Speedplay Syzr Pedal – Interbike 2011

Sep 21, 2011
by Richard Cunningham  


Speedplay has been refining its lollipop-on-a-stick pedal for over a decade, and those who embrace its easy-in, easy out mechanism and simple architecture become devotees for life. With a following that crosses over about equally between road and mountain, it would seem that it would not need a dedicated MTB pedal, so we were surprised to discover the new Syzr – an entirely new pedal and cleat concept. Syzr appears to be just another Shimano SPD clone in profile, but upon examination, Speedplay has taken a completely different direction for XC/trail clipless pedals.

Syzr three view

Speedplay's Syzr pedal system breaks new ground with rotational float built into the cleat and an independent mechanism that stabilizes the foot over the pedal. Syzr pedals and cleats fit all SPD-compatible shoes, although the fact that the cleat is responsible for the system's lateral rigidity presupposes that the shoe has a rigid sole like carbon-fiber-reinforced Sidi pictured here.


Meet the Syzr Pedal:Conventional SPD-based pedals use a cleat to engage the pedal mechanism, but the cleat offers no lateral support. Lateral stability is the job of the shoe maker – and in a perfect world, parallel rails molded into the sole of the shoe contact pressure points on the pedal with just the right pressure to keep the rider positively connected through the pedal with the crankset. Speedplay knows, however, that the chance of five different shoes fitting as many different SPD-type pedals is slightly better than a magazine editor winning the World Cup. The Syzr’s cleat both engages the pedal and provides lateral support.

Syzr cleat

The Syzr cleat has a pair of opposing set screws that to limit the rotational float action of the cleat. The cleat is fixed with two standard SPD type screws and its wide base prevents flexing of the shoe's sole.


When the shoe engages the pedal, wings on the Syzr cleat lock onto two stainless steel pads on either side of the pedal's axle housing, which eliminates any rocking side to side. For those who need rotational ‘float’ (most do), there are up to 10 degrees available and it’s adjustable with a pair of tiny setscrews down to zero. The Syzr pedal has no float in order to keep the stabilizing wings lined up with the pedal. Instead, the cleat rotates to provide float. Because the cleat handles the float, the pedal’s spring-locking mechanism holds the foot more securely than a single engagement designed to perform both tasks. Reversed logic is a Syzr theme, as the moving jaw of the engagement mech is up front, not on the rear plate as in Shimano clones. Speedplay says that this prevents unwanted disengagement when the pedal is subjected to high-pressure pedaling forces. Release tension is adjustable via a Phillips screw.

Syzr pedal

Syzr pedals use up the same amount of real estate on the sole of an SPD-compatible shoe as its competitors. SPD-type pedals rest on the ledges built into the sole, while the Syzr uses metal-to-metal contact between the cleat and pedal to provide lateral security. Stainless steel bands protect the aluminum pedal body at the contact points.


Speedplay’s new design engages in much the same manner as a typical SPD-type pedal, which is a plus for experienced riders. Mud shedding and foul-weather performance is said to be superior to existing MTB pedals. Syzr cleats fit all two-bolt SPD-type shoe interfaces. The shafts are stainless steel with needle bearings inboard and a ball bearing outboard. The claimed weight is 300 grams for the pedals and 56-grams each for the cleats. Price is $215 with stainless axles (more options on the way).


Tried Speedplay's Syzr pedals? Pinkbike would love to know your thoughts on Speedplay’s latest XC/trail design.

