Let’s start by stating the obvious: the Pedaling Innovations Catalyst pedal is huge! Or, to be more specific, it’s much longer than a traditional pedal.
The idea behind the Catalyst’s unique design is that the elongated platform increases power delivery and efficiency by supporting the foot at both ends of the arch, which makes it less prone to collapsing and leaking energy.
How much bigger is it? Well, compared to one of our favourite flats, the Nukeproof Horizon Pro Sam Hill, the platform is 28mm longer but also 7mm narrower, so ground clearance when cornering should be every bit as good or better; providing of course you actually have your foot on the pedal.
Having size nine feet, I’ve never really felt the need for extra support from any flat pedal… at least until I tried the Catalyst. It’s instantly noticeable that your foot doesn’t wrap around the pedal to the same degree, and there aren’t any hotspots on the soles of your feet.
While there’s no denying that the Catalyst provides a very supportive platform, it doesn’t offer the same level of grip or security as Sam Hill’s signature pedal. Maybe it’s actually the lack of wrap-around that’s the problem, or it could just be the shorter pins or the pin spacing itself that reduces traction. Either way, my foot wasn’t as locked onto the pedal, and it’s also harder to gauge foot placement, as the platform is actually quite flat.
If you have big feet, the Catalyst could be a game changer, especially if you fit the longer pins supplied. For everyone else, however, I’m not convinced it’s worth the 20 per cent increase in weight and the reduction in grip.