Pedaling Innovations' Updated Catalyst EVO Pedals - Pond Beaver 2020

Apr 15, 2020
by Brian Park  
New (left) vs old (right). A few more holes, but the same basic shape. Can you spot the other differences?


Pedaling Innovations' Catalyst pedal was unique when it launched several years ago, and there's still nothing like it. It's a super long pedal, and is designed to be ridden with your foot further forward. Aston was a big fan of the new riding position they require when he reviewed them, and he's still running a set now. That said, the original version lacked a bit of grip.

Their new Catalyst EVO might change that, as they've reworked the pedal to have longer pins and a few other refinements.


The new pins screw through from the back. Don't worry, I just installed them dry for the photo, I'll go back and Loctite them, I swear.
The old pedal had top-down grub screws, which work well, but I always end up nuking them on something and struggling to get them out.


Details
• Designed to connect the front and back ends of arch of the foot, it's the longest platform pedal on the market
• Extruded and machined from 6061 aluminum with a T6 heat treatment
• Dual sealed bearings and IGUS bushings
• Heat treated cr-mo spindle with 8mm hey key hole
• 10 pins per side are designed to work with the foot position possible with this design
• New rear entry pins with a two step design provide improved grip
• Available in anodized black, blue, red and grey
• 5.6"/143mm long, 3.75"/95mm wide, .6"/16mm thick
• Weight: 510 grams per pair
• Manufactured by Superstar Components in the UK
• Price: $149.00 USD
• More info at pedalinginnovations.com


The new IGUS bushing is more robust, but makes the axle hard to turn by hand. It's not noticeable when they're underfoot.


bigquotesI'm happy to see the pins go through the back now, it's so much easier to replace them this way. The pins themselves are a little longer and they say offer more grip than the previous version. They've also gone from 18 pins to 10 pins per side, so there should be more weight on each pin and theoretically provide more grip. The overall pedal shape isn't too different, and it still has only a small amount of concave. I'm guessing that they don't want too much of a concave shape to disrupt the connection between front and back of your foot.

The other big change is a new IGUS bushing system which should be more robust. The downside is that they feel very stiff to turn by hand, but it wasn't noticeable with weight on the pedals. They also shaved 15 grams from the pedals, even with longer pins, but it's still a fairly chunky 510g per pair. For context that's 145g heavier than my large OneUp aluminum pedals, and 30g heavier than the gargantuan Chromag Daggas. To be honest, since it's more of a trail bike pedal than a traditional wide DH pedal, I do kind of wish they'd offered a lighter Ti axle option. But, that's just my inner weight weenie speaking—this lockdown has me looking at spreadsheets and doing all kinds of stupid stuff.

It's a promising update, and I'm going to spend some time on them this year. We'll see if I become a long pedal evangelist.



120 Comments

  • 62 3
 Glad to see they aren’t pedalling the same product as everyone else
  • 38 1
 Different product, same platform....
  • 15 1
 They've got their niche pinned down for sure
  • 7 1
 Something about it sticks with me.
  • 3 3
 Hope the factory workers don't strike
  • 2 8
flag stumphumper92 (Apr 15, 2020 at 6:22) (Below Threshold)
 puns
  • 11 0
 I didn't think I'd like these, but I've taken a real shin to them.
  • 26 0
 Hands down the best pedals I have ever had. I actually found the old version to have too much grip and it took me a while to figure out the number of pins and pin length for the perfect setup! The new version looks better but mine are still working fine!
  • 10 1
 I have to agree, I don’t see myself going back to traditional flats. As a fan of biomechanics, these are the most sensible pedals that let you use your strongest leg muscles to climb.
  • 4 0
 Also agree. Absolutely love them.
  • 3 0
 Another happy Catalyst user here. Loving them.
  • 1 0
 It took me a little while to get used to them for climbing/pedaling but fell in love straight away for descending!
  • 2 0
 I'm currently using six pair of these (two commuter bikes, two mountainbikes, a bmx and a mountain unicycle). I got the first two pairs when they first came out (actually preordered them) and absolutely love them. Using anything shorter feels uncomfortable now. One of the oldest pairs is making bird noises now though so it is time to perform some service. But yeah, I do like these pedals.
  • 1 0
 Also agree, for whats stated above. Also the new bushings should be a good touch. mine had just started to develop some play.
  • 20 3
 Sales might be flat during the pandemic.
  • 8 0
 Sales will continue just at a lesser clip.
  • 13 0
 I have bought a pair of Catalyst to test the concept. They are now on all my bikes. Thumbs up for not following the norm.
  • 11 2
 I love these pedals and put them on all my bike. I don't know about a change in geometry but I just feel more planted on and better connected to the bike, on the ups and the downs. I will never go back. I think nobody ever buys a smaller pedal than the one he/she had anyway. It's like modern geometry, Geometron/Nicolai are all there already, the others follow in increments.

