They say that before you die, your whole life will fly by before your eyes. When Craig Payne almost died a few years ago, which flashed before him the eyes were a problem that had to be solved. Hanging on a Boulder Hanging on the Edge of a Cliff in Moab After Hitting the Rock Garden Too Fast mountain bike and because Payne couldn’t get out of the pedals fast enough without the clamps, he felt lucky to be alive.

After getting off the mountain, Payne began tinkering with a pedal system that could combine the stability and power of clipless systems with the comfort and safety of flats. Fast forward to 2022, and Payne’s decision is well known.

his company Hustle Bike Labs, produces Avery REMtech pedal, which uses rare-earth magnets to secure your feet to the pedals. They promise to keep you efficient when pedaling uphill and in control when picking your way down – and when the going gets tough, just slide your foot to the side to free it up and get you out of a jam.

When I first saw the pedals in the Outdoor retail, I was equal parts excited and skeptical. As someone who rides clipless on road and gravel bikes, but has yet to jump off flat pedals while riding mountain bikes, I felt like a target demo—and I knew the only way to know if they could pull it off was to try them out. . Here’s what I did by throwing them on a Grand Canyon Canyon 7 and hitting the tracks. Here are the main test results.

What makes Hustle’s Avery REMtech pedals great

They work with what you already have

Perhaps Payne’s smartest move was to create something that integrated into an existing cycling product, a clipless mountain bike shoe. The REMtech pedal set not only comes complete with shiny blue pedals with magnets in the middle and studs on the edges for extra grip; you’ll also get REMplates, two oblong discs of black metal.

Steve Matsuki

These discs are what magnetize your new magnetic pedals to — so if you already have SPD-style clipless MTB shoes (or really any SPD clipless shoes), you simply insert and screw these discs where you normally put two-bolt cleats. Then attach the REMtech pedals to your bike’s cranks and you’re good to go.

avery remtech pedal

Steve Matsuki

avery remtech pedal

Steve Matsuki

They really combine performance and security

I know what you’re thinking: How strong are these so-called “rare earth magnets”? In my experience, pretty damn strong. While I was unpacking the kit, I brought two pedals too close together. Even with the protective foam coverings on the magnets, they were instantly sucked together and could only be separated with sharp force. Likewise, once I got the shoes and bike set up, I put the shoes on the pedals and found that they had to be twisted a lot to get them off.

But let’s be real, the only true test can happen on the trails. So I went to Cunningham Park in Queens. Even on the way there I noticed a difference. My feet felt pretty well glued to the pedals, providing an instant boost in efficiency as I built power with each upstroke that accompanied the downstrokes. Meanwhile, when I needed to free one leg at a traffic light, a simple side slide was enough.

Once I got to the park and started warming up on some of the intermediate trails, I didn’t notice much of a change from my usual walk. However, when I moved to the advanced side of the park, two things happened that showed that these were no ordinary pedals.

First I came to that annoying spot that I think every park and forest has – a sharp turn followed immediately by a steep climb. Even though I know it’s coming, the Cunningham is always a bit tricky, with a quick mega downshift followed by a ferocious long spin. However, with my feet seamlessly connected to the magnets, I climbed with relative ease, making it up the climb without drama.

Later, I rolled up to this huge five-foot log, which is completely surmountable thanks to the rocky ramp leading up to it—if you have enough speed. When I got to the top I ran out of gas. But instead of getting stuck in the pedals and rolling hopelessly back into inevitable embarrassment and injury, I felt my left leg instinctively shoot out to the side, step on the log, and pull me forward just enough to get over the top. No, it wasn’t a gnarled rock garden next to a cliff in Moab; this was a much more common situation – and one where the REMtech pedals fully delivered on their promise.

This is a fun topic to talk about

Regardless of what you think of these pedals, there’s no denying that they’re innovative, unique, and one-of-a-kind interesting. I know this because every single person I’ve mentioned them to has been extremely curious — and a little impressed with the little video I clumsily shot to show the basics of how they work. That has to count for something.

What’s not so good about Hustle’s REMtech pedal

They are not cheap

The Hustle Bike Labs Avery REMtech pedal and disc set is $219. On the contrary, a top rated set of SPD compatible MTB pedals and accompanying books close to $100. So you’re likely to pay more than double the standard amount for a pedal setup that’s unlike any other.

They are rather… niche

I feel that there is a large percentage of mountain bikers who love flats and don’t feel the need to change, especially as the performance of flat pedals continues to improve. Brands like Driving concepts and Enduro, for example, make flats that are shockingly grippy. At the other end of the spectrum are die-hard clipless riders who would never dream of a less locked-in, ride-or-die setup. In the middle are people like me, fascinated by the prospect of something in between. I just don’t know how many of us there are.

The verdict on Hustle’s REMtech pedals

As I just said, there are probably a lot of people for whom these pedals just don’t make sense. But if you’re in the latter category I mentioned, if you’re craving clip-on pros but wary of putting the brakes on your face—and breaking your face—doing something that’s supposed to be fun, they’re worth considering (perhaps even as an intermediate step toward transitioning without clamps). Comfort, convenience and performance are vastly improved, while being able to keep from rolling off a giant log is…damn priceless.

Hustle Bike Labs Avery REMtech pedal