With my new Catalyst Pedals I’m riding longer with less fatigue!
A few years back I read about a new, larger flat MTB pedal that was developed and introduced by James Wilson who is a mountain bike strength coach in Colorado. As a fitness and performance coach and mountain biker myself I’d been following his programs and reading his articles and blog posts for many years.
When he started writing about the new pedal he had developed and how and why he came up with the idea, I knew his Catalyst Pedals would be my next pair of MTB pedals.
When training my fitness clients, I would often tell them to push through the heel of the foot when performing squats, deadlifts, lunges and other glute/hip exercises for more power and strength. So when James talked about the idea of supporting the arch of the foot on flat pedals to enable better recruitment of the larger and stronger muscles of the hips, it made complete sense to me.
The arch is a strong natural form but only if both ends of the arch are supported as it is when both feet are on the ground. With a smaller flat pedal or clipless pedal system, the back end of the arch is not supported so the pedaling movement is more calf dominant. And when you push through the ball of the foot this destabilizes the arch and makes it harder to recruit those stronger muscles of the hips.
Think about it…
Functionally, we are only naturally on the ball of the foot when we’re preparing the foot to leave the surface we’re standing on. For example, when walking, running or jumping the foot is leaving the ground from the ball of the foot. The only time this would happen when standing on mountain bike pedals is if you needed to bail and jump off the pedals to avoid an “Oh, sh*t” moment.
When my previous flat pedals needed to be replaced this summer, I was excited to order these new pedals. I’ve been using my Catalyst Pedals since mid-July (two months now) and I’m happy to report that I’m able to ride longer with less fatigue than with any other pedals I’ve used. They’re comfortable and I feel like I have more control of the bike.
When riders notice the larger platform of the pedal, I’m often asked if there’s an increase in pedal strikes. I have not found that to be the case at all. Of course, if you normally bash your pedals a lot then, yes, you’ll bash these into rocks and other obstacles, too. But if you have what I refer to as “pedal awareness” and know when to pull back your pedals to avoid strikes, you will not notice a difference.
What are the benefits of the Catalyst MTB Pedals?
The benefits I’ve experienced are exactly what is described on the Pedaling Innovations website.
By supporting both ends of the arch of the foot you support the arch itself, which eliminates flex in the arch and enables more power to the pedals.
The mid-foot placement of the axle balances the foot, which takes the stress off the ankle joint and allows for better recruitment of the hips.
Comfort and Stability
The more balanced foot position achieved from this pedal design will result in a more balanced application of force into the pedals.
The bottom line for me is I’m enjoying longer, more comfortable rides with less fatigue!
And you can’t beat their 30-day money-back guarantee!
Not convinced that the Catalyst Pedals are right for you?
Visit the Pedaling Innovations website and read more about the studies that show that:
1 – The mid-foot position allows for better recruitment of the hips.
2 – The hips are the major muscles used in the pedal stroke.
3 – There is no need to pull up on the backstroke.