Speedplay's Frog Pedals

Discussion in 'Clipped' started by Mikie, Jul 9, 2017.



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  1. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    Some history.
    I started riding mountain bikes in 1991 if I recall correctly. Back then it was Toe Cages guaranteed to assist in a cluttered crash. My first mechanical pedal was this 400 lb (each) Shimano SPD's. These were mud trapping, unpredictable releasing metal grinding on metal hunks of new innovation. After so many failed releases and slow fall over crashes, my elbows got tired of it and we looked for options. So we got sponsored by Onza and their new elastomer sprung pedals. Super light, but with very unpredictable release. The elastomers added to this unpredictability as they were temperature sensitive. On hot days they would release too easily, and on cold days it could be very difficult...

    Enter Speedplay Frog's.
    (I hear Angels in angelic unison singing as a light beam washes down from heaven onto a pair of pedals).
    IMG_0489.JPG
    They come in 3 spindle types. Chrome Moly, Stainless Steel, and Titanium. I have always used the Stainless Steel model. They are super simple, super easy to set up, and super duper easy on your knees. In fact, I was having knee problems during my racing years and when I switched to Frogs the knee issues disappeared.

    Not much has changed in design for Frogs in several years other than the cleat design. They are more one piece milled than parts assembled, nowadays.

    You don't step onto Frogs. You slide forward into them. The elastomer driven latch simply expands the front catch, which locks you onto the pedal. You hear a slight click and you're in. To release them, you simply move your heal outwards and they simply let go. There is no tension for release what so ever. Plus you have significant float for your knees because there is no tension springs.

    Set up is ridiculously easy. Attach the cleat just barely snug to your shoe and adjust to the point your cleat hits the inside pedal stop on the pedal before your shoe touches your chainstay and then lock them down with the two bolt system. There is a swivel stop on the inside of the pedal to prevent you from moving your heel too far inward once adjusted. Because you have 100% float there is no worry of getting your cleat "just right". To grease them there is a small Phillips screw you unscrew and then use a standard "press against" bicycle grease gun. Inside is a combo bushing/bearing system. I grease mine once a month just cuzz.

    :thumbsup:Advantages:
    • Easy set up
    • Easy to grease
    • 100% float for your knees
    • No body is going to ask to ride your bike, because they now can't clip in...:sneaky:
    • No unpredictable releases or non releases due to springs and tension
    • Two point connection to shoe for a more stable lateral platform
    Challenges I have had with Frogs.
    For some reason, and I seem to be the Lone Ranger on this one... but I break cleats. In particular the locking tab on the inside on my right shoe. I have talked to Speedplay about this at the tier 1 support level and they say this is unique to me. I do have my right leg 1/2 inch shorter then my left and tend to roll my ankle out on my right side (the side I break most all my cleats on), I'm always over working the inside catch of my cleat, so this is believable. I replace my cleats once, occasionally twice a year. At $33 bucks for cleats I still find it worth it for the advantages the pedal provides.

    Like @john_hovard mentioned in a Speedplay Syzr Pedals review by @noLungs here in the Pedals Forum, he has broken the plastic shell a couple of times. I can only recall breaking one in 20 years so I consider that acceptable collateral damage for me, and I enjoy the rocky technical pedal bashing trails.

    :thumbsdown:Disadvantages:
    • Nobody can ride your bike as they are not SPD compatible in the least
    • I have a tradition of breaking cleats (fairly unique to me however)
    • It's possible to break the plastic shell
    In summation, many have shy'ed away from the Speedplay Frog pedal simply because they are different. I strongly suggest this pedal for a number of reasons listed above. I have thought many times of moving away from my cleat breaking habit, but looking at the other options, I easily come back to Speedplay Frogs. Out of all the cycling advancements through my years of mountain biking, this is the only product I have stayed loyal to due to overall performance.
     
  2. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '20 Pivot Firebird 29
    Not gonna knock them, 'cuz I haven't tried them - but why doesn't anybody ride these pedals? If they are superior, wouldn't they have a broader audience? You certainly have them dialed - and they are good to your knees. :thumbsup:
     
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  3. dustyyoungblood

    dustyyoungblood Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ladera Ranch
    Name:
    Dustan Baker
    Current Bike:
    Foes Mixer Trail
    The in depth review is much appreciated
     
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  4. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    Why did the public go with VHS, when Beta was clearly better? I suggest marketing and the bucks to do it... :)

    If you did try them and they were better, would you use them?
     
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  5. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '20 Pivot Firebird 29
    I am not sure if the Beta vs VHS analogy fits here. Cyclists are performance athletes who look for any advantage. The product exists (as opposed to Beta), so it seems that at least privateers would have migrated towards the Frog platform if there were any advantage in doing so, in much the same way as most riders who buy their own tires to compete (in DH and Enduro at least) use Maxxis.

