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The same pedal Contador rides.
A few years back, we were speaking with Keith Bontrager. He commented that, in time, just about everything will be made of carbon fiber, even bottom bracket spindles. The carbon bottom bracket isn't here just yet, but the steel spring might be on the way out. Look has figured out a way to use a carbon fiber blade to replace the spring in the top of the line pedals, the Look Keo Blade.
This pedal has everything. Carbon fiber body. Titanium axle. Stainless steel wear plate. And a blade of carbon fiber that flexes against the retention plate to hold the cleat in place. The blade helps make the pedal crazy light without costing it any durability. That all reads good, but, you might be thinking the blade is fragile. It isn't. It would take some serious work to accidentally disengage the blade or break it. A pretty heavy hammer blow to just the right spot is about the only way to damage it.
The carbon fiber blade is the proverbial cherry, the icing, the final piece of the pedal. The rest is extremely tech-forward as well. Start with the redesigned pedal body. It's quite different than the Keo, utilizing the new Keo 2 design. It is 17% wider than the old Keo, about on par with the Shimano Dura-Ace pedal. This 62mm platform increases the surface area that contacts the cleat to 402mm² , yet the cornering clearance is actually better because the extra width is on the top of the new pedal rather than the bottom. The result of the design change is 31% greater surface area than the old Keos, which should leave you with the feeling that your foot is on a more stable platform where foot pressure is spread over a wider area.
The axle is new as well. It's 12mm in diameter on the inboard side near the mounting threads and remains so through the support for two sets of roller bearings, and then starts to taper towards the end, where a needle bearing sits. The greater diameter not only insures stiffness, but also allows Look to offer this pedal without the caveat of a rider weight limit.
The larger spindle diameter might set off alarms with some people. These people fear that with the larger spindle, stack height must have increased. It hasn't, still at a slim 15.7mm, thanks in part to the stainless steel wear plate atop the pedal. Your cleat will not wear down the pedal body over time, so they could afford to make the pedal body fairly thin under the plate.
The Keo Blade Carbon Ti pedals come with a set of Grey Look Keo Grip anti-slip cleats. They have 4.5 degrees of float. You can also use the Keo Grip cleats in Red, with nine-degrees of float, or Black, with no float. The anti-slip designation is due to both the forward and rearward parts of the cleat being topped by non-skid pads. The cleat also has Look's Memory Clip built in to the center pad, which, depending on your shoe, can simplify changing cleats without having to futz with re-positioning. The pedal body and retention bar on the back are black. The claimed weight of a single pedal is 95g. Look currently makes the carbon blades with two different spring rates. Please choose between the 12Nm option (the lowest setting on Look's Keo 2 Max pedals, which is pretty good for most riders and racers) and the stiffer 16Nm option (just below the stiffest setting on the Keo 2 Max).
- Double seals, two roller bearings and one needle bearing connected to an oversized titanium axle for unmatched reliability in a road pedal
- Large platform constructed from injected long fiber carbon provides increased stability while reducing weight
- INOX stainless steel contact surface area is 402 mm—31% wider and 17% larger in relation to the KEO Carbon
- Two different spring tension blades are available dependent on preference: 12Nm or 16Nm for even higher tension
- ‘Snappy’ engagement eliminates guessing
- Minimal stack height for solid power transfer
- Q-factor is adjustable up to 2mm from 53mm to 55mm with spacer (not included)
Share your thoughts
How do these spring tensions compare to...
How do these spring tensions compare to Dura Ace pedals?
I have ridden the DuraAce pedals for years, and switched over to these - in the 16nm version. They work well - more of a 'ker-plunk' getting in/out. At 16nm, I have never had a hang up or any difficulty. Clipping out is more precise - where as the Shimanos seem to take more effort or have to bring your heel around more. Also, the platform on these is noticeably larger, and seems to be more stable than the Shimano's. I would recommend :)
Is there a rider weight limit with this...
Is there a rider weight limit with this pedal?
