Product Review: Speedplay Zero Stainless Pedals - CSC Special Edition
When I was asked to review the Speedplay Zero Stainless pedals I was thrilled. After using previous versions of the X2s, I was thrilled to see the minor and major improvements in the Zero Stainless series. The first improvement I saw straight out of the box was the adjustable float (0 ? 15 degrees) within the cleats, and the built-in grease port that is now easy to access for servicing. The other was the fact that Speedplay is producing limited production pedals that are the same or nearly the same as those that many European professional teams use. This particular set of pedals was the CSC Team Edition. The red color and the stainless steel spindles make a great look for the Zero Stainless.
For those of you who are particular about weight and clearance, the Zero Stainless is a force to be reckoned with. They are 206 grams for the set with the cleats and have an approximately 37-degree cornering clearance. (A lighter version at 185 grams is also available in the Zero Titanium pedal set.) Depending on speeds and angles of corners, the 37 degrees of cornering clearance means the rider is able to pedal through corners at high speed without the feeling of pedal / ground hop when the pedals are in the down position of the pedal stroke, making the Zero Stainless pedal set and the X series pedals ideal for the American Criterium type of races.
Unfortunately, the cleats for the Speedplay Zero series of pedals are not compatible with Speedplay?s X series pedal systems. However, the Zero and X pedals have a larger cleat platform than Look, Time, and Shimano pedal systems. When first taken out of the package the cleats look ominous. After looking at the instructions, however, I found the cleats to be very easy to mount on my shoes. The option of using three-hole or four-hole shoe mounts makes the Speedplay system compatible with nearly all road shoes. Also, the cleats have a very low stack height, which creates a more efficient pedal stroke because of the pedal axles being extremely close to the soles of the shoes.
For those riders who have knee or other injuries caused by little to no float in many pedal systems, the Speedplay Zero Stainless may be for you. With 0 ? 15 degrees of float, the rider is able to pivot his or her foot more or less than five degrees. This accommodates nearly any rider, thereby preventing torsion injuries. I am a rider who pivots when I stand up, and the Zeroes were perfect for preventing injury during out-of-saddle climbs and sprints with the pivot control opened all the way to 15 degrees. The Speedplay?s float does take some time to get used to. The float?s adjustment also takes time to fine tune to the rider?s specifications. As for the release angles, when the pivot control is set at 15 degrees, the rider has to pivot his or her foot much further to release the spring cleat from the pedal than the conventional Look, Time, and Shimano pedals. Thankfully, in crashes the cleat / pedal system released so that the rider doesn?t feel trapped when lying on the ground. However, the cleat will not release when in a full sprint or climb or during hard upstrokes on the pedals.
All in all, the Speedplay Zero Titanium CSC Team Edition pedals are a great pedal package. With the lightweight, adjustable float, dual-sided system Speedplay has created a pedal / cleat system that undeniably makes elite level pedal performance available to the general road market. Just ask ProTour teams like CSC, Phonak, and Continental Professional Teams such as Health Net and Navigators Insurance.
Visit Speedplay online at www.speedplay.com.