22

As seen below, I got a paper slip telling me not to use my new pedals on indoor equipment. I don't want to anyway, but I wonder — if threads would fit, is there any real reasons not to do it? Probably there is, because they wouldn't limit their own market without a cause, but what reason is it?

warning label

Silvery studs on pedals are fully removable.

pedals

  • 3
    My guess is legal, around the damage the pins can do to legs. No need for them indoors, so the lawyers are worried about a law suit. – mattnz Aug 11 at 21:15
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    @mattnz maybe that's right, but they are removable. They are just screws, basically. – Mołot Aug 11 at 21:16
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    If guess the lawyers said something along the lines of "suggesting you remove the pins exposes you to claims if some ones foot slips off the pedal". :) – mattnz Aug 12 at 3:32
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    Notice the wording "not designed for" as opposed to "unsuitable for" – Criggie Aug 12 at 5:44
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    I remember reading in the warnings and cautions of a power supply (the thing you plug into your wall outlet to run small voltage appliances) the extremely helpful note that I shouldn't apply it internally (as in "don't ingest"). I have no clue what the author was thinking, I just got a few hearty laughs out of it :-) – cmaster - reinstate monica Aug 12 at 11:30
19

As other have commented it appears to be based a legal opinion. While there is no physical reason they would not work the safety side says having sharp pins sticking out would not be a good idea. The potential for someone to strike a shin against the pedal warrants the warning.

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  • 9
    Perhaps its more about protecting people walking too-closely past the stationary bike and getting whacked by the spikes? This is not such a problem for a moving bicycle. – Criggie Aug 12 at 5:54
  • Maybe I'd remove the spikes since there is really no use for these! – Carel Aug 13 at 18:35
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    The spikes are an important part of the design of the pedal, without them you'd slip much more easily, if you don't want spikes, you should avoid pedals that come with them. – ThomasRedstone Aug 14 at 11:47
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    Outdoor bikes should conform to ISO 4210-8 Cycles — Safety requirements for bicycles — Part 8: Pedal and drive system test methods iso.org/standard/59915.html whereas indoor cranked equipment to ISO 20957-5:2016 Stationary training equipment — Part 5: Stationary exercise bicycles and upper body crank training equipment, additional specific safety requirements and test methods iso.org/standard/66438.html and unless your company has a desire to be active in both markets, you wouldn't do the extra work to comply to both. – Pete Kirkham Aug 14 at 12:47
13

My indoor exercise cycle specifically cautions against using pedals which are not designated as being strong enough for indoor cycles. Supposedly, the stresses put on pedals on exercise bikes are greater than those on real bikes.

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    Interesting. Still, these are supposedly good downhill pedals, so shouldn't be a problem? :D – Mołot Aug 12 at 1:14
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    @Mołot Generally when going downhill one is putting less power through the pedals - and often not pedalling at all. Whereas when cycling indoors over 500W and possibly even 1000W (depending on the strength of the rider) might be common on (short!) hill climbs and/or sprints. – user7761803 Aug 12 at 5:31
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    @user7761803 Fair point - pedals on downhill bikes are more like footpegs - there may only be pedalling in the first few metres of the run, the rest of the trip downhill is the rider keeping their center of mass aligned with hands/feet/thighs. A top sprinter's pedal has to cope with 1000-2000 W of instant peak power, and someone playing cycle polo or riding fixie might do a lot of backward pushes too, creating wiggle. So this does sound more like lawyers protecting their clients rather than a serious risk. – Criggie Aug 12 at 5:52
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    Nevertheless, the force applied to downhill pedals may be substantial even twithout noticeable net power, e.g. on landing after a jump. – cbeleites unhappy with SX Aug 12 at 5:55
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    Concur with cbeleites: pretty sure professional downhill, slopestyle and trials riders put much more force on their pedals than any indoor sprint cyclist could, precisely because the power is not coming from the legs but from impacts on the ground. Ever seen a trials rider land from a drop off a shed's roof? Well, if a track racer were able to put the same force on the pedals, it would mean they should be able to use that force to (without bicycle) jump onto the roof! – leftaroundabout Aug 12 at 15:04
13

Probably due to the fact that many indoor bikes, particularly spin bikes, are fixed wheel inc. a heavy flywheel which is why they always have toe-clips and/or clip in pedals - to make sure foot says on the pedal.

If your foot slipped off with pinned flats, the pedals will still be whizzing round and then potentially cause an injury.

Here's an extract from a warning sticker from a spin bike:

Flywheel momentum will keep pedals turning even after you stop pedaling. Do not attempt to dismount bike or remove feet from pedals until pedals have completely stopped.

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9

I believe this has nothing to do with the pins, or with any special mechanical stress that indoor cycling involves.

In my opinion the issue is the possibility of corrosion due to sweat. Indoor bikes get a lot more sweat on them because they don't move. It's a huge problem that can quickly ruin components and even create the possibility of a sudden and dangerous failure.

https://cyclingmagazine.ca/sections/training-guide/training/save-you-bike-from-sweat/

I bet the pedal manufacturer's legal department is worried that they never specifically tested for breakage due to corrosion from all that added salt. It's probably fine, but without specific testing they are wise to avoid any guarantees.

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  • +1 for this - aluminium alloys used in bike parts are not good at coping with salt (I've seen front suspension fork outer legs being turned into a sieve and bleed salty water after several winters worth of roadside use). I've seen special fabric covers for indoor cycling exactly for the purpose of guarding the headset and frame against sweat. – Pavel Aug 13 at 6:55
  • @Pavel most, if not all, decent fork lowers are magnesium alloy. – Klaster_1 Aug 13 at 16:45

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