I believe that the pedal improves your climbing
My climbing has been better. The pedals do improve your climbing since I didn’t do anything too different than in the past.
Nikola pedals are easy to get acclimated to
I have about 40 hours on the new Nikola pedals and I must say I truly love them.
The idea was born while I was rollerblading with friends. After many miles of skating, I recognized the muscle fatigue associated with rollerblading, which felt significantly different, then when biking. This fatigue and leg motion began my interest in understanding body mechanics and how to fully utilize my lower body muscles when riding a bike. As an avid cyclist who loved to ride and compete, I wanted to find a better way to apply and transfer the power of the body into the bike. Realizing the similarities between skating and cycling began the theory for the idea. The hypothesis was if a person can use a broader range of muscles to propel a bike, then they should realize higher speeds, or need less effort to ride with the added muscles. Think of a car that has run out of out of gas and you need to push it. One person will be challenged; it’s much easier with two people; and even easier with three. More people pushing the car requires less effort from each.
HOW IT WORKS
In 1962 General Motors introduced the first production car engine with a turbocharger, “The Cutlas Turbo Jetfire.” This was monumental because they discovered by adding a turbocharger onto an engine, it increases performance with added power and efficiency. A turbocharger increases horsepower allowing the car to accelerate faster. Because the car can now has more power and can move faster, this allows car manufactures to reduce the size of the engines while maintaining the same power of larger engines. A smaller engine size uses less fuel, therefore improves the car’s MPG (miles per gallon). Turbochargers are used in cars, jets, boats and many performance engines.
Nikola pedals do for cycling what turbochargers do for engines. We determined that by adding new muscle groups from our legs, you can increase your power on the bike. We took the motion of a speed skater and integrated it into a bike creating a skating/pedaling motion. The new motion works just like a standard pedal except it uses more of the inner thigh and glute muscles in addition to quads, hamstrings, and calf muscles. This creates additional power because just like the car-out-of-gas example, with more people pushing, we have more muscles working. Because a Nikola pedal has more muscles pushing and pulling, they require less effort just like a turbocharger, which in cycling is measured in joules. Think of joules like MPG. If you have a turbocharged engine you need less gas, if you use Nikola pedals you need less effort.
The sensation experienced when riding the pedal surprises everyone because they are expecting something very different. Our team spent a year studying the motion and created a natural feeling movement unnoticeable to almost all riders. The pedal skates back and forth by the developed technology inside the pedal. The second most surprising realization from riders is that you do not move the pedal side to side because it does it for you.
When your foot is on the pedal and positioned at the lowest point nearest the ground the pedal is at the outermost position away from the bike. Think of skating and your legs extending outward to move forward. As you pedal your leg begins to move inward toward the bike and is closest to the bike at the top 12 o’clock position. The pedal moves circularly and elliptically at the same time.
A GREAT BIKE PEDAL FOR BAD KNEES – AND FOR TRIATHLETES!
The first group to embrace our pedals is triathletes – from elite level riders to new triathlon athletes looking for an advantage. One common thread between all riders is the benefits felt reducing knee, hip, or ankle pain associated with riding. The pedal allows the hip to rotate beyond a standard pedal relieving pressure off of leg joints creating a noticeable difference for many riders. Cyclists with FAI (Femoroacetabular Impingement) are using the pedal post surgery and in therapy using the lateral motion to their advantage.
Performance improvements were seen to benefit male riders more than females. The average improvement for peak power was 7% and efficiency was about 2% and almost 70% of the men improved. Sorry, ladies: we saw only 30% of increased performance in women. The good news is the pressure relief from joints and IT bands was felt by both women and men and appreciated by most riders so there is a comfort benefit regardless of gender. Hip angle plays a part in the male/female differences and research will continue to determine optimizing performance for both genders.