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Dosun J-1 Safety Pedals

by vmbrasseur on January 12th, 2011

Image of the Dosun J-1 Safety PedalsPun entirely intended, but these pedals are brilliant.

I first noticed them when browsing the Public Bikes site. Not only does Public make a damn sexy line of bicycles they also sell equally sexy bicycling accessories.

I was cruising about their site, lusting after various objects, and came across these pedals. “Genius!” I cried. “Every bike commuter should own them!” Thus the pedals went straight to my holiday wish list.

In case you haven’t clicked through on the product link yet, allow me to summarize why you would care about these pedals: they light up and don’t require batteries. As you ride, dynamos in these pedals produce enough energy to power several bright LEDs in each pedal. These LEDs flash not only while you’re riding but also for up to ninety seconds after you stop. There are different flash patterns for “riding” and “stopped now.”

My parents, who have a strong bicycle affinity, naturally recognized these pedals for awesome safety feature that they are and, wishing their daughter to avoid getting squished in traffic, bought me a set for Christmas. This past weekend John gave his invaluable assistance and the pedals were installed on my beloved 1993 GT Zaskar. Yes, I use an 18 year old Zaskar for commuting. Shush, you. You’re just jealous. Anyway, back to the blog post already in progress…

When the pedals were being installed both Guy and John expressed concern that the additional resistance of the charging dynamo would negatively impact the riding experience (read: make it harder to pedal). Now that I’ve logged a few miles with the pedals I can state that this is not a concern. If the dynamo adds additional pedaling effort then I cannot discern it amidst my normal pedaling. What it does add is an extra amount of visibility when riding. For those of us who ride in busy urban areas every little bit helps.

One potential drawback is that these are not clipped pedals. If you have special bike shoes or toe clips then these pedals either may not be for you or may require a bit of transition. My previous pedals had toe clips and, after 18 years, I found the lack of them rather awkward. Still, considering the primary use of my bike is to get me to dinner, cocktails or the grocery store I don’t think the lack of toe clips is going to hinder me any. It’ll just take a few more rides to get used to not having to flip the pedal around to catch the toe clip. Meh. No biggie (especially considering the benefit).

Bottom line: these pedals are pretty awesome and you should run out and buy a pair if you use your bike to commute about town. Order them from your independent bike retailer and support small business in your area.

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