Magnetic pedals aren't a new idea - they've been done before and never really took off - but Magped's version includes a few nifty tricks that are worth taking a look at. But before that, it needs to be clear that Magped doesn't intend for their magnetic pedal to be a replacement for clipless or even someone's platform pedals, but rather as a third choice that might make sense for some riders.
The Sport AL15 looks a lot like a normal platform pedal, but there's a round magnet bolted to just one side of the body, essentially making them a single-sided pedal. Because the magnet is only on one side, the pedal should always rotate so that the magnetic side is facing up and towards the rider. The neodymium magnet itself is available in three different strengths, starting with 100N, then 150N and 200N, and you can swap them out as needed.
Magped recommends that younger, lighter riders should start with the 100N magnets that will hold the rider's feet in place until they surpass 10kg of pulling force. The 150N and 200N magnets each require, you guessed it, 15kg and 20kg of pulling force before letting go.
The magnets are bolted to a flexible bushing that lets them move slightly.
They have another trick up their sleeve, too, with the magnets being mounted on a flexible polymer bushing that lets them move around slightly. Why do that? Because it creates a bit of natural-feeling float in every direction that lets your foot find it's most comfortable position.
The cleat, which can be bolted to any SPD-compatible shoe, is pretty much just a thin piece of steel that sits into the recessed cleat cavity of the outsole. The magnets sit just proud of the pedal body, and shims under the cleat are used to make sure that the magnet hits the cleat just as the pedal's pins hit the sole of your shoe.
Only one side gets a magnet, but the opposite side can be used as a normal platform pedal, especially because the flat cleat sits up in the shoe's recess.
The Sport AL15 weighs a claimed 474-grams and retails for $130 USD. Magped is also working on two other versions: The 360-gram (for a pair) Flow will have a CNC-machined aluminum body, a titanium spindle, more robust bearings, and a stronger single magnet; the downhill and enduro Vortex pedal will sport a magnet on each side, Chromoly spindle, and an extruded body.