Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to make the pedals move laterally?

Nikola pedals are built with the Zivo™ Technology. The lateral motion occurs as the rider  pedals in their natural motion allowing the pedals to move laterally via the proprietary technology. Simply get on your bike and ride like you typically do and leave the rest to us.

Do I need to adjust my seat height when using these pedals?

We tested over 60 different riders in a lab environment. During the course of the testing, we maintained the saddle height at the rider preferred position. Rider choice may vary and each person can decide if an adjustment is desired. We welcome your feedback and would like to hear your experience. Please contact us at alex@nikolainnovation.com

What does improved net efficiency mean and how do you measure it?

Net Work Efficiency describes the amount of work accomplished for a given energy expenditure. Efficiency can be affected by speed of movement, work rate, and fiber type recruitment.. A common formula: % Net efficiency = work output / energy expended above rest

Why is cycling efficiency important?

In the 2014 Tour de France, the overall time differential between 20th place and first place was approximately a 1% difference. Every incremental gain is valuable. A more efficient individual will be able to produce more power or will be able to produce a given power output at a lower metabolic rate or less physical strain. * Additionally, less strain on your body will likely increase your comfort and enjoyment while still improving your performance. *Source: Andrew Coggan Ph.D. Cycling efficiency what does it really mean?

Why is the pedal oriented (timed) at the 12:00 position and can I change it?

The testing we conducted had the pedal oriented at the inner most position when the foot is at the top, or 12:00 position on a clock dial, and the outer most position when at the bottom of the stroke cycle or 6:00 position. The results of our tests are from that orientation. Each rider results may vary depending on skill, training, body type, and experience. Additional benefit of the pedal is the ability to align or orient it in 360 different degrees. For example, we found triathlon cyclists tend to use the pedal oriented at the inner most position approximately at the 1:00 or 30 degrees position and the outer at the 7:00 or 210 degree allowing them to stay compact and fit in the bike while benefitting from the new motion.

What is Q-factor?

Tread, commonly known as Q-factor, is the distance between a cyclist’s feet, measured through (and parallel to) the bottom bracket. Some schools of thought measure between the pedal attachment points, while others use the midline of the foot when connected to the pedals. Whatever the case may be, q-factor can have implications to a cyclist’s biomechanics, pedaling power, comfort, efficiency, and overall bike handling. * *Source- http://www.spadout.com/a/q-factor-the-space-between-our-feet/

What is peak power and how do you measure it?

Peak Power is the maximum power a cyclist can generate. Subjects generally completes two or three 15 second “sprints” to make sure they are used to the fast movement before the actual beginning of the test. Upon completion of the warm-up the subject should rest for one minute prior to testing. The subject receives a five second countdown to the beginning of the test, during which time they pedal as fast as they can. Upon the start of the test the workload will be dropped instantly (within 3 seconds if using a mechanical ergometer) and the subject will continue to pedal quickly for 30 seconds. If using an ergometer with an electromagnetic brake data will generally be shown through a computer measuring peak power. * *Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wingate_test

How did you come up with the idea?

We recognized the motion of a speed skater uses a specific set of muscles to move forward and a cyclist uses a slightly different set of muscles to propel the bike. We theorized that if you could incorporate these two motions or sets of muscles into one , then the rider would improve their output and benefit from the combination. Researching many different solutions to best achieve this, realized improving upon the pedal was the optimal way to achieve this new motion.

Will these pedals fit on my bike?

The pedals are manufactured with 9/16 x 20tpi threading found on most bicycles. Be aware that there is a right and left pedal thread direction. Please review the installation instruction prior to use.

Do I need any special training to ride them?

Along with the many benefits of comfort, efficiency, and power, the pedals are intuitive to ride. The pedals feel like this is the way we are intended to ride a bike with no training needed. Feedback ranging from casual riders to professional riders is that within only a few minutes they adjusted to the new motion.

Do you offer other lateral distance pedals other than 25 mm?

We tested various lateral distances ranging as minimal as 12mm and higher. The 25 mm allows a good balance of performance and comfort. New lateral options are scheduled for release in 2016.

I ride a SPD® or 2-hole pedal; will you have a version that fits my shoe cleats?

Nikola™ pedals and the Zivo™ technology is currently only offered for a 3-hole style shoe. Various cleat and pedal preference options will likely occur in future versions.

Do all riders see the same improvements?

Our initial tests included 50 cyclists both male and female testing lateral motions of 1” and 1.5”. Results did vary for each rider. We found male results typically were more favorable than females. One reason we believe is the males in the data set trained approximately 35% more than the females. To effectively control the lab tests for consistency, the bike set up was the same for both genders that also impacted the results. Common comments from both male and female were the pedals felt comfortable and created a natural feeling motion.Nikola Innovation makes no medical claims benefits statements. Any reference to pain relief and comfort are exclusively the opinions and comments from the individual users.

How is cornering with the pedals?

The pedals incorporate a cantilever design to maximize cornering clearance. The pedal is 3.75″ (9.5 cm) at  farthest point from the crank arm and 0.25 ” (0.63 cm) at the closet point.  Cornering distance will also vary depending on where you time your pedals, your bottom bracket height, and your crank-arm length.

My shoe is rubbing against the crank arm and that has never happened before?

Check to see if the pedals are tight (recommended torque 35Nm or 25 ft-lbs). Pedals that are lose can move  position where the inner most position is at the bottom or 6 o’clock on a clock-dial causing the rubbing.  Immediately stop riding and re-postion the pedals, and tighten according to the installation instructions. The pedals are designed so that the outer most position is always toward the bottom of your stroke cycle between 5 o’clock and 7 o’clock on a clock dial.