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Verdict: 
Much-improved cleat makes walking easier and reduces clogging problems
Weight: 
212g
Speedplay Zero Aero Walkable Cleats
8 10

Speedplay's Zero Aero Walkable cleats solve one of the system's biggest drawbacks: protecting them from wear and making it considerably easier to walk from your bike to the coffee shop counter without ending up on your face.

Speedplay pedals are controversial beasts. Many riders (and I'm one of them) love them for being light, double-sided and, in the case of the Zero, for their adjustable float. However, despite liking them overall, reviewer Dan Joyce wasn't impressed with some aspects, notably the cleats' tendency to get bunged up with dirt and the overall need for ongoing maintenance.

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Dirt isn't the only problem with the original Speedplay Zero cleats. Their aluminium outer plate wears quickly if you walk on it, or even if you just touch it down frequently, stopping at lights while commuting for example. And walking itself is more awkward than with any other system I've used because those aluminium plates are slippery on many surfaces.

Wearing out, say, a Look Keo cleat isn't a very big deal; they're only a tenner a pair. A pair of Speedplay Zero cleats is £40, so you really don't want to have to replace them too often.

By putting a curved, dimpled plastic cover over the cleat mechanism, Speedplay solves some of these problems.

Speedplay Zero Aero Walkable Cleats 02.JPG

Speedplay Zero Aero Walkable Cleats 02.JPG

However, Speedplay hasn't just added a cover to the existing Zero cleats (though you can buy Walkable Cleat Covers for the original cleats too – for £23.99). The construction of the cleat has changed, with a steel outer plate replacing the aluminium one, giving the covers a lip to grab so they stay in place.

Speedplay Zero Aero Walkable Cleats 03.JPG

Speedplay Zero Aero Walkable Cleats 03.JPG

And they work well. For a start, walking is much easier. Sure, you still wouldn't want to deliberately jog up a mountain, Chris Froome stylee, but the waddle into the coffee shop is a lot more secure.

It's also much harder for dirt to get in, thanks to the included Cleat Buddy plugs, which fit securely into the cleat's pedal hole to seal out the dirt.

Speedplay's other claim about these cleats is that they improve aerodynamics. They've got the streamlined shape and dimpled surface we've become familiar with from aero components such as Zipp wheels, but without a wind tunnel it's impossible to say how much effect they have. My guess is that there'll be a tiny improvement when coasting, but when you're pedalling you're dirtying the air enough with your flailing feet that it'll make less difference.

> How to get more aero without spending a fortune

With the extra features, it's not surprising that Walkable Cleats are more expensive than regular Zero cleats: £60 vs £42.50 at RRP, £54 vs £30 or so if you shop around. The increased cost is worth it if you're replacing your Zero cleats anyway, as you no longer have to faff with cleat covers to walk around. I wouldn't immediately rush out and buy them, though, unless you really need to be able to walk in your cycling shoes. If you're about to buy Speedplay pedals, then you should definitely spend the extra for Walkable cleats rather than the standard version; they make Speedplays much easier to live with off the bike.

Verdict

Much-improved cleat makes walking easier and reduces clogging problems

road.cc test report

Make and model: Speedplay Zero Aero Walkable Cleats

Size tested: Fits Zero Pedals and zero Aero Pedals Only

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

They're for Speedplay Zero pedal users who want to be able to walk more comfortably and safely when off the bike.

Speedplay says: "Speedplay's new Walkable™ Cleat technology for Zero pedals sets a new standard for user-friendly, off-the-bike functionality. Speedplay's Zero Aero Walkable™ Cleats are the first truly walkable™ cleats for road pedals. The integrated, rubberized covers stay on the cleats while you are riding. When walking, the covers improve traction and protect the cleats from wear. Additionally, the thin, contoured cleat profile allows for a more natural gait and makes walking in road shoes much less awkward.

