Response from Look, from another thread.
Sorry I didn't notice this thread the first time around...
The issue you're noticing is due to the rubber seal that protects the bearings. If you were to pull the axle assembly out of the pedal, you would find that the bearings actually spin quite smoothly. We used a more robust seal on the new 2MAX, and it causes a little more friction when the pedals are new. We've swapped to a new seal for subsequent runs of the pedal, and should have some of these available at some point once the production rate slows enough to have extras.
I rode mine like that for a few weeks and then removed the seals. I don't really recommend this for wet-weather riding though. Look USA will stock Keo 2 MAX axle/bearing assemblies with the new seals as soon as they're available. These can be ordered through your local LOOK dealer. For those of you outside of the US, I recommend contacting your local dealer or distributor.
(866)430-5665 - Look USA Customer Serviceinfo@lookcycle-usa.com
A DIY solution:
I have put over 1k miles on a set of Keo 2 max pedals and they still do not always "fall" into vertical orientation. So they are definitely aware of the issue and may make a running change to production but no retrofitting of units in the field with alternate seals. I appreciate their response and will make the suggested tweak myself when I get some time. I will post my experience post service.
I queried LOOK USA and got this response.
"The design of the Keo2Max pedals have a new outer seal/gasket design to help keep the elements away the bearings and some early run were a tad tight...but we have an easy fix.
It needs a bit of a break-in period for sure, and we are aware of it. The first few manufacturing runs of the pedal the seal tended to be a bit tigher (sic) and took longer to wear in...that's all.
5 minute Easy Fix - Have your shop pull the axle (19mm box-wrench) and just put a bit of Slick Honey on that rubber seal/gasket and it does the job. The seal sits right under the threaded axle collar. The shop will need to Torque wrench it back together at 5.5nm of torque, and that will smooth the seal stiction and relieve the friction of that new seal. Voila... no more hanging pedal.
The seal is really helping with keeping the bearings clean and last longer, so just give a bit more mileage to wear with the Slick Honey on the seal and all should be good.
Thanks for supporting and riding LOOK...
We appreciate you!"
I followed Look's instructions (posted earlier by Cleaner) for the quick fix for bearing seal stiffness with success.
The axle assemblies were easy to access with the nylon locknut for the left pedal unscrewing counter-clockwise (right hand thread) and right pedal clockwise (left hand thread).
Sliding the nylon locknut away from the bearings to access the seal revealed an angled lip that appears to cause a lot of the resistance. I applied some silicone grease to the seal and then reassembled the pedals but noticed little, if any, improvement in rotating resistance.
I opened up the pedals again and using a small flat screwdriver went around the seal lip lifting it up and then pushing it down to soften it up. This made a big difference and over several rides the pedals consistently hang upright ready for engagement.
The pedals now work perfectly, as they should have out of the box.