Look Delta style - red or black??



9606

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Mar 8, 2004
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All else being equal, are there any pros/cons to the black(fixed) vs. red(floating) cleats?
I have been using black for quite a few years. Recently I have had knee discomfort (right only). There may be a slight leg discrepancy and/or hip misalignment coming into play also. Rather than try the medical doctor I thought I would start with cleats. If not black or red Deltas, is there another pedal/cleat system that is more forgiving to muscular/skeletal imbalances? I have plain eggbeaters on my mtb, ss, and tandem, but don't ride any of them often enough to get a clear picture on how my knee feels after their use.
Thanks for any suggestions -
 
Jun 27, 2005
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The fixed cleats are more taxing on your knees. I'd recommend using floating types, one guy at my LBS told me the same thing.

On that note, some of the Speedplay pedal systems have cleats with adjustable amounts of float, and you can snap into them without having to flip them because they're double-sided (the pedals themselves resemble small lollipops). You might want to give those a try, although they're a bit more pricey than the standard Look-style systems.
 

9606

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Mar 8, 2004
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If I were to switch pedal systems it would have to be done to two bikes, which means $$$.
Maybe trying the red (float) Look Deltas is the cheapest way to start my quest back to comfort, and many more years of riding.
 

PeterF

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Sep 13, 2004
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I'm a Speedplay user on the road and eggbeaters for cross and the MTB. So I like float. BUT I have also read very compelling arguments that say too much float is harder on the knees. In other words the lateral stability of a rigid pedal is good. NOTHING can take the place of a proper fit/set up.
 

oldbobcat

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Aug 31, 2003
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9606 said:
All else being equal, are there any pros/cons to the black(fixed) vs. red(floating) cleats?
The question was, if I'm using old Look-style pedals, should I get red or black cleats. Not what new pedal system should I buy.

This is like the guy who wants advice on whether to get the Trek or the Cannondale, and somebody is always there to say he should try a recumbent.

Well, back to the subject. I've used red and black, and I preferred black, but red has its advantages. Mainly, with black the alignment must be close to perfect, and even then you might experience knee strain, especially when out of the saddle.

On the other hand I found red difficult to unclip because there's so much float before they let go, and I made matters worse by cranking down the release tension. You should have no problems if you go lighter on the release tension and learn to twist out at the top of your stroke with a bent knee. It's just like twisting out of the toepiece of a Look Nevada ski binding.
 

nbfman

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Sep 12, 2005
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9606 said:
If not black or red Deltas, is there another pedal/cleat system that is more forgiving to muscular/skeletal imbalances?

But the OP also asked the above question, so I think he/she wants to know of alternative systems, too. I'd be interested to know of any stories out there.

That said, I always thought that Look pedals were a pretty good choice for all around performance, including comfort. I have used them with red cleats for around 4 yrs and have not experienced knee problems. I have heard the Q-factor adjustment was helpful to some people. I think it adjusts how much the pedal protrudes from the crank. I have never adjusted it mself, though, and I am not sure whether all models have the feature. If yours does, perhaps it is something to try if your stance is wide. Lastly, it's maybe too obvious to mention, but the cleat position on the shoe makes a lot of difference in comfort. There may be many things to still try to get the Looks to work better for you.
 

oldbobcat

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Aug 31, 2003
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nbfman said:
But the OP also asked the above question, so I think he/she wants to know of alternative systems, too. I'd be interested to know of any stories out there.
Oops, you're right. My bad.

Look has no advertised Q-factor adjustment but with the wide cleat slots and washers you can dial in about a half-centimeter of sideways adjustment. That's more leeway than some brands that advertise adjustable Q-factor.
 

nbfman

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Sep 12, 2005
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oldbobcat said:
Look has no advertised Q-factor adjustment but with the wide cleat slots and washers you can dial in about a half-centimeter of sideways adjustment.

My Look CX7's have adjustable Q-factor as an advertised feature. It is an older model that is no longer available (great pedal, though, as it still works better than either of the KEO Sprints I have purchased since). I fully agree that the large adjustment range in the cleat position can make Q-factor adjustment unnecessary.