Pedaling Innovations Introduces the Catalyst Pedal

Oct 5, 2015
by Pedaling Innovations  
Views: 7,566    Faves: 17    Comments: 0


Born from a simple insight, the Catalyst Pedal from Pedaling Innovations is looking to change the way we look at powering our bikes. By looking first at how the foot and lower leg optimally move and then applying that to the bike, the Catalyst Pedal provides the type of platform your foot was designed to thrive on.

Up until this point every pedal has been designed based on the outdated view that you had to push through the ball of the foot. However, this is only the case when your foot breaks contact with what it is on. So when you walk, run or jump then you do need to push through the ball of the foot.

But we now know that when the foot stays in contact with what it is on – like it does during the pedal stroke – that it wants to stay balanced between the front and back of the foot and push through the mid-foot. This creates a strong, stable arch and foot and balances the forces being applied by the foot.

We also know that you don't need to use your ankle and calf muscles to push and pull for power. 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 stabilizes the foot by supporting both ends of the arch and optimizes the mid-foot placement to better recruit the hips, which are the main drivers of the pedal stroke.

And this is exactly what we did with the Catalyst Pedal.

The Catalyst Pedal from Pedaling Innovations. Learn more at http www.pedalinginnovations.com.

To accomplish this it gives you the longest platform available – 5 inches/ 128 mm. While some oversized flat pedals come close to this length, through testing we found that there is a “critical mass” that is reached with the Catalyst Pedal which allows it to connect both ends of the arch of the foot.

The Catalyst Pedal is also no wider than a normal flat pedal – 3.75 inches/ 95 mm. This means that it is narrower than any other oversized flat pedal, disappearing underfoot and not exposing any extra pedal body to rock strikes.

Tested over the last 8 months on a variety of trails in the Fruita/ Grand Junction CO and Moab UT areas, the result is a patent pending design that supports your foot the same way the ground does. This creates a strong, stable platform for your foot that is not available with any other pedal.

This improved foot position and support has 3 main benefits:

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.As mentioned earlier, the hips have 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 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 that optimizing 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.

All of this adds up to an improved experience for your foot on the bike. And since your foot is one of the major contact points with your bike this can have a dramatic impact on your riding.


The Catalyst Pedal from Pedaling Innovations. Learn more at http www.pedalinginnovations.com.


In fact, we are so confident in this pedal design that we back it up with a money-back guarantee – if it doesn’t improve your power, stability and comfort then we’ll be happy to refund your investment.

Right now we are working hard to bring the Catalyst Pedal to the market by the end of the year. We have teamed up with VP Components - makers of VP Pedals – to handle our manufacturing and the first order is placed so it is just a matter of getting them made and delivered.

You can learn more about the story, science and logic behind the Catalyst Pedal Right by visiting www.pedalinginnovations.com. You can also pre-order your pair at a special pre-sale discount now through Saturday October 10th.

With over 400 pairs sold so far around the world, we are looking forward to bringing the evolution of the pedal to riders everywhere.


The Catalyst Pedal from Pedaling Innovations. Learn more at http www.pedalinginnovations.com.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Catalyst Pedal


Q: Don't I need my ankles to help smooth out bumps on the trail/ act as extra suspension?

A: I'm not going to argue about someone's personal riding style and preference. However, as a strength coach I know that a more stable foot allows the rest of the body to relax and move better which will more than make up for a few lost inches of movement out of your ankles. Your body needs a certain amount of stability and if you destabilize the foot then it tries to make up for it with stiffness in other areas of the body.

I mean, try it for yourself - get up and balance on the balls of you feet while trying to get down into a mock Attack Position like you are on your bike. Now try to do it with your heels down and your foot balanced. There is a huge difference in how smoothly you can move and while you may not realize it, this is happening to you on the bike to some degree when you balance on the balls of your feet.

Using your ankles as extra suspension can also result in an ankle getting snapped back and sprained (I've been there before myself). I'd also like to point out that most pedals are set up for you to be on the ball of the foot and so it is hard to say what someone's preference would be on pedals that changed the platform and balance points. If you feel that it works for you and you are not interested in trying something new that could be better then that is fine but that technique certainly isn't "right" and there are some arguments against it.

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Q: Don't you need a concave design and/ or more pins in the middle?

A: Not with this design. When you are on the ball of the foot then your pressure points on the pedal are more in the middle of the pedal body and pushing forward. This requires a lot of pins and/ or a concave design to combat.

Forward pressure on the foot caused by normal flat pedal designs.
Balanced pressure created by the Catalyst Pedal.

However, the Catalyst Pedal balanced the weight on your foot and puts the pressure at the front and back edge of the pedal body. This means that you don't need as many pins on the middle or a concave design since your pressure points have changed and you are not fighting the forward weight shift that comes from being on the ball of your foot.

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Q: Don't I need to use my ankles for leverage when pedaling/ Won’t pushing with my ankle help me add power to the pedal stroke compared to just letting the calf muscle do nothing?

A: This study (J.R. Van Sickle Jr, M.L Hull/ Journal of Biomechanics 2007) showed now difference between the ball of the foot or the mid-foot position in power or economy. It also showed that the mid-foot position placed less stress on the calf and Achilles tendon and instead suggested that the stress was placed on the hips instead.

