The idea is simple, clip into your bike without the commitment of falling over if you can’t get out using magnets. I’ve been riding clipless pedals as well as flat pedals for over 20 years. This is my first experience with magnetic pedals, and I think they are perfect for someone not ready to commit to clipless pedals but want the added benefit of being connected to the bike.
Being connected to your bike has a few different advantages. First, you can gain a little additional power on the upstroke when you are stuck in that tricky section that you didn’t quite shift quickly enough for. Second, the ability to maneuver the bike or easily pick up the back-end and place it around an obstacle is a nice feature.
MAGPED Pedal Models
There are currently 5 different options for MagPed Pedals. They are designed for Enduro, trail, road, and Gravel.
I primarily ride flat pedals. When I ride clipless (or clipped), clipped into pedals if you prefer I choose to ride Crank Brothers Mallet Enduro pedals. I opted to test the MagPed Enduro pedals. They match my riding style and are close to the flats I prefer (One Up Component, and CrankBrothers Stamp) as well as the clipless pedals I occasionally ride.
My first thought on the pedals when pulling them out of the box is just how strong the magnets are. They are heavy-duty built for the Enduro pedals, but I bit lighter for other Magped options. The pedals have two M50-20kg+ magnets—one on either side of the pedal, with the 20kg indicating that the magnet needs 20kg (or about 45lbs) of pulling force before it lets go. The Enduros are offered with either 150N magnets, suitable for riders up to 175 lbs, or 200N magnets, recommended for riders 175 lbs and over.
There is a free feeling and they don’t connect you to the bike as much as you think they would. I set up the cleat on the back side of the ball of my foot. Pulling up and pedaling with the pedals they stay connected. Rotating or twisting the pedals they easily release. It took me some time to get the cleat and pins dialed in to be able to trust I wasn’t going to “push out” of the pedals in a hard corner. Riding chunky high-speed terrain and pushing hard through corners feels a little uncomfortable at first until you learn to trust the pedals.
My biggest complaint about the pedals would be the set-up time. It took a few different rides to get the pins and cleat to work with my shoes. I had an issue where the magnets would click with each pedal’s stroke. This is caused by the magnet engaging and dis-engaging when during the pedal stroke. This can be resolved by playing with the pins and height adjustment to best match the shoe you are using.
Climbing with the pedals feels very natural. I actually appreciate being able to slightly adjust my foot on the pedal while still being connected. This helps with the aches and pains of getting older and having your foot stuck in the exact same position.
Other Magnetic Pedals
There are a few other manufacturers of magnetic pedals. Two other popular brands are MagLock and Hustle. The main difference with MagLock is that the magnets are hidden under a plate and can be customized with up to 70 lbs of force. The Hustle has a somewhat similar design to the Magpeds. with a rotating magnet on the pedals, mental cleat. However, the Pins aren’t as adjustable as the Magpeds. I have not tested these pedals but they are worth looking at if you are shopping for magnetic pedals.
The Magped Enduro 2 is a great option. If I were a full-time clipless pedal rider, they wouldn’t replace my pedals. However, as an occasional clipless pedal rider, I prefer these when I plan to ride connected to the bike. I still choose to ride flat pedals most of the time, but I am going to leave the Magped pedals on a bike for a season and continue to ride them. I think these are the best option for someone that is interested in trying clipless pedals but not wanting to fully commit and has fear of tipping over. The pedals offer the grip and attachment most are looking for when riding clipless without the commitment for about the same cost.
Magped Pedal Review
These pedals are a great option for someone looking to try being connected to a bike with out the full commitment. The magnets are strong enough to get the benefits of the pedal stroke, but not so strong you can’t get off the bike in an emergency.