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.
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.
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