What's new

Worn Pedals and Knee Pain


Maximum Pace
Jun 24, 2010
I've been using Speedplay Zero pedals for about a year-and-a-half and have been pretty happy with them. Recently I started to experience a little bit of knee pain on the front side without any changes in bike set-up or training intensity. I started to look into my pedals and found that the cleats had worn significantly, allowing the outer part of the shoe to angle down (negative canter), making me ride a bit bow legged.

Speedplay recommends 5000 miles as the service life on the cleats, and I had passed that. Replaced the cleats and went for an easy ride yesterday and returned pain free.:D

Further examination of the pedal body shows that it also may be worn on the outside a bit. I am now considering a set of these shims to extend the life of the pedal body if the wear is significant, while maintaining foot alignment.

Then again, it may be better to bite the (financial) bullet and invest in replacement pedals or the pedal body.

What are other Speedplay users' experiences?


Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2009
Speedplay sells special cleat lubricant to increase life of parts involved in clipping in-out.
Additionally coffeeshop covers seem to be a must.

I use look though


Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
Switched from Speedplay to Time on both Road and MTB, although I went for very old 1990's TBT road pedals. Very happy with my "new" pedals and absolutely love my Time ATAC pedals.


Speeding Up
Nov 1, 2009
I use Speedplay X

I use the X series pedals because they were recommended for me. I have significant knee pain due to some joint issues. The speedplays have not eliminated the pain, but the knees are much better than with anything else I have tried.

Like you I have noticed some increased pain issues as the cleats have gotten old and worn. I have noticed as the two pieces of metal in the cleat, the part that slip into the grove on the pedal, wear, it is harder to disengage the cleat. The increased force required to get my shoe out of the cleat then causes a slight increase in knee pain.

If you look closely at the retaining "wires" in the cleat, you can see where they wear and how the round edges of the metal wire are worn flat. Once this happens it is more difficult to get then to disengage and then adds more strain to the knee joint to get the foot out of the pedal.

I am a cheap bast*** and run the cleats into the ground and should probably change them more often than I do. I end up changing cleats probably once a year. They are not inexpensive, but I have found no pedal system I like more. The free float of the X series I really like. I have been using this cleat system since 2004.

I have also noticed that if the cleat is kept lubricated with dry lube, the mechanism works better and is is easier to engage and disengage, thus saving some additional stress on the knee joint. I think it also helps to keep the pedal greased with marine grease per Speedplay's recommendation.

I don't follow my own advice always, but think you should grease the cleats with dry lube every three or four rides.

As far as replacing the pedals themselves, they have always lasted a very long time. I have purchased the new butterflys and replaced those and rebuilt a pair with the rebuild kit Speedplay sells. Other than this my original pair is going strong. I use X series pedals on my fixed gear as well as my secondary bike.

As mentioned, the coffee shop covers are a good idea if you walk a lot in them. Further, the bottom of the cleat wears and if you are not careful, the screw heads that hold the cleat onto the shoe will wear down to a point where you can not get a screwdriver to bite. This has happened to me a number of times on the foot I put on the ground when stopping. The other foot is left engaged in the pedal and wears very little. If this happens, I cut a new grove in the screw head with a Drimel. A pain. I find it better to moniter the screw wear and just replace them before they wear down too much. Speedplay uses an off size screw and you need to buy replacement screws from them.


Maximum Pace
Jun 24, 2010
I use the Finish Line Teflon dry lube for the cleat mechanism, but maybe not as often as I should. That might extend the life of the cleats a bit longer.

The good thing is that with the new cleats, and several long rides now, I have not experienced any more pain.
Top Bottom