The LOOK Quartz Mountain Bike Pedals are designed to shed mud like a stripper sheds clothes, and when style points involve airin' over a downed tree at 25mph, you can forget about coming out of your pedals at the worst possible moment.
a Cross Country Rider
from New Zealand
Date Reviewed: September 19, 2011
Strengths: Great pedals. It's all been said below.
Weaknesses: None really, so long as you GET THE UPDATED VERSION.
The positive reviews below sum up my feelings on these pedals, so I wont expand on that.
The main reason I'm writing this is to warn potential buyers that it is still very possible to be sold the inferior first generation pedals, brand new, from bike shops. The bike shop staff will often not realise the difference. There are many reviews below by people who have obviously been sold the old pedals (now ~3 years out of date) as brand new. This is very unfortunate, for them and for Look.
You need to do your homework, and learn the visual difference between the two generations of the pedal -- it is very simple. You need to check that you are getting the newer one. The new ones are great -- the best I've tried. The old ones are not.
a Cross Country Rider
from Kansas City
Date Reviewed: May 17, 2011
Strengths: Lightweight @ 280 grams
Reasonable way to shave weight at a minimal price
Sheds mud like Eggbeaters.
Uses bearings throughout unlike Eggbeaters (Crank Brothers pre - 2011 models)
Solid platform feel
The float that my trick knee needs to feel good.
15 degree release cleat is great and the option to go to 20 degrees with a different cleat.
Weaknesses: The first generation pedals were not good.
Bad reviews from the first generation of these pedals.
People not understanding how to setup the shims for the cleat. It's a shame that Look didn't do their homework before releasing the Gen 1 pedals. They should have released the Gen 2 pedals from the beginning.
These pedals are what I was looking for. I was a huge Eggbeater fan for years until I finally had enough of the grease maintenance, $20 cleats wearing out every year, hitting rocks which results in unclipping, and 3 sets blowing up in one month. They were costing me too much to keep.
I switched over to SPD's for a year and the self centering effect of the SPD pedals just tweaked my knee too much over long rides. Nothing wrong with SPD's if you don't have a knee issue like I do. They are cheap, durable, and keep you in the pedals in the roughest of terrain. SPD cleats rarely wear out and the bearings go forever with no maintenance.
Now to the Quartz review:
I demo'd a pair of Gen 1 Quartz pedals from the shop. I liked the concept, but realized there were problems due to research before purchasing and feeling it for myself in the under powered spring of gen 1 pedals.
I got the pair of new ones that I ordered. Night and day difference between Gen 1 and Gen 2. The current generation snaps you in and the spring does not flex like the gen 1 spring. The gen 1 really should have never been released. They were that bad. (Enough about gen 1 sucking) These pedals are solid and well built just like my Look road pedals. Lightweight and simple. I put the 1mm shim under the cleat on my heavily used Specialized Pro shoes as directed by the instructions. Clipped in and haven't looked back. I find that they are take more effort than eggbeaters to release from. I have yet to come out of the pedals when I didn't want to. Smack a rock with the bottom of the pedals and you stay clipped in. There is some side to side play like ATAC pedals have, but not a lot. I like the fact that they don't self center like SPD pedals so if you have a twist in your pedaling action it doesn't tweak the knees. I will agree that the cleat/shoe interface design can seem kind of funky compared to what everyone is used to, but it makes sense when you stop and think about how it works. You can adjust as your shoe tread wears down which will take a lot of riding, less if you walk on concrete a lot in your MTB shoes, years for most people riding single track.
Bottom line is that the second generation of these pedals work great and are super light for the money. You can visually tell which is which. The second generation has the front and back bars and then you see another metal piece of the spring running between the two around the axle. Gen 1 just has the front and back spring bars.
Strengths: Weight, performance when dirty, stable platform, easy reliable entry and exit. Nice color options.
Weaknesses: Comes with 15 degree cleat... 20 would be better. Wonbt open a beer as well as SPDs will.
The bottom line is this... I have ridden these through miles of very nasty terrain, never an accidental release. The reviews below are insane. Maybe the older models sucked but these new ones 09-10 seem very solid to me.