And no, you do not feel the additional weight, the opposite: due to the better power transfer you can pedal up easier than with a smaller pedal where you can only place part of your foot on the pedal. (similar to pedalling a heavier bike with a steeper seat angle up hill, say a Yeti SB150 over the SB5.5).

BTW, I also have this pedal on my Gravel Bike.

Ok, now let's talk 12 degree or more backsweep bars that you will all be running in a few years… :-)
  • 12 0
 I waiting for a composit version
  • 5 0
 I gave the original Catalysts 3-4 months but went back to my Deity TMACs because I feel more confident on them in technical situations. I did find benefit in moving my foot rearward so the pedal could support both my forefoot and heel but it turns out the TMAC is long enough apply the same technique with my size 10 feet.
  • 1 0
 I used them for a month to find they are not for me. Back to the Boomslangs. I did give them to a friend who fell in love with them so just remember they're not for everyone. Also size 10.
  • 7 1
 Why stick at 95mm wide? Useless for anyone with feet bigger than a size 12 UK. Just up it to 110mm and you'll have the best pedals in existence.
  • 1 0
 Yea my thoughts exactly, I've got 2 pairs n been asking him to make a wider version for a few years now.. but other that awesome pedals! better pins is also a welcome addition
  • 1 0
 @blaxxx79: same here
  • 3 0
 @blaxxx79: I'm size 16 UK. I won't even try them at that width, despite the longest platform. I've measured my shoes, for actual full width support I'd need a 145mm wide platform. I know I'm an outlier but there's a lot of people with size 10-13 who would benefit from a wider platform (hence why the norm is around 105 these days, and quite a few bigger options are available, which is great for me. Vaults atm but cromag daggas soon.)
  • 1 0
 @inked-up-metalhead: Not only for big feet, but also a wide stance. Vaults work for me, but 95mm is way too narrow. Obviously a crankset with a wider q factor would also help.
  • 4 0
 Yeah I imagine a “Catalyst DH” with a wider platform would be well received. But I think as a trail pedal having it not TOO wide is nice. Snagging pedals is no fun.
  • 4 0
 @brianpark: Kona Wah Wahs are a little shorter than my Catalysts, but quite a bit wider, plus they're really solidly built and have had the pins screwing in from the back for a while now. If I could get my Wah Wahs to be a bit longer, or my Catalysts to be a bit wider, I'd be a very happy camper. As it is, I've settled on the Wah Wahs (rather give up that bit of support to have the security of the width), but I miss that bit of extra length.
  • 2 0
 @g-42: I've been riding the WahWah2 after some Deity Blade Runners left my feet hurting on the downs. Size 11.5 us. They are a really sweet pedal. Near perfect pedal. I wouldn't want them any narrower, it gives you a few different "Sweet spots" and if you get loose on them, you can get back on them easily. Duck foot stance works well too. One of the critical things about big pedals (for me at least) is that I don't want them to be super thick. I'm a tall guy and already on 175mm cranks. With bigger, longer pedals...they are already at risk for hitting something. The WW2 are pretty thin and did a good job at that. Unlike these pedals.
  • 1 0
 @g-42: they don’t grip for shit. I hated these pedals.
  • 1 2
 @brianpark: any known coupon codes for ordering after seeing this article here?
  • 1 0
 @inked-up-metalhead: there was a Catalyst XL (160 mm X 105 mm) specifically for people like you, I don't see it on the Pedalling Innovations website now but maybe email them and ask?
  • 1 0
 @DasProfessor: I'd rather go with the daggas tbf, 115mm wide sounds a lot better to me, I'd only have around 25mm of my shoes hanging off instead of 35. I wear pretty stiff shoes anyway so I'm not too fussed on the extra length, it's all extra width for support I need.
  • 8 0
 Manufactured by Superstar, $149, just be some serious markup
  • 5 0
 Aint that the truth.
  • 2 1
 They don't make 10's of thousands of these at a time though. This is a smaller company doing new/cool things so I'm sure they don't have the volume discounts that other brands do.
  • 1 0
 @Audican: be realistic, I’m not sure superstar is making tens of thousands of their own pedals at at time / year, let alone for anyone else - neither will most pedal manufacturers.
  • 1 0
 Bike James did a podcast where he went through the whole process of concept, testing, manufacturing etc. In that he said he got HT to make the pedals, pretty sure one of the HT rebuild kits works for them also. Has that changed?
  • 1 0
 @bainbridge: HT made the originals, HT also made the original Superstar ‘nano’ - Superstar started making them in house so pedalling innovations probably jumped as a result to superstar for production.

