Bicycles

Cleat It electronically releases cycling shoes from clipless pedals

Cleat It electronically releas...
The Cleat It system is presently on Kickstarter
The Cleat It system is presently on Kickstarter
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The Cleat It activation button can be mounted anywhere on the handlebars
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The Cleat It activation button can be mounted anywhere on the handlebars
The Cleat It cleats offer nine degrees of float
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The Cleat It cleats offer nine degrees of float
The Cleat It system is presently on Kickstarter
3/3
The Cleat It system is presently on Kickstarter
View gallery - 3 images

While so-called clipless pedals are used by many serious cyclists, some riders still worry about not being able to get their feet off the things when coming to a stop. That's where the Cleat It system comes in, as it electronically releases the feet with the press of a button.

In case you're unfamiliar with clipless pedals, they incorporate a spring-loaded mechanism which engages a cleat that's attached to the underside of the rider's shoe. This keeps the feet attached to the pedals, allowing the cyclist to both push and pull on the pedals throughout each crankset revolution, as opposed to just pushing down on them.

With most clipless systems, the shoe can be disengaged from the pedal by twisting the foot and moving it outwards. In the odd situation, however – perhaps for some riders more than others – this can't be properly done, so the cyclist ends up falling down onto the road.

That happened to the father of Australian cyclist Bryn Friedmann, resulting in a broken wrist. The incident also resulted in Bryn inventing Cleat It.

The Cleat It cleats offer nine degrees of float
The Cleat It cleats offer nine degrees of float

Currently on Kickstarter, the system incorporates special cleats which are compatible with third-party cycling shoes and Shimano clipless road pedals (a Look-compatible version may also be offered). The cleats pop into the pedal mechanism in the usual way, and can be released with the traditional outward twist, in situations where there's plenty of time to "unclip."

Additionally, however, pressing a wireless handlebar-mounted button temporarily powers up an electromagnet in each cleat, causing a retaining arm within the cleat to retract. This allows a hinged plate inside the cleat to open, which in turn lets the rider simply lift their foot straight up off the pedal.

The Cleat It activation button can be mounted anywhere on the handlebars
The Cleat It activation button can be mounted anywhere on the handlebars

The idea is that users will push the button whenever they anticipate having to suddenly stop, such as when approaching intersections. It should be noted that they'll still be able to pedal even when the retaining arm is retracted – as long as they don't try to pull up on the pedals – plus the electromagnet will proceed to shut off on its own, reengaging the cleat.

Should you be interested in getting a Cleat It system of your own, a pledge of AU$110 (about US$78) is required. Assuming it reaches production, the setup should retail for AU$180 (US$128).

Source: Kickstarter

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6 comments
6 comments
Chunk Applegrabber
This is a solution to a problem that is in turn in search of a solution to a non-problem. Anyone who lacks the coordination and awareness to twist their foot slightly outwards is not going to fare well trying not to topple over while trying to find a handlebar button that's far enough out of the way to keep from being accidentally deployed while riding along.
freddotu
@Chunk, that was my thought too. I've used clipless systems since the inception, Shimano type and never once had a problem releasing. In the rare high-tension circumstance, the clip-out happened without thought. As you suggest, adding one more step in the process isn't going to make it better. Even worse, though, it's yet another high-risk Kickstarter, as all Kickstarters are high risk.
itsKeef
"push the button whenever they anticipate having to suddenly stop"... if only life (on bike) is like that! from someone whose first clipless was the Campagnolo C-Record SGR-1 pedals...first of the few...rather than last of the many methinks! Crank Bros' eggs now. So, life on the road still much the same.
...Still maybe I am wrong...its take just one crank to start a revolution..! ha ha get it?
Karmudjun
@Chunk Applegrabber
I appreciate your smug approach to people who have neurological issues or muscle weakness which may make them either clumsy or weak and who have the "non-problem" you have isolated. We tend to mainstream people who have limited function with physical activities that will improve their quality of life and their range of motion. We do not recommend bicycling with clipped pedals for the reason you state is a non-reason because they can topple over without the solution at hand.
Since it is a non-problem, even though they may benefit from such a device, should we have it available in the marketplace for anyone with the non-problem to at least try it out on their road to recovery? I mean, if they can ride along with their hands close to the brake lever where they could push the button? A lower limb stroke won't always affect the upper limb functionality.
Insightful!
Nelson Hyde Chick
A solution to a non-problem.
Chunk Applegrabber
@Karmudjun, see, there is a preexisting solution to this problem that is in turn in search of a solution to a non-problem. Remote-control clipless pedals for people who can't use clipless pedals is an expensive, complex, and completely unnecessary bad idea. Apparently it is YOUR bad idea, and I understand that you think it is a good idea, but it's not. The solution to this non-problem is the FLAT pedal. They're pretty cool, those flat pedals. They have well over a century of proven success in the field, are very cost-effective, don't require special cleats or shoes, and have no buttons or batteries or electromagnets or retracting moving parts to fail so there's no chance of them not working when someone approaches a stop-sign and causing them to topple over.

You had an idea, and the general consensus is that it is a pretty bad idea.