Hustle Bike Labs Takes a Stab at Magnetic Pedals With the REM

Jan 30, 2020
by James Huang  
Mag pedals

First it was MagLOCK. And then it was Magped. And now a Colorado upstart company called Hustle Bike Labs is having a crack at magnetic platform pedals. The idea has always seemed to have some merit, but up until now, the products have never caught on. Maybe this time will be different.

Or maybe it won’t.

The idea of magnetic platform pedals is that they can provide the security of traditional clipless pedals, but with far easier engagement, along with the freedom of movement — and the ability to more easily eject yourself — that comes with platforms.

Hustle’s REM pedals follows a familiar formula, with a powerful neodymium magnets embedded in the middle of both sides of the pedal body, surrounded by an array of traditional thread-in pins. And like those other magnetic pedals, the cleat is basically just a steel plate that fills the pocket of standard clipless-compatible shoes. But there are also a couple of key differences.


Mag pedals

Whereas the magnets on the MagLOCK and Magped pedals are fixed in place, the REM’s magnets are mounted in a block that can pivot slightly about the axle, which supposedly allows for a more natural feeling on your feet, and also helps your shoe adjust to the shape of the pedal. Currently, the block is machined from Delrin plastic, but production units will be made of aluminum and filled with roller bearings.

The REM also uses much stronger magnets than anything else to date, with just over 65lb of pull force per pedal as compared to about 35lb for the MagLOCK and 45lb for the Magped. According to Hustle Bike Labs founder Craig Payne, this provides a connection that’s akin to a clipless pedal, but still with much more freedom of movement since your feet can still easily slide across the surface of the platform.

Mag pedals

The REM pedal design is still being finalized, but Payne has some ambitious performance targets in mind. This includes a 600g weight per set without cleats (when fitted with titanium axles — chromoly ones will come standard), as well as a sub-US$200 retail price. Payne is hoping to have the pedals ready for a more formal launch by Sea Otter in April.


hustlebikelabs.com


144 Comments

  • 87 6
 These magnetic systems are degauss-ting.
  • 45 2
 I am attracted to the concept
  • 48 0
 @onemind123: I expect this product will polarize opinions
  • 38 0
 @onemind123: I'm repelled by it
  • 12 2
 @NorCalNomad: well opposites attract so it should be perfect for you Wink
  • 19 16
 Not sure why we all don't just go back to toe clips and have the worst of both worlds. LOL
  • 14 2
 I know its a polarizing subject, but still... I'd put a pair on a Pole. Would make it more attractive, or just more repulsive... Im still not sure yet.
  • 15 0
 These belong to a complete new field
  • 4 0
 I can feel the Payne in my shins just thinking of using these.
  • 16 0
 some solid metal shoes to match would be so stylish, but I'm not sure I could pull them off
  • 8 0
 perhaps if they focused on a more visually appealing design, they could truly be chic magnets
  • 4 0
 @NorCalNomad: Lets give them a chance before we reject this idea outright. I think that would be ferrous for all parties.
  • 6 0
 The designers deserve an induction into the MTB hall of fame.
  • 5 1
 I don't think that these would Faraday on my bike. I'd just go back to my SPDs, despite them being a monopole(y).
  • 1 1
 @borisimobike: This is GOLD!
  • 1 0
 @vjunior21: Yeah with magnetic toe clips you wouldn't need the leather straps so a weight saving to be had for the lycra lads.
  • 40 2
 im gonna make a lightweight one with adjustable force that uses an electromagnet that requires DI2 power source....
  • 25 1
 Make it super powerful and reverse the polarity. Then you can just lightly hover your feet over the pedals to make them go round and round.
  • 11 0
 @acali: ohhhh active suspension.
  • 3 0
 Make the distance from NEO magnet to the cleat adjustable and there you have it...
  • 4 0
 You can build in a crash sensor to unlock automatically!!!!! Or better yet eject your feet.
  • 1 0
 @CamNeelyCantWheelie: auto correct...cleat shims!
  • 40 2
 Heavy and expensive. Just what I am looking for in my next pedal.
  • 3 0
 Yeah and I"m not counting on sub $200 with a ti axle
  • 3 1
 And not concave at all. Also 600g with ti axles jesus no
  • 1 1
 Don't forget dangerous! Take two magnets and pull apart - if the way they release is how you want your pedals to release, these are for you
  • 29 0
 Velcro please!
  • 8 0
 lol don't encourage them
  • 5 1
 but seriously, you could be onto something...
  • 28 0
 And they cure your arthritis at the same time. Awesome!
  • 22 4
 Yes please I want something large and heavy AF so I can get the marginal efficiency gains of clipless without learning a super simple skill.
  • 5 2
 Ha yeh, everytime I see these I can't help but think they are designed by spd users who cannot keep their feet on the pedals every time they ride flats, so this is their solution to a problem only they have...
  • 4 2
 @ctd07: or flat users who cant eject quick enough, because they haven't learned that skill.
  • 3 0
 @potato: Or people who just want an alternative option.
  • 1 2
 @potato: eject from clips? that's not a skill, at least according to all the clip-in supporters. it's supposed to be a natural motion.

