The Look Geo City urban pedals offer loads more grip and comfort than standard flat pedals and they look really trendy too, with neat swappable rubber platforms in a variety of colours. They're a great upgrade for those who put in the miles but don't want to be clipped in.
If you prefer to ride in normal shoes and you want to upgrade the plastic pedals your bike came with, these Looks should be of interest.
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Unlike the cheap plastic jobs that often come with an urban commuter style bike, the Geo City pedals feature a wide base and a non-slip rubber platform made by Vibram on both sides. These rubber platforms sit atop a composite base and can be swapped out with different colour platforms, to allow you to style up your pedals to match your bike (or not).
The pedals have long reflectors integrated into the base on both sides (so they won't fall out after five minutes of riding); Look even makes an ultra posh, ultra expensive version of these pedals that have built-in LED lights instead of reflectors.
The pedal spindles are made of chromoly, and they're as easy to install as you might expect – just thread them on to your cranks, tighten them up and away you go. Thankfully, Look has stuck with the typical 8mm hex here rather than the 6mm some pedals have, which can make them a pain to loosen if they get seized after a few winters.
> How to fit and remove pedals
Swapping the inserts out is a cinch thanks to just four screws holding the two platforms in place on each pedal.
While riding, the difference in the Geo City pedals and the standard ones on my Vanmoof Electrified S is night and day. As I said, these are much larger, so there's a lot more to put your shoe on. This is ideal when you're setting off from a stop and you want to stand up and be confident that your foot isn't going to slip off – especially if you have particularly large feet.
The vulcanised rubber platform is manufactured by renowned footwear sole brand Vibram, and is called Look Active Grip. Although it might be easy to look at the collaboration as a tidy bit of marketing, the Vibram platform does seem to be quite effective in use. The tyre-like tread is very grippy, and apparently the grooves also aid in water drainage. Whether or not this is just more marketing, wet riding is markedly improved. I no longer have to worry about slipping off the pedals and smashing my shins and/or getting run over my a motorist from behind.
Another advantage of the entirely flat platform on the Geo City is that pressure from your foot is evenly distributed across the pedal when you press down, though you might not notice the difference so much if your shoes have very chunky soles. If, like me, you usually wear Converse-style sneakers with a relatively thin sole, it's a lot more comfortable when you don't have jagged bits of plastic and metal stabbing the underside of your feet.
> Buyer’s Guide: 9 of the best flat shoes for commuting, leisure and urban cycling
Although weight isn't usually a huge concern on an urban bike, even less so if it's electric, the Geo City pedals weigh in at 538g for the pair, which is pretty hefty. For reference, the pedals that I removed from my Vanmoof were 238g, so that's quite a lot more. For me, it's not an issue because the bike already weighs as much as an anvil, and the benefits that the Geo City pedals bring far outweigh this, pardon the terrible pun.
I'm sure the style of these pedals won't be for everyone, but I think they look great, in a big and slightly retro kind of way. I prefer the less shouty black platforms to the red, but you can also choose crazy camo or an eye-searing lime. You can also buy replacement platforms, though they aren't particularly cheap at £38 a pack.
Which leads me neatly to the question of money: are the Geo City pedals worth the £58 asking price? I didn't think so initially, but after thoroughly testing them and realising what a difference they make, I think they are a worthwhile upgrade, especially if you ride your bike every day in all kinds of weather. Heck, you can easily spend more than £50 on a helmet or a new pair of tyres, so why not something that helps you propel yourself forward in a safe and efficient manner?
And they work out cheaper than some: the sneaker-friendly MKS Urban Platform EZY pedals combined with the Steel Half Clips, as tested by Shaun a few years ago, work out at nearly twice the price at rrp (though you can buy the pedals at a discount here and the clips here), and don't look nearly as grippy or comfortable.
You can buy cheaper though: Matt liked the Race Face Chesters, which are £49.99 (and lighter, if that matters, at 368g), and eXotic's Alloy Flat pedals are £34 and were highly thought of by Jim on our sister site off.road.cc. Both are distinctly more mountain bike style, though, and I would doubt are as comfortable in sandals or thin-soled trainers.
If you want to take a step up (or a side step) and try the clipless route, the Shimano PD-ES600s pedals are worth a look. The simple two-bolt cleat system makes it easy to get in and out, and there are loads of 'normal' looking shoes out there that work with SPDs. They are £12 more, though.
If you're dead set on sticking to flat pedals then the Look Geo Cities are an excellent choice, and they'll really make a difference to how much pleasure you get from riding your bike around town. If tyres are an essential first upgrade on a bike, then good grippy pedals like these come a close second, I reckon.
Comfortable, grippy and trendy looking pedals – a worthwhile upgrade for urban cyclists
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Make and model: Look Geo City Grip pedals
Size tested: Platform area - 107x103 mm
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Look says: 'Express your personality while boosting your riding enjoyment and safety with the awesome new Geo City Grip featuring LOOK Activ Grip by Vibram. We've combined our legendary pedal performance with the expertise of the world's most famous mountain grip brand to create a fantastic, fun, colorful town and country pedal.
'Unique interchangeable LOOK Activ Grip by Vibram tread inserts to boost your safety while shouting your personal style. Red, lime, moody black or crazy camo colour options mean there's a Activ Grip insert for every rider.
'Proven on the summits of the highest mountains, the golden Vibram badge guarantees your riding confidence on city streets or countryside tours whatever the weather and whatever shoes you're wearing.
'Specific grooved, multi height 'City' tread design for total wet or dry trust. Also works with LOOK's composite stud and rubber lug Vibram Activ Grip 'Trail' inserts for even more grip.
'Lightweight composite honeycomb base for mountain bike-level strength and durability.
'Top quality performance bearings for silk smooth pedalling performance however far you're riding.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Spindle material - Chromoly +
Body material - Composite
Q Factor -63 mm
Grip - Vulcanized rubber activ grip
Technology - Flat pedals + LOOK activ grip by VIBRAM
Platform area - 107x103 mm
Weight (as tested) - 538g
Rate the product for quality of construction:
They appear to be very well built.
Rate the product for performance:
Lots of grip and increased comfort under foot.
Rate the product for durability:
So far there are no signs of wear – the rubber platforms can be replaced in the future, if need be.
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
They're certainly not light, but urban riders probably won't notice the difference.
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
Far more comfortable than a standard open-style pedal.
Rate the product for value:
They're not cheap, or at least not as cheap as cheap plastic pedals, but they compare well to other similar flat pedals. The only slight issue is the cost of replacing the rubber platforms, which is relatively pricey, but depending on how much you pedal you may never have to replace them.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The larger platform combined with the super grip Vibram Active Grip platform on each side makes it easy to get away without worrying about your shoes slipping off, even in wet weather. They're very comfortable underfoot too.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The size of the platform, which makes it easy to mash the pedal without worrying about your aim, especially when you have big feet.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They may seem pricey for predominantly plastic pedals, but their performance makes up for that. The MKS Urban Platform EZY pedals + Steel Half Clip are pricier and don't look quite as easy to use, though the Race Face Chesters are £49.99, if rather more mountain bikey.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
If you're wanting to stick with the ease of flat pedals but your current plastic ones aren't offering much in the way of grip or comfort, the Geo City pedals are a definite upgrade. They offer loads of grip, even in the wet, there's plenty of pedal to push on, they're comfy and they look great. The ability to change platforms is a neat, if expensive, option.
Age: 39 Height: 6'4 Weight: 175lbs
I usually ride: Steel audax bike My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives,
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