Speedplay Zeros have proven to be one of the best pedals to dance with; light, low stack height, and incredible cornering clearance. The Speedplay Zero Nanogram Titanium is that much better and represents a major step forward for what is already the pedal of choice for Team Saxobank-Sungard.
Speedplay decided that their light pedal wasn't light enough. We wrote a review of the stainless steel-axled Zeros last year and found them a pretty amazing component. Turns out, there were ways to make them lighter. So Speedplay did just that and call it the Nano. 65g per pedal is feathery light.
A quick eyeball reveals nothing different. In some respects, nothing is different. Same shape spindle and body, with bowties and indents at the same places. But a second glance shows something is up. There are no wrench flats on the spindle. That's because the titanium spindle has a fitting for a 6mm Allen key on the end of the spindle. The black body isn't the usual composite plastic but hard carbon; the bowties aren't steel, but aluminum. And the bolts holding the bowties together are titanium.
There are more changes still. There are still three sets of bearings inside the pedal, one needle and two ball. But the larger of the two ball bearing sets have ceramic balls running on stainless steel races. (They investigated making the other two ceramic as well, but couldn't find ceramic needle bearings and found no performance difference swapping in ceramic on the smaller balls) The bearings are lubed with a lighter grease that further reduces friction. Yes, they'll need more frequent lubing, but the performance benefit is worth it. At the far end of the pedal, a titanium bolt holds the pedal body on the spindle. On the near end, a new rubber o-ring featuring nanotubes keeps grease in and the outside out.
The cleat also looks the same. And is similarly different. That the spring kit is black, not yellow, is obvious, but you can't see that the plastic housing is carbon. Likewise, it is hard to tell that the screws that hold everything in place are aluminum, not steel.
With all the changes, each pedal weighs in at 65g. A set is 130g. The cleats are 44.25g (88g per pair) if you use the setup for three-hole mounting, a mere 27.5g (55g per pair) if you use the four-hole mounting. At worst, you're looking at 109.25g of pedal and cleat per foot. Even if you don't run light socks, this is a pretty nice weight savings.
You're probably wondering what the cost of all this weight savings is. One you've already surmised. The titanium pedal spindle has a maximum recommended rider weight of 185lbs, the same as their other ti'-spindled pedals. Another you might have guessed, too; slightly extra vigilance with the bearings. That's easy, as the pedals are simple to care for and Speedplay is selling a grease gun with the new grease inside. The second thing is that even though the aluminum bolts on the cleat are as strong as the old steel bolts, they are designed for one-time use. For this reason, Speedplay also includes a set of steel bolts with the cleats. Use the steel bolts to set and fine-tune the cleat position, and then pull out the steel bolts and tighten in the aluminum (following torque specs here is important). Once in place, these cleats wear like other Speedplay cleats.
But the reason Speedplay is referring to this as a "race-day-only" pedal is not any of the above. It is the following. The aluminum bowties will probably last no longer than a season of daily use. They can call it "race-day-only" all they want, but we know plenty who will gladly put up with the extra hassles just to get these helium balloons tied to their feet.
The Speedplay Zero Nanogram Pedals come packaged in a collectible tin. The weight is 129g for the pair of pedals without cleats and hardware.
Please Note: Due to manufacturer restrictions, we are unable to ship Speedplay products outside the United States.