more like former clip-in users who got sick of getting ankle injuries because clips can get dirty and sticky and not release as expected sometimes
  • 1 0
 @just6979: it becomes natural after learning the skill. Clipping in very quickly in any condition is also a skill. Blaming dirty pedals because you dont have the skill to get out sounds like a reasonable excuse to use flats.

And even more like flat users who are fed up with destroying their shins on a regular basis.
  • 1 0
 @potato: but these pedals will still destroy your shins (potentially)
  • 1 0
 @potato: it doesn't "become natural", it becomes the thing you have to do.

I rode clips for 15 years. I rode clips before I could drive. I think I learned the "skill" of yanking my foot out of a trap pretty well. Still wish I had never tried. The only thing they did was mess up my ankles, destroy my confidence in chunder (because no matter how much "clipless skill" you have, your brain knows it takes time to get in and out and will try to keep you in even if a little foot out when blasting tech shit would be faster/safer/funner) and make me make a bunch of useless metal noise on the trail trying to clickity clack back in whenever we stopped and started.

Next group ride, try to count clipping in attempts by the clipless riders. Don't forgot a calculator, 'cause it'll be a lot of tappy tap taps

I've also bash my shins 100% less on flats (read: zero), because my brain _never_ tries to pull up on the clip and then has the pedal release accidentally
  • 15 1
 For me the benefit of these type of pedals would only be of the magnet would be internally placed in the shoe allowing full use of a flat pedal shoe on a flat pedal with the added magnetism. Using an SpD show , replacing the cleat with a magnet and then using a flat pedal is just stupid
  • 12 3
 Just don’t walk on a steel plate
  • 9 0
 I'm blaming you for the new shoe standard that comes out of this.
  • 2 0
 @scferg: My buddy with the Mag Lock pedals says this is the biggest downside of them. That steel plate is in the wrong spot for scrambling over any kind of terrain when you're using shoes like the ones shown.

I would think regular XC shoes would probably be fine, since the lugs on the sole usually protrude more than the cleat.
  • 3 0
 The folks over on The Expanse would like a word....
  • 2 0
 I was thinking the same thing when I was reading the article. If they can build a regular shoe around the magnet I would be more attracted to this concept.
  • 5 0
 @scferg: Stuck on the chairlift ! Big Grin
  • 2 0
 seems like I saw something like that but you end up with all sorts of metal detritus stuck to your foot.
  • 1 1
 You guys need to realize that the PEDAL part is the magnet. They'd just need a shoe with a steel shank in it.
  • 16 0
 Surely somebody would have thought that any magnetic material in gravel/stones would get stuck to the magnetic platform
  • 8 0
 Yea, it will be fun getting the random magnetic crap from the trail unstuck from your 65 lb pull force magnet.
  • 26 0
 Maybe you'll recover the cost of these pedals by picking up coins and lost treasure as you ride? Or have I just been looking at too many of Taj's comics..
  • 4 0
 @Konyp: you don't have to worry about that. I have magpeds and I tested them out for 1 month at snow summit and mammoth. The pull force is still there even with dirt caked between the crevices of the neodymium magnet. they biggest issue I found were:
a) rock gardens. I dislodged constantly on tech or rocky terrain.
b) I come from a flat pedal riding back ground. So I naturally want my ball of my foot to be in front of the spindle. I bought giro shoes because they position the cleat where I want it to be. However, the magnet on the pedal isn't located on the prime position.
c) depending on how strong your legs are, you can dislodge on vertical pick up. I did math, and I would've needed 80 N of pull force magnets. The max they have are 20 N.

