I just bought a pair of Speedplay pedals and was trying to set them up today. Once I got the cleats on with the included shims, I tried to clip in and had to use an absurd amount of force to get into them (basically pulling up on my frame while putting almost all of my weight into the pedal). I did lube the engagement spring and have tried to put my heel down and wiggle a bit when clipping in but have still been largely unsuccessful.

Is this normal for a first setup before they are broken in? Or did I set up the cleats improperly in some way that is causing me problems?

Also, at 130 lbs, do I weigh enough to be able to reasonably expect to clip in ok? I thought about the X5s or Light Actions since it sounds like the engagement force is less, but Speedplay says you shouldn't race on them and LBS said engagement force wouldn't be an issue.

  • I'm on my second set of cleats; I noticed immediately that they were more difficult to get into than my old ones. So there's probably some wear-in on the springs. Jun 27, 2012 at 14:56

2 Answers 2


Zeros do take a bit more finesse to engage. It's more about alignment than raw force, so even at 130, once you build a bit of muscle memory in the exact foot position, you should be fine. Practice a lot.

Bottom line, it's not (mostly) a matter of force, but the Zeros have much tighter tolerances so your foot has to be just right.

FWIW: I used Zeros for track, but Light Action elsewhere...I suspect the "don't use for racing" is primarily a legal thing, but I have pulled out of the Light Actions most recently causing me to hit the ground unkindly whilst in traffic.

  • Sorry, I wish I could vote you up but I don't have 15 reputation yet. Will try riding again with them today
    – user758556
    Jun 25, 2012 at 14:14

Speedplay advises the use of dry silicone lubricants, but I found the expensive one I tried to be ineffective. The first time I tried the pedals I was quite surprised at the amount of force necessary to unclip, but I'm certain this was partially caused by the ineffective spray-on silicone lube.

At this point I have used Pedro's Ice Wax, and it works well, as would any similar wax lube for your chain. However it also leaves quite a bit of build-up after a time, and necessitates some cleaning.

Speedplay also advises that the pedals should be relubricated with grease from time to time. I bought some grease and a grease gun which I use for this purpose. A collateral benefit is that this grease also works pretty well for lubing the Speedplay cleats. The screws on the cleats will work loose over time, and sometimes you need to disassemble the cleat in order to tighten everything completely. I usually take that opportunity to put a little grease in the C- or U-shaped channel where the spring clip sits. A little of it oozes out and helps with clipping in and clipping out.

You need to be a little careful when wearing these cleats-- for example, I'm down at the beach quite a bit with my road bike but I never walk on the sand-- as any lubricant you use can attract dirt, which can make it harder to clip in. But one accessory that every Speedplay user should have is these covers, which are pretty effective at keeping the cleats up and out of debris on the ground that might stick to lubricant.

As you use your pedals you will find they wear a bit, and this also helps with the clipping in and out.

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