Klein Designs Honeycomb Pedal - Interbike 2015

Sep 16, 2015
by Mike Levy  
Interbike 2015


A New Pedal and Shoe Alternative?

Max Klein's prototype pedal and shoe system hasn't been designed to replace either platform or clipless pedals, but rather be a third alternative for riders who might benefit from a different approach. It's that interface that sets the Klein Designs pedal apart, with its wild looking honeycomb pattern that is said to create a connection that allows the rider to easily attach and detach, as well as be able to adjust their foot position on the fly. The novel layout came about after Klein, who has a motocross background, started to get into mountain biking and found that he didn't want to be locked into his pedals as securely as a clipless system holds, but that he did want a more secure connection than a standard platform pedal could provide.

Klein and a friend sat down to sketch out a number of ideas, including removable sections of shoe soles, but it was the honeycomb pedal shown here that they say made the most sense to them. ''With the design of the shoe sole and the pedal to fit like a puzzle,'' Klein explained, ''the rider can still pedal the bike while feeling for the grooves to fit in rather than searching for the small cleat of a clip-in shoe.'' That's some out of the box thinking from someone who was outside of the cycling industry if I've ever seen it.

The prototype pedal shown here is just that, a rough prototype that could change in shape before reaching production, and Klein also stressed that they will likely see some reliefs cut into the body for weight reduction.
Interbike 2015
The interlocking honeycomb design of the pedal body and shoe sole should provide more security than a regular platform pedal, but also more freedom than a clipless setup.

Interbike 2015
Klein has been trialling different sized pedals and honeycomb shapes, with three versions on the go right now.
Interbike 2015
He's spent a good amount of coin to patent his pedal and shoe design.


As interesting and novel as Klein's design is, even the most openminded of people are going to have a few questions, with one of the most pressing being shoe compatibility. The design means that pedal and shoe need to be used together as a system, something that will complicate matters on the production side of things, although Max did say he was speaking with a few different shoe companies about this. A company like Five Ten producing the shoe would be the best case scenario, and he'd like the pedals and shoes to be sold as a kit for around $275 USD, a reasonable price for both items together. A concern of mine would be how the pedal and shoe connection changes as the soles wear over time, and it might mean that Klein has to consider replaceable soles, a service that is actually already available for some shoes.

And what about float? A small amount of flex in the rubber shoe soles would provide a bit movement, but the interlocking nature of the pedal and shoe system would mean that there would essentially be no float in the traditional sense. Klein told me that he's looking to incorporate a float system into the pedal and bearing layout, likely using a patented design that's already on the market, which should address cranky knees and ankles. They're also still tweaking the shape of the lugs used on the sole, with the possibility of a cap-like shape being employed that could provide a bit more retention.


Interbike 2015
  The prototype pedal is neither slim nor light, but expect the production version to be much sleeker and refined.


The Klein Designs pedal and shoe system is still in its infancy - they have a Kickstarter campaign on the go right now - but they believe in the design enough to have gone to the trouble and expense of patenting the concept. It's not going to replace the status quo, and Klein isn't aiming to do that, but it could be an interesting third option for an openminded rider who's up for trying something different.

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160 Comments

  • + 208
 You'll be able to tell who uses these pedals by the honeycomb scars on their shins.
  • + 60
 I fail to see how this would be any worse than having small sharp threaded pins slice through your shin/calf... personally I'd prefer a flat piece of metal to the shin over a flat piece of metal with sharp pieces of metal sticking out any day

