The Look X-Track pedal is a good alternative to Shimano SPDs. It has a quality look and feel, adjustable release tension and a positive engagement and hold on the cleat. It feels as if it’s built to last, with quality hardware and robust-feeling bearings, although the black anodising on the side plates wears off quickly.
Adjustable cleat tension
SPD cleat compatible
A bit more prone to clogging than more open designs, but no more so than Shimano pedals
Black anodising wears off quickly
Anyone who rides cyclocross or who wants a more walkable pedal will choose a 2-bolt design rather than a 3-bolt road pedal. The new Look X-Track provides a high quality option.
When Shimano wanted a better road pedal, it copied Look’s Kéo. Now Look has returned the compliment by making a two-bolt pedal compatible with Shimano’s SPD system.
The Look X-Track pedal replaces the older S-Track. Whereas the S-Track had the advantage of a very simple design and the option to add cages for more foot stability, it lacked adjustable release tension and engagement felt a bit wooly.
The Look X-Track is a more conventional design with a front fixed cleat retainer and a rear sprung engagement mechanism with adjustable release tension. The cleat design has also been changed to be compatible with Shimano models, although Look supplies its own cleats with the X-Track and recommends its use.
The Look X-Track pedal is designed to be robust, so that it can handle rock bashes. There is a double seal to the axle to keep wet and muck out too. There’s a quality look to its finish, with shiny cleat retainers and cross-hatched black metal side plates, although the anodising soon wears off the latter.
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It’s also designed to provide plenty of contact area with the shoe to increase power transfer. There are ridged side surfaces to help maintain grip. The supplied cleats provide 6 degrees of float, so that you can keep your foot position comfortable.
I did find that lateral foot stability was better than on more skeletal pedal designs like Ritchey’s. As usually with off-road pedal systems, this does result in a bit more tendency to clog than more open designs though.
I had to kick debris out of my cleats to get a positive click-in sometimes, after wading through particularly sticky mud or leaves. Once you do cut through the mud, engagement is positive, precise and confidence-inspiring.
Weight and price for the Look X-Track are competitive. The Shimano Deore XT M8000 design weighs 338g and costs £90. You can shave some weight off the Look X-Track by opting for one of the three models further up the range, with the X-Track Race Carbon coming in at a claimed 340g a pair and £95, while the Race Carbon Ti, with a titanium spindle, weighs 300g a pair.
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