Ultra Light Action Frequently Asked Questions
Click on any question for the answer.
- Why is the Ultra Light Action Pedal System the best choice for a first-time clipless pedal user?
The Light Action Pedal was designed with the first-time clipless pedal user and serious enthusiast in mind. It is the ultimate pedal for clipless beginners because it offers the easiest entry and release of any clipless pedal. The Light Action also features a unique patented latch mechanism that does not rely on spring tension for engagement security.
The Light Action Pedal’s dual-sided design also allows for easy, no-look entry so you can keep your eyes on the road for improved safety. It also offers many of the same high performance features as Speedplay’s legendary racing pedals such as the best cornering clearance and lowest stack height possible.
- Are Ultra Light Action Pedals recommended for racing or competitive cycling?
No, Light Action pedals are designed specifically for non-competitive or “non- aggressive” recreational cycling. With its unique low-force, high-security latch mechanism, Light Action pedals are intentionally designed for fast and easy disengagement rather than with the higher “resistance to twist” that is typical of pedals used for competitive forms of cycling. Speedplay recommends Zero Pedals for racing, competition or for any rider with an aggressive riding style. The release mode for Zero pedals is designed for maximum security in racing situations. The effort required to twist the foot and disengage from Light Action Pedals is less than with Zero Pedals and the rotational range of movement required to disengage from Light Action Pedals is less than with Speedplay X pedals.
- Why do Ultra Light Action pedals look so different from other pedals?
Light Action pedals were designed specifically for bicycling. Other clipless pedal systems have been adapted from ski binding technology for use with bicycles. With the Light Action pedals’ patented “inverted” design, once the pedal is engaged the cleat becomes the pedal platform.
- Why are Ultra Light Action pedals so light weight?
Light Action pedals are light weight as a result of their simple design. By designing the system with the locking mechanism in the cleat, the pedals have only one moving part, the spindle. This unique, patented design feature alone can save as much as 1/4 pound per pair compared to other more complicated clipless pedal designs.
- Is the weight of a pedal system important?
Yes, the weight of any part of the bicycle is important, but pedal weight, like wheel weight, is categorized as “rotating” weight. It is considerably more important to reduce the weight of rotating parts on a bicycle than it is to reduce the weight of “static” or non-rotating parts. An old bicycle saying says it all: "A pound off the wheels is worth two off the frame." Of course the same can be said for the weight of pedals.
- How much do Ultra Light Action Pedal Systems weigh?
Light Action Chrome-Moly – 220 grams per pair
Light Action Cleats - 117 grams per pair (3-hole mount); 69 gram per pair (4-hole mount)
- Are Ultra Light Action pedals available in colors?
Yes, check www.speedplay.com for the latest color selections for all Light Action Pedal Systems.
- What type of bearings are used in Light Action pedals?
Each Speedplay Light Action Chrome-Moly pedal turns on a precision needle bearing and a precision cartridge bearing. It is important to recognize the high quality “rolling element” bearings used in Light Action pedals provide an advantage of 40% less rolling resistance than the plastic “sleeve” bushings used in some other pedal systems.
- Can Ultra Light Action pedals be engaged on both sides?
Yes, like all Speedplay pedals, Light Action pedals are dual-sided for easy no- look entry. Additionally, the rounded leading and trailing edges help flip the pedals flat and self-locate into the cleat for easy engagement. The patented Light Action, Zero, and X pedals are the only dual-sided clipless pedals that are both self-righting and self-locating.
- What is the float range of Light Action pedals?
Light Action Pedals have a full 15-degree range of float so your feet will follow their natural path and your knees will be happy.
- Is there any loss of power from pedals with rotational float?
No. In fact, several independent studies have concluded there is no loss of power from float, yet float can be instrumental in preventing repetitive-motion injuries due to misaligned joints.
- Is the spring tension of Ultra Light Action cleats adjustable?
No, and with its simple unique latch design, the cleat never needs adjusting. Remember, the latch mechanism in the Light Action Pedal System does not rely on stiff spring tension for engagement security.
- Is any pedal system more adjustable than the Ultra Light Action?
