After being impressed with the first generation Keo pedals that were the first real deviation away from LOOK's Delta pedal that changed the bike forever in 1985, we were already salivating when opening the display box of the new Keo 2 Max and saw the stainless steel enhanced platform shining back like a knights sword.
The Keo carbon Ti combo that I removed from the carbon cranks I had been using for three years were still as smooth as the day installed whilst the tops showed moderate wear (mostly due to the fact my cleats are regularly renewed). Upon replacing with the new Keo 2 Max it was clear the new sibling would provide more out of saddle stability and eliminate any rocking that can occur with clipless systems as the new body is substantially wider than before now offering a 12% wider cleat contact area.
The stainless steel co-molded insert at the top of the pedal platform provided a smooth as silk entry that still impresses two months on (make sure cleats are inspected regularly for debris picked up from walking) and as a bonus eliminated any periodic squeaking that could occur during rides.
The Keo 2 cleat remains unchanged in terms of shape but pleasingly comes impregnated with walking tabs for those that trek the slippery strip to the cafe counter eliminating any slip and protecting the cleat itself from excessive wear walking can cause.
The new line of Keo 2 MAX pedals maintains a low cleat contact height even with the use of a steel oversize axle. The pedal is built with two miniature ball bearings (12mm inner x 18mm outer diameters) and a needle roller bearing. LOOK axles are only approved once they have survived a million cycles at 100 revolutions per minute with a 90kg (198lbs) load at the centre of the pedal and an eccentric rotation (replicating a bump each revolution). This test largely surpasses current standards (reference NF EN 14781). Dual seals help to increase bearing longevity.
LOOK had the bike fitter’s needs at the forefront of their minds when developing the Keo 2 thanks to 14mm of threads on the new LOOK axle, the Q-factor may be extended by 2mm with the use of specific washers available separately. Use of these specific washers’ results in a Q-factor of 55mm versus the original 53mm.
All in all a wicked upgrade from the French inventors and one Contador was clearly happy with notching up the first major victory on them last July.