This new bike pedal uses lateral movement to increase stroke efficiency.
Nikola is a brand aiming to revolutionize the bicycle pedal with a design that incorporates 25mm of lateral movement into the pedal as it rotates around the crank. The intent is to increase pedaling efficiency and power by utilizing additional muscle groups thanks to a more natural rotation that mimics the way a speed skater accelerates. The first version of the pedal was too bulky and excessively heavy with poor cornering clearance. Version 2.0 weighs 100 grams less than the first iteration, but at 450 grams, is still heavier than most mountain bike pedal sets. Three new models will debut in 2016, including a $499 model that has a magnesium body with titanium spindles and a claimed weight less than 200 grams.
So how do they feel? When you first start pedaling, you barely notice the float of the pedals as you spin the cranks. There’s not much of a “break-in” period even though you are engaging more muscles. You can feel the lateral movement more while climbing or during out-of-the-saddle efforts. Nikola’s lab tests showed a 2 percent increase in efficiency and 7 percent increase in peak power, which could result in significant time savings for triathletes.
Nikola Pedals, $199–$499,