Look Cycle X-Track En-Rage Plus Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Substantial pedal platform, stiff release spring
Cons: Heavy, less impressive in the mud, higher profile design
Manufacturer: Look Cycle
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Look developed the first clipless pedal for bicycles back in 1984, and while the name isn't currently synonymous with mountain bike pedals, they produce some excellent products. Look's most recent entry in the rugged trail category boasts some interesting tech and isn't just a me-too product. The X-track En-Rage Plus is the enduro width (67mm) version of the X-track En-Rage that measures 63mm wide. Looks En-rage plus pedal sports a forged and machined aluminum body which is stronger than an extruded body but also a bit heavier. The pedal is incredibly stable boasting 664 square mm of surface area for the shoe to interface with. The engagement mechanism is very similar to a Shimano SPD, the cleats are even compatible, but the Look mechanism extends from the rear and supports the cleat from the sides giving the engagement a slightly different feel. Look uses what they call Lateral Contact Support, which is their term for more pedal body supporting your shoe. They say it helps to guide your foot into place and prevents you from missing engagement.
Ease of Entry
The Look pedals have just about the perfect sized platform and its an easy target to hit. The forward placed grub pins help to orient the pedal for engagement while the traction on the body does seem to help you navigate if your foot is slightly askew. The engagement mechanism, while almost identical in design to an SPD, doesn't feel quite the same. Clipping in initially took a fair bit of effort but seemed to soften up after the first hundred miles. Even after breaking them in a bit, they never developed that quick magnetic feel we came to appreciate on the Shimano XTR M9120 Trail pedal.
Ease of Exit
A solid and resolute exit is what we felt getting out of these pedals, there was no ambiguity to their release, and it was always met with an audible click. Although similar in design to the SPD mechanisms on other pedals the X-Track En-rage Plus has a unique feel of release. When you disengage from these pedals your heel pushes sideways but rather than the quick snap out that you expect with an SPD, you feel resistance that will push you back to engagement if you don't follow through. It feels like a ramp up to release that's just past the end of the float. The larger platform with it's rougher texture also feels considerably less slippery than the HT T-1 but not less predictable. In fact, the roughly machined platform doesn't feel more slippery when it's damp.
There are many types of adjustability that we measure in this test, and the X-Track En-rage Plus has most of them. Adjustable release tension ranges from medium to death grip tight, if you're the type of rider that cant get your SPD pedals tight enough, Look has you covered. The grub pins installed on front corners of this pedal are adjustable in height or removable, and the SPD replica cleats are interchangeable with SH-56 multi-release or Look's X-Track easy cleat which provides release in multiple angles. The pedal is also fully rebuildable and
The forged aluminum body on this pedal adds some heft and its relatively high profile body uses plenty of that metal. With a profile height of 21mm, the Look X-Track En-Rage Plus is almost 5mm thicker than the HT T-1. While not quite as heavy as the forged Shimano Saint M820 the En-Rage Plus is more than 50 grams heavier than its competitors in this test. Weight isn't everything but its an important consideration for many and might be enough of a downside to keep them off the ends of our crank arms.
It's worth noting that although the Shimano XTR M9120 pedal weighs 52 grams less, Shimano doesn't recommend the pedal for Enduro use. The HT T-1 however, gets the solid nod for enduro use.
The roughly machined surface of the pedal provides substantial surface area, and that contributes to a very stable feel. Look machines the pedal body to 67mm wide, 4mm wider than the En-Rage Trail oriented pedal. It has a claimed 664 square mm of surface area that interfaces with the shoe and unlike the Shimano XTR M9120 that machined surface area fully supports the sole of the shoe.
Mud Shedding Ability
The Look pedal wasn't bad in the mud, but its larger surface area sometimes accumulated debris that made engagement more difficult. Unlike the Shimano XTR M9100 with its conical machining, the debris on this pedal doesn't have a clear path for evacuation. On the Time Speciale 8 and HT T-1 the surface areas were smooth anodized aluminum, and that may have contributed to the better mud shedding on those models.
Enduro riders experiencing durability issues with extruded aluminum pedals may be attracted to the forged bodies here. Riders that can't seem to get their SPD pedals tight enough will rejoice at the death grip these pedals offer while still being compatible with SPD cleats. If you're having clearance issues on your low bottom bracket trail rig, you might want to search out something a bit lower profile.
The Look X-Track En-Rage Plus is not a me-too product and will find its following among riders demanding a bit more from their pedals. While not for the XC crowd, the larger, heavier and more robust pedal is designed with enduro in mind.
— Joshua Hutchens