    Would I use them if I tried them and liked them? Maybe. Depends on what "better" felt like. How well do they work when disengaged? How well do they hold up to my rock-smashing pedaling tendencies? What does the act of engagement and disengagement feel like? How do they work in adverse conditions? What does the cleat feel like while walking? Do they work while wearing baggie shorts or are they Lycra specific? I am sure there are plusses and minuses.

    From what I have seen directly and in video, you are a far superior rider to me, and ride in more varied conditions. If the pedals weren't great, you wouldn't have the confidence to do the tech that you do, and you wouldn't use them if they didn't work with a bit of mud, or if their performance differed with the temperature (as the Onzas). Therefore, I wouldn't rule out the possibility that they are superior.

    I do know this, I don't like pedals with a lot of float or a vague engagement/disengagement feel to them (I'm looking at you , Crank Bros). You guys who throw those wicked 90° whips everywhere need a lot of float for those stunts!
     
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  6. dustyyoungblood

    dustyyoungblood Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ladera Ranch
    Name:
    Dustan Baker
    Current Bike:
    Foes Mixer Trail
    Contrary to popular opinion, there are other tires than Maxxis, and depending on discipline there many even be BETTER tires than Maxxis. That's not to knock maxxis, they are upper marks for sure, especially for DH. But non of that really matters when the following are true:
    1. all your favorite pros run Maxxis
    2. the Maxxis is $10 less each then a comparative tire
    3. Maxxis is at your local shop or easily available same day shipping from your favorite online seller.

    Same goes for Speedplay and other oddball brands that don't invest in the marketing
     
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  7. HBkites

    HBkites Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Huntington Beach
    Name:
    Sharone
    Current Bike:
    Why Cycles S7
    The reason I ride SPD exclusively got nothing to do with performance.

    I have 3 pairs of shoes, 3 MTB, and they all have SPD because the stationary bike at the gym has SPD!
    In the olden days, I used to participate in spin classes. I used an older pair of MTB shoes for those classes.
    Now a day I just can't fathom the thought of bringing the wrong shoe/pedal combo to a ride (or the gym).
    That is the only reason I ride with SPD. I never tried anything else (except for Richie's)
     
  8. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    Answer: Awesome. Although disengaged use is probably not as good as SPD's.
    I consider this quite a compliment and I am flattered as I know the stuff you enjoy riding. I too should ride the modern SPD, as I am an avid supporter of Shimano products. Float is a huge point scorer on my checklist. I much prefer the positive engagement process of Frogs. I also like the two point connection points that give strong side to side support. It would be hard for me to give those things up. I wish more folks would give Frogs a chance...
     
  9. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '20 Pivot Firebird 29
    @Mikie I'll try your Froggies! Side to side support sounds bitchin'!

    You still didn't address the Lycra vs Baggies part of the formula. I'm not sure Frogs work with baggies... :confused:

    (or 5.10s, for that matter).
     
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  10. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    No, I checked the manual, and verified on the HFN (Trust, but verify).
    You can totally wear baggies using Frog pedals. In fact, you can wear anything you want using Frogs.
    (This... queuing Chris P Bacon to chime in. Paging @doublewide )

    HFN aka Herzalot Fashion Network
     
  11. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    Don't the Frogs give you the sensation of slipping around on the ice with the float they have?
     
  12. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    No
     
  13. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    Ha hah! No Sir. I know that some people initially were uncomfortable with all the foot freedom. I know if I'm "really" tired I can fall out of my pedals, but I shouldn't be riding at that point anyway.
    If the cleats and pedals are in descent shape there is not a more positive pedal connection I can remember having.
     
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  14. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    See....that is why I like my SPD's.....I can crank the tension down to have that locked in feeling with absolutely zero movement.

    I had always heard that the excessive amount of float on the Frogs had a slipping on the ice feeling.
     
    Mikie likes this.
  15. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    I don't know about any slipping on ice feeling. I know that I had painful knee problems that were preventing Mikie on Bikie.
    But stumbling on to Frogs has provided 20 plus years of knee pain free mountain biking.

    In addition, I'm not sure I like the idea of cranked down tension locking me in my pedals. I think it is the best happy medium between clipped and flats and provides the best of both worlds.
     
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  16. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '20 Pivot Firebird 29
    I can't see Frogs being anything like flats. I find it extremely difficult to reposition my foot on my flats once I step on the pedal (with a proper shoe like a 5.10) and they have zero float unless I pick up my foot and reposition it. Float on flats comes from shoe flex only. Laterally, flats feel more like a tightly locked in SPD. Maybe I'm doing it wrong.

