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Old 02-24-11, 11:36 AM   #1
AzTallRider 
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Look Keo Klip-in Problems

A couple of weeks ago, I finally switched from SPDs (A520) to true road pedals (and shoes). I went with Look Keo2 Max Carbon.



They are light, with a large support area, and spin easy on their axles. That's all good. What's causing me problems is that, when at rest, the way they balance has the top of the pedal rotated towards the back of the bike by something like 30-45 degrees. When combined with the light weight, it is making the clip-in very difficult for me. When I touch a pedal with my foot, I am likely to get the bottom side up, because the top is tilted so far back. And If I do get the right side up, but my cleat isn't in exactly the right spot, it is difficult to slide my shoe to the correct position to clip-in. If I lift it to move it to the right spot, the pedal is likely to flip back, and I can end up on the wrong side again. It can sometimes take me quite awhile to get clipped in, and I find myself looking down to get it done. That isn't safe in a group environment. Not to mention the slow starts it is causing in racing situations. Looking like a geek is fine with me; being a dork is not. I'm feeling totally inept.

Has anyone else had similar experiences with this or other pedals? If so, what did you do? I've always clipped in to clipless pedals, and this is the first time I've felt frustrated by them. Not getting out, but getting in, and I'm about to switch back and/or try something else.
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Old 02-24-11, 11:58 AM   #2
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I think you're experiencing the typical learning curve that goes with these pedals. It took me a week or so to get used to flipping the pedal into the right position. They are not a "stomp and go" pedal, but were worth the effort from my perspective. Now that I think about it, I remember having a similar learning curve with toe clips and straps when I first started using those.
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Old 02-24-11, 12:00 PM   #3
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I have the Look Keo Classics on all four of my road bikes. The classics also tilt badly and are slow to use.

During group rides I keep one foot clipped in and watch the signal so that I am ready and starting to move before the rest of the group. This allows a little more time to fool around and clip in. It is annoying, to say the least.

I’ve been using these for two years, so I’m able to clip in without looking down. But I’m not always getting in on first try.

The only reason I put up with this is the performance is excellent and it solved a serious hot-spot problem under the balls of my feet.
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Old 02-24-11, 12:11 PM   #4
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The A520's had eliminated a hot-spot of mine, and were comfortable, but I want the extra adjustability of the 3-screw road shoes, plus the lighter weight of the shoes and pedals combined. I had been using some heavy Lake shoes with the SPDs. But if, after two years it stays tough, that is saying something.

NOS88 - anything particular you've done to make it work?

I'm thinking I'll spend a ride practicing the no-look clip-in to see if that gets me going. If not, I'm switching back for my next race.
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Old 02-24-11, 12:18 PM   #5
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Sounds like your issues are similar to others and mine. I have Keo Sprints on my road bikes and TT bike. After a while you will get the hang of bringing the foot behind the pedal and flipping it forward to clip-in. I noticed on recent outdoor rides, the first onesí in a while, I had trouble clipping in. I then remembered in the past I needed to clip my left foot in first due to that ankle being fused and not having any dexterity or feeling. Iíd like to try Speed Play pedals but donít want to invest in multiple pedals and or shoes.

When I do roller riding workouts that involve single leg drills I put Egg Beater pedals on the bike and use my mtb shoes. Trying to find the pedal tops while riding with one leg on the rollers is not a comfortable feeling. With the egg beaters one of the 4 sides is up and all I do is stomp on the pedal, that usually works.
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Old 02-24-11, 12:32 PM   #6
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During group rides I keep one foot clipped in and watch the signal so that I am ready and starting to move before the rest of the group.
You mean there are people who DON'T do this???

