Ankling
Results 1 to 22 of 22

Thread: Ankling

  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    99

    Ankling

    Learning this technique is like learning how to ride all over again.

    It is quite hard to get the brain to move the leg and ankle differently from the standard pedal stokes.

    I have been practicing on the indoor trainer and slower I'm getting there.

    Any tips about around apart from these?

    Ankling | Cycling Tips

    More On Ankling | Cycling Tips

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: looigi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    7,162
    Quote Originally Posted by Johnpembo73 View Post
    Any tips about around apart from these?
    Yep. Don't do it.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    99
    How come?

    What are the disadvantages of learning this pedal action?

  4. #4
    wim
    wim is offline
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    11,460
    Quote Originally Posted by Johnpembo73 View Post
    What are the disadvantages of learning this pedal action?
    For starters, spending time learning something that does nothing for you and could possibly injure you.

    Good competitive cyclists simply push down hard during a relatively small sector of the crank circle. The winners of races push down a little harder. "Ankling" is one of those hard-to-kill cycling myths passed on from writer to writer. When high-speed cameras and force-measuring pedals became available to biokineticists, it became clear that "ankling" is basically bunk. Elite cyclists don't do it. If it could win them races, they would.

    There are some gains to be had from unweighting the upstroke pedal a bit, but they are slight.

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    99
    That's no good, that is a massive disadvantage.

    I don't want to hurt myself.

  6. #6
    wim
    wim is offline
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    11,460
    To expand on this a little bit: the whole business of "ankling" is an attempt to turn the cranks so that the full pedal force is always at 90 degrees to the long axis of the crank. From a purely mechanical point of view, this ideal force vector arrangement makes sense. If you would design a machine, this is what you'd want.

    But what "ankling" proponents forget is that the human leg simply can't generate an ideal force vector arrangement. The most important force vectors are the ones that come at 2, 3 and 4 o'clock in the crank circle because they are large and occur at or nearly at 90 degrees to the crank. The small forces some cyclists consciously put on the pedal at 12 and 6 o'clock are too small to be important and come at high metabolic cost. In some cases they are just inertial forces, especially at high cadences.

    All this is a bit simplified. But the scientific literature is out there if you're interested.

  7. #7
    Bike Wing Conspiracy
    Reputation: onespeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    810

    wrong post

    sorry
    Last edited by onespeed; 01-26-2012 at 12:48 PM. Reason: wrong post

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: looigi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    7,162
    In cycling, the calf muscle only serves to transmit the force from the quads, hamstrings, and glutes to the ball of the foot. It does no useful work and mainly wastes energy. There is a school of thought that suggests moving the cleat way back reduces the force the calf has to provide and so improves efficiency.

  9. #9
    A wheelist
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    11,321
    "Ankling" was all the rage 40-50 years ago when I came into the sport and it was bunk then and it's still bunk now. Just learn how to pedal naturally and smoothly and you will waste far less effort than trying to chase the pedal around the whole circle. Let your foot assume its natural position - AFTER you have got the saddle at the perfect height for you.

    Over the decades there have been champion cyclists who have pedaled "toes down" (Jaques Anquetil, Davis Phinney) and champion cyclists who have pedaled "heels down" (Steve Bauer and me ) but each one of those guys were doing what came natural for their physiology. All the other great champions pedaled somewhere between those two extremes.

    We all push down naturally and without conscious thought but think about "pulling back" with the foot, like you were scraping crap off the bottom of the shoe. Do a few hundred hours of this, and do it as smoothly as you can and you'll be the best pedaler that you can be.

    We had a nice thread going about "form" recently. You might like to read it. I said my piece too -

    http://forums.roadbikereview.com/gen...ng-271247.html
    .

  10. #10
    Pitts Pilot
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    430
    I recently raised my seat about 1 cm. My next short ride felt great and faster. The weekend came and I did a 5 hour ride, which is not unusual. About 4 hours in, I had a lot of pain in my achilles on one side. I didn't connect the dots and Googled "Achilles Pain Cycling." Oh - too much "ankling" - sometimes from raising your seat is one common cause.

    I must keep reminding myself. I don't need to do this sport any faster - just enjoy it as it is.

    So - I didn't read your links but just suggesting you do be careful.

  11. #11
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    156
    Ankling is not bunk, and it's not difficult to do. It's basically a "step on the gas" motion of your foot towards the end of your pedal downstroke. It allows you to use your calf muscles in addition to your quads. I use it as an alternative to standing when I need more power. It works best at slow cadence. It's a very natural motion, I don't see how you could injure yourself.

  12. #12
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: spade2you's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    12,085
    I use ankling at high cadence, unless the pitch is really steep.

    I think ankling is alright if it's your natural pedal stroke and your fit works with it.

  13. #13
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: JCavilia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    14,710
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T. View Post
    Over the decades there have been champion cyclists who have pedaled "toes down" (Jaques Anquetil, Davis Phinney) and champion cyclists who have pedaled "heels down" (Steve Bauer and me ) but each one of those guys were doing what came natural for their physiology. All the other great champions pedaled somewhere between those two extremes.
    ]
    And one more variation: If you watch video of pro riders, at high cadences some of them are "reverse ankling'; i.e., they lift the heel near the top of the stroke and drop it near the bottom. As you say, whatever comes naturally.

