By Rick Schultz
(1 out of 5 for indoor)
Back in early January of this year, RBR published my long term test article on these pedals (see https://www.roadbikerider.com/look-keo-2-max-carbon-pedals-review/). Two years in and they were already starting to fail from the basic pedal design. To be clear, these pedals were used primarily for indoor training.
The KEO 2 MAX carbon pedals are in the 2nd tier of Look’s road pedal lineup, the KEO BLADES being their top tier. Compared to Shimano, I would guess they are between the Ultegra and 105 pedals. See the table below. You can readjust the table to sort by price if you wish.
|MODEL LINEUP BY WEIGHT|
LOOK vs SHIMANO
|WEIGHT (pedals only)||PRICE (USD)|
|KEO BLADE CARBON CERAMIC TI||190g||$400|
|KEO BLADE CARBON CERAMIC||220g||$250|
|KEO BLADE CARBON||230g||$165|
|KEO 2 MAX CARBON||250g||$135|
|KEO 2 MAX||260g||$110|
|KEO CLASSIC 3 PLUS||280g||$80|
|KEO CLASSIC 3||280g||$65|
If you look at both the KEO 2 MAX and the PD-R8000 / PD-R7000, you will quickly see that the Shimano pedals are more robust, solid, and better sealed. About a month ago, the right pedal started “dragging” — feeling more resistance. Last week, the pedal would turn, but after a ride, would retain that position. Yesterday, the bearings completely froze meaning the pedal spindle won’t turn anymore.
As I was writing the original article, I made a call to Look asking for a pedal rebuild kit. They said they had none in stock, so I took the spindles apart and repacked the entire inside of the pedal axle body with grease. The thought was that if it was repacked to 100 percent with grease there would be no more room for sweat – which is what originally destroyed the original bearings.
Taking the pedals off and hoping to remove the locking nut one more time proved impossible, since the locking nut just turns, as if the carbon threads are stripped. So the pedals are finished.
Since then, I have called the local Look authorized bike shop to put in a warranty claim.
I sweat a lot when training indoors. In fact, to keep rust from ruining the cleats on my shoes, I need to keep lubing the cleat bolts with WD-40.
As mentioned above, Shimano’s pedals are more robust. Yes, a little heavier but let’s call them heavier duty. Look pedals appear to be built for lightweight only, almost like they are expecting you to replace the pedals every year.
I found a fairly new set of KEO 2 MAX on craigslist so tonight, I will take a look at them. After this Craiglist set wears out, it will be time to switch to Shimano.
Based on the LOOK KEO pedal failure, I researched 2 areas more thoroughly.
1) What are other indoor cyclists using (with success)?
A recent poll on ROUVY “WHAT PEDALS DO YOU USE ON YOUR BIKE WHILE TRAINING INDOORS” showed the following results. The results kind of make sense since ROUVY (like all other indoor training applications) uses power as one of the main rider inputs. The riders can also use the same pedal system both indoors and outdoors.
|LOOK Keo 2||1|
|LOOK ARC pp156||1|
|Crank Brothers Candy||1|
2) Are other pedal systems more ‘waterproof’?
I went to several manufacturers’ websites and looked for the terms ‘sealed’, and ‘waterproof’.
- Shimano states their pedals do everything, but we know that their MTB (SPD) pedals are sealed due to the harsh environments MTBs ride in.
- Wahoo/Speedplay also states the same.
- LOOK – nothing mentioned
- Favero (https://cycling.favero.com/) and (https://cycling.favero.com/blog/tech-tests/assioma-resistance-laboratory-and-road-tested) specifically state waterproof & dustproof.
If you are riding indoors, pick a pedal system that is waterproof and dustproof. I highly recommend you check out both links on FAVERO’s website which show the internal waterproofing of their pedals. If you are doing any serious riding, a power pedal is a right choice for both indoor and outdoor cycling.
Coach Rick Schultz is an avid cyclist who trains, races and coaches in Southern California. Rick is an engineer by trade, and in addition to being a coach, he’s a bike fitter and prolific product reviewer. He’s the author of Stretching & Core Strengthening for the Cyclist in the RBR eBookstore. Check his product reviews website, www.biketestreviews.com, and his coaching site, www.bikefitnesscoaching.com. Click to read Rick’s full bio.