In addition to these benefits, Cleat Buddies are handy plugs included with cleat sets for use when walking in dirty conditions. Cleat Buddies prevent debris contamination by fitting into the cleat's center cavity. When you are ready to ride, Cleat Buddies can be easily removed for riding and conveniently snap together to fit in a pocket or bag.

The Zero Aero Walkable™ Cleat's fully streamlined cleat profile with dimpled surface further improves the aerodynamics of the Zero Pedal System."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Speedplay says:

Grippy, rubberized tread covers the cleat for improved traction

Durable cover material is resistant to wear and will not scuff floors

Thin, contoured cleat profile makes walking easier and more fluid

Zero Aero Walkable™ Cleats are streamlined to reduce drag and are compatible with all models of Zero Pedal Systems

Fits all standard 3-Hole and 4-Hole shoes

Replacement Zero Aero Walkable™ Cleat Covers and Cleat Buddies are available separately

Cleat Weight with Cover

3-hole: 138g per pair

4-hole: 100g per pair

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Everything's tidily moulded, machined or stamped.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

They work as well as regular Speedplay cleats, and you can walk in them too.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

They're expensive cpmpared to either standard Zero cleats or the cleats for other clipless pedal systems. The extra isn't silly for the function and features, but you can't call them a bargain.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Extremely well. I no longer dread having to get off and walk at a café stop or for a mechanical.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Being able to walk more safely.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The price.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

The Speedplay Zero Aero Walkable Cleats do a great job of making it easier to walk if you use Speedplay pedals. They're a big improvement on the previous notoriously slippery design, and keep out crud too. On function, they score 9, but they're not cheap, which pulls the score down a point.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 48  Height: 5ft 11in  Weight: 85kg

I usually ride: Scapin Style  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, mountain biking

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

19 comments

Avatar
fennesz [150 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

I had these for a while.  After a short while, the walking covers got squashed & misshaped, then started falling off.   They'd fall off at the cafe stop, pee stop etc.

It was great walking around the house quietly, esp when the kids were in bed.  But the the cleat covers only lasted for about 4 months.  Am now back to using the normal cleats.

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JonMack [169 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

I've used Keep On Kovers - http://www.keeponkovers.com/Product.html for about the last 4 years and have found them to be great, my dad and sister both use them too and none of us have ever had any complaints about them. I wore out one set after maybe 18 months of commuting on them (and wearing them in the office all day). I just did a quick google and they're about £18, so not bad value considering their lifespan.

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bendertherobot [1414 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

My guess is that there will be absolutely no gain whatsoever while coasting.

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bobinski [259 posts] 8 months ago
2 likes
JonMack wrote:

I've used Keep On Kovers - http://www.keeponkovers.com/Product.html for about the last 4 years and have found them to be great, my dad and sister both use them too and none of us have ever had any complaints about them. I wore out one set after maybe 18 months of commuting on them (and wearing them in the office all day). I just did a quick google and they're about £18, so not bad value considering their lifespan.

 

i cannot find anyone in UK who sells them and clicking through to thier website suggests £20 shipping charges.

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Neil @ Bowman [29 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

www dot comtat.co.uk/products/814.htm

 

and seconded, they are great as new, but these aero cleats do squish and fall off after a realatively short while in my personal experience.

 

Neil.

 

Avatar
bobinski [259 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes
Neil @ Bowman wrote:

www dot comtat.co.uk/products/814.htm

 

and seconded, they are great as new, but these aero cleats do squish and fall off after a realatively short while in my personal experience.

 

Neil.

 

 

Thank you.I tried them a while back a few times but were out of stock. 

Avatar
Megacountax [20 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

Re: keep on Kovers, there are some similar products on eBay for a couple of quid. They are obvious knock-offs and are shipped from China, but I was thinking I'd give them a go - has anyone tried them?

This is the sort of thing: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Bicycle-Pair-Pedals-Cleats-Cover-For-Speedplay-Zero-J-L-Outdoor-Sporting-/301998079691?hash=item46507cfecb:g:moEAAOSwGIRXcVzo

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McVittees [64 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

You can get Kovers or other generic versions on Ebay easily.

