The claim is the with Pedaling Innovation Catalyst Pedal is that by moving your foot forward on the pedal and having your arch supported at both ends, you can generate more power.
The second claim by Pedaling Innovation Catalyst Pedal is that you can pedal more efficiently. By placing the foot in the middle of the pedal, stress is taken off the ankle and allows for better actuation from the hips.
Pedaling Stability and Comfort
The last claim from Pedaling Innovation about the Catalyst Pedal is that by having your foot balanced stability and comfort is improved.
James Wilson operates MTB Strenth Training Systems and after years of coaching mounting biking strength training he discovered a missing link between the rider and the bike. James discovered that similar to barefoot weight lifting movements could also be applied to biking. The translation of this to biking was the Catalyst pedal. It is a large long oversized (143 mm long, 95 mm wide, and 16 mm thick) pedal weighing in at 505 grams and costing $99. The pedals are made from heat treated 6061 T6 aluminum. They are manufactured by VP Components a trusted name in the bike industry for years. They have single DU bushing and dual sealed bearings. The spindle is a heat treated Cr-Mo standard 6 mm Allen. The pedals have a staggering 18 pins per side at each end of the pedal to connect to the shoe on each end of the arch. Additional 8 mm replacement pins are included for additional traction.
This video from Pedaling Innovation founder James Wilson explains his science behind this new pedal design and theory.
My review experience on Pedaling Innovations Catalyst Pedals
I was introduced to Pedal Innovation in early 2018 when I was demoing a bike for the day with Pedal Innovation Pedals on it. The unusual size and shape caught my attention and wanted to know more. I went over to pedaling Innovations website and researched a the theory and logic behind the oversized mountain bike pedal.
My current go to flat pedal is the crank brothers stamp 3. An already large pedal that I have grown to love. Riding smaller flat pedals just feels weird now. But the Catalyst Pedal is suppose to be more than just an oversized pedal, it’s a new idea, of getting off the balls of your feet and into the middle of the foot on the pedal.
In the box
Inside the box there are instructions on foot placement, the pedals, and extra long pins.
Having been fighting knee problems for years I can’t spend more that a couple hours on a set of clipless pedals. I’ve found the freedom and “float” offered with flats allow me to adjust my foot to different locations on the pedal to relieve stress, use different muscles, and offer a rest to other muscles. This seemed to help and allow me to go on much longer 3 to 4 hour rides without the fear of pain. Pedaling Innovations seemed like an obvious solution or at least a viable option to extend my rides, and reduce my discomfort.
I’ve now put about a hundred miles on the pedals. Climbing and descending felt much different with the pedal axis under the arch of the foot. Driving through the middle of the foot as opposed to the ball of the foot took some real getting use to. Right away I didn’t feel like I could generate as much power as I did from the ball of my foot. I did however, noticed a feeling of more stability and control when climbing and descending.
As read in other online reviews of the Pedaling Innovation Catalyst pedals I too had a problem keeping my heels down when descending. I would find when hammering through a rough section, my heels would begin to bounce off the back pins. This isn’t something I’ve experienced with my other pedals. I am going to continue working on this technique to find a placement to see if this improves overtime, and will keep this updated.
As for the claim of more power, I didn’t feel like I was generating more, but perceived power is always a hard to gauge. I don’t currently ride with a power meter on the mountain bike, but I would love to have some real data on the actual watt output when compared to conventional flat pedals.
Compared to standard pedals
In the photo below I compare the length of the Catalyst Pedal to the Crankbrothers Stamp 3 (which is a big pedal). You can see the Catalyst extends well beyond the length of the Stamps. They are approximately the same width.
My overall take on the Pedaling Innovation Catalyst pedals is that they offer more control over traditional flat pedals. The large over-sized platform and long pins provide ample traction, especially when pared with a mountain bike specific shoe (I’m currently riding the 5.10 Contact Pro). There was a consistent problem when on the pedals descending through rough sections where my heels would get bumped off the pedals. The biggest benefit to the Catalyst pedal is that it helped reduce my knee pain. I found that by dropping my seat slightly (As recommended in the instructions) and leaving the seat in the same for-and-aft position, I was able to reduce a lot of strain, and shearing. However, I did feel like I lost a little bit of power with this. I was very happy to feel a slight loss in power to relieve the knee pain. After putting over 100 miles on them, my knees felt stronger and more stable after a ride using the catalyst pedal. I think they are a great option for someone who prefers flat platform pedals, likes alternative ways of thinking, and enjoys the ability to adjust foot placement during a ride. They cost slightly less than some other oversize flat pedals on the market and are produced by a well known company. It’s worth having a pare in your work box to use from time to time,for alternate training. The pedals defiantly work different muscles in the quads, ham and glutes.
To check out more, or pick up a pair of Pedal Innovation Catalyst Pedals Please visit their website here.