Monday, 20 February 2012

New pedals for the new bike; Ritchey WCS Echelon V2 (Keo alternative)

A new bike like my Planet X RT-57 really deserves a new set of pedals to go with it so here's a review of Ritchey's WCS Peloton Pedals which now adorn my new stead. If you're reading this asking the question
"Are Ritchey WCS Echelon V2 Road Pedals compatible with Look Keo Pedals"
Then the answer is all below

I've used Look Keo pedals for a number of years and all of my other bikes have Look Keo Max pedals on them however having looked at prices I can't believe how expensive they are now. Yes, a good pair of pedals don't come cheap if you're looking for performance and obviously I don't really want to have a single pair of compatible shoes that I can only use on one bike as that would really be a little wasteful and expensive too.

Therefore I started researching Look Keo alternatives. I didn't want to change the pedal system on each of my bikes and like the flexibility of being able to use the same set of road shoes on each different bike too. Most companies were selling Look Keo Max 2 Carbon pedals for around £70 which I don't begrudge paying however started to have a look at other options for slightly less money. I came up with 2 options

Exustar E-PR200's
Ritchey WCS Echelon
Ritchey WCS Echelon V2 Road Pedals

Both of these options are Keo cleat compatible and an almost identical product in appearance and specification. Both of these pedals are slightly lighter than the equivalent Look Keo Max 2 Carbon by around 10 grammes per pedal as well.

Despite being priced almost identically to the equivalent Look pedals in the UK- I managed to source some Ritchey WCS Echelon pedals for £50 from a German retailer which I couldn't really turn down.

Ritchey WCS Echelon V2 Pedal for use with Look Keo Cleats

A quick review. In use the pedal feels similar to a Look Keo with that reassuring snap into place that has always been in place with a look pedal. The Ritchey's own cleats look very similar from the exterior however feature alternate plastics. The grey sections provide slightly more grip when walking around. However the downside is a quicker wear rate to these sections which fortunately are not part of the main coupling mechanism. Look Cleats have never been known for their own longevity however.
Ritchey WCS Echlelon V2 Pedals looking great attached to Sram Red Cranks on my Planet X RT-57 bike

Tension can be adjusted to high levels which means you're not going to slide around in the pedal due to lack of tension meaning when you come to a steep climb or sprint your pedals won't let you down.  Would I have another pair- yes definitely! I personally use the pedals with around 2/3rds of the available tension which I feel is ample for a 76 kg sprinter/ rouleur's level of control and is the same amount as I would proviously use for a set of Keo's
Ritcheys own cleats feature alternate plastic sections for additional grip while walking which is an improvement when compared to Look Keo cleats

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