New Bike Pedal Ditches...The Pedal
Imagine, a bike pedal without the pedal.
After five years in development, the Infinity Pedal, a spindle-style design that ditches the familiar platform, will be ready to hit the market around September, according to a Kickstarter campaign to fund its production.
This clip-in pedal, which allows for 360-degree entry, was first unveiled in 2009 by inventor Sam Hunter. An avid mountain biker with an engineering degree from Weber State University, Hunter worked up a prototype for the easy-entry pedals after growing frustrated with traditional clip-in designs, which require that the pedal be oriented in exactly the right position to click in.
“I started mountain biking five years ago, and I found myself struggling to clip into my pedals, especially in steep and technical situations,” said Hunter in a promotional video.
His prototype won the 2009 Utah Concept to Company design competition and received funding to help refine the design and bring it to market. Based in Ogden, Utah, his company, Mobius Cycling, has now developed a market-ready design.
The simple spring-tensioned pedal has no top-bottom orientation, so you can click in without looking; the pedal compresses when clipping in, and then expands to lock into the cleat.
Light and unobtrusive, the steel version weighs only 236 grams and the titanium version, for “weight weenies,” weighs 190 grams. That figure includes two pedals, two cleats, and four total bolts—two per cleat.
The cleats are small enough to remain flush with the sole of almost any shoe, so you can wear the same shoes pre- and post-ride, sans annoying metal protrusions.
In general, clip-in pedals allow the rider to transfer power more efficiently between leg and bike, so that even the upstroke generates power.
Designed for mountain bikes, the first round of Infinity Pedals use a typical 2-bolt design and have 5 degrees of float, which is the amount of sideways rotation your foot is allowed while still staying safely clipped in. (It takes 18 degrees of rotation to fully release.) A 3-bolt road bike design will be the “stretch” goal after the initial funding target of $85,000 is reached.
If you’re looking to get your feet on a pair as soon as possible, a limited number of Infinity Pedals are available in four colors in exchange for a Kickstarter pledge: $129 for the steel version and $299 for the titanium, with an estimated delivery in September.
Another company, Colorado-based Ultralite Sports, introduced its own lightweight spindle design in 2012. Ultralight’s pedals have a different locking mechanism and clip into protruding nylon cleats.