@megacountax: I have yes.  Months and months of communting and they've been fine.

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hsiaolc [343 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

Good concept but technically flawed because it just keeps on falling off. Knowing the problem I bought them anyway but no matter how I stick them down I still lose them so be warned.

I've also lost Keep on Kovers as well but after 4 months use and not after the first day or week compared to these walkable cleats.

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maxdabrit [9 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

Another satisfied Keep on Kovers user. 5 years plus now, have them on all my shoes. They aren't a particularly attractive product but by golly do they work well. I was going to try the neater looking upgraded Speed plays until I saw fellow club members experiencing the yellow covers falling off. Clearly Speedplay needs a 'version two' before I will reconsider changing.

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carytb [99 posts] 8 months ago
1 like
Megacountax wrote:

Re: keep on Kovers, there are some similar products on eBay for a couple of quid. They are obvious knock-offs and are shipped from China, but I was thinking I'd give them a go - has anyone tried them?

This is the sort of thing: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Bicycle-Pair-Pedals-Cleats-Cover-For-Speedplay-Zero-J-L-Outdoor-Sporting-/301998079691?hash=item46507cfecb:g:moEAAOSwGIRXcVzo

I got a couple of pairs and they are fine. Reasonably quick delivery and fit on the cleats perfectly. Still don't stop mud getting in the when you water the bushes mid ride though!

 

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Disfunctional_T... [173 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

Keep On Kovers are absolutely awesome. If you use Speedplays, you have to get them. They are so much more convenient than the plain "coffee can" covers.

I have Speedplay-specific shoes, and I did have to trim off some of the Keep On Kovers with a razor blade to get them to seat, but it wasn't a big deal.

The shape of the Keep On Kovers is actually rather complex, so I would be hesitant to order eBay knock-offs.

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Redpanda86 [5 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

I have been using the light action version of these cleats.  Neater than using the keep-on-covers, great to walk on (and push off with) but not as durable.

I've already lost 1 cover and replacements cost a fortune ($45AUD a pair), with them being handed you can't swap them side to side. As you likely to loose the one on the side you unclip at the lights etc I can see myself ending up with a collection of right sided covers.

Hopefully china comes up with a cheaper version, I wouldn't normally condone the copying but it feels a bit expoitative by Speedplay to create a cover that is lost relatively easily and then charge too much for the replacements.

 

 

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nadsta [172 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

Had these since May, ridden 1000km a month since then and they've had no issues except a drop of lube once a month. 

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fenix [608 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

Just go with the keep on kovers. Had them since spring and they've been perfect. No trimming. No slipping.

CBA with the faff of slipping covers on and off for cafe stops. These just do the job with no dramas I'll not be paying over the top for the speedplay versions that don't work as well.

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700c [1108 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

I've used keep on kovers and they work well until they fall off! That's two sets now I've lost. Oh and difficult to source in the UK.

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fukawitribe [1923 posts] 8 months ago
1 like
700c wrote:

I've used keep on kovers and they work well until they fall off! That's two sets now I've lost. Oh and difficult to source in the UK.

BikeScience in Bristol are normally a reliable source for them

 

http://www.bike-science.com/products/keeponcoversforspeedplayzeroandspee...

http://www.bike-science.com/products/keep-on-covers-for-speedplay-x-seri...

 

They did have the Zero/Light ones for about £ 12 for quite a while but think those days may have long gone now alas...

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DrJDog [407 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

I had keep-on-kovers but they didn't keep on at all. Maybe there's something in the way I walk.

I've had the aero walkables for around a year, I think, and they are great. I've never had one fall off.

The " included Cleat Buddy plugs, which fit securely into the cleat's pedal hole to seal out the dirt" fall out at every possible opportunity are a total waste of time.

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matthewn5 [1006 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

I've got Keep-On-Kovers and they're great. Not fallen off yet, though I did have to take a razor to them to get a tight fit against my speedplay-specific Bont Vaypors.

Had no problems with them since.