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At this point many have been expecting the Speedplay Syzr mountain bike pedal to make it to production. The good news is that according to Speedplay it has.What is perhaps more interesting though is an impressive number of new designs for the road side including the Zero Aero System. Richard Bryne told us that the starting point for the aero project was being told that their standard Zero pedal system provided the same aero advantage as a deep dish front wheel. That was the point that Richard decided to pursue a full aero pedal system which gave birth to the Zero Aero System.

Designed specifically for TT and Triathlon applications, the new pedal design claims to be the most aerodynamic available.

Aero is great and all, but we think the new cleat is what most riders will be really excited about.

Details next…

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Created as a single sided pedal system, the Zero Aero System uses the same Zero cleat interface as the popular pedals.

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The difference is that when clipped in, the dimpled surface on the bottom of the pedal creates a full aero profile. The pedal is designed so that you can have the aero system on your aero bike and a standard Zero on your road bike and still switch back and forth with the same shoes.

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The new walkable cleat uses a rubberized outer protective skin to protect the cleat and cleat screws from damage. Walkable cleats won’t replace the standard Speedplay road cleat, but will be available as an option to purchase for current Speedplay pedals. The Aero System takes the interface a step further with an additional aero surround that snaps in underneath the walkable cover, but the cleats are interchangeable. Like other Speedplay cleats there will be 3 and 4 bolt options to fit all shoes. Really one of the only changes to the cleat itself is a new heat treated alloy steel bottom plate instead of aluminum. Speedplay hopes to be shipping the Aero System by the end of the year.

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To go along with the walkable cleats, Speedplay has these clever little caps which twist into the cleats to plug them up for walking. When not in use they snap together for easy storage in your jersey pocket. Both the caps and the walkable covers will be available separately.

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The Ultra Light action is 50% easier to enter and exit than ever before and is a running change that started in May. These also get a walkable cleat, but opt for a more textured surface for better grip rather than the aero dimples.

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Ah, the Syzr. Yes, it has been a long time coming, but according to Speedplay they really wanted to get it right the first go which meant a long R&D process to get it just right. Most steel on steel pedal systems tend to deteriorate once dirt and water are introduced to the equation so Richard says you can either relax tolerances to get it to work, or use dissimilar materials like a brass cleat.

To achieve the design goal of superior power transfer and stability from the Syzr, that wasn’t an option so they searched for a better solution.

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The answer turned out to be carbide ceramic rollers at the four corners of each cleat. The rollers are extremely hard and won’t wear out, plus they provide silky smooth release – supposed even in the worst conditions. The cleat has micro adjustable 10 degrees of float which is provided through the cleat rather than the pedal. Since the outer section actually rotates around the inner, Speedplay was able to make the connection of the pedal to the cleat much more secure.

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This is a key part of the design since the pedal is supported through the cleat, not the shoe’s pontoons. This makes for a much more stable platform that won’t loosen up as your shoe’s lugs wear. Combined with the easy entry of the Target Acquisition guides in a cleat and you have a pedal that should be worth the wait.

We’ll update in a bit with actual weights and more.

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25 COMMENTS

  1. Looking forward to not having to E-Z-out any more Speedplay cleat screws anymore! The screw in caps are a pretty nifty idea. Overall, I’m very interested in the more walkable design.

    On another note, “the standard Zero pedal system provided the same aero advantage as a deep dish front wheel.” Who told them that? Some guy? These pedals do look pretty interesting from and aero perspective, but I’d really like to see some kind of data to back up these claims. Time to rent out that Specialized wind tunnel Speedplay.

  2. OR just pose the questions to the Specialized guys and they will test it I am sure. Either way, with a new tri build in the process I am getting a pair of these.

  3. Same areo advantage … compared to a set of Shimano DX flats.

    Those Syzr pedals look really nifty though. The contact area looks nice and wide. I had a rubbish experience with the Frogs.. Bearings failing, cleats moving on carbon soles, constant re-greasing.. Hope it’s all sorted.

  4. Speedplay used to have this data on their website, but I can’t find it now. It was apparently wind tunnel derived, but testing was done with 4 bolt shoes only, which have the lower stack height. Which makes good sense, but Speedplay should be more forthcoming about that particular detail. That being said, I switched to Speedplay-specific shoes (Sidi) with the Zeros I was already using, and found they made a great pedal even better, producing a more planted and stable pedal stroke. Any aero benefit, if real, was just a bonus.

  5. Hang on! I thought double sized entry was THE major advantage of Speedplay pedals? It was so said to be so powerful an advantage that it outweighed all the problems with cleat rocking and dirt clogging of the cleat, and the other shortcomings of the design! Hmmmm….

  6. Been racing XC & CX on the same set of frogs for 15 years without any problems. Simple & reliable with exalent mud clearance that remains unmatched. True, their life blood is grease, and they get a fresh shot every 250miles. A little bit of up keep is a small price to pay for a set of stable and reliable pedals. I’ll demo the new offering, but I don’t see me giving up the frogs any time soon. If it’s not broke….

  7. 1.- I´ve Been using the same set of frog pedals sin 1999… No brand can say that, only shimano, but the speedplay system with no spring, for any knee is a million light years better than any springed system. I don’t think this new mtb pedal is better, but I´m exited to test the new model.

    2.- You can make your current speedplay cleat walkable with a nifty american product called Keep On Kovers. I’ve sold a ton of those in my shop. People just love them.

  8. I’d like to see Specialized do a windtunnel test. They don’t have a lot to lose since they don’t make pedals except for platform pedals.

    I’d like to see Shimano, Look Keo, Look Keo Blade (the only other pedal making aero claims?), SPD, Speedplay, Speedplay Aero, plastic platform pedals and Campy quill pedals with straps and cages.

  9. Well hot dam! Sign me up. Take a great pedal, make it even better – no sliding at stop lights anymore – and make it compatible with your current shoes. Sweet!

  10. I like that Speedplay is joining in on the aero revolution, but it appears that they maybe have non aerodynamicists doing the work. Firstly, you don’t put dimples on the aft side of the pedal, only on the front where the flow separation is most likely occurring. Secondly, they need to taper the front of the cleat so the flow moves around the pedal without having to make a big turn (eg an airfoil verses a box with radius corners). But it is a nice first effort from them.

  11. In the age of the bigger bottom bracket and hub bearing I guess they don’t want to put out any data on how those tiny bearings fare in a resistance test?

    The new designs do look good however. At last some kind of modernization from Speedplay

  12. @ Tom, they didn’t give a date when they were nearing production 2 years ago, so I doubt they’ll give one now. I wish I didn’t love their products so much because the company is a real bunch of… well nevermind

  13. yeah, i’m interested in getting SYZERED.
    @Speedplay, when making the cleat covers (great offering, btw), consider making them in bright colors. I’ve helped 2 different people search for lost covers before.

  14. There’s an idea for an enterprising soul: cleat covers that aren’t black but are instead brightly colored. I’d take a set of brightly colored cleat covers for my DA pedals if it would prevent losing said covers.

  15. Man, I just picked up three sets of Zero cleats as part of a club order. *Now* they come out with a new cleat? Well, someday I’ll use up the ones I have and get the new hotness.

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