Ultralite launch 72g pedal

Super minimalist pedal design weighs just 112g for a complete set

by David Arthur @davearthur   October 5, 2012  

If you thought Speedplay pedals were a lesson in minimalist design, then get your eyeballs around these incredible looking pedals from Ultralite, the latest sensation in pedal design.

Founded by road racer Bill Emerson and product design engineer Neal Beidleman in Colorado, the Ultralite pedals use a novel approach to engage the cleat to the pedal. Which not only gives them their diminutive looks but also contributes to their incredibly low weight. Weight weenies, these are right up your street.

A spring-loaded barrel (the larger barrel in the picture above) slides on the narrower spindle. To engage you use the special cleat to slide that spring-loaded barrel towards the cranks, and slot the cleat into place. Sounds easy but it's quite a different technique to most other pedal systems and one that is probably second nature to most of us. Clipping out requires the cleat to push the barrel backwards to allow the cleat to be lifted straight up.

As a result, it's a very light system. There will be two specs to choose from, the Cirrus Ti pedals weighing just 72g and the 146g Nimbus STL, which replaces the titanium axle with a steel version.The cleat is a very compact and aero glass-reinforced nylon design and weighs just 40g, with a choice of zero or four degrees of float. For comparison a Speedplay Ti pedal weighs 130g for the pedal and the cleats 88g. So it's a serious chunk of heft lighter.

Some readers will draw a resemblance with AeroLite pedals, a similarly minimalist design with a barrel pedal. The Ultralites appears to have developed a superior cleat design that is easier to fit to shoes using a standard three-bolt setup. It's not clear if they would disengage in a crash though.

Former Garmin-Slipstream ProTour rider Will Frischkorn has been testing Ultralite pedals for the past several months. “You can’t help but be impressed when you first see and hold the pedals,” he says. “However, it’s the lower rotational weight, the ride quality and the increased power transfer the pedals deliver that really makes them special.”

They're not currently available in the UK so we only have the US price, of which the Cirrus Ti costs $395.00. The Nimbus STL costs $295.00.


9 user comments

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Complicated and expensive, Just what we need Devil

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9361 posts]
5th October 2012 - 17:14


Looks like an impalement injury waiting to happen the first time there's a touch of wheels in a pack of riders. I doubt UCI or any other sport sanctioning body would allow these things in the peloton.

posted by TheBigMong [218 posts]
5th October 2012 - 18:38

1 Like

Looks like they've moved the pedal to the shoe and put the cleat on the bike....

"I can't believe I ate the whole thing..."

Cooks's picture

posted by Cooks [525 posts]
5th October 2012 - 19:22


not too sure about things.arrghh

posted by mpt68 [107 posts]
5th October 2012 - 20:02


Lighter than speedplay, but considerably (a whole 11 degrees) less float.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3723 posts]
6th October 2012 - 8:41


Speedplay remain the best imo

posted by Beaufort [246 posts]
6th October 2012 - 9:05


This is truly a case of less (hardware) is more (money).

posted by thx1138 [35 posts]
6th October 2012 - 10:35


These are almost exactly the same pedals I had in the 80's. The old patent must have lapsed. No new tech here lads.

posted by Ironrav [2 posts]
6th October 2012 - 20:45


They look painful.

mingmong's picture

posted by mingmong [242 posts]
8th October 2012 - 12:28