I spent a couple days with the United crew in Phoenix last week while they filmed for their upcoming DVD. Unfortunately the airlines decided Alex Valentino wouldn’t enjoy having his bike with him for the first couple days, but on the last day I was with them, it made a miraculously appearance and I spotted his signature Valentino pedals. After the trip I hit up bossman Ian Morris with a few questions about ’em…
I could be wrong, but is this Alex's first signature part with United? Why'd you guys decide you want to go with a pedal?
Ha, yeah, you are wrong! This is actually his second signature part, we also have a Valentino top load stem (http://unitedbikeco.com/products/united-valentino-stem/) as well, third if you count the signature color ways he has had on the Squad, Mothership & Dinero frames!
We have been wanting to do a pedal for some time, and this year it just all fell into place, and Alex was the guy we wanted to work with after how well it all worked out on projects in the past. On top of that, we always work with riders as much as possible on any product, but on something as specific as a pedal it is always good to have someone's input who is out there riding them day after day.
Haven't seen it anywhere, so what's the official name of Alex's new signature pedals?
It is just the United Valentino pedal, nice and simple!
How long has it been in the works?
This has actually been ongoing for a while. We had some initial pedal drawings that we were happy with around October 2012, but for one reason or another we decided the timing wasn't right to invest in the pedal molds and kept it on the back burner. Then almost a year later in Sept 2013 we went back to the drawing board started working with Alex and gave them a complete overhaul. We received the RP samples around the end of November, made a couple minor adjustments and then went with it. We recently received production samples a couple weeks back, and there are couple fine adjustments that need to be made, and the pedals will be out in July, and on a bunch of our 2015 complete bikes.
What sort of features/feel was Alex looking to put into a pedal?
It's the old cliché but clean and simple! There are a lot of more modern looking types of pedal and design that are around now, but we wanted something that kept the streamline look that you get with a metal pedal, so not too bulky, but retaining enough strength when using a Nylon material. This is why we went with a Nylon/Fiberglass compound and kept the design close to that of some of the more classic looking pedals. A nice concave, hexagonal pins along with a knurled body for extra grip, and a nice shape and profile viewed from above and the side.
The camo color looks sick, what other options are available?
Just black for now as well as the camo.
Sealed or unsealed?
Unsealed, we toyed with some designs for ultra slim pedals, using sealed bearings etc., but for us it didn't make sense. To make the investment in a sealed bearing nylon pedal, the body is liable to wear out before the bearings, so it doesn't make a lot of sense. It was also key for us that we wanted these pedals to go on our complete bikes, so the unsealed option was a no brainer.
When will be available for the masses?
Any other signature products or new products in general in the works?
Quite a few. We have a revamped Geoff Slattery frame and bars called the 'G-Slat' as well as a new grip for Geoff. Mothership V3 frame and XXL bars, Rigal XL bars, a re-release on Corey's signature bars, Dinero V2 forks, Supreme forks, Solid Supreme Sprocket, Tripod Seats, a 2.4" version of the Direct Tire, all along with the 2015 complete bikes, all of this will also be available in July!