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Intrigued by the new Arclight Pro Flat pedals from Redshift Sports? Wondering whether these might be the perfect upgrade for your bike, giving sure-footed pedaling and easy visibility in wet weather and gloomy conditions? Let’s take a close look at these new pedals now.
I used to think that no sequel could ever be as good as the original. But, that all changed once I saw The Empire Strikes Back and the new Arclight Pro Flat pedals. These events were clearly some years apart but I was blown away by how much they each took the story forwards from the original.
Assuming that you’re fully up-to-speed with the second movie in the Star Wars series, I’ll focus the plot of this post on the Oscar-worthy features of the Pro Flat pedals instead.
Prepare for shock moments on a par with Vader’s “No, I am your father” and Han and Leia’s first kiss.
At-a-glance Key features
- High-performance MTB-style flat pedal with superb attention-to-detail
- Integrated red/white light modules giving 360 degree moving illumination for improved road safety
- Aggressive traction pins for excellent grip whatever your footwear or the road conditions
- Long battery life: Steady 3hrs, Flash 11hrs, Eco 36hrs
- Excellent brightness: Red light 20 lumens, White light 50 lumens
- Sealed bearings delivering smooth pedal spin
- Easy charging with 4-slot USB charging dock
- Choice of colors: black or silver
- **Forthcoming Pro Clipless pedals will also have optional SPD compatibility
If those have whetted your appetite for more information, then read on and we’ll take a deep dive into these pedals.
What I like about the Pro Flat pedals
I reviewed the original Arclight City pedals last year and, at the time, was very impressed by the innovative design, build quality, and the increased visibility that they give for urban cyclists.
12-months later and how are the City pedals performing?
Well, I’ve ridden with them most days and they’ve continued to provide excellent service for both pedaling and illumination. It’s fair to say that they’re a real conversation starter too, with folk regularly stopping me to ask what they are and where they can get a set for their own bike.
So, is it really possible to improve on the first great episode in a series?
In the case of series like Jaws, Die Hard, and Blade Runner, it’s clear that the producers should have enjoyed the success of the first movie…and then moved on to something completely different rather than decide to film a sequel.
But, with the Arclight Pro Flat pedals, Redshift have done an ‘Empire Strikes Back’ and created a version 2.0 that IMHO is at least 12 parsecs ahead of the original.
With the Arclight Pro Flat pedals, Redshift have done an ‘Empire Strikes Back’
Han will be weeping softly into his Alderaanian ale in a Mos Eisley cantina.
There are really two major headlines to the Arclight Pro Flat pedals. The first, the integrated lighting modules, is the most obvious. I’ll talk more on this in a moment.
But the second is just as important, if not more so, and that’s the build quality of the pedal itself.
Central to the pedal are the sealed bearings. This keeps the water and grit out – keeping them in good working condition for longer. The bearings also give the pedals incredibly smooth spin. Comparing these to the original City pedals and you can really see the difference. Spinning each pedal by hand (with approximately the same force – not very scientific, I know), gives around 180 degrees of revolution for the City pedals. With the Pro flat pedals, however, you’ll get 4-5 FULL revolutions – a huge increase.
The pedal cage itself is a sturdy and modular CNC-machined body that oozes quality. There are 10 pins on each face (pin height is around 4mm / 1/8”) and these give excellent traction whether you’re riding in wet and muddy conditions, or your best hand-stitched office-friendly brogues with zero grip on the leather soles. It’s also good to know that the pedals ship with a couple spare pins and a tool for fitting them. Handy if you were ever to lose a pin.
The cage has two slots for the light units and these slide into the pedal body with a smooth action and satisfying clunk as they engage with the magnets that lock them securely into position.
The footprint of the pedal is around 105x87mm / 4”x3.5” at the maximum dimensions. What does this mean? Well, in combination with those aggressive traction pins, this generous platform gives a really sure footing that you’re unlikely to slip from.
The light units themselves are a little bit of technological marvellousness. Charging is easy (and quick) with the quad-slot USB charging dock – plug them all in, plug it into a suitable charging point on your laptop or a wall socket, and let them soak up some juice for a few hours.
Once you’ve slotted them into the pedals, you’ve got the option of which light mode to put them on. There’s a choice of either Steady, Flash and Eco, the last two being flashing lights. There’s a sliding scale of battery life between these three, with Steady coming in at around 3hrs of light, Flash at 11hrs and Eco, a very impressive, 36hrs. For many commuters, Flash and Eco modes will be enough that they’ll only need to re-charge the lights on the weekend for a full week’s use.
The big benefit of the lights is that, as Redshift say, they allow the rider to be seen more easily due to the movement of the lights as the cranks rotate. My view is that the flashing Flash and Eco settings also give this a boost as they give lights that not only spin round, but also flash on and off. All of which makes it almost impossible not to see you when you’re cruising along dark city streets.
What I don’t like about them
So, I’m a big fan of these new Pro Flat pedals, but there’s a few potential negatives to consider.
First up, retail price for a pair of pedals is around 160 bucks. This is certainly at the upper end of the spectrum for commuter bike pedals and if you wanted a DIY workaround to get the same effect, you could team up a standard set of pedals with red and white blinky lights attached to your sneakers or pants legs. But, would this clunky setup be anywhere near as cool as the Arclight Pro Flat pedals? Pfft, clearly not. And, of course, if you’re anything like me then it’s too easy to forget lights that aren’t already fitted to the bike. No danger of that with the already-attached Arclight pedals.
The pedals are also fairly weighty compared with similar pedals, particularly those which don’t have lights integrated. A pair of Pro Flats with lights is 614g / 21 oz and without lights 510g / 18 oz. Is this an issue for me? Well, no. Redshift have shaved off 87g / 3 oz vs the original Arclight City pedals – a significant improvement – and the weight of the City pedals has never been an issue for me anyway. Urban commutes are more about staying safe rather than setting PB times, so I’m more than happy with the positive trade-off that I get from a heavier pedal that makes sure I get seen by other road users.
Finally, the Pro Flat pedals are, of course, flat pedals not clipless. For me, this is fine as I typically commute in sneakers or office shoes. If you’re looking to use a clipless setup, then I’d recommend hanging fire until the new SPD-compatible Arclight Pro Clipless pedals are launched. (Note that these will also give the option to be used as either SPD clipless OR flat, making them very versatile – see image below and more details can be found here).
Verdict – should you buy them?
In a word, YES!
As someone once said, we only have one place to live and that’s inside our own body. So, we have to take good care of it.
The superb build quality of the Arclight pedals will give you sure-footed pedaling on your urban commute, whatever the weather. Add in the 360-degree illumination that the LED units give and you can be certain that
TIE Fighter pilots car drivers will easily see you as you navigate city streets on your way to the Death Star office.
I’m a big fan of the Arclight Pro Flat pedals and I think you’ll like them too.
Redshift. Yoda best.MORE DETAILS >