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29 Comments

  • 3 0
 I got hot spots using a lot of the different SPD style pedals and then I tried the BeBop pedals. They work for me and the bigger cleat is not noticeable during any hike-a-bike sections. I like that they have no moving parts and haven't clogged up to failure on me. I compare the SPD cleats to standing on a beer bottle and the other styles like standing on a soup (or paint can if they are some clipless DH pedals). These seem overly complicated and the cleats look dainty. I do tend to ride my Straitlines most of the time though.
  • 4 0
 Cleat doesn't look up to much. Doubt it would last long if you were into shouldering your bike and hiking up mountains.
  • 4 0
 Agreed. That adjustable cleat mechanism looks fine for SoCal, where all you have to do is dust your bike off after a ride, but a Welsh/Scottish/Lake District winter? I doubt it.
  • 5 2
 you're not really supposed to walk on any cleats for an extended period of time, and the kind of terrain you'd hike your bike up would be really sketchy when you've got cleats on anyway.
  • 1 0
 @Swearmouth, I beg to differ buddy. There are still parts on any XC racing track that racers' dismount and run with their bike. be it a regional track to a UCI WC or Olympic track.
More to the fact is that more and more riders are pushing the boundaries of ordinary Mountain biking. You'll find that young and old riders are hitting bigger, knallier tracks and paths to find the next big rush on the bike. If riders are used to riding in Cleats then they'll attack any terrain they fancy.
  • 1 0
 I'm interested to see how well those cleats work in the mud, mostly if the float mechanism is still functional. Also, the pedal body is very "shimano" like, and those pack up with mud and rocks and sticks pretty bad up here. I'm currently on older Candy's, but looking for something that is not as disposable, sheds mud, and has good float. New Candy's, Times?
  • 1 0
 That large base is a good idea. It makes sense. I think the sole would be less likely to crack and then rip off, as I've had happen with the small Shimano cleats. I will say that this design is far removed from the 'lolly pop' on a stick with a large recessed cleat. I guess that design will just fail with the first step into the mud which is not really an issue for roadies. The design above would work for MTB though.
  • 1 0
 pedal looks fine ---looks like a combo design of Time and Shimano... not diggin' the massive cleat though. l could see slippin' and sliddin' trying to hike-a-bike (which is a big part of biking).. it's not always spinny spin, at least not around here it isn't. any given ride, there's several times you'll have to dismount cause it's just too dang rocky.
  • 1 0
 It seems too much of a cleat to offer "Mud shedding and foul-weather performance is said to be superior to existing MTB pedals". So far for me, Time pedals have offered the best mud shedding and support for clipless pedals.

Also, do they provide lateral float so you don't feel constricted in one position?
Is there an adjustment for the release angle?
  • 1 0
 The prototype Syzr that was shown at Interbike in 2009 looked like it would have done a much better job in shedding mud. I wonder why they added so much material back in the final version?

Either way, this is a far cry from the mountain-specific Speedplay Frog that has remained virtually unchanged since, what, 1995?

(see what I did there...)
  • 1 0
 I will give it to Speedplay for finally realizing that maybe a pedal design that has the entire retention system attached to the shoe is a bad idea.
  • 2 0
 I don''t even know how a pedal and a cleat could make love, unless they just kind of... syzr
  • 4 2
 They may have great pedals but their customer service BLOWS!!!!
  • 2 3
 If these are anywhere near their road stuff they'll be excellent.
  • 4 2
 I think you mean "terrible". Honest mistake, the letters are right next to each other.
  • 1 2
 Their road pedals are the only ones I will ride. Great for those with knee problems.
  • 1 0
 That's true actually. Speedplay is one of the only companies that offers an extra long spindle for people who need something like that.
  • 1 1
 No, I mean excellent. Everyone I know who's had them has loved them, and continues to use them.
  • 1 0
 Oh that's funny, because I know three people who have come unclipped from them prematurely and had major accidents because of them.
  • 2 0
 No one I've known has ever had that problem. And seeing as how all 3 riders on the tdf overall podium this year rode Zeros, I would say they've proven themselves.

www.speedplay.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.news&nid=861

The amount of success riders using them have had is staggering.
  • 1 0
 To each his own. I've found them to be horrible. One friend of mine's pedal unclipped while he was descending and he hit the ground so hard that his pelvis shattered. No thanks, I'll stick to Keos.
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