Your pedals should adapt to your body. Not the other way around.
Look at your soles. Do they wear evenly? Probably not: 96% of all people have a tendency to tilt their feet inwards or outwards. Your current bike pedals simply ignore that fact, squeezing your legs into an awkward, unnatural position with every stroke. Mile after mile.
3ax is the worlds first clipless pedal that gives your feet the freedom to tilt sideways. It enables your legs to follow a more natural, fluent flow with every stroke, at every point. It's a small change that makes a huge difference:
- Better leg alignment: on average, knees move 17% less sideways
- Less strain, because of a better fit between your bike and your body
- Efficiency improvements of up to 5.47%
The clipless pedal reinvented
- Available in three colors: Ruby Red, Deep Black and Stealth Gray
- CNC finished extra high tensile aluminum casing
- Hardened steel spindles
- Compatible with all cycling shoes with 3-hole mounting
- Cleats are included and Look Keo compatible
- 0, 4.5 or 9 degrees of float, and 2 degrees tilt/sway to each side
- Powder coated for extra durability
- Built to last: road tested by our test team
We love cycling - and that's an understatement.
Still, there's one thing we never really liked: clipless pedals, no matter how many we tried. They all seemed to be designed for a machine, not for humans. At least not for those 96% who have a tendency to tilt their feet.
The evolution of road bikes over the last decades has been really impressive (lighter materials, better bike fitting, improved electronics), and we just felt pedals were lagging. It's such a crucial part for optimum power transfer, so we set ourselves the goal to build the best pedal possible.
We also realized how widely anatomies and kinematics can differ between people, so we built a test team of more than 30 people, from avid amateurs to full-blown professionals, to gather their feedback. Their amazing support and critical comments helped us evolve from a clunky, Flinstonian prototype to the pedal we have today. Here are some more photos of our production ready pedals:
We were very lucky to get more help. One of the members of our test team (thanks, Guido!) introduced us to TSG Group, one of the best engineering companies in the Netherlands. They engineered consumer products like cars, coffee machines and high-end bicycle parts. They know how to bring a product to the market that will be intensively used for years, by millions of people.
The proof of the pudding...
...is the lab testing. So we did tons of measurements:
VO2 & EMG-MEASUREMENTS
With VO2 and EMG-measurements, you can determine how much effort your lungs and muscles have to make to generate a certain amount of power (measured in Watts on your rear axe). Put simply: how hard does your body have to work to go fast? If it takes less effort to generate the same amount of power/speed, you use your body in a more efficient way.
How does 3ax perform in comparison to conventional clipless pedals? Quite impressive: at a power output (W) of 2,5 x bodyweight (kg), our ten test members used on average 3.3% less oxygen with 3ax pedals compared to conventional pedals.
With the EMG (muscle) measurements, we saw efficiency improvements of up to 5.47%:
HIGH SPEED CAMERA STUDIES
If your feet have a tendency to tilt sideways, and your conventional pedals constrain that movement, your legs will compensate by pushing your knees to the left or the right. It's a waste of energy, because it doesn't contribute to power transfer.
We were wondering if 3ax pedals improve leg alignment, with less sideways movement of the knees, and asked the University of Applied Sciences in The Hague to conduct a study. They provided avid cyclists with knee markers, and filmed them with high speed cameras while cycling on a home trainer. The results were exactly what we hoped for: on average, knees move 17% less sideways with 3ax pedals compared to conventional clipless pedals.
FOOT PRESSURE MEASUREMENTS
Cyclists love gadgets, so why not fabricate a sole full of sensors to measure the distribution of pressure under your feet during cycling? It even has a practical advantage: it can give you great insight in the adjustment of your bike and your pedals. In an ideal world, you measure a quite even distribution. It's in indication you use your leg muscles in a balanced way, without overusing some muscles while under utilizing others.
We did some measurements to compare conventional pedals vs. 3ax pedals:
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Risks and challenges
We've spent most of the last year working with our partners to mitigate as many risks as possible, yet we know there will still be hurdles along the way. We will always be transparent with our community about challenges, including these:
Ship date: We have built in extra time for the manufacturing process and are confident we will ship by the projected dates, but there is always a chance that things will take longer than planned.
Product changes: As we refine the pedals based on additional community feedback and more product testing, slight changes may be made. We'll only make changes that enhance the product experience.
Color: we're still testing different coatings for the pedals, to see which option gives the most beautiful and durable result. The colors of the end product may differ slightly from the colors you see in the pictures and the video.
Supplier coordination: We work with a variety of suppliers to source the best materials and ensure the product is developed correctly. Each supplier has its own challenges, which may affect its partners, including us. We'll make sure we never rely on one supplier for each component, so we have a fall back option if things work out different than expected.
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