Look S-Track Pedals Rating
- Total Score
Price: check here
- Large bearings
- adjustable cleat height
- good amount of float
- It can be time consuming setting the cleats up properly
User Review( vote)
When working in a bike shop, people come in and ask for advice, as they should. One of the weird things though was when you advised them of something different from magazines.
Perhaps they wanted a bike that had got a 5-star review, but in the shop, you have a nightmare with warranties for said bike. You’d then be accused of trying to sell them something different and were just after their money.
It’s a weird thing to happen, and it happens a lot. One of the products I used to recommend to people was Look S-Tracks pedals, but because they were not Shimano SPD pedals people thought I was getting a commission from them, I wasn’t, I just felt they were a good pedal.
To be fair, I was pretty similar in opinion when I was first coaxed into trying a set, although the person cajoling me was the Look rep.
Float and pedal contact
One of the things the rep talked to me was the lateral and angular float on the S-tracks pedal. He was right. They felt noticeably different from SPD pedals right from the off. They almost feel like you’re on a secure set of flat pedals but with the benefits of being clipped in.
I felt less restricted than I did with Shimano pedals, this I think is why I feel they are one of the best clipless pedals for beginners.
They let you feel that should you need to you’ll be able to get your foot out quickly and easily if something goes wrong. For a beginner, this is reassuring. You don’t have the feeling that you might be going down with the ship if you happen to have a tumble.
The reason for the feel is the way the Look S-Track pedal and cleats connect. When you look at the pedal, you’ll some raised metal bars. These bars look similar to Time ATAC and Crank Brother’s Egg Beater pedals.
On these pedals, though your shoe will rest on the metal bars, this feeling can take getting a little getting used to feeling. It feels like your trying to walk across ice initially.
With the S-Tracks though your foot rests on the raised plastic part in the center of the pedal. Look do this through the use of elastomers with the cleats. The elastomers are the best and the worst part of the Look S-track pedal.
The con for them is that they are a little bit more fiddly and time-consuming to fit than other cleats. You use them to set the cleat to the correct height for your shoes. They do come with a nice easy to follow guide.
Mud free cleat design
Look calls their cleat system DCS (Dynamic Cleat System), and this is a nice simple system by which mud and the other debris picked up on a ride is removed from the cleat. The way this happens is because of the cutouts that you can see in the above image.
Commuting through winter in Glasgow these cleats have stayed remarkably free of debris. I have had issues with ATACs and SPDs here. It also helps to make the S-Tracks an excellent choice for mountain bikers, gravel grinders, and cyclocross racers.
There is nothing worse than taking a foot out to keep yourself upright and discovering you have so much mud stuck to your cleat that you can’t get it to connect again. Meaning you either get off and clean it or take that tumble a little further on.
The S-Tracks have super smooth bearings. The pedals in the image above are 2 years old, and the bearings are still spinning smoothly. They have been mountain biking and gravel biking for a lot of that time. They have seen some atrocious weather and have always come up smelling of roses.
Again it is a simple reason for why the bearings are lasting so long. The bearings are much bigger than you’ll find on other clipless pedal designs. The ability to deal with terrible weather and less than ideal conditions makes the S-Tracks possibly the best pedal for gravel riding.
Gravel riding can at times be harder on your bearings than mountain biking. The surface of gravel roads (in America) and canal towpaths (in Europe) makes for a fine grinding paste for bearings. It just kills them. The fact I’ve had the same bearings in these pedals for 2 years now, and they still don’t feel gritty is a great sign.
Best clipless pedal for beginners
All of the above is partly why I think the Look S-Tracks are the best pedal for beginners, even if you have a road bike. With the S-Tracks pedals, you’ll be needing a more mountain bike style shoe. The advantage of mountain bike shoes over road shoes is that mountain bike shoes come with grip.
If you want a laugh watch road cyclists trying to walk with their coffee when they have a café stop. The shoes and big road cleats make walking across the floor similar to walking across ice. Yes, you get used to it and eventually don’t even realize but why tempt a fall that will keep your friends amused for months?
It may also be a more pertinent piece of advice if you clipless pedals on your commuter bike. You might have to walk your bike around issues and possibly around your workmates. You don’t want an embarrassing fall at work.
Cleat height adjustment
As we mentioned Look have height adjustment shims with their cleats. Once you’ve correctly set them for your shoe, you’ll find Look S-Tracks one of the easiest pedals to clip in and out. Which is excellent news if you’re new to cycling.
I might sound like I’ve drunk the Kool-Aid, but I feel that the Look pedals are everything a great clipless pedal should be. They are so good that I pretty much forget all about them, even when riding technical bits of offroad and constantly taking my foot in and out of them.
I feel forgetting about a bike part is an excellent sign that it is just doing its job and working, at the end of the day that is all I can ask from them.
Quite simply the Look S-Tracks might be the best clipless pedal available.
I’ve spent way more time in the bike trade than anyone should reasonably want to. In that time I’ve wanted to make cycling jargon and marketing easier to cut through to help people get the bike of their dreams.
When I’m not writing about bikes, I can be seen out bikepacking on single speed bikes or teaching kids how to ride.