Speedplay will launch their first new mountain bike pedal in more than a decade at this autumn's Interbike trade show. It’s called Syzr and looks set to offer all of the stability and fit benefits of the company's Zero road pedal, but with improved mud shedding.
Early prototypes of Syzr were seen at Interbike back in 2008; the version seen here is a final pre-production model. “If you look at the design, it’s an inside out, upside down Zero,” said Speedplay founder Richard Bryne. “It’s the same technology; its just been repositioned.”
Syzr pairs an open chromoly steel body with an adjustable floating cleat. Like Zero, the cleat is the key to the whole system: it provides the float, the pedalling platform and – unlike most most clipless designs, where it is found on the pedal – the locking mechanism.
You can adjust spring tension on the pedal to fine-tune entry and exit feel (via the Allen setscew in the centre, visible in the picture below), but this doesn't affect retention, which instead relies on a mechanical connection to the cleat.
Syzr pairs an open chromoly steel body with an adjustable floating cleat
The cleat is made of two pieces. The part that locks into the pedal is allowed to rotate – producing the pedal’s float – on a base that’s fixed to the shoe. The range of float from zero to eight degrees is adjustable via setscrews on the side.
This design does not depend on the shoe's side lugs for support, meaning that Speedplay can cant the cleat without affecting its performance. The only requirement of the shoe is an open cleat channel.
Because the pedal-to-cleat connection is isolated from the adjustable float it can be incredibly tight, which appears to give the connection greater stability than any other pedal on the market.
The part of the cleat that locks into the pedal is allowed to rotate on the fixed base
Syzr uses a similar spindle and bearing system to the Zero, which looks to make it a good candidate for Speedplay’s custom fit programme (see below). The standard length from the threaded stop to the centre is 55mm – the same as Shimano’s SPD pedals and roughly 5mm wider than CrankBrothers’ narrowest Eggbeater.
Like the road pedal, Syzr’s bearings can be lubricated using a grease injector without disassembly. There will likely be three models, following Speedplay’s road model precedent, differentiated by chromoly steel, stainless steel and titanium spindles.
The stainless steel spindled pedals have a target weight of 300g, while cleats will add roughly 60g per pair. Prices are not yet available for any Syzr models. Look for a test of the pedal on BikeRadar by late summer and to be able to get your own hands on a pair in the autumn.
Fit solutions for Speedplay Zero
Speedplay have used their experience working with pro riders to develop a new fitting kit for the Zero road pedal that offers unrivalled control over stance width, fore-aft adjustment, vertical stack height and cant.
“One of the reasons we wanted to work with these teams is to learn what we can do to make things better,” said Bryne. “A lot of these pro riders had custom setups cobbled together by their coaches and trainers … they were using wedges and shims, but it was all hand made.
"So when we switched them to Speedplay, we wanted to make sure we could adapt our setup to take care of whatever their needs are. We realised that our customers were asking for the same things so we tried to come up with a way to package it.
"This is the culmination of the experience I had dialling in the professional riders, packaged as an aftermarket solution with all of the custom solutions in it. It’s the ultimate fit tool for riders that are outside of the 98th percentile. No matter what someone comes to us with, we can pull that box out and fit them.”
Speedplay's fitting kit includes a choice of spindle lengths, cleats and canting shims
The extensive fitting kit is available to all of Speedplay's dealers and contains five spindle lengths – ranging from 50mm to 63mm – along with wedges and shims, mounting hardware and a fore-aft adjustment plate that adds 14mm of additional rearward adjustment.
Once a customer has obtained the correct fit, the bike shop can place a custom order with Speedplay to fill their individual ‘prescription’ at a price that is normally about US$60 more than the equivalent stock pair of pedals.