Monday, July 2, 2012

Look Keo Blade Ti Pedals

Just arrived... even the box is nice!

As I hinted in my previous post, there have been improvements made to the Cervelo during the long months (years?) during which this blog was... erm... dormant. Wheels, components here and there... Including a set of Look Keo Blade Ti pedals. A bit of history - I had been an early convert to clipless (and that meant a set of Look PP65s!) and absolutely loved them. Upgraded over time to whatever was latest and greatest. But sadly all was not perfect in my clipless world. My last pair of Look Deltas, though, were less than impressive. Silly squeaking no matter what I tried, poor quality bearings and the requirement to change pedals often due to the wear and tear caused by minimal walking made me consider other options. So as an unrepentant Campagnolo fanboy, I quickly decided on Campagnolo Pro-Fits. The advantages of the Look system, but done right with Campagnolo quality bearings, metal inserts in the cleats that last forever, and much nicer finish. So I have 3 sets on each one of my road bikes.

Campagnolo! Aesthetically, can any other component maker even come close?

Not only are they good looking, but they are pretty much fit and forget. Having said this, around 2 months ago I decided to change again - the Pro-Fits do have some drawbacks: they are heavy and have a relatively small cleat platform. And speaking of cleats, the price for purchasing the full clear set (plastic cleat plus the metal bits) was absolutely outrageous.

Looked (pardon the pun) around for an option, and came across the Look Keo Blades, with the carbon fiber mechanism, as well as an ultra light option with a Ti axle. Did a bit of research and most also stated that the issues that had turned me off Looks had been resolved. I was intrigued by the adoption of the carbon fiber blade (as opposed to a traditional, and far heavier spring) as the mechanism that engages the cleat. Given that they could be found for a very decent price (as opposed to the ridiculous MSRP), I decided to take the plunge. First thing I noticed when I took them out of the box... they are feather LIGHT, appear to be well made (I like the metal plate - this will lengthen the life span of the pedal significantly) and have that "built for a purpose" look that I quite like.

Nice looking, well thought out. So far, so good.

Did I mention that they are light?

Yes sir, 187 grams for the set!

Have now been riding these pedals for around three months, and have absolutely nothing negative to say. They are light, the 16nm carbon blade model that I chose has the right amount of resistance (I would suggest going for the lighter 12nm only if you are a lightweight), are easy to install (Allen key/hex wrench as opposed to dedicated pedal wrench) and look good on any bike, given their understated finish. Plus you have all the availability of Look replacements (thinking cleats here) at very reasonable prices through your local bike shop, favorite online retailer or that online auction site we all know and love.

I have heard of some issues with bearings, but have been keeping a close eye on mine with no negative issues so far. Will update this review if something occurs. Final conclusion: if you are looking for a well established pedal system that is light, not unreasonably priced and that works well, you should consider these. Remember that the model pictured is the top of the line, there are other versions that weigh more (although the functioning remains the same as long as they are Blades) but also cost far less.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Back to the blog! Now in Little Rock, Arkansas!

OK guys. Bringing the blog back to life. I noticed that the blog continues to get a decent amount of traffic, mainly for the Cervelo pictures and reviews. Thanks to everyone who has stopped by! Much has happened. I have now moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, with my family for work, and continue to ride as much and as often as I can. Still riding the Cervelo, still very happy with the bike. BUT, there have been upgrades... now riding full Campagnolo Record 10 speed, with the Red Ultra levers (a marketing ploy, but cool!). Also finally broke down and built up a new set of wheels: Campagnolo Record hubs on DT Swiss rims. Smooth as buttah. So, back to blogging! It's great to talk about cycling again!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated...

... indeed.

I am still of this world. Back from a significant amount of business travel to unmentionable places (including Vienna, this time around... but that was nice... but too much beer and weiner schnitzel...).

So this week I have gotten my rather fat a$# out for three rides. Coming from several months of no riding and continued eating, it has been painful and humiliating. Kids on tricycles now pass me on speed bumps. My lycra riding clothes are uncomfortably tight. But let's not go there.

It is good to be back in the blogosphere! It is good to be riding again. I have some good posts coming up, so stay posted. Equipment reviews and of course, my usual pithy commentary on the pro cycling peloton.

Oh, and congratulations to Ivan Basso, winner of this year's very exciting Giro d'Italia, honored by Cadel Evans (riding solo, as usual, can't the guy get a functioning team?), Arroyo and the Credit boys, minus our friend Valverde (good riddance).

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Where have I been?

Where have I been? Very busy. That's where. Life has been nothing short of hectic - we have recently moved to a new (larger and more comfortable) apartment. And as any of you with families know, moving four people and all their stuff is a handful.

Add in a busy work schedule with quite a bit of travel in the new year, and my complete lack of time to ride has resulted in my 'blogging hiatus'.

The good news is that, as of the second half of May I should be able to carve out some time for more serious riding. And that the new home has a fantastic garage so I now have a comfortable place to work and clean my bike... should I be able to ride it enough to warrant cleaning it!

So please don't give up on me and the Pasta Trails blog! Thanks for looking!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A rough ride...

Hello there. Yes, I'm back, to tell you about my second ride of 2010. Yup, you read that correctly. Life getting in the way of things (actually, more like work, but the impact is the same) and cutting out my riding.

So, today I went riding with two of my good friends. And it wasn't pretty.

About 80 kilometers, on roads as flat as a pancake (the two biggest inclines were less than a km each). A sunny (finally, we have had miserable rainy weather here for what seems like weeks) but rather chilly day (temperature around 4 C when I left the house at 8:30-ish). But hey, no worries, a day of relaxed riding, shooting the breeze with friends and nothing to worry about. Right?


I was in trouble right away, struggling to keep up with a relaxed pace (50x17 or thereabouts). And simply shelled of the back as soon as there was any incline at all.
Not even a pleasant slice of pie and great caffè espresso were able to help.

Oh well. I guess it can only get better...

On a more positive note, one of my friends was out on his first ride on his new bike - he just purchased an immaculate Colnago C-50 with full Record 10 speed. No paint, simple carbon fiber look. Fantastic looking, and (so he tells us) a joy to ride. Comfy, fast descender (not twitchy at all) and an all round solid performer.

Almost made me jealous, but I have my Cervelo R3, after all...

In any event, a bad day of riding is still waaaaaay better than a good day in the office, so I am content. Let us see what tomorrow brings. Hope you all had a more pleasant day out than I!