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Look VS Speedplay Road Pedals.(15 posts)

Look VS Speedplay Road Pedals.psycledelic
Oct 22, 2001 6:59 AM
I am looking to upgrade my SPD-R pedals. I can't decide between the Look pedals and the speedplays. Totally different designs. Any thoughts would be appreciated. I have never tried either type. Thx
re: Look VS Speedplay Road Pedals.morey
Oct 22, 2001 7:12 AM
I am using the Speedplay X2. I first of all must tell you that they have been the best pedal. They are easy to engage or disengage, they are double sided, and because of the float they have been easy on my knees. The float was strange for about 1 ride. The float bothered me standing, I felt like they would disengage, which they did not. I would easily pck these pedals over Look.
re: Look VS Speedplay Road Pedals.Cyclorocket
Oct 22, 2001 7:19 AM
I used Time and I switched to Look this spring (pp247)

Look :
1- very VERY stiff
2- The tension is adjustable
3- very easy clipin.
4- Heavy

I never used speedplay; if you are a weight freak (5g DOES matter)forget aluminium blocks like Look.
re: Look VS Speedplay Road Pedals.Birddog
Oct 22, 2001 7:29 AM
I've had both brands. I currently am running with Speedplay X1's on my main ride and X2's on my secondary, need I say more! Well OK, I will, they are really nice on the knees, I had the Looks with the float too, but there is no comparison. Clicking in is a snap also. Others have raised the issue of cleat price for replacement, but I find that the Speedplay's last about three times as long, so that is a wash.
re: Look VS Speedplay Road Pedals.Chen2
Oct 22, 2001 8:23 AM
I haven't tried Looks but I'm very happy with my Speedplay X-1's. Speedplay cleats are large enough to distribute pressure throughout the shoe soles. With good stiff soled road shoes hot spots aren't really an issue with any pedals. Speedplay cleat covers are available to help with walking.
re: Look VS Speedplay Road Pedals.morey
Oct 22, 2001 8:45 AM
The cleat covers are called "coffee shop" covers, they are nice. Cost about $9.95 at LBS.
re: Look VS Speedplay Road Pedals.grzy
Oct 22, 2001 11:01 AM
Decide what it is that you don't like about your SPD-R's and what is important to you in a pedal. You're sort of looking at extremes here: the Speedplay is ultra light and lots of float and you can't walk around too much without clogging the shoe mechanism. While the Look is heavy, established design and can dial in the float with some centering feeling. Both types have their following and there's nothing wrong with this. My suggestion would be to try beofre you buy - one of them you will like and the other you will probably hate. The question is which is which. It's all so personal that all we can do is tell you what WE like or dislike, but it may not work for you. Personally I don't think there's anything much slcker than the Campy Profit Ti, but getting in is a bit of a chore, the cleats wear down quickly and they're outrageously expensive. Some people hate these pedals. Wifey loves her Speedplays, but don't ask her to walk across anything but a clean surface. She's pee'd in the road rather than load the cleats up with dirt and sand.
My take.nigel
Oct 22, 2001 12:13 PM
First off, thanks, grzy, for that titilating visual of your wife. Gotta love that--not.

I've used Looks and Speedplays. My old Look cleats used to wear out and squeak a lot. My new Speedplay cleats (well, since April) haven't had any problems whatsoever. I'd pulled out unintentionally with Looks; with Speedplays, I've never done this at all. Also, both types of cleats are a bit tricky to walk on, AT FIRST. I used Looks years back, and use Speedplays now, and have never fallen or slipped too badly. You walk with your weight on your heels, and you shouldn't have a problem. I've never gotten my cleats clogged with dirt, either, since I don't walk more than a dozen steps or so on them. Don't worry about that.

I'm not sure exactly how you'd "try before you buy" with cleats (the shop can't sell them again once they're marked/scraped up, for safety/lawsuit purposes), but maybe you could go to a trusted local shop (if this exists), discuss the pedal situation with someone there, and have them attach the cleats for you to (they'll likely make you buy them first. Explain that you're concerned about the Speedplay cleats and the extra float, and didn't want to spend all that money only to feel uncomfortable on them. Have them set your bike up on a stationary trainer in the store (most shops will do this), and pedal away for ten minutes or so, standing, sitting, sprinting, etc. I suggest trying the Speedplays since the floating feeling is foreign to some--virtually everyone gets used to them in a week, forgetting that there is even float, since it's very natural. The Looks, on the other hand, can be "locked in" with only a little bit of float, and will feel more natural initially. I was concerned about this initially, but figured that if everyone else got used to and comfy with the Speedplay float, I could, too. It took me about a ride or two (short rides), and I've never looked back--or down, for that matter, since getting in or out gets to be no-look very quickly: a VERY nice thing.

