2021/1/15
Bubbly Pedal – Simworks by MKS

SimWorks by MKS

Simworks is excited about our recently established and future relationship with MKS- Japan’s finest pedal manufacturer, and a generations long standard-bearer for producing quality cycling products.

This process began in the spring of 2020. The SimWorks Development Office wanted to knock it out of the park with this first offering and this great opportunity with a new partner. The first mockup that made full use of the 3D data processing power cultivated in Minecraft was like this.

It can be said that the original concept was an object in my brain- going back some time. When you send a file that exports a design like grated cheese at the speed of sound, the model output by the 3D printer is sent in seconds (that’s an exaggeration). The idea of ​​SimWorks and the design and manufacturing prowess of MKS resulted in a beautiful melding of the minds, and that image in my brain and on the page magically became a concrete “object”.

It’s not just about spinning around

There are only four rotating parts with bearings inside the elements that make up a bicycle: the hubs, the headset, the bottom bracket, and the pedals. No part can be compromised on a bicycle with it’s basic mechanics.

The triple sealed bearing used in the ‘Bubbly’ pedal is the mechanism used in the NEXT grade pedals of the Sylvan series- a distinct icon of the MKS pedal line. The spindle, or pedal axle, must be thicker and stronger on the inside to accommodate the rider’s weight. In other words, the outer shape of the inner bearing tends to be large inevitably, but in the triple shield bearing mechanism, the inner bearing is increased to two, and the outer shape is decreased while effectively distributing the load, so that the stack height of the pedal can be minimized. The effort results in a more positive “pedal feel”

画像に alt 属性が指定されていません。ファイル名: TripleSealedBearings.png
Image: Plucked from MKS official website

It’s like a hot knife being sucked into a pad of butter … It’s a no-brainer to talk about the wonderful rotational performance of triple sealed bearings- you should experience it for yourself.

Even if it’s full of holes- nothing’s been omitted

The pedal has a rotational axis, and its role is to establish “cohabitation of movement and moving objects” or “cohabitation of objects that you wish to move and objects that do not move”. It is very “unstable” to say that these conflicting elements are compatible. If I put my full weight on something that spins very easily- it’s quite unstable, but it’s an instability that is absolutely necessary to step on and advance the bicycle. Thus- a substantial perch is desired in such an unstable world.

The closer your foot is to the rotation axis, the more stable it is. Even if you imagine walking on an unstable rope like a tightrope, your shoes should be taken off- like a line walker. There is a common tenet of the theory that the lower the center of gravity is, the more stable it is in an unstable place. This is the motive in reducing the stack height. If a more stable situation is achieved with the pedal, it will increase efficiency and reduce fatigue. One less thing to concern yourself with during a longer ride

….Because engineering schematics are just cool

The Bubbly cage or tread’ has the largest area of ​​any MKS pedal. The beauty is not only in its surface area, but also in its concave shape, and the opportunity afforded in shifting your foot around during your ride- a common exercise in minimizing fatigue and focusing on lesser used muscle groups, or just combating restlessness on long rides. Your foot should feel as though it is naturally positioned- inspiring confidence and efficiency but also the option for variety- as road conditions may vary as well as a rider’s preference. Bubbly’s shape has been carefully considered and thoughtfully produced through MKS engineering and experience.

There are only three points where the rider makes contact with the bike: the grips, saddle and pedals, so the longer you ride, the more emphasis you end up placing on these critical contact points, but the less you want to have to actually think about them. Once you’ve reached the 10 cm2 of comfort on one foot provided by the Bubbly pedals, you’ll be able to focus on more important things- like choosing a burrito shop during your ride.

画像に alt 属性が指定されていません。ファイル名: IMG_5077.jpg
Laser cut prototype

Grated cheese

Mr. Funayama- a genius of MKS development, asked with excitement,
“This random hole is amazing. Why did you come up with this!?”
I felt like I couldn’t go without saying something like a designer on the spot, but the point is that SimWorks values ​​their inspiration. I’m still aspiring to be the “interesting guy” – alone in the back of the class.
Always open your sensory antennae to the fullest, and if you catch something, it will be important; and some of them are inspirational…

The Bubbly pedal is Mr. Funayam’s first collaboration with SimWorks and MKS. We hope you like it.

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