The Kéo 2 Max Blade is a new addition to the LOOK pedal range and, at £109.99, is the most affordable of the French firm’s pedals to use a ‘Blade’ leafspring engagement mechanism, sitting below the pro-level Keó Blade 2, which has a carbon fibre body, as opposed to the carbon composite construction of the Keó 2 Max Blade.
The leafspring design replaces the traditional spring retention system of the existing Kéo 2 Max. Although, if you’re more of a traditionalist, the standard Keó 2 max pedals with the spring retention are still available. The blade is a simplification of the pedal design in many ways, with the spring coil system being replaced by a single thin sheet of carbon fibre. This also drops the weight from a claimed 328g with cleats for the traditional Keó 2 Max down to 308g for the Blade version. It also brings the platform height of the pedal down which means, like me, you may have to adjust your saddle height proprotionally to take that into account.
As a regular user of LOOK pedals, I was interested to see how the Keó Max Blade 2 would work with the new leafspring. On first engagement with old cleats, it was straight in with a firm, familiar ‘clunk’. At first it felt like it took more effort to engage, and there was a slightly different release feeling too, with much more lateral twist than other systems. If you want to change float, you do so by changing your cleats and LOOK colour code theirs with black being no float, grey being 4.5 degrees and red being nine.
The Keó 2 Max Blades also have a wider platform than the Keó 2 Max model, increasing to 400mm2 from 340mm2 giving a broader and surer feeling platform underfoot.
On the first ride, as I went to release the cleats, it definitely took more effort than my standard LOOKs. The French brand’s marketing blurb mentions a new clip in and out sensation, and this manifested itself as a firmer, more positive feel which makes for a more engaged feeling when riding. Like the other Blade pedals, release tension is fixed, and similarly to the Keó 2 Max Blades’ more expensive siblings, you can buy a set of replacement blades (for £16.99) to give you another tension option and swap them out yourself. I reckon that 8nm is good for training and casual riding, and 12nm should probably be reserved for racing and times when you won’t be clipping in and out with any real frequency.
After using them for a month, I did notice more cleat wear than with my current LOOK set, but that could well be due to the less than clement conditions of winter and the muck that the pedals and cleats accumulate as much as the cleats themselves. Still, it’s something I’ll certainly keep an eye on in as I use them further. One other point to note is that the pedals don’t spin as freely on their axles, which causes no issues when riding, but means that they don’t always reset to an easy clip in position when you clip out. We suspect that this is because of improved or tightened bearing covers, but it has lessened over time, so isn’t necessarily something to fret about.
Overall, the Keó 2 Max Blade pedals are a good replacement if you have an older set of LOOKs you’re aiming to change, or are looking for an upgrade from your current set. They’re lightweight, robust, and provide a solid platform when pedaling, and the option to buy another set of blades to change the tension is a useful little extra.