But you unclip just like regular clipless pedals. twist and pull off. I dropped $400 for some pedals and shoes I don't touch anymore.
  • 2 0
 I wrecked hard in sun valley Idaho and when I recovered my bike i found some crystals!@lncorgnito:
  • 3 0
 If you rode at Cuyuna in Minnesota, you'd take the trails home with you.
  • 1 1
 a) you're doing it wrong. look up "bowl theory" (many people talk about it, but I first it named by Ryan Leech)
b) if you come from flats, why would adding a magnet cause dislodging? see above. but yes, the magnet should at least be centered in the top of the platform, not the entire pedal, since most all pedals project further out the front
c) again I think missing the point. they're not supposed to allow you to pick up the whole bike (shouldn't use normal clips for that either...), they're just to help keep the foot closely attached. Which again should be mitigated with good technique, not fallible mechanisms whether mechanical or magnetic.

why would you need to or be able to twist your foot out like normal clips? you'd have to lift up to get rubber off the pins before you could twist. in fact, I can see these magnetic type pedals causing more ankle injuries than clips.
  • 1 0
 @just6979: your comment alone shows you’ve never tried magpeds or tunnel vision. I never said add more magnets, I said it needs a stronger magnet. Yes you do need to do the twist off. If you are just lift your foot to un mag then that is an extremely weak magnet. I had this argument with you already on Instagram. And I don’t think you’ve even ridden with flats in a long ass time. Look at how all the EWS riders position there cleats for clipless. They position it so it feels more like flat pedal riding for stability. Same thing goes with DH.

Using it wrong. A f*cking plate gets bolted to the shoe and you your foot to the pedal. There is a foam elastomer to position your foot freely.

Literally the majority of riders who ride flats will have the ball of their foot in front of the spindle.

There is a reason why magnet pedal don’t find traction even after all these. Yes there are a few companies before magpeds who have tried and are barely breaking even.
  • 13 0
 Will they get the all important Michael Stipe endorsement for these pedals?
  • 2 0
 Or Stephin Merritt?
  • 11 3
 The main reason I run SPDs is so I don't shred my shins, so I don't exactly get this. It's not like a pair of good flat pedals combined with five tens isn't grippy enough already...
  • 1 1
 If you're only on clips to protect your shins, you're doing it wrong. As if all the metal pokey bits on the mechanism wouldn't beat up your shins _when_ (not if) it unexpectedly releases someday.
  • 2 0
 @just6979: if you have used clips, you would know you dont slip off them that way. Never destroyed shins with clipless. Regular occurence with flats.
  • 1 0
 @potato: I rode clips (almost immediately after getting a mountain bike) for 15 years. Have hit my shins exactly 100% less (or zero times) since going back to flats.

And yes clipless absolutely sometimes just pops out unexpectedly. And sometimes gets stuck and won't release. And sometimes gets mudded up and becomes very hard to clip in to. If you think they're perfect, you're deluded, or you already have perfect pedal pressure/technique and thus don't really need clipless.

BTW, I (and others I know) can pedal one footed on flats, so the pulling up argument is stupid, and any power increase has actually been shown to be quite small even for well trained professionals and negligible for average riders. In other words, most people would be faster with the physical and mental freedom of flats.
  • 12 1
 An expensive way to hold crayon artwork to your fridge.
  • 9 0
 Magnets=heavy. I propose glue instead. Or velcro. Or duck tape wrapped around the pedal backwards. I'm off to the patent office...
  • 3 0
 Or just wrap your shoe laces around your pedal too.
  • 6 1
 I think you're on the right path, but look at a lower-priced resin and steel axle model first. I have tinkered with mag/flats over the years, and you definitely want the mags on the pedals and not the shoes because of the brittleness.

I would buy a pair if the price was closer to $120 than $200.

