The Catalyst Pedal’s unique design is based on several scientific studies.

J.R. Van Sickle Jr, M.L Hull/ Journal of Biomechanics 2007 – This study showed no difference in power or economy between pushing through the ball of the foot and the mid-foot pedal position. They thought that there would be a decrease in those factors since you couldn’t use the ankles for leverage and push with them. However, this wasn’t the case and they found that pushing through the ball of the foot wasn’t “better” or the optimal way to apply power into the pedals. In fact, they also found that the mid-foot position took stress off of the calf and Achilles tendon, placing it on the hips.

ELMER, S. J., P. R. BARRATT, T. KORFF, and J. C. MARTIN. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2011 – This study found that the hips (glutes and hamstrings acting to extend the hip joint) were the major drivers of the pedal stroke at all intensity levels. This means that the quads are never the major driver of the pedal stroke.

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 – These two studies showed 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. Everything that I have seen, including EMG readings and anecdotal evidence, show that there is little to no power created on the backstroke and when you try to increase power by pulling up you decrease the power and efficiency of the whole pedal stroke.

Collectively, these studies have shown that:

1 – The mid-foot position also 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.

So, if your hips are the major drivers of the pedal stroke and the mid-foot position allows you to better recruit the hips then it would seem that the science favors a pedal that optimizes this foot position and hip recruitment. And since you don’t need to pull up on the back of the pedal stoke then you don’t “need” to be attached to your pedals.

You might also be wondering why you’ve never heard of these studies. Well, there is a lot of money and a lot of egos tied up in the traditional view of the pedal stroke. But the truth is out there if you look. And when you do you will see that what we’ve been told about the pedal stroke doesn’t add up in the face of the actual data.

Oh, and in case you think I am cherry picking studies and not including some that contradict this view of the pedal stroke I can assure you that is not the case. I have looked for the studies and have an open invitation for people to share studies with me and all I keep finding are things that back up what I’m saying. If you know of anything I am leaving out please let me know and I will include it, my goal is to find the truth and not propagandize an agenda.

As you can see the Catalyst Pedal is based on real science, not theories and marketing hype.

How many other pedals can make that same claim?

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