5 bike pedals that set out to do more
The pedals are a part of the bike that we don't give much thought to, but perhaps we should. Here are a few unique pedals we've come across, which show that someone out there has indeed been thinking about the things.
Although many mountain bikers use so-called "clipless" pedals – where a cleat on the shoe pops in and out of a mechanism in the pedal – many riders aren't comfortable with the whole idea of being mechanically "clicked in" like that. As a result, we've seen a few different systems in which a steel plate on the underside of the shoe simply engages one or more magnets in the pedal. Getting your foot off is usually just a matter of twisting it to one side.
Do your knees, hips or ankles hurt after a ride? German company BioConform developed what it figured could be the answer, in the form its spring-mounted BIUS1 pedals. Two steel springs on each pedal axle allow the platform to move in or out, in accordance to what the rider's feet want to do. They're also claimed to work a wider variety of leg muscles than conventional pedals, potentially allowing for more power.
The BioConform website is currently unresponsive, but the pedals were selling for €225 (about US$250) a pair. Nikola Innovation offers a product that works along the same lines, although it's a clipless road bike pedal.
Nope, it never reached production, but the Pedal Lock was still an … interesting idea. The system consisted of two water-resistant pedals of equal size and weight, one of which contained a retractable galvanized steel cable, a combination lock, an accelerometer and a 120-decibel alarm. The cable could be pulled out and used to lock up the bicycle.
If anyone tried messing with the bike after that, the accelerometer would detect the movement, and cause the alarm to go off.
Squidworx Modular Flat Pedal
While plastic mountain bike pedals may be lighter and cheaper than their aluminum counterparts, they definitely don't last as long. Canada-based Squidworx is attempting to combine the best of both types, with its Modular Flat Pedal. Each pedal features a sealed steel axle, contained within a central 6061-aluminum body. Attached horizontally to either side of that body are a pair of nylon composite "cages," which form the pedal's foot platform. When a cage wears out, it can simply be detached from the body and replaced with a $5 new one.
A set will cost you CAD$160 (US$116).
Nobody likes it when their parked bike slides over and bangs its top tube against an adjacent lamp post, sign post or rack. That's why Stokbikes folding pedals were created, as each one could be pulled open (sort of like a duck opening its bill) to reveal two magnets on its inner surface. Those magnets could then be stuck to a lamp post or whatnot, holding the bike upright as it was left untended.
Like the Pedal Lock, they never reached their crowdfunding goal. Still kind of a clever concept, though.