John Winkie is a compulsive competitor. His sporting career spans five decades and the range of sports has been varied. In his mid 60’s he continues to ride road and mountain bikes and also races an enduro motorcycle. His Ducati is used mainly for coffee trips.
John has always had an ability to innovate – an ability created through necessity during the early days of motorcross when motorcycles designed for the road had to be modified for off road use. Innovation turned to invention and John is now the named inventor in some 15 patents.
1983 was when the Keywin Speed Pedal was born. It pioneered the “twist-out release” principle now adopted by virtually all pedal makers. The initial idea for the Speed Pedal came in a shocking and dramatic way. John had seen a rider trapped in his toe clips fall into the path of an oncoming vehicle. Within twelve hours the seeds of the Speed Pedal were born.
The pedal was enormously successful and in conjunction with Look, made the world change to clipless pedal systems through the 80s.
The Keywin company was established a little later, the name coming from a simple transposition of the syllables in Winkie. Keywin Sports Ltd was formed to market the Speed Pedal. Since then many other manufacturers have followed the lead but no manufacturer has managed to duplicate the lightweight, performance and practicality of the Speed Pedal. Although the design is now 25 years old devotees just will not give them up and continue to buy new.
1992 saw the introduction of the Keywin SL pedal and 1997 the Keywin CRM. Both broke new ground in performance and features at the time. Even today, no other manufacturer has been able to duplicate the internal radial movement system which overcomes so many of other pedals wear problems.
John also developed a computer programme for fast reporting of cycle tour results. In the 80’s it was not unusual for results to be delayed hours for GC results – John’s programme reduced this to a few minutes of the judges final decision of race placings.
Not content to stop at the Speed Pedal, John continued research into other areas of cycling, identifying problems and solving them with the introduction of more Keywin products the most significant being Keywin Anti Chafing Cream which is a world leader in solving saddle soreness and other chafing problems in cycling and other sports.