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So many Look Pedals models, which are the best for racing?(25 posts)

So many Look Pedals models, which are the best for racing?ADKBiker
May 9, 2002 5:56 AM
I been checking out the Look pedals. I recently posted a topic on the PP396 Team Edition and some people said that they are HEAVY. Is there a difference between the PP396 & PP396 Team Pedal? Does anyone know? I would like to know which model or models are the best, or should I go with Speedplay's X2. I checked the reviews and the Speedplay's have the highest reviews but I hear that more racers and in the Tour de France they use Look pedals. Does anyone experience to much rotation with the Speedplays? In the Speedplays I would go with the X2 but in Look there are so many models to choose from. I don't know which ones. I like both companies. Any info?

Thanks, Anthony ;-)
May 9, 2002 6:17 AM
The fact that Tour riders use Look & Time pedals has a lot more to do with sponsorship than with preference.
I think you get a better idea of rider preference at a Cat 3/4 race than by watching people who get paid to ride a particular product. If you look at racers who pay for all or some of their components you'll see a lot of people with Speedplays.
May 9, 2002 6:22 AM
Pedals and saddles are one thing that don't garner a lot of sponsorship dollars. A certain recent Tour winner has used a Look style pedal for years, despite that pedal not being sold by the company that sponsors him. Most pro riders really do prefer Time and Look pedals. They provide a bigger, more stable platform, as well as more solid engagement. Many riders will tell you that Time pedals make them feel stronger for reasons they can't explain.

The trouble with looking at a Cat3/4 race is that so many of those racers think that you win bike races on the scale (ie, by having the lightest bike); and Speedplays will win that race every time.
weight weenies...Wannabe
May 9, 2002 6:30 AM
If you look in catalogues a lot (I know we all do), speedplays are always the lightest. But how do their cleat weights compare to the others? I genuinely don't know here, I'm not looking to bash speedplays. But I was under the impression that a fair amount of that weight savings is lost because speedplays have more weight in their cleats. Yes? No? Set me straight...

For the record, I like Looks, I have a pair of 357s on my "new" bike. With the red cleats, I get plenty of float for me.

weight weenies...djg
May 9, 2002 8:52 AM
I've been real happy with Looks. I've nothing bad to say about Speedplay performance--heck, I've never even tried them. But it's real obvious that their "cleats" are in a class of their own as to size and weight. Whether that entirely negates the weight savings is beyond me, but just hefting a pair in the shop makes it clear that they give back a significant amount of (unadvertised) ground here.

OTOH: I agree with others that minor weight savings are often over-rated. Saving a hundred grams makes a lot of sense when you're a pro, climbing the alps, at the edge of human ability, who'd be a fool to sacrifice even a possible marginal advantage to another pro, climbing the alps, at the edge of human ability. But even these folks choose the pedals and saddles they find comfortable, sometimes at a weight penalty. A cat 3 crit? Dubious.
yes and no,Jekyll
May 9, 2002 6:37 AM
By the time you get to the teams/riders riding the Tour everything they ride carries a price. Look goes out of the way to market pedals with big team names plastered all over them. Once you get out of the international lime light and to Div II teams, etc, what you say is far more true.
You're right about people believing that races are won on the scales rather than on the road. As silly as that may be, you can't fault people for seeking advantages anywhere they can be found.
I rode Looks for the better part of a decade and switched to Speedplay on a whim. I prefer Speedplay hands down. But then again, that's my take on it and people are welcome to make their own decisions.
The problem is, as with most equipment, that there is no one "right" answer. Most quality equipment is very good. Pedals are like saddles, pretty personal. Asking Look vs. Speedplay (again) just brings out biases.
I agree -- Look at pro jerseys every Timepmf1
May 9, 2002 7:00 AM
I've never noticed a pedal sponsorship on a pro jersey. It seems that pros ride what they want. Perhaps the really big stars will be sponsored by a pedal or shoe, but I'd guess most pro riders are not.

Does this make them better than Speedplays? I don't know. Pro bike racers seem to be incredibly slow innovators for the most part.
Every team has a sponsor.mixinbeatz
May 9, 2002 7:49 AM
Just a few of the pedal sponsers I could find,
a lot are sponsored by shimano as well including, rabobank and postal. Not to say every rider does in fact ride the sponsored pedals, but every team has a pedal sponser.
7up, Saeco- Time
Navigators, Mercury- Speedplay
Festina, Kelme- Look
The only person to with the tour recentlyhayaku
May 10, 2002 2:58 AM
I assume you must be talking about LA. USPS rides Shimano and LA uses a Look style pedal that is actually made by Shimano. I saw in an artical a little while back however, that he changed to a newer lighter version... Still Shimano though. I don't have any of the product specs or serial numbers but Look style Shimano pedals do exist. I have heard they are very good.

