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More power, less weight.
It takes a pretty special pedal to convince us to swap out our mountain bike pedals. After all, we’re looking at a 3 bike minimum investment between our 'cross, gravel, and, mountain bikes. We're pretty familiar with Look pedals on the road and value its lightweight design, supportive platform, and durability, but on the mountain side of things, Look has gone through various versions of pedals over the years including the Quartz and S-Track, both ho-hum attempts, that really didn't offer any tangible benefits over other twin retention bar systems like Crank Brothers and Time. That changes now with its new SPD-style X-Track Race Carbon Pedals and it has us excited to try them out since it has some neat features that aren't always available on other pedals.
These pedals have been on our radar since they came out but we kind of forgot about them until we studied up on Sam Gaze's bike that he used to topple Nino Schurter at the first World Cup of the year in Stellenbosch. What piqued our interest even more so is Nino pulled out of his pedals in the sprint assuring the win for Gaze. For this new pedal, Look constructed a robust mechanism that doesn't flinch at the thought of rock strikes or the site of mud and provides consistent and reliable performance. Durability wasn't overlooked and the chromoly spindle is equipped with a double weather-resistant seal and improved to withstand the harsh conditions you might face on your ride.
Just like our bodies, achieving a high power to weight ratio is an important metric in componentry and Look sought to create a high surface area that harnesses all of your pedaling efforts for more efficient pedaling while choosing a carbon fiber platform to drop grams. With a platform area of 515mm2, the surface area is much higher than other 2-bolt cleat pedals while coming in at a very respectable 340g for the pair. Lateral contact support helps your foot find the pedal and provides a secure point of contact even if you're not fully engaged in the pedal—think getting ready to dismount for the barriers in 'cross or trying to get into the pedals at the start of a short-track race.
The open body design allows for mud and trail debris to be pushed out so getting into and out of the pedals is consistent. A tension adjustment screw allows you to fine-tune the entry and release resistance to your preference. Best of all, the pedals include and work with SPD style cleats so the feel and mechanics should be the same and if you are already familiar and own these type of pedals, you can give these a go without having to change out the entire fleet.
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