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You've never seen pedals like these before! Ekoi’s €2 million radical road cycling pedal project predicts 8-watt savings

The new design has already sparked interest from top pro teams like Ineos Grenadiers and UAE Team Emirates, according to Ekoi

We've spied new road pedals from French cycling brand Ekoï, and they look really, really radical. The company seems to be currently in the development phase of a pedal concept that promises to deliver a pretty remarkable eight-watt improvement in performance - though verified details are scarce as yet. 

The pedal concept, dubbed as 'PW8', came to the spotlight when it was first reported by the French publication LeCycle. While Ekoï's innovative pedals are still in the prototype stage, they have already stirred the interest of professional cycling teams, including UAE Team Emirates and Team Ineos Grenadiers - but the official release date is still unconfirmed, although, on the Ekoï Canada's Facebook page, there is a post saying:

"Ekoï will launch the new PW8 pedal this fall. According to biometric tests, it will increase the cyclist's power by 8 watts, hence its name, PW8. The new pedals will provide the cyclist with 8 watts because they are positioned at 8mm from the pedal axis."

> Best clipless pedals for cycling

We're not at all sure about the logic of that last sentence! The prototype pedals are now being put through their paces by UCI Continental teams Nice Métropole and Burgos, who are testing the concept for reliability and performance before they are made available to a wider audience.

“These are new shoe pedals with a new concept, it’s an innovation that makes me dream because compared to other pedals on the market, we tested a gain of 8 watts. Two years ago, the inventor came to see me and we bought the patent. He is still with us working on the project. The latter is complex because it is obligatory to make a specific shoe for this pedal. It is very close to the axis and improves traction," Jean-Christophe Rattel, the CEO of Ekoï told LeCycle last year. 

What we can see from the Tean Nice Métropole Côte d'Azur's photoshoot is a pedal that does indeed sit flush with the shoe and features a larger platform that extends both in front and behind the axle. As Rattel explained, the pedal also requires a specific shoe to complete the setup – and this means developing a new cleat, too. Rattel believes this will also make walking in the shoes more comfortable.

Ekoi PW8 pedal team nice metropole1

“In addition, walking will be easier because there are no more prominent wedges. It is being tested and we have good results," Rattel said to LeCycle. 

Entering the competitive pedal market dominated by the likes of Shimano and Look is a challenging endeavour, to say the least, but Ekoï is confident in its ability to establish a foothold as an underdog in the sector. The company's substantial €2 million investment in this project is a testament to its commitment.

“I have already put €2 million into development, no one does that. I say this clearly, especially since profitability may not be there. I don't even bother to Look or Shimano, that doesn't interest me. But it is a project that is close to my heart. We may fail, like others, but the Jumbo, UAE and Ineos teams want to test them, they are interested. It's great because we don't expect Ekoï on this ground. So, does everyone need to gain 8 watts? No, it's clear. It's not essential. But the invention has a lot of importance on a personal level,“ Rattel said. 

We have reached out to Ekoï for a comment on the development of these groundbreaking shoes and will update this article if we get any more info. 

Suvi joined F-At in 2022, first writing for off-road.cc. She's since joined the tech hub, and contributes to all of the sites covering tech news, features, reviews and women's cycling content. Lover of long-distance cycling, Suvi is easily convinced to join any rides and events that cover over 100km, and ideally, plenty of cake and coffee stops. 

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36 comments

Avatar
leedorney | 5 months ago
0 likes

These've been banned by the UCI already, I'd never switch from my Times they're too good imo 👍

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bobrayner | 5 months ago
1 like

If stack height really matters, then it's time to bring back those lovely old Ritchey Micro pedals which came with a modified SPD cleat, two half-moon shapes machined out of it so the cleat could get so close to the pedal spindle it was practically hugging.

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waterrockets | 5 months ago
2 likes

It would be great to learn where this 8W is coming from.

  • Tested at threshold power, or all-out sprint, or is it just magically there when you clip in?
  • The power has to come from higher torque or faster spin, so they should explain how much of each, and where the higher torque or faster spin comes from.
  • What's the nature of the gain? Total ride average power is 8W? Do you have to consume extra calories to account for it, or is less heat generated in the system some where?

Energy is way to simple to be avoiding it like this, and this makes it sound like BS.

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Basemetal | 5 months ago
3 likes

"You've never seen pedals like these before! "
We still haven't :o-

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andystow | 5 months ago
5 likes

Do they use magnets? If there aren't any magnets, I'm not interested.

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chrisonabike replied to andystow | 5 months ago
3 likes

Don't worry - they'll come back into fashion.  It'll be the new nanotech or quantum.

Talking of, whatever happened to buckyballs and nanotubes?  Or graphene?

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OnYerBike replied to chrisonabike | 5 months ago
2 likes
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wycombewheeler | 5 months ago
1 like
Quote:

 The new pedals will provide the cyclist with 8 watts because they are positioned at 8mm from the pedal axis.

amateurs, have the tried turning up to 11mm for 11 watts?

I'm sceptical that they have a 8watt improvement, I'm refuse to believe that 8watts is a direct result of 8mm

McFrancis wrote:

I'm guessing the 8m refers to stack height, which is low compared to regular road shoes.

are you sure? because it sounds VERY high to me, I mean the minimum clearance over a UK carriageway is 5.03m, so I foresee some problems.

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Secret_squirrel | 5 months ago
1 like

They've just (re)invented L shaped cranks right?  I took the 8mm to be the offset of the axle from the axis of rotation of the pedal.

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Wingguy replied to Secret_squirrel | 5 months ago
1 like

No.

