LOOK TRAIL ROC PEDAL REVIEW
Review by Marissa Krawczak
The French brand LOOK, who originally brought the ski-binding inspired ‘automatic’ pedals to road cycling in the 1980’s, introduces a new platform pedal to their line with the Trail ROC pedals. While platform pedals are on the opposite side of the cycling spectrum from their road biking heritage, LOOK generously used the technology and design they have in house and created a new option for DH, trail and enduro riders looking for a platform pedal. As they are the first and only traditional platform pedals by LOOK, the same company that recently introduced a carbon-fiber road e-bike, we were curious and willing to give them a try and see how calibrated their mountain bike barometer is.
LOOK’s Trail ROC pedals are truly flat aside from two inset struts running at an angle from the middle spindle to the main outer frame. They are made from a forged and machined aluminum chunk and feature lasting quality laser-etched logos. They are a bit larger than most flat pedals at 110mm by 110mm, but a have a pretty standard width of 17mm. The shape of the pedals is a bit unique with the outer and inner arms being shaped at an angle so they are not totally square and provide a little bit more clearance from trailside obstacles. The Trail ROC’s weigh 430 grams for the pair, putting them right in the mid-range of weight for metal pedals.
LOOK designed the Trail ROC pedals with a bearing and bushing system, featuring two pairs of ball bearings at each end of the spindle. Another aspect that makes the Trail ROC’s unique is the 12 rearrangeable stainless steel pins per side. Riders can customize the amount grip to your ideal setting. Out of the box, the outer pins are 10mm and the inners are 8mm tall, creating a cradling effect on the bottom of your shoe.
When I first received the Trail ROC pedals, I put them on my bike right away since my personal pedals were pretty thrashed and the unique look had me curious. The black alloy was the most noticeable attraction because I favor metal pedals and the finish and design looked quite luxurious. I also really like the simple but aesthetically pleasing design shape and structure of the Trail ROC’s.
At first I wondered why LOOK didn’t just shape the pedals in a concave way, but after a couple months of riding I’ve found that I like the cradling effect the pins provided out of the box for the bottom of my shoes. Having the pedal totally flat in shape with rearrangeable pins keeps options open for different riding styles, but an option for a concave pedal shape from LOOK would be ideal.
The Trail ROC’s are a little larger compared to other pedals but I highly recommend these pedals for anyone with feet on the larger size or for riders who like a little larger platform. As for grip, the Trail ROC pedals worked consistently well with a variety of bike shoes and sole patterns as I’ve been testing a number of different shoes. The pins kept my feet in place on rougher terrain, drops and did a good job of holding up against the volcanic rock impacts on technical terrain around Bend, Or. Even though the grip was good, I found it easy to adjust my footing if necessary. Another bonus was that the spindles spun smoothly but they remained level with not much free-spinning if my foot did accidentally come off. I rode the Trail ROC’s on a variety of XC, enduro and e-bike rides over the last few months and grew to really like the comfort and traction of these pedals as well as the durability so far.
Although LOOK may be known as more of a Tour-de-France road cycling shoe and pedal company, they’ve expanded their focus to provide a new option for mountain bikers with the Trail ROC’s. Clearly LOOK used their expertise to provide a high-quality bushing and bearing system in a not-so-traditional platform pedal. For the the price of a sturdy alloy pedal, the Trail ROC’s are more than worth it and are a great choice for riders who need a burly, dependable pedal. I will definitely keep these pedals as a go-to on any of my enduro, e-bike or downhill rides in the future.