While this probably isn't for me its an interesting new idea that (although may need some refinement) could turn out to be a viable alternative to what's out there now. This is exactly the kind of thing I love reading about on pinkbike
  • + 21
 I see so many issues with this idea that I'm not even going to get myself started.
  • + 16
 Dude think we are all legoman.
  • + 10
 They will be wank when full of mud... Okay in the USA but for the UK - nah....
  • + 3
 The sweet buzz of a new product huh!
  • + 4
 Wank? That's a very different way of staying on your pedals. Sticky!
  • + 2
 So thats where my meat cleaver went...
  • + 8
 what if we put metal in the shoe and rubber on the pedal? then n more shin injuries!
  • + 1
 @cunning-linguist, with 43in/109cm of rainfall a year, there is a reason why Vermont is in "New England" Wink
  • + 121
 Unless the honeycombs themselves are smaller or your foot just so happens to like the position it locks in to (highly unlikely more often than not I'd wager) re-positioning your foot the distance of one of those big honeycombs is going to feel like moving your foot 30 feet.
  • - 18
flag Remmn (Sep 16, 2015 at 17:54) (Below Threshold)
 you dont get to reposition clipless??
  • + 35
 Yeah you do...
  • + 24
 But you can set the cleat in the shoe to your desired position so it's perfect every time. The honeycombs definitely need to be smaller
  • + 31
 plus cleats have float
  • + 16
 What about a double honeycomb pattern?
I think if the shoe sole had a pattern like this the adjustability issue you speak of would be drastically improved:
s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/16/e6/98/16e69848d3f1f1069d55e9d44815c21f.jpg
  • + 5
 foot position is one place I actually do want infinite adjustability. I am certain my feet rotate on the way into a turn and it may vary with the turn. one round center hole in an otherwise normal pedal makes sense though. Then the shoe would walk weird though
  • + 27
 This technology has basically existed since the 70's. Look at the bottom of any shoe made by Vans. It's perfect for flat pedals Razz
  • - 5
flag j10ripper (Sep 16, 2015 at 20:49) (Below Threshold)
 Stupid
  • + 70
 I just wanted to say, clear and loud, that after THIS, double Zee front brake bike, aaaand... Ellsworth, the mountain biking community of North America has lost the right to laugh at Eurobike
  • + 4
 Just thinking of no float makes my knees hurt.
  • + 11
 One tiny piece of gravel embedded in the sole will make it useless.
  • + 6
 @WAKIdesigns for President.
Was thinking the same.
USA ain't any better.
  • + 2
 It seems like a feasible idea but as already said what about the movement coming into corners or general small movements to get your foot in a comfortable position?

I like the idea that it would be a slight step up from flats to clips but why would you spend even more money on a set of intermediate pedals? Either go clips or flats, simples
  • + 8
 OK, I suppose Waki has a point
  • + 1
 I use Vaults and Shimano AM41's (or whatever that flat pedal version of their shoe is called)
I already have trouble repositioning my foot if it gets a bit out of shape on the pedal. I have put shorter pins in some places on the pedal to counter this. Kinda makes this honeycomb design seem a bit redundant...
  • + 1
 I suppose the Honeycombs on the shoes could be made smaller so there is some play and float, it doesn't have to be a tight fit.
  • + 1
 @NickyVanLier pretty sure that pattern offers no additional adjust-ability. looks like you are locked into a single honeycomb cell of movement left and aright and top to bottom you are forced to move one cell up and half a cell left or right.
  • + 1
 @Waki
But you can't take away our American Exceptionalism with your logic!
  • + 3
 But what about butt cake? I am not sure we have topped anal pastry quite yet.

I like the new ideas I see at Eurobike. And I like to laugh at the weird crap every where.
  • + 1
 Nevermind the (im)practicabilty of the design; what everyone wants to know is: can you cook waffles with this or not?
  • + 1
 @khaki - I like people thinking like you - in the era of boring design where "everything looks like a session" we need more people like you. It may be that they will develop a heater, into which you screw the pedals, which will effectively turn them into a waffler or a toaster.
  • + 1
 Or alternatively use them as foot heaters, for the really cold days...
  • + 3
 Or melt your shoes right into the pedals for those really really rough tracks.
  • + 1
 @Xj1998 More so adding an extra level of foot placement that a single honeycomb patter would not provide, not so much moving around on the pedal.
Maybe a softer compound rubber allowing some flexibility would work well to allow some movement within the pattern, although that would probably result in shoe soles wearing faster.
  • + 1
 For those griping about float, this problem was solved years ago (skip to 2:45):

