Now more than ever, there seems to be an intense debate between the use of flat pedals or clipless. Both have their merits, but what if there was something in between? Something that combined the best things about each into a single design? Now that the MagLOCK bike pedal is getting official, maybe there is.
The MagLOCK pedal is definitely not the first to attempt to use magnets to replace a clipless system. Many companies have tried over the years and for whatever reason either failed to produce a worthwhile product, or at least one that consumers would buy. There are many factors to designing a magnetic pedal that you have to take into consideration over a relatively simple clipless pedal, but it looks like Dave Williams may have figured it out with his clever magnetic design.
Instead of simply placing some magnets on top of a pedal, the MagLOCK uses a clever housing that is built into the body of a flat pedal. By simply removing the metal plate that conceals the rare earth magnets, the power of the pedal’s magnetic connection can be changed by adding or removing magnets – anywhere from zero, to over 50 pounds of attractive force.
Housed in the body of a 6061 machined aluminum pedal, one of the best features in our opinion is that without a pair of SPD compatible shoes with the magnetic shoe clip, the pedals turn into standard flats. Perfect for when you forget your shoes, or just want to spin around the neighborhood. When you’re really ready to ride though, a steel rectangular clip bolts onto the bottom of any clipless mountain shoe which interfaces with the magnets on the pedals.
Available through another bicycle related Kickstarter, complete sets of pedals start at $150 with the Early Bird deal. Pedals will be offered with 3 different colored spindles as well as the option for replaceable anodized aluminum colors, as well as green or black anodized pedal bodies for $240 or $260 respectively.
Now for the drawback – the basic MagLOCK pedal weighs in at a whopping 1540g per set. To put that in perspective, a “heavy” set of flat pedals these days is around 700g. As with any first gen product though the weight is bound to come down – looking at the relatively simple pedal body design, there is a lot of aluminum that could still be removed. What’s important here is that concept looks sound, and we may finally have a viable alternative to clipless with the power of magnets.