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…

PRODUCT CLOSEUP:

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.

RIDE REVIEW:

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.

Comments

thomek - 11/18/10 - 4:50pm

I’ve got the same pair of keos and sure their lite and stable just like my spd-sl, they clip not that easy like shimano but its a personal preference. The worst think is that they have a 1- 2mm play in the bearings after 500km of riding…. Crappy French workmanship!

Adam - 11/18/10 - 5:02pm

If they are anything like the blades, give them a wide berth!
Creak like hell with the keo ‘grip’ cleats provided (ok with std cleats), spindle bearings continually work loose and need regular adjustment, finally snapped the carbon spring after 2 months of use = useless. Tried to contact Look online customer service, the silence deafening…
Super disappointed with what should be a premium brand.

Road Hazard - 11/18/10 - 10:35pm

I have 2,500 miles on my Keo 2 Max pedals. The platform is stable and they are light weight.

But, the bearings are rough. I also have a set of Shimano SPD-SLs, the cheap ones a level below 105, and those were broken in and rotating as smooth as butter by 2K miles. The Keo bearings are still chuncky and I’m guessing they will stay that way. There is some side to side play in the Keo 2 axle as well.

BG - 11/19/10 - 1:01am

Excited and very expectant of a good performance from this model after being with shimanos for years. It was one of those purchases that i regretted the most. All the good looks was deceiving. Cleats creaked right out of the box and after just few months of use (approx 2000kms), the right pedal popped out while I did a critical move during a race. Compared it with old models – the thread is shallower and shorter vs the old models (old models had problems with the threads also). I don’t know why manufacturer engineer decision on these but to me this was a downgrade in tech. After service sucks big time. I say RECALL!!!!

Andrew G. - 11/19/10 - 1:26am

I recently bought new shoes which pushed my feet inwards by 2mm. So, to keep riding, I had to buy the Keo2 Max pedals due to the wider Qfactor. I was not able to find the 2mm spindle washers thru Look USA or any domestic or USA retailer, so I bought washers thru my local Ace TrueValue hadware store. I had to grind out the center of the washers so they would fit over the spindle threads, but this was easily accomplished by using a Dremel tool and a cylindrical stone grinding cylinder. I find the performance of the pedals to be excellent. Although the bearings are a bit loose on the outboard side, this has not been a problem for me, so far.

Steve G. - 07/12/11 - 10:19am

I bought a pair of these a year ago and after 500 miles they started to with an annoying clicking. I had to tighten the spindle after every ride and now that doesn’t even seem to help. I plan on replacing them for some reliable Shimanos that I have ridden for years without any issues. NEVER AGAIN WILL I BUY LOOK!!

sdfsrf - 05/30/12 - 8:56am

Try locktite for the spindle if it continusally comes loose.

Martin Vickers - 04/06/14 - 9:27pm

I have been riding on Look delta pedals A3.1 for over six years and am wondering if its worth the change to go to the KEO. Also hard to find anything that tells the difference between the KEO classic and the KEO MAX2. Or just upgrade to a better pair of the Delta Pedals.

Post a comment:

Comment sections can be a beautiful source of knowledge, conversation and comedy. They can also get pretty ugly, which is why we've updated our Comments Policy. If your comment isn't showing up or suddenly disappears, you might want to check it out.