www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OsMGvupW_U#t=181

Simple licensing arrangement.
  • + 55
 Wow, all the minus points of clipless and flat rolled into one pedal.
  • + 15
 Sounds like a clipless for people too scared to commit to clipless. Oh wait, that's me! Meh, still not buying it.
  • + 50
 I appreciate innovation but im having trouble seeing how this is an improvement over 5-10s.
  • + 12
 I mean, Five Tens and a big, grippy platform pedal... what's that phrase about "if it ain't broke..."
  • + 1
 I ride flats and I'm very happy with them but its obviously not the case for everybody who ride clipped in...
  • + 3
 I ride both clips and flats, like them both equally. Clips have float, flats I can just move my feet to get comfortable, but I just can't see how those monstrosities are an improvement on either!
  • - 3
 PLC07 - as in most cases of people converting other people to something: "you may think you are happy, but I will prove it to you that you are not".
  • + 2
 exactly. good pedal and 5-10 combo is already the state of the arti i guess...it'S basically impossible to slip your foot away when pressure is applied to the pedal :/
  • + 36
 Why is everyone hating on this?? Sure you may be devoted flat pedal or clip rider but this is a innovative design. This is just a prototype so give the man some time to figure out the bugs. Good to see something thinking outside the box
  • + 8
 Because anyone whose ridden, or rides, clipless pedals knows moving the cleats just a couple degrees or few millimeters feels like a huge difference. There seems to be no adjustability on these which is concerning.
  • + 26
 Because it's Pinkbike. It's cool to hate on those who think outside the box. Conversely it's also cool to hate on those who don't think outside the...ah fuck it, it's just cool to hate on anything and everything around here.
  • + 0
 if it's a proto then it should t be beta tested on customers paying good money. what is this, Microsoft 1998?
  • + 2
 I do think that a lot of the articles are actively feeding the sharks. You know the ones... The "lets laugh at Taichung Bike Week" and similar articles.
  • + 2
 Totally agree there Mini! One of the more interesting ideas I've seen in a while. Out of the box and hive. My brain feels all tinglie.
  • + 2
 @gnarbar no, it's Yeti 2014.
  • - 3
 Why hasn't someone thought outside the box of round wheels yet? I mean, isn't it time for innovation with wheel shape? We have different sizes, I'm dying to try a hexagonal wheel. I think traction could be greatly improved. Sheesh.
  • + 2
 @MiniReign580 .....um....because this is Pinkbike? This is what we do best Smile Unless you're new here (in which case you are forgiven) you must know by now that any suggestion of change or innovation generally draws this community out with it's pitch forks and torches, right?
  • - 3
 Everyone is hating it because everyone rides bike here. At least long enough to know it is a bad idea by a kid.
  • + 38
 I want proof that these pedals work and then I'll still not buy them
  • + 18
 What is wrong with everyone! Nobody else came up with anything so give them a break! At least someone is "trying" to come up with an idea and put it into works!
  • + 18
 I want Count Chochula
  • + 10
 WTF? So your foot HAS to be in optimum position... or else? Sounds like a clip pedal to me.

These holes need to be a lot smaller. It's a reasonable idea but this will not work... period. Cut those honey comb sizes in half... then MAYBE we're talking.

With what they have going you'd be better off just going with a clip pedal. You can actually get torque on the up pull.
  • + 2
 With clips you can at least have some amount of float/rotation. You can also adjust the position of the cleat on the shoe. With this pedal they are assuming that there is one footing position that will work for everybody, which seems ridiculous.
  • + 5
 What they should do right, is make the honeycombs much much smaller. About the size of the waffle pattern on a Vans sole. Then (and this is the innovative bit) do away with the waffle pattern on the pedal, and replace it with a few well placed pins.

Voila! All the advantages of this design, with none of the "my feet are locked in position and my knees hurt" woes.
  • + 2
 @gabriel-mission9 That's a glorious idea. I'm with you 100%!

Should do a kickstarter.
  • + 15
 Who wants waffles?
  • + 17
 Do they come in blue?
  • + 14
 oh man, i love blue waffles.
  • + 3
 ^this guy, take a break from today, you just won the internezt!
  • + 3
 Lego my eggo
  • + 2
 Blue waffle in the uk means something else. Surely you mean the food?
  • + 3
 I know Brits have stange tastes for food, but c'mon... eating blue waffle ?? Big Grin
  • + 2
 I never heard of blue waffle, so I checked it on google @Intensevp... UNSEEEEEEEEE!!!
  • + 2
 Still want to eat blue waffle?
  • + 1
 i always wanted to eat a blue waffle but didn't know where to find one, so I told my girlfriend to come over and got my sledgehammer ready
  • + 2
 OK..I am really starting to regret making that waffle comment in the first place. I didn't even know what a blue waffle was. Thnx internet -_-
  • + 2
 while you're at it make sure you check out The Lemon party. pretty profound stuff
  • + 1
 Question is would rather attend a lemon party or eat blue waffle!! ????????????????
  • + 10
 Mud. That is all. I do like me some creative problem solving with the CNC machine though.
  • + 6
 A conical design could also allow for a degree of float. I actually think he is truly onto something here. . The idea at least, I'm going to have a sit and think about this as there something to this. Already can think of a slightly better way of doing the pedal
  • + 1
 Yes....there's many good ways that answer all the comments above...I've had the idea for years....just haven't done anything with it......make it a cleat and a pedal similar to the old Bebops...
  • + 8
 "And in da mornin', I'm makin' waffles!"
  • + 2
 I like to see that people are trying to innovate in a market that is constantly trying to get an edge. i think its cool and could see a use of it when riding downhill. I really like clips for XC and Trail but always wanting the flats riding DH. The design could definitely use some refinement and i am definitely excited to see how this develops over time and iterations.
  • + 6
 I guess people don't read before they post.
  • + 2
 This is a RAD idea! They just needed to go with smaller lugs and honeycombs for better foot positioning. The shoe design on the Kickstarter page is clearly lifted from an NB Minimus shoe. Hope they don't get into legal issues with that.
  • + 2
 This seems like a step backwards...part of the reason people ride flats is for the ability to Actively reposition their feet...this takes away freedoms of flat pedals with no positive in return. I am a clipless rider through and through, but I've never heard of anyone complaining about lack of grip using 510's or similar...
  • + 1
 You have heard plenty complain about shredded shins though...
  • + 2
 After having f-ed my ligaments in my knee up due to riding my SPD pedals without any float for too long, these pedals seem like a terrible idea (for anyone). You NEED float, or at least the possibility to set the angle of your foot up perfectly (differs per person), but even than having no float is a bad idea.

