A revamped pedal platform drags Look back into the limelight
For the latest Look X-Track range of pedals Look has adopted a ‘Can’t beat them, join them’ approach of Shimano-style mechanism.
Contrary to what most mountain bikers would think, it wasn’t Shimano that pioneered clipless pedals for the off-road market but French company Look that actually have that honour. But as the might of Shimano took to producing off-road pedals alongside a few smaller, ‘cooler’ brands so Look was sadly pushed to the sidelines. Since those early days Look has continued to steadily produce off-road pedals but no one design has really garnered the attention of the masses.
Look X-Track En-Rage Plus pedal review
Gone is the distinctive twin bar design of previous models, the X-Track brings a return to a more traditional, Shimano SPD style pedal. Incorporating the familiar twin-jaw mechanism and a cleat that features compatibility with Shimano systems, the X-Track has instantly recognisable design to it. Let’s be totally honest, squint and you might as well be looking at a Shimano pedal.
This particular pair are the top-end En-Rage Plus pedal. The En-Rage is the more trail/enduro oriented pedal range, with the Plus sporting a larger platform area than the standard En-Rage. It sits in direct competition with the likes of Shimano’s XT M8020 and Nukeproof’s Horizon CS pedals, so it’s up against some solid performers.
The En-Rage Plus isn’t going to win any awards for its weight, losing around fifteen grams to the Nukeproof Horizon CS pedals and nearly fifty grams over the Shimano XT M8020 Trail pedals. But it has proven to be almost bombproof over the testing period and this has included eight days amongst the rocks in Moab, Utah. This is thanks to the chunky, forged aluminium body that extends around the mechanism, doing a grand job of staving off pedal smashing rocks and roots. This extended platform also provides the En-Rage Plus with a good level of foot stability. Each side of the mechanism features a knurled section that helps hold your foot in place without feeling like your shoe is rolling off the edge.
Two pins at the front of the pedal provide the En-Rage Plus with a purposeful look but in reality do very little. When engaged the sole of the shoe sits completely away from the pins to the point where you might as well remove them and remove a little weight.
Clipping in is accompanied by a nice audible click so you know you’re solidly locked place. The pedal features adjustable engagement and release tension so you can fine tune according to confidence and personal preference. I normally prefer a healthy amount of tension to prevent accidental unclipping but found myself winding the tension almost back to minimum on the En-Rage. It really does like holding onto the cleat! Even at minimum tension the retention is rock solid, so if you are new to clipless then it might not be the perfect beginners choice. The standard cleat provides six degrees of float or free movement so there is a little leeway before they start disengagement. For riders who prefer a little more disengagement options Look also produces an ‘easy’ cleat that will allow for a wider range of angular disengagement. Both cleats and pedals are compatible with other Shimano style systems.
After a few months of solid abuse the Look X-Track En-Rage Plus has proved to be a solid and dependable set of pedals for trail and enduro use. Consistent engagement and disengagement gives you one less thing to worry about. Finally the robust build quality and smooth bearings ensure that the pedals will provide bombproof (dare we say Shimano-like) levels of reliability over long term use.