SPEEDPLAY SYZR PEDALS
A pedal with its own agenda
There are two types of riders in the world: those who won’t ride Speedplay pedals, and those who can’t ride without them. Speedplay has acquired an intensely loyal following over the course of its history. The company first established itself in road biking, and with the creation of its newest off-road pedal, the Syzr, Speedplay hopes to gain traction on the trails.
A new concept: We don’t see new concepts like this often. The Syzr is probably one of the best-made pedals available and offers infinite adjustments to suit any ache or pain.
Tech info: As with most Speedplay pedals, the Syzr is available in three different spindle option—chromoly, stainless steel and titanium—each with different weights and price levels. Our test pedals were chromoly.
One of the more important design goals for the Syzr was for the rider to be able to clip in and out of the pedals in muddy conditions and adverse weather. Other pedals, such as Shimano SPDs, are steel on steel between the cleat and pedal, which can cause seizing in severe cold and wet conditions, making it difficult to unclip. The Syzr’s cleat uses two ceramic rollers that engage with the top of the pedal. The difference in materials allows for an incredibly smooth engagement that is designed to work better in mud. Along with the unique design for clipping in, the Syzr has a float adjustment on each cleat that allows for up to 10 degrees of float. The Syzrs do have a built-in grease port and can be rebuilt if necessary. The chromoly Syzr pedals weigh in at 310 grams per pair, and sell for $230.
Field results: There is no doubt that these pedals are well made. The spindles have a refined look, and the bearing quality feels second to none. The cleats are left and right specific and are designed to keep your heels in. Our test rider rides with his heels out, so on the recommendation of Speedplay, we ran the cleats on the opposite feet. We started our testing with the float at the full 10 degrees and the spring tension fairly loose to get an idea of just how open these pedals would feel. That experiment was short-lived.
In order to enable clipping in and out in extreme weather, the spring tension has to be run fairly loose. Unfortunately, we came unclipped at inopportune moments, such as when pushing hard in corners or getting a little rowdier on the trails. This shook our confidence and forced us to scale back our riding a bit. Once we scaled back the float to 3 or 4 degrees and tightened the spring tension, there was a drastic difference, and our confidence increased immensely. Clipping in required us to push straight down on the pedal instead of from behind the pedal as with our daily SPD pedals.
Our days on the trail with the Syzr were a mixed bag at first. The Syzr is very specific. If you’re a cross-country-racing purist looking for an efficient pedal or a light trail rider with joint issues, the Syzr could be the last pedal you ever use. If you are riding more technical trails or unclip and walk some during your rides, this pedal system simply won’t work for you.
• High-quality construction
• Superb float adjustment
• Efficient pedaling platform
• Not intended for technical riding
• Unclipping is inconsistent
• Spring tension has to be run very loose
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