Efficient Peddling Question - Page 2
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  1. #26
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    rollers... and be like Jens, "shut up legs"....

  2. #27
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    I can't tell you what the text book answer is but I'll tell you what works for me. Spinning, not pressing here or lifting there. I know I'm doing it right because my energy output is less (as in much less leg stress) and my speed goes up. When I press and pull, it's a chore.

    Sitting here thinking about it...I do this, think of a clock. From about 8-10 I'm pulling up; 10-1 is pushing forward; 2-4 is pushing down; and pulling back from 4-7. Those are just general figures but it's the best I can think of.

    Basically I try to keep the same force on the crank the same all the way around...just how it's delivered changes.

  3. #28
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    For me it's hard to get that stroke you're looking for by thinking directly "don't push", "scrape your shoes", "peddal circles", etc. Try this...think of your peddals as raw eggs that you can't break, while at the same time holding or increasing your cadence. Your brain can wrap itself around this concept a little easier, and your legs just do what they're supposed to do without you having to focus on them. You'll be surprised at the muscles you feel come into play.
    Last edited by Gimme Shoulder; 07-28-2011 at 09:21 AM.
    It ain't rocket surgery. Buy everything on sale, pedal when you have too, coast when you can, and get home in one piece. Keep going forward - there is no reverse.

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  4. #29
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    Loved,loved, loved the tech info, However I still believe get on your bike and ride.
    Old, Old school and not putting my money into the latest coolest thing
    Sitting in my bike seat I am still so damn pretty. (Its why I wear bike shorts anyway I started distance with running and was obsessed with form. Then transferred that obsession to cycling. The old racers forced me onto a fixed gear with a 42X19. Which for my age and strength was a pretty fast spin most of the time. Efficiency came with it. I don't know what the philosophy or coolest training is now.
    I would go with the previous recommendation of proper position, easier gear and spin faster. If you are brand new to the sport(I prefer lifestyle) go much easier than comfortable. When I am dying, my body so wants to pedal a square. In order to stay pretty, which is more important than being fast, I concentrate on getting my foot 'Over the top'. Not a huge pull put past that dead spot. Investment wise I wouldn't spend on anything other than a set of rollers. The ones with a fan for resistance will give off a noise you can listen to and tell when you are getting sloppy, if you aren't that efficient at all, you are going to fall off. The second benefit is that you can use it for the intended purpose for staying fit in the winter.

    Don't imitate someone else because they are faster than you. They might just be stronger and can overcome their crappy stroke with power..for a little while. There was this TDF level guy in the early 80's, Sean Kelly who seemed to have it all wrong and he was still there anyways..go figure.
    "Batteries not included
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  5. #30
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    To keep it simple, a smooth pedal stroke would allow 110 RPM's or higher without bouncing. I tried the one leg method and about the only thing I learned was how much my other leg should be pushing on the downstroke... it feels ridiculous to pull up without having any weight on the other pedal. I can tell if I'm spinning properly by loosening my shoes. If my feet slide forward, down, back, and up I know that my motion is smooth and circular. I still feel that most of the effort and power comes from the downstroke.

    What do you all think of this?

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by new2rd View Post
    What do you all think of this?
    I think it's called "flogging a dead horse".

    Get a good really good bike fit, focus on power (effort) level and choose a gear that feels good.

  7. #32
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    Wow, loving this thread. Reminds me of engineering....in a good way.

    But it started with a question about the angle of the pedal on the down stroke, right?
    Seems like it was toes down vs. toes up / scraping something off your shoe.

    During an LBS fitting the shop owner said I was pointing my toes, when I should be 'scraping'.

    Input appreciated.
    tj

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by heliski View Post
    Wow, loving this thread. Reminds me of engineering....in a good way.

    But it started with a question about the angle of the pedal on the down stroke, right?
    Seems like it was toes down vs. toes up / scraping something off your shoe.

    During an LBS fitting the shop owner said I was pointing my toes, when I should be 'scraping'.

    Input appreciated.
    tj
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    PEDALLING TECHNIQUE – Which is best? » Bike Fit » Feet » Steve Hogg's Bike Fitting Website

  9. #34
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    Thanks, Alex. That article is PERFECT

    Next question: best bike fitter in the East Bay?
    tj
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  10. #35
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    Well, I don't care about scientific studies saying using the whole leg won't help...because I have been focusing on "turning" the pedals, just like cadel Evans. It works for me. I hopped on some rollers having never ridden them before & surprised myself & friend because my pedaling technique was good.
    Definitely uses all the leg pulling pushing all the way around. .66 of a second " who cares" it becomes subconscious & u just do it.
    I think if u just focus on pushing the back of the leg will be lazy. I have practiced so much on "turning" that I know i am still doing it at mid 90's rpm.,
    where it def helps is on a steep hill where cadence has to drop, just push...& someone "turning" those pedals has a more efficient stroke that balances muscle loading so that I can clear lactate better from my legs & obviously using my more powerfull glut & hamys.
    Cadel Evans even has a special bike made that he uses at the beginning of his season just to develop this turning stroke more, good for him he does not take notice of scientific experts!

