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How it starts.
Every ride only truly starts when you clip in, and the Look Cycle Keo Classic 3 Road Pedals are the first model that many of us ever clipped into. The Keo Classic 3's appeal lies primarily in two criteria. First, their simple, functional construction privileges durable reliability over the flash and bling of carbon and titanium. Second, they're also a helluva lot less painful to pick up than the brand's $400 Blade options. They're a touch heavier than the Carbon Ti Blade Pedals, sure, but that weight penalty only amounts to around 50g per pedal. The most stalwart gram counters may flinch at that, the Keo Classic 3's blend of reliability, proven design, and affordability make it a common sight on the bikes of cyclists of all experience levels.
In addition to the material differences, the Keo Classic 3 also differs from Look's top-tier Blade models at the engagement mechanism. Where the Blades that the likes of Sagan and Greipel ride feature a leaf spring design, the Classic 3 is tensioned by an appropriately classic coil spring. The synthetic pedal body and chromoly spindle are no doubt slightly heavier than the Blade Carbon Ti's carbon fiber and titanium, but we suspect the steel spring is primarily responsible for the weight difference. That spring is also responsible for the pedals' variable tension. Where the Blade pedals are only available in fixed resistance, the Classic 3 lets you dial the Newton meters to fit your personal preference—even if that preference changes over the years.
Despite those differences, the Classic 3 does still say "Look Cycle" on it, and that means it's subject to the same obscenely excessive testing protocol that the French brand's flagship models suffer through. To wit: 2 million cycles at 100rpm with a load of 90kg, a protocol that outpaces standard industry specifications. According to Look, this simulates a 1,700-watt spring at 100rpm for 333 hours.
Like with its more expensive stablemates, the Classic 3 survives this abuse courtesy of its tapered spindle and a blend of two ball bearing cartridges (inboard) and a needle bearing cartridge (outboard, in the tapered end). The result hits those impressive durability numbers while keeping stack height low enough to encourage aggression through corners.
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