This means that the mid foot position better recruits the hips and that the ball of the foot isn't "better". If it was it would have won, not just tied. In fact, from a functional movement standpoint taking the stress off of the smaller ankle joint and putting it at the stronger, bigger hip joint is how the body is meant to move. Your calf needs to act as a stabilizer for the ankle so it can help transfer the power from the hips and when you try to move it to “add” to the power you decrease that power transfer and place extra stress on a more sensitive joint.

And if you look at kids or people in 3rd world countries ride their bikes they are almost always mid-foot on the pedals - this is the natural riding position and unless someone at some point told you that you needed to push through the ball of the foot odds are you wouldn't have learned it.

Again, I can’t argue with your success and if the ball of the foot works for you and you don’t want to try something that could be better then that is fine. My point is simply that using your ankle for leverage isn’t “right” and in fact I could argue goes against how your body is built to optimally move.

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Q: Don’t you need to pull up on the backstroke?

A: The short answer is no. The Korff (et al. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2007; 39:991-995) and Mornieux (et al. Int J Sports Med 2008; 29:817-822) Cycling Efficiency Studies clearly show that pulling up on the backstroke produces less power and burns more energy than simply driving hard on the downstroke and letting the trail leg come up just hard enough to get ready for the next hard downstroke push.

In all my years of looking I have found no studies or evidence that supports the theory that you need to pull up on the backstroke and I have an open challenge to anyone who can show me some. This was just a theory that sounded great but now that we can actually look at what is happening during the pedal stroke the evidence clearly shows that pulling up on the backstroke is not the "right" way to pedal. Follow us here on Pinkbike at @PedalingInnovations

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The Pedaling Innovations Logo. Learn more at http www.pedalinginnovations.com.



180 Comments

  • 124 4
 "longer is better than wider"


That's what she said.
  • 32 0
 Dammit Michael
  • 17 44
flag moose-tastes-good (Oct 5, 2015 at 19:06) (Below Threshold)
 Is it just me or do these look like every other pair of flat pedals?
  • 21 3
 they are every other type of flats, except these come with instructions on where to put the pedal
  • 9 1
 You could still use them the time-trued method,
You'd just very slightly break all of your toes.

Also: Shin Bites...
  • 5 5
 Try telling Ratboy to use bigger pedals & I think he'd tell you where to go.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/12669542
  • 5 0
 As diverse as riders and terrain are, these seem to address only one type of riding preference. It comes across as his answer to clipless pedals. different preferences and styles prefer or need different platform styles. The stability factor makes sense but only when planted for pedaling. you still drop your heels 99% of the time for traction which articulates your ankles. Doesn't your ankle come out of 90deg as soon as you pass tdc? Interesting stuff goin on ...
"Plus everything" I guess?
  • 7 5
 This may also be the first PB article to feature sources....rather than just spouting info...they site too many...almost like they're trying to overcompensate/justify this pedal.

From an academia POV many of the sources are pretty irrelevant considering some of them are nearly 10 years old.
  • 2 0
 @fullbug exactly, this doesn't really think about dropping heels, or lifting heels (dem hops doe) and i for one know i move my ankles around a fair bit when descending and even when climbing, to pop over things and shoot my bike forward over obstacles. i think there is no one way to address how people ride and improving no such, hence all the options in the market, rather than deciding for the people how to ride, let them put their stuff together and let them decide what to ride.

that said, boost is still dumb
  • 1 0
 the "ball of the foot" was a clipless pedal problem not a flat pedal go to. the back of your foot powers, the mid stabilizes and the ball aims. it's nature. the 3rd world reference was weird in this context. it's like referring to their general health as a dietary weight loss example.
  • 11 0
 @rupintart I guess that until anyone cites any better or more recent counter study they are as relevant as it gets.
  • 7 2
 " 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."

"if it doesn’t improve your power, stability and comfort then we’ll be happy to refund your investment."

...but you already said it wouldn't, it'll at best tie...
  • 1 0
 Speaking of critical mass. . . these things look heavy. Did they even mention weight?
  • 1 0
 @Everlasting2108 good point, plus you lose the ability to use your calf muscle for either balance or power or dropping your heals with their positioning... looks like they'll have to be refunding a lot of pedals
  • 2 0
 I'd try it. What i think would be better is a clipless pedal that allows some float on the forward/back axis so one can position their foot as needed, like one would with flat pedals. I ride clipless but not for efficiency, for stability and moving my foot is the only thing I miss.

The idea that this us pedal is good because you only use the ball of your foot when pushing off the ground doesn't help sell it to me. I'm bouncing from one thing to the next when I'm going downhill. Seems like this product needs to figure out their target market. Flat pedal riders generally don't care that much about pedaling efficiency, hence the floppy shoes with flat pedals.
  • 1 0
 *The idea that this pedal is good because...
  • 2 0
 I ride flat pedals, and I actually do care about efficiency. I try to pull backwards at the bottom of the stroke, when it's more or less flat, although I have no idea if that actually helps. I ride trails with lots of jumps and fast rock gardens, and being clipped in for that honestly scares the shit out of me. Sure, when I ride XC trails it would be nice to have a little more efficiency, but overall I think the bad outweighs the good
  • 3 0
 I can understand not liking the idea of being clipped in for gnar and big jumps, I was once like you in that regard. Now I'm scared shitless to be not clipped in on rough stuff especially. Not saying one is better than the other. It's good to switch it up occasionally, uses different muscles, stance, and technique. My crank bros clip pedals are also flats so Sometimes I forget my bike shoes and say wth, then I nearly get bucked off the pedals because I'm so used to being locked in.
  • 2 0
 @rupintart Biomechanics is just like computer science, everything becomes redundant in 6 months. We're all moving completely differently these days, those 10 year old studies might as well have been published in the stone age.
  • 36 0
 How about some specs? So suppose we believe you on the biomechanical part of this...how about some data on the pedal design. All sealed bearings? all bushings? both? rebuildable at home?

