I have a pair of LOOK Keo Sprint pedals for about a year. Like all LOOK pedals, during pedaling they creak and squeak where the cleat makes contact with the pedal. The squeak comes from the cleat tip rubbing against the pedal lip wall. It’s very, very annoying. I have tried most of the usual “remedies” and now I have found what works for me.

First, it should be noted that there is absolutely nothing wrong with LOOK Keo pedals – it is not the pedals themselves that creak, it is the interface between the cleat and the pedal that causes the problem. LOOK claims that their newer Teflon coated cleats don’t squeak, but a quick look at the forums shows that may not be the case. By the way, I wonder how much Alberto Contador annoyed the Parisians while riding up the Champs Elysees on his special Keo 2 Max Carbon carbon pedals last month.

If the cleats under the shoes become loose, they will cause noise. Make sure to fully tighten them. You may want to use a mild grade thread locking compound (loctite) or grease on the bolts, but that’s not really the cause of most cracking incidents. Some people, who I suspect are LOOK representatives posing as customers, claim that switching to red cleats, black cleats, or gray cleats, or upgrading to Teflon cleats solves the squeak problem. The color of the studs you use does not matter. ALL creak.

Some people advocate spraying WD-40 or PAM cooking spray on the pedals where they come into contact with the cleats. Yes, oiling the cleat surface stops squeaks, but the fix is ​​only temporary. Some riders spray Armor All or silicone grease on their cleats. Good luck with that – be very careful when walking or going down, otherwise you will go crazy and wish too late that you had taken your neighbor’s advice and worn your helmet. Kitchen spray works well for three or four trips and you’ll get a nice cooking oil coverage on the soles of your shoes and on your cleats that you can trace on your mother-in-law’s nice clean carpet. You first managed to skate on his hardwood floor.

Other remedies include paraffin wax, candle wax, and beeswax. All waxes will last longer than oils, but be aware that waxy residue will attract sand, dirt, and things to your cleats and pedals.

The most extreme suggestion I’ve seen involves putting epoxy on the pedal to completely close off any gaps between the cleat and the pedal and to eliminate the up and down play that is believed to cause all the noise, a belief with which it does not I agree, like I said. I can get the squeak without vertical movement by turning my foot from side to side over the cleat’s playing range.

Many LOOK Keo pedal owners give up in frustration and switch to other pedal systems. As one cyclist says: “They don’t really make noise when they’re off my bike!”

So what’s my fix for squeaky, squeaky pedals? Baby powder. I simply wipe the dust off my cleats where they come in contact with the pedals with baby powder (talcum powder). Talc, a mineral, is a dry lubricant that stops squeaks without attracting sand or dirt. Since talcum powder is not soluble in water, it will stay on your studs even in moderately humid conditions. I found that I can easily go a couple of months before having to dust my cleats. This is the no mess, no silt, no grease, no mess residue, ecologically friendly and natural solution to the problem of crispy LOOK Keo pedals.

This article was first published at http://athletesbooks.com