Switching to SpeedPlay Zero Pedals w/ Bont Helix Shoes

Having never used SpeedPlay pedals I’ve always been curious as to their benefits. A lot of people love them, others not so much. This week I switched over to SpeedPlay Zero on a new set of Bont Helix shoes…. and it wasn’t all smooth sailing. I’m interested to know about the experience others have with SpeedPlay so jump into the comments and let me know!

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SpeedPlay Zero (Amazon): https://amzn.to/3rdvIL5
SpeedPlay Walkable Cleats (Amazon): https://amzn.to/3cx9eAJ
BONT Helix Shoes (Amazon): https://amzn.to/39Cd2Pl



Shane Miller

One thought on “Switching to SpeedPlay Zero Pedals w/ Bont Helix Shoes”

  1. Regarding the insoles, I both agree and disagree with your issues with the “cardboard” inserts. I have a feeling (especially at the high end), they may realize that die-hard bikers with lots of miles, have their own personal “insole preferences”, thus whatever they ship, may quickly be removed and tossed even if “nice and pricey”, but if adding something more costly, they’ll of course pass that along in the pricing.
    Kind of like pedals, typically you get “nothing” or “plastic ride-around the parking lot from the showroom” $3 pedals on a $5000 bike. Not because of the cost, but because if they put another $129 into a decent level pedal, and it’s not the version you use (they ship with Speedplay, you are putting on Garmin Vectors for instance) it’s just a waste of money at that point that you (the consumer) ultimately absorb.

    At least, I hope that’s the logic. As a Sidi person, I feel the pain, first thing that goes is that insole.

    Re: Speedplay maintenance… really is conditions-dependent, key is to use something VERY light and ideally, non-dirt attracting (I use Prolink Gold, but that’s me)… I’ve ridden SP for about 17 years now, came from Looks/Shimano (delta cleats), and have never looked back. I have bad knees, and even with perfect alignment, after awhile I want to “move around” a little bit just to loosen things up, and so I prefer the float of SpeedPlays, rather than being dead-locked-in. (I also switched to Eggbeaters way back from SPDs, although I have SPDs on a trainer or two, similar reason although a bit more behind that story).

    Anyhow, I’d say if you ride 100 miles in a rainstorm, I’d go ahead when you get home and flush those out with clean water, let them dry, and reapply a little lube. If it’s dry conditions, you could go hundreds of miles on them without a thought (somewhat depending on the lube of choice)… they really are actually very light maintenance, but the “sliding” spring plates can get bound up with dust (especially wet gritty intrusive muck thrown off the front wheel), so that’s a concern (I live in Texas, so don’t ride in the rain that often actually).
    Also if you walk on them a lot in any dusty conditions (stepping off the road to “appreciate nature” for instance… might be good to put a drop or two when you get back to the cave.
    Ultimately if they feel less happy about clipping/unclipping, that’s either lube, or enough grit buildup that you might want to take off the outer plate or at least loosen the screws, rinse, dry, lube, tighten back down, etc.

    Sorry it’s so imprecise. Regarding clipping in, “stomp” is definitely the right word. Also, if you are concerned about retention and have tightened them down for that, and/or the float, I’d say try loosening both up… the reason is, if your pedaling stroke is “good”, the float won’t matter, you’re leg geometry will keep things in line, but a little float is nice to just wiggle the knee around a little while in a draft for a bit. You won’t pull out straight up, period, the mechanism simply doesn’t work that way at all, it’s a flat flush steel plate, pushing on the underside of a flat flush surface under the pedal body, it won’t force open like an SPD can at low retentions, it’s more about just twist-resistance for passing the point of unclipping. Just some thoughts anyhow, this is weeks old so you’ve probably already played a lot with this stuff.

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