Look may not be reinventing the wheel but their new pedal design attempts to make clipping in easier.
The debut of the KéO Blade pedal gets its name from a leaf spring made of carbon fiber instead of the usual wound retention steel. The carbon spring doesn’t reduce weight as much as you might hope but it’s a strong indicator of how carbon epoxy will soon replace other supplies as the space age material of choice.
But Look claims that the KéO Blade weighs a mere 195g a pair, and less than 95 grams per pedal. This weight is helped by a long carbon fiber body and titanium spindle. This 195g is a scant one gram less than the current KéO Carbon Ti.
The carbon material’s unique curve design does offer a distinctly snappier and more responsive feel when clipping in and out compared to a conventional KéO pedal. The experience entering a KéO Blade is not as fuzzy as other conventional pedals. There is no doubt between knowing whether you’re in or out of the pedal.
Look’s representatives working their Interbike booth in Las Vegas were cocky – acting like they were going to take over the world by way of this little innovation. But at nearly $500 a pair I wonder how many attitude points they’ll be able to buy.
Spinning one in my hand felt was as if the Blade’s bearings were riding on glass. It was hard to tell if the seal construction was solid enough to deny dirt and grime from spoiling that showroom feel. Only time will tell.
Instead of typical release tension, riders can interchange sensitivity with two different blade installations. One blade roughly corresponds to the lower range of adjustment found when a conventional KéO is fully open and the other blade provides more of a stiffer feel. Pedals will be shipped with one blade pre-installed and a Look dealer can perform spring changes as needed.
These new KéO Blade pedals offer the same wider body and stainless steel upper plate found on the latest KéO 2 Max bringing more stability to the experience. It is interesting that the latest KéO debuted just months ago under Alberto Contador’s foot at the Tour de France.
Additionally, the cleats will feature “The Memory Clip” as a new bonus to extend ease of use. (See our gallery of pictures below.) The Memory Clip mounted on your shoes will make cleat replacement easier and most effective. This way new cleats will go back to the same exact position on your shoe. Shoe companies who have already signed up with Look to The Memory Clip compatible with their 2010 shoes include Bontrager, Cannondale, Chain, Diadora, DMT, Gaerne, Northwave, and Sidi. That leaves Shimano and Specialized as two notable shoemakers currently absent from this agreement.
KéO Blade pedals will be available in January 2010.