For the last 6 years or so, my favoured pedals have been Speedplay X series pedals. I’ve enjoyed using these pedals because they are light (though the cleats are heavy, as they contain the clipping mechanism), have a remarkable amount of float and they offer dual sided entry.
Speedplay has been bought by Wahoo – there’s a detailed acount by DCRainmaker. Essentially there were a lot of rumours that this may lead to a Speedplay based power meter, though since the acquisition, there’s not been a lot of noise.
What has happened, however, is that this has been taken as an opportunity to rationalise Speedplay’s complicated pedal line-up, and as part of this it appears the X series has been discontinued. Not so bad, you might think, since there are no moving parts in these pedals excapt the bearings, so what could go wrong?
Well, what seems to have happened affects not just the X-series (though that is what concerns me) – this report says that several of the pedal lines formerly offered by Speedplay have been discontinued, not just the X-series. And it’s quite clear that not only have the X-series pedals gone from the product line, but the X-specific cleats are no longer available.
Are there third party versions of the cleats available? Looking in eBay, there are numerous Chinese outfits offering Speedplay cleats, via adverts that are a bit confused/confusing. They do mention X-series, but to be fair, the spring design in the cleats doesn’t look compatible with X-series pedals.
To cut a long story short, I ordered two pairs of these cleats, which arrived surprisingly quickly. Unfortunately they don’t seem to be compatible with the X-series pedals.
The upshot here is that I need to make a decision about what pedals to switch to. Should I use Shimano? Look Keo? Speedplay Zero?
I have thought for a while on this. I wasn’t keen to commit myself to Speedplays again. Speedplay cleats aren’t cheap to replace, either, and what if the Zeros are next to be culled from the product line… So with a choice between the Look and Shimano offerings, I decided to choose Look Keo, in part because I already have a pair of Powertap P1 pedals, which use Look-alike cleats from Wellgo – not quite the same as genuine Keo cleats, but in my hands (feet?) there seem to be no compatility issues.
In the meantime, I shall pack away my three sets of X-series pedals and the remaining part-worn cleats, just in case someone starts supplying cleats for the pedals.
On the bright side, were I to need cleats while racing away from home, for example at the Duo Normand (if we ever escape this damned pandemic!), obtaining Look Keo cleats is always going to be easier than obtaining Speedplay cleats. Maybe this change is for the best…
If I ever start road riding (or even, dare I say it, racing) again, I’ll maybe comment on how I’ve got on with the Keos in comparison with the Speedplays. For now, I’m mostly riding on the turbo with Zwift and TrainerRoad.