What’s going on at Speedplay?
Speedplay’s lollipop-style pedals burst onto the scene in the 1990s, and the dual-sided design, low weight, and generous assortment of cleat setup options proved popular with weight weenies and bike fitters alike. But since being purchased by Wahoo Fitness in 2019, the brand has all but disappeared from social media, and the website hasn’t been updated in months. And after flooding the airwaves on the bikes of CSC and Cervelo Test Team years ago, the brand has slowly disappeared from top-level racing of late, only finally making a high-profile return with EF Pro Cycling this year. Stock is difficult to find, too, and people the world over are asking the same question: What is happening at Speedplay?
When Wahoo acquired Speedplay last year – soon after its acquisition of popular online training platform, The Sufferfest – the resultant talk of “driving creativity at Speedplay” lead to lots of internet forum chatter on what new pedals or power meters could be on the way. That hope has instead turned to confusion, however, as it’s been mostly silence since then.
The last update on any of Speedplay’s social media channels is of Chloe Dygert’s victory in the 2019 time trial world championships. The only obvious changes on the Speedplay website are the addition of Wahoo landing pages for click-through links on the “Contact us” and “Careers” pages. And although EF Pro Cycling lists Speedplay as a partner on the team web site, the Speedplay web site carries no mention of a partnership with the team.
More importantly, delving a bit deeper, the product pages for the X-Series, Syzr, Frog, and Drillium pedals now display, at the top of the page, “This product is currently not available. At this time, future availability has not been determined”.
The Speedplay range is often listed as out of stock in both online shops and local bike shops across the globe, although that in itself is not that out of the ordinary given the supply chain issues many brands currently face as a result of the pandemic. What’s happening at Speedplay, though, seems to go further than that.
When we contacted Wahoo for an update on its plans for the brand, we only received a generic statement that “the product range remains the same for the foreseeable future.”
We also contacted some bike shops in various parts of the world, but again, the information was thin on the ground. Most bike shops were equally perplexed as to what was happening with Speedplay, especially since the company’s pedals are still popular products with customers.
We even trawled online forums and comment sections for some information. The common thread amongst all these was rumours of a possible power meter in the making, along with a lot of disgruntled X-Series pedal fans mourning the loss of the now-discontinued pedals.
One distributor did confirm that it was still receiving deliveries of the Zero Stainless, Zero Chromoly, Zero Aero, and Light Action pedals, along with cleats to match – and despite selling out of stock as recently as a few days ago, there was a fresh delivery expected to arrive imminently. However, this distributor could not confirm how long it would continue to receive Speedplay’s deliveries or continue the distribution of the brand. Reading between the lines, there is plenty of speculation that Wahoo plans to take over distribution in the near future.
The rumours of a Speedplay power meter and a new Wahoo Speedplay pedal design persist, but there has been no concrete evidence of this as of yet. The almost-complete radio silence from Wahoo may suggest something is in the offering, but what exactly this will be is unknown.
Although a power meter is the logical next step for an innovative brand such as Wahoo, pedal-based power meters are notoriously difficult to get right. A cleat-based power meter is another option for Wahoo with Speedplay, but if you think a pedal-based watt counter is difficult, just ask Brim Brothers how straightforward the cleat alternative is in reality.
It seems that in the meantime, the only news to report from Speedplay is that there is still no news.