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3ax reinvents the clipless pedals with lateral tilt, putting feet in more natural position

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3ax triax clipless pedals with tilt roll for better foot alignment on the road bike

Pronounced “tri-ax”, the new 3ax clipless pedals introduce sideways tilt to your foot, allowing it to move in a more natural motion as you push down. They claim this makes you more comfortable, more powerful and less likely to endure repetitive use injury.

The secret is the ability for the pedals to roll along their longitudinal (nose to tail) axis, with springs inside to add tension so they don’t merely float and feel unstable. It’s only 2º in either direction, but they say it’s enough to maintain better overall foot/ankle/shin alignment. The result? Your knees end up with an average 17% less sideways movement, which means less strain on the joint, and overall efficiency gains of up to 5.47%.

UPDATE: Current prototype weight is 188g per pedal (376g / pair), but they are working to bring that down before production.

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In addition to the 2º of tilt left and right, you’ll have the option of 0º, 4.5º 0r 9º of float thanks to their Look Keo cleat compatibility.

3ax triax clipless pedals with tilt roll for better foot alignment on the road bike internal cutaway view

Inside are two metal spring plates that compress a coil spring as the pedal tilts from side to side. The design was tested and refined by lab use, real world riding and computer assistance from TSG Group, a well-known engineering firm in the Netherlands.

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VO2 Max testing showed a 3.3% reduction in oxygen use, and EMG measurements showed efficiency gains of up to 5.47%. They say those gains are made by reducing the effort needed to push your knees inward or outward to compensate for the fixed position other pedals place your feet in. Indeed, foot pressure tests confirmed that there was much less pressure placed on the outside of the foot. Considering their research showed that 96% of riders’ physiology ends up trying to tilt the foot in such a way that more pressure is put on the outside edge, this should be good news for all of us!

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The pedal body is alloy with CNC finishing and powder coating, rolling on hardened steel spindles.

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The 3ax will come in Ruby Red, Deep Black and Stealth Gray color options. A second Early Bird round has opened up on Kickstarter, offering a pair in any color for $199 with free shipping to the U.S. or E.U. Prices go up from there, with various backer deals and packages available. Shipping starts in December if all goes as planned, and eventual retail is $299 per pair.

3axCycling.com

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Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
9 years ago

I can see this helping people with bad knees and if they add some different length spindles and shimming they could be a good alternative to Keywin pedals for tough bike fits.

cspike
cspike
9 years ago

Interesting. As a long time sufferer of knee pain from running and riding, I welcome anything that might help. I tried so many different pedals before sticking with Time. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on these.

AlanM
AlanM
9 years ago

Tip to all new companies out there, don’t give your company names that have to be explained. Good luck with those Google searches.

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
9 years ago

Like any system that gives freedom to people, this will help “someone” but may also hurt others who don’t have knee pain but just have general instability. Plenty of people need some restriction, while others need freedom to move around

anonymous
anonymous
9 years ago

Seems like one could make a cleat that does the same thing be sandwiching some sort of elastonomer layer with the cleat and adapter plate hinged together and allowed to rock laterally.

Hans
Hans
9 years ago

So … like Specialized BG is already doing with shoes?

Robo
Robo
9 years ago

y’know…..if people would just get properly fit on their bikes, they wouldn’t need products like this. I’ll never get the idea that people have that spending a wad of cash on some doo-dad will be more beneficial that getting properly set up on their bike. At the very least, let that be step one.

Glenn
Glenn
9 years ago

Get me a dirt version, I’m a dirt guy. My size 15 flat feet hurt me every single ride, I’m always open to finding something that might help.

JR
JR
9 years ago

Speedplays all do that after 6 months of heavy use. Anybody want to buy my worn out Speedplays?

EagerBeaver
EagerBeaver
9 years ago

Or you could just wedge the cleat or footbed, or just use a BG shoe. Shims are like $5 a piece. just saying.

MikeC
MikeC
9 years ago

Article is useless without wattage savings figure.

Chader
Chader
9 years ago

@ Hans,

This is movable float compared to the 1.5* varus wedge in the BG shoes that is completely fixed.

The BG varus is good to match the general orientation of the forefoot at rest (hanging).

