Tip of the Week 5: Solving Speedplay Cleat Issues

This week’s tip is for those of you with Speedplay road pedals. It is well known that Speedplay makes the best pedals, but if you neglect them they won’t work like they should. Remember when your pedals and cleats were brand new? They were so easy to clip in, the free float was smooth, and it was easy to get out. After a while the cleats get dirty from walking, riding in dusty conditions, etc. What happens is dust and grime builds up between the horseshoe-shaped spring on the cleat and the spring housing and the spring cannot move freely.

Earlier in the summer, we were riding in a bad area and had to walk through thick, sticky mud. On the way back home it was nearly impossible to clip in, but totally impossible to clip out. After a quick cleaning, they were good as new again.

It will take you 10 minutes to overhaul the cleats back to their original glory. All you need is a Philips head screwdriver, a clean rag, degreaser, and Speedplay Cleat Lube (or a light dry chain lube will work fine). These directions apply specifically to the Light Action and Zero pedals. The X pedals are very different, but a good cleaning goes a long way.

  1. Before taking anything apart, take note of the position of the outer metal plate in relation to the four 4×11 screws so you can put it back together without changing the position during reassembly.
  2. Remove the four screws from one shoe as shown in the picture. Do just one shoe at a time so you don’t mix up placement and pieces. If the screwdriver interface is worn and difficult to get a screwdriver on, you will want to get new 4×11 bolts before you put it back together.
  3. Remove the outer plate and black circular spring, clean thoroughly with degreaser, and set aside.
  4. Now clean the spring housing removing as much dirt and debris as possible from both sides.
  5. Put a small drop of Speedplay Cleat Lube or dry chain lube in the groove where the circular spring sits. Spread it around to make a light film and wipe off any excess.
  6. Reinstall the circular spring and outer metal plate and carefully insert the four screws. Align the plate to its position (from step 1) and uniformly tighten the screws.

That’s it! Speedplay says you should get about 5000 miles out of a pair of cleats, you want to keep them working right to prolong the life of the cleats. If you’ve walked on your cleats much and the outer plate gets too thin and the screws are damaged,

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