More power in your pedal stroke as you ride around town, plus the freedom to choose whatever footwear you want – including sandals, as spring weather arrives? It’s a winning combination for stylish urban cyclists, according to the creators of the new Lux Bicycle Pedal.
With bicycle commuting on the rise, Juliet Lalouel and Christian Clemens, co-owners of Loki Cycles, makers of customizable, fixed-gear and single-speed bikes in Salt Lake City, UT, saw the need for a durable, flat commuter-style pedal with an integrated, adjustable strap that comes in fashionable finishes. The quilted-style strap (top photo) was partly inspired by Lalouel’s appreciation of Chanel fashions.
The makers envision Lux as a long-overdue update to toe clips and flat pedals and BMX-style offerings. Among key innovations: Moving the tread to the center of the pedal where the rider distributes his or her weight and an ergonomically designed, adjustable strap with a cushioned protective sleeve that’s comfortable to ride in and protects footwear from scuffing. The new product also departs from previous designs by giving users the ability to pedal securely and efficiently in any type of footwear.
Urban cyclists can ride in comfort in boots, sneakers, heels or sandals.
“Foot retention,” either in the form of toe clips or cleats that attach cycling shoes directly to pedals (known as clipless), offers several benefits to cyclists. Straps enable your foot to exert force all the way through the circular pedal stroke. That makes you more efficient and helps reduce leg fatigue. Securing the foot to the pedal can also help improve safety and riding comfort.
Lalouel’s own experience helped shape the design. She notes that women who ride in heels sometimes find that the limited surface area of the sole, where it meets the pedal, causes the shoe to slip off. The heel then serves as a backstop, but this is hardly ideal, for the rider’s safety or the integrity of the shoe. What’s more, if you are in the habit of using your dominant foot to flip the pedal forward when pushing off, say, after stopping at an intersection, both the shoe and the top of the foot sometimes suffer scratches. A strap that’s easy to get in and out of helps support security and comfort, while giving you the power to pass your fellow commuters on those bridge crossings.
People (especially newbies) who ride fixed-gear bikes, on which the cranks continue to turn as long as the bike is in motion, benefit from foot retention to help stop. Keeping the foot anchored securely also helps prevent ankles from being mauled by the pedal if a foot accidentally flies off. For more advanced riders, those who bunny hop over potholes for example, foot retention is necessary for safety and performance.
Lux pedals are designed for the realities of urban cycling — pedals can get nicked by curbs, straps drag on rough concrete when not in use. So these are constructed of nylon plastic and aerospace-grade aluminum. High-quality nylon fabric for the strap also lends water resistance and resiliency. And a variety of sophisticated strap finishes will be available.
The Lux Pedal, made in the U.S., has launched a Kickstarter campaign, and you can support this innovation for urban cycling by clicking here.
Christian Clemens and Juliet Lalouel with their Loki bicycles.
Photos: Loki Cycles