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Pedal Advice(8 posts)

Pedal AdviceJoe White
May 12, 2001 2:16 AM
Hi, I'm considering 3 different pedals right now and would like some input on what is the best. The LOOK 247, LOOK 296, and the Speedplay X2. If you could tell me what you think is the best and why that'd be great!
re: Pedal AdviceLLSmith
May 12, 2001 3:42 AM
I don't which one is best, but the X 2's have worked real good for me. I was having some knee problems and the float (along with spinning) has helped with the problem. Good Luck LLSmith
May 12, 2001 6:10 AM
Never ridden LOOKs, but for absolutely, positively, 100% confidence for engaging or releasing, the X2s are my choice. NOOOOO adjustments to be made and have never 'pulled out' unexpectedly. (The 'rumors' I've heard about the X1s (Ti) are that they can shear when you 'reaquaint yourself with the terra firma'; Plus, they are maxxed out at 185# rider...ever think to what psi they may shear if you were crank up a hill???
May 12, 2001 9:51 PM
If you're considering Speedplays, check out Bebops...same concept, weigh less, less stack height, and cost less. I've had mine for well over 5,000 miles now (mtn and road) and have yet to have a problem with them. Check out their (maybe As far as Looks go, a friend last summer took me out with him at 35mph on a downhill because his cleat was worn and it came unclipped when he was cranking hard...threw him onto his left side (he was wearing a tanktop...bad roadrash!) and shattered his helmet.
re: Pedal AdvicePhil M
May 13, 2001 8:13 PM
I would also recommend the Speedplays. I have been using them for over 4 months now and I like them a lot. As you've probably heard, it takes a ride or two to get used to the float, but it is not as drastic as some people claim. At least it wasn't for me, and I'm no expert. I have no experience with Look systems, so I can't help there. Ride safe. Phil M
re: Pedal Advicepeloton
May 13, 2001 10:45 PM
I have used both the Speedplay pp296 and the Look x-2 pedal systems. For me, the Look is definitely superior. Remember, I said 'for me'. Others may disagree strongly for themselves. These are my reasons I gained through my experience riding both pedals. For background, I have put in thousands of miles on both of the systems, and raced them as well. Here I go. First, alignment makes a big difference! The way I aligned on the Speedplay pedal made my knee hurt like you wouldn't believe. I won't go into a great deal of detail, because my alignment certainly isn't the same as yours. On the Look pedal, my knees feel very good. As a generalization, I would suspect that others who supinate (foot rolls outside) might have some of my problems. More people pronate (foot rolls inside) though in our population and they may be okay. Second, hot spots and comfort on the pedal. When putting in long miles or hard efforts I develop less hot spots on my feet with the Looks. I developed hotspots with the Speedplays even with a carbon fiber soled shoe. My feet are more comfortable on a pedal with a wide platform such as the Look. And third, when cornering hard on the Speedplays at a high bike angle to the ground I would occasionally release suddenly with my inside foot. I don't have an explaination to that other than it doesn't happen to me with a Look or Shimano pedal. I don't like coming out of my pedals. Lastly, the Speedplay cleats would jam up with dirt every time I would walk on anything that wasn't pavement. A real pain getting back on the bike. They wouldn't engage or disengage until I would dose my cleats with my water bottle. On the other side though, I did enjoy the Speedplays for their light weight and ease of entry and exit. I also feel that their construction is excellent, and ease of mateinence is great. I really, really wanted to like them more than I did. I would say though, that I feel much more secure in the Look pedal. It is more comfortable on my feet, with a more secure 'locked in' feeling. I don't feel like I am losing power to my foot rotating around on the pedal throughout the stroke like I did on the X-2's. They are a little heavier than the Speedplays. I will take the little bit of weight though, for a pedal that feels more refined on my feet. Anyway, my 2 cents.
re: Pedal AdviceJofa
May 14, 2001 7:57 AM
' And third, when cornering hard on the Speedplays at a high bike angle to the ground I would occasionally release suddenly with my inside foot. I don't have an explaination to that other than it doesn't happen to me with a Look or Shimano pedal.'

Although you've already moved happily to Looks, I think that this point you mention is relevant generally to Speedplays. To my knowledge, and in my experience, a Speedplay pedal simply cannot release when the heel is twisted toward the bike (which I presume is what happened to you). It will only release when the heel is twisted outwards a long way... as long as the cleat is set up properly. And I think here is the rub. If the cleat isn't installed on a perfectly flat surface, then I understand it can release unpredictably. I can only imagine that this is what caused your problems... or excessive wear? In fact, it is the absolute assurance that Speedplays won't release unexpectedly that is what I like most about them... I've fallen out of Looks more times than I have swearwords for, and, to a lesser extent, Time Equipes.

OK, so (to the original poster) I'm going with the general Speedplay bias in this thread... a couple more reasons. The pedal platform itself is minute, but it makes solid, reliable, mechanical contact with the cleat- meaning that the effective platform is the cleat/shoe contact area... which is about the same size as Look. Look cleats wear quickly and become sloppy in the pedal, rocking about rather unpleasantly, IMO. The Time system is a great deal better than Look in this respect, remaining solid and precise throughout the cleat's life, but they don't have the float, lightness, or cornering clearance of Speedplay. I've only been riding Speedplays for a couple of months, against Looks for 10 years, and Time for one (eleven years ago: I only changed to Looks because my coach wanted his pedals back, and I couldn't afford Equipes) so this could be a case of newbits-itis, but in my limited experience with them I've found them to be the best system yet: a solid, flat platform, tons of float (which took me all of five miles to get used to), no accidental release, cornering, da da da da. Mind you, according to various people who crop up from time to time, Bebops do all this and more... I've never seen them in action so I can't comment.

Just my measly, grubby from pocket fluff 2 pence on the table..
my releasespeloton
May 14, 2001 8:23 AM
I can tell you that when I released inadvertantly from my Speedplays that it wasn't due to improper setup or cleat wear. My Speedplay cleats never had more than 2500 miles on them before replacement, even though Speedplay recommends replacement after 4000 miles. The cleats were also set up perfectly flat on the shoe. I am extremely fussy about my equipment, and I am always double checking that everything as is it should be. I have worked as a bike mechanic, so I have some experience in setting up a bike. The fact that I knew everything was set up right is the reason I don't really have an explaination for my pre-releases. My only theory is the free float of the pedal doesn't have a place where you can 'feel' that you are about to release like on a Look or Shimano type pedal. Perhaps while leaning the bike over, some road shock could allow my foot to roll enough to release without being able to feel it coming. It has only happened to me in time trials when I'm red-lining anyway, and probably not as aware as usual while internalizing my breathing and pedal stroke. But, that's when I really want my pedals to hold on to me.

Like I said though, it's just my opinion. I find that the Look pedal works better for me personally. And, I haven't come out of the Looks yet unless I wanted to yet (Damn- just jinxed myself!). Just trying to add another person's perspective to the very pro Speedplay reviews we were hearing. The Speedplay is a great pedal, just not for everyone. Same with the Look.