Last week, new company Ultralite Sports declared to have designed the world’s lightest cycling pedals. At 36 grams, the Ultralite pedals are indeed light, but they are not the lightest. Washington based AeroLite Pedals, around since 1979, probably owns that title with the 30 gram Ti TT pedals. Regardless of the weight battle, these companies highlight a larger trend of moving towards simple spindle based pedals for cycling.
Spindle based pedals supposedly can transfer human power into mechanical energy better than any other pedal system. This increased power transfer, coupled together with a lower rotational weight, improve your ride quality and deliver a unique cycling experience.
The AeroLite pedals and shoe clips weigh less than 100 grams per pair. A Turcite bearing offers very little friction for easy entry and exit. The corresponding nylon cycling shoe cleat is formed to wrap around the pedal with a maximum of 1320 pounds of tension to keep you attached to the unit until you are ready to get out.
When you want out, just lift the inside edge of your foot (edge closest to the bike). The clips may be mounted to the shoe in one of three ways: screwed into an standard SPD mount, three hole mount, or directly to the sole of your cycling shoe.
Designed and manufactured entirely in Colorado, the Ultralite Sports pedal system (pictured top), including pedals and cleats, weighs just 112 grams. Hitting shelves this November, Ultralite will start with two pedal models: the Cirrus TI (titanium version) and the Nimbus STL (steel version).
Ultralite pedals feature a one-piece spindle with two independent aluminum barrels to secure the cleat. The aerodynamic cleat is made of lightweight, yet durable nylon. To make it easier or harder to get in and out of the pedals, you have the option to replace the standard spring with a low tension spring for easier engagement or a high tension spring for the most secure connection.
Two years ago, we profiled a young inventor, Sam Hunter, that had created a similar product called Infinity Pedals that let you clip in regardless of pedal position. I have tried contacting him again but have yet to hear back on the current status of his invention. Sam was initially focused on the mountain bike pedal market but I can foresee problems with mud, etc.
All you cyclists out there, what are your thoughts on the trend towards spindle based pedals?