Do the Catalyst Pedals Increase Foot and Pedal Strikes?

One of the strangest things that people notice with riding the Catalyst Pedals is how they usually have fewer pedal strikes on them. Most people assume that the larger size will automatically equal more pedal strikes but people who use them quickly find out that is not the case.

Before I get into the specifics of why this is, I want to explain a little bit about the testing process we used for the design of the Catalyst Pedals. Being a riders myself, I wanted to make sure that I put out a product that I would want to use.

One of the most important things to me is to minimize pedal strikes. The trails in the Grand Junction/ Fruita CO area are pretty diverse but we have one trail system that is infamous for how rocky and technical it is.

The Lunch Loop Trails are located a few minutes from downtown Grand Junction CO and they are some of the most technical trails in all of Colorado. Pedal height rocks dot the landscape everywhere and they have claimed more than a few riders…myself included.

While my worst was the time I clipped a rock with my foot at speed and got sent flying over the handlebars as a result, I’ve hit my foot and pedals countless times on those and other trails. This has made me extremely paranoid about hitting something with my feet or pedals and there were pedals that I wouldn’t ride because they were too wide and increased my exposure.

So when I went into designing the Catalyst Pedal making sure that pedal strikes weren’t an increased concern was at the top of my list. As a firm proponent of “Fun First Mountain Biking”, if it increased my stress levels from having to worry about clipping something and wrecking then it wasn’t worth whatever performance benefits it might have.

To be honest, I went into testing my first pair of prototypes a little wary because I thought that their increased length wound make them more prone to hitting something. It wasn’t until the 3rd or 4th ride that I started to realize that I not only was having fewer pedal strikes but, when I did, the results were much less catastrophic.

It took me a while to figure out what was going on but eventually I pieced it together. In a nutshell, the mid-foot position allowed by the Catalyst Pedals was balancing the forces out going into the pedal, which meant that my foot was more level with the ground.

Without the extreme toe-tipping forward position you see with small pedals my feet were actually a little higher, which exposed them to less chance of clipping something.

This position also meant that when I did clip something I was far more likely to “push” over it since I had pressure on the back end of the pedal. The unbalanced, toe down position seen with small pedals meant that when I clipped something my foot would roll forward, either throwing it off or pinching it between the pedal and the obstacle, which was often worse.

These observations were confirmed when I started to get pedals out for people to test. No one reported more pedal strikes and most people reported fewer while everyone noticed the difference the foot position made if they did clip something.

When you couple this with how the more balance forces also keep you foot more planted in general, resulting in fewer pedal slips, you have a pedal that not only is the best performing flat pedal ever made but also the safest.

Pedal strikes are a part of riding and making sure that we produced a pedal that didn’t add to that concern was a big deal for me. Luckily, I found that a lot of pedal strikes and the wrecks caused by them were really a result of crappy pedal design.

If pedal strikes are a concern for you then stop suffering from the problems caused by old, outdated pedal designs. Try the Catalyst Pedals and see how much less stressful riding can be when you have the right support for your feet.

Until next time…

Ride Strong,

James Wilson

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