Monday, July 21, 2014

a little biking - speedplay zero review

A little biking

After two triathlons, I decided that it was time to bite the bullet and get clipless pedals! Interesting note: "clips" are the toe boxes that are on regular pedals and "clipless" are the pedals that require shoes with cleats to clip into. I know, it confuses everyone!

I read a lot about what kind of pedals/shoes to get, but decided to go with the ones recommended to me by one of my swim parents, who is a competitive cyclist - Speedplay Zeros. Both of his kids, my swimmers, also ride mountain bikes competitively and use these pedals, so I figured if an avid cyclist uses them AND they're easy enough for his kids, then they were the right ones for me. I also took his advice about buying them used. So I found a pair on ebay for about 1/2 the price of new ones. Then I opted for new shoes and cleats.

I went with Pearl Izumi - Run Women's Tri Fly IV Carbon Cycling Shoe because they were hot pink had a pretty good review for "best value" online (okay, and I really liked the color).

I'm a pretty handy girl, so putting the cleats on the shoes was easy, though I did have to figure out which plastic plates to use, since the instructions had different letters than what was on the cleats. I just went by the ones that didn't leave a gap between the cleat and my shoe. Swapping the pedals was amazingly easy. I borrowed a number 15 pedal wrench and it was done in under a minute. I found out that pedals screw in with a forward pedal motion and unscrew with a backward pedal motion. It makes sense, since you wouldn't want your pedals to break their threading while riding, but it means you have to leave the "righty tighty, lefty loosey" rhyme at home.

Once everything was set, I was ready to ride... right?

Wrong! I was so excited to have everything put together that I tried to clip in while in my basement. I put my shoes on, mounted my bike, and tried to clip. Nothing. I tried slamming my shoe against the pedal with my hands. Nothing. It was so frustrating! I finally took some time a few days later, after reading online that it was tough to clip in and out at first, to ride around outside of my house. I was able to click the right one in easily, but the left was tough. Clipping out was no problem for either right or left. I read that you just have to get the cleats used to clipping in and out (and then take care to lube them up with dry lube the right way) and then they are easier to use. After three rides, I can say that is totally true. I can clip in and out like a pro!

The design of the pedal is nice and it doesn't scratch you when you are carrying your bike down the stairs (yes, I speak from personal experience with my old pedals). It also looks cute, like a little disk. I know it's silly, but I appreciate a nice design aesthetic! One of the pros of it is that you can click in on both sides of the pedal. I can't attest to other clipless pedals, but I know with clips (toe boxes), it was tough flipping the pedal to the correct side. The cleats are kinda hard to walk in, but from watching other people walk in other cleats, I imagine all cleats are kinda hard to walk in.

I really like my pedals, shoes, and cleats and would definitely recommend them to anyone (even newbies like me) considering going to clipless pedals!

A little bikingA little biking

Note: I purchased all of this on my own. Nothing was provided to me. I am just sharing what I got after the (limited) research that I did. Here's a (non affiliate) link to Speedplay for more info on the pedals.

Support my blog:I buy a lot of, well, everything from Amazon with my prime membership (both personally and at work). They are offering a free 30 day membership to new subscribers and a referral bonus for me! So check out Amazon Prime and support my blog at the same time! I donate 10% of all ad revenue to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through their Team in Training and Light the Night programs.

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