A lot of research to support longer is better, but still not desirable if they don't rotate after one muddy ride, or pins rip out too easy, etc.

We're (mostly) experienced bikers that will be looking for $100+ flat pedals and the sales pitch is strictly ergonomic. Please...enlighten us...is there a specific VP pedal who's parts will swap right over?

Everyone can make a pedal that runs well for 2 rides....let us know the construction of yours please.
  • 3 0
 I'm surprised to not see a mention of the bearing / bushing arrangement in the article. Like the idea and the science seems sound, could be good for people like myself with existing ankle injuries.... but its a bit damp in the UK and i want to know these will survive - enlighten us please @jameswilson
  • 6 2
 OR a shoe that IS a pedal and it clips into the crankarm?! ....Anyone?
  • 34 6
 I call shenanigans on all of the words that I read in this article!
  • 11 3
 Agreed. Read the studies. Little flaky.

And laugh at the "patent pending" bit. Adding a few mm to a pedal doesn't make you innovative and if they do land the patent it'll get tossed out prefty quick. I can't make an 860mm handlebar and patent it based off length alome.
  • 18 4
 First off, biomechanics is based on "ideal, textbook human anatomy" which barely exists in real life. Everyone has different length, shape, arrangement of bones and muscles. Biomechanics is a tool for understanding certain concepts. It is completely ignorant to make broad generalizations with it, especially for marketing purposes. Now, on to the rest of the write-up:

(1) J.R. Van Sickle Jr, M.L Hull in 2007. This study is based on spin-bike steady cadence riding. Is it appropriate to extrapolate this to XC (stand-up sprint climbs, changing dropper positions, etc) or DH (for obvious reasons)? Roadies, maybe. This also makes me wonder why everyone has a dropper now. Is it not to change positions so we can recruit other muscles for specific tasks? Maybe I'll take a measurement of my calf now at the end of the riding season and measure again in March when I'm nice and soft... I suspect I've used my calf to help at some point this season.

(2) Elmer, S. J., P. R. Barratt, T. Koroff, and J. C. Martin in 2011. Fair statement but, again, base on spin-bike steady cadence which may/may not apply to mtb (seated, standing, dropper high or low). And mostly irrelevant to lift-assisted DH riders.

(3) "Taken together, all of this points to a pedaling platform that stabilizes the foot by supporting both ends of the arch and optimizes the mid-foot placement to better recruit the hips, which are the main drivers of the pedal stroke." Correct me if I'm wrong, but is the arch not the most stable when the subtalar joint is supinated (ie traditional forefoot spd placement on the downstroke)? This the most stable your arch can get. Tell me about the most common shoe to use with flats? 5-10s? Mostly made with softer materials (no carbon stabilizers like in roadie/XC shoes). So the foot will stationary in that?

tl;dr. I also call BS.
  • 7 0
 I'd be happy to give some a go, but honestly, how can you patent a long pedal? Is that some kind of joke?
  • 17 1
 It is the American Dream, Jaame everything needs to be patented and even morning turd needs a lawyer. And yes article quotes scientific studies, very suspicious. James did not understand that PB audience likes FEST not FACT. He must add add 26" specific and "f#ck boost" laser etchings.
  • 3 0
 @cracher The medial longitudinal arch is indeed most stable with the subtalar joint supinated but the foot as a whole is less stable.
  • 8 0
 This is like the first article on pinkbike to actually bother citing sources rather than the usual industry hyperbole, and now we're calling shennaigans? Tell me, how do companies actually justify selling you carbon soled XC shoes and hyper light XC clipless pedals? Answer: they call them more efficient, then proceed to give you no data or sources justifying that claim.

Jesus, for all the crap we love to give companies here, we sure are accepting of their claims.
  • 8 0
 It is much stranger for me that people talk bullcrap on wheelsize science, oval ring science, clipless pedal science while NOBODY dares to enter the "science" territory when it comes to geometry and suspension. There is no smart arse coming up with new damper saying that according to this and that research such damper architecture is "better", and you can see this and that rider being better. Nobody comes up with "science" when talking supposed superiority of a certain head angle or reach over another. Where is science behind wide bars?! There isn't, people make something all the time and some of it proves better without the need of being put under scientific scrutiny.

The fact is, there are different "sciences" in this world and we can observe countless examples of it in MTB. There is The Science where someone makes a research according to scientific method, and even if input or application isn't perfectly relevant to the case, it is still a scientific method like research papers James referenced. And then there are things people call "science" for their own purposes like to appear smarter (like to sell the product) or just to shut someone up with a high fly word. It becomes some magic force, a leviathan that regular blokes claim to be friends with. Like God for dumber part of religious people. So when someone says "this and that is better - it's science" in relation to bike parts or gear, it generally lights up synapses in my brain responsible for expressing the sentence: "what a stupid prick"
  • 1 0
 I'm bow legged

Can I get some peddles that lean outwards? Big Grin

Some peddles that lean inwards for the knock knees among us too.
  • 4 0
 Shenanigans for good reason, as @cracher thoughtfully pointed out. All those studies are based on seated spins. These studies are relevant to (and often cited in) endurance riding and triathlons (where they have even more incentive to protect their calves.... they need to run after they finish the bike). Mtb is nothing like triathlon riding; we're always up off the saddle, moving around over the bike, etc. If mtb pedaling style has a parallel in road racing it's probably sprinters (off the seat, accelerating).... and they mount their cleats forward.

