Bit of an update on what happened, why it happened, and what the future looks like: Bringing Wahoo back from the brink: Interviewing the company's founder, Chip Hawkins | Cyclingnews
I wonder if Cycling News has considered using ads in their articles? Could be enjoyable for the reader .
It did seem an interesting purchase. Seemed like an ‘inside joke’, like yeah, someone in management liked the pedals and bought them to make them better and do a power meter. In the process, they improved Speedplay by removing the inconsistent pedal platforms, and center on one product, but (my gripe) they cheapened the cleats making them rust out quicker.
But they likely saved Speedplay, but at what cost. Should they spin them off? They will likely get more for it than what they paid for it. I rode Speedplays for YEARS. Then the buyout and mystery on what would remain, and the new cleats, and… I’m back on SPD-SL.
SRAM and Time? Time is an even more niche product. I’ve only run into two people that used their pedals, but they were rabid about them and would rather (they said) stop biking than switch. I once worked with a ‘Time-head’ who, after finding out that I rode too, tried everything he could to convert me to at least trying the Time pedals. At that point, I had SPD, a stubborn pair of Look Delta’s that didn’t want to die, and a flirtation with SPD-SL. Sure, I need another type of pedal. Sign me up. No… I rode with a person hooked on Crank Brothers egg beaters too, equally as rabid on them.
Back to Speedplay, and Wahoo. They sunk a lot of money and effort into Speedplay. Did they have it to spend, and will the effort bear fruit and huge profits? Hmm… (Maybe if they bring back the aluminum cleats?)
I tried Time and settled on Speedplay recently. The Time pedals wouldn’t straighten/right themselves reliably, resulting in more trouble to clip in, and the edges of the pedals are razor sharp. I had cuts on my legs after one ride and they also ended up bruising my leg for some reason. Speedplay has been zero issues and what I’ve settled on.
The one thing that Speedplay had against it, and I hesitate to make a huge deal out of it, but it was the cleats. Particularly the installation on the shoe. It requires a certain amount of ‘intelligence’ to get it installed correctly.
I say this tongue in check, slightly.
Many of the riders on a group I was riding with at the time had changed to Speedplay, and this one rider did as well. We all advised him to have the cleats installed by someone at the local bike shop (LBS), or ‘someone who knew what they were doing’, and he stubbornly insisted that he could handle it. He apparently failed. He had issues popping out of the cleats at ‘inopportune moments’, with one resulted in a ‘horrific crash’ (according to onlookers) and damage to he and his bike. Having installed, by then nearly a half dozen cleats on my various shoes, I offered to do it for ‘a beer’. I think those injuries ended his biking career sadly. (Someone at one of the LBS’ that looked at his handiwork after he was complaining about the pedals, remarked that the cleats weren’t installed properly and offered to redo them but he still refused. That was before the crash. They think he was using lubrication to try to ‘fix’ them)
I also should say that the rusted out Speedplay cleats were from me riding them indoors and sweating like it was the sole purpose of riding. I actually had to use an impact driver to remove one of the screws, it was so badly rusted. Have their cleats gotten better? Can anyone take a look at their cleats and see if they still rust out quickly? My last NOS Speedplay aluminum cleats had the aluminum ‘C’ fracture, surprisingly. Who thought that simple pressed steel would be a perfect fit for the bottom of a bike shoe.
I really liked the Speedplay pedal system. I have had knee issues over time and the adjustable degree of float was wonderful. I think most people that are complaining about using them have either not adjusted them (they are ridiculous for release angle) or have over adjusted them and hit the stops all the time and potentially prematurely release.
But, now that Speedplay has a power meter, would they be better off spun off, or sold to another company? It might be the division with the highest price to sell to save Wahoo for a while.
No rust on mine and they’ve done maybe 10,000 miles outside including 2 UK winters with plenty of rain and salt, and about 5,000 “miles” inside
The Speedplay pedals, I think, are an ecosystem purchase. Wahoo wants to be able to follow athletes where they go and keep people in the ecosystem. It’s not about competing for one product.
Metrigear, the pm pedal that ended up being Garmin, was originally planned for Speedplay. Seems like with the pm pods they have now, Wahoo might be able to expand to other platforms. Speedplay makes more sense as part of wahoo as a means to sell powermeters than as a way to sell pedals, IMO.
I highly doubt this….I doubt they can get what they paid for it, at this point. The lack of market presence for almost 2 years severely damaged their market share.
I say all this as a huge Speedplay fan….been on them literally since they were introduced (still have a pair of the original all-aluminum body pedals) and I was the first product manager to ever spec them on a bike.
Was it 2 years? All I remember is ordering new spindles and waiting long enough i just cancelled the order. (The LBS actually ended up having a set of used pedals someone ‘gifted’ them, so I gutted them and used those spindles) It was the first time I tried to rebuild pedals. They were the first pair I ever owned. The bearings had seized up from sweat, and I was able to get replacements from a local bearing store. The spindles had some pretty serious rust damage. The seals on those pedals were pretty ‘sketchy’, and just kept the sweat inside.
That’s a really really small market. I mean, unless they put a set on each bike they sell, but even then: small market.
I wish Wahoo (or Garmin) would make an add-on light like the Raveman for under the head unit.
It would be designed to fit flush with their head units and look like one unit, using a swappable transition fascia between the head unit and the light. Buy the light and choose the head unit it needs to fit to. One light SKU, several fascia SKUs.
Because the Raveman under the Bolt looks really bad, which is a shame.
That’d probably make them a little money.
It is a pretty cool device, but it isn’t gonna drive that much revenue for them, IMO.
The last thing I’d want is something siphoning battery life from my Edge. It’s a good idea but seems like they missed the boat on a version that could charge the connected head unit too. That would be a great niche product that, properly priced, could have people beating down the door to buy one (or two). All I seem to hear is people carping about battery life. (Would it be possible to make it jump a Di2 system when the battery ‘magically’ dies?) Something like this could be like a Swiss Army Knife for the tech marinated cyclist. (But I’m sure licensing fees, etc could tragically kill that idea too)