Advice needed by new Look Keo pedal user



nealeholl

New Member
May 23, 2010
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I have been a SPD user for some time, but when I bought my shiny new road bike, I decided I'd better have some shiny new road pedals to match. I'm having real trouble crossing busy (wide) roads safely...I stop, unclip one foot, and look left and right. I then push off with my still-clipped-in foot, and get about half way across before nearly being hit my a massive truck. I don't seem to be able to get the second foot clipped in quickly enough, and if I just try to push down anyway the cleat tends to slide straight off the shiny pedal without me generating any motion.

Has anyone else encountered this, or am I missing a trick?
 

Sid Nitzerglobi

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Jun 15, 2010
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I'm not familiar with the Look pedals in particular, but I've got the same cleat style on my Shimano pedals on my road bike and have had much the same issue (although I seem to be getting better at it), so I'm pretty interested in tips as well. If I were riding my road bike in heavy traffic most of the time I think I might go with my SPD pedals and shoes until I had mastered the art in a safe environment.

Are the Keos weighted to have them center to an up/down position? My Shimanos are and I seem to have the best luck when I engage the pedal at around the 11 o'clock position with the cleat front moving at a forward and somewhat upward angle at a slow and easy pace. By the time I hit the 7 o'clock position of the stroke the rear of the cleat is clipped. Unfortunately, this motion/timing doesn't seem to be hard wired enough that it just happens naturally for me yet.
 

quenya

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Jan 14, 2010
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I have used Look's old style (delta) for 8-10 years and I bet the Keo is not much different.

IME the best way is to shift down at lights to a gear you can pedal one legged when you start, unclick your dominant foot. When you do take off, push against the ground hard with your dominant foot (use the tread on the toe not your cleat), then pedal hard with your non-dominant foot and you'll be fast enough that you can spin if need be. Now though I never even think about it and my right/dominant foot is clicked in almost as soon as I take off.

Of course if you learn to do a track stand this is a non-issue.:D
 

genedan

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Feb 13, 2010
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How was it that you almost got hit by a truck? If you had right of way it is the duty of the non-right-of-way drivers to wait for you until the coast is clear for them to move. If they almost hit you like that they are at fault.

Anyway, clipping in and out is one of those skills that you need to practice. Just spend an hour or so on a non-busy neighborhood street clipping in and out until you can do it without looking or fumbling.

I use look Keos, and when I start after a red light turns green, I first use my clipped in foot to propel myself, then I click in immediately with the other foot. If you accidentally slip, clip in and don't be in a rush to get across the intersection. My pedal is almost always in the upside-down position when I set off, so I use my unclipped foot to first turn it over, then clip in, in a single motion. I'm a little different from the guy above me because I always unclip my non-dominant foot at intersections. Do whatever's comfortable.
 
Jun 27, 2005
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East Wareham MA
nealeholl said:
...Has anyone else encountered this...?
Yes, on many occasions. Welcome to the club.

My Look pedals were the first clipless ones I owned, I dove right into them from the platforms. As I see you kinda found out the hard way - as did I, a lot of times the Look-style pedal system has to be flipped to allow your cleats to snap in, whilst the SPD system you were accustomed to and also the Speedplay systems are double-sided.
 

DJA

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Dec 15, 2005
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alienator said:
Practice. Practice. Practice.
I've riden for nearly 20yr on Look pedals and still occasional miss. 1st choice dont unclip if possible either do a track stand or if possible lean on a sign post if there is one in reach. 2nd choice slow down early so you can roll slowly up to the line.
When you have to unclip never try to take off in a hurry. Practice and in time you will get better at it. The Look pedals do sit with the loop at the top to help you lock in.

As for nilly get hit by a truck I know how you feel and regardless of who is at fault 10 ton truck bets a 80kg rider every time. I dont know what it like elsewhere but in Australia lots of driver think we should not be on the road
 

alienator

Well-Known Member
Jun 10, 2004
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DJA said:
I've riden for nearly 20yr on Look pedals and still occasional miss. 1st choice dont unclip if possible either do a track stand or if possible lean on a sign post if there is one in reach. 2nd choice slow down early so you can roll slowly up to the line.
When you have to unclip never try to take off in a hurry. Practice and in time you will get better at it. The Look pedals do sit with the loop at the top to help you lock in.

As for nilly get hit by a truck I know how you feel and regardless of who is at fault 10 ton truck bets a 80kg rider every time. I dont know what it like elsewhere but in Australia lots of driver think we should not be on the road

Actually, I'd advise practicing and getting the procedure down pat, instead of relying on a track stand or convenient post or pole. The fact is that you have to become competent and comfortable getting in and out of your pedals in any of the conditions/situations in which you ride. That competence and comfort comes from practice, repetition, and then actually doing the deed out there among the cars, riders, and other varmints. Relying on poles and track standing can bring its own issues.
 

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