X Series Frequently Asked Questions
Click on any question for the answer.
- Why do X pedals look so different from other pedals?
X pedals were designed specifically for bicycling. Other clipless pedal systems have been adapted from ski-binding technology for use with bicycles.
- Why are X pedals so light weight?
X pedals are light weight as a result of their simple design. By locating the locking mechanism in the cleat, the pedals can be made with only one moving part, the spindle. This design feature alone saves as much as ½ pound per pair compared to other clipless pedal designs.
- Is the weight of a pedal system important?
Yes, the weight of any part of the bicycle is important, but pedal weight, like wheel weight, is categorized as “rotating” weight. It is considerably more important to reduce the weight of rotating parts on a bicycle than it is to reduce the weight of “static” or non-rotating parts. An old bicycle saying says it all: "A pound off the wheels is worth two off the frame." Of course the same can be said for the weight of pedals.
- How much do X Pedal Systems weigh?
X/1 Titanium - 150 grams per pairX/3 Chrome-moly - 225 grams per pair
X/2 Stainless - 198 grams per pair
X/5 Chrome-moly – 225 grams per pair
X Cleats - 90 grams per pair (3-hole mount); 54 grams per pair (4-hole mount).
- What type of bearings are used in X pedals?
Speedplay X/1 Titanium and X/2 Stainless pedals turn on one precision needle bearing and two precision cartridge bearings. The X/5 Chrome-Moly pedals turn on one precision needle bearing and one precision cartridge bearing. It is important to recognize that the high quality “rolling element” bearings used in X pedals provide an advantage of 40% less rolling resistance than the plastic “sleeve” bushings used in some other pedal systems.
- Can X pedals be engaged on both sides?
Yes, like all Speedplay pedals, X pedals are dual-sided for easy no-look entry. Additionally, the rounded leading and trailing edges help flip the pedals flat and self-locate into the cleat for easy engagement. The patented Zero, Light Action, and X pedals are the only dual-sided clipless pedals that are both self-righting and self-locating.
- Why is "float" important?
The float in X pedals helps to prevent the type of chronic knee joint stress that occurs when a cyclist's foot is held in a wrong position. X pedals adapt to the cyclist's biomechanics, preventing joint misalignment and overuse injuries.
- Why do X pedals have such a wide range of float?
The wide range of float is a necessary design by-product of a free floating pedal system. For safety reasons, a free-floating pedal design requires a release angle greater than fixed pedal designs. Although the majority of riders will use only a few degrees of the available float, riders with serious biomechanical misalignments will use more. X pedals do not ever cause a rider's foot to use the full range of float. A rider naturally uses only the float needed to prevent misalignment.
- How long will it take for me to adjust to the free float of X pedals?
It varies depending on the pedal system you have been riding, but typically from one day to two weeks.
- Will my feet stay clipped-in with X pedals when I jump or sprint?
Yes. Unlike many pedals that lock the foot in the cleat with spring tension and have been known to let go unexpectedly when the rider pulls up on the pedals, X pedals use a true locking mechanism that locks the foot securely during the pull-up phase of the pedal stroke.
- Is there any loss of power from pedals with rotational float?
No. Several independent studies have concluded there is no loss of power from float, yet float can be instrumental in preventing repetitive-motion injuries due to misaligned joints.
- Can I adjust the float range on my X pedals?-
X pedals were designed to float freely and cannot be adjusted. Like an acquired taste, floating pedals may take some getting used to. After each ride you will feel more and more comfortable. Eventually, the unfamiliar feeling will disappear.
For those riders who prefer a fixed position or limited float with all the advantages of a Speedplay pedal system, Speedplay offers the Zero Pedal System with micro-adjustable float. (See FAQ’s for Zero Pedal Systems)
- X pedals look smaller than most pedals. Do X pedals provide an adequate pedal platform?
Yes. Once engaged into the pedal, the cleat becomes the platform and provides more than an adequate pedaling platform. The X Pedal System has been used successfully in all types of long distance cycling events, including professional road racing, velodrome racing, and triathlons. See Choosing a Pedal – Platform Size.
- Does any pedal system offer better cornering clearance than X pedals?
No. X, Zero, and Light Action pedals offer the best cornering clearance.
- Does any other pedal system position the spindle axis closer to the shoe sole than X pedals?
No, X, Zero, and Light Action pedals position the foot closer to the top of the spindle than any other pedal. In fact, some popular brands of clipless pedals position the pedal axis as much as 1/3 of an inch further away from the foot than Speedplay pedals.
- Why is the position of the spindle axis to the shoe sole so important?
It is commonly recognized that the closer the foot is positioned to the spindle, the more efficiently power can be transmitted to the cranks.
- What brand of shoes works best with X Pedal Systems?
X cleats fit well on virtually all brands, however, you should choose a shoe that is comfortable and best fits your foot. See Tech Support - Shoe Compatibility.
- Do I need an adapter kit to mount X cleats to my shoes?
