Redshift Sports, creators of performance cycling components for gravel and road, are expanding into the commuter safety market. Their focus? Increased cyclist visibility.
Introducing the new Arclight Pedals. These new illuminated pedals have some really cool “smart” design features that set them apart from a lot of other safety offerings out there that are currently available to cyclists.
What’s in the Box?
I picked up a pair of these pedals at the Sea Otter Classic in early April for review and have had them on my Rivendell Clem Smith Jr from the time I got home from the event. My Clem is my “commuter/all-around” bike that I use for just about everything. And I thought these pedals would be a good addition to this bike as I’m in traffic on a lot of my rides.
The pedals come with two pedals (obvi), four separate light pods, a USB charging hub so you can charge all four pods at once, and an easy-to-follow installation and care instructions.
Installation and Weight
The Arclight pedals can be installed with a typical 15mm pedal wrench or 6mm allen wrench, and will fit on any crank arm with a 9/16 thread. As I was installing these pedals I found myself wishing they came in silver to match the aesthetics of my Clem Smith Jr.
The Arclight Pedals, Out and About
Although the platform was bigger, flatter, and a bit more comfortable than the MKS pedals, after the initial ride, I felt that the Arclight pedals should have a slightly more aggressive pin system on the platform. I didn’t have much of an issue with this during MY commuting and getting around town, but I always ride with a shoe that has a soft sole, and a decent tread pattern. That being said, I still didn’t have that positive “attached” feeling with these types of pins on the Arclights as I do with the MKS Monarch.
On the other hand, the Arclight pedals should be more shin-friendly for those times you catch yourself with the pedal while wrestling your bike out of the bike rack.
The Arclight pedals have a high-end look with a top-notch fit and finish. I have used the Arclight pedals daily over the past few months, and have had zero mechanical issues, and found the pedal itself to operate smoothly on its sealed bearings. And the light pods snap in and are held in place with a strong magnet, giving you a nice positive “snap” when sliding them into place.
Arclight Pedals on my Clem Smith Jr. at Dusk
Arclight Pedals on my Clem Smith Jr. After Sunset
Auto on/off and auto red/white
The Arclights are packed with some clever features including an auto on/off function, and SmartSet sensors.
The auto on and off worked flawlessly during my testing. I would turn them on for my morning ride, and wouldn’t touch them again all day. All I had to do was slightly move the bike and the pedals would come on. My usage, “steady light setting and automatically turning on and off throughout the day” I found the battery lasting about a week… which would come out to appox. 3-4 hours of total usage for the week.
With the SmartSet sensors that are in the light pods, you could spin the pedal over and over again and when it stopped, the pedal would re-orient to white (front) and red(rear), everytime. That was a great feature, making sure you never have to worry about what light color is facing in what direction.
Biomotion and 360 Illumination
I ran the pedal lights on the steady mode every time I used them. I use a dynamo front and rear light on my Clem Smith Jr. and in combo, with these pedals, I felt very safe and very seen by motorists while riding at dusk or later in the evening. Even during the day, they are bright enough to be seen. Redshift states that the action of pedaling while the Arclight Pedals are illuminated will increase your visibility by 57% when compared to just riding with a front and rear light.
Other Arclight Pedal Features
- Biomotion: Scientific studies performed by Clemson University and others show that adding bio-motion (motion that is associated with the natural movement of the human body) increases visibility by up to 57% compared to standard front/rear lights.
- 360 Illumination: Four lights (two facing front in each pedal and two facing rear in each pedal) cast 360 of light around the cyclists – creating visibility from any angle (including the sides, where the traditional front/rear lights fail to reach.)
- Auto On/Off: The lights automatically turn on when they sense motion and automatically turn off when they sense the bike is parked.
- Auto Red/White Intelligence: SmartSet sensors dynamically change the LED color depending on orientation, so white is always facing forward, and red is always facing rear.
- Light Modes & Battery: 3 different light modes (solid, flash & eco flash) allow for a battery life of 3, 11 or 36hrs (depending on the light mode selected.) Each light module has a built-in male USB prong for easy charging.
- Weatherproof: The pedal is made from solid aluminum and uses high-quality sealed bearings. The light modules are dust and water-resistant to work reliably in all conditions.
I believe that any measure taken towards improving cyclists’ safety, no matter the size, is a measure well taken. I did notice that while the pedals are on my bike, it seemed like more motorists were giving me the required 3′ when passing me on the road. At a point during one of my late dinner pickups, A motorist rolled down his passenger side window while we were at a stoplight, and said; “Man, there is a lot of light going on while approaching you from the rear, what are those?” He was referring to the pedals. After I told him what they were, he proclaimed, “What a neat product!”
I don’t have any scientific data to back this up, but I really did feel safer while using these pedals. And I think you get a really well-thought-out, reasonably priced product when purchasing the Arclight Pedals. If you are commuting or running errands anywhere near motorists, day or night, with soft-ish rubber-soled shoes, I would for sure recommend these pedals to you. RedShift could further improve the pedals by adding some traction pins, but there will be some riders that will prefer this version without pins.
Pre-ordering for the Arclight Pedals on the Redshift Sports website has been active for a bit, but they will be officially available on May 24th and will retail for $139.99