PRODUCT: FULL REVIEW ON MAGLOCK PEDALS
A BRIDGE BETWEEN CLIPLESS AND PLATFORM
OR SHOULD WE JUST STICK WITH OLD SCHOOL?
A while back, we had the opportunity to fit a pair of Maglock pedals onto one of our test bikes. The bike was then put on our regular trail and street riding routines. And we noticed that one of the "fun" moments with these pedals was time spent fiddling with its magnetic power. A novelty? Yes. Works well? Read on for the details.
For a fast recap on these pedals' details, here's our previous introduction of the Maglock Pedals.
PREPARING FOR THE RIDE
One of the beauty of the Maglock Pedal's design is its flexibility and straight forward way in adjusting it's "clip-on" strength. Instead of clicking to the strength (or stiffness in the case of clipless pedals) you need, you fit in the number of magnets on each pedal to your preference. While some may say that this is not as convenient as clicking since you can't really do the adjustment and fine tuning on the fly, all you really need is a single Allen key to get the adjustment done anywhere. And, really, there is something satisfying about fiddling with the magnets and testing out its strengths.
We found that a simple ride around your neighborhood, tackling some kerbs and equipped with an Allen key is all you need to get you prepared for the rides ahead. But if you are not convinced and wish to be more cautious and accurate, bring the bike to your favorite trail for another round of test (with the Allen key in your pocket) and you would be ready for more accurate adjustments.
The whole process of trying out the strengths of each magnet permutation could be done in under 15 minutes, but we found out that we tend to get distracted and would want to try all the different permutations and arrangements we could think of. Our curiosity made the whole installation dragged a while more. No complains here. It was fun.
(Playing with different permutations and arrangements of the magnets)
(Reasonably good fit on trail clipless compatible shoes with only slight protrusion)
HOW WE LIKED IT
Once in the trail, we noticed the advantage this pedals have over regular platforms.
The magnetic "clip-on" property feels like regular clip-less pedals yet allows for a lot more yaw then regular clipless. Some would love the additional play while some would hate it, it depends on personal preference. We like that this allowance retains the freedom of platform pedals. But once the shoe pressed itself onto the pedals' studs, the fit is snug and firm. This is an outstanding feature as it seems to pick up the best benefits of both clipless and platform pedals.
The pedals are extremely easy to get used to, being so easy to "clip" on and off – an important point for many riders who are not used to the typical clip-on type. Using this as a transition to go full clipless is a good idea.
One very notable advantage of typical clipless pedals over platform pedals is the ability to utilize upstroke power during pedaling, thus giving us better pedaling efficiency. We are not going to argue at length on whether this "upstroke" does indeed give us more speed or power here, but in some cases, it seems to work for this writer. As such, we would just go with the belief that clipless pedals offers the advantage of a more efficient ride. And that's what these set of pedals feel during pedaling.
On another note, the magnetic strength remains strong throughout the ride, through muddy pools, dirt, mud or leaves. And these tough metals can survive a bomb blast!
(Rear pins adjusted higher for better grip)
SO IS IT ANY GOOD?
We mentioned the efficiency of pedaling with these pedals above. But, we also have a some peeves which we would mention in this section.
The fact that these pedals offer a lot more play than typical clipless is a double-edged sword. While we like that it has the flexibility of platforms, it also has the same disadvantages. And one most obvious is finding the "sweet spot" on that pedal. This so-called "sweet spot" when using platform pedals, is that spot in which we step on that feels most balanced and ergonomically comfortable. This is a common problem which is easily accepted for platform pedals, but when the problem surfaced in a set of pedals that we perceived to be "clip-ons", the problem seem to magnified itself.
The flat metal plate on which we clip on to is made with such smooth surface (though needed for the purpose of attraction between shoe and pedal) is also a dance floor for sand and mud. Any sand and mud stuck between the 2 magnetic surfaces would then be ground throughout the ride. It does feel kind of uncomfortable as we can sense there are something trapped somewhere but yet we had to continue to pedal.
There may be some shoes that do not fit snugly with the pedal pins, thus affecting grip. What we did was to extend the rear pins out slightly and fixed their positions with some loctite. Easy fix there. But there is a little worry that the pins, with less of its length in the pedal would now ne weakened. But so far, we have not broken or dropped any pins yet.
The above are minor peeves which can be rectified or overlooked easily. But one problem we encounter with the pedals needed more attention. These pedals are really heavy. And we felt the toll on us as we rode on. This alone could be the reason many would skip this purchase.
MAGLOCK AS AN IN-BETWEENER
The Maglock would not be the pedal of choice for races, nor the be all and end all of pedals. To us, it makes a good set of training pedals. Especially for those who wish to move on to clipless pedals in the future. Magnetic pedals are still a novelty for us and that adds to the fun factor. But overtime this "fun factor" would wear off, and the only reason left for us to pick up a magnetic pedal over the old school platform or clipless would be if we grew to love this in-betweener feel.
There are areas to be improved and refined on, especially the weight department.
But indeed, we do see the possibility of a niche group of users eventually adopting this 3rd pedal standard – the magnet pedals.
For more information on Maglock Bike Pedals, visit their website at www.maglockbikepedal.com
Or contact local sales representative at firstname.lastname@example.org for purchase.