By Simon Smythe
The new Wahoo Speedplay range will comprise four options: the Comp, Zero, Nano and Aero with a fifth – the eagerly anticipated Speedplay pedal power meter, the Powrlink Zero – to launch in summer 2021. Wahoo reiterates that Speedplay pedals were - and will continue to be – the world’s only high-performance pedal designed specifically for road cycling without relying on “antiquated ski-binding technology” – and the only one to offer “approachable” dual-sided entry.
With the trap mechanism located in the cleat rather than the pedal, Speedplay pedals have traditionally offered lower stack height, free float and better aerodynamics than other systems. However, there were some particular areas relating to Speedplay pedals’ useability, performance and durability that arguably needed addressing, and that’s what Wahoo has worked hard to achieve.
Adjustable float for all cleats
Previously, the Ultra Light Action cleats or X series cleats weren’t adjustable, supplying free float only, while the Zero cleats supplied 0-15 degrees of adjustable float. The revamped, streamlined range now includes adjustable float from 0-15 degrees on all cleats.
In addition, cleats weren’t cross compatible with their respective pedals – for example, Light Action and X cleats couldn’t be used with Zero pedals and vice versa – which was something that some users found frustrating. So Wahoo has simplified the system by offering two types of cleat – Standard Tension, which will be black, and Easy Tension (grey), both of which feature 0-15 degrees of adjustable float and both of which can be used with all the pedals in the new range. Both are also backwards compatible with the old Zeros.
Another fact of Speedplay life that could catch the new user out was the regular maintenance required. Speedplay recommended greasing the bearings every 2,000 miles or more frequently in “wet or dusty conditions”. New grease needed to be injected through a grease port at the side using a grease gun to replace the old grease. Speedplay also recommended lubing the cleats with a dry lube “as often as before each ride to significantly prolong the lives of both cleats and pedals”. The redesigned Speedplay pedals have sealed bearings so that there’s “no need for regular maintenance” according to Wahoo, with dry lubing for the cleats now just optional.
More durable pedal body
Wahoo has reinforced the pedal body to reduce wear and improve performance. With stainless steel now encircling the entire edge, featuring a bevelled edge all the way round replacing plastic ends, Wahoo says clip-in action has been improved as well as durability.
Four spindle lengths for the Zero
The Zero will be available in four spindle lengths to ensure all rider fit needs are met. This will be particularly useful for women looking for a wider Q factor in line with a wider pelvis.
Allen key installation
Old Speedplays required a traditional pedal spanner to install them. Wahoo has updated them – in line with competitor pedals – to use an 8mm Allen key, something which also smooths the aesthetic.
Powrlink Zero power meter incoming
Wahoo has confirmed that the Powrlink Zero, the world’s first dual-sided (ie dual entry) pedal- based power meter, will be launched in the summer. The industry had speculated that a Speedplay power meter pedal was on its way as soon as the news broke that Wahoo had bought the company.
So what's been dropped? The Speedplay range had become rather sprawling, and in Wahoo’s revamp it has dropped some models. Among those that didn’t make the cut are the super-light Zero Nanogram, the Zero Pave, and the mtb Syzr pedal has disappeared too.
Pricing and details
The new Wahoo Speedplay line comprises the Speedplay Comp (£134.99), Speedplay Zero (£199.99), Speedplay Nano (£379.99), Speedplay Aero (£239.99), and the Wahoo Powrlink Zero power meter (price to be announced).
There are two cleat options: Standard Tension (included with Zero, Nano, Aero, and Powrlink Zero), and Easy Tension (included with Comp). Both cleat options are compatible with all pedals in the new Speedplay lineup and are backwards compatible with all earlier Speedplay Zero models. The Comp, Zero, Nano, and Aero are available immediately from Wahoo dealers and WahooFitness.com. Powrlink Zero will be available in summer 2021.
Wahoo and Speedplay are the perfect match. Both companies have reputations for innovation, and both have devoted fans whereas other brands just have ‘users’. Wahoo looks to have brought Speedplay into the 21st century without losing any of the brand’s original appeal, and appears to have added significantly to its performance.
We have a set of new Wahoo Speedplay Zeros on test – look out for our review.
Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor on the magazine following an MA in online journalism (yes, it was just after the dot-com bubble burst).
In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends a bit more time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
What's in the stable? There's a Colnago Master Olympic, a Hotta TT700, an ex-Castorama lo-pro that was ridden in the 1993 Tour de France, a Pinarello Montello, an Independent Fabrication Club Racer, a Shorter fixed winter bike and a renovated Roberts with a modern Campag groupset.
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