Tatze's Pedal is Just 3mm Tall - Eurobike 2019

Sep 6, 2019 at 3:57
by Mike Levy  
Eurobike 2019


It's been tried before, but why not try again? Tatze is an Austrian company who've ditched traditional pedal bearings and bushings in favor of having them integrated into their own crankarms. Without needing to squeeze an axle and bearings into the pedal body, they can make it extremely thin: It's just 3mm tall before growing to 9mm up against the crank. The obvious benefit is more ground clearance, but you're also less likely to 'roll and pedal' underfoot.

The two sealed bearings can be much, much larger when they don't need to fit into the pedal, so they should last longer, too.


Eurobike 2019
Eurobike 2019
Two large sealed bearings fit into a socket, and that threads into the crankarm.


The bearings sit in a socket that's then threaded into Tatze's own cranks, and a bolt threaded in from the opposite side attaches the pedal body. Tatze is claiming some low weights: Just 85-grams per pedal for the aluminum version, 100-grams for the titanium model, and only 150-grams for the steel pedals. Platform size is 112mm x 109mm, and the pins thread through the pedal to do double duty on both sides.

Look familiar? There have been a few variations of this idea over the years, the most notable being Momentum's FlyPaper pedals. They required a proprietary set of cranks, which kept the FlyPaper pedals from ever being widely used. Tioga also did a version that saw the bearings sit outside the crankarm, letting you use whatever crankset you want. They didn't stick, either, partly due to the wide Q-factor.


Eurobike 2019
Tatze's Blade pedal is just 3mm tall (or thin?) for most of its width, and 9mm up against the crank.


Who isn't tired of micro-sized pedal bearings dying too quickly? Unfortunately, proprietary cranks will likely keep it from ever being widely used. Here's hoping Tatze sees some success, even if it'll probably take one of the big companies investing in the idea to make it stick around. It makes too much sense not to.


123 Comments

  • 164 1
 And when it flexes and bends on harsh landings you can unscrew the pins and flip burgers with them
  • 27 0
 it's must be one of those spatulas with port and starboard attachments, and turbo drive.
  • 9 0
 I think I saw this design on a Cuisinart stand mixer. They might make you crash but the waffle batter comes out perfect.
  • 2 0
 Or keep the pins and use them to tenderize the meet....
  • 1 0
 Or pancakes!
  • 3 0
 @masonstevens: Rolling!..., not sure too many got the reference. Don't forget that it's hydrodynamic!
  • 6 0
 @Nagrom77: Only the most elite of society understand an obscure SpongeBob reference.
  • 1 0
 @masonstevens: golden (yellow)
  • 3 0
 I'm certainly not an engineer, unless being able to open two beers at the same time counts as engineering, but common sense suggests to me that the load on a traditional pedal is effectively transferred to the axle. You can have a 2" thick pedal that would bend easier than these if the axle is made of cheese. I've bent more than one much thicker pedal. Which is to suggest design and material have more to do with integrity than visual appearance. That said i had the same concerns on first look, but I'm keen on the idea and i'd be interested to see some real world testing. I'd hope they didn't invest this much time into bringing something to market that they'll get constant warranty claims on. As the article mentions, it'll be interesting to see if it can actually take hold as an "innovation". Better than e-bikes at least.
  • 97 1
 These are screaming out to be bench tested against competitors, because I would be scared shitless of using these without some strength data to back them up.
  • 3 1
 ^ Seconded!
  • 9 8
 I just snapped an 8mm thick pedal in half riding an easy XC trail, there is no way I would trust these at 3mm
  • 7 0
 Great concept but I personally need some real concave, not pin related, shape.
  • 4 0
 Absolutely. I would love something like this, especially given the lower bb of most bikes.
  • 19 1
 @src248: sram is developing a version of their universal derailleur hanger for pedals. That way you'll only break a $15 pedal hanger instead of your pedal. Problem solved.
  • 1 1
 @rrolly: nice.
  • 1 1
 @src248: While I'm as wary as the next guy about these, your comparison isn't valid. 8mm with spindle means that 8mm is the pedal body thickness (in two segments, either side of the spindle), the spindle itself, PLUS any bearing or bushing involved.