Best of luck,
Oct 22, 2001 2:33 PM
Well your shop may let you try some, but you could hit up some buddies and try their pedal systems. Everyone has friends, right? I could lay my hands on just about any pedal system that I wanted to try. I couldn't imagine a shop not setting someone up with a loaner - around here they'll even letyou borrow an employees bike if you're serious. They want you to make the decision that is best for YOU. It's all about customer satisfaction - if your LBS doesn't play this way go find one that does.

Sure you can say that dirt and sand isn't a problem if you never walk in the stuff, but depending on where you are and what kind of riding you do it WILL be a real problem (try it). Out here in Cali they seem to like to put the food and prota-johns off of prepared surfaces. Do any of the big organized rides in NorCal and you're going to be off of a hard surface at some point. Hell, Speedplay even makes and markets little cafe-covers for just this problem. Other people take their shoes of if they have to walk on dirt.

The guy is asking for input so everything we write is just that - there's not really a right or wrong answer - it's up to him. Call me bashful, I still prefer to pee in the bushes vs. the road. ;-)
Oct 23, 2001 5:31 AM
One comment and then a question.

comment: I rode LOOK for years and switched to Speedplay. The float on the Speedplays is a bit whacked at first. The dual sided entry is terrific especially if you ride in a city or have a need to engage/disengage frequently. I have them on all my bikes including a fixed gear. The Speedplay design was originally intended as a solution to track riders pulling out; thus once engaged you can push and pull and not have a surprise exit. The spring/cleat assembly is probably the most "mechanical" there is, so its fairly dirt/fool proof. I walk in mine and have mudded them up. A few good knocks on the pavement and I'm ready to go. So my vote would be the Speedplays.

question: any pix of the wife peeing?
Oct 23, 2001 8:33 AM
I'm still hoping someone sends me some of the pics.....I'll let you know. ;-)

Yeah, Speedplays work great - it really comes down to what the rider likes, but it's hard to know what you like if you haven't tried everything. My beef was that the Speedplay is one of the only with the mechanism on the shoe and the ability to load it up. Sand is particularly nasty on them.
Speedplay surpriseJofa
Oct 27, 2001 12:41 PM
Recently I got myself into a situation up a mountain, one of the kind which are used as examples in survival textbooks of what not to do ever. I won't go into details here for brevity's sake, but I thought I could ride out of it and couldn't, and had to walk... for what turned out to be 10 miles, off-road. I was wearing Sidi's with Speedplay X2's, and I'd not walked more than 20yards with this combination before: I imagined that the cleats and probably the shoes would be toast (though my ankles, and my stability, were chief in my mind).

Anyway I made it back to a road, remounted my bike, and... clicked right in. The cleats and shoes were battered, apparently terminally- I couldn't distinguish between the screws and the bottom plates, the whole lot had worn down so that there was little left to the screw heads- but everything worked. I would have been very surprised if any of my Look or Time cleats could have made it through all that, but I would have written of the Speedplay's totally, beforehand. Surprising... but perhaps your wife could make it to the hedge after all...

She did what?!......Did I read that right?BigLeadOutGuy
Oct 27, 2001 6:29 PM
Did you say she pee'd in the road rather than walk in some dirt?
*looking confused*
re: Look VS Speedplay Road Pedals.540nova
Oct 28, 2001 5:28 PM
That was your wife? I thought it was a dog.
re: Look VS Speedplay Road Pedals.brider
Oct 23, 2001 1:05 PM
I've used Looks long ago, and tried the floating cleats once and hated them. I've recently switched from SPDs to Speedplays. I'd have to give the nod to Speedplays, mainly because of the float pivot location. Speedplays have come out with a new pedal that has adjustable float, so that comparisson is a non-issue. For Looks, the pivot center is at the front part of the cleat, for Speedplays, it's centered over the pedal. Big deal, right? It is, when you multiply the difference on pivot location by the length of your foot. With the Look's pivot location, you will have a greater tendency to hit your ankle (or heels) on the chainstays. Very painful.