    That's not a knock on Frogs - Froggies appear to be the bees knees for bad knees or less-than-round pedaling dynamics.
     
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  17. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    Understood and good observation. I was referring more to the ability to release from the pedal. Simply moving my heel outward immediately releases my foot from the pedal with no resistance at all. So for me, when in technical situations, I have the confidence to attempt things I may not consider due to the "clicked in and fear of non release" to put my foot down (in time). That's what I meant by the comparison. In other words, I'm more confident to "dab" when needed to survive a tech section.
     
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  18. Sidewalk

    Sidewalk Well-Known Member

    Location:
    The road is where I call home
    Name:
    Josh
    Current Bike:
    N+1
    I inside different styles became popular not just for marketing, but also personal choice. I haven't tried Frogs, but the description doesn't fit what I like.

    I'm running ATAC. I tried SPD style and they were fine, but tried these when my LBS had them on the clearance rack. They have two options for angle of release and I like the way they float, reminds me of the Look style on my TT/road bike.

    I don't want to be able to "fall out" when tired, and if I'm in tech where I don't want to be clipped in, I want to be on flats. Just personal preference. But a lot of people don't like switching from flats to clips and back, so that might be why.
     
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  19. john_hovard

    john_hovard Member

    Location:
    None
    Name:
    Ninguno

    I ride Speedplay Demo Pro pants (baggies), am right now testing Syzr pedals, but might go back to Frog pedals when I found out that I like them the best.
     
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  20. john_hovard

    john_hovard Member

    Location:
    None
    Name:
    Ninguno


    I used Beta till there were no more cassettes. You got a point. What is best: Videotape, CD, DVD, Blu-ray, SD-card? To stay with pedals:

    Frog pedals have one disadvantage and that is the price. You can get other pedal-systems for at least 2 bikes for the price of one pair of Frog pedals-. Everything else depends on what you like. The cleats are walkable, when engaged the cleat is horizontal stable not like eggbeaters or spd that are as stable as your rubber lugs on the shoes are. The float in the Frog pedals is, until you get used to it, “unusual”, after that you do not want to be without it.

    Baggie or lycra is a question only if your baggies get in conflict with the drive-chain, whatever you prefer is what you should use. I use baggies most of the time.
     
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  21. DangerDirtyD

    DangerDirtyD iMTB Addict

    Location:
    CA
    Name:
    Chicken Nugget
    Current Bike:
    2018 Guerrilla Gravity SMASH
    Few things satisfy more than a breeze through sweaty Lycra against one's...skin.
     
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  22. john_hovard

    john_hovard Member

    Location:
    None
    Name:
    Ninguno
    I still have 4 set of Assos from when I was trying to be fast.
    Now when just enjoying the fresh air and the view from above the clouds I find full lenght pants without padding sufficient, with enough hours in the saddle you get used to whatever saddle you like even a full carbon if it is right for you. My wife does not like the colour of the Assos S7 Campionissimo though they are maybe the best ever made in my opinion, once when I lost my way while trying to find a new trail I spent 14 hours in them before I got home.
     
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  23. dino

    dino Newbie with Hope!

    Location:
    Las Palmas
    Name:
    john
    Current Bike:
    ibis mojo 2009
    As far as I know only Speedplay make pedals for MTB with metal/metal contact cleat/pedal. All other rely more or less on pedal shoe and the cleats only grab the pedals.
     
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  24. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '20 Pivot Firebird 29
    Wait... what?

    All mtb clip in pedals rely solely (pardon the pun) on metal to metal contact - cleat to binding. Even those hybrid do it alls like CB Mallets do not function if your shoe's sole is contacting the pins while trying to clip out.
     
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  25. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    I second...my cleats (metal) obviously are in contact with my SPD pedal bodies (also metal).
     
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  26. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    Not 100% true. Your shoe actually sits on the the top of the SPD bindings.
     
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  27. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Then what, pray tell, is that weird metallic clicking sound when I clip in or out????
     
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  28. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    Look at the sole of your shoe around your cleat.....notice how scratched up it is....that is not from HAB.

    Yes, you push your metal cleat past the metal binding, but that doesn't suspend the shoe above the pedal.
     
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  29. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Being the inquisitive, empirical sort that I am, I actually went out to the garage and looked at the soles of my shoes...

    Even with the Main Divide HAB I do, the soles are not scratched up. :confused: And when I HAB, I can hear the metal on rock. So it may be that most are as you say, but definitely not all.
     
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  30. dino

    dino Newbie with Hope!

    Location:
    Las Palmas
    Name:
    john
    Current Bike:
    ibis mojo 2009
    Some understand more. Others a bit less.
     
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