SOC13: First Look – VP’s Prototype Vision Flat Pedal
Looking to expand their current mountain bike flat pedal line up, VP has been hard at work on a thinner pedal than their VP-69 which will be called the Vision. Built with dual Igus bearings to keep the weight and thickness down, Vision will have a huge forged platform that is only 12mm thick. Not designed to be the lightest pedal, but super durable while still keeping it thin the Vision may become a favorite for riders with big feet.
How is VP going to make a durable pedal with only Igus bearings? Envision it after the break.
Igus is a manufacturer of essentially polymer bearings that have been used in a few other bicycle applications as well. One of the benefits of an Igus bearing is that they can be made extremely thin and still durable – as long as the tolerances of the bearing bore are extremely precise. Typically a similar bearing set up from other companies would require the use of a spring washer to keep everything tight due to lower machining tolerance. VP on the other hand claims that they have the ability to machine the pedals to such a tight tolerance that the spring washer is no longer needed. Vision pedals will have a preload adjustment though to keep things tight. Thanks to the lack of a spring washer, the bearings should continue to spin long and free, while allowing the center of the pedal to avoid a bearing bulge.
The black pedal on the bike is one of VP’s first prototypes and the silver pedal body in my hand shows the changes that will be made to the next round. Basically the round section close to the crank for the axle will get flattened, and outboard pin locations will be beefed up with extra aluminum. One nice feature on the vision is the fact that the pins are not threaded all the way through. This means that the part protruding from the pedal is not threaded – if it were, and the threads were damaged on a rock, removing the pin would likely damage the internal threads on the pedal body as it is unscrewed back through.
The next version also has a slightly more beveled outer edge though it keeps its very large platform. Riders with bigger feet, this pedal will do the trick as the platform is really big. Visions have a slight concave profile, though not as much as some pedals on the market which is one of the trade offs with a really thin pedal. The axle will also grow a bit to increase strength. Currently the pedals are just under 400g per set with a target weight of 400g or less. Pricing is TBD and we will likely see the final production later this year.
VP is also expanding their Vice pedal line up with the Junior Vice and the Mega Vice. Just before the 2013 racing season started, clipless pedals have been banned for use by anyone holding a novice license (for more on the rule change, BMX News has a good story on the matter). As such, little pinners will now be in need of high quality, flat BMX pedals so VP is stepping up with the Junior Vice. Basically a scaled down version of their Vice pedal, the Junior vice is sized for smaller feet and has 6 traction pins per side. This should offer enough grip but won’t tear little Jimmy’s shins apart should he slip a pedal.
The new Mega Vice on the left takes their Vice pedal and adds pedal wrench flats on the axle. This not only makes installation and removal of the pedals easier, but effectively adds 8mm of axle to both sides of the bike spacing the pedals out for a wider Q-factor for riders with bigger feet. In addition to the Mega Vice VP will have a new economy pedal option which actually looks really good. Built with an alloy body, and a steel axle with loose ball bearings, the pedal will be a steal at $30. Featuring replaceable traction pins and a total weight of 360g per set, there will also be a stainless steel axle version of the pedal for $50. All the above should be available by Eurobike.