NEW LOOK KÉO2MAX CARBON PEDALS Review
LOOK KÉO BLADE CARBON UPDATE
But first, an update on the LOOK KEO BLADE CARBON PEDALS that I reviewed back on June 1, 2017, and, as you can see, since June, I have put in a lot of miles on these pedals. That would be around 2,500 miles.
So, what’s been my experience with these so far?
- When they are oriented in the right direction, they are the easiest pedals I have used to clip in. 90% of the time, I have experienced a secure snap when clicking into these pedals.
- Blades perfectly secure the cleats to the pedals. Three tension release levels are offered: 12Nm, 16Nm and 20Nm. These pedals have the 12Nm blades installed. The “12’s” work OK, but my foot does slip around when compared to a Shimano Blue Cleat on an Ultegra or Dura-Ace pedal. If I knew then what I know now, I would have chosen the 16’s and more than likely the 20’s.
- With 2,500 miles on the pedals, the carbon bodies are still solid and show very little wear.
THE NOT SO GOOD
- The spindles don’t turn quite as easily as when these pedals had less miles on them. That’s the bad news. The good news is that they are extremely easy to take apart, clean and/or install new bearings.
- I am right leg dominant, so, I put my right foot down when coming to a stop. The problem has been that sometimes when I start, I don’t always get the cleat fully engaged. The problem with an ultra-wide platform that has sharp outer edges, this has cut my lower leg several times. As an attempt to fix this, I finally took a file and some sandpaper and ground off the outer edge of the right pedal. You can just see this in the photo below. This has helped but still, occasionally, my cleat will slip on the pedal and my leg will get scraped, but not cut. For this issue, I am looking forward to testing the KEO2MAX CARBON pedals since they shortened the width slightly as well as smoothed the outer edges.
- With 2,500 miles on the pedals, the steel cleat platforms show quite a lot of scuffing.
- In my opinion, the cleats still have too much float for my liking.
- These specific cleats are still as slippery as walking on ice.
NEW LOOK KÉO2MAX CARBON PEDALS
LOOK’s NEW line of ROAD pedals includes 3 categories; RACE, GRANFONDO, COMFORT.
So how do the KEO2MAX stack up to the ‘BLADES’?
Look offers 2 main road cleats in the KÉO product line. They are identical except one includes anti-slip rubber grip pads (called KÉO GRIP), the other, called KÉO CLEAT (pictured on the left), are without these anti-slip rubber pads. The ‘New Model’ KEO2MAX CARBON pedals come with the KÉO GRIPs (pictured to the right).
Since my shoes were already setup with the KEO CLEATs, I jumped right onto the bike.
PEDAL PAGE (LOOK WESBITE)
Here is where their literature gets a little confusing. If you go to the LOOKCYCLE.COM website and look at the Keo 2 Max Carbon pedal specifications, under FLOAT it says “8 or 12 adjustable spring.” When they refer to FLOAT of a pedal, they mean how much spring tension force is used to keep the cleat retained into the pedal.
When referring to “8 or 12 adjustable spring,” there is a slight translation problem between French and English. What they meant to say was “8 to 12 adjustable spring tensions.”
CLEAT PAGE (LOOK WEBSITE)
Now, looking at their CLEAT webpage, they also talk about FLOAT OPTIONS. Here is where the typical float definition is used … that being, how many degrees the heel of the shoe can move left and right.
This new pedal has been redesigned. Two major areas of redesign are (a) an increase of 25% in contact surface area (both wider and taller), and (b) re-engineered pedal spindle that distributes the load more evenly along the spindle. Other differences are;
• The KEO2MAX New pedal has a $$ MSRP (check price) vs $$$ for the Carbon Blades.
CONTACT SURFACE AREA
• The KEO2MAX (old) had a contact surface area of 400 mm². The KEO2MAX NEW pedals have a contact surface area of 500 mm². The Carbon Blades have a contact surface area of 700 mm². Even during a recent hill workout with 4,000ft of climbing, I did not feel any difference between 500 mm² and 700 mm².
• The platform on the KEO2MAX (old) is 57mm, the KEO2MAX NEW is 60mm. The carbon blades 67mm. Again, I felt no difference between 60mm and 67mm.
• The corners and edges of the KEO2MAX NEW are less sharp so that if your foot slips off the pedal when trying to clip-in, you won’t cut your leg like you might with the carbon blades.
• The New KEO2MAX Carbon pedals have an advertised weigh of 125gm. The Carbon Blades are 110gm. That makes the New KEO2MAX only 15gm or 0.53oz heavier, AND $90 lighter!
• With their larger platform, these pedals are just as easy to snap into as the carbon blades. The pedals are located at the perfect angle so when starting to roll after a red light, raise your foot and start pedaling. It’s an automatic movement. It’s unbelievable how easy it is to clip in and clip out.
• After 2,500 miles, the carbon blades have a little more resistance than when new. So much so, that they are not at the right angle anymore when up-clipping at a stop light. So, instead of the heavier rear part of the pedal facing down after un-clipping, they will sort of stay in the position they were at when you un-clipped. This makes it harder to snap into after the light turns green. I am curious to see how these NEW KEO2MAX Carbon pedals perform after 2,500 miles. The New KEO2MAX pedals do look solid!
• Out of the box, these pedals are set to the lightest retention setting of 8. After my first ride, I added 4 clicks bumping me to a 9 for more retention. Running the plunger all the way in and out, it appears that there are 15 clicks of additional retention. This is adjusted by the 3mm hex bolt located at the top rear of the pedal. 15 clicks mean 16 different tensions available. My guess would be that since the tensions are from 8-12, 4 additional clicks would give you 9, 4 more would be 10, and so on.
• Easily changeable springs.
For added reliability and increased efficiency, the NEW KEO2MAX Carbon pedals use a Chromoly Plus steel axle comprised of both an inner ball bearing and needle bearing located under the contact surface to better distribute the load more evenly.
HOW DO THEY RIDE?
The KEO2MAX Carbon pedals were as smooth as glass. A full carbon body makes them light and strong, as well as the spring retention system tight and strong. I like the 15 clicks of adjustability and that you can change for spring tension.
While not quite as much surface area as the Blades, there was enough to make for a very stable platform, i.e., no foot rocking back and forth.
I also like the fact that clipping into the pedals is very quick and easy. My feet were always in line and all I had to do was get my cleat close to the pedal and it would snap-in. Then just pedal and go. It’s really that simple and easy. No looking down and hunting around for where your pedals are.
MAKE SURE YOU GET THE CORRECT PEDALS
If you search for “KEO 2 MAX Pedals”, you will likely get the old pedals as well as the new pedals.
Here’s how to tell them apart.
1) The screen printing on the pedal body is slightly different.
2) The biggest difference is the shape of the steel plate (platform). The ‘NEW” model is taller and wider (+100mm² to be exact) and has 2 smaller cutouts instead of a single long horizontal cutout.
Make sure you get the NEW model.
These are really a workhorse of a pedal! YES, they are as smooth as silk and provide maximum power transfer. They work and perform every bit as good as the Carbon Blades and at $90 less, these are a no brainer for your next set of pedals.