Speedplay x/2 v. Look/Time pedals - looking for comments

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Anonymous's picture

"I currently have the speedplay frogs and am looking to buy my first road pedal. I am looking for comments from people who have used both the speedplay ""lollipops"" and the more traditional platform pedals.

For example, are the speedplays easier to get in and out of? How about hot spots with their smaller pedal? I have a size 12 shoe. Speedplay claims this is not a problem because its the cleat size that matters. Is this just marketing? Also, I have a tendency toward tendenitis in my knees. Speedplays have more float, but is that so important since the others have some float too? Finally, is one more efficient than the other"

Anonymous's picture
jon (not verified)

"I like Speedplays myself, but I have a size 10 foot. And I've never used any other pedals. But I'm real happy with my Speedplays, and I go by that whole ""if it ain't broke - don't fix it"" rule with stuff like that."

Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
Personal preference

"There was a debate on pedal sytems a few weeks ago. If you search back over the past month or so, you should find it and, hopefully, find some useful comments that might help you.

As for me, I've no personal experience of the pedal system you speak of. I've been using Looks on my road bike since 1998 and love them. I've never had a problem with them, except for one occasion when I put new cleats on and did not check the tightness of the screws. After two days I had lost one of the three screws on the left shoe and not bothered to check the tightness of the others. Sure enough, while I was riding a second screw fell out, leaving just one, at the pointed end, which meant when I came to a halt I couldn't get my left foot out. I have since learned my lesson that whenever you put new cleats on, you have to keep checking the tightness of the screws for at least the first half a dozen rides, especially on the foot that you take out to place down on the ground when coming to a halt.

That said, I find Looks easy to get in and out of, even in an emergency, provided you have taken note of the above.

It is important to change cleats before they are so badly worn that they no longer stay engaged in the pedal. It is also important to position them correctly.

I have been using SPDs on commuting bikes since the mid 1990s. They are excellent for stop-start in traffic, but I would never use them on a road bike.

I agree with Jon's theory on this one, that ""if it ain't broke, don't fix it"". I know that may stand in the way of progress, but a lot of the professional teams give their riders their personal choice of pedal system, rather than obliging them to use a particular system because of a sponsorship deal. The choice of pedals is very personal.

I hope this is useful. Good luck!"

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)

"I have all three Speedplay models (X1, X2, X3), one set of each on three different bicycles. Obviously, I have a preference here but as others have indicated, pedal choice is a highly personal matter. First, I like Speedplays because of their low weight: Speedplay X1 titanium pedals weigh only 150 grams per pair, plus 85 grams per pair for cleats, a total of 235 grams for the pair. Look CX-7 weight 170 grams each without the cleats and cost $100 more per pair. Speedplays also offer the most ground clearance of any pedal system. Entry-Exit ease is subjective. I have little trouble with the Speedplays, but can only compare to SPDs on my mountain bike, and I would rate Speedplays easier than SPDs. Can't comment on other systems. Speedplay power delivery is excellent. Don't let the apparent ""small"" contact area deceive you. Its flat, circular shape allows as much effective contact area as any pedal, and I have never experienced any power delivery problems, and this is an important factor for me. Finally, Speedplay's biggest advantage is unlimited float, another factor I find important. Since you are used to Frogs, I would recommend staying with Speedplays. If you decide otherwise, be careful on your first few rides with the new pedals: don't go to far or too hard, or you might experience knee problems."

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)
Link with some Info
Anonymous's picture
Matthew Howard (not verified)
Anonymous's picture
Charles (not verified)
pedal comparison

I can't post any comments on Speedplay pedals, but would like to offer my two cent comparison between the Coombe pedal (a pedal system with roughly the same amount of surface area as the Speedplay lollipop) and the Look and Time pedals--having used all three.

The Coombe pedal has a stainless steel cleat of similar dimensions to the Speedplay cleat, but offers an even lower axle to sole profile (~9 mm). Do you still get hot spots? Yep!!! The cleat size DOES matter. I've heard the argument that you can't feel the cleat/pedal interface with today's super stiff carbon-soled shoes, but this is simply not what I've experienced. Try the Speedplay/Coombe system on one pedal and the Time system on the other, and go for a quick ride. You'll notice the wider distribution of pressure on the Time side, and it won't be your imagination.

The amount of float of the Coombe pedal is absolutely incredible. Its almost too much; although there are small adjustments you can make to tame it a bit. The amount of float allowed by all three pedals prevent my knees from hurting. Only when switching to the black fixed cleat for the Look system do I get some knee pain.

Do you notice an increase in power (from the Coombe pedal) by having the foot so much closer to the axle than the Look system (about an 11 mm difference)? You bet!! By the way, the stack height of the Time pedal is only 1 mm higher than the Coombe.

Is the Time pedal system a nice compromise between the low profile of the Coombe and the large cleat of the Look? IMO, yes!

What do I currently have on my bike? The Time Impact Mag pedal. Why? No hot spots and an unparalleled feel of being connected to the pedal.

Perhaps you can see if your local bike shop can let you try a variety of used pedals before having to make a decision. Ultimately, use your best judgment, and don't let anyone con you into pedal system when you have clear reservations.

Good luck.

Anonymous's picture
Matthew Howard (not verified)
Frogs vs. X2 etc.

Can anybody tell me what the advantages would be in switching from Frogs to road pedals?

I have the Frogs on my road bike and like them, but as they were my first set of clipless pedals I don't have much basis for comparison. I rode in mountain shoes for a while, but this year got a pair of Carnac road shoes (the SPD adapter plate is recessed enough for the Frog cleat, so you can walk in them). Seems to work OK so far.

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