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review

Look Geo City Grip Vision pedals

7
£115.00

VERDICT:

7
10
Unquestionable comfort and grip in all conditions, but whether the increased visibility is worth the extra is debatable
Comfy
Grippy and stable
Added visibility for safety
Flimsy port cover
Small operation button
Weight: 
584g

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The Look Geo City Grip Vision pedals offer the same great level of grip and comfort for urban riding as the standard Geo City Grips, but in addition to the customisable platforms, the Visions come with four integrated LEDs to increase visibility. They're a great option for anyone putting in urban miles on any kind of bike, though they're quite a hike in price from the non-Visions.

If you prefer to ride in normal shoes, are keen to upgrade the pedals your bike came with, and improve your visibility on the road, all at the same time, these pedals might be just what you need. They feature the same wide base and double-sided, non-slip Vibram rubber platform as the Geo City Grip, but with the addition of four integrated LEDs.

2021 Look Geo City Grip Vision pedals - lights on.jpg

As with the non-Visions Hollis tested, the platforms sit atop a composite base and have a multi-directional tread, designed to increase grip and help channel water off the pedal. Some of the rubber ridges sit higher than others. The whole thing is designed to keep as much of the shoe in contact with the pedal, all the time, and it works exceptionally well.

> Find your nearest dealer here

I've used the pedals on an e-bike, as well as knock-about-town hybrid. I particularly warmed to them on the e-bike, which I use primarily for commuting. Riding to work in casual shoes and experiencing a decent level of grip, without having to clip in or sense knobbly pins has been refreshing.

2021 Look Geo City Grip Vision pedals - pedal.jpg

Even in heavy, persistent rain, they still offer great levels of grip. My commute is relatively flat, but on the occasions I want to ride out of the saddle to get over the odd lump, I've never once experienced slip. To top this off, there's no sense of pressure points or harsh edges pressing through softer soled shoes. The grip and large contact area mean that power transfer is as good as it gets for something you aren't clipped into.

The platforms are interchangeable. In addition to these black models there's red, lime green and camo, which combines all three on a grey background. I can't comment on the ease of actually changing the platforms, but Hollis described it as 'a cinch' in his review of the non-Visions. They certainly add an element of fun – an option to coordinate with your bike – and mean you can replace them should the pads wear out, though I suspect that would take some time; I've got Vibram-soled shoes and they are seriously robust.

The pedals are easy to mount using a standard 8mm hex key (to a torque of 25Nm). The bearings run smoothly, and the actual pedal construction is top quality.

Vision

It's the four integrated LEDs that set these apart from the City Grips. Look claims that the oscillating beam has a power rating level of up to 50 lumens, and a range of more than 900m, with a 180-degree angle. The LEDs are offset to point slightly outwards, as shown in the photo below.

2021 Look Geo City Grip Vision pedals angled LED.jpg

I'll admit to being sceptical about the effect of a light on a pedal – surely my feet would obscure it, though my size 42s are hardly 'large'. However, at night and in certain daylight urban scenarios, the lights are surprisingly striking, with the orange glow standing out from your usual red and white bike lights. At night, with the addition of pedal rotation, they really do create a worthwhile visibility aid.

> Buyer’s Guide: 9 of the best flat shoes for commuting, leisure and urban cycling

I'm not so convinced of their effect during the day on the road – the Day Flash mode is striking, but no more so than a decent rear light, arguably less so given their position under the foot. Dip into a subway, railway bridge or specific cycle tunnel and they are more effective (as is any light). I can see how they would be useful for daytime riding for anyone navigating plenty of tunnels, if such a commute exists. Naturally, I'm writing this in BST; they will really come into their own for winter commutes.

The operation button on the units is very small, but there is a noticeable 'click' when you locate the trigger point. It's possible with thin gloves, but not deep winter gloves, for me anyway; just remember to switch them on before you 'glove-up'.

2021 Look Geo City Grip Vision pedals - pedal light on.jpg

They are simple to operate: one prolonged click switches them on and off. Once on, one click cycles you through four different modes: Steady (20 lumens), Day flash (50 lumens), Night flash (10 lumens) and Flash eco (6 lumens).

The lights use a functional and reliable stop-start motion detector to preserve battery life. If you are static for more than about 30 seconds they go into standby mode. A flashing green light indicates this. The lights are super sensitive, and any motion (even just a gentle touch) will reactivate them, to the mode they were already in. If they don't detect movement for about 30 minutes, they will power down themselves – a great feature, in my opinion.

I'd say that Look's estimate of 20 hours when in eco flash is not far wrong. It's tough to measure exactly, particularly when urban riding – the lights are going onto standby a fair bit. I have found that three days of commuting (3 hours) is possible before recharging when on Day Flash, navigating several sets of traffic lights and junctions. Look gives a 2.5-hour estimate for this mode, so they are doing well.

A red light begins to flash when they reach 30% capacity, turning to constant at 25%. This comes on when the lights are operating. Given that the lights are amber, it's not difficult to see (when you take your foot off the pedal at a set of lights, for example), so there's little risk of being caught out, though it's not a disaster, given that they are 'additional' lights.

Charging

The light units pop out of the pedals for recharging. I tried to work out how without a set of instructions and failed. The instructions are online, which makes me want to go off a tangent here, for a moment. The packaging contained minimal plastic and no excess paper – one plastic sticky tab holding the box closed and a QR code to the instructions rather than an instruction leaflet. It's great that manufacturers are actively minimising plastic packaging.

Once you've popped the units out, they charge via a micro USB port. There's one supplied cable with a split head, so you can charge two units in one go. They go from flat to full in just under two hours.

