The Look Keo Blade Carbon has been drool inducing since the very first day it was announced. Its light weight, low profile, huge surface area and the fact that anything carbon is like catnip to cyclists and triathletes makes the blade an amazing offering from Look.
First, lets talk weight. the Keo Blade Carbon Ti (the blade also comes in a CrMo axle model also) comes in at a minuscule *185.2 grams (6.5 ounces) per pair. This is thanks in part to the new tension spring system. Rather than the traditional metal spring that creates locking tension, the Blade uses a compressed carbon blade. The standard blade has a tension of 12 Nm for general tension and for riders who want more tension also comes in a 16 Nm version that is replaceable with a tool available from Look. The light weight is also helped by the injected long carbon fibers. These fibers are over 10 mm as opposed to the standard 1-2 m fibers.
Next up is surface area. The first Keo pedals I rode were the Look Keo Sprints. I still own these pedals and like them a lot however the surface area is something that has resulted in more than one close shave with sterilization when my foot slipped off. The blades platform, where the cleat meets the pedal, is about 30% larger than the sprints and gives the pedal a rectangular look instead of the typical semi-triangular shape. This comes into play almost constantly while riding and its noticeable in terms of stability while riding and while clicking in and out. The amount of float on the Blades is, as with all Keo pedals, determined by the different cleats available.
The Blades are the basis of a couple of highly anticipated products that will be coming up fairly soon. The first of these is the Blade Aero, a time trial pedal that adds a carbon housing to the underside of the pedal. Look claims that this feature will improve aerodynamics by 2% while only increasing the weight of the pedal only 5 grams and making the pedal even stiffer. The Blade Aero has been ridden by Alberto Contador during the Prologue and final time trial of the 2010 Tour de France.
Perhaps the more anticipated version of this pedal is the offspring of the recent union of Look and Polar for the Together Power pedals. These pedals will have an integrated power meter in the axle and will bring about a product that other companies should be rushing to catch up to. [Original Polar press release]
Upon first stepping into these pedals I admit that I was petrified that I was going to snap them in half! Once clipped in, the wide base gave a fantastically secure footing. I have been using the 12 Nm tension carbon blade and I find it gives a perfect amount of tension while getting clicked in. The tension also holds my foot plenty secure and I didnt feel my foot waiver in the pedal at all. Clicking out was just as easy and to be honest I find myself constantly noticing the smoothness with which Im able to click in and out. The feeling of breaking the pedal also went away very quickly and the realization that this is an extremely well built and durable pedal is all that remains. They are quite high in price, but if the means are there they are well worth it. Look has a tradition of making high quality, reliable and durable pedals and the Look Keo Blade Carbon are no exception.
> ROAD USE FROM LEISURE TO COMPETITION
> BODY LONG FIBER INJECTED CARBON BODY
> AXLE TITANIUM / CROMOLY
> THREAD 9/16 X 20 MM
> ROLLER BEARING 2 CARTRIDGE BEARINGS, ONE NEEDLE BEARING
> HEIGHT AXLE SOLE 15.7 MM
> AXLE DISTANCE FROM AXLE TO CRANKARM 53MM
> MULTISENSOR 2 INTERCHANGEABLE CLEAT RETENTION BLADES 12 AND 16
> CLEAT FLOAT DEPENDS ON CLEAT TYPE
> ANGULAR FREEDOM 0º, 4.5º, OR 9º BLACK GREY OR RED
> PEDAL WEIGHT 95 G. IN TI (258 G. PER PAIR WITH HARDWARE) / 115G. IN CRMO (298 G. PER PAIR WITH HARDWARE)
> COLORS BLACK AND GRAPHITE
> ACCESSORIES DELIVERED WITH PEDALS, GREY CLEATS AND MOUNTING HARDWARE (6 BOLTS 5 X 11MM AND 6 WASHERS)
> WARRANTY 2 YEAR
*Weight stats via Weight Weenies