Wahoo Fitness just fulfilled a promise by making available the first Wahoo-era Speedplay pedals in multiple spindle lengths. A standard spindle is 53mm, sometimes 54mm, and is measured from the pedal shoulder to the center of the pedal platform. The pedal shoulder is the spot where the pedal mates to the crank once it’s threaded as far as it can go.
In the image below you can see how this is measured, and in this image below the spindle length is 56mm. Spindles in various lengths has been a major selling feature of Speedplay and is a favorite pedal of among the bike fit community for this (among others) reason. When Wahoo Fitness purchased Speedplay the company chose to pare down the line in ways that reduced the need for a broad inventory, but preserved most of the functionality offered. One of thrsr function-based features was this.
Accordingly, the wide range of available colors was dropped, and variable-length spindles are available again. Starting today the Speedplay ZERO will be available in 56mm, 59mm, and 65mm spindle lengths in addition to the standard 53mm length. All three additional lengths are available only from Wahoo retailers and select bike fitters. All three cost $279.99 per pair. The Speedplay Zero in a standard 53mm spindle length sells for $229.99.
This means, yes, the previously available 50mm spindle length is gone, but Speedplay's sales of this spindle length were on the order of a few dozen pedals a year. The other major pedal maker who offers another spindle length is Shimano, with its (standard) 54mm pedal and an available 58mm spindle.
The pedals will come in boxes like these above. The packaging impressions where the pedals sit are made for the 65mm spindle, and each successively shorter spindle ends some distance from the end of the molded impression. If you look you can see this. The upper-left box contains pedals with 65mm spindles, middle row left is 56mm, middle-right is 59mm, the box at the bottom of the picture has Zeros with 53mm spindles.
I use variable length spindles because I ride a bit splay-footed and if I ride with standard 53mm spindles my heels tend to contact both the crank (when the pedal is in its forward position) and the bike’s chain stay (when the pedal is facing directly backward). For this reason I ride either a 56mm or 59mm spindle in this pedal.
In the pic just above this bike has a 56mm spindle and that’s because this spindle on this bike, with a Shimano Dura Ace 9200 crankset, gives me the crank and chain stay clearance I want and the stance width I prefer.
You’ll note in that pic above that the pedal shoulder does not get sucked into a deep depression in the crankarm. Some cranks have a rather deep impression that helps riders gain exactly the stance width they want. Such is the case with the SRAM Force AXS crank below, and on this bike I have a Speedplay Zero in a 59mm spindle size.
This crank needs this pedal in this size or else the pedal body sits a little too close to the crank (and my cycling shoe heel hits both the chain stay and the crankarm, the way I have my pedals adjusted). There is of course a workaround, which SRAM expects you to deploy: Use a pedal washer (SRAM's cranks come standard with pedal washers). As you move pedals from bike to bike keep in mind that these depressions in the crank arm change both your stance width and your crank and chain stay clearances. (As do certain new road and gravel standards, such as the “wide” road standard adding 5mm to your total stance width).
We've written on some of the other features that make this pedal distinct. We've also written here on the case for longer pedal spindles. Then there's Wahoo Speedplay's own product page.
On a related note, we'll be announcing a new initiative here called Brand Friendly, where we school graduates of our F.I.S.T. Bike Fit School with a drilldown on specific brands. We just hosted our first class and Wahoo Speedplay was our first non-bike brand we chose. Soon those who're "Speedplay Friendly" will be listed on our bike fitter database, alongside fitters who're Canyon Friendly and Quintana Roo Friendly (with more fitters and brands to come).