Remember the 4Ps (product, price, place, promotion), and don't think you'll get much meaningful feedback from the Pinkbike trolls. From Pinkbike, yes; trolls, no.
  • 4 0
 Meaningful feedback: no.
Top quality puns: hell yes.
  • 9 0
 But why?
  • 5 12
flag yvidal (Jan 30, 2020 at 11:13) (Below Threshold)
 Clipless is a pain to unclip and clip sometimes.
  • 2 2
 @yvidal: or techy climbs. Sometimes you think you got this right til you don't and then it's too late to unclip.
  • 4 0
 @Boyan1984 Because some people on this sport never left the 90's experiment craze.
  • 1 0
 @Connerv6: Tech climbs are ok, I do use them on my XC and BMX bike. I tried them once on a DH race...and it didn't ended good.
  • 8 0
 Fvking magnet pedals, how do THEY work?!
  • 7 0
 These are cool, but I hope they make a lighter version with longer pins and without the magnet.
  • 9 2
 Screw these weight adding ideas and work on a vacuum system instead
  • 6 0
 Thats going to suck for sure.
  • 2 0
 Pile-ups will never be the same. Riders used to have their bikes just geometrically clung together in a crash. Now they also lock magnetically. Imagine these going down the Vigo 4X track. First corner: pedals clung to spokes, brake rotors, chains, tooth braces, each others' pedals...
  • 4 0
 Magnetic pedals? There cant be any positive? Only negatives attract. Hope they done charge a new-tonne.
  • 5 2
 I ride flats only because an ankle injury from years ago makes it so I can’t twist out of spd’s easily. I wouldn’t mind giving something like this a shot.
  • 1 0
 i have a feeling it would not help ankle injuries. because now you have to overcome the magnet in order to twist your foot relative to the pedal, so in a crash or other weird situation, while yes in the end these pedals would release easier than a clipless, it would likely drag your foot around more than plain flat pedal.
  • 1 0
 I am super hopeful. I broke my ankle really bad an have very limited movement. I cant run regular clips, my ankle cannot pivot to get out. Platform pedals my foot skips off the top. I ride aggressive dh and was hesitant on trying the last 2 other brands of magnet clips. Those both unclipped on person during reviews. There is a market, maybee small but I'll try them.
  • 1 0
 "Bowl Theory" is your friend. You don't need clips or magnets to keep your feet from skipping off, just need some practice at applying the right pressure to the pedals.
  • 3 0
 Too complicated. I'm going back to toeclips. So when you slam, your bike goes with you.
  • 6 2
 Clips are for racing, and Flats are playing. These would excel at neither.
  • 1 0
 Over 9000!
  • 1 0
 The worst of both worlds
  • 2 0
 Why don't they just use a strap apparatus to somehow attach the pedal to the shoe? The straps could be adjustable for aloose or tight fit with a ratchet system
  • 4 0
 The REM pedal? Guess that's him in the corner.
  • 2 0
 Hey, man, everybody hurts... sometimes.
  • 7 4
 I could be attracted, to that.....
  • 6 2
 Could be polarizing though...
  • 4 2
 I am having a negative pull to it.
  • 1 7
flag jgainey (Jan 30, 2020 at 11:11) (Below Threshold)
 Sounds about as attractive as a 65lb drug addict, you'll surely pull out
  • 2 1
 @ReformedRoadie: idk, he sounds a little bipolar
  • 6 1
 @jgainey: Tell us more about your experiences raw dogging 65lb drug addicts
  • 2 0
 @me2menow: ha ha. First time I seen a yank say dogging. Nvm RAW dogging. Propper northern English slang lad. I was raw doggin last night
  • 1 0
 @drmantistobogganmd: never heard of Slim Shady? (Hit that shit Raw Dog and bail)
  • 1 1
 @drmantistobogganmd: 'proper' northern English lack of grammar
  • 1 0
 It's very, very horrible sir. It's one of those things we wish we could disinvent. This isn't a training exercise, is it? --Dr. Stanley Goodspeed
  • 4 0
 not this again.
  • 1 0
 I don't want a magnet to attach my shoe to the pedal, I just want a magnet that helps me find placement. I have the capacitance to do the rest
  • 1 0
 Grip tape seems to work pretty well. I took all the pins out of my Tmacs and laid on the grip tape. Been riding this setup for two years now.
  • 3 1
 Can't compare these to clip in, they are poles apart.
  • 1 0
 Perfect complement to the current-ly rising e-bike trend. The faster your pedals rotate, the better your ride fields.
  • 1 0
 I want to try this. Something halfway between clipped in and flats....could work, who knows until you test it?
  • 1 0
 you could build a shin guards with the opposite polarity! You’d never have to worry about bashing your shins again!
  • 1 0
 Forget this, move on to quantum lock pedal systems. THE FUTURE.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GY4m022tgo
  • 1 0
 I love these. If they could get a better connection on the magnetics, this could be even better then clipless pedals!
  • 10 13
 The ONLY reason I would ever run "clipped in" is to be able to pull up on my pedal during tech climbs. I see 0 benefit to a magnet that would maybe have the strength to help an unskilled rider bunnyhop their bike. More products that teach riders bad habits in riding.
Am I missing something?
#stillflatsforlife
  • 8 2
 Back in the early 2000s, my broke student ass slapped together a hardtail to race the hardtail class of the Ontario Cup DH Circuit. I was new to DH racing so I wanted to play it safe and ride platforms (even though I used clipless on my trail/xc bike). It was frustrating as hell. It was hard to carry speed into choppy/rocky stuff because I was so afraid of slipping a pedal as the bike and my body bounced through. Half way through the season, I switched to SPDs and suddenly I was cleaning runs with confidence, even through the bounciest sections.

Now 15+ years later, I occasionally swap between platforms and clipless on my FS trail bike. The platform rides force me to maintain certain skills and habits, and are safer for jumping, but I still find that I have much more confidence and control in the rougher stuff on clipless pedals.
  • 14 2
 you don't pull, you spin.

and you get way more control in the rough stuff being clipped in.

