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…
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.
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.