Reviewed: 2010 Look Keo Blade Carbon Titanium Pedals

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If you are like me, pedals fall into that fairly utilitarian category. I want them to work, be comfortable, and easy to maintain..beyond that, I really don't expect much more innovation out of the product. True, I have tried road options from Speedplay, Shimano, and, Time until finally settling on the Keo line within the Look brand. But once I settled on my Look's, then the only advancement I could see within their current line was geared toward the obscene gram reduction ploy to suck a crap-load of money out of my pocket. In 2010, Look changed the paradigm, virtually leapfrogging everything in their current line with the introduction of the "Blade".

Overview

The first thing you notice about the Blade is the new design that features a strip of carbon that has ultimately replaced the retention spring. Remember the paradigm shift mention above? Well, if you think about it, the spring was a legacy component so integral in the functional aspect of a pedal that it seemed irreplaceable---and it did the job of keeping the tension between cleat and pedal extremely well. Look went to the drawing board with the Blade and completely turned popular convention on its head.
We you compare the Blade with last year's Keo 2 Max, you not only notice that the spring is gone, but the entire design is more square with the toe platform being much larger.

But what about the specs you say? Well, the blade literally has it all: Carbon fiber body. Titanium axle. Stainless steel wear plate...all the names roadies like to hear these days, right?

What we liked

Surface area. Yes, those two little words make all the difference with these pedals over previous Keo's. Actually, the Blade's have 31% greater surface area than the old Keos, which should leave you with the feeling that your foot is on a more stable platform where foot pressure is spread over a wider area. And with nearly 2000 miles on these pedals, we all felt a noticeable increase in power conversion over the Keo 2 Max pedals---stock on all of our test bikes.
The other nice thing we liked about the Blade comes directly from the wider frame and larger surface area---cleat insertion. Still not as easy as a dual sided Crankbrothers or Speedplay, but the Blades more easily accommodated our cleats than did the old Keo design.

The snob in us

New design and new components mean a higher price. Yes, we get it, but as early adopters of this new paradigm shift we unfortunately get hit squarely in the pocket book. With a retail list-price of $500, the Blade's are nearly $200 more than the popular Speedplay X1's, Crank Brothers Candy 11's and even the new Shimano DA pedals.

Our recommendation

If you can afford a pair, get them. If you use Shimano, Speedplay, or Crankbrothers, you will be blown away by the surface area available for you to turn each pedal crank into raw power. If you use another pair of Keo's, it's time to upgrade baby! And if nothing else, know that Alberto rode Blades to victory in that little race in France this Summer!

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