And what bad habits are they teaching? I think your technique has to be better in clips because you can't just easily drop your foot to catch yourself from bad cornering technique.

If you're generally not a flexible person in the hips/pelvis/glutes, maybe flats would be better.
  • 6 2
 Just bc you don't like clipless doesn't mean they're "teaching riders bad habits in riding." But it is pinkbike, where everyone lets you know that the product is trash if they disagree with something...
  • 2 0
 although I am totally done riding hardtail on rough terrain (50 years old), I do remember back in my hardtail days that I really appreciated being clipped in and not bouncing off my pedals when charging choppy conditions. And I guess enduro racers think clipping in gives them an edge. I'll never clip again. After a decade of use, I now climb tech better on flat pedals, and trail riding crashes are just less crazy when your feet are free. I don't need to be pulling the bike over my head when endoing.
  • 4 1
 I ride flats on my hardtail and my feet never bounce off the pedals, no matter how chunky the terrain. There are a few key requirements for flat-pedal traction:

1) A good set of pedals (they don't have to be expensive, just good. Raceface chesters are fine)
2) A good pair of sticky shoes like five tens or ride concepts. If you don't have these, you're missing out on what flat pedals can really do
3) Proper foot position on the pedal. From what I seen on the trail almost daily, most people ride with their foot too far back on the pedal. (I think we have road biking to thank for that). For mountain biking, the ball of your foot should sit AHEAD of the pedal spindle, not behind it.

Proper foot placement, coupled with sticky shoes and solid pedals should result in zero slipped pedals, no matter how chunky the terrain is. How is Sam Hill able to ride the world's roughest tracks at the fastest speeds without his feet bouncing off the pedals? Proper equipment and technique.

For the record, I also ride cliplesls pedals. I think both have their merits, but I don't feel like clipless pedals are ever required for keeping my feet on the pedals.
  • 2 0
 @rtclark: you should be able to go from jumping a bike with clipped pedals to flats and jump the same. I didn't when I switch to flats and had to relearn how to jump properly.
  • 2 1
 @big-red: Put your heels down in the rough stuff! You'll stick just fine.

I do agree that clipless does allow you to float over rough stuff a bit more naturally, but it still can be done in flat pedals with practice.
  • 2 0
 OK HAHA. Loving the clipped haters.
I stand by my statement that I would only want clipped to pull up on my pedal, as I can ride flats properly. (and yes, that includes being able to spin fast and float terrain (not sure even how to respond to the guy that says clips help him corner better..lol))
My reference of missing something was to why anyone would want a magnetized flat pedal that doesn't even allow you the best benefit of being clipped (imo),
You don't have to ride long with the general public before you see many (good or bad, you decide) habits that were born from riding and jumping only in clips
  • 2 0
 @jgainey: that’s why all the Xc riders ride flats right?... because they can pull up on their pedal during a tech climb.....or maybe it’s something else....like somehow these strange pedals that clip yo your shoes are better for, pedaling?
  • 2 0
 The equipment on my bike is purchased to make riding easier, give more performance. Suspension, brakes, tires, and clipless pedals. I don't want to "learn" new skills, to ride downhill on a hardtail, brake with 3 fingers on cantilevers, pick lines to not flat out with lightweight tires, position my feet and ankles so i dont crash and slip pedal on rough stuff or bad landings. I am not Sam Hill so I do screw up a lot, and clipless is way more fun for me, saved me and my shins from lots of screw ups.
  • 2 0
 @hardtailparty: That's why this modern long and slack thing works so damn well. On a Pole you HAVE to put your foot AHEAD of the pedal spindle, otherwise you can't reach the handlebars..
  • 1 1
 @hardtailparty: I'm not saying your point is wrong, but you should never use Sam Hill as a comparison. He basically enters turns wrong, drifts through them and somehow gains speed. If someone tried to learn mtb by watching him they would look ridiculous on the trail. Sam Hill is an incomparable talent, that isn't just learned skill.
  • 3 1
 Yeah Bitch! Magnets!
  • 1 0
 Humm...you and I that wont click...
  • 2 1
 haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah
  • 2 0
 What about mud?
  • 1 0
 As one with a duck stance, I,m attracted to these .
  • 1 0
 When you lift your leg and your bike comes to you!
  • 1 0
 Having a ride near North Pole....ejector seat feeling.
  • 1 0
 My opinion on these seems to be in flux at the moment.
  • 1 0
 Too heavy
  • 1 0
 Why No2
  • 1 0
 Charlie would approve...
  • 4 6
 I'm quite attracted to these.
  • 3 4
 That's a negative for me.
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