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Old 02-24-11, 12:49 PM   #7
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Practice, practice, practice. You'll get the "kick-click" motion down soon enough.
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Old 02-24-11, 12:53 PM   #8
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AzTallRider, all the Look pedals I've ever had all tilt back at that bad angle; the secret (which you will get, eventually) is to use the front of your cleat (doesn't matter if it's the Delta or Keo) to skim the tip of the pedal while you're starting off such that the lip catches and hooks the front of the pedal, then as you continue the stroke the force applied on the power stroke pops the rest of the cleat onto the pedal and engages the rear latch. There should be no Club Tombay action as you should have at least 1/4 to 1/2 crank rotation from your clipped in foot to get you going while you mess w/ the above. Good luck.
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Old 02-24-11, 01:20 PM   #9
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AzTallRider, all the Look pedals I've ever had all tilt back at that bad angle; the secret (which you will get, eventually) is to use the front of your cleat (doesn't matter if it's the Delta or Keo) to skim the tip of the pedal while you're starting off such that the lip catches and hooks the front of the pedal, then as you continue the stroke the force applied on the power stroke pops the rest of the cleat onto the pedal and engages the rear latch. There should be no Club Tombay action as you should have at least 1/4 to 1/2 crank rotation from your clipped in foot to get you going while you mess w/ the above. Good luck.
This.
It took me awhile but I have done this and now it is second nature to just step down and go. I always have left foot clipped in at stop sign/lights and such. Every now and again I may miss and that is a little frustrating but a second try and away I go.

Just practice and practice, I think it should come to you soon enough.
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Old 02-24-11, 01:40 PM   #10
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That's the technique I've used with the SPDs, but it was much easier with the heavier pedals, which also didn't rotate as freely. Any touch on these seems to send them backwards. Maybe it's my size 15 feet! I'll practice, but with all the other things already on my practice list, I'm going to resent the heck out of it while I'm doing it. I didn't go with Speedplay because we have a crushed granite driveway I need to walk over to the garage, and the Speedplays are known for getting clogged with grit. I'm definitely questioning my choice now - buyer's remorse, I guess. It doesn't help that I'm also struggling to get comfortable in the shoes and with the cleat position. I had all that sorted out, and had to start over. Especially at our age, being off a little can aggravate the joints, and then it's hard to tell if you've corrected the issue, because it takes so darned long to recover!

Okay, I'll man-up and stop whining now.
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Old 02-24-11, 01:42 PM   #11
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If I think about it, I screw it up! Wish I could be more help than that. I truly do.
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Old 02-24-11, 01:54 PM   #12
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It is technique. However, many crit racers use Speed Plays due to the double side. At our training camp a couple of weeks ago, each start from the traffic lights felt like a standing start at the track and I typically hit 700 watts of power. To keep up, one had to cleat in the first pedal revolution. The guys who can really do this never miss the cleat in and we had all different types of pedal systems. If one could not get clipped in immediately, they were faced with a big acceleration to close a gap and lost position in the paceline. Welcome to the fast lane.
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Old 02-24-11, 01:56 PM   #13
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... It doesn't help that I'm also struggling to get comfortable in the shoes and with the cleat position.
Okay, I'll man-up and stop whining now.
Nothing wrong about asking for an opinion, you know what they say, everyone has one, right?

So, WRT to your cleat position, the following comes with a big YMMV caveat. I've always started off my cleat positioning (using the red cleat) by mounting it as far back and towards the non-crankarm side of the shoe as possible (to keep the Q-factor down). If you have a good fitter in your town, it might be worth it to pay him a visit and have your cleat position set professionally.

Oh, I forgot to add, if you have to walk regularly over your crushed gravel driveway between house & garage, you'll have to keep an eye on the wear indicators on your cleats. They do wear out (the Keos faster than the Deltas, IMO), and the interface goes downhill fast after that.

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Old 02-24-11, 02:11 PM   #14
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AzTallRider, are you saying the pedal at rest has the toe at some position other than straight up at 12:00? Like rotated even farther toward the rear of the bike? If so, I wouldn't think that it should, at least not by much. The whole design of Looks is so at rest the toe will point up, or awfully close to it, and like t4mv said, the idea is to snag the toe with the leading edge of the cleat. If the pedals are doing something else, I'd consider returning them.
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Old 02-24-11, 02:27 PM   #15
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AzTallRider, are you saying the pedal at rest has the toe at some position other than straight up at 12:00? Like rotated even farther toward the rear of the bike? If so, I wouldn't think that it should, at least not by much. The whole design of Looks is so at rest the toe will point up, or awfully close to it, and like t4mv said, the idea is to snag the toe with the leading edge of the cleat. If the pedals are doing something else, I'd consider returning them.
This is the position of the pedal at rest on all of my bikes. AzTallRider, this is what you have, yes?;

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Old 02-24-11, 04:09 PM   #16
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Yep. I was about to post a pic, but you have eliminated the need, thank you very much.

