Cleat or pedal noise

Hi, longtime Speedplay user in New England. I’ve been diagnosing a clicking sound on my Cervélo R3 for quite awhile and now have it narrowed down to either the wahoo Speedplay cleat OR the legacy zero pedals.

I noticed the other day that my right foot felt looser when locked in. So my first thought was to check the screws that control the spring tension. However as I have another Cervélo with the same legacy Speedplay zeros, I realized the first thing to try was a pedal swap.

I swapped the pedals. And at the same time noted that on the cleat, it appeared that the cleat cover wasn’t sitting properly or snugly over the aforementioned bolts (that I had not touched). Well there was zero noise and I’m going to keep the swapped pedals on for a few more rides.

And before I go some other information to consider.

Everything has been checked in bike for being loose.
The zeros I’m using are 2008s & 2016 respectively and I kept up the service on them. The 2008s are the ones where noise ceased.
The clicking noise doesn’t start immediately but after several miles and goes away if I stop only to come back.
With the 2016 zeros I felt a lot of looseness/ extra float with right foot.

So I’m wondering if a slightly misaligned cleat cover would cause a squeaky noise/ cause the float feeling. Or if maybe the bearings are shot and I need to get new pedals??

Look at the plastic baseplate part of the cleat, if there’s grooves or wear on that it’s most likely your problem. I’ve had it where I wore a groove in them so deep it was starting to wear into the hold down screw and squeaking. Pretty much any looseness between the pedal body and the cleat is able to make noise.

Another way to check if this is the case is to pedal while trying to rotate your feet up and out in your shoes. It basically pulls the cleat and pedal body tight so they can’t move and if the noise goes away that could be an indicator.

FWIW, I love my speedplay pedals but hate that the cleats don’t last very long on them. I ride somewhere around 3,000-4,000 miles a year and the cleats are usually shot about halfway thru that.

1 Like

Thanks Sir_Alan, I’ll definitely check that. I actually still have some of the metal sole protectors from when I wore the Sidi Speedplay specific soles, so worst case I put those in.

However, I’m left wondering why the squeak would occur with one set of pedals but not the other? I don’t have 2 sets of shoes, just the one-thus while I’m close to solving it, it’s still a bit of a mystery.

Could be a number of things, is there more gunk in one set than the other making the fit tighter and or harder to move so it doesn’t squeak so much? Is one ridden less than other and doesn’t have as much wear on it? All kinds of things.

I noticed if I don’t lube mine for a couple rides they get a little less “free” and don’t make as much noise.

Unreal. I’ve just replaced my original set of speedplay cleats and got over 25,000km out of them over 5 years. I have two pairs of shoes and rotate. Am on 10,000 on the other pair and they are fine too.

I’m leaning towards the pedals I got in 2016 being the issue and not the cleats. After a few rides using the older pedals- zero noise on r3.

And I’m sure that if I ride the s3 which has the 2016s on, the noise would appear.

So now, it’s a case of finding a shop that may have the legacy Speedplay parts kit to service it rather then new ones. Or I just pull trigger on new pedals.

Since 2015 I have replaced a set of cleats every year and the actual pedal bodies that go on the spindle twice. I’ve had two pair of cleats replaced under warranty thru speedplay, one because the base plate was shot after 1,000 miles and one because I broke the clip spring into three pieces. All of this occurred pre wahoo buying them, I’m on my first set of post wahoo cleats and they’re starting to wear down in a similar fashion. I’ve been religious about lubricating the cleats before every ride using a speedplay approved aerosol dry film lube.

I wish I could have the success you’ve had with your cleats. It’s not like I’m using these for cyclocross, but apparently I’m just rough on them. FWIW I also tend to chew thru cheap bottom brackets as though they were candy, so maybe I need to look in the mirror to find the problem!

That’s actually pretty fascinating. I assume you’ve had a bike fit from someone who really knows Speedplay and they’ve used tilt wedges under the cleats? My cleats are all angled to the sole of my shoe using wedges not flat. I wonder if it’s an uneven wear thing on yours?

Personally, I’ve never adhered to the mileage tally when replacing cleats. Normally, I just replace them when the tension spring breaks. So I’ve gone years between cleat replacement. I’ve also been diligent about using the old coffee shop covers and later the inserts. A quick spray of lube and brushing pedal bodies & cleats too.

I’ve not had any of the wedge inserts used. Thankfully any wedges were installed inside my shoes using the Specialized Body Geometry fit process w/ a certified master fitter.

I’m a little curious about the tearing through BBs though. Granted press fit are not nearly as long lasting as threaded, but w/ regular maintenance they can go several years. And this from someone who rides outside year round in New Hampshire rain or shine, hot or frigid.

1 Like

Funny you say that. I have had a bike fit, and said fitter uses speedplay pedals. What he did was put me on the standard pedal length (I originally started on the +12 ones because that most closely matched my mountain bike) and said I should be good. After a few rides I moved the cleats all the way in as I was pushing too much pressure to the outside of my foot. After burning thru cleats like crazy, I took the old +12 spindles and had them turned down to a custom +4 so that I could center my cleats on the shoe in hopes of getting away from what you described. While it’s cool to have something that no one else does, it unfortunately didn’t help much. What appears to happen on mine is the front of the baseplate (closest to the toes) wears down and that’s what causes the cleats to get loose and then it snowballs from there. I also have the float window adjusted very tight in attempt to stop them moving around and causing wear. My fitter says I need more float but my knees don’t hurt so I keep telling him to leave it alone.

I also run a midfoot cleat position on a set of Lake shoes, who are known for having the cleat holes set back, so it’s not like I’ve got the cleat too far forward and that’s causing it.

1 Like