If I were to make a list of things I didn’t think needed to get smarter, bike pedals would be somewhere at 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: plug bicycle lights into the pedals to draw attention to the cyclist while they are pedaling. Stationary bicycle lights disappear into the rich visual landscape of traffic, the company suggests, but attaching them to the part of the bike that moves more than anything else — i.e. the pedals — the theory is that the extra movement will catch your eye and make you more visible in traffic.
Seems logical 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 transport), so it goes without saying that when technology catches up to actually being able to put lights into the pedals, it’s a natural evolution.
They’ve crammed a lot of smart technology into the humble pedals. There are four lights (two in each pedal; a white light facing forward, a red light facing back) that turn on when they detect motion and turn 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 will figure out which way the pedals are pointing. Forward will always be white, and back will shine red in the souls of your potential car attackers.
The lights have three modes, including “solid” (always on), “flash,” where the pedals periodically flash to full brightness, or “eco flash,” which saves energy. The battery life is three, 11 or 36 hours respectively.
The company has a small USB hub so you can easily charge all the pedals. The pedals weigh 610 grams, which isn’t exactly light – they make pedals in a comparable price range that weigh half as much — but for commuting bikes, it might make sense. They cost $139.99 and go on sale tomorrow, available direct from Redshift Sports†