Road cycling is quite different from any other form of cycling, mostly because of the long durations spent on the bike. Just like road shoes are different by being lighter and stiffer than shoes designed for rougher terrains, road pedals are different as well. The purpose of mountain bike pedals is to hold the foot in place when necessary, but to be able to release quickly should there be a need to place a foot on the ground or walk with your bike.
The Ké0 2 Max road pedals from French manufacturer Look are in the higher range of pedals. They’re light for their price, weighing at 328 grams for the pair of pedals and related hardware. The pedals also have a large stainless steel cleat contact surface for durability and stiffness. The Kéos have a carbon injected pedal body, a stainless steel cleat contact area, an oversized axle with dual seals, making this a pedal built to last and you can feel it when using them.
With road pedals, the point is to transfer the power from the cyclist to the bicycle as efficiently as possible. This means that the pedals themselves are bigger in size (since there’s no need to dodge rocks) and the clipping area of the cleat is much larger for greater solidity.
The cleats in Look’s pedals are well known and you can customize the cleats to your personal preference. They also come in three different colors, each color meaning a different angular float angle from 0°, 4.5° OR 9°. The first being the black one, with no movement in the cleat and the pedal. The gray one has the 4.5 degree float and the red one is the most floaty with the nine degree movement.
If you’re not used to road shoes and cleats, they can be surprising. I nearly managed to kill myself with my carbon soled shoes and road cleats the first time I walked with them. The cleats and shoes have no grip and the hard plastic in the cleat is very slippery on pretty much any surface. Don’t try scaling stairs with these on your feet.
You can see what the ground touching points in the shoes are from the photo, and it’s not a lot.
The Look Kéo 2 Max pedals are very good, very sturdy and durable, but they are also expensive. They cost about a 100 euros for the pair of them, but they are built to last. We highly recommend them if they fit your budget. The competition comes from Shimano’s SPD-SL pedals and cleats, where the Ultegra and Dura-ace pedals offer similar quality in the same price range.