Haworth Swing Pedal

Haworth Swing 02, originally uploaded by gmacleland.

This isn’t tinkering – this is engineering. I saw these pedals on Flickr a while ago, and was quite taken with them. For about £300 (a million American monies), you can possibly have a pair of these produced.

Geoff Apps, the designer, has this to say (or just click the picture and read it for real on Flickr):

A new version:

A re-design of these swing pedals is now complete and the drawings are with the engineer machinist. The bearings are slightly bigger and have full shields on both sides; the bearing is almost flush to the crank, so Q-factor is reduced. Additionally the platform is wider (fore/aft).

Who thunk it up? Did you invent it?

No, I didn’t invent this type of pedal; for possible patent purposes I carried out some research, and the earliest version I can find dates from 1904.

However, this particular design is my own work and came out of my head.

Why this? (Aside from plain cussedness, and/or coolness)?

The design has a number of advantages:

  1. The swing action cradles your foot, reducing the ‘throw-off’ effect of conventional pedals ~ the reason toe-clips, SPD and the huge spikes on DH pedals have become generally accepted.
  2. It allows a (relative) lower saddle position to be used ~ in my case I have a very high bottom bracket height. However, these pedals would be useful for a very tall person, or shorter person who lacks confidence.
  3. Knee health. There is some research to suggest that the motion of the pedal platform is beneficial (or less harmful) for the knee joint.
  4. Conventional pedal bearings are small, and getting smaller. They wear relatively quickly and are difficult to maintain. These pedals have substantial bearings which are straightforward to maintain and replace.
  5. I can’t think of anything else just now, but one thing is for sure; they don’t make you go any faster!

Who’s Howarth?

The name Haworth is in honour of the engineer who made the first prototype pair; he hand-made the pedal threads in stainless steel!

Can I buy me some?

I thought it may be possible to market these, but haven’t found anyone who is vaguely interested in them ~ too unconventional, I suppose.

Will need buckets of dosh to get them into any form of production.

No really, can I buy me some?

If you know a machinist, I could send you drawings and you could get some made up (mine cost about £300, was quoted up to £1,200).
In return you could make a small donation to my Prototype Fund!

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UI/UX Designer, bike nerd, artist.

7 thoughts on “Haworth Swing Pedal”

  1. Gregclimbs:
    Interesting though your product suggestions may be, they are not the same as the Haworths.
    The first one lowers a conventional pedal, so you’re still left with the issues of a conventional pedal, namely throw-off and minuscule bearings, etc.
    The second one does follow the general theme of the Haworths but for one aspect; you have to wear special shoes. A principle of my design work is (when possible) the integration of cycling into ‘normal’ life, rather than the other way round; wearing funny shoes helps to separate us from society as a whole.

  2. This “drop pedal” looks like it only has one bearing. Ball bearings have almost no load rating when they are twisted upon – they are designed to be used in pairs. Someone flunked out of engineering school (or never attended in the first place).

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