Any serious cyclists here? Pedal information

Are there any other serious cyclists here? After 15 years on Look pedals, I’m thinking about making a change due to chronic knee trouble. I blew out my ACL back in my college soccer days and as a result now have arthitis, etc. I’ve heard the Speedplay pedals are a lot more knee friendly but I’ve also heard they’re pedals that people either love or hate.

So – anybody have any first-hand experience with Speedplay?

Mountain or road?

As for opinions on Speedplays, I was going to recommend trying them before I got to your last two sentences, but I haven’t actually tried them myself. My Looks are still going strong, and I’m not going to break what isn’t broken.

Look used to have mountain bike pedals, back when I was into racing. I guess not 15 years ago, though, so let’s assume road. Speedplays have tons of float, and there’s really no spring tension at all. So if your natural inclination is to pedal with your toes a little in or out, they’ll definitely let you do that. I don’t know jack about knees, however. And they are pretty weird feeling at first, because your foot moves around so easily.

Who knows, they might still, but, hell, who uses them? ;)

Yeah – sorry I didn’t specify – Road. I use Shimano SPD when I mountain bike. I don’t think the Speedplay design would work at all for MTB because the mechanism is in the cleat rather than the pedal… from the looks of it, all it would take to screw up the system would be some gravel/grit in the cleat – and the singletrack I ride has lots of gravel/grit!

Glenn - do you ride on Speedplay then? If so, do you ride the “X” or “Zero” types?

No, I’ve tried Speedplay frogs on a mountain bike a couple of times, years ago. I think it’s the same system.

Speedplays have even more play than SPD pedals? I seem to get a fair bit of rotational freedom with my SPD pedals and my recessed cleats. Is riding with a speedplay system like having a well-lubricated trackball on the bottom of your shoe?

Way more play than the SPD’s I had at the time, both in that your foot can move farther and there isn’t a spring trying to gently torque your foot back to center.