The case for custom-fit Speedplay pedals
Pedal maker Speedplay has introduced a retailers' tool set to ease the fitting of their distinctive system.
We've been long-time fans of Speedplay pedals, loving the light weight and lower centre-of-gravity afforded by their relatively small distance from pedal-spindle to foot-bottom.
But it was their huge adjustability that first hooked us; if the family genes have decided that your feet points outwards when your knees pedal forwards then you're doomed to a life of inner heels gently clobbering the cranks. Not good.
Although the initial experience was somewhat strange (Speedplay say it feels like you're skating on ice) the tiny lollipop-shaped pedals click into your shoes rather than the usual Look or SPD technique and the feet are allowed to float into their natural position.
It took no more than a week to settle in and for the last ten years, now on the second set of cleats, we've been happily riding a pair of the model now designated X-2 with stainless steel axles. An added bonus is that in stop-start riding, the double sided design means that there's no need to see your feet into the pedals, it's just stomp down just like most mountain bike designs.
Recently, wider Speedplay acceptance has been done no harm at all by their successful sponsorship of professionals like Cervélo TestTeam and Milram and you can even buy the lime green versions now to match team Liquigas.
Anyway, it appears that over the years what might be called the natural constituency of Speedplay owners (i.e. fussy so-and-sos with dodgy feet) have been making significant demands on the kind of bike shops that take a pride in keeping such cyclists happy.
To the extent that real aficionado retailers were ordering separate longer axles, cleat extenders and shims to accommodate riders with asymmetrical leg lengths and all manner of non-standard pedalling issues.
Now Speedplay has introduced an official kit that formalizes all these tweaks into one box so that interested bike shops can provide a full and comprehensive fitting service.
Called the Pro Fit Case, the kit comes with five different spindle lengths, fore-aft extender base plates, shims, wedges and cleat fastening screws.
It's designed to provide a complete orthopaedic adjustment for Speedplay's Zero, Light Action and X Series pedals and allows retailers to fine tune pedal fit to account for previous injuries, discrepancy between the lengths of a rider's legs and foot misalignment.
According to Paul Butler of UK importer Jim Walker, "Fit has become a huge part of the business at proper bike shops. It has a real value for cyclists. The Speedplay Pro Fit Case adds a real edge to the fitting process."