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john_smith replied to Secret_squirrel | 5 months ago
1 like

I'm fairly certain it means the bottom of the rider's foot is 8 mm from the pedal axis, so nothing to do with L-shaped cranks. This really will affect the motion of your foot.

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Sredlums | 5 months ago
2 likes

I don't like this.

As a gavel/adventure/trails rider myself, I do always get a good chuckle out of the typical 'real road cyclist (fill in all the cliché's here; all kitten up in expensive, tight fitting lycra, big cycling glasses, perfectly shaven legs, high socks, dandy white cycling shoes etc.) gets off his bike and suddenly transforms in to a waddling duck.

This new system seems to have much flatter cleats, making normal walking possible. Boo!

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the little onion replied to Sredlums | 5 months ago
9 likes

"Gavel" rider? I'll be the judge of that

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Rendel Harris replied to the little onion | 5 months ago
7 likes
the little onion wrote:

"Gavel" rider? I'll be the judge of that

Well known for putting the hammer down...

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Velophaart_95 replied to Sredlums | 5 months ago
1 like

Completely agree - but think of those 8 watts......

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waterrockets replied to Sredlums | 5 months ago
0 likes

Show me on this Miguel Indurain doll where the bad roadie touched you.

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McFrancis | 5 months ago
0 likes

I'm guessing the 8m refers to stack height, which is low compared to regular road shoes. As to how much efficiency is gained by a lower stack, who knows, but the manufacturers often boast of a lower stack.
I've always been surprised how high the stack is for road shoes, as SPDs are noticeably lower. The odd time I've put SPDs in my road bike, the difference is enough that the seat needs dropped.

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Wingguy replied to McFrancis | 5 months ago
0 likes
McFrancis wrote:

I've always been surprised how high the stack is for road shoes, as SPDs are noticeably lower. The odd time I've put SPDs in my road bike, the difference is enough that the seat needs dropped.

The stack height of SPD pedals (of a comparable level) is not lower than SPD-SL. The difference you are feeling is likely the result of the cleats being set in a different position on your foot. SPD shoe slots are biased significantly further back on the shoe sole. Because your foot will be at a noticeably toe down angle at the bottom of the pedal stroke, a more rearward cleat position result in a lower foot. 

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Sredlums replied to Wingguy | 5 months ago
1 like

You say it like it's a fact, but can you back up the statement that SPD pedals don't have a lower stack height than SPD-SL pedals?

Because the general consensus certainly differs from that opinion. Like this article for example: https://spincyclehub.com/spd-vs-spd-sl-stack-height-choosing-the-right-c...

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Wingguy replied to Sredlums | 5 months ago
1 like
Sredlums wrote:

You say it like it's a fact, but can you back up the statement that SPD pedals don't have a lower stack height than SPD-SL pedals?

Yes. Just Google Shimano's own numbers. EG XTR and DA are 1mm different in DAs favour (if you use the 1mm SPD cleat shim - if you didn't you'd need verniers to measure the difference).

Quote:

Because the general consensus certainly differs from that opinion. Like this article for example: https://spincyclehub.com/spd-vs-spd-sl-stack-height-choosing-the-right-c...

Sure, but the numbers quoted in that article are self evident nonsense. It says SPD-SL pedals have up to 39mm of stack. I'll say that again, it claims road pedals have four centimetres of stack. I'm not even going to bother addressing that, I'm just going to laugh at it.

OK I will address it - it's possible they have made a very silly mistake and used a pedal plus cleat plus cheap shoe sole stack for the SPD-SL number (even then it's a really unfeasibly big number) vs just pedal plus cleat stack for the SPD number. But honestly more likely they just magicked it out of thin air and ignorance.

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EK Spinner | 5 months ago
1 like

"According to biometric tests, it will increase the cyclist's power by 8 watts"

Absolute BS there is no increase in the cyclists power, at the very least there may be an increase in the efficiency of that power transfer to the bike (doubtful ?) but the riders power will not go up

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john_smith replied to EK Spinner | 5 months ago
0 likes

If the rider is more comfortable why shouldn't he/she generate more power? And how might this design increase the efficiency of power transfer? Where is energy being lost in the shoe/pedal?

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check12 | 5 months ago
1 like

shimano spd-sl + demel + speed play shoes + outlandish watt savings claim = marketing? 

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Bobonabike | 5 months ago
3 likes

"establish a foothold". Chapeau Suvi.

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AidanR | 5 months ago
2 likes

Ahahahaha BS

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adamrice | 5 months ago
2 likes

"The new pedals will provide the cyclist with 8 watts because they are positioned at 8mm from the pedal axis."

By that logic, why not position them at 16 or 32 mm, and increase power even more?

I'm all in favor of weird pedal systems (you should see my old-parts drawer), but this claim is silly.

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Hirsute replied to adamrice | 5 months ago
2 likes

Ah but they did modelling and this is optimal.

There's a gravel version too.

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rookybiker replied to adamrice | 5 months ago
0 likes

It's actually quite easy to estimate the plausibility of their claim. Ultegra has a stack height of 15.8mm and the pedals/cleats are 60mm wide. Being very optimistic, this system could perhaps have 0.001 m2 less CdA than Ultegra. The claimed 8 Watt savings (relative to Ultegra) would then be found at a speed of 85 km/h.

Another test of the claim would be to look at the drag values for the streamlined version of the Speedplays, which is probably the lowest possible for any clipless system compatible with road use.

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wycombewheeler replied to rookybiker | 5 months ago
1 like
rookybiker wrote:

 The claimed 8 Watt savings (relative to Ultegra) would then be found at a speed of 85 km/h.

I'd need a lote more extra watts than 8 to get up to 85kmh

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mctrials23 replied to adamrice | 5 months ago
0 likes

Got to leave room for innovation and future product lines. 

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