2021 Look Geo City Grip Vision pedals split cable and lighting units.jpg

The silicone charge port covers aren't particularly robust, and one has already broken off. I still use it to plug the port, but it's hardly ideal. Getting the tabs to fit snuggly in the port housing is fiddly to say the least – it's a really tight fit, and if you don't engage them properly they are dragged out as you insert the light into the pedal (hence breaking off, I think).

2021 Look Geo City Grip Vision pedals port and cover.jpg
2021 Look Geo City Grip Vision pedals broken port cover.jpg

The unit clips securely into the pedal with a magnet. It really isn't a faff to get them in and out once you know how to, and I've had no concerns about them disengaging.

I've used them in some pretty horrific conditions and have had no issues with water ingress, supporting the IPX7 rating. If the port covers do break off (and get lost), it's possible that water may get in while riding in wet conditions. Look does recommend that they are kept clean and dry to secure performance.

Value

It's tough to draw direct comparison with other options; I've not found any other rechargeable pedals out there. There are a few that offer integrated LEDs that charge on pedalling – for example, these are only £14.99, but I can't comment on how well they work.

Whether you consider the Visions to be worth the money will depend on whether you deem them gimmicky or a valuable additional visibility feature. I'm not entirely convinced, to be honest, and think that for half the price you can invest in the Geo City Grips and use the money saved to buy a decent set of extra lights – perhaps to mount on your helmet, which will be at more practical height for other road users.

Conclusion

Overall, I really can't knock the pedals for comfort, grip and performance in all conditions. The lights work well and certainly increase your visibility, though the port covers and buttons could be improved. Given those flaws, and the fact that you can simply mount extra lights in more practical places for less than the difference in price between these and the Geo City Grips, it's hard to justify the price, but if you have the cash, they certainly work.

Verdict

Unquestionable comfort and grip in all conditions, but whether the increased visibility is worth the extra is debatable

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Look Geo City Grip Vision pedals

Size tested: n/a

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, 'With LOOK Activ Grip by Vibram and LOOK Vision In Lighting our Geo City Vision Grip is the ultimate urban pedal. Combining 24/7 LED safety, iconic mountain boot traction and MTB-toughness with Tour de France winning performance and unmatched personality there's no better place to put your feet for town and country riding.'

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Look lists these details:

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 pair: 580 g

Pedal: 290 g

Light modes: 4 (Steady 20 lumens / Day flash 50 lumens / Night flash 10 lumens / Flash eco 6 lumens)

Light output: From 6 to 50 lumens

Battery: Micro USB rechargeable (cable included)

Unit light weight: 14 g

Beam angle: 180°

Waterproofness: IPX 7 waterproof rating

Light included: Yes (x4)

Charging time: 2 h

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Actual pedal is top quality. Questions over port covers.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

Brilliant grip and comfort. Lights certainly add to visibility on the road.

Rate the product for durability:
 
6/10

They are robust pedals, fully capable of plenty of urban miles. Vibram has a great reputation and it's not showing any signs of wear here either. I've pulled down the score for the port covers though; that it's broken off within four weeks is disappointing.

It's worth highlighting Look's advice, which is inline with most lights:

Before riding, ensure the micro-USB port cap is correctly closed to prevent the intrusion of any dirt or moisture that could interfere with charging.

The initial battery autonomy (20h in eco flash mode) may decrease over time due to a number of factors: incorrect charging procedure, the number of charges or the ambient temperature during charging (temperature should be between -5° and 40° degrees Celsius, outside of which battery capacity may be significantly reduced).

Leaving your batteries fully discharged for a significant amount of time can result in a progressive loss of their initial autonomy until complete and irreversible depletion. For this reason, always make sure to maintain a minimum charge level by recharging the batteries every 2 months at least.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
6/10

They are not the lightest out there, but given the weight of the bikes they'll likely be mounted on, I'm not going to get picky about saving weight. If weight is important, Race Face Chester Flats come in at 368g and Hope's F20s are 400g.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
10/10

Most comfortable flat pedal I have ever ridden with.

Rate the product for value:
 
4/10

They are £57 more than the Geo City Grip model; that's a sizeable amount for the extra lights. Many flats don't have any kind of reflectors, though, so it's a matter of deciding what you value in a pedal I guess. These offer both outstanding performance and great additional visibility; if you deem the latter important in a pedal, you may consider them worth investing in.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Brilliant for urban riding and commuting. The lights are effective and functional, with reliable technology.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The comfort and grip.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The port covers.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

Expensive, but given the integrated lights it's difficult to draw direct comparisons. That said, Hope's £130 F20 pedals make them look well priced. If it's a basic flat pedal you want with little consideration of comfort and performance, you can easily save money with B'Twin's £9.99 offerings. If you ditch the lights you can get the same performance with the Geo City Grips for half the price.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Not the Vision model, but definitely the Grips.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

They're good: the simplicity and convenience of a flat pedal with outstanding comfort and grip, in all situations, with a large platform to boot. The lights are certainly a positive addition on the visibility stakes, and perform well in all conditions, but the small button and port covers could be better, and to my mind the extra cost over the Geo City Grip model could be better spent on helmet lights, or lights to mount at a more practical level.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 173cm  Weight: 64kg

I usually ride: Road  My best bike is: Carbon road.

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, Getting to grips with off roading too!

Emma’s first encounters with a road bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling. 

After a couple of half decent UK road seasons racing for Leisure Lakes, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there and spent two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, then a new Belgian team of primarily developing riders, where there was less pressure, an opportunity to share her experience and help build a whole new team; a nice way to spend her final years of professional racing. 

Since retiring Emma has returned to teaching. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. In addition to the daily commute, Emma still enjoys getting out on her road bike and having her legs ripped off on the local club rides and chain gangs. She has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been rare sightings of Emma off-road on a mountain bike…

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