For our first blog post, we would like to do a micro FAQ based on some of the questions we have been getting throughout.If you can get a magnetic clip to work well enough, couldn’t you just change shoes? Or is there a time you want your clippy shoes not to clip mid ride?
The intention of the Ferro Pedal is to allow the rider to have the pedal perform like a clipless pedal, and then switch the pedal with the push of a button to a platform pedal. This could be for a mountain biker approaching a technical or tricky area, a commuter who is stopping a lot, a rider who wants a clipless pedal that can be ridden like a platform pedal with normal shoes, or just about any cyclist who wants both clipless pedals and platform pedals on the same bike.
How much force can the magnet exert compared to regular clipless pedals? Is there any slippage between the feet and pedals?
Based on testing of our initial prototype, we expect our next pedal to have a vertical pull force of over 70 lbs.With our next prototype, your foot will be quite secure on the pedal and not slip, however if you rotate your foot, it will allow for release away from the pedal. This will unclip similarly to how a standard clipless pedal operates.
Can you get out without pushing the button?
With the new design we are working on you can remove your feet without pressing the button. If you pull your foot straight up, it will be locked in with a strength similar to clipless pedals, but if you rotate your foot it will cam away from the magnet and allow you to easily remove your foot. You would be able to release similarly to how you would with clipless pedals.
Would it be possible to customize the strength of the magnet easily?
Yes, the position of the rotating magnet inside the pedal could be electronically limited to less than 100% on, allowing the hold force to be tuned. Although this is not in the current scope of our development, we are focusing on basic functionality right now. This is however a feature that we plan to introduce in later development through firmware updates.
Do you guys have a design for the cleat? Curious to see how everything interfaces. If you do not align the cleat properly, how easy will it be to adjust on the fly? Will you have a large contact surface or a small one?Cleat to pedal interface is one of the areas we are focusing on improving for our next design iteration. A large surface area is necessary for a strong magnetic hold force, and we will be incorporating specific geometries to align the shoe perfectly every time. This geometry will allow the user to rotate their foot out of the pedal, similarly to a clipless pedal, while providing a secure, positive hold between the pedal and the shoes.
How long would a battery last? How many unclip/clip cycles?We are hesitant to provide a specific value at this stage, since the battery life is dependent on many design and environmental factors. However, our first prototype was designed to have 500 cycles per battery life. With out efforts to reduce the size of the pedal, we will most likely also be reducing the size of the battery and thus reducing the amount of cycles. We are confident however that the battery life will allow for about a week of rides or about 150 cycles between recharges. But again, this is simply a design objective at this point.