Set up your SPEEDPLAY cleats like a pro

Tips & Recipes

Pedal more efficiently with Wahoo SPEEDPLAY. Getting your fit right is easy.

January 24, 2023

The two most important connections you’ve got to your bike are your left foot to your left pedal and your right foot to your right pedal.

To ride fast or far or just spin down the road comfortably without getting injured, your feet should glide through the most natural and efficient pedal stroke for them. Anything less is a waste of strength and effort.

Wahoo SPEEDPLAY is the most comfortable and efficient pedal system on the market. Most systems place a plastic cleat on the bottom of your shoe to clip into a spring-loaded pedal. SPEEDPLAY cleats clasp around the pedal, bringing the sole of your shoe in direct contact with the pedal surface for better power transfer. It’s still easy to click in and out, but the SPEEDPLAY design links you more firmly to your bike for near lossless pedalling. It is also much easier to fine tune to your body’s mechanics.

SPEEDPLAY is the only system that allows you to make independent adjustments on three axes. The cleat base plate provides 14 millimeters of fore-aft adjustability. The plate that houses the cleat spring can be moved eight millimeters to the left or right for precise side-to-side tuning. You can then dial in 0º to 15º of float, which allows your heel to pivot around the center of the pedal as much as works best for your body.

Setting up your SPEEDPLAY cleats is simple.

Get Wahoo SPEEDPLAY today

Choose your tension

The first thing you need to do when you’re setting up your shoes for SPEEDPLAY pedals is decide whether you want easy-tension or standard-tension cleats. Easy-tension cleats have light-action springs, which make it easier to clip in and clip out. Beginners love this. For everyday riding, these cleats provide all of the stability and security you need. More powerful riders should opt for the standard-tension model. These race-ready cleats will hold your foot firmly to the pedal in an all-out sprint. EF Education-EasyPost’s pros wear by them.

Position your base plates

The next thing to do is determine how far towards your toes or heels you want to set your baseplates. First make sure that your right baseplate sits flush to the sole of your right shoe and your left baseplate sits flush to your left one. You may need to make use of the shims that come with new SPEEDPLAY cleats. SPEEDPLAY provides two sets of screws, one longer and one shorter, to fasten your baseplates. Determine which set will work best for your set up. Using a No.2 Phillips screwdriver, gently attach the baseplates to your shoes by turning screws into the three threaded holes that are manufactured standard in their soles. You want to leave the screws just loose enough that you are able to slide the baseplates forwards and backwards. A center line is drawn on the baseplate. This will line up with the spindle of your pedal. As a general rule, you want to set this right under the ball of your foot, though some riders prefer it to be slightly forwards or backwards to suit their pedaling style. Position the baseplates as you want them and then tighten the screws firmly. SPEEDPLAY recommends four Newton metres.

Mount the cleat spring plates

With your baseplates in place, it is now time to mount your cleat-spring plates. These fasten around your pedals and can be moved from side-to-side. SPEEDPLAY cleat-spring plates are attached to their baseplates using four small screws. Fasten those screws in an X-pattern, leaving the screws loose enough that you can still slide the cleat-spring plate to the left or right. The aim here is to position your knees over your feet when you are pedalling. If your knee would be over the outside of your foot, you want to move your foot outward by pushing the cleat inward on the shoe, and vice versa. Once the cleat spring plate is properly positioned, tighten the screws. These screws are self-locking, and you will feel a small click to let you know that they are fastened securely.

Adjust the float

The final adjustment that you can make to your SPEEDPLAY cleats is to the float. You do this by adjusting the limit screws on the outside of the cleat with a No. 0 Philips screwdriver. One limit screw determines how far inwards your heel can rotate, while the other determines how far outwards your heel can rotate. Make sure that you don’t back a limit screw out of its thread or tighten it further once it has made contact with the spring.

Attach your cleat covers

With your cleats set, you can place the rubber cover over the entire mechanism. These protect your cleats when you walk in your cycling shoes and reduce aerodynamic drag. You’re ready to go riding.

Fine tuning

You may want to fine-tune your cleats after you have spent some time cycling with them. The SPEEDPLAY pedal system is easy to adjust on all three axes. It is generally best to make modest changes on one axis at a time, until you are pedaling comfortably. Your pedal stroke should feel smooth and efficient under load. Keep in mind that this will be affected by the rest of your bike fit. Make sure that your saddle height is set correctly and you can easily reach your handlebars.

Check out this guide from Team EF Coaching on the five most common bike fitting mistakes and how to fix them.

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