Long Term Review: Look Keo Flex Road Bike Pedals

look-keo-flex-detail-3

Long an SPD user but looking to graduate to a bona fide road pedal with a larger platform, I decided earlier this season to test the waters with the new and inexpensive Look KEO Flex pedals.

With about 1500 kms of use over the course of five months (including some real grinding over a few famous Italian Alpine passes), I can definitively say that the Look Keo Flex pedals met all my expectations. Lightweight, low-feature, and entry-level, the Keo Flex pedals gave no problems this season and remain no worse for the wear.

Photos, impressions, and my verdict after the break…

Look-keo-flex-detail-1

With the minimalist construction and sparse use of metal, I’ll confess to a few concerns over durability and potential longevity. Coming in at 122 grams each, the Flexes use a single-piece composite body and retention lever. At a little under 130 lbs myself, I too am fairly lightweight and so probably put less overall stress on the pedals than some riders will. Your mileage may vary, but they continue to hold up great for me.

The pedals are supplied with Look’s red cleats which provide for 9º of float, but are compatible with other Look cleats (gray and black with 4.5º and 0º float, respectively). The supplied cleat choice was made with the beginner in mind and suited me fine, but I do think I will switch to the less floaty gray cleats when the red ones are worn out. Higher cadence standing efforts (e.g. a steep climb on a curve) sometimes felt a little unnervingly sloppy, but I attribute this more to the high float and less to the (non-adjustable) middle-of-the-road 8Nm retention force designed into the pedals. Float and retention are personal preferences with pedals. While float can be adjusted with different cleats, you’re stuck with the KEO’s stock retention. The force needed to clip out wasn’t at all excessive, but I never popped out of them under hard efforts.

look-keo-flex-detail-4 Look Keo Flex beginner road bike clipless pedals

The bearings do not feel as smooth or spin as freely as some pricier pedals. But the low cost and low weight of the Flexes make this forgivable, at least in my book. The Look Keo Flex Pedals are made in the land of Le Tour and are available for about $50. While they are not high-end, they have proven to be a solid pedal for the money.

Comments

caliente - 10/17/13 - 11:55am

I like that these have very few moving parts. Awesome entry level roadie pedal.

Thumper McDonut - 10/17/13 - 1:11pm

I like that these have very little in the way of serviceable parts. Awesome disposable pieces of plastic.

/sarcasm

Alex - 10/17/13 - 1:17pm

Does Look give any indications of how many click-in/click-out cycles the plastic hinge can survive?

Seraph - 10/17/13 - 1:31pm

@Thumper: To service their pedals, most companies use proprietary fasteners that require special tools that they won’t even sell to dealers, so I’m not really sure what you’re on about.

Thumper McDonut - 10/17/13 - 2:39pm

@seraph – Whatever dealer told you that obviously wanted to sell you new paddles. We’ve never had any trouble getting access to any tools we need the service the parts we sell.

Jeremy M - 10/17/13 - 3:58pm

They’re warrantied for 2 years. No, you can’t break them down and rebuild them. They are not at all user serviceable. But there’s not much to service.

No info that I could find on the expected longevity of the plastic hinge. It will certainly eventually give out. Breaking point would be a function of clip-ins/outs and, considering I’m not ambidextrous pedal-wise, my left will give out long before my right. Oh well. I would also think that extreme cold use might be tough on them. (Plastic more brittle?)

Again, <$50. Working fine so far. I certainly don't think of them as 'disposable'…but they probably won't be my last pair of pedals. Worth the price.

rpdupre - 10/17/13 - 4:52pm

Don’t particularly like the design. One of my friends that just got into riding recently got these, the “retention mechanism” was destroyed within a few months from what I believe was normal use. I just don’t see why someone would get these as opposed to a pedal with a dedicated and adjustable spring mechanism. The retention force is comparable to that of the Keo Plus on a lower setting, yet it is not adjustable. The price difference is negligible, in my opinion. For a few dollars more, I’d recommend Shimano 105 5700 pedals instead. Very likely the only pedal you’ll ever need, whether racing or just riding. SPD-SL cleats last much longer in my experience as well.

DerHoggz - 10/17/13 - 10:54pm

Speedplays are user-serviceable. Best pedals (period).

Jeremy Mott - 10/18/13 - 12:58am

@rpdupre: I very seriously considered the Shimano 105s but, in the end, wanted to give the novelty of these a shot. Besides, if I bought 105s then I would have missed out on these:

Shimano Lightens Up 105s

DT - 10/18/13 - 1:58am

@ DerHoggz – Yes speedplays are serviceable but the service kits are so expensive even at shop cost. Our shop has sold plenty of these new pedals and many of our customers love them over the X-Series Speedplays which require their special lubricant to make it easy for customers to clip in an out. Why spend more money on extra stuff just to make your lolly pop pedals work?! Stick with Look or Shimano. For ease purchase the new Looks. For longevity spend a little more and purchase the Shimano’s

Slow Joe Crow - 10/18/13 - 3:44pm

It’s an interesting idea but a set of Look Keo Easy pedals with steel springs is only $5 more so they seem like a false economy.
Personally I use Crank Brothers Candy C pedals on my road bike, which have their own flame wars but are rebuildable.

Doug Olson - 11/05/13 - 10:37am

Can anyone provide pedal experience for a heavier body weight than the 130lbs of the reviewer? I’m 6’3″ and 185.

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.