Magnetic Pedals for Fat Biking – MAGPED Enduro

by | Apr 16, 2022 | Gear | 4 comments

INTRO

In the past ten years of fat biking, I’ve always ridden with flat pedals. Fat biking is about constantly adapting to changing and unpredictable conditions. I’ve been curious about clipping in when riding my fat bike but it never made much sense to me because some days you spend as much time pushing the bike as you do riding it.  It also scares me to be clipped in on the days when I’m always putting a foot down.

However, magnetic pedals are designed to have a margin of safety over traditional clipless pedals.  They have better ease of entry and exit with the advantage of more grip than flats.

They seem like an ideal solution for riders like me who would like to gain efficiency but retain the safety of flats. My gut said that the magnetic pedals on a fat bike would add efficiency on groomed trails or packed roads. But how would they fair in fresh snow and on ungroomed trails?

 

DESIGN

Magped has four different types of pedals for mountain biking/enduro, gravel, and road. The ENDURO and ULTRA2 pedals come with a choice of 150N or 200N magnet size, while the SPORT2 pedal is also available in a 100N magnet size. The 100N is designed for riders under 110 lbs, the 150N is recommended for riders under 185 lbs, and the 200N is for those over 185 lbs; or for riders who would like maximum grip. The ROAD pedal is engineered to work with a 200N magnet only.

The pedals range in weight from 270 grams for the magped ROAD to 530 grams for the double-sided ENDURO. The pedals are equipped with three sealed, high-quality industrial bearings. Pins can be exchanged if required. The high-performance magnet is adjustable via the integrated rubber damper unit that the magnet sits on.

Depending on your pedal of choice, expect up to 15 kg in pulling force. The force of the magnets is primarily vertical, enabling you to effortlessly release by moving your foot sideways. However, if you find yourself about to crash, you can release by pulling your foot up vertically too.

For the magped SPORT2ENDURO and ULTRA2 you should use a 2-hole SPD shoe. The pedals are shaped like a traditional flat pedal so a shoe with a flat sole works best to grip the pins.

The shoe plates are made of rust and dirt-resistant steel and are compatible with all SPD shoes. The plates are easy to install in a couple of minutes with the provided screws and you’ll also find the “walkability” of your bike shoe will be significantly improved compared to traditional clipless pedals. Check out their shoe recommendations here.

The ENDURO pedals are $179 to $189 depending on which strength magnet you choose.  Replacement magnets can be purchased separately.  You can also add strong plates for up to 30% more pulling power if you are looking for even more efficiency. I tested the magped ENDURO pedals with the strong plates.

Magped ENDURO pedals

ENDURO pedal

Magped describes the ENDURO as their “best-selling, rugged double-sided magnetic pedal designed for downhill riding. The ENDURO is CNC crafted from one aluminum block and our latest model features an enhanced spindle design, bearing system, and more options for plate strength and position.”

 

REVIEW

I tested the magpeds with the 45NRTH Wolvhammer boots on my Salsa Mukluk. To date I have ridden in snow conditions ranging from hard-packed groomed to soft new snow on ungroomed trail.

Snowy singletrack in Sinks Canyon near Lander, WY

If you are a veteran fat biker, you’ll know that once you put a foot down, it can be a challenge to get traction in soft snow to start again.*

My method is this: stand on toes of left foot and slide onto the saddle. Position foot on the right pedal just shy of vertical. Lift my left foot onto the pedal and punch my right foot forward and hope that I’ll gain traction before I lose my balance. And….repeat.

Seasoned fat bikers also know that oftentimes you need to baby the bike forward in a low gear to gain traction. In other words, the pedal-punching method will often cause you to spin out.

An unexpected and big improvement with the magpeds is that I can baby the bike forward.

My new magped method: stand on toes of left foot and slide onto the saddle. The right foot connects with the pedal by lifting it to the 11:00 position and I ease into the pedal stroke. The pedal engagement gives me a picosecond more time to gain traction and allows more degrees of rotation on the first pedal stroke. I can use a more measured and even pedal stroke, which also increases my chance of gaining traction.

If the shoe plate has a small amount of snow, ice, or mud on it will still engage with the pedal, albeit a weaker connection until the gunk clears. I had an ice ball form on the bottom of my shoe after a couple of falls in a drifted section. Not realizing I had an ice ball when I put foot to pedal the ball was so thick that my sole didn’t connect with the pins and my foot slid forward off the pedal. However, I was able to kick some of the ice off with a backward scrape over my pins.

I have gotten into the habit of kicking off snow and ice before putting my foot on the pedal.  Usually one or two backward scrapes works if I’m already in motion.

I first tested the MAGPEDS with the standard shoe plate but upgraded to the strong plates because my foot popped off the pedal when pulling uphill.

Magped shoe plates on 45NRTH Wolfhammer boots

Ice ball on magped shoe plates on 45NRTH Wolfhammer boots

CONCLUSION

Pros

  • Foot placement. I don’t have to place my foot precisely on the pedal to be “clipped in.” Finding the right placement is becoming more natural. I was lousy at clipping in with traditional clipless pedals and it was frustrating to have to find the sweet spot to connect.
  • Easy to disconnect. Popping out of the pedals is a sideways motion, similar to getting out of clipless pedals but easier.  With enough force (i.e. adrenaline!) I found that I could disengage with an upward motion. This happened when a friend’s dog jumped in front of me on snowy single track. I was happy to not think about disconnecting.
  • Gained efficiency on the fatbike. I am no longer afraid to “clip in” in the snow and on long uphill grinds in packed conditions it’s nice to rely on the full pedal stroke.
  • Ability to ease into the pedal stroke in soft conditions.
  • For my purposes, I don’t need and would prefer not to have a firm mechanical connection such as with standard clipless pedals.  The sport of fat biking is squirrelly enough for me to not want to be “locked in.”

Cons

  • Because of icing, the magpeds are most applicable for groomed trails where you won’t be putting a foot down or doing much hike a bike.
  • I occasionally and unintentionally disengage but this is a very small inconvenience compared to the measure of safety, confidence, and efficiency that I gain.

 

I look forward to riding dirt on my fattie to see if I can gain some technical advantage with the magpeds. I also look forward to greater efficiency while bike packing.

The magpeds are meant to be the “best of both worlds,” between traditional clipless pedals and flats. If your riding style is similar to mine, you will probably love the magpeds. It strikes a balance of gaining pedaling efficiency while being able to confidently and safely enjoy your ride.

Magped offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. If they are not for you; you can return them for a full refund.

 

*A dropper post is helpful when riding snow but mine never worked below 22 degrees and the company went out of business so my LBS couldn’t warranty it. I miss my dropper and recommend a dropper for fat biking!

 

 

 

>

Join the Fat Bike Girl Community

Find inspiration for your next adventure and get the latest gear reviews! 

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This