The Catalyst Pedal from Pedaling Innovations is the world’s best performing, most comfortable pedal – period.
It is the first pedal that looks first at how the foot and lower leg optimally move then applies that insight to the bike.
The result is a patent pending design that supports your foot the way that nature intended, increasing power, efficiency, stability and comfort.
“When I first saw them, I thought it might be a gimmick, but that thought ended with my first ride with them. I was amazed at the power transfer on the climbs, and I went up a few technical climbs that I’ve always had to hike-a-bike.
Just when I thought I was convinced these were good pedals, I came downhill and realized these are GREAT pedals. The balance, weight transfer, and control was totally improved. I couldn’t believe what a game changer this was.”
Brian L. – San Diego, CA
The story behind the Catalyst Pedal…
A little over a year ago I was sitting on the trail pissed off at the lack of support I was getting from my shoes and pedals.
Like a lot of you, I constantly had to deal with the compromises that came between a stiff soled shoe for performance and a pliable soled shoe for comfort. As a flat pedal rider I also dealt with the constant adjustments I felt like I had to make to get my foot just right on the pedal and how easily it could get knocked out of that position.
While I sat there I wondered to myself why don’t I need a stiff soled shoe to squat or deadlift in the gym? As a strength coach I often worked out barefoot or with minimalist shoes and encouraged clients to train the same way.
I had lifted hundreds of pounds in bare feet – putting them under far more stress than they ever saw on the bike – so I knew that the foot was a naturally strong and stable platform. But for some reason my feet turned into an unstable, unbalanced mess on the bike.
And suddenly it hit me – when lifting in the gym the ground supports both ends of the arch of my foot. The arch is one of the strongest forms in nature but only if it is supported on both ends.
Once you support both ends of the arch the foot is strong, stable and balanced. This is why you don’t need stiff soled shoes in the gym and good coaches will actually tell you not to come up on your toes. Pushing through the ball of the foot in the gym destabilizes the arch of the foot and make it harder to recruit the hips, which are the strongest muscles in the lower body.
An idea is born…
At that moment I knew I had to see if I was on to something. I realized that every pedal ever designed has been made from the assumption that you need to push through the ball of the foot.
However, this is an outdated view of the pedal stroke.
The foot and lower leg act very differently depending on one thing…does your foot break contact with the ground (or whatever it is on)?
You see, you only want to push through the ball of the foot when you want your foot to break contact with what it is on. So if I was walking, running, trying to jump over a car speeding at me or trying to jump off of my bike then yes, in those instances I would want to push through the ball of the foot.
But I’m not doing any of those things when riding my bike and since my foot stays in contact with the pedal throughout the pedal stroke, it wants to act much differently. In this case it is more like the squat or deadlift in the gym, where I want to have both ends of the arch of my foot supported so I can drive through a strong, stable foot.
And just in case you think you might lose some power from not being able to use your ankle and calf muscles to push and pull, this study (J.R. Van Sickle Jr, M.L Hull/ Journal of Biomechanics 2007) showed no difference in power or economy between the ball of the foot and the mid-foot position…which means that the ball of the foot isn’t “better” or it would have won. At worst you won’t lose anything by using the mid-foot position.
However, it did show an important difference in how that power was produced. They found that driving through the ball of the foot placed more stress on the calf muscles and Achilles tendon, while the mid-foot placement took that stress and put it on the hips.
This is interesting when you consider that the hips – and not the quads – have been shown to be the major drivers of the pedal stroke (ELMER, S. J., P. R. BARRATT, T. KORFF, and J. C. MARTIN. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2011). Taken together, all of this points to a pedaling platform that optimizes the mid-foot placement to best recruit the hips, which are the main muscles used to power the pedal stroke.
Which is exactly what I did with the Catalyst Pedal. By providing a platform that lets you support both ends of the arch of your foot, the Catalyst Pedal supports your foot the same way the ground would, allowing for a more balanced, stable foot position and increased power transfer into the drivetrain.
How it works…
To accomplish this the Catalyst Pedal features a full 5 inches/ 128 mm of contact space for your foot. This allows the pedal body to support both the ball of the foot and the heel while also resulting in a true mid-foot placement of the axle.