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gervase View Post
    Well, I don't care about scientific studies saying using the whole leg won't help...because I have been focusing on "turning" the pedals, just like cadel Evans. It works for me. I hopped on some rollers having never ridden them before & surprised myself & friend because my pedaling technique was good.
    Definitely uses all the leg pulling pushing all the way around. .66 of a second " who cares" it becomes subconscious & u just do it.
    I think if u just focus on pushing the back of the leg will be lazy. I have practiced so much on "turning" that I know i am still doing it at mid 90's rpm.,
    where it def helps is on a steep hill where cadence has to drop, just push...& someone "turning" those pedals has a more efficient stroke that balances muscle loading so that I can clear lactate better from my legs & obviously using my more powerfull glut & hamys.
    Cadel Evans even has a special bike made that he uses at the beginning of his season just to develop this turning stroke more, good for him he does not take notice of scientific experts!
    What you think/feel is happening when you pedal and what actually happens are two different things.

    Cadel Evans is quite aware of much of the sports science and understands its application quite well.

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_Simmons/RST View Post
    What you think/feel is happening when you pedal and what actually happens are two different things.

    Cadel Evans is quite aware of much of the sports science and understands its application quite well.
    This is Quite Excellent.....

  13. #38
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    Ok, cadel Evans book: "close to flying" page 173, 1/2 way down the page. He talks about the special bike he has had constructed painted gold, with this :
    " it's to force me to use my hamstrings as well as my quadriceps. The idea is this : the pedals have a free wheel, clutched axle assembly and unless you pull the crank arm up, it will not follow the natural flow and urge of the other crank arm. You can push them down, but first you have to pull them back and up and forward- or else it just hovers at the bottom of the pedaling arc. It took me ages to perfect"
    He has an unusual muscle bulging from the back of his knee that physiotherapists are intrigue with. This has developed from his pedaling style.
    So "TURN those pedals don't just push them or your wasting all the power you have in the back of your leg, start now cause believe me it takes like cadel says "AGES" to develop

  14. #39
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    Just ride more...

    Quote Originally Posted by Norcal_Mike View Post
    I am trying to improve my peddling form with hopes of being more efficient for long hours on the bike. It has been suggested that you do not push down on the pedals, but rather push your toes forward or pedal like you are scraping something off your shoe.

    I have been experimenting with different techniques and pushing my toes forward does seem to feel a bit better, but I don't know if this is even correct. I also don't have a good concept of what to "feel" on the up (return or recovery) stroke... do you slightly lift up?

    I am looking for visual aid suggestions for more efficient pedaling. Thanks!!
    Just ride more and try to keep your cadence up above 90 rpm.

  15. #40
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    I got a coach for the 1st time last year and he had me do some, not a ton, of 1 leg drills. I started with 1 set for 30 sec, working up to 10 for 1 min over the course of a ride. Not sure why but these helped me in two ways:
    1. Relieved my lower back pain, probably because of #2
    2. Strengthened my hip flexors. These have been tight and weak since I was born

    Definitely helped me endurance race better, at least my intuition.

  16. #41
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    this is the "total" leg working, with all the leg working, it's sharing all the work so lactate clears better, more mitochondria are recruited and develop, increases the amount of blood vessels and flow to the muscles.
    You would not run just using your quads, you hamstrings also pull your leg back, and it's the same on the bike.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gervase View Post
    this is the "total" leg working, with all the leg working, it's sharing all the work so lactate clears better, more mitochondria are recruited and develop, increases the amount of blood vessels and flow to the muscles.
    You would not run just using your quads, you hamstrings also pull your leg back, and it's the same on the bike.
    Hardly.
    Cycling is not running.

  18. #43
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    The pedals/Cranks "turn", just like the grinder on an america's cup racing boat. You would not just push with your triceps to "turn" the arms of the winch, and so neither should you just use your quads. '
    Full power, use all your leg, to push, and pull the crank arms all the way around.
    Think of your feet as you would your hands, so that your legs are working all the way around the circle.
    I used the running analogy to get others thinking.....to consider that you only use your quads for most of the power.....is "old school".
    See my post about Cadel evans.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gervase View Post
    The pedals/Cranks "turn", just like the grinder on an america's cup racing boat. You would not just push with your triceps to "turn" the arms of the winch, and so neither should you just use your quads. '
    Full power, use all your leg, to push, and pull the crank arms all the way around.
    Think of your feet as you would your hands, so that your legs are working all the way around the circle.
    I used the running analogy to get others thinking.....to consider that you only use your quads for most of the power.....is "old school".
    See my post about Cadel evans.
    Cycling is not yachting.

