klein designs shoe pedal bee hive concept (2)

While flat pedals seem to be making a resurgence, we also seem to be in renaissance of sorts of the flat pedal itself. First it was magnets, then float, and now a special shoe/pedal interface the promises more connection to the bike than your average flat pedal without ever clipping in.

Currently without a name, the concept comes to us by way of Klein Designs. As a former motocross rider, Maxwell Klein was looking for a better option when it came to pedals for his mountain bike. Wanting more control without having to clip in, the honeycomb concept was born and is currently seeking funding…

klein designs shoe pedal bee hive concept (3)

The concept is pretty simple, rather than relying on traction pins or sticky soles, the shoes use a honeycomb pattern with the opposite pattern made into a pedal. Since the entire sole uses the same honeycomb, riders can “clip in” anywhere and can make small adjustments by slightly repositioning their foot. After a number of 3-D printed prototypes, the concept has been tested and proven using hand carved soles and CNC machined pedals.

klein designs kickstarter

Unlike typical flat pedals, the honeycomb concept would require specific shoes to get the most benefit out of the pedals. Though you could certainly still pedal with any other shoe since it is technically still a flat. Additional benefits include the lack of sharp traction pins to potentially cut your shins, and a more walkable sole then the average clipless pedal.

Currently seeking funding through a Kickstarter project, shoe and pedal combinations start at $199.



  1. What on

    “can make small adjustments by slightly repositioning their foot. ”

    You idea of “small” adjustments is mighty different to mine.

  2. briderdt on

    Velcro… Haha! Back in the early 80’s there was a concept for using velcro to attach your feet to a skateboard for aerial maneuvers…

    And an interesting use of the New Balance Minimus Trail there…

  3. JBikes on

    OK, I won’t make the guy feel bad. But what exactly does this provide that a pair of good flats don’t? Are you really shinning yourself that often? And this is no answer to clipless.

  4. Slow Joe Crow on

    @dave, the alternatives are clipless, platforms with flats, or the old Mavic pedal with the magnets all of which work better than this impulsive kludge.
    On the bright side the honeycomb pedal looks like it would be good shape for a conventional flat pedal with raised bumps or actual traction pins added so it’s not a total waste.
    Sole wear seems like a huge problem here. along with dirt packing into the sole and blocking engagement.

  5. Champs on

    JBikes: yes, there are people who *would* do everything possible to nerf up their bikes: belt drives, chain cases, cruiser pedals, and why not this?

    Pedals are not the bicycle’s best interface. If you want simplicity, they slip. If you want traction, you need special shoes or sharp metal in easy striking distance of your shins. I appreciate someone taking a new approach to this instead of reinventing the saddle because they haven’t gotten a good bike fit.

    I don’t think we’re looking at the solution here, but (for me) you could solve this problem tomorrow with a pedal that’s flat on one side, clipless on the other, and manually switchable so either one can be the “up” side when at rest. I don’t know why people put up with flipping pedals.

  6. Tim on

    I don’t see what’s so atrocious about these pedals. Mud packing into soles could be an issue, but the soles are pretty deep so it would take a lot of mud to really mess things up. Sole wear- come on. It takes a good while for rubber to wear down, and most of the time, you won’t be walking. I’d see what they ride like in different conditions (off-road, city, and so on), and then would make a judgment. One serious potential downside I see is the pedals seem to be rather thick.

  7. Tom A on

    I can see a number of issues with this system. It doesn’t look like it allows for fine fore aft adjustment which could lead to hot spots, but maybe that’s not so much of an issue on shorter mountain bike rides. Mud clogging is definitely going to be a problem. Would rather stick with my clipless pedals as long as the system has an easy enough release.

  8. Doug on

    I’ll be the first to say that I’m typically cynical towards new bike tech but I thought this was a pretty novel idea. Not for hardcore riding, I definitely won’t be replacing my clipless on my mountain bike with them. I’ve always wanted an alternative to flats or clipless for cruising around town and these look like they would fit the bill nicely.

  9. Papi on

    As a triathlete I think this is an exceptional idea. I’m not the fastest on the bike (or swim, or run for that matter) so I focus all my energy on fast transitions. One thing that really slows me down it changing my shoes (tying them is so difficult), so if I can wear the same shoes for the bike and the run I figure I can shave at lest 31 minutes off my time for a full Ironman (right now I only do sprints, but I’m feeling strong, so I might sign up for an Ironman next month).

    Just one question… do you think this pedal will be available by Friday? I have an event this weekend.

  10. Ol' Shel' on

    It’s a terrible idea that will fail in the marketplace, but…

    It will get TONS of investment cash and the inventor will make a nice salary for a number of years. “investors” love this junk. They avoid real innovation.

  11. Brett on

    to be honest, I would probably like it more with pins. I could see this being useful for the DH guys if the pedal had a big surface area, but i have a hunch the honeycomb alone is not enough traction, especially if the soles get a clogged up with mud.


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