  14. #14
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    93
    Quote Originally Posted by spade2you View Post

    I think ankling is alright if it's your natural pedal stroke and your fit works with it.
    I agree.
    I also believe that it would come down to the individual, what it good for one is not necessarily good for another.

  15. #15
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    264
    Quote Originally Posted by looigi View Post
    Yep. Don't do it.
    If it's anything like fisting, except using using your foot instead of your hand, I would have to agree. You're likely to end up sleeping on the couch just for suggesting it.

  16. #16
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: spade2you's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    12,085
    Quote Originally Posted by CABGPatchKid View Post
    I agree.
    I also believe that it would come down to the individual, what it good for one is not necessarily good for another.
    Yup. In the pros, it would seem that some pure climbers and GC guys use ankling. Most TT specialists or sprinters seem to use heel down. As long as you're using whichever comes natural (or works) and the fit goes along with it, should be fine in the long run. Just ride a lot and you'll get faster.

  17. #17
    wim
    wim is offline
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    11,460
    Quote Originally Posted by tantra View Post
    Ankling is not bunk, and it's not difficult to do. It's basically a "step on the gas" motion of your foot towards the end of your pedal downstroke.
    Well, that's not what I meant when I said "ankling is basically bunk." You're talking about a relatively brief period of forceful plantarflexion in order to bring extra force onto the pedal ("windlass effect"). That does work for some people. I understand "ankling" to be a prescribed way of pedaling with certain foot angles at certain points in the crank circle all the time.

  18. #18
    A wheelist
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    11,321
    Quote Originally Posted by wim View Post
    Well, that's not what I meant when I said "ankling is basically bunk." You're talking about a relatively brief period of forceful plantarflexion in order to bring extra force onto the pedal ("windlass effect"). That does work for some people. I understand "ankling" to be a prescribed way of pedaling with certain foot angles at certain points in the crank circle all the time.
    I remember when it first came into fashion decades ago and it was an exaggerated toe-pointing and heel-dropping to try to exert pressure on the pedal for as much as the circle as possible. Trying to exert pressure for as much of 360* is admirable but adopting unnatural foot position is the bunk part - IMO anyway.
    .

  19. #19
    wim
    wim is offline
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    11,460
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T. View Post
    Trying to exert pressure for as much of 360* is admirable but adopting unnatural foot position is the bunk part - IMO anyway.
    Precisely. Nothing wrong with the desire to have whatever force you can bring onto the pedal to always be at right angles to the crank. But it is no more than a theoretical construct. Biomechanics says it can't be done.

    Some years ago I found a cycling book from the early 1900s, in which there were some paragraphs on "ankling." The book explained that pushing the pedal forward over the top and pushing it rearward through the bottom is only possible if you drop your heel on top and lift your heel on the bottom. Since they were talking about street shoes on rubber block pedals, they were right. My theory is that bicycle writers kept repeating this advice without realizing that you don't need this ankle flexion with cleats.

  20. #20
    A wheelist
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    11,321
    Quote Originally Posted by wim View Post
    Precisely. Nothing wrong with the desire to have whatever force you can bring onto the pedal to always be at right angles to the crank. But it is no more than a theoretical construct. Biomechanics says it can't be done.

    Some years ago I found a cycling book from the early 1900s, in which there were some paragraphs on "ankling." The book explained that pushing the pedal forward over the top and pushing it rearward through the bottom is only possible if you drop your heel on top and lift your heel on the bottom. Since they were talking about street shoes on rubber block pedals, they were right. My theory is that bicycle writers kept repeating this advice without realizing that you don't need this ankle flexion with cleats.
    I recently unearthed an old pedaling dynamics magazine article from the mid-'90s by Joel Friel, still a noted cycling coach. I still have it. He was talking about perfect pedaling - in short, pushing down on the pedal, pulling back through the crank spindle and then unweighting the rising pedal (pulling up with hip flexors while seated is almost impossible) and then driving the knee over the top.
    .

  21. #21
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    385
    First I had no idea I was ankling, then just a fast I learn I shouldn't do it. I find it quickens the pace without standing up and makes the last third of a hill easier to summit. Never been of fan of pulling the pedal on the upside either, so there must be something to different strokes for different folks.

  22. #22
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Ventruck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    5,263
    Thing I never get clear is how it's supposed to be done bio-mechanically.

    My natural technique has an "ankling" motion provoked by the hips and glutes as I feel it follows through the upstroke smoothly. It's not so much of having a conscious control of the ankle/heel itself as I interpret the technique. I don't try to "scrape mud off". Heel just goes up and down due to movement of the hips and glutes. This is seemingly like the technique by Joe Friel mentioned above, but at 12 and 6 there's no driving movement, just following through.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT ROADBIKEREVIEW

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.