YES! It’s finally coming true. Since the acquisition of Speedplay by Wahoo in September 2019, the rumours about a speedplay based power meter started almost instantly. And today we got the announcement. This summer you will be able to get the Wahoo Speedplay POWRLINK ZERO. The world’s first (commercially available) Speedplay based and first double sided power meter.
First off, let me say that I’m happy they kept the name “Speedplay” and didn’t abbreviate it in Wahoo style to Speedply. Which sounds like something you need during an unscheduled number #2.
Along with the POWRLINK ZERO announcement, the COMP, ZERO, NANO, and AERO were announced. These seem to be iterations of the existing pedals and the first ‘real’ overhaul in 31 years.
Let’s have a look at the four introduced pedals the all look the same, so note the colour details:
Speedplay Pedal Improvements
The improvements on the Wahoo speedplay pedals are a couple of technical little details. But since you’re here, you love those. So here we go.
Adjustable float (not actually new)
Where with SPD-SL cleats the float is set by the type of your cleat, with the new pedals you can still set the float on your cleat from 0-15%. (SPD-SL goes from 0 to 6% depending on your cleat). Allowing this to be adjusted is great and I’m happy they kept it.
The pedals are now equipped with sealed bearings. This means that the seal keeps any contaminants out the bearing and keeps lubrication in. This is an improvement for longevity and reliability. Also the cleat itself no longer needs lubrication. With the sealed bearing you can just trust your pedals, another item off the maintenance list.
There’s also a tiny-tiny aero improvement as some of the pedals (not the current nano/aero) required a wrench to be fastened, the new iteration is all hex (or allen) key. How much aero this improves, I don’t know. Probably not as much as shaving your legs. But I am just a fan of the cleaner look it gives (also in regards to shaving your legs).
Additional Speedplay Zero spindle lengths
At the end of this year you will also be able to buy the Speedplay Zero in additional spindle lengths, just like the current. The standard 53mm comes first and then you can get 50mm, 56mm, 59mm, and 65mm.
Looking at the pedals themselves you can see that the top (and bottom…) are now all metal so there is less wear and less plastic on metal friction. Using metal your clip in will also be sturdier than before. And as by design Speedplay pedals are stil, and likely always will be, ‘reversible’. So no fumbling about after that traffic light to get clipped in.
Wahoo Speedplay Differences
|Material||Chrom-Moly||Stainless Steel||Titanium & Carbon||Stainless Steel|
|Weight/pedal||116 grams.||111 grams.||84 grams.||113gr|
The PR announcement did not list a weight for the AERO. But from its description it looks like a ZERO with a little aero add-on. And the AERO is obviously not double sided clip in.
Another note is that the ‘old’ COMP weighed 108grams (116 new), old ZERO weighed 65 grams (111) per pedal, and titanium 82 (84) grams. So they all packed on a few grams if you’re really concerned about this. It should be clear though that this weight comes from using more metallic materials to make the pedals last longer and have better reliability.
With its price the COMP is targeted at more entry level cyclists, this also shows from the fact that the cleat tension is a little less than the others. Making it easier to clip in and out.
The most important takeaway of this announcement is the POWRLINK ZERO slated for ‘this summer’. With the great user base of speedplay and the missing power sensor pedal option Wahoo has got itself a great new segment with instant USP. Of course you can add spindle or crank based power meters, but this is much more transferrable if you have two bikes. Plus much-much easier to install (well, I’m guessing but I can’t imagine Wahoo accepting an installation guide that’s longer than a post-it note). Sadly, no images of the POWRLINK ZERO were released so we’ll just have to wait and see. The price is also ‘to be announced’.
Wahoo released a teaser for the POWRLINK, but in true sleuth fashion, playing with some levels on the image we get some more information of this speedplay based power meter. As thankfully, Wahoo hasn’t learned from Tesla or MercedesF1 who blacked out the details and added a ‘nice try’ instead.
As I expected it’s a spindle based hub. This way they can keep the 8mm allen/hex key for mounting. Also, there is little to no space to put the hardware in the pedal or the spindle. So the pedal can remain exactly the same reducing production cost.
POWRLINK ZERO Facts
So. What do we know? Well, it’s a spindle based pod. It is dual sided, so you get both left and right power. It will weigh 276 grams total. Stainless steel spindle.
Connectivity wise, I can now confirm it will be ANT and BLE. With probably two, maybe three consecutive connections at the same time.
Wahoo, as any larger company files a bunch of stuff to the FCC and I found some more information in the POWRLINK ZERO User Manual, which confirms the Spindle based pod and charging clip. It supports both ANT+ and Bluetooth.
From the manual you can see that it attaches with a 8mm HEX just like all the other speedplay pedals in this update. And there are four LEDs which can blink Blue, Green or Red.
Blue for Bluetooth status: Slow: Awake and searching, Fast: Connecting, Solid: Connected
Green for charging status: Flashing is charging, Solid is fully charged, and it will auto shut off after 5 seconds.
Red for battery status, when blinking 3 times the battery is low.
Then there are some actual photos in the FCC documents. Now these images aren’t of the highest quality, but it’s a ‘leak’ so yeah. This is the best I can do at the moment.
And two more with the charger and the pedal removed from the spindle:
Where Garmin has all electronics in the spindle, this seems to be impossible at the moment for Wahoo. I’m not 100% sure, but the spindle seems to have a smaller diameter. Maybe a future generation.
POWRLINK ZERO Expectations
Wahoo is pretty secretive about the actual specs. So the questions you might have are: Is it accurate, how does it connect, and what does it cost?
So all these we have to guess. Accuracy, that is hard to say. My expectation is that it will be in the 1-2% range, basically right up there with the most trusted power meters on the market right now.
Now you want to know the price. Don’t we all? We don’t really have anything to go from, bar the competition. Garmin Vector 3 has an MRSP of $899. My guess, with Wahoo’s pricing of the Speedplay pedals themselves, it will be a bit more expensive and around that $900-$1000 mark.
More Eye Candy
Here are some more detailed photo’s of the new pedals, with pricing (and price compare) after this Gallery. I’ve selected the AERO and NANO for the photo’s. As apart from the colour changes you can see above, there’s no difference in looks and this gallery would become very repetitive.
The prices at launch, in my opinion, are a bit steep, especially if you compare them to current on the market Shimano SPD-SL or LOOK pedals.
For example, the entry level COMP has an MRSP of €149 (about $180) and the LOOK KEO 2 MAX Carbon set comes in at $123 at Amazon. And for Shimano the COMP already is more expensive than the ‘105’, which, interestingly also sells for $123 at Amazon. Moreover, the next price category already puts you on Dura Ace pedals, which is Shimano Top of the line. At least the NANO MRSP has dropped quite a bit from $630.
In the following table I’ve put the Recommended Selling price next to some pedals in the same price range.
If you use any of the links below I get a small fee if you buy something. It doesn’t make it more expensive for you, but does help me. So would really appreciate it!
|COMP||105||Max 2 Pro Carbon|
|ZERO||Dura Ace||Blade Carbon CR Ceramic|
|NANO||??||Blade Carbon Ceramic TI Road Pedals|
Now for the AERO, there aren’t really any alternatives in terms of ‘aero’ claim. So I’ve left those out as, from what I can tell, it’s a ZERO with aero improvements.
And finally the Wahoo POWRLINK ZERO Price is ‘to be Announced’.
Just a note about the “links to buy” in this article, as they are sponsored. I do look for the lowest price I can find at the time of writing in a handful of stores, but by using the links I earn from qualifying purchases made through these links.