Long-Term Review: Look S-Track MTB / Cyclocross Pedals – A Stable, Mud-proof Option

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The pedals also have (as an extra purchase) a removable cage design, for those who want more platform while riding.

Our base model is 290 grams for the pair without the external cages, which makes it 30 grams more than the base model of the Quartz, but with a firmer, more durable interface. Despite the force required to clip-in, the Look S-Track has the most stable and firm shoe-to-pedal interface I’ve used, hands down. Once clipped in, there is no rocking or instability at all and the feeling of power transfer is absolute at the pedal. I found that confidence inspiring when jamming on the pedals, during a steep section or when sprinting.

I loved the Quartz, and the S-Track improves upon some aspects of retention, but sacrifices ease of entry with the default cleats. Aggressive, powerful riders should love the stronger spring tension and stable platform, while lighter or younger riders might want to purchase the $24.99 S-Track Easy DCS Cleats or something with less spring tension or more adjustability. We hope Look Cycle will eventually offer the pedals with either cleat option, so that racers who want less spring tension don’t have to pay a premium to ride the S-Track with the desired entry/exit release tension.

Ultimately, weight-conscious riders will be happy, since the high-end version of the pedals weigh 142 grams, but those looking for super easy clipping out capabilities may be less thrilled.

While many of us have a small fortune invested in pedals for our multiple bikes, technology is constantly changing and most of us are lucky to have the freedom to make a change without sponsor restrictions. Look presents a compelling option, especially for muddy environments. The S-Track is a well thought-out design that should work well in muddy environments and remain stable even as your shoe wears. We only wish the spring tension was adjustable or that the pedal came with a cleat choice for the less powerful or more timid riders.

At $109, the basic model is a good value, but the other models don’t offer much in terms of dollar-per-gram savings for the weight weenies, but the aluminum deflectors on the Race model could offer more durability.

Look Cycle’s Justin Lubecki has confirmed that the deflectors are going through a minor modification to increase durability, as the “wings” of the deflector are a little thin and could be cracked on a rock, but shouldn’t affect the function of the pedal.

Installation? It’s easy, but is performed with a 8mm hex wrench, not a pedal wrench, as there aren’t flats on the pedal axle. Also it’s worth noting that the cleat bolts are quite long, and if you don’t use the shims, on some shoes, the bolts could actually protrude into your shoe, but thankfully you could use your old bolts or source some shorter ones quite easily.

For you superhero fans, the cleats resemble the Bat Symbol, and could win you some friends should you find yourself racing against jokers or in Gotham City.

The cleat for the S-Track from Look. © Cyclocross Magazine

The cleat for the S-Track from Look. © Cyclocross Magazine

Look S-Track MTB / Cyclocross Clipless Pedal:

MSRP: $109 S-Track; $209 S-Track Race; $369 S-Track Carbon
Accessories: Alloy cage: $49; Composite cage: $99
Float: 3 +/- free float (6 degrees total), 15 degree release angle (+/- 12 degrees spring-affected float)
Bearings: Two ball bearings, one Teflon bushing (Race and Carbon replace Teflon bushing with needle bearing)
More Info:LookCycles.com

Look S-Track MTB / Cyclocross Clipless Pedal Photo Gallery:

Check back often for more Interbike 2013 cyclocross bikes and gear. We’ve still got more cyclocross goodies from Vegas.

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Clifford Lee

Tester, Bike Geek at Cyclocross Magazine
Clifford Lee geeks out on all things cyclocross, and is one of the primary testers for CXM Labs. When he's not testing or racing cyclocross, he's tinkering with bikes in the basement, being a dad, or helping people see better.
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16 comments
lineark
lineark

can i use this for a road bike? 

Smith Mann
Smith Mann

An upgrade over ATAC- read the review!

Brandon Rothauge
Brandon Rothauge

Much easier to engage than the ATAC, and they shed mud, sand and grass more efficiently.

craigmacintyre
craigmacintyre

I have two questions.  First, how much release angle - I assume they have some float just by the design.  Second, you infer that the cleat pedal interface is strictly between the cleat and the pedal with the shoe essentially taken out of the equation - is that right?  If so these may just become a bike fitters dream pedal (for shimming and wedging!)

Sean Wittmer
Sean Wittmer

It might just be me but the retention system looks very TIME like.

repsteindds
repsteindds

Uh yeah, okay. Time, the other French company got it right a long time ago. I will stick with my ATAC's which have changed very little in my 20 years on them.

ChrisFallon
ChrisFallon

Overall an excellent review of the pedals. I wondered with the one caveat being ease of entry why you did not mention the easy cleat vs. the comp cleat choice the pedals come with? 

Pablo Thai
Pablo Thai

I love them.. They have more platform support then the egg beater from crank brother..but both are great pedals.

SmithMann
SmithMann

@craigmacintyre I checked the release angle and find it closely matches the advertised of 15 degrees.  We rode the S-Track with the standard included cleats without the optionally available composite cages, so indeed your statement is true.  The shoe treads never contact the pedal, the interface is cleat to pedal only.  With the cages, that will likely change.  I've spoken to a pro bike fitter local to me about this and he began using the S-Track as his recommended mtb pedal soon after it came out  for this very reason.

SmithMann
SmithMann

@ChrisFallon Thanks for the comment. You're a well-informed reader and while we were doing this long-term review, we didn't even notice the new cleat was released this summer. I'll be putting the Easy Cleat option for a run (literally) in the next couple of weeks and will add to the review with an update.  

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