Speedplay Aero Cleat Cover

A while back I wrote an article about the differences between the Speedplay Zero and the Speedplay Aero. This article hopes to follow up on the longevity and wear of the things. To recap – the Speedplay Zero cleat changed to the Zero compatible, I was looking for a replacement of what I had and was unable on a number of sites. The design is functionally good, but is visually cheaper in both looks and built quality. There is a part of me that really likes the old design a lot more than he should of. Then again isn’t there something wonderfully aesthetic about a nicely machined lump of aluminium? Yes. Say it with me: “An-oh-dye-zing” – mmmmmmmm. You just want to touch it.

Breaking up with that relationship I didn’t really think that much of it. I was running the zero cleats, with Keep On Covers – which while looking very cottage industry and being made from a plastic that I can only describe as bendy-hard… worked really well, were unobtrusive, worked nicely with four hole shoes, and while a bit pricey – lasted pretty much forever, certainly for a good couple of pairs of (now lasting longer – as now waiting for a circlip or underlying yellow plastic guide to break, as opposed to scratching-to-the-point-of-no-longer-viable screws) cleats. In fact, I think I only ever replaced when I lost one. I digress – the point was they now came with a rubbery cover that saved you from discovering that the fact that aluminium base plate on a wet cafe tiled floor has a lower coefficient of friction than ice on ice…. the hard way…. publically…. and still having to ride home. No one wants that. So – anyway I moved on.

Then it a year or so on (and with a different pair of cycling shoes for winter use – same old Zero pedals and old school cleat covers), with very little riding to speak of (boy got fat, life got changed) I find myself *cough* walking *cough* up a 25% gradient for what must have been maybe 100m, to find that this had stretched the cleat material in such a way that it was no longer tight on the cleat – in fact, it was no longer square. It kept coming off. This is MOST sub optimal.

I tried cutting out the stretched segment, and ‘suggesting’ the thing in place with some high tac, low strength adhesive, but that was not flying either. The remaining option being to get a replacement.

See now I thought the Keep On Covers were steep for a bit of albeit solution changing revelation – however – over $15 to replace a cleat cover that was destroyed in 100m – this is just plain silly. This is NOT a consumable, or at a consumable price for that matter.

To the left the axle exits, to the right a thin section spans over where you adjust the arc available, stetched, and cut out to attempt to get it to stay over the cleat an in place.

None the less, my need for keeping my feet under me has left me with little choice. They are available in a variety of colours, however (black is nice and far less LOOK AT ME) so that is what I have done. I am *hoping* that the silicon spray that I had been using to lubricate them with (a penetrating liquid that dries as advised) was part of the cause – but we shall see.

While I am over thinking here – also – wear rates. Without the cover, the new pressed material with a black paint coating appears to degrade very quickly once the cover is off. There is a much smaller area in contact with the ground, so more weight is acting on it. The shoe on the left is an old style cleat, that has been living under a keep on cover. The cleat on the right is (yes, differs, as its three hole mount) the new style ‘aero’ with a hundred meters (albeit of fat boy) at most on it. Moreover, this is my LEFT shoe – the one that I leave clipped in at junctions. Oh. Dear.

Left shoe, 4 hole direct mount, old style cleat over a years worth of riding on it and a Keep On Cover. On the right here, three hole mount, aero Speedplay zero cleat – with 100m of walking (this was black painted steel earlier in the day).

Generally speaking, Speedplay… not a happy bunny… try harder… see me after class.

[UPDATE Thu 25 April 2019]

Okay, so the post arrived today and in there were the new cleats. Sensible black. As everything was so clean a little helping hand to stay in place with some latex based adhesive, and a personal note that silicon based lubricants are fine to use around plastics or rubbers (something I found out on another adventure since writing this… if not the only real option).

Imagine my surprise to find that inside the little packet was a warning message. Warning me not to do anything more than light walking, and certainly not to twist my foot when walking… you know, as you do. This is pretty much exactly what has occurred when struggling up that hill in the old pair.

So yes, they are aware of it.

May I strongly suggest the application of clue, a redisign and use of a sturdier plastic – as – as far as I am aware there is not a third party solution that works with these at this time (although welcome suggestions)?

I am not sure whether this makes me happier that they are aware, or sadder that they have done nothing about it? Probably the latter. Do try harder – this is a premium product.

Walkable(tm) Cleats for “light” walking only*

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