    It's not a matter of old school or new school. It's just fact that our power is delivered in the down stroke and attempts to use other muscles in an effort to apply power on other parts of the pedal stroke are pretty pointless.

    Suggest you do some reading up on what actually goes on with pedal forces before continuing with this line of thought. This is an excellent summary with plenty of links:
    http://www.plan2peak.com/files/32_ar...gTechnique.pdf

    the pedal technique section starts from page 17.

    Enjoy.

  20. #45
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    The most powerful muscles of the leg are the Glutes and Hamstrings, If it's good enough for Cadel evans to train utilizing these muscles more fully, i think the world (well most) coaches will reevaluate training methods.
    "Cycling is not yachting".....I used analogies to make it more simple to understand the concept. Being clipped in, is to allow you to use "all your leg", otherwise why bother being clipped in? it's not about just pushing, that is "old school". Being clipped in allows you to more effectively use the hamstrings glutes, assisting the quads.

  21. #46
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    Alex this was in the "plan2peak.." site that you referred me too. NOTE they refer to "pedaling circles" & Just like Cadel has said, and in the post I put, this takes along time to perfect. This is why most cyclists, rubbish the concept, it takes time, and commitment.
    Pedal technique premises
    1. Elite cyclists have highly developed pedaling
    technique that makes them more efficient
    2. Efficient pedaling requires pedaling ”circles” or producing even torque throughout the cycle
    3. Devloping the technique to produce maximal power, especially at high pedlaing rates, takes years of training

  22. #47
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    Just because you think you are using your hamstrings to any great extent (or you think Cadel thinks that) doesn't make it so. Analogies are fine, but they should be relevant.

    We are clipped in so that we can push down hard with confidence and know the foot won't slip from the pedal and is in the exact same place each time. Particularly helpful when sprinting or accelerating hard, or when changing position on the bike (e.g. sitting to standing)

    Have you read the material yet or are you going to continue with a belief based approach to cycling dynamics?

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gervase View Post
    Alex this was in the "plan2peak.." site that you referred me too. NOTE they refer to "pedaling circles" & Just like Cadel has said, and in the post I put, this takes along time to perfect. This is why most cyclists, rubbish the concept, it takes time, and commitment.
    Pedal technique premises
    1. Elite cyclists have highly developed pedaling
    technique that makes them more efficient
    2. Efficient pedaling requires pedaling ”circles” or producing even torque throughout the cycle
    3. Devloping the technique to produce maximal power, especially at high pedlaing rates, takes years of training
    yes - and the document then goes on to show why each of those premises are false.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_Simmons/RST View Post
    Just because you think you are using your hamstrings to any great extent (or you think Cadel thinks that) doesn't make it so, Sure but it doesn't mean that it doesn't either "just because you think so". Analogies are fine, you did not think they were fine before, ie "cycling is not running", "cycling is not yachting" why are you being conscillatory about that now? but they should be relevant.

    We are clipped in so that we can push down hard with confidence and know the foot won't slip from the pedal and is in the exact same place each time. Particularly helpful when sprinting or accelerating hard, or when changing position on the bike (e.g. sitting to standing) sure, also helps to pull those pedals around the whole of the circle

    Have you read the material yet or are you going to continue with a belief based approach to cycling dynamics?
    Yes, I read that study at least a year or two ago. From memory they could not conclude which crank length was best, for whom ever...yet they can deduce that pulling up does not make much difference. Yes I will continue with my "belief based" approach to cycling dynamics, becasue that is what we all do. We look at the evidence and form a belief about what we are doing, or how we approach things. If you were less sarcastic about what you have said to me, you would have more credibiitly. Rubbishing someones opinion, because they disagree with you, or your "beliefs" really does not further the argument. I suspect you and i will disagree about cycling dynamics. My suggestion to you, would be to watch the tour de france riders, especialy when putting in some real power in particular on climbs. You will notice that the top riders bodies "snake" this is because that are using their core muscles HARD as they use all their leg, pushing, and pulling all the way around. They are not bobbing up and down, with each push. it's pretty obvious, when you really observe their riding style. Evans in the TT this year was really doing it.
    I think though, I can say no more, it is as you say...belief.

  25. #50
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    My apologies for presenting some actual evidence and if you find that to be sarcastic. It's not intended that way. My credibility (or yours) isn't the issue. Debate the merits of the argument and the evidence.

    Provide us with some pedal force data from professionals to demonstrate what you are saying. It would be interesting to see data that runs counter to the pedal force analysis performed on professional riders to date. This is a classic case of what people intuitively think is going on, isn't. But don't let the facts get in the way of a good story.

    If you want to pursue anecdotes (i.e. Cadel - for whom I assume you don't actually have any pedal force data to back up your claim), then how come after having a lower leg amputation 4 years ago and now riding with a cycling prosthetic (in which it is impossible to do anything other than push down when I pedal), I have managed to equal or better my previous best sustainable power outputs?

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