I have ridden Speedplay Zeros for many years now. I have them installed on both my Road and Tri bike and shoes. The main driver for my choice of these over other options was that they offer some Float. Float is the ability to move you heel in or out without disengaging the cleat. Zeros allow you to dial this is in with a range of 0 – 15 degrees of float, Years of running have left me with twitchy knees and the float is a little kinder on them than a pedal solution that locks you into one position.
Like most things pedals and cleats don’t last forever and they need looking after and replacing when the time comes. Pedal grease should be replaced every 2000 miles or more often in wet or dusty conditions. The actual cleats last between 3000 – 5000 miles. My Cervelo (as of today) has 4807 miles on it and so based on that it was time to replace them, I had also been having some other issues with an achy knee and the cleat’s base plate was actually loosening on one shoe, I was having to dismount to retighten them. To isolate the issue one day I switched to my Tri shoes and had no problem so it was time.
When I was picking up my bike from Wins Wheels after having a tune up I noticed a new version of the Speedplay Zero; a “Walkable”.
From the Speedplay website;
Speedplay’s new Walkable™ Cleat technology for Zero pedals sets a new standard for user-friendly, off-the-bike functionality. Speedplay’s Zero Aero Walkable™ Cleats are the first truly walkable™ cleats for road pedals. The integrated, rubberized covers stay on the cleats while you are riding. When walking, the covers improve traction and protect the cleats from wear. Additionally, the thin, contoured cleat profile allows for a more natural gait and makes walking in road shoes much less awkward.
In addition to these benefits, Cleat Buddies are handy plugs included with cleat sets for use when walking in dirty conditions. Cleat Buddies prevent debris contamination by fitting into the cleat’s center cavity. When you are ready to ride, Cleat Buddies can be easily removed for riding and conveniently snap together to fit in a pocket or bag.
Beyond the obvious save on wear and tear of the actual cleat from the street there was potentially a good deal of improvement in grip to be offered during the run out or in of T2 during a Triathlon. I discussed them with Win and basically the concept was a slightly lower profile cleat combined with a rubber surround that clips on to cover the entire cleat with the exception of the pedal entry. The reduced cleat height means that there is no overall increase in the pedal’s stack height. Additionally they come with a plug that screws in. This plug gives added protection to the cleat locking mechanism in the case of walking across rougher terrain or sand. They are easily screwed in or out and can be tucked away in your jersey. So with that I was sold and picked up two pairs, one each for Becca and myself.
Installation was easy enough. Of course I had to remove my old pair, you can see the wear and tear that they have gone through.
Old Cleats off, well worn and scratched up, nearly 5000 miles on these!
Contents of the new cleats, note the different length screws for the Base shim
The rubber surround pops off the cleat. Fit the cleat to the sole of the shoe in the normal way
The surround the peels back on. Fitted with the plug.
No difference to the stack height…I need to work on my Velcro alignment!
So how they stack up, no pun intended!
Installation; this is easy, if you have installed Speedplay Zeros before you will not be fazed. The only additional step is to add the surround. I found the best way was to to peel it on and then snap the last corner, see the photos above. It pops on and stays on. I haven’t used the plugs as yet but they are lightweight and easily kept in your jersey pocket.
On the Bike; I have a 190+ miles on them already and I can honestly say that I don’t notice them at all when riding. Beyond the overall newness of the cleats the surround is easily forgotten.
Off the Bike; for obvious reasons this is the most noticeable difference. Gone is the clickyclacky walk and instead it is replaced with, well, silence. There is definitely a better sense of grip on the the ground and there is no noticeable increase in the angle between the cleat and the heel. The riding mileage and my walking has been a mix of outside and inside and there is really no sign of wear on the surrounds, they are simply a bit dirty. I have worn them on concrete and tile and obviously general blacktop road surface.
The nice thing about these is that if you do wear them our or have a mishap you can replace the surrounds for $20 and the caps for $6 and you can also get them in red, black, green and of course yellow.
So in summary I can’t think of any reason why you would not use these, other than adding a nominal amount of weight; 105 grams per pair (3-hole mount) vs. 138g per pair of Walkables, if you’re worried about 33g of extra weight you are not the sort of person who reads this blog! They do cost more money off of the shelf $55 for the Walkables vs. $40 for your standard cleats but they should extend the overall life of your cleats and provide you with a more stable walking surface.
My final thought, based on my limited walking, is that I anticipate that the improvement you will get running out of T2 will be substantial. Triathletes take note!
These Cleats were purchased by me. See previous gear reviews in the Tab above. If you have a product you’d like reviewed, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.