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Pedaling with Prosthetics: Maglock Pedals Offer Solution for Amputees

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MagLock magnetic bike pedal amputee leg option

When we first reported on the next-generation Maglock Pedals, Dave told us that he was working on a special project. As those type of things usually go he didn’t want to divulge any details just yet but told us that the pedal showed a lot of promise for those with lower leg amputations. As you might imagine, situations where the rider has limited use of their lower leg could make using a traditional clipless pedal quite difficult.

Of course, the Maglock pedal is still being marketed as a solution for those looking for an alternative to the standard clipless pedal – but the use for amputees is exciting news if you happen to fall into that category. There are still a few days left in the Maglock Kickstarter campaign, but if you want to see what the pedal could mean to someone with an amputation, you’re going to want to check out the video after the break…

With five days left In their campaign, Maglock has far surpassed their goal, and should be delivering completed sets by September/ October. You can still pick up a set for $120.

Kickstarter.com

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nsp234
nsp234
7 years ago

I don’t know too much about amputees, but wouldn’t it make sense to leave that shoe away and attach the cleat directly to the prosthetic?

Gunnstein
Gunnstein
7 years ago

Cool. The vid would be more inspiring without the funeral music, though 🙂

Dan
Dan
7 years ago

@nsp234 I would think (not that I would know) that an amputee would want to have as much common “feel” across different movements as possible. Whether it’s walking, running, biking or otherwise.

JBikes
JBikes
7 years ago

nsp234,
I’m no amputee so I may be wrong here, but sans dedicated athlete, I guess most amputees only have one or maybe two prosthetics. Since they are used for everything, they will have a common “foot”. Requiring direct cleat mounting would require one to run a specific prosthetic.

This also doesn’t account for the fact that like regular people, amputees probably enjoy getting off their bikes during a ride (or like me, have to get off in certain sections). Using a regular “foot” with shoe allows for this in a way a direct mount couldn’t. Imagine hike-a-biking on only a metal “cleat”

Graham
Graham
7 years ago

I once sold a guy a pair of the precursor to these (can’t remember the brand off hand, but it’s been done before). They weighed a metric tonne, but the bearing was smooth and the platform solid. This guy was a triathlete who’d busted up his foot, but wanted to stay on the bike while it healed to keep the km’s up for an upcoming event.

We talked about ideas for a while in the shop, his physio had approved ccycling, provided he limit the ankle movement – so he really needed to be attached to the pedal at the heel basically. So conventional clipless just wasn’t going to happen. We came up with using the ancient magnetic’s the shop had laying around and a crappy old sneaker.

He went away with a barely formed plan, and came back a few weeks later in full kit having just ridden 200km on the highway and showed me his shoe.

TLDR; While this is obviously not an ideal direct replacement for conventional clipless systems, it’s really great to see a different take – done well – that offers different advantages for people with different needs or uses

Emily
Emily
7 years ago

Hey Graham, reddit much?

Monoped
Monoped
7 years ago

I’m a below knee amputee and this is a cool idea since clip less pedals don’t work well for us. It’s difficult to twist out and even if you loosen the clip up now it doesn’t hold the foot well. The magnet needs to super strong to keep the foot from sliding off under rough trails. I use Power Grip straps to hold my foot on and they are pretty easy to get out of with practice.

Monoped
Monoped
7 years ago

And yes, a cleat is attachable to the foot but not the greatest idea for switching between riding and walking.

Bill
Bill
7 years ago

Wow…I am an amputee and I race BMX. I also ride a park bike at skate parks as well as ride a mountain bike for cross training. I race with clip pleas pedals, but use flat pedals for training on the race bike. I use a toe clip on the prostitic side to keep my shoe/foot in place. These pedals offer a great opportunity to amputees looking for a casual ride, but how well will they handle the rigors of BMX, park and MTB riding. Looks like a great product.

