Photos have emerged on French squad Nice Metropole’s Facebook page of what appears to be a new pedal system from French helmet and clothing brand Ekoi. First reported by the French website LeCycle.fr, the pedals are thought to offer up to eight watts of aero savings, and if the minimalistic appearance is anything to go by, they might also prove a lighter option than most.
According to that report on LeCycle by Cedric Leroy, both Team Nice Metropole and Burgos-BH started using the new pedal system at their December training camps. With both teams now racing on the new system, Ekoi hopes to test the design in the rough and tumble of professional racing and reportedly has already seen interest from WorldTour teams, including UAE Team Emirates, Ineos Grenadiers, and Visma-Lease a Bike.
Why would these teams be interested in a prototype pedal design, you ask? The clue is in the pedal’s PW8 code name, the P stands for Pedal, W for the claimed eight-watt saving, while 8 refers to that and the 8 mm axle diameter.
According to that LeCycle.fr report, Ekoi acquired the patent from the design inventor two years ago and has already invested around €2 million into the project despite recognising a successful new entry into the pedal market is far from easy. Perhaps the biggest hurdle the French brand will encounter lies in the fact the PW8 is not just a new pedal design, but a new shoe and pedal system.
While we have not yet seen photos of the sole or cleat, Escape Collective understands the cleat does not adopt the typical three-bolt mounting pattern for road pedal systems, but incorporates the cleat into a proprietary recessed sole design, effectively hiding the cleat – and presumably most of the pedal – inside an opening in the sole. It’s this out of sight, out of the wind design combined with the smaller-diameter axle which presumably couple up to provide the claimed eight-watt gain.
While that claim may sound rather optimistic to the performance minded and perhaps irrelevant to others, the new design does seemingly offer a much more stable platform for walking on than traditional road-style cleats. With the shoe sole extending below the cleat and thus maintaining much more contact with the ground, the wearer should have much better grip than we typically find with the much bulkier and exposed cleat designs from most brands. The system likely also has a lower stack height than existing interfaces, one effect of which might be minor fit adjustments. There are already modest differences in stack height between existing systems, but the Ekoi system could be more significant yet.
Escape Collective has contacted Ekoi for further information on the new pedals.
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