Chien King’s rice-husk pedals smell good enough to eat

Tough new biotechnology could be on its way to a budget bike near you

It’s not every day that we’re invited to smell a pedal, but that’s exactly what Tony Liang of Chien King Industrial Co asked us to do at a press conference in Taiwan. Liang is the brains behind the catchily-named CK-UB2RH pedal, a piece of biotechnology that could find its way to a bike near you.

Tony liang is very proud of his pedals:
Tony liang is very proud of his pedals:

Tony Liang is proud of his pedals

Biotechnology refers to products that are made from living organisms, and Liang’s pedals are formed from the husks of rice, a crop we don’t need to tell you is quite plentiful in Asia. Sometimes used as a low-grade fertiliser or fuel, rice husks (or hulls) are the hard outer casings that protect rice grains as they grow. With some processing, they can be formed into tough objects – like pedals.

Rice husks are the hard outer casings of rice grains: rice husks are the hard outer casings of rice grains
Rice husks are the hard outer casings of rice grains: rice husks are the hard outer casings of rice grains

As a byproduct that’s produced in immense quantities, rice husks have the advantage of being cheap and sustainable. Their use as a construction material seems like a win-win: it’s potentially an additional source of revenue for rice farmers, and it puts to good use a raw material that might otherwise be wasted.

With the semi-raw finish that was on display, the CK-UB2RH has (perhaps unsurprisingly) a curiously organic appearance, but apart from the construction material it’s entirely conventional, with built-in reflectors and a basic steel spindle. What’s rather less conventional is that these pedals have an enticing, sweet aroma. They actually smell rather like food.  

The CK-UB2RH is an entry-level platform pedal of the kind fitted to cheap bikes the world over. It won’t set the hearts of serious mountain bikers or roadies a-flutter, but if it’s a success, who knows what might come next? Liang hopes to expand the range to include more pedal types, and he's considering other applications for his novel material. 

Today platform pedals, tomorrow...?: today platform pedals, tomorrow...?
Today platform pedals, tomorrow...?: today platform pedals, tomorrow...?

BikeRadar is on a media tour of Taiwan, hosted by TAITRA, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council. TAITRA is promoting the Taipei International Cycle Show which takes place from March 2-5 2016. We’ll be posting more highlights from our travels over the coming days.

Matthew Allen

Senior Technical Writer, UK
Former bike mechanic, builder of wheels, hub fetishist and lover of shiny things. Likes climbing a lot, but not as good at it as he looks.
  • Discipline: Road, with occasional MTB dalliances
  • Preferred Terrain: Long mountain climbs followed by high-speed descents (that he doesn't get to do nearly often enough), plus scaring himself off-road when he outruns his skill set.
  • Current Bikes: Scott Addict R3 2014, Focus Cayo Disc 2015, Niner RLT 9
  • Dream Bike: Something hideously expensive and custom with external cables and a threaded bottom bracket because screw you bike industry.
  • Beer of Choice: Cider, please. Thistly Cross from Scotland
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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