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Not sure I like my Looks(12 posts)

Not sure I like my LooksTommyRides
Aug 16, 2002 6:05 AM
New to road biking. For my MTB, I ride Shimano 535's. When purchasing my new road bike, the LBS talked me into Looks for the larger platform, etc. My knees are subject to soreness time to time and with the Looks, even with the float and some minor fine tuning, I seem to get sporatic knee pain. When one knee feels fine, the other hurts, blah blah blah.

I'm wondering if the lack of "roll" that I'm used to with the smaller MTB SPD's, is contributing to my problems. I've made adjustments to seat height, fore/ aft and seem to have that comfortably's just the pedals. I like the feel, but after about 8-10 miles, it flares up time to time. I also wonder about the high platform and the effects there.

I see pedal controversy all over this board, and don't mean to dig up a beaten subject, but just looking for some input. Want to give the Looks a fair shot...but where do I go from Look?

Thanks in advance.
re: Not sure I like my LooksTomS
Aug 16, 2002 6:45 AM
I'm in exactly the same boat. I had spd's on my road bike when I got it last year, so I could use my mtn bike shoes, then switched to looks this summer when I was trying to get more serious about road riding. I rode them for about 2 months, to make sure I gave them a chance, before I decided I just couldn't deal with them: I finally got used to clipping into them, but even after that long it wasn't "second nature" like spds; and even though they have float, it's very "tight", my feet couldn't just move around naturally like with spd's, and no matter how I setup my seat/etc I couldn't eliminate some knee pain.

Anyway since I had road shoes that I liked I just got some speedplay's last week, and they are soooo nice! The first ride was weird (that skating on ice feeling everyone talks about) but after that I like them much better. No knee pain, free float, and they feel a lot more secure than spd's but I can click in and out just as easily. Plus being double sided they're super easy to get into. One thing to remember is you click in by stepping straight down, not toe-first. (I tried goind toe-first a couple of times and my foot just slid right over the cleat) And even though the pedals are teeny, the cleat platform is pretty large, so pressure gets distributed over a big area.

Also, if you're more of a masher than a spinner it might take longer to get used to, they really feel best when spinning. But after just a few rides I can sprint hard in them and feel ok.

I highly recommend trying them - and give them a ride or two to get used to the super free float. I got the x/2's because I heard about the x/3's not being very durable, but they all have the same mechanisms I think. Except for the new zero's, which have an adjustable float range.
re: Speedplay mechanismTrekFurthur
Aug 19, 2002 10:15 AM
The X/3's use a plastic bushing (one reason they're less durable), though I've seen some go for 1000's of miles (though others went less than 500).

X/2's and X/1's use bearings and are much more durable. The X/2's spindle is stainless steel and not much heavier than the X/1's Ti spindle, which also has a suggested weight limit of 180 pounds.

BTW, I've used the older Shimano SPD, Look, and now Speedplays--I love the Speedplays: double-sided, easy to clip in/out, lots of non-centering float so you foot follows its own path through the pedal stroke. I know a lot of sprinters who use these because they pulled out of Looks, though I never had that problem (course I don't sprint 2000 watts, either).
different strokes for different folks.....DINOSAUR
Aug 16, 2002 7:55 AM
I've read about other folks having problems when changing pedal systems. I've used both SPD and Looks with no problems. I prefer Looks because of the wide platform and ease of entry. I've never had knee problems unless I try to push too big a gear in the winter when the temperature is cold.

I think the secret is once you find a pedal that works, stick with them. Sort of like finding a saddle....if you took a pedal survey you would see a wide array of pedal systems..........if it ain't broke don't fix it....
different strokes for different folks.....TommyRides
Aug 16, 2002 10:02 AM
Can you explain major differences between SPD and SPD-R?

I'm tending to think I'd be happier with a Shimano set up..just don't want to jump in too quickly. Maybe I should give the Looks a chance for a while..I've only ridden maybe 100 miles on them..just don't feel the same..not bad..just uncomfortable and the knee pain thing..has gotten to me.!

THanks in advance
different strokes for different folks.....DINOSAUR
Aug 16, 2002 10:43 AM
Sorry, I'm no help here. I'm not familar with Shimano pedal systems. Although I recently purchased some Shimano shoes and have Look cleats installed. I was thinking of trying SPD-R's but I have Look pedals on both my bikes and I don't want to have to buy another pair of shoes. You could probably do a search under Shimano if no one else answers your question. But your knees shouldn't be bothering you, I've never had problems with the Look's, but that's just me.....
Aug 16, 2002 1:49 PM
functionally they are the same- SPDs seem to allow more float the SPD-Rs (at least in my experience), Rs have a larger cleat, more parts and screws to fuss with- I prefer the Rs- have never had a "hotfoot" from them, but I'm thinking of switching to Looks- it seems easier to keep Looks looking nicer longer- the steel Shimano cleats like to eat pedals for lunch

I'm still thinking you don't have your cleats aligned properly- even with Shimanos, if they are off my millimeters, trouble begins.
re: Not sure I like my Looksschills
Aug 16, 2002 4:51 PM
I suspect your knee pain, particularly since it seems to move a bit, and given the characteristics of your new and old pedals, isn't related to the pedals at all. It's much more likely an issue with your fit on the bike and your technique. I'd suspect fore/aft and height position of the saddle need refinemnt. It may feel fine at the contact points(your ass), but saddle position certainly affects the knees. Depending on the location of the pain(front of knee or back of knee) you can tell immediately which way to move the saddle(up/down).
Different set-up between road and mountain?Iwannapodiumgirl
Aug 16, 2002 6:44 PM
Perhaps the reason for your pain lies in the difference between bike set-up for road and mountain bikes, namely the height of saddle, position over crank etc?

However, ignoring the pun, I feel your pain with LOOK. When I first started cycling "seriously" I was riding LOOKS. My knees woul hurt after long rides, and it had nothing to do with set-up (was set-up by knowledgable friend and confirmed by shop) nor fitness. I quickly changed to TIME, and never looked back.

I have been riding TIME for 9 years now, and feel no knee pain. Given the release of the new Impacts, perhaps you will be able to get a pair of Equip cheap?

Hope this helps. By the way, I also have TIME on my mountain bike.
re: Not sure I like my Looksjtolleson
Aug 18, 2002 3:52 PM
It is a shame that the LBS felt inclined to pressure you into a pedal setup. Typical. Just because we're on the road they want to gear us up like we're never walking around off the bike.

I used SPD's (not even SPD-R's) on my road bike because I like the recessed cleat set up. Also, why should I switch from what works for me?

The SPD-R's are wider, but by most accounts, not as good. Meanwhile, SPD's priciest mt pedal (959) is as light as most roadie setups.
Consider plastic surgery? - nmgrzy
Aug 19, 2002 10:52 AM
re: Not sure I like my LooksTexas Spinner
Aug 19, 2002 2:28 PM
"Consider plastic surgery"

Orthopedic surgery might be better