If I were to make a list of things that I didn’t think needed to get smarter, bike pedals would be somewhere near the top of the list. And yet, when Redshift Sports showed me its shiny (literally!) new pedals, I had one of those “omg this makes so much sense” moments.
In a nutshell, it’s simple: Stick bike lights inside pedals to help draw attention to the cyclist as they are pedaling about. Stationery bike lights disappear in the rich visual landscape of traffic, the company suggests, but by attaching it to the part of the bike that moves more than anything else — i.e. the pedals — the theory is that the additional movement will catch someone’s eyes and make you more visible in traffic.
Makes sense to me; we’ve stuck reflectors on bike pedals for as long as I can remember (and I’m an old man who grew up in the Homeland of Bicycles as Transportation), so it stands to reason when the technology catches up to be able to actually stick lights inside the pedals, it’s a natural evolution.
They’ve crammed a lot of clever tech into the humble pedals. There are four lights (two in each pedal; a white light facing forward, a red light facing backward) that turn on when they sense motion, and off when the bike is parked. You don’t have to worry about the orientation of the pedals either; just start pedaling and the bike figures out which way the pedals are facing. Forward will always be white, and back beams red into the souls of your would-be automotive assailants.
The lights have three modes, including “solid” (always on), “flash,” where the pedals blink regularly at full brightness, or “eco flash,” which saves power. The battery life is three, 11 or 36 hours, respectively.
The company includes a little USB hub so you can easily charge all the pedals. The pedals weigh 610 grams, which ain’t exactly light — they make pedals in a similar price class that weigh half that — but for commuter bikes it might make sense. They cost $139.99, and are going on sale tomorrow, available direct from Redshift Sports.