This seems to add a degree of motion that may reduce lateral strain on the joints, most notably the knee.

FoolCyclist
FoolCyclist
9 years ago

Is it just me, or do these look like you are sitting why high over the axle. Just get a set of Time pedals. They have angular float and lateral float already and keep your foot very close to the axle. But first, just like it has been mentioned above, get fit for your bike or at least read a little about proper positioning so you can make adjustments to the saddle yourself.

I see this being a short lived niche product.

Psi Squared
Psi Squared
9 years ago

Robo, there are things which a good fit can’t fix.

Dr Boom
Dr Boom
9 years ago

For those saying to get proper fit, what adjustment on the bike is going to allow your foot to roll inwards or outwards? Even if it’s only a fixed amount in or out?

rico
rico
9 years ago

Psi is right. The foot is so complex, you might need tilt one way at the front of the foot, and tilt another way at the rear. Tilting the entire foot is not going to solve the whole puzzle. A tilt (from shoe last, wedge, tilting pedal, or other) combined with a rx insole from a sports doc could be the ideal, but then the whole thing should then be analyzed in motion. Once you start doing 10k miles plus a year you learn to figure these things out. Either that or you waste money with gimmicks until you give up.

Francois
Francois
9 years ago

5% gain because your knees don’t move laterally?
I never felt any kind of resistance on the side of my knees when pedalling, and the energy that I have to spend is definitely negligeable.

I can believe it would help people who suffer from repetitive use injury, but I don’t buy the power savings.
And did they compare their stuff with normal flat pedals for these people? Flat pedals won’t allow you to tilt your foot to the outside, but you can change the position of you foot on the pedal regularly, which would probably help with repetitive injuries.

-s
-s
9 years ago

I’m somewhat bow legged. When seated on my bike, my knees are up against the toptube, but when I stand they go back out. I use wedges in all my bike shoes, and these pedals could help even more with my comfort level. I’d have to give up my Speedplays first though.

Chader
Chader
9 years ago

@Dr Boom,
The adjustment is actually on the shoe rather than the bike.

You can use the Specialized kit that goes inside the shoe and only affects the forefoot angle:
http://www.specialized.com/us/en/ftr/shoes/shoe-spare-parts/body-geometry-shim-kit

Or you can use the ones that mount between the pedal cleat and the shoe body. These rotate the entire foot. Here is one style from specialized:
http://www.specialized.com/us/en/ftr/shoes/shoe-spare-parts/body-geometry-cleat-wedge

You can use the in various combinations to rotate the only forefoot or the entire foot in the desired direction and amount.

cspike
cspike
9 years ago

To the comments about getting proper bike fit: I agree, but bike fitters all have different views/opinions and styles. I’ve been fit twice, and once was in preparation for getting a custom road frame. Between the two fittings, the seat position (height, tilt and fore and aft adjustment) were completely different. This makes me really skeptical when bike fitting is brought up. For cyclists who have been riding for a long time, you will probably already be really close to where a fitter will put you anyway. But I am still a proponent of getting a proper fit, I just need to be a very active participant in the process. If these pedals, or some other weird cycling invention helps keep people riding longer, great!

pilf
pilf
9 years ago

I’m even more hyper-cynical than the usual Bike Rumor reader, but this product makes total sense and seems solid. Nice to see a bicycle-related Kickstarter that it’s a totally worthless idea.

pilf
pilf
9 years ago

*isn’t

Mike D
Mike D
9 years ago

My name is spelled “Steven”, but it’s pronounced ‘Richard’…

Aside from that, interesting idea. Hope it doesn’t get buried dues to it’s unfortunate branding.

alvis
alvis
9 years ago

Fixing a problem 90% of people don’t have and then trying to scare that 90% into thinking that they do.

Mr Focodel
Mr Focodel
9 years ago

As runners have pronator-neutral-supinator shoes makes sense to put wedge plate under cleat according to anatomical situation (genu varus/valgum). To tilt the pedal…

MArk
MArk
9 years ago

That’s why I had to use egg beaters on my Road bike, my knee is always disturbed by rigid spdl pedals. For short rides my Time 15 is ok and I definitely produce more power with it, but for long rides I have to stick to my egg beater, a lot more comfortable. Hope this one will have both worlds in it

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