Look's Best Pedal
Nov 20, 2000 (Updated Nov 20, 2000)
Review by davila123
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Stability, Durability, Rotational Movement
Cons:Weight and "Look-Squeak"
Pursuant to Epinions' recommended outline, the following information: I've been riding forever and racing for about 12 years. I currently ride around 250-300 miles/week in-season and have mellowed out on racing for the last 3 years (around 25 Cat. 1/2 races annually). Over the years, I've trained and raced extensively with Time, Look, Speedplay and Shimano pedals. I've tried BeBop and Campy pedals but don't have extensive experience with either.
Recommend this product?
Look PP247's are my pedal of choice (above PP296's or even the "new" line of Looks) but they have several flaws. Let's begin with the positives. First, Look pedals in general provide a large and extremely stable platform. Despite what anyone tells you about Speedplay or Shimano's surface area and stability, Look and Time pedals are the most stable and allow for the most efficient power transmission. Admittedly, this is an area of massive debate, but my (humble) experience leaves no doubt in my mind. I feel most comfortable and in control in Look or Time.
Second, the rotational movement that Look 247's (or 296's or 357's or 396's...) provide is ideal. Red cleats allow movement, black are fixed. I much prefer the red cleat movement over the unrestricted float of Speedplay, for example.
Third, PRICE! With the advent of PP357's (which replace 247's) and PP396's (which replace 296's), Look 247's are practically being given away. You can get a pair for well under $100. Heck, 296's are being widely sold for $99. This is a great value.
Fourth, durability. These pedals are TANKS. They will last to the point where they look so worn that you will replace them even though they continue to function perfectly. Enough said.
Now for the negatives on PP247's. They are TANKS! Except for Time pedals which are equally porky (and ridiculously expensive), they are the heaviest pedals on the market. Speedplay, Shimano, Campy, BeBop and others make pedals which are much lighter, in some cases less than half the weight of 247's(!), and since we are dealing with rotational weight, this is important. However, I and many of the world's finest pro's believe that the above positives outweigh the weight factor. Also, while not a huge point, don't neglect to account for cleat weight. Look plastic cleats weigh very little while other pedal cleats can be quite heavy.
The bottom line on the weight issue is that it's an entirely personal choice and if you truly feel comfortable on, say, Speedplay X-1's or X-2's (I don't, especially in sprints and descending, and they were awful for my knees despite the company's claims to the contrary), you've got a tough choice to make. One thing's certain, for the clipless pedal innovator, Look needs to start seriously addressing the weight issue [note: new, expensive, high-end Look carbons are going to hit the market soon, but hadn't at the time of this writing]. The "new" line of Looks, the 357's and 396's, sexy as they are, are the exact same porky weight as their predecessors(!) at much higher pricepoints. Oh, by the way, the 247's weigh 10 grams less than the 296's and are the same exact pedal with the exception of the "adjustable rotation" which I think is fairly useless and not worth 10 grams since the standard rotation is where you'll likely keep it. There's not a big difference anyway.
A final negative is that Look PP247's tend to squeak. This is a common complaint (just look at all the forum posts on "Look-squeak") and can drive a person mad. Fortunately, Armor-All or parafin wax (my choice) silences the annoying noise.
I could go on about a myriad of other factors like center of gravity, etc. I won't. I'm sure others will do that for me. All I can say is that I have Look 247's on both of my upper-end road bikes (Steelman SR and CAAD 4, both with Dura Ace groupo's) and there aren't many pedals I would switch to even if they were given to me. Maybe Time Equipe Titan/Mag's (a tad lighter but $300)? Go with the 247's, you won't be sorry.
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