Product Test: Look X-Track Carbon Race Pedals
There are a lot of things that the French do well, and in cycling, one of them is pedals. Look is one of the oldest cycling brands around and has been doing pedals for a few generations. Over the years Look has seen success on the pavement and dirt, and has earned a reputation for quality and durability. Look recently revamped its lineup of mountain bike pedals with a new platform and engagement. We put the X-Track pedals to the test.
Compared to the previous Quartz pedal, the X-Track has a completely new look and several technology changes—the most notable being the move to using an SPD-compatible engagement. Along with a new clamping mechanism, there is a new carbon fiber body with a wider platform for extra support when clipped in. The platform on the X-Track isn’t super wide like a trail pedal’s, but it does have a larger surface area than an HT Leopard pedal or Shimano XT. Along with the new platform and clip mechanism are spring-tension adjustment screws on both sides of the pedal. Look designed them to be adjusted with a 3mm Allen and offer a range of 6–14 N/m of tension. While there are several versions of the X-Track, our set of pedals used a steel axle with two sealed bearings. The higher-end version uses a titanium spindle to save weight, but it comes with a steeper price tag. The X-Track Race Carbon pedals weigh 346 grams per pair, which is on par with a set of Shimano XT pedals, and cost $130. The higher-end Race Carbon Ti is lighter and more expensive.
On the trail:
Installing the X-Track is like setting up a pair of Shimano pedals. The spring tension is dual-sided and requires each to be tended to separately. The stock tension on the Look does provide a snugger fit than a pair of Shimano pedals and is more in line with the HT. We ran the tension screws about halfway for a little extra confidence. The pedals gave us a reassuring “click” when the cleat found the engagements on the platform. The wider platform made it a little easier for our test riders to clip in compared to other pedals we have tested. Once clipped in, we had a fair amount of float that allowed us to shift our body weight without feeling too restricted. Unclipping was consistent, even when we had mud or grime in our cleats. One of the biggest factors with pedals is durability, and the X-Tracks have proven to be reliable. After our test, the bearings were still smooth and the axle was still straight. The carbon fiber body was in good shape, even after several rock strikes and general abuse. The X-Tracks are a touch heavier than Shimano pedals and slightly more expensive, but they do have a broader range of tension adjustment and a more reassuring fit. If you want something different from what everyone else is riding and don’t want to take a risk on the quality, the X-Track is a solid option. www.lookcycle.com
• Broad range of engagement tension
• Snug engagement
• SPD compatible
• High quality
• More expensive than competitors
• Slightly heavier than competitors
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