Our Story

How it all started
Please note: this video was used to introduce 3ax on Kickstarter. We’re successfully funded! Our Kickstarter campaign is over, pre-orders are still possible on our own website.

Your pedals should adapt to your body.

Not the other way around.
We love cycling – and that’s an understatement.

Still, there’s one thing we never really liked: clipless pedals, no matter how many we tried. They all seemed to be designed for a machine, not for humans. At least not for those 96% who have a tendency to tilt their feet.

The evolution of road bikes over the last decades has been really impressive (lighter materials, better bike fitting, improved electronics), and we just felt pedals were lagging. It’s such a crucial part for optimum power transfer, so we set ourselves the goal to build the best pedal possible.

We also realized how widely anatomies and kinematics can differ between people, so we built a test team of more than 30 people, from avid amateurs to full-blown professionals, to gather their feedback. Their amazing support and critical comments helped us evolve from a clunky, Flinstonian prototype to the pedal we have today.

We were very lucky to get more help. One of the members of our test team (thanks, Guido!) introduced us to TSG Group, one of the best engineering companies in the Netherlands. They engineered consumer products like cars, coffee machines and high-end bicycle parts. They know how to bring a product to the market that will be intensively used for years, by millions of people.

The proof of the pudding...

...is the lab testing. So we did tons of measurements:


With VO2-measurements, you can determine how much oxygen you use to generate a certain amount of power (measured in Watts on your rear axe). The amount of oxygen is a good proxy for the amount of energy you use. If it takes less energy to generate the same amount of power/speed, you use your body in a more efficient way.

Put simply: how hard does your body have to work to go fast? And how does 3ax perform in comparison to conventional clipless pedals? Quite impressive: at a power output (W) of 2,5 x bodyweight (kg), our ten test members used on average 3.3% less oxygen with 3ax pedals compared to conventional pedals.


Another way to measure efficiency is to look at the muscle activity in your legs, while generating a certain amount of power. If your muscles work less to generate the same amount of power, power transmission is more efficient. We measured the activity of the vastus lateralis, gastrocnemius lateralis, tibialis anterior and fibularis longus, and found a combined efficiency improvement of up to 5.47%.
high speed camera study

High speed camera studies

If your feet have a tendency to tilt sideways, and your conventional pedals constrain that movement, your legs will compensate by pushing your knees to the left or the right. It’s a waste of energy, because it doesn’t contribute to power transfer.

We were wondering if 3ax pedals improve leg alignment, with less sideways movement of the knees, and asked the University of Applied Sciences in The Hague to conduct a study. They provided avid cyclists with markers on their knee (1), pedal (2) and bike (3), and filmed them with high speed cameras while cycling. The results were exactly what we hoped for: on average, knees move 17% less sideways with 3ax pedals compared to conventional clipless pedals.


Foot pressure measurements

With foot pressure measurements, you can get great insight in the adjustment of your bike and your pedals. In an ideal world, the pressure is evenly distributed. It’s an indication you use your leg muscles in a balanced way, without overusing some muscles while under utilizing others.

The first foot pressure image shows a measurement with conventional pedals…

…and the second image shows a foot pressure measurement with 3ax pedals.

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