Speedplay is back.
In fall 2019, Wahoo purchased Speedplay, the pedal brand beloved especially by riders with finicky bike fit issues. Then, not much happened.
We don’t mean nothing changed and business went on as usual after the company’s transfer to the new owner; rather, not much of anything appeared to be going on at the company at all. Product slowly became harder to find and its social media presence disappeared overnight—the last Instagram post coming during the world championships…in 2019, the same day as the announcement about Wahoo acquiring the company. Surely Wahoo wouldn’t purchase a brand just to pull all resources and let it fester. But that’s what it seemed like from the outside looking in.
A pulse emerged from the dormant company earlier this month with a series of Instagram posts teasing a relaunch today, March 16. It turns out Wahoo was busy refocusing the brand’s offerings—and cooking up something new.
Zero Becomes Five
Simplification. If Speedplay’s relaunch had to be summed up in one word, that would be it. The brand returns with a renewed focus on its core demographic, road and triathlon riders, doing away with off-road pedals entirely and cutting back the line to just five models centered around the popular Zero pedal.
Each model in the lineup now serves a much clearer demographic than before, whether a rider is looking for a featherweight or aero option, or simply wants to get started with clipless pedals. Continuing the theme of simplification, the smorgasbord of cleats the company once produced—a different one for nearly every pedal model—has been abandoned for one type: the existing Zero cleat.
Five models, all with the Zero cleat. Simple.
There are also two different tension styles, standard and easy, both of which work on every model. Most models will ship with the standard tension cleat; the entry-level COMP model—more details on that below—will be the only to come with the easy tension cleat.
WE HAVE THE POWR
Of those five pedals, Speedplay users will be particularly excited about one: the long-awaited Speedplay power meter pedal has finally been confirmed. Called the POWRLINK ZERO, it’s due out summer 2021 and will use the same cleat as the other four models. The brand, now moved out of its former San Diego facility and fully integrated with Wahoo’s production partners, is tight-lipped on any other details. For now, enjoy this shadowy image.
Same Same, but Different
Speedplay’s flagship model, the Zero, remains at the core of the lineup—now with some updates and a new Wahoo all-caps naming convention (officially ZERO, instead of Zero)—but retains the same overall dual-sided, lollipop-shaped form factor.
Updates include sealed bearings that do away with the need for maintenance (and the ability to replace the bearings at all, though Wahoo representatives have told us the bearings should last the life of the pedal); replacing the wrench flats in favor of hex-wrench installation; and a more durable construction thanks to a metal ring encircling the entire pedal, reducing exposed plastic. The Wahoo logo is now stamped into each model as well.
And to paraphrase Henry Ford, you’ll still be able to get them in your favorite color…so long as that color is black. Many fans of Speedplay will surely miss having color options, so hopefully that option returns down the line.
Core Speedplay Benefits Remain
Despite these updates, the core benefits that have made Speedplay so popular for decades remain. The unmatched adjustability—independent fore-aft, left-right and float adjustability—is still there, making these pedals an easy choice for those with finicky bike fits. Plus, the pedals continue to offer a low stack height, providing an aerodynamic benefit by placing the rider lower, while also providing high pedal clearance for spinning through corners.
Models, Specs and Pricing
In addition to the ZERO, the three other models that are either now available or have a confirmed launch date are the NANO, COMP and AERO.
The ZERO comes with a stainless steel 53mm spindle and weighs in at a claimed 222 grams for the set. Like before, three additional spindle lengths—56mm, 59mm and 65mm— will be available for precision fits, though those versions will only be available through a local shop or bike fitter. The ZERO retails for $230 and is available now.
The ZERO uses the same rubber-covered, low-profile style of cleat with aero dimples, with 0-15 degrees of adjustable float, as before, which means the cleats are backwards compatible with existing Zero pedals. Importantly, that means there will continue to be cleats available for owners of the old-style Zero pedals.
Replacement cleats cost $60 per set.
The NANO is for the weight weenies among us. It swaps out the “Grivory” pedal body material used in the ZERO for carbon composite and upgrades the spindle to titanium to drop the total package weight to a claimed 168 grams. That comes, expectedly, with a serious price tag: $450. These will begin shipping in April.
On the opposite end of the price spectrum, the entry-level COMP pedals offer a very similar experience as the ZERO, with only a modest 10-gram weight penalty courtesy of swapping out the stainless steel spindles for chromoly.
The COMP costs $150, and comes with the easy tension cleats, as opposed to the standard tension cleats of all the other models. But because these pedals can be used with the standard tension cleats, and have adjustable float just like the other models, this model appears to be a better entry-level deal than ever, with the only downside being a 10-gram weight penalty. It’s a pedal that beginner riders can hold onto without missing out on performance benefits as they progress.
The final model, the AERO, is a familiar part of the Speedplay line as well. It’s similar to the Zero model, but one of its sides is covered in dimpled material which nests into the cleats, also dimpled, to create a seamless transition from cleat to pedal for the smoothest airflow possible. It makes the usually dual-sided system only single sided, but saves some precious watts. A pair costs $280 and incurs only a 2-gram penalty over the ZERO, bringing total weight to 224 grams.
The ZERO, AERO and COMP will be available starting today, March 16. The NANO will follow next month.
Stock Up While You Can!
Riders of the existing Zero pedal can ride care-free knowing they can continue to find cleats for years to come.
Other Speedplay riders, not so much.
All other Speedplay models, including the X series road pedals and the off-road Frog and SYZR pedals, are going bye-bye, so stock up on cleats now while you can still find them before the aftermarket price gouging begins. Consider yourself warned.
For more info, visit wahoofitness.com