Some people may not understand this, but there are things in this world that don't need to be "connected." They just don't. Case in point: these stupid connected bike pedals that have somehow managed to raise 180% (at the time of writing) of the $50,000 goal on Indiegogo. I'm pretty sure the people who are backing this don't actually ride bikes, but rather romanticize the idea of how useful something like this could be if they actually did.

Now, don't get me wrong - on paper, these seem like they might be kind of OK. Here's the gist: they're connected in the sense that they have built-in GPS and some sort of always-on, no-fee cellular connection (which the company doesn't explain at all, so if the pedal doesn't succeed, then I'm sure the tracking functionality will die with it, making this just another platform pedal). They also generate their own power. No Bluetooth, no Wi-fi. They can track rides, which includes elevation, speed, estimated caloric burn, and of course distance. So yeah, they sound pretty cool, except for the fact that they don't even monitor cadence, which is absurd. But here's the thing: why? The smartphone you already have in your pocket can do all of those things. Sure, these pedals can do it without the need to carry said smartphone, but let's be honest here - how often does anyone go riding without taking their phone? Ever? I don't know a single cyclist who hits the pavement without their phone. Not one.

I will give these pedals one bit of credit, though. Since they have embedded GPS and cellular connectivity, they can be used to track the bike in case it gets stolen. Your phone can't do that (unless you leave the phone with the bike, which would be silly), and the added level of protection is worth a tip of the hat. Still, you can easily just get a GPS tracker for the bike and do the same thing - no need to spend $150 (or more) on some silly pedals.

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Speaking of, as far as pedals are concerned, the design looks pretty terrible to me. They're traditional platform pedals, and while there is an option for a retention system (straps), they still look incredibly inefficient by design. I just can't imagine these providing very much grip at all, especially when riding in wet conditions. I still attest that clipless pedals are a staple for any serious cyclist. I do realize, however, that clipless isn't always the most practical (like for commuters), but still...there's no reason to spend $150+ on platform pedals.

Honestly, if you want to ride platforms, get yourself a good set for $50 and track your rides with your phone. Or better yet, invest in a clipless system...and keep tracking with your phone. But whatever you do, don't waste your money on these "connected" pedals.