Good to see some manufacturing coming away from Taiwan / China.
  • 6 0
 I'm just gonna go all the way and put pins and axles on these bad boys:
www.mooneyesusa.com/v/vspfiles/photos/R3034-2T.jpg
  • 4 0
 I can not believe i am considering these at $150. But, that stable platform looks like it will help prevent my foot from bending over the pedal on landings.( never an issue until after i broke my ankle) However, when I click the link, they only show the old version i think. Are the new ones for sale yet?
  • 3 0
 I have the new and the old versions. There was an issue with the ability to take the spindle out of the new version so that might be why they are off their website for now. I can't tell the difference in performance between the two. Replaced the five short pins with the three of supplied long pins on each edge. The grub pins did mashed and were hard to get out or replace. The older bushing wore out pretty quickly so I am hoping this new bushing is an improvement. Replacement parts are pretty cheap but it is a pain to rebuild every four months or so. Here is a link to how to rebuild the older model: vimeo.com/84607980 Even with the maintenance I love the pedals. They were offering a Ti spindle which is for less aggressive riders that weigh less than 200 lbs. My wife converted to these from clipless as well and said she isn't ever going back to clipless.
  • 4 0
 Do have lower back issues, and these things help greatly. Other than the back relief, I just love these pedals. The larger platform allow for foot adjustment on the downhills, and you really notice them on the uphill. I have them on both my Yeti and my Decoy. Simply the very best. Oh, the customer service is also stellar! Nice stuff.
  • 3 0
 I have the current version. I love them, only have two complaints...

* They sit too close to cranks for my liking. I wish the axle was a little longer.

* The bearings got loose pretty early on, resulting in a very slight amount of side-to-side play, but they work fine for me. I just need to rebuild them I guess. The new version w/ bushings hopefully fixes this issue.
  • 3 0
 I had a pair and sold them with a bike. Now I went to order these new ones and they're only selling the old pedal model. These pedals saved me on multi-day race s my old ones gave me, what felt like, shin splints. I had done this race multiple times and it is 3 days of bout 6 - 8 hours in the seat. First year I rode in clips but due to clay and being tired at the end of each day, OTB on the technical stuff became common. 2nd time I rode in regular flats and after 3 days, my ankle had swollen and there was not much movement. The doctors wanted to perform surgery to the lower leg (forget the diagnosis) and it took about 3 weeks to recover from that. Couldn't get much up and down motion on the ankle. 3rd time I rode in these and wow...what difference. I listed the bike sans pedals but this was a new rider and I felt sorry for him. Sh*t, I want to get a pair now and my just have to go for the older model. I never had any issues on them and this includes technical riding in Vancouver, Squamish, Whistler and some other areas. They're solid.
  • 3 0
 I bought a pair of (old version)Catalysts when they were still $100 a year and a half ago. For the record my foot size is 42. After getting a full season of riding, I have thoughts, and comparisons.

They are great pedals, and really change how I rode the bike after almost a decade on clipless. I actually started putting old Flat pedals i had lying around on most my other bikes, and really have enjoyed going back to basics, and wearing good shoes as opposed to clipless hooves. Playing around with foot position on the pedal is amazing on long rides, and the Catalyst gives you lots of options for putting down power!