No, in fact the Zero, Light Action, and X pedal systems have 16mm of Q-adjustment built in. They also offer 13mm of fore-aft cleat adjustment. If a greater range of either forward or rearward adjustment is needed, you may purchase a Speedplay Cleat Extender Base Plate Kit, Part #13330. These plates replace the Speedplay black plastic Standard Base Plates. The cleat Extender Base Plates provide an extra 5mm of forward adjustment and an extra 14mm of rearward adjustment than the Standard Base Plates. For leg length discrepancies, you may purchase a Speedplay Leg Length Kit, Part # 13220. The shims in the kit are 1/8 inch thick (3.25mm) and can be used in multiples. Need to tilt your foot toward or away from your bike? Bikefit.com makes The Wedge, a stackable varus/valgus wedge designed to tilt the foot by canting it inward or outward in 1½-degree increments.
- Ultra Light Action pedals look smaller than most pedals. Do Ultra Light Action pedals provide an adequate pedal platform?
Yes. Once the pedal is engaged into the cleat, the combined pedal/cleat system becomes the “platform” and provides a perfect connection for comfortable power transmission. Speedplay pedal systems have been used successfully in all types of long distance cycling events, including professional road racing, track racing, and triathlons. (see Choosing a Pedal – Platform Size)
- Does any pedal system offer better cornering clearance than Ultra Light Action pedals?
No. Light Action, Zero and X pedals offer the best cornering clearance.
- Does any other pedal system position the spindle axis closer to the shoe sole than Ultra Light Action pedals?
No, Light Action, Zero, and X pedals position the foot closer to the top of the spindle than any other pedal. In fact, some popular brands of clipless pedals position the pedal axis as much as 1/3 of an inch further away from the foot than Speedplay pedals.
- Why is the position of the spindle axis to the shoe sole so important?
It is commonly recognized that the closer the foot is positioned to the spindle, the more efficiently power can be transmitted to the cranks.
- How do I release from Ultra Light Action pedals?
Twist your heel outward to release from Light Action pedals. As with all clipless pedals, it is easiest to disengage with your leg fully extended at the bottom of the pedal stroke.
- What brand of shoes works best with Ultra Light Action Pedal Systems?
Light Action cleats fit well on virtually all shoe brands so you should choose a shoe that is comfortable and best fits your foot. See Tech Support - Shoe Compatibility for specific shoe mounting instructions.
- Do I need an adapter kit to mount Ultra Light Action cleats to my shoes?
Most shoes use the 1-F and 1-R Snap Shims that are factory installed on the 3-hole black plastic Standard Base Plate of the cleat. See the Speedplay Road Shoe Compatibility Guide for specific shoe mounting instructions.
- I cannot seem to find the 1-F and 1-R Snap Shims. What should I do?
The 1-F and 1-R Snap Shims are factory installed (Snapped) onto the 3-hole black plastic Standard Base Plate of the cleat.
- I am having trouble installing the 4-F and 4-R Snap Shims on the 3-hole black plastic Base Plate of the Ultra Light Action cleat. What should I do?
You must first remove the factory-installed 1-F and 1-R Snap Shims from the 3-hole black plastic Base Plate before snapping the 4-F and 4-R Snap Shims into place. Be sure not to lose the four (4) nuts housed underneath the Snap Shims on each Base Plate when changing the Snap Shims. (Note: Cleat sets sold before July 2006 may contain Snap Shims designated as 3-F and 3-R.)
- The Ultra Light Action cleats do not provide enough forward (or rearward) adjustment. What should I do?
If a greater range of either forward or rearward adjustment is needed, you may purchase aSpeedplay Cleat Extender Base Plate Kit, Part #13330. These plates replace the Speedplay black plastic Standard Base Plates. The Cleat Extender Base Plates provide an extra 5mm of forward adjustment and an extra 14mm of rearward adjustment than the Standard Base Plates.
- Can I use Ultra Light Action pedals and cleats with mountain bike shoes?
No. Light Action cleats are not compatible with mountain bike shoes.
- My new Ultra Light Action cleat springs feel stiff and entering the pedals is difficult for me. What should I do?
As with all clipless pedal systems, there is a learning curve to mastering optimal entry technique. Like all Speedplay pedals the entry motion required for Light Action pedals is to simply step straight down on the pedal body. Keep your heels down so that your feet are flat and give your foot a slight twist during engagement for best results.
If you continue to experience difficulty engaging the pedals after using the proper engagement technique, try lubricating the cleat springs with a dry-type (Teflon or PTFE) lubricant such as Super-Lube Dry Film, RZ-50, DuPont Performance Dry, Liquid Wrench Dry Lube, Pro Gold or Blaster Products spray. All of these lubes will facilitate easy entry. Also, check to be sure that the four 4 x 11mm cleat fastening screws have not been over-tightened (See instructions). Over-tightening the screws may prevent the springs from operating properly and can affect engagement.