But if you're out for long days of riding and worried about burning out your calves, then by all means move the cleat back. I just think the calves/ankles play too big a role in balance, mobility over the seat, and acceleration to take them out of the equation.
  • 1 0
 @WAKI: I agree on the science part of your story. But what if that research was the whole reason they started 'improving' the old pedal (used the thingies around the word improving because I can't say anything as long as I haven't tried these personally). That would change the situation imo and make it reasonable to use the word science.
  • 2 0
 2 RichardScottDesign: Sidi and Specialized shoes account for the fact people’s feet are not exactly horizontal. Spesh even provide wedge inserts of different types to accommodate for varus/valgus in feet. This, I guess, should also apply in case legs themselves aren’t perfectly straight.
  • 1 0
 If my legs were straight I'd need a frame size XL instead of L ????
  • 1 0
 No good guessing with my money @rdaysky
  • 18 0
 Coincidentally, a few weekends ago I started riding some new flat pedals which are almost 15mm longer (front to back) than what I'm used to riding. They felt odd at first, but I definitely feel some extra comfort and a bit more power transfer to the pedal.

I only have a dozen rides on them, so maybe I just need to get used to them, but the only place I don't find them to be quite as good is on steep tech climbs. I feel like I have a better level of control with my shorter pedals as it's easier to get my weight forward (and over the front end) when trying to get the bike over taller obstacles, like boulders, logs, ledges, etc... This is more noticeable on steeper terrain. Which makes sense since it's easier to pivot your foot/leg/body over the axle with shorter pedals.

128mm seems awfully long. I can see how they'd work well on longer non-technical gravel grinders, but I have a feeling they would hinder bike control in tech section where you really need to be dynamic over the bike.

my $0.02 worth
  • 6 0
 two cents,but you hit the nail.
  • 3 0
 I imagine that there's a diminishing return at some point. Maybe this pedal can help explore that
  • 5 0
 What about a stiff flat pedal shoe? Think about it.... Clip pedals come very small. The shoes that go with them have a carbon or plastic sole making them very stiff. I ride both and I feel like my flat shoes are way to soft and flexible. I don't want a carbon sole flat shoe by any means... but what would a good quality stiff flat shoe do with a traditional length pedal?
  • 4 1
 I ride with 5.10 Freerider VXI shoes and they have a super stiff sole. I ride fairly normal size pedals and the combo works great. There is practically no sensation of the pedal or pins under my foot
  • 2 0
 I use the same shoe.... But I am wearing through the rubber where the pins are. Can't feel the pins yet but they don't feel very stiff. Maybe I need new shoes. I don't think I will buy those again and not because I don't like them. Just looking for stiffer stuff.
  • 1 0
 My old 5.10's got much softer after a few seasons, but my current VXi's are still super stiff after one season. I think new shoes is what you need
  • 4 0
 The spesh 2fos are definately the stiffest shoes I have ever ridden. They don't grip quite as good as the impacts but they are worlds stiffer.
  • 4 0
 This pedal has nothing to do with distributing weight over the bike as axle ends up close to the same spot as with regular pedals. Also it has to be mentioned that recent trend with clipless, for people who actually have even basic skills, not just spin circles, is to move the cleat further back.
  • 3 0
 5.10 Freerider VXI shoes and they have a super stiff sole - really? have you used a shoe with an actual super stiff sole? the VXi's are soft as s...
  • 1 0
 Daver27 - I bought VXIs after 4 years on Impacts 2 and initial impression has been awesome, for lightness and waterproofing, but after some time, that softer sole starts to annoy me. Maybe these pedals could solve it.
  • 2 0
 @wcjrush If you are looking for a stiff sole flat pedal shoes @gr8day4ridin nailed it. The specialized 2f0 is noticeably stiffer than any 5.10. Obviously don't grip like 5.10s (no shoe does) but they are pretty close especially after breaking in a little bit.
  • 3 0
 I've got a pair ordered. I rode on a prototype of these pedals and can honestly say that half way into the ride I forgot about them until I stood up and pedaled through a ledgy rock section. My feet stayed stable (riding VXIs) and it felt like I could put more power into my pedal stroke. The descent felt confident too. I'm no scientist, but they felt great to me.
  • 18 1
 "And if you look at kids or people in 3rd world countries ride their bikes they are almost always mid-foot on the pedals"

What was I thinking studying Gwin, Barel, Graves riding when it was these third world kids who are the real pros. I'm never going to load my front wheel up around a corner.

