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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.