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Look versus Speedplay?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Once I've clicked in, I like my Look Keo pedals (middle range). Releasing them is no problem, but sometimes (not always), clicking in has been eratic.

First, your comments on technique, please.

Second, your comments on Look versus Speedplay.
post #2 of 12
Coments - get used to it. It's a skill. You just have to get used to where the cleat is on your shoe. That said, I prefer the Look to the Speedplay. If you are looking for a change, I'd check into Time and Shimano.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
epic, except for the clicking in part, I have no wish to change. I've heard that Speedplay, being two sided, is a bit easier to get into. However, if I develop a bomb-proof click-in with the Looks, I will promptly forget about other pedals.
post #4 of 12
Oboe,
Check the spring adjustment on your looks. My father has sprints on his bike and he has a tough time getting into his (has to force his cleat into them). The small hex on the pedal adjusts the spring tightness... They seem to come set fairly low usually, but his came quite tight and had to be loosened.

Regarding the Speedplay, I have heard that the cleats are huge on them... and if overall weight is a factor that they end up weighing more because of the size of the cleat... (not sure if that is true or not though). I have been pleased with my classics and I expect that my Sprints will be just as good when I get them on the new ride. I only wish I could afford the Carbon's with the Ti spindle (although by spring my new ride should be pretty hot)... Anyhow, I heard that if you're interested in being able to walk that Speedplay pedals aren't all that they are cracked up to be.

Later

GREG
post #5 of 12
Hi Oboe--

I'm a very big fan of Speedplay pedals, but pedals are a personal preference sort of thing--not everyone loves them.

When I switched to Speedplays, after various pedals with limited and spring-centered "float" like your Looks, they felt odd at first. But the oddness faded quickly, and soon they felt entirely normal. I haven't pedaled anything else for quite a while, and I don't intend to.

Speedplays really are easy to click into. As you know, they're double-sided, so all you have to do is press down and go. They never--ever--"pre-release," but they are also easy to get out of when you need to. On my older "X" series Speedplays, you have to turn your heel out quite a ways before they let go, but there is little resistance to that twist. If it concerns you, the new "Light Action" series is described as even easier to enter and exit. And the newer models also allow you to limit the free float if you want to.

The only downside I've found to the Speedplays is their susceptibility to dirt, sand, snow, or other contamination. Just a little bit makes them very difficult to click in. The newer models have improved that, I'm told, with a slightly redesigned cleat and retention spring. And Speedplay road cleats are absolutely not made for walking! They make rubber covers for the cleats that help a lot, and protect the fragile aluminum cleats, but if you intend to walk much in your shoes, you should look elsewhere--or look at the Speedplay "Frog" mountainbike pedals and mountain shoes.

Good luck! Winter's coming, so I hope you get a chance to get some good riding in before the snow flies, whatever you choose.

Best regards,
Bob
post #6 of 12
Hey Heluvaskier--I see that I just repeated some of what you had already written--sorry about that! But you're right about the size of the Speedplay cleats and their unsuitability for walking. The cleats are not very heavy, though, being mostly aluminum. Even the heaviest models of Speedplays, with their cleats, make a very light pedal system. Their newest model, just announced, weighs almost nothing--62 grams or something like that per pedal, with superlight cleats as well. And carbon fiber and ceramic bearings and titanium...all for the bargain price of $500.

That's what you need, Oboe!



Remember that Speedplays differ from other pedal systems in that the release and retention mechanism is in the cleat, rather than the pedal. Other than the bearings they rotate on, there are no moving parts in the pedals whatsoever.

Best regards,
Bob
post #7 of 12
I won't debate on weight or other brands- just here to say that the float on Speedplay pedals is unbeatable. (opinion of course) They are probably one of the simplest mechanism's and require almost zero maintenance too.

I will agree that the cleats are large, and at first make walking difficult but you quickly adjust. How much walking do you really do in cycling shoes anyhow?
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado View Post
Their newest model, just announced, weighs almost nothing--62 grams or something like that per pedal, with superlight cleats as well. And carbon fiber and ceramic bearings and titanium...all for the bargain price of $500.
$$ : : $$

Wow. Thats all I have to say.

Considering the systems we are talking about here, I doubt will will go wrong with any choice oboe... Look, Speedplay, Time, Shimano, etc... all make great high end pedals, so it will ultimately come down to personal preference.

BTW, I didn't realize the entire release mech was in the cleat... basically that means that by traditional thought the pedal is the cleat and cleat is the pedal... hm.

Later

GREG
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input, guys. All things considered, I'll not be buying pedals that cost more than brand new skis on proform:

Exiting the Looks is no problem. As I said above, my only - ONLY complaint about the Look Keo is my varying skill on clicking in. I think that if I'm slower, more patient, and get more practice, it's 95% that I'll be staying with Look.
post #10 of 12
Sounds good, Oboe. As with anything, practice (at least, "perfect practice") does make perfect. Without a doubt, you will learn to get into those Look pedals much more easily with practice.

If you're still thinking about that last 5%, research discussions about the benefits and disadvantages of free float vs. limited and/or spring-centered float vs. no float at all (rare in pedals these days). I like how the free float of Speedplays puts little stress on my knees during the pedaling cycle. On the other hand, some people claim that too much float can also contribute to knee problems.

Either way, the most important difference between Speedplays and most other pedal systems is the complete free float of the "X" series (still available), and the screw-limitable, but still non-centering, float of the newer Speedplay models.

Best regards,
Bob
post #11 of 12

Look pedal technique

Quote:
Originally Posted by oboe View Post
Thanks for the input, guys. All things considered, I'll not be buying pedals that cost more than brand new skis on proform:

Exiting the Looks is no problem. As I said above, my only - ONLY complaint about the Look Keo is my varying skill on clicking in. I think that if I'm slower, more patient, and get more practice, it's 95% that I'll be staying with Look.
I use look Keo pedals as well. I actually find them to be relatively easy to click in to because due to the mass at the back end of the pedal they always hang in exactly the same way. They may be one sided, but they always hang tip up. The biggest learning item for me was that the tip of the cleat is further back on my shoe than I think it is. Once you find that engagement point it becomes really easy to 'hook' the tip of the pedal (always pointing straight up) with the tip of the cleat, and as you pedal that first half stroke, push down at the bottom of the pedal arc and feel/hear the resounding click.

One slight downside I have found is that the cleat itself is not at all durable in terms of walking on it, and it's crazy slippery. If you intend to walk more than about 5 steps in your bike shoes, get a set of the little rubber cleat covers for $10 at your bike shop. They are great, improve traction (so you don't DIE before you even get to your bike), and I have noticed almost zero cleat wear since I started using them.

And of course there are three colors of look cleat to choose from depending on how much float you want side to side before you release. I'm still using the middle set (grey) that came with my pedals. I have a set of red (lots of float) to try. They also sell black, I believe, which offer NO float.

-Adam
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
The only problem I've had clicking into the Keos is that they SPIN - thus messing up my already messed up coordination. I'll take BB up un his (and V. Lombardi's) advice - perfect practice makes perfect. . . and the more I ride, the better I get. If only skiing worked that way for me . . .
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Off-Season Sports & The Lighter Side › Cycling › Look versus Speedplay?