Focus shoes and pedals
SAZbike spoke with Ali Barjesteh, Managing Director of Motobicycles:
"Pins, metal and plastic are not the right surface for a pedal"
The question of the right pedal is posed to many cyclists. While click systems dominate the picture in the sports sector, everyday drivers are also looking for alternatives. The company Motobicycles from Berlin now presents a new construction made of wood with Griptape to the specialized trade. In an interview with SAZbike, Managing Director Ali Barjesteh talks about the idea, purpose and background of the new flat pedal. The question of the right pedal is posed to many cyclists. While click systems dominate the picture in the sports sector, everyday drivers are also looking for alternatives. The company Motobicycles from Berlin now presents a new construction made of wood with Griptape to the specialized trade. In an interview with SAZbike, Managing Director Ali Barjesteh talks about the idea, purpose and background of the new flat pedal.
SAZbike: Mr. Barjesteh, what is behind your idea to bring a flat pedal onto the market without any pins?
Ali Barjesteh: Pedals are one of the three contact points to your bike. The more efficiently this interface works, the better you will be able to convert muscle power into propulsion. While immense progress has been made in the development of click pedals in recent years, little has happened conceptually with platform pedals. In the field of sports, click pedals have become indispensable, and rightly so. However, they are of little or no use for the daily use of an everyday cyclist. This is due in particular to the special footwear that is needed for these pedals and cannot be worn in everyday life, such as in the office, and sometimes also considerably impairs the running comfort. When developing the "Motopedal" it was important to us to eliminate the weaknesses of conventional platform pedals. Our objective was to design an ergonomic pedal with compact dimensions, low weight and maximum safety.
What materials is the pedal made of?
We only use high-quality materials. The axle CNC machined hardened and tempered steel. Glass fibre reinforced composites and plywood are used in the pedal body.
How did you come up with the idea for the development?
A look at my shins answers this question. I have been riding BMX/Flatland for 20 years. During this time I have injured myself so badly that I ended up in hospital. But when I was looking for a suitable pedal I never found it and so a friend, a skateboarder, gave me the decisive idea.
Do you have your own development experience?
When it comes to testing and judging material, nobody can fool me so easily. I have spent more time on the bicycle than many others in the office. For the design, we got an engineer from the aerospace industry on board. In close cooperation, an extraordinary product could be created in a small team.
Do the pedals have ergonomic advantages over conventional flat pedals?
Ergonomically, the pedal offers a much larger contact area than previous pedals. While the shoe often rests only on the pins and thus has only a few square centimetres of contact surface, with our pedal the shoe can rest on the entire pedal surface. In addition, we have integrated a Grlptape into the pedal, which increases the friction and fixes the shoe securely on the pedal. The stand on the pedal improves drastically. The absence of pins or teeth as well as sharp corners and edges eliminates the danger of injuries, which have certainly already been felt by everyone once in the calf or shinbone.
Does your pedal also differ in design?
With a newly developed bearing (patent pending), we were able to realize a pedal width adjustment. Also interesting are the low weight and the height of the pedal.
How heavy is the pedal?
The Motopedal is probably the lightest platform pedal on the market.
Our wooden model weighs approx. 320 g per pair. Due to our patent-pending design, a weight reduction of up to 230g is quite conceivable. Comparable pedals weigh 400 to 800 grams per pair. The lightest pedal we could find weighs 390 grams and had a plastic pedal body.
Can the products be combined with all current shoe models or do I need specific shoes?
Griptape is integrated into the surface of our pedal. This offers very good hold, no matter whether with smooth or non-slip shoes. Even high-heeled shoes and leather soles can be driven without any problems - even when wet.
Have you ever looked at leather soles that were ridden with a pin pedal? Nobody who owns a high-quality shoe would expect this ordeal from him. By the way, you won't find any pins on office or aircraft stairs either, but anti-slip coatings. We are convinced that pins, metal and plastic are not the right surface for a pedal.
How safe are wooden pedals from scratches and abuse?
The very elaborately processed plywood has no disadvantages compared to conventional pedals. Wear is just as visible as on other pedals, but can be repaired on the motopedal. Generations of skateboarders have tested the material. Their verdict is: There is nothing better in terms of durability and performance. Or have you ever seen a professional skater using a plastic board?
However, skateboards can be designed differently. Are there individual variation possibilities for your pedals?
The flat closed form offers completely new design possibilities. The pedal can be individually converted to a single colour or printed with graphics on the entire surface.
How long does the pedal promise good grlp?
Depending on usage, the Grlptape lasts one to two years. With a new purchase, the customers of us get a second set of Grlptape. It
It's easy for everyone to change in five minutes. In the future, we will of course offer replacements through our dealers and also directly via our website.
For which target groups are the pedals planned?
The target group is really every cyclist who uses a platform pedal today, which is the majority of cyclists. The only exception are bikers who regularly travel in muddy terrain. The benefits of the pedal are otherwise of interest to any cyclist who wants to get the most out of his bike to maximize propulsion, comfort and safety.
Are the pedals interesting for mountain bikers as well?
One of the advantages of our pedal is the significantly better slip resistance compared to conventional pedals, especially in wet conditions. So they are also interesting for mountain bikers who are not in muddy terrain.
Where do you let produce?
We produce exclusively in Germany.
Do you have partners in the bicycle sector?
Know-how from the bicycle industry is present in our company, also through my personal experience.
When will your products be available?
We want to launch the pedals in the second and third quarters.
How does the sales department work?
We want to distribute the pedal through the specialized trade. For this we will work directly with some dealers. Otherwise, we also plan to cooperate with the wholesale.
What role does Internet delivery play?
In order to be able to serve every customer demand right at the beginning, we will also offer the pedal in direct sales. But we are convinced that we are better positioned in the specialist trade, because the experience of the "Motopedal" has so far inspired everyone. This is difficult to realize in distance selling.
How high is the price?
The price per pair is 155 EUR.
How many pedals are produced in the beginning?
We have just 1.000 set pedals in production. Due to the production location Germany we are able to react very quickly to inquiries.
Mr Barjesteh, thank you for the interview.