However, the Catalyst Pedal isn’t any wider than a normal flat pedal – 3.75 inches/ 95 mm to be exact. This means that it disappears under your foot and doesn’t expose any extra pedal body to rock strikes. This also means that the Catalyst Pedal is actually smaller underfoot than any other “oversized” flat pedal.
In order to get the most out of your Catalyst Pedals you just need to do one simple thing…
Make sure that axle is in the middle of your arch.
On the Catalyst Pedal this foot position will make sure that you are able to support both ends of your arch. No other pedal on the market is long enough to accomplish this, which is what makes the Catalyst Pedal so effective.
This also means that you will probably need to consciously place your foot further forward than you are used to. In fact, you do not want the ball of the foot completely on the pedal – if it is then your foot is too far back to make full use of this new and improved platform for your foot.
With the ball of the foot on the pedal you are forced to push forward – literally trying to kick your foot off of the pedal as you pedal. This is why most pedals run a lot of pins in the middle of the pedal body and/ or put a concave design into the pedal to cradle the ball of the foot – you have to fight that forward push to keep your feet on the pedals.
But when you move the foot forward it balances the forces going into the pedal. Now you can drive down into a strong, stable platform without having to fight those forward forces, which is why the Catalyst Pedal doesn’t need an excessive amount of pins in the middle of the pedal body or a concave design.
The Catalyst Pedal
creating a balanced push into the pedals.
This foot placement improves your pedaling in 3 ways:
1) POWER – By supporting both ends of the arch of the foot you naturally support the arch itself, which gets rid of flex in the arch. An arch that is only supported on one side is weak and flexible while one that is supported on both sides is strong and stable. By supporting the arch with the pedal body itself you get rid of the foot flex you usually need stiff soled shoes for. This improves power transfer since the pedal body itself is far stiffer than even the stiffest soled shoes, which means every bit of power your legs produce go straight into the crank arms.
2) EFFICIENCY – The mid-foot placement of the axle balances the foot, which takes stress off of the ankle joint and allows for better recruitment of the hips. The hips have also been shown to be the major muscles used when pedaling, not your quads (ELMER, S. J., P. R. BARRATT, T. KORFF, and J. C. MARTIN. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2011). The mid-foot position has also been shown to shift the stress from the ankles to the hips (J.R. Van Sickle Jr, M.L Hull/ Journal of Biomechanics 2007). This means the mid-foot position allows your body to better recruit the main muscles powering the pedal stroke.
3) COMFORT & STABILITY – The more balanced foot position achieved from this pedal design will result in a more balanced application of force into the pedals. Instead of pushing forward into the pedal through the ball of the foot you will push straight down through the entire foot. This will result in less stress on the feet since you aren’t pushing them into the toe box of your shoes with every pedal stroke, plus your feet won’t push over the top and come off during hard sprints on the trail.
Now you can let your foot move naturally on the pedal with the same type of articulation and support it was designed to thrive on. The Catalyst Pedal is the only pedal in the world that looks first at how the foot and lower leg optimally move and then applies that insight to the bike.
In fact, I’m so confident that you’ll love the Catalyst Pedal that I’ll back it up with a full 30 day money back guarantee.
Spend a few weeks on them, try your regular pedals again and then decide if they are right for you. If you don’t notice an increase in stability, comfort and power then send them back and I’ll give you your money back…let’s see any other pedal company make a promise like that.
So if you are looking for a better way to pedal your bike…one that works with your body’s natural ways of moving instead of forcing old, outdated theories about the pedal stroke on us…then start your journey to a better ride by clicking on the Shop Now button below and getting the one and only Catalyst Pedal.
Still not convinced that the Catalyst Pedal is right for you? I understand, it can be hard to go against everything you have heard about the pedal stroke. But the truth is that the there are logical and scientific reasons for this view of the pedal stroke.
I’d like to send you a collection of articles and studies I have put together to explain how flat pedals can help you improve your pedal stroke and skills on the trail and why this foot placement is the optimal for power and stability. Maybe the Catalyst Pedal isn’t for you but at least you can get more out of your riding by understanding the best way to use flats and clipless pedals.
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