- I just installed my new Ultra Light Action pedals and cleats. The pedals will not engage the cleats properly or the cleats pull out while riding or sprinting. What should I do?
Be sure that the 4 x 11mm outer fastening screws of each cleat are not over- tightened. Tighten cleat fastening screws until resistance is felt, and then tighten no more than ¼ turn. Over-tightening the screws may prevent the springs from operating properly, can affect engagement and retention, and can cause damage to the cleat. Also, ensure that the correct mounting hardware and Snap Shim Kit have been used.
- How often should I replace my Ultra Light Action cleats?
Replace cleats at least every 3000-5000 miles or sooner if the cleat parts show advanced wear. Lubricating the cleat springs with a dry-type (PTFE) lubricant and keeping the cleats free of dirt and debris by cleaning them regularly or using Light Action Coffee Shop Caps (cleat covers) when walking will greatly extend the life of your cleats. Never ride on parts that are damaged or show excessive wear. If you have any doubts about worn parts or their serviceability contact Speedplay or your Speedplay dealer before riding. Never install cleats using any combination of new cleat parts and old cleat parts.
- Can I use Zero cleats or X cleats with my Ultra Light Action pedals?
No. Zero cleats and X cleats cannot be used with Light Action pedals, and Light Action cleats cannot be used with Zero or X pedals. Only use Light Action cleats with Light Action pedals.
- How often should I grease the bearings in my Ultra Light Action pedals?
Speedplay recommends that you grease the bearings with a synthetic, waterproof grease every 2000 miles or more frequently if you ride in wet or dusty conditions. If the pedals spin freely by hand (more than 1/2 turn before stopping), inject grease immediately to avoid damage to the bearings and spindles. The Light Action pedal’s built-in grease port makes greasing quick and easy. Remember, grease is cheap insurance and saves you money on replacement parts by preventing wear or water damage. Speedplay Grease guns and recommended grease are available at your local Speedplay retailer or call us at 1-800-468-6694 to order.
- What type of grease do you recommend for the bearings inside the pedals?
A synthetic, waterproof grease such as marine wheel-bearing grease works best. Speedplay uses waterproof bearing grease in its factory. Do not use thin viscosity grease, spray lubes, oil, or dry-type (PTFE) lubricants on pedal bearings or damage may result. Speedplay Grease guns and recommended grease are available at your local Speedplay dealer or call us at 1-800-468-6694 to order.
- I am having difficulty injecting grease into my pedals through the grease port. What should I do?
Apply pressure to the grease gun when inserting the injector tip into the grease port. Be sure to inject the grease very, very slowly. Turning the pedal body on the spindle while injecting grease will help the grease make its way through the bearings and out the spindle side of the pedal body. When fresh grease comes out after the old grease, put the screw back in, wipe off the excess grease and you are done.
- Where can I purchase waterproof bearing grease?
Speedplay sells an industrial quality grease gun with a needle-type injector for $28.00 retail, which includes a tube of waterproof bearing grease. Refill tubes are also available and can be purchased from Speedplay. Check your local Speedplay retailer or call us at 1-800-468-6694 to order directly.
- Where should the Ultra Light Action cleats be lubricated?
Apply a dry-type(PFTE) lubricant such as SP-LUBE, Super Lube Dry Film, RZ-50, DuPont Performance Dry, Liquid Wrench Dry-Lube, Pro Gold, or Blaster Dry Lube to the cleat springs and the center area of the cleat where the pedal nests. Be sure to keep the cleat cavity free from dirt and debris. Additionally, be careful not to apply lubricant to the outer plate of the cleats as it may cause the cleats to become slippery on some floor surfaces.
- What type of lubrication should I use on the Ultra Light Action cleat springs and bowties?
Speedplay recommends applying a dry-type (PTFE) lubricant such as SP-LUBE, Super-Lube Dry Film, RD-50, DuPont Performance Dry, Liquid Wrench Dry Lube, Pro Gold or Blaster Dry Lube to the cleat springs and to the cavity where the pedal nests. DO NOT USE A WET LUBRICANT! Wet lubricants attract dirt and debris and effectively create an abrasive “grinding paste” that causes parts to wear. Additionally, be careful not to apply lubricant to the outer plate of the cleats as it may cause the cleats to become slippery on floor surfaces.
- How often should I lubricate the Ultra Light Action cleats?
