Switching to Speedplay pedals

I’ve been a long time fan of Shimano’s SPD-SL pedal system during my time as a road cyclist.

The reason is simple: I always favoured Shimano’s clipless pedals for mountain biking, a sport which I’ve been actively participating in since a teenager. So when I stepped over to the darkside (as mountain bikers fondly refer to road cycling) it only seemed sensible to opt for Shimano, and its popular SPD-SL system.

And for a long time I’ve been perfectly happy. But a seed of doubt settled in my mind, and lodged there, quite firmly, during the Cent Cols Challenge, a 10-day sportive through the French Alps in late 2009. I suffered, for the first time, quite considerable knee pain which at times nearly pushed me to pulling out of the event. I soldiered on through however, but that seed of doubt about my adopted pedal system was still there.

Now, I realise the pedal system may not have been the root cause of the knee pain, but I was already keen to try Speedplay pedals out, if only to see what all the fuss is about. Fabian Cancellara being a Speedplay fan had little to do it with, I can assure you…

So it’s taken a little while to get around to switching pedals. Changing cleats and setting up new shoes is my least favourite job but following a dismal January where little cycling occurred, and with my planned slow build back to fitness in action, now seemed like the opportune time.

So sent me a pair of Speedplay Zero Chrome-moly pedals (in white, of course) to test. I’ve set the cleats up on my shoes, installed the pedals on my bike and I’ll spend the next couple of weeks trying them out. I’ll report back soon with my findings.

Check out the full range of Speedplay pedals at


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