Look Keo pedals.

Sep 2, 2009
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#1
My mate is interested in getting some Look Keo pedals, of some sort, and I don't have any experience with them to give him any opinions, so wondered if any of you have them, and what can you tell me about them to pass on to him?

I realise that there are a number of different models in the range, but any info you have on them would be gratefully received.

Cheers
 

FarEast

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#2
I use the Keo Blades -freakin love them not as floaty as the iClicks or look as bad as them but they are really good and come in a wide variety of models and colours.

They can be striped down and cleaned as well as replace the bearings yourself and if you want to go weight weenie there are 3rd parties that can make titanium spindles and Teramic bearing sets for them.

Cleat last a lot longer to boot.

Forgot to mention I have 2 pairs of them - one on my race bike and one on my training bike. I'm looking at getting a cheapy version of the Look Keo's for my winter beater that I just built up.
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#3
Nice one.

Yeah, this is for my mate who is wanting to move from a very cheap set of Shimano MTB pedals to something a bit different, and had his eye on some Looks.

Cheers for the info.

I am actually thinking about changing pedals too, as despite being lovely in use, I have busted yet another set of Time pedals, and just can't be arsed to go through the whole send it back to the seller process again. Was honestly thinking about just getting a set of Dura Ace and being done with it for the next 5 years, instead of constantly having to deal with things snapping.
 

stanc

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#4
I use the Look Keo Classics on both of my bikes and no complaints here. I use the grey cleats, I thought I might find the float a little restricted but its fine.
 

GSAstuto

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Oct 11, 2009
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#5
Ditto - Keo Blades. Paid around 9000 yen at Probike Kit. Just checked they are listed at 12,000 yen - but you might find a voucher code and other discounts floating around. Great pedals. No complaints here except the Look cleats are a bit soft and you should make sure to get cleat covers while you're at it. Oh, yeah, they ship with the grey Cleats but I suggest the Black dual-grip ones. Zero float and a little more resistant to scuffing. Real men don't float.
 

FarEast

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#6
Put it this way - with Bernard Hinualt, Greg Lemond as test pilots for the original pedals you can't go wrong! They pioneered the clipless pedal and everyone else for years basically copied the design.
 

FarEast

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#7
Real men don't float.
Yeah and they end up with screwed up knees and find it difficult to walk in later years....but they are real men ;)

In regards to float I use the 4.5 degree float pedals, having the ability to turn the foot slightly, especailly on longer rides can prevent fatigue or issues with swelling of the knee joints - all my shoes use the 4.5's however my indoor shoes have zero float cleats.
 

GSAstuto

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#9
I'm 54yo and never had knee problems. Mainly ride in 52 or 53 chainring less than 90rpm, have used for the greater part of my riding years shoes with nailed in cleats. The only knee problem I've ever suffered was due to a 'mechanical issue' of severing it at the plateau tibia in a motorcycle accident.

I just don't buy into the logic of 'float prevents knee issues'. And I don't buy into the logic that lower cadence and higher effort destroy knees.

What hurts your knees is having an improper fit to begin with and poor pedal stroke. And to some degree genetics - but nothing will help that, not even all the float in the world. if you have 'bad knees' you are screwed.

There is enough float built-in your system to begin with. This includes the natural knee flexion and the slop in the shoes. Why do pedal makers bother with float spec'd pedals - even to the degree they do ?? 3 degree, 4degrees, 6 , etc . I can wiggle my toes and be all over that range. It's just koolaid if you ask me. I'd rather have as tight connection as possible between the shoe and the pedal so I can adjust it properly and have it stay where its put.

If the rider has a cattywampus stroke pattern to begin with due to poor training habits or perhaps a pre-existing condition such as damaged tendons or physical structure issue, I can see it. But I believe that's really in the minority and not majority of serious riders.

Yeah and they end up with screwed up knees and find it difficult to walk in later years....but they are real men ;)

In regards to float I use the 4.5 degree float pedals, having the ability to turn the foot slightly, especailly on longer rides can prevent fatigue or issues with swelling of the knee joints - all my shoes use the 4.5's however my indoor shoes have zero float cleats.
 

