They Say Necessity is the Mother of Invention
Staring down your own mortality may just be the evil stepmother. The idea for the Hustle™ REMtech™ pedal was born in a life-or-death moment as the Hustle™ founder hung onto a rock for dear life one summer day in Moab. Here’s his story:
“I am riding down one of the less ridden trails, where the next do-or-die challenge is always just around the corner. The trail is becoming very narrow, a sheer cliff dropping straight down to the Colorado River several hundred feet below. I am riding that thin line between confidence and fear, but perhaps I have too much of the former and not enough of the latter. What happens next nearly kills me.
I approach a rock garden carrying way too much speed. I then bounce off a boulder, causing me to lose my balance. The only way to stay in control is to use my feet — but I am clipped into the pedal and cannot release fast enough. I am now falling, then rolling. Then I stop. My wits return, and I realize I am holding onto a boulder hanging over the cliff’s edge.
Well, you are reading this, so clearly, I made it out of there alive (although I probably should not have). That moment changed the course of my life dramatically. Hanging there, one finger-slip away from certain death, I realized there was a problem that I needed to solve. Well, two: the first one was how to survive the moment, which I managed to do.
The other was a bit longer term but just as critical. How to design a pedal system that offers the best of the two common systems available — flat/platform and clipless? I could have easily avoided my precarious perch if I could have quickly released my shoe from the pedal. This situation can happen to any rider in any instance. If you’re reading this, you have undoubtedly had a similar mishap and understand the dilemma altogether.
At that moment, I knew, for my safety and the safety of all riders, designing a system with the security and pedaling efficiency of traditional clipless pedals but with the freedom and easy-off performance of platform pedals was an absolute. We now have that system, REMtech™.”
CRAIG PAYNE – FOUNDER
Grew up in the Panhandle of Texas in a hard-working, close-knit family. He was the youngest of five siblings, all of whom loved being outdoors. He spent most of his childhood on bikes. Any bike. All kinds of bikes. His first paying job, at the age of twelve, was on a farm, and the money he earned went towards buying those bikes.
As so many kids in the 80’s he raced BMX and then graduated to road racing, which carried him through his teens and into his twenties. Bikes have been in almost every chapter of his life, and to this day he still gets a thrill — the same thrill he got as a kid — every time he gets to hit the dirt!
ALWAYS EXPLORING NEW IDEAS AND CREATIONS
Cycling has been around for hundreds of years and will undoubtedly be around for hundreds more. One of the main reasons for this longevity is innovation. Since the earliest days, enthusiasts, tinkerers, engineers — and just plain bike fanatics like me — have never rested on their laurels, and that is why we have such phenomenal technology today.
While many ideas have come and gone — who can forget the BioPace cranks — the truly ingenious and innovative have changed the sport by making riders more comfortable, safer, faster, etc. For instance, back in the ’60s, Dr. Alex Moulton had the idea that bicycles needed suspension. How many of you ride without suspension now?
Dr. Moulton was not alone. Carbon fiber has allowed bikes to become unimaginably light and stiff. Disc brakes for roads and mountains have drastically increased stopping power, allowing faster yet safer descents. Tubeless wheels and tires mean fewer flats and smoother rides. You get the idea.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE PEDALS?
Once we, thankfully, began to emerge from our death-trap toe clips in the ‘70s and ‘80s with clipless pedals for road and later MTB, the basic closure systems are all similar and have not changed that much over time. Unfortunately, in the ’80s, a flawed system required a good bit of finesse to escape at the best of situations and flat-out fail in the worst.
We at Hustle™ think it is high time to take the next evolution in pedals, and we found our inspiration in the Earth on which we love to ride. Rare Earth, to be exact. While companies have combined platform and clipless pedals for years, they still used that same imperfect closure system to connect the foot to the pedal. HUSTLE™ Bike Labs has changed the paradigm by replacing that system with the other-worldly power of Rare Earth Magnets inside traditional platform bodies. The resulting REMtech™ pedals offer the same security and efficiency on the upstroke as clipless but with a much easier and more natural release — no finesse or weird ankle movements required.
So whether or not you have had a near-death ride experience, you have certainly had that stomach-turning moment when you could not release from your clipless pedals, or you slid off your platforms. Why go through that again? It is time to decide. Do you want to continue following the trend or be on the cutting edge?