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Look S-Track Pedals

Review: Look S-Track Pedals

shackett's picture

We Liked

Solid Feel For Power Transfer

Simple Design

Bales and Defectors are Replaceable

Long Lasting Steel Cleats

Large and Very Smooth Bearings

Optional Cage

Value Priced at $109

It has been many years since I have spent any real time on Look Pedals especially a Look MTB pedal, being the Quartz that the S-Track is replacing. I borrowed a pair for just one ride and liked them well enough before that it was the elastomer-based SL3 dual-sided pedal to which I replaced promptly with Time ATAC and have stayed with ever since using XC ATAC for CX and Trail/Enduro use and a set of MX ATAC for Enduro/DH use with a few forays to test others only to come back to the ATAC as my personal MTB pedal of choice. The new Look S-Track just might have me make a switch for good.

The S-Tracks share some of the Quartz tech being the two-bail cleat retention though thicker than they were on the Quartz so the cleats are not compatible. What is different is a reduction in weight and a fundamental difference in how the cleat and pedal interface. The Quartz and for the record Time ATAC, Egg Beaters two other popular pedal systems used for cyclocross the shoe rests on the bails themselves, this can result in a less than secure feeling like standing on an ice cube, some shoes will get a dented sole as a result. With the S-Track the cleat rests on the raised inner section of the pedal with help from the elastomer bits inserted into the cleat, the rest of the pedal body including the optional cage when installed sits just a bit lower. The result is a rock solid connection for laying down the power and a solid feel. The bales themselves are shielded on the ends by deflectors that help guide the cleat into place for engagement; the deflectors are also how the bales are held in place. This very simple design makes the S-Tracks the most user-friendly reparable clipless pedals I can think of. Remove the two T-9 torx screws to remove the deflectors releasing the bails two per pedal, in the advent you happen to break a deflector or bend a bail from a pedal strike. The whole process takes less than 5mins on the side of the trail if need be, something you can't do at all with eggbeaters, with ATACs you need a punch/drift to drive out the retaining pin out while being held in a vice.

The S-Track do lack any tension adjustment, I have mixed feelings about this, with the ATACs that I have used for so long I have the tension set to the highest setting only decreasing when new cleats are installed and riding on technical terrain for 3-4 rides then dialing back up the tension.

Another feature new to the S-Track is what Look calls DCS (dynamic cleat system): Mud and yuck is evacuated from the cleat through cutouts on the cleat itself. The DCS cleat is made of stainless steel, far more durable and long lasting compared to brass cleats that I have needed to replace far to often with the ATAC. The cleat height is adjustable by the shims supplied to adjust for the tread depth of the shoes as I mentioned before how the cleat itself is in contact with the raised section of the pedal body and not with the bales or the shoe tread that Shimano pedals rely on for added interface stability. The S-Tracks come with the Comp (standard version) of the DCS cleat there is also a DCS Easy version that lighter riders and those that need to disengage to dismount like with Cyclocross or take a foot out often just in case like in aggressive trail Enduro to DH riding. The Comp cleat does take some conscious effort to engage though I never had any issue with disengagement. Over 4 months of use I have noticed no real difference in the engagement disengagement of the pedals the cleats are wearing that well. I am slated to receive a pair of the easy cleats will let you know how they work in comparison.

Two standout features of the S-Track are the large and insanely smooth bearings and the optional bolt on cage. After taking out of the packaging I gave the S-Tracks a spin and they kept on spinning when riding you really can tell the difference, the seals look like they will keep them free of grime for long service life. The optional cage available for $49.99 more adds 45g to each pedal for Trail/Enduro to DH use all very cool indeed.

I like the price point of the Look S-Tracks too the standard S-TRACK msrp is $109.99usd has a composite body and deflectors Chromoly spindle and tips the scale at 142g each (320g per pai with cleats and screws) a real value compared to the mid level S-Track Race msrp of $209usd with a injected carbon body with aluminum deflectors and heat treated chromoly+ spindle (higher molybdenum content) have a slightly greater weight of 145g (326g per pair with cleats and screws) Both are great for all around use CX/XC/Enduro/DH the race model would be great for those that tend to bend spindles from hard jump landings or strike rock often. The top of the line S-Track Carbon Ti cost $369usd tip the scales at a feathery 122g each with the help of a carbon injected body and deflectors and a titanium spindle is suited for the CX and XC racer who demands the lightest possible set up and doesn’t mind parting with the extra coin to achieve it.

We Didn't Like

The Standard (Comp) Cleats engagement is more difficult than it should be, the easy cleats should be included or be the standard

Can’t use a pedal wrench to install, remove. Man I hate banging my knuckles.

No R for right or L for L pedal just a groove in the left spindle for me that's hard to see.

The Final Say

The Look S-Track is almost the perfect MTB/CX clipless pedal with a surprisingly simple design that is incredibly user friendly for ease of repair when needed. They have excellent mud and muck clearance with a rock solid interface for putting down mad power. Large smooth bearing oversized axel for long service life. The optional cage increases the versatility at a value price point to boot earns them a 4 Cowbell rating.

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