FarEast

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#10
There are a lot of professional fitters and riders that will disagree with you. Oh and if you have slop in your shoe then you have the wrong size or a low quality heel cup.

To quote a professional fitter on another forum:

"To put it simply, force transmitted to the pedal produces abduction of the foot, with the degree of that abduction depending on the individual. If the foot is constrained by a fixed cleat, it cannot abduct. That results in tibial rotation, whose outward sign is lateral movement of the knee joint ("the wobbles.")

People differ vastly in how much tibial rotation they experience with a fixed cleat, and in how much they can tolerate such a rotation. The two main factors that account for that difference are (1) the biomechanical relationships of the bones in the leg and the foot, and (2) the strength and flexibility of the connective tissue."


Even with a perfect fitting shoe, cleat setup with wedges, bike fit etc. majority of riders are still going to need room for tibial rotation.

Also there has been a lot of studies by teams regarding power transfer between fixed cleat and cleat with float and there is no conclusive evidence that it improves perfromance. But hey if it makes you feel like a man and a superior rider then by all means ride with the fixed cleat and fixed gear, fixed what ever - it's all about getting out there and enjoying the ride any way you can.

But even the original shoe cleat that was used on toe strap pedals had 4 degree float in them to allow for rotation in the pedal.
 

GSAstuto

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#11
I'm sure there are! I'm just raising the point (in a slightly strong manner) that there are other sides to the equation and one doesn't necessarily need to accept the gospel according to St. Pro.

In fact most knee problems I've seen in riders stem from being:

1) Overweight to begin with. And then jumping on a bike because their doc said they need to. The knee was /is already f*d from being stomped on over it's intended structural load limit for too long.

2) Erratic, inconsistent training and not allowing the knee acclimatize to extended use. 'Binge' riders suffer this alot.

3) Asymetrical fit. Where the alignment on the pedals was not evenly balanced between both legs.

4) Bizarre fit. Fill in the blanks here. I've seen some pretty weird positions on a bike. Knees slapping the top tube, splayed out, seat too high , too low, etc etc etc. I cringe with pain just watching.

5) Poor muscle balance. Over conditioning or favoring particular muscle group instead of developing a balanced approached. And not learning how to transfer power between the muscles. Basically just 'hammering away' at the pedals with no consciousness of the action.

But seldom have I seen the real issue related to a finite degree or two of a nebulous mechanical specification called 'float'.

There are a lot of professional fitters and riders that will disagree with you.
 

Aron B

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#12
I'm using Look Keo 2 Max Carbon pedals (90 euro in 2010). They're fine for me, don't have anything to compare it with. My first pair lasted about three years of reasonably heavy use, probably in the order of 20000km, then one literally broke off. I use the grey cleats, my only complaint is that they're too expensive for how quickly they wear down.
 

FarEast

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#13
Agree with all those points - unfortunately as one very well known person in the industry points out, many of these issues start in childhood could you imagine how different it would be if we had worn shoes, ridden bikes etc that were fitted rather than the age old "Oh you'll grow in to it" or "Oh you can wear ride that for a few more months"

We've all been there.

However this isn't "St. Pro" talking this is Doctors, Designers and Industry leaders that have spent millions researching this technology as well as years of anatomy studies that have proven that regardless we are all born with one foot longer than the other, one leg longer than the other and that regardless of how many hours you spend in the gym or on the bike training you'll always have a lead leg that is stronger than the other or one side of your core muscle groups that pulls and all these factors (Including the fact that riding the bicycle is not what our bodies were ultimately designed for) will cause problems if the leg is "Fixed" in place.

One of the reasons why the Speed play pedals are so prolific in the Peleton is becasue of the float but also the fixed sensations - out of all the pedals on the market many riders feel that it solves many of the issues of float yet also letting them feel more fixed to the bike.

In regards to this statement " But seldom have I seen the real issue related to a finite degree or two of a nebulous mechanical specification called 'float'." No you're, and as most issues are cuased by other factors as mentioned above but not allowing knee float (Becasue thats exactly what the float is for) will certainly casue more issues and problems.
 