Dimensions: I think Bike James is totally right that flat pedals needed to give more support to the foot, loads of grip, and the ability to put power down on these pedals is phenomenal, much larger shift than I imagined coming from clipless. On long bikepacking adventures, being able to ride in sandals is a game changer. So long sweaty feet!!

However.... after buying my pair($100), the price went up to $130(now $150!), and I started looking at what else was out there. I found the Nukeproof Horizon Sam Hill pedals to be very close to the dimensions of the Catalyst, only 100-110mm in length compared to these 143mm. James and Sam nailed the width. So the length is the main difference, and for my feet, the Horizon Sam Hill's give 95% the riding support as the Catalysts; for only $85 MSRP(look for sales though). It is barely noticeable, but I'll be buying the Horizons from here on out.

So if you have bigger than 42 feet, the Catalyst might be your godsend flat pedal. I can imagine Catalyst's platform being much more important to a larger shoe. If you have smaller feet, and want pedals that don't snag on bushes quite so much; Horizon Sam Hills are a great way to save some cash and keep all the other benefits.
  • 2 0
 Keeping my eye on these for when they're actually for sale on the website. I thought I had seen a discussion on Pinkbike about these pedals where a lot of people were bashing them but I can't seem to find it so maybe I am misremembering. Nevermind the fact that I have a size 14 foot I'm interested in the claims around the midfoot pedal position.
  • 2 0
 I tried these on one bike two years ago. I now have them on all my bikes and never want to use anything else. Love em! As of this year they are a sponsor, just for full disclosure, but again, I've been riding these exclusively for a long time now. I have the new version and there is definitely more grip than the old ones, which is rad. They're worth a try, IMO.
  • 2 0
 Here are the links:
pedalinginnovations.com/product/black-catalyst-evo-pedal
pedalinginnovations.com/product/blue-catalyst-evo-pedal
pedalinginnovations.com/product/grey-catalyst-evo-pedal
pedalinginnovations.com/product/red-catalyst-evo-pedal
I have two trail rides on these and good so far with 6 pins per side. Main purpose for buying them was fatbiking in the snow, but I hope to use them bikepacking before winter returns.
  • 1 0
 Hell yeah! Bikepacking in sandals is the best!
  • 4 0
 Size 12 (uk) feet and I love mine. More grip and stability than vaults for me. Curious about the Daggas though.
  • 2 0
 Daggers are shit hot
  • 1 0
 I’m on vaults but have been looking at new pedals and these are on my list, so you would say these are an improvement over vaults for you?
  • 2 0
 @CrispyNuggs: yes, very noticeable improvement for me. The pins would have been my only minor grumble ie not through pin but sorted with the evo by the looks of it.
  • 2 0
 Cheers I think I’m gonna try them just a bit daunted as been on vaults since they came out haha @Bunzl:
  • 1 0
 @CrispyNuggs: I have both these and Vaults and if I had to choose, I would stay with my Vaults. Wider is more important to me than longer I guess and the Vaults are so positive. Interested to hear what you think after you get yours.
  • 1 0
 Yeah good point thanks, that’s the only thing I’m not keen on @BCRoider:
  • 1 0
 I tried these on a friend's bike. I liked the length, but I have really wide feet and they felt a bit narrow also they sit close to the crank arm and I prefer a wider Q-factor. I had some Chromag Contacts for a while, which helped but still were a bit close to the crank arm for me. I finally settled on some Shimano XTs in the larger platform and those worked best for my foot and preferred pedaling position.
Good to see the through mounted pins, what an upgrade over grub screws. The silly pins on my XTs have to be removed with vice grips every time. Hell because of the minuscule allen head and dry thread locker they sometimes need to be installed with vice grips. That's my only gripe with the Shimanos though. Three years in and thousands of miles (I have a pair on my commuter/camping bike too) they continue to spin flawlessly.
  • 3 0
 Love these pedals, I have them for all my bikes. Using these pedals I found that I could clean climbs and technical sections that I had trouble with using a smaller pedal.
  • 1 0
 I gave the original Catalysts a try for 3-4 months. I was happy with them for climbing but never felt as comfortable in technical terrain as I do on my TMACs. I don't notice a loss of power with the TMACs vs Catalyst so maybe 110mm is long enough to effectively bridge the arch of an average sized foot?
[Reply]
  • 1 0
 Another vote for the best pedals Ive ever owned! So much added stability in turns with the larger platform, can really lean on them and push hard into berms! Feels bizarre to pedal someone elses bike with more traditionally sized pedals!
  • 1 0
 I have been riding a set this year and have over 500 miles on them. They have a) eliminated my pedaling-induced plantar fasciitis (mine bothers me in the arch of my right foot) and b) reduced my leg cramps and allowed me to ride longer distances. I don't see myself going back to Oneup or RF flats again, but I agree the price is ridiculous.
  • 2 0
 We have three different ways with flat pedals
1. Bigger square
2. Longer square
3. Wider square