They are perhaps the best pedal ever made...TJeanloz
May 10, 2002 4:42 AM
For years, LA rode on Shimano PD7400, the predecessor to the SPD. The pedal body was made by Look, the bearings and axle were made by Shimano; fully rebuildable. An absolutely great pedal.

He is currently on a pared-down Shimano-made Look-style pedal.
May 9, 2002 7:03 AM
I was surprised last year to run into a Cat 1 riding Speedplays when most other racer types ride Looks around here. When I asked him why he said not one word about weight but that he's never, never unclipped in a sprint.

Myself, I've ridden Look and Campy and now ride Speedplay. I have broken a Campy cleat, in a group, on an up-hill sprint. My, that was a moment to remember. :-0

The Speeplays have been very comfortable and reliable.
The reason speedplay came out with the Zero pedalsJS
May 9, 2002 7:06 AM
was because they couldn't get any pros to ride their regular pedal because of the lose feel. Mercury was/is a Speedplay sponsored team and only about half the guys would use the pedal. I hate to say it but new bike riders are alot like sheep, they see their friends using speedplays and bragging about the weight so naturally that's what they use. I've seen first hand.
here's my reasoning:lonefrontranger
May 9, 2002 7:19 AM
I am a certifiable nut, err, that would be criterium junkie. I also have severe pronation / knee problems that the Speedplays do great things for.

I used to ride Looks, and I agree that they have a large, comfortable platform that is great for all-day hot rides. However, coming from a "critter's" POV, not only did I crash a couple times by clipping the Looks in corners, I've also blown out of them several times on sprints or hard hill attacks - and it wasn't because of worn out/broken cleats. Once was on a set of cleats that was about a week old. Never blown out of the Speedplays in 4 seasons of prime wins, field sprint wins, etc...

For me, the consideration wasn't about weight, it was about the cornering clearance and security. I tend to do insane things like attack into corners and pedal out of them to win sprints, cash primes, etc... I've bottomed my *shoe* with the Speeds, never launched the back wheel into limbo like I did with the Looks.
re: So many Look Pedals models, which are the best for racing?DINOSAUR
May 9, 2002 6:41 AM
First, I don't race. However I've read problems about the little dial for setting the tension on the Look PP396 coming off. But Look does a good job on replacing the pedals. Also I've read that that little dial that is supposed to work when you are "on the fly" doens't work for beans. I've had good luck with the PP347 and PP357. You have to set the tension with a hex wrench, but I have never pulled out of them. I think Time just came out with a new model with a cleat pattern than will dial in for the Look drilling on the bottom of road shoes. I've always preferred Time pedals, but they are expensive and my shoes were made for SPD or Look cleats. I've seen pros pull out of pedals while in sprints, don't know what pedal system they were using. Think I read recently there was a roadie killed in a crash while sprinting caused by pulling out of his Look pedals (someone correct me if I am wrong). They said (again this is going on what I read) that his cleats were worn..
My 2 bits on the pedal thing.mixinbeatz
May 9, 2002 7:31 AM
Look makes great pedals.
Time makes great pedals.
Speedplay makes great pedals.
You have to ride them all to see what you like best. I have a preference, but that is because of my personal riding style. I have had good experiences with all the above brands. They are all obviously good enough for world class competition. If I based all of my purchases on what the pros ride, I would have spent a lot of money to support the marketing hype that helps pay for the name on the jersey. Every racer has stories of them or the competition pulling out during a sprint. I have heard or seen people pull out of every cleat imaginable to man. I have also, more often heard this as an excuse, "dude, I almost had Mario, but I pulled out in the final corner."
I love my Time pedalsMisJG
May 9, 2002 7:42 AM
I have had a pair of Time pedals since the early '90s and I still love them. I have never unclipped when I didn't want to, can't recall ever 'grounding' a pedal in a corner. I never could put a handle on it, but as someone in an earlier post said, "You just feel faster", and I would have to agree. Once clipped in it's a very solid feel, yet there is float. I bought them, even though they were a little more expensive, because at the time they were the only pedal out there with 'float' and I had knee troubles with regular clips and straps. I have never regretted a penny I spent on those pedals. I didn't actually buy Time shoes until many years later (I used an adapter plate on a Look drilled shoe), but wow are those awesome shoes! IMO, the Time pedals are more expensive, but where do you really want to compromise on your bike? On a part that, if it breaks or comes loose, has the potential to make you crash? I guess that could apply to just about any part on a bike, but especially the rider to bike contact areas. . .
crashing with Time'swonderdog
May 9, 2002 8:06 AM

Two years ago, I was in a crit in Windsor Canada. In the sprint finale, I was about 20ft behind a guy who had his Time cleat (the plastic part) crack and break. The end result of pulling out of your pedal while standing at 30+ mph was not pretty. His bike flipped about 10 ft in the air as he augered into the ground. They took him off the course on a stretcher. I refer to it to this day as the "face eraser."

