ChristianValenzuela and Steve Lubanski
at Open Road Bicycle Shop
, Pasadena, CA, 2007.
PASADENA, CA - Steve Lubanski
is out to change cycling.
Lubanski, president of newly formed Pasadena Bicycle Manufacturing Co., invented and patented the SMp, a unique side-mount bicycle pedal system that he will official launch Wednesday at the InterBike expo in Las Vegas.
Whereas competitive cyclists have used "clipless' pedal systems for the last two decades, Lubanski said the new system makes pedaling more efficient by putting the ball of the cyclist's foot more than an inch closer to the pedal's center axis.
"Every single-pedal system in the world talks about getting as close as you can to the ball of your foot,' said Lubanski
"I obliterate everything they do.
Other pedals are still under the foot, but mine is next to it.'
By making the path the foot travels closer to a circle than the ellipse resulting from traditional pedals that work like "1- inch stilts,' pedaling becomes three to four percent more efficient, said Lubanski.
That may not sound like much, but when winners are often determined by tenths and hundredths of seconds, it could have a significant impact.
"Three-to-4 percent is huge,' said Lubanski
While Lubanski, who has run the Open Road since 1987, has given a few of the pedals to serious riders to test them, he said he won't sell the product at the store because he doesn't want to undercut other retailers.
will distribute the product directly to independent bicycle retailers.
hopes to capture 10 percent to 15 percent of the high-end pedal market, selling the pedal and cleat system for about $250, which is comparable to many "clipless' systems.
By 2008, he
projects the company's annual sales could top $11 million.
Steve Lubanski, president of Pasadena Bicycle Manufacturing Company, holds his newly patented side-mount bicycle pedal at his retail store, Open Road Bike Shop in Pasadena on Monday, October 4, 2004.
Steve Lubanski of Open Road Bicycle Shop in Pasadena launched his Side Mount Pedals at Interbike.
hopes to capture 10 to 15 percent of the high-end pedal market.
The SMp pedal is a tiny oreo-biscuit shaped disc, the cleat as clunky as most others on the market.
says the SMp system gives a four percent pedal-stoke efficiency advantage and allows cyclists to be fitted to smaller -and therefore lighter -bikes.
"Other pedals are still under the foot," said Lubanski
"Mine is next to it."
The SMp pedal is hardly there, a deterrent to thieves.
"There's nothing for them to pedal with," said Lubanski
But it's the performance gains that Lubanski
believes will be his
system's main selling point.
By making the path the foot travels closer to a circle than the ellipse resulting from standard pedals, Lubanski claims SMp users are pedalling three to four percent more efficiently.
For across-town-to-the-post-office use this is no great shakes but in road races won or lost in seconds, such performance gains can make all the difference.
The SMp system allows a user's seatpost to be lowered by up to an inch and a half, lowering the rider's centre of gravity, and lowering a rider's height on the road, "an advantage when drafting," said Lubanski
The titanium cleat is said to allow near-normal walking, doing away with precarious clip-clopping.
has wanted to improve on current pedal systems for some time.
relates how fifteen years ago, five times Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault visited Open Road Bicycle Shop
capacity as a consultant for the LOOK pedal system.
said Hinault agreed with his view that whilst good, the LOOK system could be bettered.
Not short of chutzpah, Lubanski's
press release promoting his
presence at Interbike
in Las Vegas was headlined: "A better pedal: aims to change industry, history."
The acronym stands for side-mounted pedal, which was developed by California cyclist Steve Lubanski
has been tinkering with this invention for the past three years and received a patent on the technology in June.
The concept behind the SMp
is to position the foot closer to the center axis of the pedal.
This supposedly increases speed and power and virtually makes the foot an extension of the pedal spindle.
"This way, one would be truly pedaling a perfect circle," Lubanski
Speaking of pedals, the invention of the year was a work in progress called the Side Mount Pedal (SMP) . Inventor Steve Lubanski envisions doing away with pedals as we know them.
At the end of the crank arm, there would simply be a donut-shaped steel fitting, which spins freely on its ball bearings.
Your shoe would have a slot on the side, to slip over this fitting, plus an appropriate internal structure to carry the pedaling force from the ball of your foot to this fitting.
It's a work in progress because not all the parts exist yet.
But the abbreviated pedal exists, as do drawings of the imagined shoe.
As an interim step, Lubanski
has a titanium piece that attaches to his
abbreviated pedal and bolts onto the fittings on the bottom of your shoe.
The inventor is Steve Lubanski of Open Road Bicycle Shop in Pasadena, CA.
says the SMp system gives a four percent pedal-stoke efficiency advantage and allows cyclists to be fitted to smaller - and therefore lighter - bikes.
The pedal is simply a disk (about the size of a quarter) at the end of the crank arm.
The rider's foot is always in line with the pedal spindle - up to 1-1/2 inches improvement over other pedal systems.
While we're always resistant to change, we think Steve
is onto something big here.
We agree with inventor Steve Lubanski who says his pedals are "for serious riders, not beginners.
Practice on a trainer is highly recommended.
To be launched in March next year, the Side Mount Pedal is the invention of Pasadena bike shop owner Steve Lubanski.
chosen a radical approach to clipless pedals putting the attachment on the side, rather than below the rider's foot.