With these pedals you'll have the same idea as riding SPDs floatless: you can only keep your feet in one specific position, and nothing else. Sounds like the perfect recipe for other people to ruin their knees aswell. I've ben out for 4 months now do to ligaments healing so damn slowly...


Maybe my view of these pedals is not correct, but theoretically they sound like a bad idea to me.
Allthough I will give them props for thinking outside of the box, that is very important Smile
  • + 1
 that's actually a valid point...clipless still provide lateral movement or "play" whereas these won't....
  • + 2
 it would be a good commuter pedal if the pedals and shoes were more low profile and light weight. also interchangeable soles for the shoes should be something you can do at home. I don't see this taking off in mountain biking though, props for the Idea
  • + 1
 Admiration for anyone who innovates, as long as the end product is effective. Issues with those pedals might be the choice of shoes with the appropriate soles, the effectiveness of the existing competition (flats and pins, clipless) and the price. Someone said it is designed more to appeal to the casual rider, yet for casual riding any decent pair of shoes and flats is fine, isn't it?
  • + 4
 Betteridge's law of headlines: Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.
  • + 1
 "Adjust their foot position on the fly" For me this looks like one position system, if not violently braking the attachement by twisting the male honeycomb out of the female pedal. The conical profile will raise the shoe's knobs out of the holes when twisted. Anyway I would like to try these out!
  • + 1
 i'd like to testride one pair of it. maybe a good option for those who want to try clipless, but are scared of being locked on the pedal. if five ten would produce a compatible shoe, you could easily step back to pins and flats, in case you don't like it.
  • + 1
 Perhaps he should partner with the magnetic pedal guy and get something going ! The more rounded shape of that pedal may help with collisions with rocks and stumps as it may push you away rather than get hooked. As for random crazy ideas, It would be nice to have some type of break-away pedal when you clip a rock or stump the wrong way. Flipping over the bars does not make for a good day. Yes, impractical. I am just laying it out there for sport.
  • + 1
 It would be different if it were a lot smaller of honey combs on the shoes that would for one large one on the pedal. That way when you move your foot it doesn't feel like youre standing on the edge of it
  • + 1
 great idean but DC shoes already makes shoes that fit our little pedal spikes and its a much more efficent design make the cones smaller so its easier for the shoe to find its grip and free riders will love it!
  • + 1
 I'd definitely give them a try, my only worry is that the mud will get caught in the cracks and therefore block the path for the pedals..
  • + 1
 i like the idea... i dont like the look of it though.
P.S. pinkbike is doing a good job of honey"combing" through interbike this year
  • + 5
 Agreed. Looks way too clunky. They definitely need to slim the pedals down a lot. They also need to make the honeycomb hexagons a lot smaller to allow for finer adjustment of your foot position. Or maybe have the honeycomb sole attach to the bottom of your shoe similar to how cleats attach so you can fine tune the positioning.
  • + 4
 "Honeycomb's BIG! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! It's not small! No! No! No!!!"

Neat idea - but curious if a smaller profile would help. Those pedals terrify my shins.
  • + 1
 @dlxah - that's exactly what cleats do. Except you're suggesting we attach a massive honeycomb sole pattern to our shoes instead??