Most shoes use the 1-F and 1-R Snap Shims that are factory installed on the 3-hole black plastic Standard Base Plate of the cleat. See Tech Support - Shoe Compatibility for specific shoe mounting instructions.
- I cannot seem to find the 1-F and 1-R Snap Shims. What should I do?
The 1-F and 1-R Snap Shims are factory installed (snapped) onto the 3-hole black plastic Standard Base Plate of the cleat.
- I am having trouble installing the 4-F and 4-R Snap Shims on the 3-hole black plastic Base Plate of the X cleat. What should I do?
You must first remove the factory-installed 1-F and 1-R Snap Shims from the 3-hole black plastic Base Plate before snapping the 4-F and 4-R Snap Shims into place. Be sure not to lose the four (4) nuts housed underneath the Snap Shims on each Base Plate when changing the Snap Shims. (Note: Cleat sets sold before July 2006 may contain Snap Shims designated as 3-F and 3-R.)
- The X cleat does not provide enough forward (or rearward) adjustment. What should I do?
If a greater range of either forward or rearward adjustment is needed, you may purchase a Speedplay Cleat Extender Base Plate Kit, Part #13330. These plates replace the Speedplay black plastic Standard Base Plates. The Cleat Extender Base Plates provide an extra 5mm of forward adjustment and an extra 14mm of rearward adjustment than the Standard Base Plates.
- I just installed my new X pedals and cleats. The pedals will not engage the cleats properly or the cleats pull out while riding or sprinting. What should I do?
Be sure that the 4 x 11mm outer fastening screws of the cleats are not over-tightened. Tighten cleat fastening screws until resistance is felt and then tighten no more than ¼ turn. Over-tightening prevents the springs from operating properly, can affect engagement and retention, and can cause the springs to break. Also ensure that the correct mounting hardware and Snap Shim Kit have been used.
- How do I release from X pedals?
Twist your heel outward to release from X pedals. As with all clipless pedals, it is easiest to disengage with your leg fully extended at the bottom of the pedal stroke.
- How often should I replace my X cleats?
Replace X cleats at least every 3000 - 5000 miles or sooner if the cleat parts show advanced wear. Lubricating the cleat springs with a dry-type (PTFE) lubricant, keeping the cleats free of dirt and debris by cleaning them regularly and using X Coffee Shop Caps when walking will greatly extend the life of your cleats. Worn out X cleat springs will have flat, shiny areas, and the cleats should be replaced immediately. Never ride on parts that are damaged or show excessive wear. If you have any doubts about worn parts or their serviceability contact Speedplay or your Speedplay retailer before riding. Never install cleats using any combination of new cleat parts and old cleat parts. When replacing X cleats, be sure to check the engaging edges of the bowties for worn areas and replace the bowties if necessary.
- Can I use Zero or Light Action cleats with my X pedals?
No. Zero cleats cannot be used with X pedals, and X cleats cannot be used with Zero pedals. No. Zero and Light Action cleats cannot be used with X pedals, and X cleats cannot be used with Zero or Light Action pedals. Only use X cleats with X pedals.
- How often should I grease the bearings in my X pedals?
Speedplay recommends that you grease the bearings with a synthetic, waterproof grease every 2000 miles or more frequently if you ride in wet or dusty conditions. If the pedals spin freely by hand (more than 1/2 turn before stopping), inject grease immediately to avoid damage to the bearings and spindles. The X pedal’s built-in grease port makes greasing quick and easy. Remember, grease is cheap insurance and saves you money on replacement parts by preventing wear or water damage. Speedplay Grease guns and recommended grease are available at your local Speedplay retailer or call us at 1-800-468-6694 to order.
- What type of grease do you recommend for the bearings?
A synthetic, waterproof grease such as marine wheel-bearing grease works best. Speedplay uses waterproof bearing grease in its factory. Do not use thin viscosity grease, spray lubes, oil, or dry-type (PTFE) lubricants on pedal bearings or damage may result. Speedplay Grease guns and recommended grease are available at your local Speedplay dealer or call us at 1-800-468-6694 to order.
- I am having difficulty injecting grease into my pedals through the grease port. What should I do?
Apply pressure to the grease gun when inserting the injector tip into the grease port. Be sure to inject the grease very, very slowly. Turning the pedal body on the spindle while injecting grease will help the grease make its way through the bearings and out the spindle side of the pedal body. When fresh grease comes out after the old grease, put the screw back in, wipe off the excess grease and you are done.
- Where can I purchase waterproof bearing grease?
Speedplay sells an industrial quality grease gun with a needle-type injector for $28.00 retail, which includes a tube of waterproof bearing grease. Refill tubes are also available and can be purchased from Speedplay. Check your local Speedplay retailer or call us at 1-800-468-6694 to order directly.
- Where should the X cleats and pedal surface be lubricated?
Apply a dry-type(PFTE) lubricant such as SP-LUBE, Super Lube Dry Film, RZ-50, DuPont Performance Dry, Liquid Wrench Dry-Lube, Pro Gold, or Blaster Dry Lube to the cleat springs and the center area of the cleat where the pedal nests. Be sure to keep the cleat cavity free from dirt and debris. Additionally, be careful not to apply lubricant to the outer plate of the cleats as it may cause the cleats to become slippery on some floor surfaces.