It's all about anatomy for everyone.
(mine one is Wider)
  • 1 0
 Are these the MTB equivalent of those giant faced golf drivers I used to see on infomercials as a kid?

Joking aside it would be cool to give them a try if there was a cheaper composite option.
  • 1 0
 waiting for no bushing version. Sure, you "don't notice" the friction when your standing on them.. But I would bet to say that I would feel the difference from my normal pedals after the same 2 hour ride I do everyday.
  • 1 0
 I like these pedals, and using them with mid-foot position really helps my femoropatellar pain. Very well made, after 3 years, and tons of smashing them into rocks, they're still spinning just fine. Well-made.
  • 4 4
 So this makes your reach 20mm shorter and your chainstays 20mm longer?
And it still rides well? Maybe these bike companies are selling us crap with al these 5mm improvements in chainstays and reach.
  • 7 8
 After riding with midfoot position for some time on my OneUps I am not going back. Just dremelled my brand new clipless shoes to put the cleat further in. Yes I need a longer frame now according to some geometry wizards here. Or maybe not... so carelessly throwing away geogains. Iz all about geo gains.
  • 9 5
 Thats not really the case, since you are still pivoting around the bottom bracket no matter how you place your feet.
  • 5 0
 @alexasu: if you pedal with the ball of your foot in the same position as your old pedals, then nothing will change. If you adopt the midfoot position that these pedals promote, such as when you move your cleats back on spd's, then there is a difference. Just for fun, pedal with your heels on your pedals, and you can feel the exaggerated sensation. I even had to lower my saddle a tiny, tiny bit when I got these pedals.
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I also tend to ride flat pedals closer to mid foot than most clipless pedals allow - the pedaling motion starts to feel more akin to maybe a back squat, and that feels more natural to me.
But going all the way to actual mid foot makes me wonder, won't that make it harder to drop the heels when bombing downhill? On my regular flat pedals in a slightly forward to actual mid foot position I can just drop the heels and they hang in there in a relaxed way. In a actual axle under mid foot won't dropping the heel need to be a deliberate effort?
In any case, would love to try these pedala
  • 1 0
 @Arierep: That was true in my experience, in terms of both the heel and toes! On my super low BB technical climbing, I noticed that I clipped my toes on random things more easily. On the plus side, massive drops with flat landings are much more stable because your ankle is closer to the pedal spindle and has less leverage to blow off the pedal like Ratboy's did in the 2014 World's.
  • 2 0
 @Arierep: but you add a contact point on the heel. The impacts are much easier to absorb and endure. It's far more stable.

You can smash away all day in these things. Give em a try.
  • 1 2
 @WAKIdesigns: eventually we’ll get to what sam hill figured out in the early 80’s.
  • 1 2
 @Arierep: I am not exactly midfoot, but I am further back than what any shoe allows in standard cleat placing. Axle is fully behind the ball of the foot.
  • 2 0
 @Ktron: I'd love to try them, but:
A) the price is a bit high for an experiment
B) afraid they're a bit too niche to sell if I don't like them

A bit of a superfluous question I know, more out of curiosity, but anyone knows someone racing with these?
  • 1 1
 @WAKIdesigns: it’s crazy how many down votes you get on a weekly basis. You have to have a record right?
  • 1 0
 @Arcadyus: he holds the weekly records for all props plus/minus. Here is a photo of his thumb:

www.pinkbike.com/photo/14232201
  • 3 2
 I've had a pair on since buying them in Finale in the summer - wouldn't go back to small pedals, they are amazing! 10% increase in power on the climbs!
  • 3 0
 Measured with a power-meter?
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername:
Yep I got a 5% increase in average power with my powermeter. Sadly the grip wasn't good enough for my style of riding.
The mid foot position makes sense for pedalling and stability however I don't feel that a standard set of Vaults holds me back in the stability department and the Vaults offer way more grip.