GSAstuto

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#14
I agree with most of those points. In fact, I'm strongly considering the Speedplays as well - mainly because the tighter fit to the sole - hey remember - I'm used to Cinelli 71's as my first 'clip-on' (or should I say clamp on) pedal. Some of the points you cover overlap strongly with your own preaching especially in terms of proper coaching and fitting. I never rode 'right' until I experienced a couple weeks with a real coach and mechanic. My life changed in those 2 weeks. From top to bottom. Having a totally integrated approach to the cycle was the most inspiring and enlightening change to my involvement in the sport. And this was 'typical' !!

DS Says: "You need a bike" , "Lets Measure" My measurement go into 'The Book'.
DS Says: "Go to this address and get shoes" I go and they make shoe forms. A week later - new shoes. They actually fit.
DS Says: "Go with Cesare, he will make your riding plan". Basically a list of the rides I must complete with other intro riders before even joining a club ride.

I get my bike - of course it fits because it's made that way. Then the mechanic fits it even better. Then the DS / Coach tweaks it more.

So, there is a constant feedback refinement loop going between rider, mechanic, DS and Coach.

I think now, with the internet, there is too much virtual interaction and not enough direct interaction. It's like the pendulum swinging too far in the other direction. So , people's descions are not holistic or integrated - they are differentiated by reviews, forum threads, etc.

If I was seriously approaching this sport as a newcomer I'd just ask for a few days of coaching and fitting by you and Chuck (or other qualified pros) to get off on the right foot, so to speak. That would solve innumerable issues right from the start as well as provide some starting base point of rational experience and knowledge.

Anyway - I love my Looks, float or not, they are great pedals. The only issue I've had was some squeaking on the cleat - but changing to the zero-float Black/White/Grip version solved that. The Shimano SPD-SL I was using felt kind of 'springy' to me - and I delveoped hot spots on my metatarsals more - which is a killer pain for me due my old MC injury. I get that much less with the Looks.
 

FarEast

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#15
Tim - totally agree with a lot you say. Unfortunately new members to the sport just want to ride and its only until they are really smitten with the sport and start wanting to push the bounderies and performance that they start to understand the importance of correct fit and technique.

However most bulk at the idea of the initial expense of the bike and kit - add a fitting and a 3 day coaching plan and you'll see them marching for the door.

It's one of the great things about the coaching classes I do at Gold's Gym. I'm catching people that are do spinning classes or exercise bikes to get fit and are also looking to purchase a bike.

I'm able to spot "wobble" and educate on fit even before they straddle a real bike. I also has given me somewhat of a reputation as a "clairvoyant" or "Bike whisperer" as I've approached athletes in the class and asking about how they injured knees, hips and ankles - the look I get is rather amusing but I've been around bike, builders and coaches since I was 6 and you start to get an eye for these things.

One woman in particular I introduced to a custom shoe fitter in Yokohama, who specializes in cycling, ski and running insoles. She told me it’s changed her life and she is no longer living in pain and can now buy shoes that she likes rather than shoes that don't cause her knee pain both in and out of the gym.

But going back to fitting, admittedly I’d never been professional fitted until the ePerformance staff camp, I’d always pretty much dialed myself in to the bike – even now I can set up my bikes to within a centimeter of my scientific fit by eye, just from years and years of building up my own bike and riding.

However that 2 hour session with Patrick and Charles (Pro Race Mechanic) made the world of difference, especially cleat alignment and stack height.
 

Desune

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May 7, 2008
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#18
I'm also running Look Keo Classics (in red). No complaints so far, but I have not tried other brands so I can't compare.

I also use the gray cleats. It would seem to me that a bit of variety in foot position would be a good thing, considering the repetitive nature of pedaling. I have no idea what that has to do with being a "real" man...or not.

Recently tried the bare plastic cleats to save a few bucks, but it's not worth it. The Grip Cleats, with the rubber bits are much better...and as someone else mentioned, cleat covers.
 

Yamabushi

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#19
Was honestly thinking about just getting a set of Dura Ace and being done with it for the next 5 years, instead of constantly having to deal with things snapping.
Dura Ace SPD-SL FTW, IMHO! Nearly indestructible, nearly maintenance free, cleats are very walkable and durable, and three float choices, red (fixed/no float), blue (2° float), yellow (6° float).