Hey biker, are you plagued by fear and clumsiness caused by your own clipless pedals? Is it just too much work to snap your cleated foot into the perfectly matched pedal? Sam Hunter has an answer: the Infinity Pedal. Given that it's already more than 50% funded and there's still a month and a half left to go, people find it an attractive option. Check out this sensationally over-acted Kickstarter pitch for his "revolutionary" (cough) new system:
The key feature in this design is its "infinitely" accessible pedal surface—no fumbling between right side/wrong side at stoplights or while trucking uphill. By using lateral rather than vertical spring tension, the overall size of the pedal is reduced—ooh weight savings! Wisely, only the inboard side of the pedal is mobile so that an outboard side impact (like a brush with a rock or teammate or taxi) wouldn't immediately release your foot. The entry is similar to most pedals: a forward swiping click. The cleat fits a normal 2-bolt mountain or commuting style shoe. 5 degrees of float, 18 degree release—all pretty much standard. They claim to be the lightest "combination of function and form on the market", they come in colors, and they're working on a spring tension adjustment for us finicky riders.
Sounds good, right? I'm intrigued, but hung up on a couple of technicalities. First of all, the cleat looks a good third longer than most (Speedplay being a noteworthy exception that proves the rule). I imagine the longer cleat would reduce the room for vitally important fore-aft ergonomic adjustment. If rider confidence and comfort were key inspirations, I wonder how thoroughly they've tested for these types of ergonomics. I'm also slightly skeptical about the exposed tangs of the cleat—hardened steel or no, you make like a boulder when in the mountains. Or at least walk awkwardly among them, when the going gets tough. Anybody who has ever broken a cleat or pedal while far from home can attest to the exponentially irritating feeling of trying to get around with a tiny slippery piece of scrap metal that used to give you control and speed and now only gives you one overworked leg.
The profile is elegant and the concept seems sound. But. As a saltily seasoned bike jerk, I can't help but squint a little at the dual claims that this guy has been riding bikes for five years and has also been working on this pedal design for years. Good design takes solid account of prior problem solving, and if even the simple majority of this guy's short biking life has been occupied with an "I know better than the industry" project... I'm inclined to assume there's some homework left undone.
All that said, I think this one deserves a gold star for effort and a C+ for practicality, generously awarded because I want to believe!
Would you adopt a grassroots pedal system?