Review: Look S-Track Mountain Bike Pedals

Components

The S-Track replaces the Look Quartz pedal as Look has switched to a whole new design direction with this new off-road pedal. Look wanted something with more reliability, consistency, bigger contact patch and versatility for All Mountain use.

A first look at this pedal shows there is much more refinement compared to the Quartz. The cleat itself is more roboust. Much like a Shimano cleat, it is thick and made of a very hard metal. But it is also channeled for debris flow and it is impregnated with rubber to aid in the contact feel with the pedal.

The pedal too looks pretty slick with a clean, minimalist design. There is no cage but the axle body itself has a platform to maximize surface area for the contact points

Video: Demonstration of click in and out action of the S-Track Pedals
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The S-Track was designed to have a very reliable, consistent and positive click in and out mechanism. And at the end of the day, that is the ultimate test of a clipless pedal. How is the clip in and out action of the pedal? How easy is it to find the pedal and click in? How consistent is it when clicking out? We rate the S-Track the highest in all these categories. The spring is tight and positive and it gives a very audible click when clipping in and out. The cleat is made of a very hard metal to give it that positive feel and maintain durability over the years. Yet, they were able to merge rubber material to it to improve the mating with the pedal.

The pedal spring tension is not adjustable but it seems to be set just right for experienced riders. There is +- 3 degrees of float and it takes 15 degrees of rotation to click out. There are shims provide with the pedals to achieve the perfect mating with the shoe sole. The sole does not need to contact the pedal body but riders who want the maximum power transfer and comfort can play with the shims to ensure that the shoe sole and the pedal body contact perfectly when the shoe is clicked in.

The removable cage
This pedal is versatile as it is perfect for a cyclocross bike but it was also designed for All Mountain bikes. For All Mountain duty, a platform cage can be added as it sandwiches the normal S-Track pedal. An option for $49, the 74 gram/pair composite cage will increase the contact area to 870 square mm. The cage will be available in the US by February and we will update this review when we test it.

Mud Clearance
The pedal looks like it has no surrounding cage as it’s similar to a Crank Brothers Candy without the wraparound body. This is done to minimize interference with mud and debris that can clog it up. In our testing, this was indeed the case as we were able to click in ride in the muddiest conditions. Look said they designed the cleat to evacuate mud as well by giving it an exit path to flow through. Well, we can’t attest to that as sticky mud just built up on it just like any other cleat. But a quick tap on it and a click got us in ok. What really helped is the very postive click in action of the pedal.

Contact Area
This is where the pedal really shines as Look is able to achieve good contact area even with a small cleat and without a surrounding pedal cage. What they’ve done is maximize the mating surface between the pedal and the cleat. They measured it at 200 square millimeters and we won’t argue with that. And for the so inclined, optimizing the shoe sole to pedal contact area with shims will yield a total contact area of 460 square millimeters. Does it matter? Yes! Pedal contact area and shoe stiffness determine power transfer and rider comfort. On our test rides on a cross and road bike, these pedals felt very responsive and we had no hotspots in our feet.

Review: Look S-Track Mountain Bike Pedals Gallery
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Look S-Track Pedal on Norco Sight 650b

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About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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  • glen davidson says:

    That’s right, Tom. They look pretty nice quality, but are just ATAC knock offs

    • myke says:

      Totally. I saw they and thought you got to be kidding me! Seems like Look has been copying Time lately with their road pedals and now mountain.

  • Glenn C says:

    When are we going to see these become available? I have been anxiously awaiting there arrival in the states. Nice review.

  • Chris K says:

    I had a pair of Quartz for about two rides. The cleat stuck out and contacted the ground which translated to skating around on rocks and scratching wood floors. I couldn’t imagine adding shims to poke them out further. The pedal itself was a bit thick as well. To be fair, the action was very nice and they were really light for how little they cost. But, as an owner of several Time pedals, I had to go back. Time cleats wear quickly, but they don’t touch the ground and the pedals have a lower profile. I was really hoping to read that Look reduced the cleat and pedal profiles. I think it is funny that the “related posts” beneath this dialogue box are showing Tioga’s and Launch’s super thin profile platform pedals!

  • zett says:

    Where can I get these Pearl Izumi shoes????

  • Jay Thomas says:

    I hope they improved the premature release that plagued the Quartz pedals. Whenever I jumped or bunnyhopped the Quartz pedals would release, which made them very, very dangerous. I switched to the Time ATAC pedals and have been very pleased with every aspect of Time’s design. The release action is very nice, but I don’t unclip at inopportune times while jumping.

  • Vern says:

    I had the Quartz before, in fact, I’ve had two sets and I love them. My guess about problems others had were related to the cleat shimmed used. If the pedal shim is not the right size, the cleat will not fit right or work right.

  • derby says:

    If the easy release problem of the Quartz is solved, the advantage compared to Time would be weight saving, about 145g vs about 350g for the pedal bodies, cleat weight is not much different. However, the cleat and bar design is reverse the Time design, which may be the root problem causing too easy release, a slightly firmer spring and tighter friction with the shoe using ideal shims is not a fix for rocky trail and bigger hit uses.

  • Chuck D says:

    I had the Look Quartz before and decided to try the S-track. They have a better clip in feel compared to the quartz and great mud shedding. I also think that the price to weight ratio is good too. But in my opinion they are not durable at all. I am 6 ft and 160lbs and ride mainly cross country. After only 8 rides these pedals were falling apart. I admit that I had 2 pedal strikes during a rocky climb but really nothing out of the ordinary or with speed. The compost material was busted and the spring wires were bent. My LBS did sent them back for warranty replacement and it took LOOK 4 months to turn them around. Really not very good customer service. Now, it seems as if the race version might have a more rubust build but I do not know if the higher price tag is worth it. the So, would I buy them again for my MTB… NO. However, I can see how they might be a good cycle cross or commuter pedal.

  • Don M says:

    The spring preload, contrary to what Look and everyone says, can be loosen. Its probably not a great solution, but when faced with a light rider and the Easy Cleats still won’t let them learn the technique to get it, it works. There is a star bolt on the front and back of each pedal. This bolt goes all the way through the pedal body and is for removing, replacing, etc, of the S-Spring. With the right star wrench you won’t notice much difference when loosening one of the bolts, because the other bolt is still pulling both sides of body together, but if you loosen each side 1/2 turns you will immediately see the spring loosen and small gap where the body pulls apart.

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