As part of the Thames Turbo iRide race team we’ve been given Northwave shoes and I chose to switch over to Speedplay pedals. Big thanks to iRide for their support. The new kit actually fits quite nicely with Project 1%. I’ve saved weight and also the all important stack height is much reduced at 8.5mm (compared to 13.5mm for the old Shimano SPD-SLs). In basic terms a reduced stack height means a better transfer of power. In fact I’d go as far as to say the whole pedalling action feels much more positive and firm than before. Impressive stuff.
Given Ironman Uk is a hilly course weight reduction is a very good thing. Here’s the low down on weight:
2011 – Specialised Trivent shoes
2014 – 2014 Northwave Extreme triathlon shoes
2011 – Shimano Dura-ace SPD-SLs
2014 – Speedplay Zero
The bottom line is I’ve shaved 200g off the weight of the pedals and shoes. That’s 20%. Weight as follows:
- Shoes and pedals
2011 – 1040g
2014 – 840g
Fitting the cleats was fairly straight forward although I did have to obtain the unique Northwave Speedplay adapter kit which meant I could benefit from the drill pattern the Northwave Extreme’s offer for Speedplay pedals. Without this the stack height is a few mm higher. Still lower than the Shimanos.
Things I’d note from the Speedplay setup (I’m new to Speedplay) would be that I’ll have to be careful not to load the cleats with mud when walking/running as this is where the spring mechanism lives. That won’t be a problem though as for pure triathletes there’s a neat little buckle on the side of the shoe which allows for attaching the shoe to the rear skewer with an elastic band.