Applying a dry-type(PTFE)lubricant, such as SP-LUBE, Super-Lube Dry Film, RD-50, DuPont Performance Dry, Liquid Wrench Dry Lube, Pro Gold, or Finish Line Dry Lube, to the cleat springs and the cavity of the cleat where the pedal nests as often as before each ride will significantly prolong the life of the cleats and the pedals. The more often you lubricate the better the system will function.
- Can I get replacement parts for my Ultra Light Action Pedals?
Yes, parts and replacement kits are available from retailers for all current Speedplay pedal systems. Be sure to use genuine Speedplay parts as altered, modified or rebuilt Speedplay pedals and cleats using parts other than authentic Speedplay components parts will void the Speedplay warranty.
- Can I use X or Zero parts kits with my Ultra Light Action Pedal System?
No. Light Action, Zero and X-Series parts kits are not interchangeable.
- Can I purchase replacement fasteners for use in Speedplay Ultra Light Action pedals and cleats?
Speedplay fasteners are available and may be purchased from Speedplay retailers. Be sure to use genuine Speedplay fasteners because these fasteners are specifically designed and manufactured to exacting dimensions using high performance materials that have been carefully selected and tested for suitability and safety in their application. Off-the-shelf fasteners are not interchangeable with Speedplay fasteners. Off-the-shelf fasteners are different from Speedplay fasteners in design, dimension, and the materials selected. These differences in off-the-shelf fasteners make them unsuitable, inappropriate and unsafe for use in Speedplay Pedal Systems. The use of non-conforming, off-the-shelf fasteners that do not interface correctly with the components of Speedplay Pedal Systems presents a serious safety issue and may cause damage to the pedal system, which could lead to severe bodily injury. Additionally, use of off-the-shelf, non-conforming fasteners will void the manufacturer's warranty.
- Can I purchase replacement bearings for use in my Ultra Speedplay Light Action Pedal Systems?
Speedplay cartridge bearing kits are available and may be purchased from Speedplay retailers. Be sure to use genuine Speedplay bearings because the bearings used in Speedplay pedals have been extensively tested and proven for durability and functionality. Speedplay specifies only top-quality bearings to ensure long term reliability and safety. Do not be fooled by the claims of some online resellers that their bearings are equal to the high-quality bearings used by Speedplay - not all bearings are of the same quality. The cartridge bearings can easily be replaced in all Light Action Titanium and Stainless pedals, and the needle bearings can be replaced in the Light Action Chrome-Moly pedals. However, do not attempt to remove the needle bearings from the Light Action Titanium or Light Action Stainless pedal bodies. The needle bearings used in the Speedplay Light Action Titanium and Light Action Stainless Pedal Systems are permanently bonded in place and cannot be removed from the pedal without damage to the components. Attempting to remove and replace the needle bearings in Light Action Titanium and Light Action Stainless pedals may cause damage which could result in severe bodily injury. Additionally, attempting to remove and replace the needle bearings in Light Action Titanium and Light Action Stainless pedals will void the manufacturer's warranty. With proper lubrication maintenance, the needle bearings used in Speedplay Light Action Titanium and Light Action Stainless pedals will easily last the life of the pedals. If you would like to replace the needle bearings in your Light Action Titanium and Light Action Stainless pedal bodies, rebuild kits with the bearing factory installed in the pedal bodies are available from Speedplay retailers.
- Can I rebuild my Speedplay Ultra Light Action Series Pedal Systems?
Speedplay Light Action pedals were designed to be user-serviceable and rebuildable. Because Speedplay pedals are a high-performance product designed for safety and reliability, it is important to only use genuine Speedplay parts available from Speedplay retailers and to carefully follow the steps for disassembly and assembly found in the Speedplay Light Action Pedal System instructions. Do not attempt to remove the needle bearing from the Light Action Titanium or Light Action Stainless pedal bodies as it is permanently bonded and cannot be removed without damaging components. The proper procedure for correctly installing the needle bearing into Light Action Titanium or Light Action Stainless pedals is critically important. Therefore, in order to ensure safety and reliability, this operation for all Speedplay Zero, Light Action Titanium, Light Action Stainless, X/1 and X/2 Pedal Systems is only performed under Speedplay supervision at our facility in San Diego, California. Attempting to remove and replace the needle bearings in Light Action Titanium or Light Action Stainless pedals or reusing bent or damaged parts may result in severe injury. Additionally, attempting to remove and replace the needle bearings in Light Action Titanium or Light Action Stainless pedals will void the manufacturer's warranty. If the needle bearings in your pedal bodies need to be replaced, rebuild kits with the bearing factory installed in Light Action Titanium and Light Action Stainless pedal bodies are available from Speedplay retailers.
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