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Look Keo 2 Max Carbon road pedals review

1 Jul 2020

Lightweight, user-friendly and as sportive-ready as it gets

Cyclist Rating: 
Spring tension-adjustable • Easily engaged/disengaged • Includes cleats and fittings • Far from heavy
Pedals are faultless, but in an ideal world different cleat option packs would be a bonus

Learning to ride in clipless pedals is a cycling rite of passage, an action symptomatic of taking your riding to the next level – a level where your connection to the crank arms has become not just a necessity in order to power your bike, but a contact point you’re keen to hone in order to be a faster, more efficient rider.

The Look Keo 2 Max Carbon pedals I’ve been pushing on for the last month are my most recent in a long line of pedals from the French brand, and they could be my last. For all the right reasons.


Family tree

My experience of Look pedals is fairly exhaustive, having owned two pairs of Keo Classic, two pairs of standard Keo, two pairs of Keo Blade Carbon and now the Keo 2 Max. While the first few pairs were hand-me-downs, and the Keo Blade Carbon used for time trialling and crit racing, the Look Keo 2 Max Carbon pedals have finally hit the sweetspot.

Buy the Look Keo 2 Max Carbon pedals now from Wiggle for £89.99

Although I haven’t pinned a number on for years, I still appreciate a decent average speed on a lengthy ride, while at the same time enjoying being able to unclip at traffic lights and café stops without fear of twisting my kneecap out of joint.


Do adjust your set

The biggest advantage over the racier Keo Blade Carbon pedal is that the Look Keo 2 Max Carbon has adjustable spring tension. In practice, this means you’re able to choose how tightly they grip your cleats (while my old competition model had a fixed, vice-like setting).

'It’s worth noting that while the Keo 2 Max has adjustable release tension from 8-12Nm, the Blade pedals from 2019-on are now delivered with two different tension blades in the box, allowing riders to choose their release tension without having to spend further,' explains Look’s UK brand manager Alex Coventry.

I opted for a setting of two full turns out from maximum, which takes more than a deft flick of the ankle to disengage the cleat, but considerably less than the ‘twist, yank and heave’ method required with a fixed high-tension pedal.

It’s a situation improved by the fact that Look ships the Keo 2 Max Carbon with a pair of grey Look Keo Grip cleats. These, too, are the ‘Baby Bear’s porridge’ of cleats, offering a 4.5° float which never feels like your knee is out of line with the pedal stroke.

Buy the Look Keo 2 Max Carbon pedals now from Wiggle for £89.99

'All Look road pedals ship with the grey 4.5° float cleat, it being by far the most common used,' adds Coventry. 'The black 0° float and red 9° float versions only make up around 15% between them in Look’s cleat sales.'


Power platform

This most recent evolution of the Keo 2 Max Carbon pedal has an enlarged usable contact surface to its stainless steel plate, ensuring a relatively wide platform on which to connect. Look claims its 60mm width offers 25% more surface than before, taking the contact area with your shoe to 500mm².

Also, a new conical spacer holding the needle roller bearing in the chromoly spindle is there to (in the words of Look’s marketing literature) ‘reduce friction and increase fluidity’.

That claim is tricky to prove from pedalling in them, but useful to hear nonetheless. This is a pair of pedals which weighs just 251g on my digital kitchen scales, so there’s little weight penalty either.


Long ride perfection

The ease of power development allied to the simplicity with which one adjusts, clips into and out of the Look Keo 2 Max pedals makes them the ideal purchase for sportive riders, those who appreciate a bit of speed to their long rides and even novice riders who want to learn the ways of the clipless pedal.

They’re light, effective, do the job – and then some. The Look Keo 2 Max is quite possibly the first and last pair of Look pedals you’ll ever need.

All reviews are fully independent and no payments have been made by companies featured in reviews


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