With a product line already built around bringing more functional comfort to cycling, Redshift Sports dipped into the safety and visibility terrain with the release of their original smart LED Arclight Pedals. The Philly-based brand is starting this Spring off with an updated release of the design in the Arclight PRO series, which brings commuters an improved Flat Pedal option or versatile all-new Dual-Sided Clipless version. Hailey Moore shares a first look at both models below!
Unboxing & Design
As an update to their existing City Pedals, I received both pairs of Redshift’s just-launched Arclight PRO pedals for review. Upon unpacking the updated platform and all-new clipless options, I immediately knew that my use of the pedals would be relegated to commuting. And that’s fine—with the integrated lighting system and sturdy design— commuting seems to clearly be their intended primary purpose. The pedals have a noticeable heft that belies their durability; the bodies are constructed from ADC12 Aluminum, threaded with a steel axle, and spin on sealed, serviceable bearings.
Each pedal comes with two pre-loaded light modules that readily (and satisfyingly) slot into the aluminum wing bodies and are held in place by a magnet on one end; slight downward and outward pressure releases the light module. Both new options come with a collection of metal pins and a quad-slotted USB charging dock so that you can charge all your light modules on one cord (if you’re like me and have far too many gadgets in your life that require routine charging, the one-cord solution here was already earning Redshift points in my book).
The PRO platform model offers an update to the City Pedals in the addition of real pins, versus the raised traction strips built into the latter, which offer noticeable grip underfoot. Redshift suggests the City Pedals for casual commuting use as the integrated traction strips might result in less wear on non-MTB soled shoes.
In the all-new Clipless version, Redshift delivered the user as much versatility as one could hope for. The double-sided clipless mount can easily be modified to a flat-side/clipless hybrid, which already shaves a few grams for daily-driving purposes. The pedals can be further converted to a full platform configuration. Finally, the aluminum wings that create the platform around the clipless mount can be fully stripped away for a standard clipless pedal design (see above). Of course, this iteration removes the integrated light modules but I found the many Transformer-like transfigurations here to be simple and incredibly useful.
Admittedly, in an effort to elevate the “cool factor” of the Arclight PROs (which are flashy but only in the functional sense) I recruited my buddy Josh to flex his path-lete prowess aboard the flat pedal option, while I rolled on the Dual Clipless, for the purposes of this review photoshoot. Little did I know he’d just finished building up a forever bike—Riv’s Susie Longbolts—and was itching to skirt around on this “longboard 650 cruiser” for any reason whatsoever.
After a few miles of easy spinnin’, we stopped once the day’s last light had begun to melt behind Boulder’s iconic western skyline and turned on the LED inserts. “Wow! Disco vibes!” exclaimed Josh, as a quick flick of the pedal showed off the SmartSet tech, the module’s automatic oscillation between a white front light and a red rear light, depending on the pedal orientation. Very smart indeed! We were both, unduly, delighted.
While the package lumen count of each module might not sound like much, strictly speaking, the Redshift product team ultimately found that movement of light contributed more to visibility than pure lumen count. From Redshift: “each light module is comparable to a standard tail light with the red at ~20 lumens and the white at 50 lumens (which makes them appear as the same brightness to human eyes). Ultimately, lumens are not the best metric for visibility and the values are often artificially inflated by other manufacturers. After extensive testing, we found the movement of the lights the most important factor in visibility and adjusted the lumen output to balance visibility and battery life.”
Furthermore, Redshift found that this circular light pattern—created in the Arclights by the combination of the pedal rotation and enhanced by the color contrast between the front and rear lights—elevates a rider’s visibility by 57%. Along with an increased orb of light (offering 360º of visibility) the revolving movement pattern also cues drivers to recognize you as a cyclist. Redshift’s light modules further boast three beam pattern options: Steady, Flash, and Eco. The first-click Steady beam setting will give you three hours of battery life; the second-click Flash offers 11 hours; the third-click Eco delivers a surprising 36-hour supply.
For efficiency sake, the pedals automatically switch to a temporary off—Standby—mode, after 30 seconds of inactivity. Sleep mode is triggered with about 150 seconds of idling and, after 24hrs in Sleep Mode, the pedals will automatically completely power off, requiring the rider to again push the button on the light module to turn the lights back on. While I’m fully on board with these power-saving measures, I am not sure how they contribute to the above-stated overall battery life of each beam setting. Still, it sounds like the lights are optimized to be as energy-saving as possible on whatever setting. Redshift claims that the pedals are weatherproof, with an IPX rating of 64.
Finally, to further illustrate Redshift’s thoughtful approach to the pedal design, individual light modules can be used as front or rear lights with the additional purchase of a Multi-Mount ($14.99). I found this to be a practical and clever feature that makes any of the Arclight pedal setups a robust and useful product for commuters.
The Arclight PRO pedals are a compelling product for any die-hard commuter, or any rider who wants to know their lights will always be there if they get caught out after dark. I found the Clipless models in to mimic my standard Shimano M520 in clipping action and, conversely, with the addition of a few pins on the non-clipless side, delivered a confidence-inspiring and grippy platform. After a few wall rides, curb hops, and wheelies, Josh had zero qualms about the security of the light modules in the more trail-centric Flat pedal update that he rode.
While not as “set-it-an-forget-it” as a dynamo hub and beacon, the ease of charging of the light modules and the higher visibility returns given the relatively affordable price point (as compared to a full dynamo hub plus light outfit) makes these pedals seem like an equally, if not more, viable option for safe, be-seen, commuting.
- Thoughtful, versatile design.
- Interchangeable parts.
- Delivers safety promise and rider visibility.
- Fairly heavy compared to non-lighted comparable products:
- Arclight PRO Flat Pedals: 604g with lights; $159.99
- Arclight PRO Clipless Pedals: 726g with lights; $174.00; “Race” clipless set up without wings or lights weigh in at 424g
- Arclight City Pedals: 706g with lights; $139.99
- No permanent Left and Right pedal indicators (stickers come on the pedals for the first install, afterwards Redshift indicates the Left pedal with a groove on the spindle at the base of the threads).