Did you really put that in the article? Or should I say infomercial. WOW

Buy 2 and get a free shamwow!!
  • 1 0
 LOL
  • 2 0
 Hey Shamwows work.
  • 1 1
 Indeed not a valid point. People who just learned how to ride a bike have the worst body position. A good example is how most beginners bending their hands upwards all the way their wrists allow them to, so they can lean on their wrists while holding the handlebars. This causes painful hands / wrists to beginners. Sometimes people get away with it because of suspension, but as soon as these people switch to rigid forks their wrists will be very hurtful. Good body position is something you learn yourself over time, with experience.
  • 3 0
 Can confirm. Shamwows make excellent camping towels, and vice versa.
  • 1 0
 Haha. James Wilson is reminiscent of the shamwow guy!
  • 16 2
 One thing James: you have to incorporate the rule of 30 seconds or 140 words. After youhave a short juicy pitch, you can write as much as you like. I know you have a devoted target audience who is into reason but they are quite little in numbers, while majority of people reading this have internet attention span syndrome and care very little for details. They just want sick and best. When it gets tl;dr they will pick anouthing out of yourpitch, crap on it and spread it all over the place. As a result everyone will feel the smell before checking what it's really about. Keep it simple, do not underestimate power of internet trolls Wink
  • 14 3
 In a 30 second span, he contradicts himself without even knowing it. If pushing with the ball of your foot is more applicable to scenarios where your weight is not constantly applied, how does it follow that it's not a suitable technique for biking? I don't know about y'all, but I'm not applying consistent downward force for the back/upper part of my pedal stroke. One doesn't need to use a "balanced foot", best for squats and weightlifting, because you're not applying the same kind of static pressure.

How he can endorse oval rings (which I have nothing against) *and* this pedal with this sell is beyond me. I call bullshit.
  • 3 0
 Finally, someone who gets it.
  • 3 0
 I was thinking exactly the same. "However, this is only the case when your foot breaks contact with what it is on." We're not breaking contact with the pedal, but we aren't applying power with the back foot. Hence, the "cycle" is the same as running or walking.

Also, "I mean, try it for yourself - get up and balance on the balls of you feet while trying to get down into a mock Attack Position like you are on your bike. Now try to do it with your heels down and your foot balanced." Umm, everyone knows that an athletic stance is with most of your weight on the balls of your feet. How about, try sprinting with your heels down - doesn't work. You just can't react quickly, or change direction quickly with weight on your heels, and "your foot balanced."
  • 2 0
 ...and try jumping with your heels down and your foot balanced. It doesn't work. No, just no.
  • 13 3
 I love big pedals but that read like an infomercial. Snore.
  • 2 0
 LT;DR
  • 6 0
 Crap - what I meant was: TL;DR
  • 4 0
 Felt the same as well, seems like watching the guy that sells knives that cut through shoes. They should have had The Don and Marc Beaumont introduce this product, with lots of riding shots that actually shows how it works on actual riding.
  • 4 1
 It is an ad... I got the same thing in an email from James Wilson, only he was offering a preorder special.
  • 7 1
 This guy sure is on a mission to kill his own product with BS overload. It's cool, I like it, but now I hate it because he's trying to sell a long pedal as the greatest cycling innovation since pneumatic tires. And a name like pedaling innovations does not lend itself well to product diversification, just boringness.
  • 10 0
 Does the size of the foot not come into play somehow?
  • 4 0
 Good catch! This is a glaring miss in this in this sales pitch because they are clearly saying that a pedal size should be a larger percentage of the shoe but they don't address that there is a huge variation in shoe size. As a guy with size 48 shoes wouldn't it make more sense to have size XL pedals?!
  • 3 1
 Size of the foot would matter, but I think the idea here is that the vast majority of people would benefit from longer pedals. If the average size shoe is say 10.5, then it would make sense that a longer platform is beneficial based on his logic.
  • 4 0
 I've got size UK14 feet (US15/eu 50 or 51) and width of the pedal is crucial. Too narrow and just feel like my foot is always rolling off the outside of the pedal. Would certainly be interested in trying some mega pedals.
  • 6 0
 I'd be interested in the effects this has with bunnyhop (I suspect they are not high in everyone's priorities but to me it's a vital trail skill).

To get decent hops you need the spring from your ankles which you get by having the ball of your foot on the pedal.

I'd sacrifice pedal efficiency and a bit of comfort to be able to have ultimate control over my bike personally.
  • 6 1
 Reading the article I thought "mmm.... this sounds familiar", then noticed who the author is. I've read a few of James Wilson's articles, mainly pro flat pedals. I just don't agree with much of the stuff he says and I certainly don't like how he claims his way is THE way to do things.

Spd's for me (and occasionally, cheap welgo flats to mix thing up a little).
  • 4 1
 I have said it before. The more of James' opinions I read, the more I think he has never actually ridden a bike. I mean no offence, but I flat out disagree with most stuff he touts as "facts"
  • 5 0
 Wow - the haters are out in full force. Give the guy a break - the free market will dictate. If they work and people like them, he will succeed...if they don't work, no sales (or at least no repeat sales) and the product will go to the MTB graveyard.

James is taking a risk with his own time and money and hoping for a success, while the PB haters howl behind their keyboards and most likely doing so while wasting their employer's time and wages.
  • 8 4
 I grew up riding in the centers of my feet and only forced myself to pedal using the balls of my feet later on when people said that's how you're supposed to do it. Looks like 12 year old me had already figured out what these engineers now have.
  • 3 0
 This is so true. I used to run barefoot when I was a kid, then they told me you're supposed to have plenty of cushioning and support in your shoes to run, my feet forgot how to support themselves, my leg too and I kept injuring myself. Then I discovered dozens of studies about natural running, ditched the cushioned shoes, not a single injury anymore, in years. I believe the whole clipless vs flat and ball of the foot thing has much in common with this. We need to learn to trust our bodies.
  • 7 0
 Everybody stop discussing, buy a set, ride, then discuss, if no like use money back guarantee. Easy.
  • 4 0
 If you significantly change your foot position in relation to the pedal axle, surely you're altering weight distribution which is effectively changing the geometry of the bike.

