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Old 04-19-08, 12:53 AM
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I used them for a long, long time, I think perhaps 10-11 years, from the time Look came out (they came out slightly before Look I think) to somewhere in 1995-1997 when my shoes wore out and I couldn't find or make any more cleat adaptors. I have a current set of pedals but haven't gotten around to installing them on shoes.

The company struggled for a while. They changed their name to Zerolite (new owners I think), then I think the original folks bought them back and it changed to Aerolite again. I'm pretty sure the guy was machining pedals as the orders came in, and he just had a huge stack of cleats and boxes. That was my impression anyway.

1. You NEVER accidentally pull out. I loved these for sprints. You only have to make sure they're tight. Too tight and you never get in either, they're that tight.
2. Super light. 38 grams for a pedal and hardware. I haven't confirmed it with a gram scale but it's in that range (Ti axle). Add some adapters and you probably double the weight. Now you're at a whopping 150 grams for a pair of pedals with cleats, adapters, everything. When I first started riding with regular pedals I felt like I was riding around with ankle weights on my legs.
3. Probably 2 degrees of float due to play in the pedal.
4. When you dig a pedal (at some insane angle - 38 degrees or so) you hit soft plastic cleat which is not structural. So you rarely (I've never) lift a rear wheel and you can pedal through anything your tires will grip enough for you to pedal.

1. Extremely difficult to set up properly. Should be easier with the SPD double screw cleat (which didn't exist when I had them). I drilled my shoes, put in the threaded insert that used to come with Look pedals (because shoes weren't "Look Compatible" back then), and used a plexiglass type adapter to mount the cleats. When I had wood soled Duegis it was very, very easy to set up, just had to be sure of cleat position first.
2. Hard to fine tune tension. You did this by tightening the 4 screws holding the cleat more or less. Too tight and you couldn't get in. Too loose and you pull out. My thing was to tighten them until I couldn't get in easily then loosen them just a touch. Eventually it's like derailleur limit screws - you know what every quarter turn of the screw does.
3. Hard to walk in. Cleats wear out somewhat quickly due to walking, but only on edges. Doesn't affect holding tension for a while, and if you do #2 somewhat regularly (weekly? monthly) then it's not a problem. I think I went through a set of cleats in a year.
4. Old versions of the pedals (off hand I can think of 3 versions prior to the "latest" one) all had some kind of reliability issue. Plastic screw to hold on sleeve (it broke after a lot of use, causing sleeve/pedal to shoot off pedal). Aluminum screw (plastic sleeve didn't shoot off but I think it loosened up). No bearings (Turcite) were more loose than bearing ones (which I preferred) but they didn't have large wrench flats yet. All of them were machined with US/standard threads, so they seized in your cranks after a while. Threads were too tall and/or too thick, but right pitch, so they threaded in very tight. In fact they were so tight the crank was extremely hot to touch once you were done threading it in. And they were chrome plated so I couldn't tap the threads to the right size. I still have a crank with a pedal axle seized in it. Newest pedal seems to have dealt with all these issues.
5. 2 degrees of float from pedal play. Can't increase it. You need to have relatively durable and/or adaptable knees. I never had a problem with it but I still tried to sketch out ways of installing float.

Obligatory blog links:

Ultimately I gave up on them two winters ago, I just didn't have the time or energy to experiment with shoes and such, and with us trying to get the house ready for the market, I didn't have time. We sold the house but I'm still on Keos.

I even ride the grey cleats on Keos as a step towards the minimal float in the Aerolites. I put some red cleats on a new pair of shoes (backups) and felt like I was on Speedplays. I am now thinking of buying black cleats for my Keos.

However, your post has got me thinking again

carpediemracing is offline