Speedplay’s minimalist Zero Pavé pedals have been around for some time but only now are they available to the public – and we’ve received one of the first sets in the UK to test.
The Pavé is a stripped-back version of Speedplay’s existing Zero pedal and, as the name suggests, was developed for use on the bone-shaking cobbles of northern Europe.
The pedals were first used by Fabian Cancellara when Spartacus won the 2006 edition of Paris-Roubaix and have since been ridden to victory by Speedplay-sponsored riders in some of the world’s toughest races, including the Tour of Flanders, Gent-Wevelgem and the Strade Bianche.
The spring Classics are often ridden in poor weather and Speedplay say the Pavé’s pared-back design removes non-essential parts to ensure easy engagement and release in wet and muddy conditions.
If you’re not familiar with the Speedplay design, the pedal-cleat system is effectively inverted, with the oversized cleat acting as the platform once the pedal is engaged. As a result, despite the Pavé’s reduced surface area compared to the rest of the range, Speedplay say it continues to offer the same stable platform as it uses the same V.2 cleat as the regular Zero. The pedal also retains Speedplay’s dual-sided design, so you can clip in from both sides, and continues to offer 15 degrees of float, while the low stack height is said to improve power transfer.
The Zero Pavé pedals are available with titanium and stainless steel spindles for £269.99 and £399.99, with a claimed weight of 94g and 115g per pedal. We weighed our stainless steel pedals at 115g each – right on the money. The cleats weigh 82g/130g per pair, depending on whether you have shoes with a four-hole/three-hole mount. We weighed the cleat in its three-hole configuration at 54g each, or 108g for the pair, so a little lighter than Speedplay’s claimed weight.
Stock spindle length is 50mm and 53mm for the titanium and stainless steel pedals respectively, though 50mm, 56mm, 59mm and 65mm options are available through Speedplay dealers.
Regular riders are unlikely to encounter the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix on a day-to-day basis or often ride in the brutal conditions that can inflict those races and it’s likely for that reason that it’s taken eight years for the Zero Pavé pedals to come to market, particularly given the high price – but Speedplay pitch the mud-shedding design as suitable for riders who enjoy mixed terrain – road, gravel or cobbles – and who demand a high performance pedal in wet and dirty conditions.
Most riders will use their regular road pedals year-round with few problems but given the growing popularity of ‘endurance’ and gravel bikes designed to tackle varied surfaces, and no lack of wet or dirty conditions through the British winter, we’ll be riding the Pavé pedals through the months ahead.