Bottom line, I'll never use Time's after seeing this crash. The cleats seem cheap and prone to breakage.

The price of poor maintenence,TJeanloz
May 9, 2002 8:12 AM
This is the result of not properly keeping track of when it was time to replace worn cleats. The same thing could (and would) happen with a LOOK or Campagnolo cleat.

That being said, Time makes an all-metal cleat (brass and aluminum) that I would recommend to anybody over the plastic one.
I do not have the plastic cleatsMisJG
May 9, 2002 10:03 AM
Once again, why skimp in vital areas? Sure, that guy saved a few bucks buying the plastic cleats vs. the metal ones, but at what price? Any pedal manufacturer that does not offer a metal cleat is just wasting your time and money. Time knows this, Shimano knows this and Speedplay knows this too. Look may learn one day, but how much time do you need? Isn't a decade long enough?
I do not have the plastic cleatstim brennan
May 9, 2002 12:12 PM
you should have the plastic cleats, the reason time started making them was the metal cleats wear on the pedal body, making it prone to breaking. that's also the reason look does not make a metal cleat. as long as the cleat is in good shape, there should be no problem. after years of working at shops, i have NEVER seen a new cleat break. EVER. it's always because people ignore them and let them wear out.
You got that right!High Gear
May 9, 2002 5:27 PM
Cleats wear. I was riding with a few guys last weekend and we stopped for water. As we sat I noticed one of the guys had some serious wear on has Look cleats, I mean paper thin. This could present a big problem ,especially at a point were a lot of torque is put to them. Look and Time are proven pedals and function well for the powreful pros but not with worn cleats.
You are mistakenpmf1
May 9, 2002 6:37 PM
I have ridden Time pedals for over 10 years. They originally came with an aluminium front cleat. That was later "improved" to a composite front cleat. The rear has always been brass. The composite is easier to clip into -- especially for a lighter weight rider. Now, they come standard with the composite front. This is not a cheap, low end rendition of the cleat, just the standard. The aluminium ones are a bit harder to find. The composite cleats do wear out faster, but if the ones you're using are not worn down, I really doubt the will pull out any more easily than the aluminium version. The guy was dumb for not replacing his cleats soon enough, but not for using the composite version. He definitely didn't "save a few bucks" by using the composite versions. And the aluminium ones wore down too and would do the same thing, just not as fast. I'd bet most folks using these pedals for the last 4-5 years don't even know about the aluminium fronts.
Anybody have disengagement problemssteve1244
May 9, 2002 7:46 AM
on the pedal upstroke using Looks? I've been 356s for about two years now and I've disengaged twice in the last three rides while climbing. I increased the tension this morning, so, hopefully, this problem won't continue.
Pedal differencesIan
May 9, 2002 8:26 AM
Look PP206 - Tension from 6-11nm, plastic composite pedal body
Look PP337 - tension from 6-11nm, aluminum pedal body
Look PP357 - tension from 8-12nm, aluminum pedal body
Look PP396 - tension from 11-16nm, aluminum pedal body, adjustable float
Look CX-7 - tension from 12-18nm, carbon fiber pedal body, angle and q-factor adjusment

So, how tight to you want entry and release to be? After that, make up your mind on the other differences.

Others have said, and I will also, try riding both systems. They each have a really different feel, and while some people love one, they can't stand the other.

Consider SpeedplaysEMR
May 9, 2002 9:44 AM
From my experience, I had ridden different model Look pedals over a 10yr span. During that time, I only unclipped accidently from them twice, not bad but I still have chainring scars on my ankle to prove it. Although a very intermittent occurance, the pedals and/or cleats do creak from time to time. I was hesitant to try Speedplays for two main reasons. One was the excessive float that many describe as "walking on ice". The second was with all the float, I feared I would unclip during a sprint. When I finally bought a pair (X/2's 1-1/2 yrs ago) the only thing I could think of is why hadn't I switched sooner! Unlike others that complained about it taking weeks to get used to them, I quickly got used to the float and now I don't even notice it. The cleat to pedal interface also feels more secure than Looks and I have full confidence sprinting with them. Hard to describe, but they feel more comfortable than Looks. Also, although the weight savings was not a factor that I considered when purchasing them, the reduced weight (even if it's mainly on the pedal, not cleat) is noticeable.