Speedplay Zero Aero – First Look

We first saw the Speedplay Zero Aero pedals on the floor of Interbike last year, and we have to say we were intrigued. Here was a product that gave up one of its greatest attributes – the ability to stomp and go regardless of pedal orientation in the name of aero. This was a huge changeup from previous products. But then we heard that these were the pedals that Sir Bradley Wiggins chose to go with when he set the UCI World Hour Record, and we were sold. This was a man who went so far as to shave his beard to give him every advantage. So if he went with Speedplay, you know it was saying something.

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The Speedplay Zero Aero Pedal System

The Zero Aero features a reduced frontal area and a dimpled, contoured surface to smooth and shape the airflow. Where previous Speedplay pedals featured the same shape on both sides of the pedal (and thus were that much simpler to get into), the Zero Air is a one-sided pedal.

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Like other Speedplay pedals, the Zero Aero features the ability to adjust from 0 – 15° of float. Additionally, you can independently adjust fore-aft, side-to-side, and rotational foot positions. Cleats can be set or changed without affecting the position of the other two adjustments. This feature also eliminates guesswork and misalignment when replacing cleats.

4 bolt

4 hole mount

Stack height is a minimal 8.5mm (when used with the 4-hole mounting option). For those needing to go with a 3-hole mount stack height is 11.5mm. With the 3-hole mount, the additional required baseplate also features the same dimpled shape as the rest of the pedal system.

 

3 bolt

3 hole mount

The Zero Aero features Speedplay’s new walkable cleat technology. The integrated, rubberized covers stay on the cleats while you are riding. When walking, the covers improve traction and protect the cleats from wear. The covers maintain the fully streamlined cleat profile with the dimpled surface of the Zero Aero pedals. Additionally, Speedplay users can choose to add Cleat Buddies – plugs included with cleat sets for use when walking in dirty conditions. These plugs prevent debris contamination by fitting into the cleat’s center cavity. When you are ready to ride, Cleat Buddies can be removed for riding and snap together to fit in a pocket or bag.

Green

AeroGeeks Green

Speedplay Zero Aeros are available with either stainless or titanium pedals. Stainless pedals are 105g each and will set you back $275. Going with Titanium drops you to just 79g per pedal but ups the price to $399. The Zero Aero Walkable Cleat pair weighs 84g for the 4-hole mounting option and 130g for the 3-hole option.

Our Thoughts

Triathletes and time trialists are known for their never-ending search for marginal gains. Any product that can eliminate just a few grams of drag and reduce a few seconds from any of our splits is something we are interested in – and the Zero Aero’s are exactly the kind of product we are looking for. While you give up the ability to stomp and go that Speedplay has been known for, the tradeoff is an aero pedal that has the UCI World Hour Record as part of its pedigree. And if it’s good enough for a knight, well then we want to try it.

8 responses to “Speedplay Zero Aero – First Look

  1. Would be interested if this is cross compatible with the standard Zero cleats (Zero Aero cleats on Zero pedals/ Zero cleats on Zero Aero pedals, but I’m more interested in the former). I am a user of the standard Zero cleats with the Keep on Kovers but I lost the right one during my IM70.3 race. Keep on Kovers saved my dismount multiple times especially in the smooth pavement.

    • @Ralph we reached out to Speedplay –
      “The Zero Aero Walkable™ Cleats and Zero Standard Cleats are compatible with the Zero Pedals and the Zero Aero Pedals.

      In fact, we offer our Zero Aero Walkable™ Cleats separately for customers riding the standard Zero and Zero Pavé Pedals.”

  2. I’m not sold on the dimpled thing. Consider Formula 1 racing, the most expensive sport in the world, and it employs the world’s foremost aerodynamicists. Have you ever seen a Formula 1 can with a dimpled surface? No, just a smooth surface. How about NASA rockets? Won’t see them there, either.

    I think it’s a marketing gimmick taken from golf balls, where the aero forces of a fast spinning ball are way different.

    • Patrick,
      you have to take into consideration the shape of the structure and the limitations of the design envelope (wind speed, w angle, rule box etc).

      In the case of a golf ball you have to go with a spherical shape which has awful drag coefficient; in that way the only factor you can adjust is the outer surface’s meso level (holes’ sizing, spacing, shape..). A formula 1 car can have outer surfaces with decent aerodynamic performance; although formula 1 engineers do “play” with the outer surface that it is in the micro level (specific paintings are applied).

      To come back to pedals, engineers have limited options, a basic aero shape is applied but the air speed and angle is constantly changing throughout the pedal stroke; in that case it makes scene to play with the outer surface in order to create a turbulent boundary layer so the air remains “attached” close to the outer surface for longer.

      In other words you “play” with holes when you can’t “play” with the shape of the outer surface of the structure.

  3. I have been using the new aero cleats with my standard Zero pedals for a few months now with no issues. Much easier to walk in than the standard cleats and covers.

  4. Thanks. I’ll wait when the Aero Cleats are available locally. Keep on Kovers and the standard Zero Cleats are priced the same locally. For a few bucks more I’ll have my peace of mind because unlike the Kovers, these won’t fall off after a hard dismount.

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