My guest blogger today is John Winkie, founder of Keywin pedals. John is a legend amongst cyclists, having been the first to develop the clipless pedal in 1983. John still runs Keywin today and is a regular at cycle events around New Zealand. I’m fortunate to ride with John most weeks, his knowledge of the sport is enormous and his cycling ability belies his age. My bike is fitted with Keywin’s titanium pedals, I find them brilliant to ride with and best bike pedals around.
Just as I come to writing these few words for Bruce’s web page, three pieces of news came through to me which I think pretty well sum up Keywin.
First, today Terenzo Bozzone wrote a report on his ANZAC day win in the Challenge Taiwan Half Ironman (see http://www.keywin.com/news.php for his report). This follows Cameron Brown’s 11th win at the Taupo NZ Ironman and Gina Crawford’s 13th Ironman title at Challenge Wanaka.
The list of wins on Keywin pedals is massive and goes right back to the early 80’s with Rick Wells winning his World Title and absolute domination of road racing results with the likes of Graeme Miller, Jack and Stephen Swart, Dave Mann, Glen Mitchel, Julian Dean …. the list seems endless. Keywin has also had enormous success on the track starting with Alan Miller winning a Junior World Championship through to Aaron Gate’s superb Omnium World Championship recently. Little known in NZ would be the domination of UK time trial records with various riders but particularly Glen Longland on our original Speed Pedals.
If an example of performance linked to reliability is needed look no further than Alan Bate’s Guinness Book of Records round the world achievement – 29,000 kms at an average of 300 kms a day. (Not just the CRM pedals here but also the Anti-Chafing Cream and Muscle Cream as well).
Carbon Titanium Pedals- built to last.
Second, I’ve just been told one the first production sets of our Carbon Titanium pedals has just rolled over 50,000 kms. The rider is Aaron Strong. In that time the pedals have been regreased and new bushes fitted three times. The bodies remain good and the ceramic plated titanium axles remain serviceable. My own pair are now at 20,000 kms having had one set of bushes and a recent re-grease – obviously heading for 50,000 kms as well.
Third, one of our guys circulated the text of a recent interview with Tom Ritchey, one of the real gurus of modern day cycling. (see http://www.roadbikereview.com/reviews/2013-predictions-tom-ritchey-of-ritchey-design). You’ll see in this Tom throws doubts on the true benefits of some recent fashions in bicycle developments – particularly the tendency towards complicating what should remain simple. This made me review the developments in my cycling lifetime and really the two outstanding items are indexed brake mounted gear changing and clipless pedals. Of course I’m biased but can anyone really dispute the biggest enhancement to performance and safety has been the clipless pedal? Why am I biased – because the invention of the twist out system is absolutely Keywin’s. Entirely conceived, developed and manufactured in South Auckland.
But more than that, no-one got near Keywin’s pedal for lightness, simplicity, reliability and efficiency for 20 years. And with the Carbon pedal, over 30 years later, Keywin still has the edge with pedal weights of 80g.
How does this sum up Keywin?
Keywin is entirely focussed on real improvements and effective products. We are not swayed by fashion or change for the sake of it.
We do not waste enormous amounts of your money on sponsorship or advertising – we much prefer to get winning products to you at the lowest possible cost. None of the athletes using and winning on our pedals is paid to ride them. The cost aspect applies right through to spares supply and the ready availability of spares even for pedals made 35 years ago.
We passionately believe in manufacturing in New Zealand. There is no better way to ensure the highest quality standards and to be able to keep innovating and improving. Frankly the government and the exchange rates make this super difficult at times (none more so than now) but we’ve kept at it for 35 years. We also passionately believe in supporting Kiwi athletes and events. I’m past riding most events but still support events like the Wellington to Auckland Challenge with product, medals and personally riding as a motorcycle marshal. We’ve also supported young riders through Secondary Schools competitions and individual young up and coming riders.
Long term use and reliability is given equal emphasis alongside performance and value for money. We ask potential buyers to look beyond all the hype and advertising to the real value and performance and to support New Zealand made products.