In other words, I doubt you had anywhere near 3mm of material where it mattered.
  • 1 1
 @waywardtraveller: that's what she said. . .
  • 1 0
 @waywardtraveller: m.pinkbike.com/photo/17715312 8mm at the edge, 11mm in the center. The solid metal snapped around the pins
  • 1 0
 @waywardtraveller: The spindle is perfectly fine, it's the rest of the (solid metal) pedal that broke.
  • 51 1
 step 1. abolish shinpads
step 2. make pedals thin like a knife
step 3. prosthetic lower legs?
  • 3 2
 Step 4. Now you can only hop...
  • 57 2
 Step 6. cut a hole a the box
  • 4 4
 Or go clipless...
  • 15 1
 @Creg: It's like Step 5 just vanished..
  • 12 0
 @w0dge: I think that's the collect underpants step.
  • 2 1
 Step 7, market as trail maintenance tool.....cut overgrowth with your blade pedals.
  • 1 0
 @gotohe11carolina: then what do you do with the underpants?
  • 4 0
 @takeiteasyridehard: 1. Steal underpants
2. ???
3. Profit.
  • 1 0
 @Creg: That's technically step one. :-)
  • 30 1
 Dear Pinkbike historians, why are pedals the way they are, with their long axles and two bearings instead like these?

I'm expecting the answers to start with "as an engineer..."
  • 41 1
 "As someone who can bend cutlery.........."
  • 5 0
 bahahaha... everything must be qualified with "as an engineer..." in order to be valid
  • 14 0
 As a Dentis I can say the lever arm is pretty big without the axle and ballbearings are not made for taking Axial forces
  • 7 0
 I wanna know the exact modulus of elasticity of the metal so I can calculate the transverse shear. Razz
  • 4 0
 Would you ever buy a major structural bike component sold as "and we didn't even consult a single engineer in making this"? The pedal is a simple lever arm and the inside acts as the fulcrum if you don't support the outside edge. For a hauntingly similar example look at the lefty axle-- large inboard bearing, small outboard bearing -- and can withstand extreme bending load. The real question is when will cannondale use all that experience to make a better pedal? Integrating it into a SI crank wouldn't been out of the norm for them. Admittedly, though, we don't need a new crank standard. Until I can ride like Sam Hill and drag bars/inside pedal on a flat turn, I'll keep my current chesters.
  • 6 0
 As much as new standards suck, going to 12x142 rear axles was a great idea. Going to tapered steerer tubes was a great idea. Maybe making a new crank arm standard that has a larger diameter hole for pedals to thread into would actually be worth it.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: I like where you’re going with this. Use this crank-mounted bearing concept not for weak 3mm pedals but ultra strong 12mm pedals.
  • 2 0
 As an engineer, my XT M8xxx SPDs last a very long time without any bearing maintenance or issues. And I can switch them between bikes with any crankset. No ground clearance problems either. As an engineer, I don't try to solve problems that don't exist for me.
  • 1 0
 @heckler73: "As an engineer, hard tails work great for me. There are no pivots to maintain, no rear shock to service, and I can swap from hardtail to hardtail with no problems either. As an ingeer, I don't try to solve problems that don't exist for me."
  • 30 1
 Next year it going to be 4mm tall and 28.99% stiffer
  • 14 3
 Because stiffness is proportional to thickness cubed it would be 137% stiffer. Even then I'm not sure I'd want to ride them.