Nathin
Nathin
7 years ago

I am an amputee… And clipless pedals have been a challenge.
I tried 4-5 different pedal systems with varying degrees of success.
I can see the magnet system being great for a quick step down instant alignment and engagement type of setup. Not sure they would hold me in place on rough trails or when needing to bunny hop. But for some amputees I could see this working well. I personaly use crankbros Eggbeater pedals they can take practice getting your prosthesis into the right spot but engagement is super easy and secure with plenty of float. It is the only system I will use anymore.

As for clipping the prosthetic directly it would require the prosthetic to be slightly longer to accommodate the lack of shoe and would be awkward in hike a bike sections or off bike walking. Similar to trying to walk in slippery road shoes with time cleats…no fun.

NotAMachinist
NotAMachinist
7 years ago

Thank you to the amputees that chimed in here. A question for you (or for a kinematics expert): It seems like eliminating the foot at the bottom of a prosthesis would change the hip/thigh/knee pedal dynamics. Can anyone comment as to if that is a positive or negative thing, or if it varies from individual to individual?

Trail Dog
Trail Dog
7 years ago

notamachinist-
Yeah, you’re right, but if the individual has a short lower limb then they can’t always deal with the fore-aft leverage a “normal” cleat placement provides. My friend, for this reason, rides with the cleat just about 1″ forward of the prosthetic’s plumb line axis and uses a shorter crankarm on the prosthetic side to compensate. Going to a shorter crank really helped her keep the hips stable. She also uses a specialized bike “leg”, but would also qualify as a dedicated athlete.

JC
JC
7 years ago

Hmmmm, yeah? maybe? ok, heres the deal…..From what I saw on the video he isn’t doing anything extreme where it requires a lot of torque being put on the pedal up or down. obviously the magnet cannot be strong enough so that you can still be able to unclip easily, I have already tried something similar to this by using a very low tension clips from Shimano, but only on the road and it worked. However, whenever I would start throwing down some wattage and even hitting a pothole here and here I would come upclipped, which is something you do not want!! Specially if you are on a climb standing up pulling hard on the pedals or descending. You can still unclip out of normal clip in pedals, you just have to use serious torque from your hip, it doesn’t always work but I must rather do that versus come out of the pedals on a bumpy descend or whatnot. Now, for someone who is doing a sport such as BMX? Yes, it would be very beneficial to them as well as just for recreational riding. As for me? I would be terrified to use one with the way I ride and type of riding I do.

mrazekan
mrazekan
7 years ago

To all the comments about slipping off the pedals, unlike most clipless pedals, these still have a platform and traction pins, like platform pedals. The pins appear to be adjustable so you could dial the amount of grip in. So anything you could ride with platforms, say crazy downhills and BMX, you could ride with these.

Joe
Joe
7 years ago

I am a bka and am amazed at the simplicity of the Maglock.
As far as prostheses are concerned I have only one but can change shoes as long as the heel height is consistant.So it’s only a matter of changing shoes…..also….
People have been asking about the strength of the magnet. If an electro-magnet was used, wouldn’t the strength be proportional to the current from weak to super strong?

Andy
Andy
7 years ago

I’m a below knee amputee, keen Road and MTB cyclist. I currently use SPD pedals and shoes to good effect but like the idea of the mag pedals esp for MTB. It takes me a fraction of a second longer to unclip on the “pros” side and sometimes thats the difference between staying upright and a wee tumble. I’d be interested in how much pull on the upstroke you can get with the mag pedals.Re shoe/no shoe debate I like the option of shoes esp for MTB as having a grippy shoe makes any walked sections much easier. pedal strokewise it doesnt make much difference in fact if you look at some of the para track cyclists they do away with the foot altogether. However when training, cycling solo, for toilet and coffee stops having a shoe to walk about in is useful

Tom Lowrie
Tom Lowrie
1 year ago

I am an above knee amputee. Has anyone in this situation tried this product?
I am thinking of getting an E bike for casual exercise. One with an exaggerator button.
Holding the prosthetic on a normal pedal appears impossible for me. I need the security for my foot and sliding removal if I am in trouble

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