Last year I spotted Speedplay’s prototype offroad pedal, and now it’s just a bit closer to production. And it has a name: SYZR (pronounced as “scissor”).
The SYZR will be a complete departure from the Frog, Speedplay’s current mtb pedal. Conceptually, the SYZR takes the features of the highly successful Zero road pedal and applies them to an offroad pedal. The pedal is a resin and stainless steel construction with the spring latch pivoting on the axle in much the same way as a Crank bros. However the front latch surface has a resin wedge on the front that helps the pedal kick over into position, since the the SYZR is a 2-sided pedal as opposed to the Crank Bros Pedal being 4-sided. This year’s prototype seems more polished than last year’s, which also lacked the resin portions.
Looking at the SYZR, I can see familiar Speedplay design features such as the bearing cap with grease injection port. As the bearing supports are steel, the new SYZR would likely have better bearing life than the Frog pedal, though the final production item might make more use of model resin assemblies.
The Speedplay booth had examples of the pedal that we could touch and feel but not ride. Still, I could press a shoe-mounted cleat into the pedal and twist it out. Much like the Zero road pedal, the ample rotation is provided by a portion of the cleat moving relative to another piece, which bolts into the shoe. A difference between the Zero and the SYZR is that the Zero’s spring is the actually portion of the cleat that rotates and is the actual contact point to the pedal, whereas the SYZR’s spring is on the pedal and tensions a rear latch that grips the cleat. Thus the SYZR’s cleat is less susceptible to dirt or mud fouling it, and the pedal’s open design encourages mud to evacuate. The cleats are left or right specific and are infinitely adjustable for the range of float by means of two set screws. Unlike the Frog pedal which requires only rotation outwards beyond a release point, extraction for the SYZR requires both rotation against a spring force to open the latch; however, the SYZR can be clipped out to the inside now.
I’ve known that Speedplay has had the SYZR in development for quite a while now, and would be the company’s most significant new product since the introduction of the Zero pedal, which was the company’s key to acceptancein the top levels of professional cycling. Before that, the X-series pedal introduced in the early 1990’s had following in amongst domestic racers and triathletes, but the Euro pro teams demanded adjustable float. Within a few years of introduction, the Zero pedal has been ridden to victories at the highest levels of the sport, including the Tour de France and Paris-Roubaix. Could the SYZR lead to similar success in offroad sport? If they ever finish development and actually bring the product to market (maybe next spring was the word in the booth). But the offroad pedal market is crowded with competitors both new and established. However, as a devoted Speedplay user both on and offroad, I am eager to give the pedal a shot.