News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.

Hospice of the Western Reserve

Northeast Ohio Medical University


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Economy and Business


The next big thing in bicycle racing could come out of Cleveland
Inventor has incorporated rollerblading motions with standard pedal pumping to increase efficiency
by WKSU's KEVIN NIEDERMIER


Reporter
Kevin Niedermier
 
Nick Stevovich quit his job to devote full time to getting his redesigned pedals to market. Here, he's testing the durability. So far, the pedal on the bench has traveled about 150,000 miles without breaking.
Courtesy of KEVIN NIEDERMIER
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

The next big advancement in bicycling could come out of Northeast Ohio. A Cleveland inventor is getting ready to roll out a new pedal that appears to make riders more efficient by changing the way they turn the crank.

As WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports, inspiration for the new pedal came from rollerblading, and its creation has required a leap of faith.

LISTEN: The smallest of increments and a big difference

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:37)


In the upper echelons of bicycle racing, a small edge can mean the difference between winning and losing. Inside the workshop of MAGNET, a Cleveland product incubator, Nick Stevovich believes he’s created that edge.He uses last year’s Tour de France to explain what this slight advantage could mean for riders.

A little efficiency could go a long way in bike racing
“If you took only a 1 percent improvement in the Tour de France in riders -- their speed, power, efficiency, and took the 24th person and made him the first-place person, there’s only a 1 percent difference. In cycling, that’s a huge difference. We’re seeing 3 to 4 percent difference in some of test candidates in terms of power and efficiency, which is huge.”

Stevovich’s invention is a pedal that slides side to side horizontally as the rider turns the crank. It’s a relatively simple pin-and-spiral grove assembly in the pedals shaft that produces the motion.

Additional sets of muscles are brought into motion
“If you think about when you’re skiing, rollerblading or roller skating, in order to move forward on a flat terrain, you’re kicking out side to side, you’re pulling in your adductor muscles and your glutes and your hamstrings. That was the concept. Could you do that in biking, and if so, could you get more power? It’s very subtle, if you don’t ride frequently, you’re not going to notice you’re doing it. But if you ride a lot, you’re going to notice right away.”

Inspiration for altering pedaling motion came to Stevovich nearly 20 years ago when he was an aspiring bike racer who needed some help.

Rollerblading in the 1990s
“About the same time rollerblading was big, so I would rollerblade at the same time as racing. I found that after a lot of rollerblading, a different set of muscles were used. So, I thought ... is there a way to incorporate rollerblading and biking into one. The hypothesis was putting the two together should give you more output.”

Stevovich, who isn’t an engineer, made a simple prototype back then. But his idea sat on a shelf until five years ago when he decided to turn the concept into reality. He began seeking help researching, building and testing prototypes. A clinical trial at Cleveland State University showed potential, and an ongoing clinical trial this year at Kent State University is generating additional data.

Clinical trials underway to show safety and efficiancy
“Is there any detriment to my body? That’s one reason we’re doing the clinical trial to measure what’s happening to your knee, ankle and hip joints. Secondly, does it work?
"At Kent State, we want to make sure we’re getting the true benefit that we claim, more power and output. And the third (question) is, is it going to last? So, over here, we’re testing the pedal’s durability. This pedal, I believe has over 15 million revolutions, it has over 150, 000 logged on it. Is it going to last? Yeah, I can prove it now.”

A leap of faith is pushing the new pedals
Earlier this year, Stevovich quit his job as vice president at a business that helps companies move employees around the world. He did that so he could devote his full time to his pedal business, Motion-Resolution. He’s been talking to biking enthusiasts to find out how to market his product. And, he’s gotten some interest from exercise companies that think the pedal might be a nice addition to spinning classes.

The device has also caught the attention of medical rehabilitation professionals who think it could help people recover from certain injuries. But, for now, Stevovich’s primary market is road racers and triathletes, who he hopes will pay $200 to $300 for his pedals when they hit the market in the middle of next year.

 

 

(Click image for larger view.)

Listener Comments:


Cornering will be within the range of current pedals on the market and within standards under UCI. The prototype shown is only used for the clinical trial tests.


Posted by: Nick Stevovich on October 21, 2013 3:10AM
What about cornering clearance, the axle looks really long?


Posted by: mark S on October 18, 2013 10:10AM
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/manufacturingsuccess

Here is a link to the live video feed of the pedal test stand..

DP


Posted by: Dave Pierson (United States) on October 18, 2013 9:10AM
I ride to and from work every day on a single speed road bike. Although I could ride a bike with multiple gears I enjoy the challenge and exercise I get. If these pedals are really what you say they are I would love a set to try!


Posted by: Ernest Cornelius (Akron) on October 17, 2013 7:10AM
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Ohio becomes first in the nation to dump PARCC testing
Best test to use for elementary schools is the old pre common core Iowa test of basic skills. This test measures apples to apples and tests the skills appropri...

The Surpreme Court gay-marriage decision plays out in Ohio Amish country
Keep in mind that the majority of the people residing in Holmes County are Amish, a church people who do not vote because they do not believe in governmental ru...

Akron council committee recommends Forney for its opening
Which committee member voted for Wilhite?

Nearly a dozen Cuyahoga gay couples get licenses to marry after the Supreme Court ruling
Presiding Judge Anthony J. Russo a graduate of Chanel High School and supposed member of St. Francis Parish in Gates Mills has just excommunicated himself. As ...

Canton Youth Symphony is named orchestra of the year
This is what makes CSO the hippest small town orchestra in America!

What can be expected if Ohio's tobacco taxes increase?
let's face it! The increase has little to do with smoking cessation

Rare Cleveland Indians photo from 1911 hits the auction block
Paddy Livingston, who cut his teeth on a Louisville Slugger in Kent, Ohio was one of the immortals that played in that game. He was the catcher. Ty Cobb actuall...

Nexus denies Green's request to relocate its planned gas pipeline
These people have so much power. Too much. They could care less about the people they leave when it is done. Spectra does not, and admits, they do not do the...

The former Hugo Boss plant is about to start making suits again in NE Ohio
Hugoo Boss should not even be allowed to make or sell suits in the USA ..... During WWII, they were a nazi company. They made the uniforms for the S.S.

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University