On top of that, will you still be able to drop your ankles for efficient braking? How about subtle changes to balance when manualling?
  • 10 0
 They haven't considered this. They have made a pedal for doing squats, not a pedal for riding bikes.
  • 2 0
 Thank you Patrick. You've just made my day!
  • 4 1
 Ha nailed it! Also this guy claims to train Aaron Gwin...but last I checked he clips in Wink
  • 1 2
 You will keep your CG in the same place relative to the rest of the bike. So your upper body doesn't move. So moving your foot forward on the pedal does not necessitate changes to the rest of the bike's geometry. If you are moving your CG then you are doing it wrong. Or you have been doing it wrong, and just began doing it right. Either way, CG and foot placement are independent.
  • 4 0
 "And if you look at kids or people in 3rd world countries ride their bikes they are almost always mid-foot on the pedals - this is the natural riding position and unless someone at some point told you that you needed to push through the ball of the foot odds are you wouldn't have learned it."

Translated...

You should learn to ride bikes based on the technique of someone who has never ridden a bike before, and is used to walking.


Noone "told" me to pedal on the ball of my foot. No one ever told me anything about how to pedal. I pedal on the ball of my foot because that is where my brain naturally positions my foot after years of experience. I move to mid foot for braking and tech, then back to the ball for pedaling. No thought required, just habit. Pedaling mid foot feels utterly retarded. Because it is. Why the hell would you ignore a whole lever arm?
  • 4 1
 I like the concept. I ride on my flats behind the ball. Also I dremmel out my clipless shoes about 1 cm further the stock slot allowed. Works...well. I dunno if you need a massive pedal, but I will likely try them at a show...and decide by trying.
  • 3 0
 Oh geez, another trend...long pedals. I can hear it now, "Our pedals are an industry leading 1545mm long allowing your entire foot (and then some) to be supported by the pedal". I do think this is interesting, though. Charging fast downhill I definitely notice my foot moving to the midfoot position. Some more pedal would be nice sometimes.
  • 3 0
 Luckily changing a pedal size doesn't force anything else to change
  • 2 1
 Don't worry, unlike 148, this one is complete bs.
  • 4 1
 I can definitely buy the bio-mechanical rationale for this pedal. James is speaking logically and the concepts make sense, this is not snake oil it's coming from a legit analysis and viewpoint. I would definitely give these a shot.
  • 4 1
 The theory behind these pedals sounds very interesting. I would be interested in giving it a try, hope you guys will give us some options where we could try them for a bit (for example at a booth at cycling trade shows like eurobike / at big events / at local bike shops).

The thing that I'm mainly wondering about is the grip and control when riding off road or riding more extreme disciplines. My foot placement on my pedal has evolved to where I have most control over my pedals and least chance of slipping off. Since ankle movement plays a big part in keeping your pedals sticked to your shoes while catching some airtime, I wonder if less ankle movement (like on these pedals) wouldn't increase the chance of your feet getting loose from the pedals while jumping your bike.

I do believe this pedal would be an improvement for those who ride on the roads with flat pedals. Just wondering how it would perform on more extreme cycling disciplines.

The only way to find out for us if we could test it somewhere.