And t4mv, I switched to road shoes and pedals to give the professional fitter the options he wanted in shimming my cleats to correct the position of my left knee. "Come back when you find your shoes, and I'll see about shimming things up to fix that knee position" is close to what he said. I am generally hard to fit, but my feet are off the scale difficult. I use custom orthotics, which help, and, unlike you, I need to increase the Q factor as much as possible. I also need the cleats closer to the toe than most people. If I don't have them just right, I feel it in my feet and my left knee. I've been gradually tweaking things, but will be going back in soon to get the expert's opinion. I wanted to break things in first, and to be sure I could let him know what my body was saying about where the position needs to be. I'll take my old setup so we can compare if need be.
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Old 02-24-11, 04:41 PM   #17
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This is the position of the pedal at rest on all of my bikes. AzTallRider, this is what you have, yes?;

That's a little extreme, and definitely more "over-rotated" than I would expect. It still looks like it may be manageable, though. With practice.
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Old 02-24-11, 06:08 PM   #18
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That looks just like how my SPD-SL pedals rest as did the Look pedals I used for years before them. If you slide your shoe over the pedal from the rear, the cleat will hook into the front of the pedal, rotating it to a level position. As the rear of the cleat comes in contact with the rear of the pedal, push down and the cleat will snap into the pedal. Easy and reliable once you learn to do it right.

I think many people who have been using SPD or similar pedals are used to stepping down onto the pedal instead of sliding forward into it. Think "sliding forward" not "stepping down" it will work like a charm.
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Old 02-24-11, 06:13 PM   #19
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This is the position of the pedal at rest on all of my bikes. AzTallRider, this is what you have, yes?;

My Look Keo Carbon are very similar to the position to the picture. I would say they rest about 1:30-2:00. They are super easy to engage and I usually don't even have to look down to lock into them.
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Old 02-24-11, 07:18 PM   #20
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I had a similar problem when I changed from my ancient original Look's to the Keos two years ago. For me, the problem was the rubber pieces on the bottom of the cleats. They had too much traction and wouldn't slide along the pedal surface; instead it was grabbing hold and rolling the pedal around. After it wore down a bit and got coated with dust/mud/grime it became a lot easier to cleat in.
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Old 02-24-11, 07:46 PM   #21
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Mine (2nd generation) don't rotate quite that far back, but apparently my recollection that they were pretty much vertical was wrong:

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Old 02-24-11, 09:16 PM   #22
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My Look Keo Carbon are very similar to the position to the picture. I would say they rest about 1:30-2:00. They are super easy to engage and I usually don't even have to look down to lock into them.
Ditto. I have two pair on my go-fast bikes. But I'm reverting to Shimano 105 SPD-SL on my new Canondale SuperX cross/road bike for riding on northern NM roads.
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Old 02-24-11, 10:58 PM   #23
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Ditto. I have two pair on my go-fast bikes. But I'm reverting to Shimano 105 SPD-SL on my new Canondale SuperX cross/road bike for riding on northern NM roads.
My SPD-SL position at the same angle as shown in the pics. I also have them on the fixed gear track bike. To cleat in on fixed gear, one has to time the pedal coming around. It is no big deal.
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Old 02-25-11, 12:05 AM   #24
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It seems there is learning curves to everything. Why can't things just be easy?
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Old 02-25-11, 05:14 AM   #25
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To cleat in on fixed gear, one has to time the pedal coming around. It is no big deal.
I have never ridden a fixed gear but would like to give it a go someday. I never even thought about this though.
Timing is everything. Hey if you miss it will be back in no time.
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