Bike Pedals for Hobie Mirage Drives E-mail
Written by Allen Bushnell   
Friday, 25 October 2013 00:00

Even dedicated paddlers like myself have to agree the Hobie Mirage Drive is an engineering wonder. Hobie Kayaks and the marvelous leg-powered drive clip in pedal system system have opened up kayak fishing to an expanded set of participants, most of whom will swear by the reliability and effectiveness of the technology. A few forward thinkers are pushing the boundaries of the Mirage Drive with custom-made crank arms, and clip-ins for the pedals to increase efficiency.

Charles Beck is a dedicated mountain and road biking enthusiast as well as  an avid kayak fisherman. It was only natural he apply his biking experience to the pedal pushing Mirage Drive. 

"I was not satisfied with the stock plastic pedals that came with my Hobie Adventure and I thought the adjustment pin/bolt mechanism running through a hollow crank arm is a weak spot in the drive. Hobie does still have some of the solid aluminum drive arms with which they originally equipped the original Mirage Drive (V1). These arms come threaded for standard bike pedals of your choice instead of a pressed fit rod running through a plastic platform. I purchased a set of the old version drive arms and screwed in a well worn pair of mountain bike clip in pedals. An old pair of mountain bike shoes was enlisted for the first of many ocean trips. They worked, but a pair of mountain bike sandals proved superior to the shoes in that 7mm neoprene booties could be used with them. Very warm feet through a day of jigging with feet overboard.

The biggest advantage of this system is a fuller use of all leg muscles. Upper thigh fatigue especially when pedaling hard is lessened because the foot can pull back on the pedal and let the back leg muscles share the workload. A higher cruise speed can be kept up for a longer distance. The feet are held in suspension in the shoes so they rest easier than in pedals and straps. Getting out of clip ins is easy. A flick of the heels outward and they disengage. One can also pedal without locking in just by positioning the shoe cleat above or below the pedal lock system. This is one attempt at a yak improvement that I have been really pleased with."

aluminum crankarm Using V1 solid aluminum crank arms have another advantage besides the threading to allow mountain bike pedals. The solid aluminum construction is proven to be stronger than the later generation hollow crank arms. But not as much stronger as one might think.

Jim Czarnowski, Director of Engineering at Hobie, advises, "Yes, solid cranks are stronger but only marginally, since most of the strength comes from the perimeter of the cross section. The hollow cranks have a much higher strength/weight ratio." 

 

 

 

 

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