I like the way you guys think, need more companies like you because guys like you are the ones who bring progression to our sport Beer
  • 3 1
 On one of my bikes I have some of those giant pedals they mention that are almost this size. On another I have Canfield Crampon Ultimates - they stick MUCH better. They are the one pedals I know of that rest in the arch to make more grip and have you drive through the mid-foot, just like these guys want you to do. They are also crazy skinny with narrower leading and trailing edge so harder to whack on rocks. IMO everyone else can just stop making flats now
  • 5 1
 I ride on the balls of my feet so I have more flex to absorb jumps and impacts. Unless you ride sitting down all the time I'm not following your logic.
  • 11 0
 Yes. If I rode midfoot on my hardtail my back and knees would explode. Plus calves are super important for balance. The midfoot efficiency claims are usually made by triathletes... so they can save their calves for the run. Or super long distance riders who don't wanna burn their calves out. But they don't have to balance or absorb impacts like a mtb rider does. If you need to balance or sprint your calves help a lot.
  • 5 0
 Every problem he brought up regarding the mechanics of his pedal stroke, were problems I've never experienced.
  • 5 0
 you must ride in crocs too. I tell people all the time, it's not the pedal it's the shoe. throw on the crocs and never boo-hoo.
  • 2 0
 I'm okay with this, but it would definitely never work out on dirt jumpers or DH bikes... Not everybody is willing to sacrifice their ball-of-foot way's, Me included. This is also going to be a problem for people with anything less than size 10 shoes, me also included.
  • 4 0
 Pedals don't interest me, but hopefully some actual citations will finally shut up the "clipless are more efficient because everyone says so" crowd.
  • 2 0
 Using the balls of your feet actually offers you another source of suspension. Try jumping off the toilet (here we both know you are currently sitting) and landing on your heels. Then do it again and land on the balls of your feet. Absorbing shock with your legs can be done, but it is more efficient to let your ankles contribute.
This is the problem with doing things in a lab. You miss significant variables in your reproduction of the event. In the end they have proven that roadies should clip in in the middle of their arch.
  • 2 0
 Funny, I always thought what hindered me from being a really great rider was me not being able to push my limits. Hell, we can ride a fully capable DH rig or a well equipped enduro steed and we would still second guess ourselves dropping 4 foot ledges. It is so nice to look past the marketing and just tell myself every time I ride, am going to ride that drop, rail that berm and jump that gap and not be bothered being on my "old 26 inch 9 speed frame with a 20mm fork, threaded bottom bracket and run of the mill china made flat pedals.
  • 5 0
 So what was actually in this patent???
  • 3 0
 More bigger pedals.
  • 4 0
 No one else is allowed to talk this BS ever again without James' permission.
  • 1 0
 I ride my V8s with my foot really far forward. I do it because of an ankle injury and riding with the so called "correct" foot positioning is super painful after a short period. Sadly it means clips are out as I cannot twist my ankle to disengage.
I would try some bigger pedals except for the price of pedals currently. My V8s are over ten years old, when/if they break I'll get more as it's better economy for a slight discomfort on longer descents
  • 3 0
 Do you wear an ankle brace (ex: MedSpec ASO)? They can really help with that sort of thing.
  • 2 0
 I'll take a look. Thanks for the information
  • 5 2
 Guys, it turns out pedalling is the same as squatting or deadlifting and should be treated as such despite being nothing at all like squatting or deadlifting.
  • 1 1
 You're right, it's not like all three have the ankle moving from dorsiflexion to plantarflexion, knee from flexion to extension, hip from flexion to extension, all while maintaining a neutral spine.
  • 1 0
 @RichardScottDesign, try some shims under the insoles of your shoes. Easier to do than modifying or creating new pedals. Been doing it for years in the ski industry, no reason why it wouldn't work for you too. In fact, I believe Specialized even sells body geometry shims for this exact reason.

BL
  • 1 0
 I know that I don't like to pedalling through the ball of my foot the whole time, especially on long rides. I will find out if they work for me once I get the pair I just ordered. Good luck James, I hope your patent claims are water tight!
  • 1 0
 I have been a recreational mountain bike rider for over 25 years. Never a racer but always wanting to better myself on the trail, and always wanting to have fun. I followed James' advice and switched from clipless to flats about 3 years ago, and never looked back. I didn't think things could get any better until I got the Catalyst pedal a week before Christmas.

When I first saw them, I thought it might be a gimmick, but that thought ended with my first ride. 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 these are...

I do have a bit of advice for anyone wanting to try these:
1. Get good MTB shoes like the 5-10's. Running shoes will not deliver.
2. If you are currently clipless, get used to a HUGE change. Re-thjink your whole idea of how to pedal.
3. Don't be a shallow dork and think your bike looks funny or different with these pedals. Let your friends laugh at you in the parking lot then watch you laugh as you completely shred the hell out of them up AND down the hill, just because of a new pedal.

F yeah....
  • 4 1
 Great, something I really want, and by the time I get it, there will be snow on the ground...
  • 2 0
 Oddly enough I find long pedals are harder to engage when jumping or getting air born. There is a tendency to roll or loose contact. Maybe these are different.
  • 3 0
 Even when I rode flats {I no longer do} I wouldn't dare let the spindle be in the middle of my foot...
  • 2 0
 I will give them a try, makes a lot of sense. I am getting pain in the mid foot occassionally and these may solve it. Great work James! Keep kicking!
  • 1 0
 but what about the hardtails? Could you absorb that much shock with your hips? It is often advice given to beginner dh riders to ride with the pedal under your arch to reduce fatigue on the arch, ankle, and calf, but as they advance they learn that to absorb the repetitive shocks better (work with your suspension instead of expecting it to do the whole job) by soaking it up with the lower parts of the leg too. This is why we all have huge calves, even if the hips are doing the work.
Waki you should get a zero-drop shoe and try going for short jogs on the ball of your feet to strength your arches.

Of course Fabien Barel actually modifies his clipless shoe so the cleat can go back almost a full centimeter to get the pedal more centered under his foot to help with cornering, so maybe I am blowing smoke.
  • 3 0
 I am indulging the pleasure of saying: I don't know Big Grin
  • 2 2
 Great idea here, especially for heavier riders that wear 5 10s. I've noticed that with freeriders, my foot arches around the pedal and my feet start hurting almost immediately. So I have to wear a stiffer sole shoe like a impact. Even then I will get foot pain that is obviously from my foot curved over the pedal. Gonna try these out, wouldn't be surprised if we start seeing more companies go longer and narrower as well. The narrowness will help for tight spots on the trial too.
  • 2 0
 I don't have that problem and i weigh 200 lbs and wear a size 14 Five Ten Freerider VXI and Contact. . .and I use canfield crampon pedals that are convexed. . .but I do rock climb, so maybe my feet are stronger.
  • 2 1
 "However, this is only the case when your foot breaks contact with what it is on. So when you walk, run or jump then you do need to push through the ball of the foot."

Please explain?

