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look cleat users: red or black, and why?(12 posts)

look cleat users: red or black, and why?Haiku d'état
May 10, 2001 11:33 AM
i've read the difference, but have only used the black cleats. got a pair of each with my new pedals. what's the perceived difference?

re: look cleat users: red or black, and why?KEN2
May 10, 2001 12:13 PM
IMO, the red cleats feel like you've got a banana peel under each shoe. I say this as a regular user of Shimano SPD cleats which also have rotational slop, but it's a different feeling on the Looks. I prefer the firm engaged feel of the black cleats, but you have to pay close attention to setup and alignment. Also some people have knee issues that require more rotation, YMMV.
re: look cleat users: red or black, and why?Tom C
May 10, 2001 1:36 PM
I couldn't agree with Ken more.Banana peel is what always came to mind with me. As my background extends to cage pedals ,you know, clipped, I had never liked float. So this spring having a set of black cleats in the box from an old pedal purchase, I screwed them on my beater spring shoes for my beater bike spring training. What a transformation! No more accidental unclipping, no need for lubricants on the cleats and no more clicking cleats to boot. I've also noticed less marring of the pedal,cleat contact area as the cleat no longer slides around. I'm in the black.
re: look cleat users: red or black, and why?bikapelli
May 10, 2001 2:36 PM
I've always used Look pedals and I started using the red ones fron the start. I agree that they have alot of float but I guess i'm just use to it. I've also had some knee problems and whit the Looks and the red cleats i'm pain free.
some old notes & new comment ...Breck
May 10, 2001 1:47 PM
Have put about 20K road mountain miles on the Red and they work and fit just fine. I use loose toe straps with the MTB as like to hike some while out.

In the more useless text cat. ...

"LOOK black cleats are fixed black or ARC (anatomical red cleat) and can be mounted with the same set of hardware. Black holds the cleat in the pedal in a fixed position, permitting no lateral rotation though the foot can be moved up to 4 degrees and re-centered without going into the pre-release phase where the cleat begins to move backward the rear lever. Red cleat permits up to 9 degrees of lateral movement from the center of the pedal.

LOOK is able to achieve thee two release styles on the same pedal by changing the lip AT the rear of the cleat gripped by the clamping lever. The Black cleat is made to exactly contour the front of the clamping lever, while the Red cleat bows out in the middle leaving a hump to run against the flat face of the rear lever. Additionally the inclined sides of the Red cleat that mate to the inclined sides of the pedal are made wider apart permitting the lateral play of the cleat."
--from the 1994 Pedal Pusher cat. published outta Santa Rosa, California.

re: look cleat users: red or black, and why?Alan B
May 10, 2001 3:35 PM
I'd been getting some knee problems with SPD pedals and went to look w/ red cleats. My foot naturally settled in at an angle other than perfectly parallel to the bike. No more problems. Without that little bit of float I never would have know. "Slipperness" isn't noticable after the first few rides.
re: look cleat users: red or black, and why?KEN2
May 10, 2001 6:30 PM
You say "My foot naturally settled in at an angle other than perfectly parallel to the bike." But that's what you need to determine when you actually set up your cleats, fixed or floating. If you set them up with your feet at the proper angle you are less likely to need any float and the connection feels more secure.
re: look cleat users: red or black, and why?muncher
May 11, 2001 3:17 AM
Could be just me, but I found that on changing from black to red (someone gave me some nice new red ones) cip-in was easier - suppose with more float there is more room for "error" when pressing in? Anyone else agree?
thanks for the responses, all. i've decided...Haiku d'état
May 11, 2001 6:36 AM
to try the red ones when the black pair on my main shoes wear out (soon) and need to be replaced. if not permanently, at least to see if it's for me. seems pretty subjective at this point, banana peel feeling or adequate float, or a mixed reaction, etc., so i guess i'll do it like i do everything else and jump in feet first (no pun intended).

thanks again for the input!
A day late and a dollar short, but.....DINOSAUR
May 11, 2001 8:56 AM
As others have already stated the difference between the black and red Look cleats is that the red cleats have a float, the black cleats do not. The red cleats eliminate perfect cleat alignmnent as they find your natural position. The first generation Look cleats, way back when, did not have a float and some riders experienced knee problems, so Look started manufacturing cleats with a float. I use Look PP-247 pedals (older model) with a 9 degree float, which means your foot has to rotate 9 degrees untill it releases. It did take some time to adapt to the 9 degrees. Another option might be to consider the PP-296 which has an adjustable float of 0 3 6 9 degrees. This is also an older model pedal and has been replaced in the Look lineup.
If you check around your might find some killer deals on the PP-296.
For me I'd want some float, 3 degrees sounds about right for me.
I've also considered switching to the Black cleats, but I don't want to take the chance of screwing up my knees.
The owner of my LBS steered me toward a pedal that had a float, way back when I used Times, I preferred Times but they were out of my price range. Ever check ebay for pedals?
Good luck
dino, you're never a day late. i grant you an extension!Haiku d'état
May 11, 2001 9:36 AM
as for the dollar short thing, i'm living in a glass house, so who am i to say?

I got stock bianchi peddles on the bianchi, they're look compatible, and probably of ritchey manufacture. not really quality stuff, but i'm still paying myself back for the bike, so no $ for new pedals just yet. but...that's my next purchase down the road.

i'm sticking with look-compatible, and have a pair of older shimano 105 look-compatible pedals on my other road bike. i would like to eventually replace both with newer sets of pedals, and was looking at the pp206 model after doug sloan's comment awhile back about their comfort and reliability. i checked the review forum and they got good comments, but--they're $90, cheapest i can find 'em, and the pp236 is on sale online for $50. i hadn't considered the pp296, and they're only $10 more than the 206 ($100). man, this is a bunch of numbers!

if they're still on sale in a few months, i'm there; and, i'll try the red cleats, to boot. thanks again, dino! will let ya know. still waiting for that money tree seed that i planted in early spring '98 to sprout in the backyard. maybe the neighbor kids dug it up while i was at work?
dino, you're never a day late. i grant you an extension!Dinosaur
May 11, 2001 1:31 PM
We probably both live in glass houses. I'm retired and have a teenage daughter. I think carefully before I spend money on anything. The only thing I don't skimp on is tires, even if I have to charge them.
$100 is a good deal for the PP 296's, they listed for $179.99 last winter.
Good luck with your selection