I like that he's thinking outside of the box, but I don't see it taking off.
  • + 1
 Love all the little designations. Not enough to say 'this part that sticks out goes in this hole'? Oh wait i see the problem now Smile
  • + 1
 Just a reversal of the Vans Waffle pattern on their footwear, grips to peddle pins perfect, except doesn't look so ridiculous like these monstrosities.
  • + 1
 I think it's pretty cool, not deserving of a lot of these comments. With that in mind, what's the progress on the magnetic shoe/pedal system?
  • + 2
 Im still all for the magnetic clipless shoes + pedals, seems like it could take off easier
  • + 2
 So my knees will wear into how the shoes/pedals interface... Cool. Come with free knee replacement?
  • + 3
 No float or adjustments => blown knees.
  • + 1
 Looks like a non-solution for a non-problem. @ $275 a-piece, this is gonna be one of those old, bad inventions you see in 20 year old bike magazines.
  • + 4
 That looks so shit.
  • + 1
 this is possibly the dumbest shit i have seen on pinkbike ever it think...it actually had me wondering if it was april fools day ;/
  • + 2
 Imagine trying to scramble up a hill pushing your bike with that on the bottom of your foot...
  • + 2
 Maybe a much smaller size honeycomb pattern.
  • + 2
 Not worth if it doesnt give me honey
  • + 0
 " He's spent a good amount of coin to patent his pedal and shoe design." ... That's too bad. A "waffle sole"? I think Nike might have something to say about this...
  • + 2
 uh, can we get back to the enduroability of these pedals please?
  • + 3
 ever hear of clips?
  • + 1
 Great concept, but I think there would need to be some wiggle room and it doesn't seem like thats possible. Just a thought.
  • + 3
 I agree with you. The article did mention incorporating a "patented design that's already on the market", which is probably this:

www.bikerumor.com/2015/09/03/eb15-funn-may-put-some-float-in-you-flats-with-hover-pedal-concept

Not "wiggle room", per se, not in terms of being able to adjust where your foot sits, but it would be about equivalent to what you get from clipless.
  • + 2
 Is there an enduro model?
  • + 2
 oh is this coming back?

no, its not. stop.
  • + 1
 And when you done with your ride you can use your peddle to make Belgian waffles!
  • + 1
 Cool stuff. Gotta appreciate other people's ideas cause I sure don't have any good ones.
  • + 1
 Neither does Weir.
  • + 1
 what happens when it gets full up with mud?

Just one stone and the pedal won't fit anywhere near it D:
  • + 1
 There's something to be said for just mastering both clipless and flats. They are both really good for different things.
  • + 2
 finally, a return to pedals as thick as a Belgian waffles
  • + 1
 Small over site what if people don't like the stance of the shoe sitting on the pedal they are just stuck straight?
  • + 1
 Mud would be a huge problem on both the pedal and the shoe... but I would like to test them.
  • + 1
 So, "no-foot" became a more complex trick, just try to get into this pattern)))
  • + 1
 Looks like rock strikes will be pretty brutal on a pedal that thick and bloated.
  • + 0
 OK, I WILL START THE PUN THREAD i don't think this pedal idea is gaining traction
  • + 1
 NEXT!! Velcro pedals and shoes!!!!
  • + 1
 So I have to buy special shoes to use those pedals? Awwww
  • + 1
 Can I customize them with any pattern I like?
  • + 1
 interesting PROOF OF CONCEPT. needs tweaking but a great idea.
  • + 1
 Can you make waffles with them? Then ill buy em.
  • + 2
 We need vans pedals!
  • + 1
 Where was the guy with the magnetic pedal?
  • + 1
 My knees hurt just looking at that pedal design. Wow...
  • + 1
 Yes, we need the image of the schematic to understand how it works...
  • + 2
 awful.
  • + 1
 I'm sure there are cheaper ways to ruin your knees if you really want to.
  • + 1
 It is the same Klein who had made strange MTB bike?
  • + 0
 Big Foot's (Yeti's) foot print?
  • + 0
 Those pedals look very awkward and most of all uncomfortable as hell.
  • + 1
 The bees knees.
  • + 4
 I think these will cell very well.
  • - 2
 300 Dollars is a reasonable price for a piece of shit pedal and shoe combination... Heh. Maybe the boost mongers will buy them.
  • + 1
 Mud could be an problem.
  • + 0
 ????????????????????????????????
  • + 0
 I feel embarrassed for klein. This is so beyond wack. Truly terrible idea.
  • + 0
 horrendous. drawing board go the back to
  • + 1
 Shit
  • + 0
 I'll pass. Thanks.
  • + 0
 Nope nope nope
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