Who the hell is James Wilson and what does a bigger pedal have to do with climbing better, descending faster and basically having more fun on your mountain bike?


Overlooking some of my local trails.

My name is James Wilson and like you I live to ride my bikes. I love the thrill of ripping down some sweet singletrack, the feeling of my heart pounding out of my chest on a tough climb and the taste of a well earned cold post ride beer.

Ever since I bought my first mountain bike in 2000 (a Marin Nail Trail) when I was living in Santa Barbara, CA I have been hooked on mountain biking. Even though I bought my first bike to commute to work (I thought road bikes looked too weenie for me) I quickly found out that pedaling up and ripping back down fire roads and trails was more fun than I ever imagined.

You may have heard about me before, which is kind of weird for me since I am just a regular guy who loves to ride his mountain bike. I have a family and a job and really just want to ride my bike around the trails where I live in Grand Junction Colorado as much as I can and have as much fun doing it as possible.

It all began when I started MTB Strength Training Systems to help spread the word about what real mountain bike specific strength and conditioning can do. I never thought when I did that my little grass roots business would turn into something where I had the chance to work with some of the top riders in the sport, including helping Aaron Gwin early in his career.

I guess the only thing that really separates me from every other regular mountain biker out there is that early on in my mountain biking career I had some experiences that opened my eyes to the truth about flat and clipless pedals. Every day mountain bike riders are told by people at bike shops and trail heads that you can’t pedal nearly as efficiently or effectively without clipless pedals.

Plus, every magazine and website you read has countless ads and articles touting clipless pedals and shoes, reinforcing the message that they are essential to mountain biking bad assery.

I know this because I’ve experienced it firsthand. When I started riding mountain bikes I was told that I needed to get into clipless pedals ASAP – only beginners and downhillers used flat pedals.

I saw the charts showing how I needed to be attached to my pedals to allow for the most efficient pedal stroke. Although I was having fun and making progress on every ride I also felt that I was somehow holding myself back by riding flat pedals.

However, when I started to look at what the science really said about clipless pedals and their value to us as mountain bikers I found that it didn’t exist. What’s more, the science that did exist pointed to a much different story about the pedal stroke and to best optimize it.

Over the years I’ve not only seen how well you can perform with flat pedals – both with myself and with other amazing flat pedal riders I have met – but I’ve also come across a lot of information that explains why that is. This info debunks the common myths surrounding the pedal stroke and how clipless pedals supposedly enhance it, shedding new light on a subject that is still misunderstood by the vast majority of riders.

Shilo and Z in action

Shilo and Z in action

Now, this is the point where I also need to explain something that may sound a bit funny coming from a guy with a company that sells pedals – I never wanted to start this company. In fact, I would much rather be out on the trail with my mutt Aka or hanging out with my wife and our kids Shilo and Z (yeah, that’s his full first name).

But, I also know that the Catalyst Pedal is going to change a lot of lives and eventually the bike industry itself.


But because my approach is completely different than most people have been exposed to I have also become a bit infamous over the years for taking on some “sacred cows” that I thought were holding our sport back. Things like riding a road bike for training, using machines like the leg press and myths about the pedal stroke have all been shot down by me in the last few years; often with a lot of “haters” screaming about how “crazy” I am!

But I don’t care because I don’t do this to be accepted by the “mainstream” mountain bike industry – I do this to help free you from the garbage they have been feeding you for years and years. You can be a much better rider than you are today, but not if you follow the same old advice we’ve been given.

I started this company to help me get this cutting edge, revolutionary concept and product out to my fellow mountain bikers.

I want to help you be a better rider – end of story.

Me and Aka the Trail Mutt doing what we love.

Me and Aka the Trail Mutt doing what we love.

I know that if you use the Catalyst Pedals you will do just that. I also know that once you see what this pedal can do for your riding you’ll never look at riding your bike the same way again. When you improve your foot’s stability and balance you allow the rest of the body to perform better, which adds up to riding faster, longer and with more confidence on the trail.

Well, that’s about it. It is time to go eat some lunch and hit the trail with my mutt Aka. Get out and ride today if you can – hitting the trail is what Pedaling Innovations is all about!

Ride Strong,

James Wilson

Pedaling Innovations

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