The LOOK Keo Blade 2 pedal is broad, supportive, lightweight and equipped with an elegantly-integrated carbon spring that offers a secure retention mechanism.
We clipped in and out of the Blade 2 with a positive ‘snap’, despite testing a set equipped with the middle-rated spring from a selection of three. Additionally, the breadth of the pedal was noticeable and combined with the positive retention mechanism to hold the foot securely, even during climbs and sprints.
We’d spent a satisfied two years using the KEO Blade, but consider the Blade 2 to be its superior in every regard. This is not to get carried away, however. The improvements are total, but incremental, and the Blade 2 might be considered an evolution of its predecessor rather than revolutionary, despite the heavily-revised design.
There is no better illustration of what appears to be a marginal gains philosophy than the two-gram weight saving achieved by the Blade 2. We weighed one of our chromoly-axled pedals at 112g, compared to our 114g Blades. The Ti-axled equivalent is lighter still (a claimed 90g) but it’s hard to fault the weight of a 112g pedal.
LOOK also claim a broadest-ever base for the Blade 2 at 700mm squared, and while this can only be a welcome development, the support offered by the original Blade was among its most satisfying features and its successor is not notably superior in this regard. More impressive, however, were the changes to the pedal’s shape, which give it a more compact appearance, and which LOOK claim keep the cleat in contact with the pedal in any of the subtle, but significant changes to foot position on any given ride. Again, we’re in marginal gains territory, but the overall ‘feel’ of the Blade 2 we felt was superior to its predecessor.
More tangible, however, were the improvements to the carbon spring and in its integration wit the retention mechanism. The ‘Blade’ – once a comparatively meagre 10mm and located on the outside edge of the pedal now forms its underside and has expanded to 23mm. Its integration into the existing Keo platform, controlling a plate at the rear of the pedal that ‘snaps’ over the back of the cleat, is very impressive; a triumph of form and function. Chapeau, LOOK.
On the road, this improvement was the most notable, though riders moving from narrower pedals than the original Blade are likely to notice its breadth first. Clipping in and out of the Blade 2 was a satisfying experience: the spring held the cleat securely when pedaling, but released it without complaint when required. We might have experienced something of a ‘Goldilocks syndrome’ by testing the middle of the three available springs – the new, highest-rated ‘20’ spring is intended to offer greater tension, while the ‘12’ will allow the cleat to release more easily – while the ‘16’ supplied was, well, just right.
LOOK’s original Keo Blade was this reviewer’s ‘go to’ pedal – the one selected ahead of the numerous others at RCUK Towers. The Keo Blade 2 is my new first choice. Elegant, efficient, and supportive, with a weight that compares favourably with most, it delivers on every count.
Fans of LOOK’s Keo platform will find much to admire in the Blade 2, but while the performance is notably superior to the Classic, or even the mid-range Max, the advantages offered over the original Blade are slight. If you already own a set of Blades and are seeking significant improvements to your experience on the bike, your budget is likely to be better spent elsewhere.
Price: £139.99 – chromoly axle; £249.99 – titanium axle