I had to press down with my entire body weight to get them engaged. I have tried them on the trainer, and clipped in/out no fewer than 100 times on each side, which seems to have loosened up the springs on both sides. I have also tried loosening the cleat screws and also lubing the cleat springs. I'm also certain that the cleat is flush with the shoe. None of these tactics have made the pedals easier to the point where I can clip my first foot in without almost popping a vein in my head pressing down on it (although once I have one foot in, the other one goes in easier once I start pedaling.)

Any suggestions/techniques for these pedals? I'm just about ready to give up and move back to Looks.
2012 Cannondale CAAD10

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by bricky21

They'll become easier to clip into as time goes on. I had a difficult time at first just like you describe. I'm not really sure if it's do to breaking them in or just the different way of clipping in.

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by kac

Had the same experience. So did my wife. The problem goes away in a week's use or so. In any event, I used Zeros for years and switched back to Look (despite the annoying single-side entry).


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by MajorMantra

I'm a similar weight. It's not a matter of weight or cleat wear IMO, there's a knack to it. Imagine a kind of mashing motion where you drop your heel as you push down. It's hard to describe, but once you've got it down it's quite easy. Once you've got the first foot in, the second is easy because a normal pedalling motion will clip you in.

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by RMcC

They will get easier. Even with my 150lb weight I couldn't clip in on my first ride no matter what I tried. After doing it a few times I then had to do it while pedalling in the big ring but now I can do it stationary no problem.

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by motorthings

a few things...

1. make sure the circlip has its beveled edge side down, so it eases over the pedal, instead of the square edge side.
2. make sure you have the right shims between the plastic mounting plate and the shoe sole. if you have used a shim of the wrong thickness, it can make the cleat curve when screwed down, which makes a huge difference in the clip in/out tension. to goal of shim selection is to keep the plastic plate completely flat.
3. make sure you have not overtightened the philips mounting screws. the tendency is to overtighten them, which again binds up the clip in/out process hugely. loctite does most of the holding of the screws, not torque.

i'd recommend taking the cleats off, and reinstalling them carefully, following the included instructions to the letter.

i know these things from doing it wrong myself.

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by taina

It took me a while to get the knack of quickly centering the cleat receptacle on the pedals. No matter how hard you stamp, clip-in won't happen if pedal and cleat are misaligned.
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by artray

I used to use speedplays .Still would but I seemed to go through quite a lot of cleats . I found them easy to use. I would still use them but for the issue stated. I would reinstall them . It does not sound like they are right to me. Im sure you can adjust the strength . I could on mine . Check the instructions.

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by MajorMantra

Spring tension is not adjustable on Zeros.

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by bikedoc

Its really important the adaptor plate is completely flat, what i started doing is after fitting the adaptor i would grind the plate down a bit to make sure its completely flat, After doing this you can do up the screws up as tight as you like and you'll still be able to clip in even if you weigh 50kg

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by thisisatest

Careful grinding around the nuts that hold the 4 loctited screws. Ive seen a couple occasions where someone doing standing starts ripped the nuts right out of the adapter plate.

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by CarlTroy

It will go away :thumbup:

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by Rick

Good advice above.
My list of priorities would be:
1. Make sure you have the right shims to match the curvature of your shoe sole. The pedal mounting surface must end up being flat...absolutely dead-nuts flat. I have never had any kind of problem as long as the surface is FLAT. and I crank all the screws total tight. I have never had to back them off to loosen the entry.

2. Step down with a slight twisting motion, as mentioned above.

3. It does get a little easier and smoother after a week or so of break-in, but like I mentioned, I have never really had a problem (using them 20 Years of various Speedplay incarnations), so I can only speculate that you need to make sure the shims are correct. I never even lube mine. Lubing seems to make them too "ice-like". So I keep them clean, but no lube.

Did I mention FLAT ?

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by SSB

I'm aware of wiggling once the cleat is aligned with the pedal. I have no problem getting the pedal aligned with the cleat without looking, but when off the trainer I remain unable to click into the left pedal first (it's the order I'm used to.) Overall, I do have a weaker left foot compared to my right, which may be the reason why the right seems a bit easier to manage.

I disassembled the entire cleat assembly and made sure I have the right shims through the Speedplay website, and I'm damn certain they're flat. The cleat plate sits flush without any pressure on the adaptor. I cleaned up the entire assembly, relubed the cleat spring with a dry teflon lube, and reassembled the cleat, putting loctite on the 4 screws, making sure only to give them a 1/4 turn extra once it felt snug.

The problem has to do at least in part with the muscle memory from Look pedals, but after all this work I'm losing hope that I'll be able to click in without busting a gut every time. I came from Looks with 16Nm of tension, and those seemed a world easier than these so far.
2012 Cannondale CAAD10

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by Wingnut

I think your best bet is to ditch them...;)
"It's not the destination...it's the ride!"

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