Steel bar pedal system claims to be world's fastest engaging

First-look Friday at these interesting, and rather burly looking, pedals

Every once in a while, a piece of tech comes along which genuinely makes us do a double-take - and when Pitbull Bike Pedal got in touch, its product certainly caught our attention.

Those longer in the tooth might equate this style to the Aerolite system, which boasts the likes of the 30g 'Alpha TT Ceramic'. But Pitbull isn't focusing its clipless pedal innovation on watt saving or low weight, instead, it is placing emphasis on the quick in/out engagement of its system.

This isn't the first time these pedals have surfaced, either. Pitbull Bike Pedal sought funding via a Kickstarter campaign a couple of years ago, before cancelling the fundraiser. But now, it is promising to bring a product to the market later in 2021.

The selling point for these pedals is their 360-degree engagement, meaning you're never fumbling to find the surface to connect with. Once you get over the rather aggressive aesthetic, the fact emerges that this could have some benefits for anyone who has ever stood on the start line of a town centre crit pretending not to worry about those crucial first seconds after the gun.

Quick engagement is also a potential win for beginners unsure about the mechanics of clipless riding.

The pedals consist of a single steel bar, with a steel flange at the crank end. As you'd expect the contact point is threaded, and with 8mm Allen key fitment.

The pair we have on test weigh in at 231g each - so they're definitely not lightweight. However, a look at the brand's website shows us that a KoM version at a claimed 92g per pedal is on the way late in 2021.

To fit the cleat, you remove the screw holding the central metal spring in place, tighten the three fitting screws in place as per any Look or Shimano cleats (albeit with the cleat placed further forward), and then re-fit the one holding the central spring.

Tension can be adjusted via tightening or loosening the metal spring, whilst float is adjusted by the use of a different cleat - the box comes with a standard and five-degree float option.

The cleat itself is made from a durable glass-filled nylon polymer, and the shape allows the rider to walk with ease when off the bike, which is a happy by-product of the system.

On the bike, the pedals certainly look a little unconventional, protruding at an arguably intimidating angle. I wouldn't like to catch one in a crash - I'll be doing my testing on my road bike (pictured above) as opposed to my track bike (as pictured below) to begin with.

Clipping into the pedal was as easy as placing my foot on top of the bar. I didn't even need to apply much pressure, the engagement felt almost magnetic in its response.

As per any road pedal, I could un-clip by angling my heel outwards.

It's far too early to endorse these pedals, or even pass judgement. I'll be testing them pedals over the coming weeks - with the fast-approaching May Bank Holiday weekend looking like an excellent opportunity, so stay tuned for the full review.

Availability, you ask? Pitbull will have these pedals ready to buy within "60 to 90 days", followed by the lightweight KoM model later in the year. We've yet to receive any pricing info - but we'll add it to the full review once that becomes available.

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan
Michelle Arthurs-Brennan

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is Cycling Weekly's Tech Editor, and is responsible for managing the tech news and reviews both on the website and in Cycling Weekly magazine.

A traditional journalist by trade, Arthurs-Brennan began her career working for a local newspaper, before spending a few years at Evans Cycles, then combining writing and her love of bicycles first at Total Women's Cycling and then Cycling Weekly. 

When not typing up reviews, news, and interviews Arthurs-Brennan is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 190rt.

She rides bikes of all kinds, but favourites include a custom carbon Werking road bike as well as the Specialized Tarmac SL6. 

Height: 166cm

Weight: 56kg

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