Frequently Asked Questions about the Catalyst Pedal

Q: What is the Guarantee and Warranty on your pedals?

A: We feel so strongly that our pedals are the best in the world that we back them up with an industry-leading 30 Day Money Back Guarantee, Limited Lifetime Warranty and a Crash Replacement Plan. In other words, no one stands behind their products like we do. You can click here to get more details on our guarantee and warranty.

Q: Do you deliver to Canada/ Mexico/ Overseas?

A: Yes, we deliver worldwide. You can check specific shipping options and costs at checkout before entering any credit card info. This makes it is easy and risk free to see what you would pay before deciding whether to buy the Catalyst Pedals, or not.

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 no 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 how kids pedal 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.

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. 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.

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. This video showed a rider who tried to prove that he needed to pull up on the backstroke and instead proved that he was more efficient when he couldn’t pull up on the backstroke. 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.

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.

regular pressure points

However, the Catalyst Pedal balances 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.

Catalyst pressure points

Q: Don’t you need float in your pedals?

A: Float is a made up thing to make up for the lack of natural foot movement allowed by clipless pedals. Your foot needs some lateral freedom of movement but clipless shoes and pedals restrict this freedom. Without any lateral movement there is a lot of extra stress placed on the ankles, knees and hips. The “answer” for this problem is to let the cleat twist some before disengaging, giving the foot some lateral movement to alleviate the stress on the rest of the leg.

However, this isn’t needed on flat pedals because your foot doesn’t have the same movement restrictions. This more natural movement means that you don’t need, or want, float. In fact, float makes things more unstable when you stand up since your foot is never really secure the same way it is when you stand up on flats.

Like a lot of things we are told about the pedal stroke, the need for float is simply not true. On flats your foot has some lateral movement in the shoe and that allows it to move more naturally, just like it does when interacting with the ground. Float is only there to make up for how unnatural the clipless pedal interface is with your foot. Trust me, your knees will be happier without float on flats than they are with float on clipless.

Q: How much do they weigh?

A: 505 grams. For comparison a regular pair of flat pedals weighs 400-420 grams, making them a little over 100 grams heavier than a normal pair of flats. However, weight at the pedals is one of the few places you won’t notice those 100 grams as much (it isn’t the same as adding 100 grams to your wheels or tires). Plus, the performance and comfort gains far outweigh any potential performance decrease from those 100 grams. In other words, the increased power you get from them improves your overall power-to-weight ration even with an extra 100 grams. And when your feet don’t hurt late into a ride then you can pedal harder, which again adds up to more power on the trail.

Q: What are the pedal dimensions?

A: Length – 5.6″/ 143 mm

Width – 3.75″/ 95 mm

Thickness – .6″/ 16 mm

Q: How reliable are they and can I easily find replacement parts/ rebuild kits?

A: I am having these pedals manufactured for me by VP Components, makers of VP Pedals and 3rd party manufacturer for a lot of people in the bike industry. In other words, they will use parts that are already proven to last and you can find replacement parts and rebuild kits very easily.

Q: What about extra rock strikes?

A: My local trails are The Lunch Loops in Grand Junction, CO. As one guy said to me after about 20 minutes of riding there, “I’ve seen more rocks on this trail than I have in my entire mountain biking career”. While he may have been exaggerating, these are some of the rockiest, gnarliest trails you’ll come across. I have had no issues with rock strikes. In fact, since my foot is more level and I’m not leading with my toes as much I have noticed that I don’t catch my foot as much as I used to. And since the Catalyst Pedal is not wider than your foot you don’t have to worry about extra rock strikes in that direction like you do with every other “oversized” flat pedal.

Q: Why are there so many pins on the front and back edge?

A: Two reasons. First, as I pointed out earlier the pressure points for your feet on the Catalyst Pedal are balanced between the front and back edge of the pedal. This means you want max traction at those points and I wanted to give riders the option to have a lot of pins in those areas. Plus, since your foot is more balanced and you aren’t pushing forward when you pedal you don’t slip pedals nearly as much with the Catalyst Pedals, meaning you don’t have to worry as much about hammering your shins with all of those pins.

Second, I wanted to let people have the option to customize their pin placements. You can remove the pins to set up the pin placement as you like it. If you want to get rid of a few pins here is the pin placement I recommend, I’ve used it and found no real difference in grip for everyday riding.

A few less pins but not much loss in grip.

A few less pins but not much loss in grip.

Q: They look massive.

A: That isn’t really a question but I understand what you mean. The main thing to keep in mind is that they are no wider than a normal flat pedal. Most “oversized” flats are also wider, which makes them more prone to rock strikes, so the Catalyst Pedals are actually much smaller underfoot than anything those other types of flats. They disappear underfoot just like a normal flat but give you the support that your foot needs to increase power and stability.

Q: Is there anyone who won’t benefit from this pedal?

A: So far the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. I even had one rider pay me $450 for a pair of my prototypes because he loved them so much. No one has had anything negative to say.

However, there have been a few riders that have not been blown away by them, but they are the ones that refused to change their foot position and were still trying to push through the ball of their foot. If you’re willing to really change your foot position, then you’ll enjoy the benefits. But if you refuse to change your foot position and keep trying to push through the ball of your foot then you probably won’t notice the full benefits of the design.

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