Review: Look Keo 2 Max Carbon Road Pedals
Previously, my road’s cranks ended with Look Keo Carbon pedals, the smaller predecessor to the Keo2 Max.
Out of the box, I could immediately tell that the Keo 2 Max has a larger surface area for cleat contact and a stainless steel contact patch, which are the primary differences between the Keo and Keo 2 Max pedals. After getting it on the scale I also discovered that the Keo 2 Max pedals are slightly heavier, but only by a diminutive amount.
Being already quasi-familiar with the product, I was anxious to see if there was a difference in performance. Is the extra weight worth it and the modifications noticeable? Read on…
As with any pedals, the box includes pedals, cleats and mounting hardware.
Weight is 126g per pedal and 38g per cleat with hardware, putting the total package at 164g per side, or 328g for the full set.
The Keo 2 Max Carbon pedals have an injected carbon pedal body with a stainless steel contact platform. Versus the regular Keo I replaced these with, there’s a 12% larger platform (305mm² versus 340mm² if you’re counting, and 53mm wide versus 57mm wide). They use two roller bearings at the thicker part of the housing near the cranks and a needle bearing at the outside edge. Dual seals help keep crud out, and the spindle is chromoly.
The cleats are pretty wide and have rubbery patches on the bottom, which makes walking on them slightly less dangerous. Look offers 2mm washers to extend the Q-Factor from 53mm to 55mm, which is possible because the threaded section is a long-ish 14mm. I didn’t test these.
EVAN: I have put about 350 miles on the pedals and arrived at this: Keo 2 Max pedals have a mean look and are very weight competitive among the legion of road pedals. Spindle rotation is smooth and sturdy making them spin like tops. The new platform is solid and confidence inspiring; it has a comfortable presence under foot and gives unyielding, pure feedback. Float is even and predictable and that, coupled with the overall stable feel of the pedal, allowed me to drive the pedals assuredly throughout any variation of terrain or ride. To me, the Keo 2 Max is a superlative all around pedal. I really like the new platform design and feel that it presents noticeable performance advantages over the original Keo.
Cleat entry is fairly straight forward and intuitive as long as you have your foot hitting it near the right angle. Once you’re accustomed to it, it’s pretty easy since the tail of the pedal tends to drop down when you clip out. If you’re a fan of this style pedal, me thinks you’ll like it, too.
TYLER: Whereas Evan’s long been riding Look’s and similar style pedals, I’m a long-time (and current) Speedplay fan. But, in the interest of science, I tried these out. There’s definitely a noticeable gain in stability. It’s not that Speedplays aren’t stable, but when you add a massive platform to the pedal, you can tell a difference to be sure. So, stability and foot feel = really good.
Where I was reminded why I love Speedplays was with cleat entry. I’ve tried several other pedals of this style and feel like the Looks could have dropped down in the rear more consistently. Even after a few rides, I felt the cleat overshoot the pedal on too many attempts, sometimes leaving me pedaling precariously through an intersection after getting the green light until I could get them to clip in. Some of the other pedals like this seem to engage a little more intuitively to me. Again, I’m not an avid user of these style pedals, so take my comments with a grain of salt, but if you’re not already a Look customer, you may want to try a few different brands to see what works for you.