The Quartz pedals function very similar to the best pedal of all time... The original TIME ATAC Carbons. If you like ATAC pedals you will like these.
The shims may seem like a hassle at first, but if you think about it, it's actually a good feature... they make the cleat narrow on purpose in order for the user to tune how snug the pedal will grab the cleat, gets rid of that lateral slop that is the only weakness of the ATAC pedals.
Anyway... lighter than some of the most expensive pedals around, functions as well as anything out there. I don't see what all the fuss is about.
Strengths: Light, should clear mud well, straightforward design
Weaknesses: Shims are a hassle - particularly if you have multiple shoes, spring tension too weak for serious trail riding
Highly disappointed with these. I run ATAC XS's on all of my bikes but their lack of durability prompted me to try to the Looks. Their open design seemed to be a throw-back to the old Time Aluminums, plus light weight and mud clearing design looked great.
I first tried them on the trainer to get used of the feel. After fine-tuning the shims on Shimano shoes, the disengagement felt more subtle than the Times, but reasonable. Then to a spirited trail ride. These things would fail just when I needed them most - particularly when really putting the power down for climbs that needed momentum and thrust. It truly messed up the ride.
Later I spent a long time trying different shoe and shim combinations hoping to get the get the right set-up. It never happened so I liquidated the 2 pair that I'd bought, to riders that stuck to tamer conditions. Given the right combination they may be fine but if you have more than 1 set of shoes, and ride aggressively, be prepared to be frustrated. Given my situation - useless.
Similar Products Used: Shimano (various), Candy's, Time ATAC (XE, XS, Alum), etc...
Bike Setup: Intense EVP 5.5 - high end build
a Cross Country Rider
from East Lansing
Date Reviewed: July 17, 2010
Strengths: Low weight, cool design.
Weaknesses: Cleat set-up complicated, no tension adjustment, UNEXPECTED DISENGAGEMENT.
I am extremely unhappy with the performance of these pedals. The spring tension that Look claims to be suitable for all is in my opinion far too low. And after trying out many different adjustments with the cleats and the provided shims, along with trimming the hell out of my shoes, I experience far too many unexpected releases of the pedals. This happens particularly during technical sections where I need a solid platform to rely upon. Weight is not even a factor, as I am not a heavy rider (160 lbs). Therefore, i cannot even recommend this pedals to lighter-weight riders. I have switched back to my 10-year-old Shimano pedals for now while I wait for the new XTR's to come out.
Strengths: Lightweight, and not too expensive for that. They do what they are built for, if you get the new series.
Weaknesses: In/out-performance is less amazing at the beginning compared to the SPD-system, needs experience.
I installed them for weight weenie-purposes and the price-weight-ratio still seems to be good in my point of view. After more than 3 months I think:
- ins and outs have to be practiced for a while before feeling quite safe (as far as this can be said about click pedals!)
- still in a good shape, but talking about the durability needs more time of use and (hopefully not too often) at least a few crashs without the need of pedal replacement
- if you have to use the platform for a short moment before getting in again: don´t expect miracles, platform performance is limited of course, but not too bad for clicks.
I read the horrific reviews, but I think, they are a quite good choice, if you look for the new series.
So, I know that these have gotten a very bad rap. The initial offerings were horrible due the the dangerous nature of the random clipping out and general insecurity they offered. Thankfully LOOK took the time to address the issue and they are now excellent pedals. Lighter than many of the CB Candy offerings and all the TIME offerings. They are a steal for the price. I am very happy with these. Just make sure you get the new ones!!!
Bike Setup: Niner Air 9 with a bunch of good stuff
a Weekend Warrior
from CO & AZ, USA
Date Reviewed: December 12, 2009
Strengths: - Lightweight
- Decent price @ 98$
- Worked great AFTER I modified the pedals and cleats !
See this link for mods -> http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=578353
Weaknesses: - I could NOT get in and out of these pedals till after I modified the pedals and cleats. After the modifications - which Look should consider making in the manufacture of these pedals - they worked great.
They are great pedals "IF" - and I say "IF" - you have the patience and time to set them up correctly. Also, I would highly recommend the mod below (see link) if you ride in technical areas and need to clip in and out of these pedals in a timely manner.