They look a bit flexy to me.
  • 8 2
 @gaberoc: You also need to take in condiseration the e (and e=thickness/2). Therefore the stiffness is only proportional to thicknes squared, so itd be 78% stiffer.
  • 9 0
 @alexu: 78% Stifler ?
  • 4 7
 @gaberoc & @alexu: Whoosh. You missed the best part of Alain2's joke. Look at his % number again.
  • 19 1
 I didn't realise having 'thick' pedals was a problem. I think my crank hits the ground more often then a pedal does.
  • 4 0
 It's a bit like the cassette debate where it depends where you ride. It's a very common occurrence in places like Moab for example. Most people I know who ride flats look for thin pedals on their trail bike for this reason.
  • 7 4
 if you are peddaling while turning so you lean your bike to side, of course the pedal will hit the ground first
  • 12 1
 @bok-CZ: with world changing advice like that you should start an online training business, never will my pedal hot a rock again. Many thanks
  • 5 0
 Sorry that was a bit of a snarky comment. It's generally not pressing round corners that's the issue, more pedaling up techy rock gardens or shear volume of different sized rocks encountered in the downhill.
  • 3 0
 @catweasel: no worries Big Grin
for example right now I got bike with 5mm longer cranks than I am used to, it was pretty fine, but I´ve used offset bushings to put the baby a bit lower and slacker and right now it is easy to catch a pedal even on flat ground while turning a peddaling more aggressive and honestly every another mm saved on pedal thickness I would appreciate but yeah, tech climbs is where it counts the most
  • 1 0
 These are much thinner than a 'normal' pedal, not that I think normal pedals are an issue either. What I find funnier is when people choose a flimsy, convex 10mm pedal over a reliable, concave 15mm pedal - Like that extra 2.5mm of clearance will make a difference......
  • 1 2
 @bok-CZ: unless you are 6'5" you should be on 170s
175 are too big for most people based on std roadie calculations
Imo med bikes should come with 165s, lg should have 170s, and xl 175s.
The reason I assume is cost and convenience, otherwise they have to mess with the gearing on each bike size.
if you are around 6' tall and are riding 175s you can gain that 5mm clearance by switching to 170s and using a
30 tooth chainring to restore the gear ratios. added bonus is log over clearance.
  • 1 0
 @DDoc: 180mm on my race BMX, 175mm on my hardtail, 170mm on my enduro.
guess which one hits the crank on rocks?
  • 1 0
 @fruitsd79: 165 on the DH
165 on the trail Bike (Stumpjumper evo, f**ing low bb)
And 165 on the DJ bike

Keep it simpel, only need one crank
  • 1 0
 @DDoc: you can't really base crank size on height since there is no relationship between height and leg size, much less riding style.
  • 13 0
 Would be fine to know more details about the cranks as well as you can only use the pedals with those
  • 8 1
 I really doubt the bearings will last longer. Yes they are bigger, but there is also a much bigger arm for the forces on the bearing. And I also assume that bearings don't like torsional forces.
  • 5 0
 Looks pretty similar in design to any front wheel hub bearing on any front wheel drive car I've ever worked on. I wouldn't be too worried about bearing life. I would be worried about what happens when my foot bounces to the outer edge of the pedal just before riding off a jump or drop and I have no choice but to ride it out. I don't see that pedal body surviving that scenario without bending.
  • 4 0
 There are bearings desgined for this kind of application. Don't worry.
  • 1 0
 @Muckal: From this photo ep1.pinkbike.org/p5pb17705991/p5pb17705991.jpg it looks like dual 6900 bearings are used per crank. After all, with custom or hard-to-get bearings it would be an even tougher sell for a product as unusual as this one.
  • 8 0
 Why no pics or details of the crank? If you are showing a product that requires another product, doesn’t that make sense?
  • 4 2
 Because there were no crank details, but they seem to be a fairly normal (aside from the bearings, of course) aluminum arms.
  • 1 0
 I guess they are the typical PF30, SRAM ring/spider mount thingies.
  • 4 1
 Besides ground clearance, I like thin pedals because they allow a slightly lower seat position for seated pedaling. But they also put your shoe closer to the ground, increasing the risk of hooking your toe on a root or rock.
  • 4 0
 I serious issue that many people on beach cruisers are happy you're addressing.
  • 2 0
 www.bikeradar.com/blog/momentum-pedals-the-reinvention-of-a-good-idea
Shimano Dyna-Drive pedals used the idea in 1982 for road and later for mtn bike
"Dyna-Drive died because the bearings reportedly didn’t last very long and were hard to service"
  • 1 0
 Open source this standard and it would be great. The current pedal spindle design is based around 100 year old materials and engineering. A design like this could address bearing/bushing wear, stiffness and strength limitations inherent to the current standard. Road bikes would also benefit from a lower profile. As well as ground clearance, biomechanics are better the closer the foot is to the point of rotation (pedal axle).

As long as this stays proprietary though, it won't take off. Like saddles, chains or tires this needs to be a (fairly) universal plug and play design to establish itself in the marketplace.

