Look’s Keo Power Pedal System Starts Shipping

Look Keo Power measurement pedals finally start shipping

Look’s Keo Power pedal-based power measurement system is finally shipping.

After teasing it in late summer 2010, then showing it at Interbike that year and in a more final form factor last year, the Keo Power pedals and associated transmitters developed in partnership with Polar are finally ready to show how much power you’re layin’ down.

The Keo Power system’s pedals use axles with eight strain gauges per spindle to measure deflection and determine how much force you’re applying. Having so many gauges per pedal brings accuracy up to +/- 2%, and another sensor captures cadence. All of this information moves from the pedal to the transmitter, which attaches to the spindle on the inside of the crank arm, then beams it wirelessly to a compatible Polar computer (CS500, CS600 or CS600X).

The pedal body is the same 62mm wide platform as their Keo Blade, made of injected carbon with a stainless steel cleat platform and axle. It spins on two sets of needle bearings and one ball bearing. It ships with their mid-rotation (4.5°) gray cleats, but black and red are also available for more or less float.

Pedal weight is a claimed 170g, and total system weight (excluding computer) is 450g. Battery life is claimed at a pretty impressive five months with three hours of use per day!

Look says the system is designed to automatically recalibrate to temperature changes simply by restarting it, but it’s unaffected by temp changes of +/- 5ºC. That works out to +/-9ºF, a reasonably normal temperature swing for most long rides. The system calibrates at the beginning of each ride when it’s turned on, making it pretty user friendly.

Speaking of user-friendliness, installation requires the axle and transceiver to be lined up a specific way with the crank arm. Look Cycles USA marketing manager Justin Lubecki says they include tools to install it. Basically, you install the pedal like normal with an 8mm allen wrench on the back. Once it’s close to being all the way in, you’ll line up the transceiver and use a pedal wrench to tighten a lock nut on the outside of the axle to hold things in place.

“The first time will probably take you 10 minutes and a little looking at the instruction manual,” said Lubecki. “After that, it’ll only take you a minute or two and you’ll never look at the instructions again. It’s that easy.”

The two obvious and most compelling benefits of a pedal based system is ease of transfer between bikes and being able to measure left vs. right leg power. In order to actually see the separate leg measurements, you’ll need the higher end Polar computer, though. And the system only works with Polar’s proprietary wireless signal (it’s not ANT+ like the Garmin Vector).

Retail pricing is set at $2,200 and includes the pedals and transmitter plus installation tools and $2,500 for the full kit including the CS600X Polar computer. If you’re a shop, you’ll need to order direct from Look Cycles USA, their normal distributors aren’t currently stocking the power measurement goodies.

Comments

ajbosch - 01/31/12 - 12:22pm

Looks (no pun intended) great but I’ll be waiting for the Vector in March at $1,400. Already have the Edge 800 so it makes sense to wait.

h2ofuel - 01/31/12 - 1:02pm

For a moment I thought you meant the computer costs $2,500… Should probably re-write that part.

Tyler (Editor) - 01/31/12 - 2:22pm

h2ofuel – thanks, fixed it.

spokejunky - 01/31/12 - 3:30pm

D.O.A.

ajh - 01/31/12 - 3:36pm

Expensive
Heavy
Horrible leaning clearance
Can only use Polar
I will wait for vector or, more likely, Brimbrothers

ekko - 01/31/12 - 9:59pm

hmm for $2500 I could get 2 garmin edge 500s and 2 powertap pro plus wheels
or I could get a quarq cinco, Edge 500, and keo blades.
I could probably think of 2500 better ways to spend $2500.

Robin - 01/31/12 - 10:27pm

Why “horrible learning clearance”? I’m sure more than a few tight crits have been won on Look Keo pedals.

Robin - 02/01/12 - 12:30am

That should read “leaning” not “learning”.

Goldi - 02/01/12 - 8:25am

” Having so many gauges per pedal brings accuracy up to +/- 2%”

You might want to check into this statement. The number of strain gauges does not directly determine the accuracy of the unit, in fact the more sensors you have the larger the multiplier for margin of error. Don’t neglect the gyroscope as a key component that works with the strain gauges to determine the final level of accuracy.

We’ll have to wait for an independent scientific study before the claimed level of accuracy can be believed. I read another article where some folks performed a test with SRM ergometer, SRM, and PowerTap for comparison, however it was not a published scientific study. Both SRM and PowerTap have had such studies published backing up their claims of 1.5% accuracy.

I also question the longevity and robustness of the product in the real world. Have you taken a look at a pair of road pedals after a couple of seasons of use? Then the next question I have is, if you do require service, where do you send your pedals, how long does it take, and what does it cost?

Interesting concept but yet to be proven in the real world. I guess we’ll all find out soon enough!

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