- What type of lubrication should I use on the X cleat springs and bowties?
Speedplay recommends applying a dry-type (PTFE) lubricant such as SP-LUBE, Super-Lube Dry Film, RD-50, DuPont Performance Dry, Liquid Wrench Dry Lube, Pro Gold or Blaster Dry Lube to the cleat springs and to the cavity where the pedal nests. DO NOT USE A WET LUBRICANT! Wet lubricants attract dirt and debris and effectively create an abrasive “grinding paste” that causes parts to wear. Additionally, be careful not to apply lubricant to the outer plate of the cleats as it may cause the cleats to become slippery on floor surfaces.
- How often should I lubricate the X cleats and bowties?
Applying a dry-type(PTFE)lubricant, such as SP-LUBE, Super-Lube Dry Film, RD-50, DuPont Performance Dry, Liquid Wrench Dry Lube, Pro Gold, or Finish Line Dry Lube, to the cleat springs and the cavity of the cleat where the pedal nests as often as before each ride will significantly prolong the life of the cleats and the pedals. The more often you lubricate the better the system will function.
- Can I purchase replacement parts for my X Pedals?
Yes, parts and replacement kits are available from retailers for all current Speedplay pedal systems.
- Can I use Zero or Light Action parts kits with my X Pedal System?
No. Zero, Light Action and X parts kits are not interchangeable.
- Can I purchase replacement fasteners for use in Speedplay X pedals and cleats?
Speedplay fasteners are available and may be purchased from Speedplay retailers. Be sure to use genuine Speedplay fasteners because these fasteners are specifically designed and manufactured to exacting dimensions using high performance materials that have been carefully selected and tested for suitability and safety in their application. Off-the-shelf fasteners are not interchangeable with Speedplay fasteners. Off-the-shelf fasteners are different from Speedplay fasteners in design, dimension, and the materials selected. These differences in off-the-shelf fasteners make them unsuitable, inappropriate and unsafe for use in Speedplay Pedal Systems. The use of non-conforming, off-the-shelf fasteners that do not interface correctly with the components of Speedplay Pedal Systems presents a serious safety issue and may cause damage to the pedal system, which could lead to severe bodily injury. Additionally, use of off-the-shelf, non-conforming fasteners will void the manufacturer's warranty.
- Can I purchase replacement bearings for use in my Speedplay X Pedal Systems?
Speedplay cartridge bearing kits are available and may be purchased from Speedplay retailers. Be sure to use genuine Speedplay bearings because the bearings used in Speedplay pedals have been extensively tested and proven for durability and functionality. Speedplay specifies only top-quality bearings to ensure long term reliability and safety. Do not be fooled by the claims of some online resellers that their bearings are equal to the high-quality bearings used by Speedplay - not all bearings are of the same quality. The cartridge bearings can easily be replaced in all X Series pedals, and the needle bearings can be replaced in the X/5 pedals. However, do not attempt to remove the needle bearings from the X/1 or X/2 pedal bodies. The needle bearings used in the Speedplay X/1 and X/2 Pedal Systems are permanently bonded in place and cannot be removed from the pedal without damage to the components. Attempting to remove and replace the needle bearings in X/1 and X/2 pedals may cause damage which could result in severe bodily injury. Additionally, attempting to remove and replace the needle bearings in X/1 and X/2 pedals will void the manufacturer's warranty. With proper lubrication maintenance, the needle bearings used in Speedplay X/1 and X/2 pedals will easily last the life of the pedals. If you would like to replace the needle bearings in your X/1 and X/2 pedal bodies, rebuild kits with the bearing factory installed in the pedal bodies are available from Speedplay retailers.
- Can I rebuild my Speedplay X Series Pedal Systems?
Speedplay X pedals were designed to be user-serviceable and rebuildable. Because Speedplay pedals are a high-performance product designed for safety and reliability, it is important to only use genuine Speedplay parts available from Speedplay retailers and to carefully follow the steps for disassembly and assembly found in the Speedplay X Pedal System instructions. Do not attempt to remove the needle bearing from the X/1 or X/2 pedal body as it is permanently bonded and cannot be removed without damaging components. The proper procedure for correctly installing the needle bearing into X/1 and X/2 pedals is critically important. Therefore, in order to ensure safety and reliability, this operation for all Speedplay Zero, Light Action Titanium, Light Action Stainless, X/1 and X/2 Pedal Systems is only performed under Speedplay supervision at our facility in San Diego, California. Attempting to remove and replace the needle bearings in X/1 and X/2 pedals or reusing bent or damaged parts may result in severe injury. Additionally, attempting to remove and replace the needle bearings in X/1 or X/2 pedals will void the manufacturer's warranty. If the needle bearings in your pedal bodies need to be replaced, rebuild kits with the bearing factory installed in X/1 and X/2 pedal bodies are available from Speedplay retailers.
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