Interbike: Pedal Power

Keo Power

Keo Power uses the Look Keo pedal platform with a steel spindle and a standard Look pedal body. Both left and right pedals have strain gauges imbedded in the axle to allow independent measurement of the power created by both legs. Each pedal uses four strain gauges mounted on the spindle and has a transmission unit—the external black piece with Polar written on it prominently—that sends the power data to the computer. Instead of using an open source transmission system such as ANT+, the unit uses Polar’s own system that can only communicate with Polar 500 and 600-series computers. It will not send a signal to the RCX 5 GPS watch. This proprietary transmission system prevents Keo Power from being used in conjunction with the computer of your choice. These black transmission pieces appear to stick beyond the edge of the crank, which would leave them vulnerable to scrapping the road through tight corners, but Look maintains that they do not in fact extend beyond the crank arm and they are well protected from road damage.

In order for the pedal to accurately measure power, the electronics within the axle have to be oriented perpendicular to the crank arm and installing the pedal requires a few steps more than simply snugging the pedal onto the crank arm. The pedal has a 18mm box wrench slot next to the pedal body that allows the axle to thread most of the way into the crank arm. Once the pedal is nearly snug, an Allen wrench is used to hold the pedal aligned 90 degrees from the crank arm. While holding the pedal in place with the Allen wrench to prevent the pedal from spinning, the 18mm wrench is used to tighten the pedal onto the crank to secure its position. Look engineers say the pedal can be anywhere within +/-5 degrees for the system to accurately measure power.

The battery will last for five months if it’s used 3 hours a day. The system weighs 405 grams and will cost approximately $2,220.