No weight limit on the Keo Blades but you if you set your release tension high currently consider the 16nM model.
Expensive but well worth it.
The Look Keo Blade Carbon has been drool inducing since the very first day it was announced. Its light weight, low profile, huge surface area and the fact that anything carbon is like catnip to cyclists and triathletes makes the blade an amazing offering from Look.
First, lets talk weight. the Keo Blade Carbon Ti (the blade also comes in a CrMo axle model also) comes in at a minuscule *185.2 grams (6.5 ounces) per pair. This is thanks in part to the new tension spring system. Rather than the traditional metal spring that creates locking tension, the Blade uses a compressed carbon blade. The standard blade has a tension of 12 Nm for general tension and for riders who want more tension also comes in a 16 Nm version that is replaceable with a tool available from Look. The light weight is also helped by the injected long carbon fibers. These fibers are over 10 mm as opposed to the standard 1-2 m fibers.
Next up is surface area. The first Keo pedals I rode were the Look Keo Sprints. I still own these pedals and like them a lot however the surface area is something that has resulted in more than one close shave with sterilization when my foot slipped off. The blades platform, where the cleat meets the pedal, is about 30% larger than the sprints and gives the pedal a rectangular look instead of the typical semi-triangular shape. This comes into play almost constantly while riding and its noticeable in terms of stability while riding and while clicking in and out. The amount of float on the Blades is, as with all Keo pedals, determined by the different cleats available.
The Blades are the basis of a couple of highly anticipated products that will be coming up fairly soon. The first of these is the Blade Aero, a time trial pedal that adds a carbon housing to the underside of the pedal. Look claims that this feature will improve aerodynamics by 2% while only increasing the weight of the pedal only 5 grams and making the pedal even stiffer. The Blade Aero has been ridden by Alberto Contador during the Prologue and final time trial of the 2010 Tour de France.
Perhaps the more anticipated version of this pedal is the offspring of the recent union of Look and Polar for the Together Power pedals. These pedals will have an integrated power meter in the axle and will bring about a product that other companies should be rushing to catch up to. [Original Polar press release]
Upon first stepping into these pedals I admit that I was petrified that I was going to snap them in half! Once clipped in, the wide base gave a fantastically secure footing. I have been using the 12 Nm tension carbon blade and I find it gives a perfect amount of tension while getting clicked in. The tension also holds my foot plenty secure and I didnt feel my foot waiver in the pedal at all. Clicking out was just as easy and to be honest I find myself constantly noticing the smoothness with which Im able to click in and out. The feeling of breaking the pedal also went away very quickly and the realization that this is an extremely well built and durable pedal is all that remains. They are quite high in price, but if the means are there they are well worth it. Look has a tradition of making high quality, reliable and durable pedals and the Look Keo Blade Carbon are no exception.
> ROAD USE FROM LEISURE TO COMPETITION
> BODY LONG FIBER INJECTED CARBON BODY
> AXLE TITANIUM / CROMOLY
> THREAD 9/16 X 20 MM
> ROLLER BEARING 2 CARTRIDGE BEARINGS, ONE NEEDLE BEARING
> HEIGHT AXLE SOLE 15.7 MM
> AXLE DISTANCE FROM AXLE TO CRANKARM 53MM
> MULTISENSOR 2 INTERCHANGEABLE CLEAT RETENTION BLADES 12 AND 16
> CLEAT FLOAT DEPENDS ON CLEAT TYPE
> ANGULAR FREEDOM 0º, 4.5º, OR 9º BLACK GREY OR RED
> PEDAL WEIGHT 95 G. IN TI (258 G. PER PAIR WITH HARDWARE) / 115G. IN CRMO (298 G. PER PAIR WITH HARDWARE)
> COLORS BLACK AND GRAPHITE
> ACCESSORIES DELIVERED WITH PEDALS, GREY CLEATS AND MOUNTING HARDWARE (6 BOLTS 5 X 11MM AND 6 WASHERS)
> WARRANTY 2 YEAR
*Weight stats via Weight Weenies