They are ridiculously heavy too! Which is certainly noticeable from my point of view. Hence why they live in a box and I ride the DMR Vaults on the bike!
  • 2 0
 just realized how bad shin strikes will be now!
  • 3 0
 Look at the size of them...it will be more like thigh strike....
  • 2 0
 @tanepetrie: yeah, my knee scars and shin scars used to be seprate. now they are connected.
  • 2 0
 Check the "FPR Manifesto". Biggie said, if you don't know now you know.
  • 2 4
 This whole grub screw versus bolt on argument seems ridiculous to me. I've never once been able to replace a pin after it hit a rock. Pins bend and then it's game over for that pin... I end up just replacing pedals after enough pins get smashed. I've been on clipless pedals for a while now though so I don't really care so much except I just can't help but roll my eyes when people talk about one pin style being easier to replace than the other.
  • 4 1
 You cut the top of the bent pin and unscrew the base out of the back, I have to do it all the time. Have any pedals that need to be fixed for cheap pm me???? I love trying new pedals
  • 2 0
 @Snowrydr01: but you can grab a bent grub screw with locking pliers easily. I've never had an issue removing either. I've noticed grub screws tend to "disappear" more.
  • 1 0
 One of my screws on my Contacts got driven out by a rock strike. It took the damn threads out of the pedal with it. I happened to have the proper helicoil and was able to replace the pin. Probably unnecessary, but if you have the materials...
  • 1 0
 @Snowrydr01: whenever the pins bend on the pedals I've run they almost invariably mangle the threads too. Also, like Ron mentioned, if we're going to be doing cutting and so on, grub screws seem to make more sense.
  • 1 0
 Sorry, just wanted to add, before we go totally off topic, my point isn't that bolt through pins are impossible to repair, it's that this idea that bolt through pins are somehow easier to replace than grub screws is a misconception. Both suck when they become damaged.
  • 1 0
 My wheels and cranks don't really turn well by hand but It's almost unnoticeable with weight on the bike.
  • 1 0
 When are they going to go full bearing? There pedals are very slow spinning
  • 2 0
 i think the word should be "proselytism", instead of "evangelism"
  • 1 0
 half of your foot will be glued to this pedal. thats a plus!
  • 1 0
 Yeh, there are some definite points of difference here.
  • 2 1
 How are they for technical massive jumps?
  • 2 0
 Hahaha wtf
  • 1 0
 Over 1 pound of weight for pedals, I wish they made them in Nylon
  • 5 8
 I tend to look for a pedal you can remove with a pedal spanner rather than just an Allen key and it looks like that options gone with the new pedal ?
  • 13 4
 But why?
  • 5 0
 @brianpark: loves a chainring punch
  • 5 1
 @C0yotekid: jesus hell are you Popeye? Pedals hold themselves on pretty well, no need to go ham torquing them down. A single ugga dugga will do.
  • 1 1
 @brianpark: no, I’ve broken many hex keys too. I tend to use hex keys lying round my house, which are kinda cheaply made, and I bend them all the time!
  • 8 1
 @JacobyDH: there is no reason for an 8mm hex to break tightening or loosening a pedal. This is an issue with the tools, not the pedal. Where are you finding these hex wrenches?
  • 1 1
 @RonSauce: well, long story short, my hex keys are always floating around my house, and I can’t find them, and I did a project where I tested tools from target vs an actual hardware store, so I have a ton of target hex keys lying around. I figure, maybe if it isn’t kn tight, it will work, and I ALWAYS snap/bend them... it is just me being dumb, not a problem with my pedals or anything!
  • 2 0
 @RonSauce: for real. I work on cars for a living and an 8mm hex should be good for at least 80NM.
  • 1 1
 @BlackVR: Im either hella strong, or my hex keys are hella weak!
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