Sounds like rubbish to me...
  • 1 1
 I ride platforms on DH runs, simply because I can't get my feet out as quick as sometimes needed with clipless.
When I climb the same hill(s) with both platforms and clipless pedals however, I CLEARLY am slower and more tired at the top using platforms.
I don't care what this guy says about 'the right way'.
  • 1 0
 My Five Tens are wearing out where the sole connects with the pedal, swapping to these would move the wear patch enough for me to get another season out of my shoes, interesting thought...
  • 2 0
 At least the price isn't exorbitant, it's a rather reasonable $109 (on early birth sale), then $139.
  • 2 0
 The impact of an SPD version could be lighter, more flexible / comfortable trail shoes.
  • 3 4
 Great information. I love the idea of removing the awkward pressure point by having a nice, well-supported long pedal body. I've always felt/experienced that the heel down method had to be taken to the extremes to work well in certain situations, and it definitely could use some innovation.
  • 5 3
 Finally a pedal that addresses what all of the studies have been saying forever.
  • 4 1
 Dear PB. Please review these for us.
  • 4 1
 Couldn't make it through the whole thing
  • 5 6
 When you ride mid footed you ride dead. You don't have any pop. Pop is what makes riding fun. I bet James Wilson can't even lift his bike off the ground without a jump or clip pedals. But he's probably really efficient at pedalling!!! Funnnnn.
  • 1 0
 I have Eu46 feet, use 5.10 freeriders on specialized beanies with a mid-foot placement, because that way the arch of my foot naturally curves around pedal to give loads of grip on my DH bike and on my trail bike. Can still pop around all over the place, but wouldn't say it makes me a strong pedaller. When I used to ride on the balls of my feet they'd slip all the time.
What I'm getting at is that for me, mid-foot gives better grip (without stupidly oversized pedals) but I can still confidently have fun!
  • 2 3
 I have had this guys sponsored post in my Facebook feed for months. He is very defensive when approached by alternative ideas and admits that he tried clip less a few times but stopped when he fell over at a stop sign. Meathead trainer, yes, mountain biker,no!
  • 3 0
 will these work with cankles?
  • 1 0
 If you made the pedal even bigger - then you could use it like a nordic ski machine and walk over every obstacle whilst it grounded.
  • 1 0
 Has a convex platform been tried before? I'm thinking about machining some up just to give it a go. Since that's how your foot bends, I was the thinking it might be grippier.
  • 1 0
 I'd be interested in trying these out for trials riding. It might have a negative effect on pedal gaps or something. But it might also make landings less harsh on the ankles
  • 1 0
 All my commuter bikes have L size Ergon pedals, which is just about as large as this.
  • 4 0
 You have a fleet of commuter bikes? Sorry had to ask.
  • 1 0
 Haha, yes. Road bike, 26" old school mtb, 29" belt drive mtb. Those are just the commuters! N+1 Big Grin
  • 4 2
 Why not just make shoe stiffer?
  • 3 3
 Because you're still pushing down on the wrong area of your foot and putting too much pressure on the achillies
  • 1 1
 I put viagra on my insoles and it did nothing, defo trying these pedals
  • 2 0
 Not if the cleats are further back or a flat shoe with a stiff sole from the ball of the foot back on a regular sized flat pedal. All the longer platform does as far as I can see is to provide more support to a soft shoe. Make the shoe the support.
  • 1 0
 It took a 10 minute video and several paragraphs to say longer is better? Honestly.
  • 2 0
 I was hoping they'd have magnets so I could ask how they worked.
  • 1 0
 hope is not coming a fashion like the phones, we will finish all with pedals like tablets on the bikes...
  • 4 2
 you guys smell that...?






Bullshit
  • 1 0
 Wouldn't a properly sized bike help more than + sized pedals? That bike way too small for him.
  • 1 0
 if I can finally gouge the hell out of my thighs as well as my shins, consider me sold.
  • 2 3
 if you have massive feet, they still wont support both ends of your arch...... are we now going to have different sizes of pedals based on show size? jesus
  • 5 0
 Spank and some other companies already have different sizes.
  • 2 0
 Is that a bad thing?
  • 4 2
 Bunch of blizz blazz..
  • 1 0
 At least they aren't "Enduro" pedals.
  • 1 0
 Heal pedalers have had it right the whole time NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 Longer pedals = more shin scrapes
  • 1 0
 About time somebody came up with this
  • 1 0
 11 minute video... could be condensed to "These pedals are a bit longer!"
  • 1 0
 In the end they'll be like every other pedals: nuked on a rock.
  • 1 0
 yeh, except dmr vaults...
  • 1 0
 nice talk. but show me on a trail
  • 1 0
 Look like my Deity Decoy petals, which I love.
  • 2 1
 wow, innovative....
  • 2 1
 Bigger is in for 2016. Bigger wheels, gears, tires, pedals, frames. Fuu
  • 6 5
 Hard sell of excrement.
  • 2 1
 Does he even lift?
  • 2 1
 Yawn.
  • 2 1
 THIS GUY IS A QUACK!!!
  • 1 1
 Blah blah blah blah blah for SPD users as me... Smile
  • 1 0
 I like the bike

;-)
  • 2 1
 What a load of shit.
  • 1 0
 What a Yahoo.
  • 1 0
 where do i get a pair ?
  • 1 0
 505 grams ?
  • 3 5
 Makes sense. But I still don't care about about how efficient my pedalling is
  • 3 1
 you should try 100mm cranks. I took them off my sons bike to put them on my rotec, went perfect with my crocs and crupis
  • 3 3
 Mtb snakejuice. Nah.
  • 2 3
 Take my money!
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