Mod -> http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=578353
Favorite Trail: Right now, any trail without snow !
Duration Product Used: 3 months
Similar Products Used: - Time Atac for years and years...
Bike Setup: All mtn... Ibis Mojo... 29'er... Niner RIP...
a Weekend Warrior
from Little Silver, NJ, USA
Date Reviewed: November 21, 2009
Strengths: Easy to clip into, design stays clean no matter how muddy it gets.
Weaknesses: At about one year usag, cleats started to come out easier - but this is probably to be expected
I never had another pedal so this is all I know. My bike shop installed the first set, so I had no issues with popping out as some of these other posts describe. I installed the second set myself. Again no issues. No shims used except the main base plate. I ride fairly tech terrain in the Northeast - bumpy, rooty, muddy, rocky stuff. No problems. Would recommend this product. For $69, can't be beat. If you are a serious weekend warrior (no wimpy firetrails) it is a fine product.
Similar Products Used: OnI am currently on my second set of Quartz, my first set cracked after NASTY smash-up. Pedal anchored in a stump, went airborne, pedal was cracked off on one side, other side worked - and still got me home.
Bike Setup: Santa Cruz Blur LT 2007. Set-up was easy. - grease, torque, ride.
from New Zealand
Date Reviewed: August 4, 2009
Strengths: Easy set up. No need to adjust spring tension. Rock solid retention. No sloppiness.
Weaknesses: Clip-in is a little bit less instinctive than with other pedals
These pedals rock. I have used Shimano's overpriced XTR rubbish after wearing out several pairs of Speedplay Frogs and so far, Look seems to have got it right. I was tired of the XTRs unclipping when I really wanted them to hold my foot to the pedal and I have tried to get the Looks to unclip and they just hold me in. When clipping in the sensation is a little bit more vague than with other systems but this could be due to the smoth spring movement unlike the harsh XTR clunk these just gently grab the cleat. If you want a pedal that does what it is supposed to do then try these.
Similar Products Used: older TIME ATACs, which I will be returning to.
Bike Setup: Custom 26" hard tail with SID Team, hope minis, XT, hand built wheels
a Cross Country Rider
from Johnson City, TN - USA
Date Reviewed: June 24, 2009
Strengths: Light, but that about sums it up.
Weaknesses: Difficult cleat set-up (shims); impossible to remain engaged; dangerous product in my opinion
I scored a good deal on these (or so I thought) over a year or so ago and they are continuing to collect dust in the garage.
First off, the set-up is a pain. There are numerous shims for the cleat and the instructions lead you on a trail-n-error method for determining the right shim stack height. On my initial trail ride, I could not stay engaged...even on the light stuff. I became totally disengaged from both pedals several times that could have easily led to serious injury.
I was all but convinced that I had not installed the cleats correctly so back to the drawing board. After multiple attempts and a couple of rides later (even using a separate pair of shoes), it was obvious that this was not operator error. This is confusing especially since my previence experience with both Time and Crank Bros is much more simple and effective - Step 1: attach pedals, Step 2: screw in cleats, Step 3: RIDE.
In view of my experience and reading other reviews it is clear that Look has dropped the ball on mountain pedals. I am an avid Look KEO road bike pedal user, so you would think that they could engineer a great mtn bike pedal as well - but that is certainly not the case with the Quartz pedals.
Similar Products Used: Time ATAC, Crank Bros Candy SL
Bike Setup: BMC Fourstroke
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: June 21, 2009
Strengths: Light, easy to get in, look cool
Weaknesses: Shoe / pedal contact is a bit sloppy and too easy to come out of if you are pulling up on a hard uphill. Cleat setup is a little tough, but the Look website has some good tips on shims for most shoes.
Didn't like the pedal performance, switched back to Time ATAC. Although the ATACs are a bit heavy they rock. If you want low weight eggbeaters are great, just the platform is a bit small.
Sorry if this is well-known info, but I'm trying to find out if there are any mountain bike accessible trails that climb up the Estrella Mountains near Phoenix (which always taunt me when I'm on South Mountain). It looks like there's one legal hiking trail that goes to the top called Quartz Peak tr ... Read More »