I'd dig it if that happened.
  • 1 0
 But this would put plastic body pedals at a disadvantage. Also, a few mm extra room per crank has to be taken away from Q-factor and reserved for (real) seals which are missing on the design presented.
  • 1 0
 As not an engineer and without really thinking through that bearing set up, could they not somehow fashion an insert that would work in a standard crank arm? Thread the outer bore, small flange to keep it in place and a standard pin tool to get it in, then the pedal bolt? Or would that have to shrink the bearing size and negate the usability?

If they make this to fit everyone's crank arms...arguably one of the few/only stalwart standards left...I bet these take off.
  • 4 1
 Failed so many of those micro outer bearings. I'm all for this improved design. Well done.
  • 2 0
 Shimano's first Deore pedals ~1984 had the bearings in the crank like these
Shimano gave up on the idea due to durability issues
  • 1 0
 yes, the bearings will wear and will probably still need to be placed on a regular basis. I dont know about you guys, but I go thru flat pedal as fast as I go thru tires. unless the bearings in the cranks will last years without replacement, it makes more sense to keep the bearing in the pedals. thanks. taprider
  • 2 0
 Sweet - instead of standardized cranks that fit any standardized pedals, you can have proprietary cranks AND proprietary pedals! Win-Win if there ever was one!
  • 2 2
 Poor engineering.. you didnt think about torque from outside to inside. This is why pedals have bearings on both sides. I bet I could kill those bearings in under 6 months of "light" riding.

Stop fixing things that aren't broken.

Also, integrated pedal and cranks sounds expensive, and stupid.
  • 1 0
 "just 85-grams per pedal for the aluminum version, 100-grams for the titanium model, and only 150-grams for the steel pedals."
Alright, what about of the weight of the crank then since you can't fit these to anything else.
  • 2 1
 Thin pedals are really nice. I surely wouldn't hesitate to use them on my wife or kid's bike considering the type of riding they do and their low weights.
  • 1 0
 For the mellow after-work XC/Trail ride maybe. For the everyday Enduro-abuse I am not sure this will last longer than 6 months...
  • 1 0
 Seriously this was my idea like 8 years ago. But I’m glad to see it hashed out. Bearings in the crank and not the pedal makes a ton of sense.
  • 1 0
 I wonder why they didn't go for a wider needle bearing over a double ball bearing?
  • 1 2
 People writing all over about bending these pedals. If you saw a guy trying to cold bend a titanium tube, you'd know this 3mm ti pedals would stand a lot of abuse. And after learning that aluminum and steel are stronger than titanium in the same amount of material, I don't doubt these would last some lifetimes.
  • 1 0
 Then why do people still break pedals?
  • 1 1
 Since it only works with a proprietary crank I don't think it is fair mentioning the pedals weight without mentioning the weight of a complete setup crankarms + pedals so we can get decent comparisons with other combos.
  • 2 0
 3 mm tall pedals, what will they do if someone comes out with 2.5 mm tall pedals?
  • 2 0
 Yeah.....I’ll gonna let somebody else test those out!
  • 3 0
 Yuck. Pin spanners.
  • 1 0
 1, the bushings in my 3 sets of bearing less pedals have lasted YEARS. 2,snap
  • 1 0
 Do tell what pedals those are. I can't get them to last a year.
  • 2 0
 @acali: soz, posted an realised I left off the Staitline pedals
  • 1 0
 I never have issues with tiny pedal bearings, it's the bushing I find always wears out first
  • 1 0
 I recently cracked my one up component pedals, I dont think these would fair better (thinner).
  • 1 0
 Shimano did this year's ago on their Dura-Ace crank. Didn't take off then either.
  • 1 0
 Cool looking pedal. I like it tup what’s the prices and weight limits for them?
  • 1 0
 Those who are concerned with bending and resistance should look at the diameter of a pedal axle. It bears the same weight.
  • 1 0
 there's not enough pedal standards!
  • 1 0
 Correction "Tatze's Pedal is Just 3mm Thick- Eurobike 2019" Tall????
  • 2 0
 Yawn.
  • 1 0
 Not much material left on the crank around that insert.
  • 1 0
 I forsee that not working out too welll.... hmmm
  • 1 0
 hope yo got the attention. now do something cheep and productive.
  • 1 0
 Bend n snap
  • 1 3
 This along with the UDH hanger, genius!
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