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pulling up on the pedals-or not?

tozi1tozi1 Posts: 119
edited April 2009 in Road beginners
Do you need to practice this technique-bit unclear if I should be trying to make it automatic,or if its only needed to accelerate or climb

Posts

  • brownboshbrownbosh Posts: 602
    I only use it regularly when climbing on my single speed but do sometimes use it for rapid accelerations on steep climbs.
  • Agent57Agent57 Posts: 2,300
    I don't think I've ever knowingly pulled up on the pedals in 20+ years of clipped/strapped-in cycling. If I do, it's a subconscious aspect of spinning.
    MTB commuter / 531c commuter / CR1 Team 2009 / RockHopper Pro Disc / 10 mile PB: 25:52 (Jun 2014)
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    I do it when at lower cadences 100% of the time.

    When going above 110RPM, it's not really possible.
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    Probably only pull with about 10% effort on the up stroke, as others have said only reserve full effort for hills or sprints.
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    By the way, while out of the saddle climbing at a low cadence, I sometimes find that i'm not pushing down at all and it's all pulling instead! :shock:
  • kingrollokingrollo Posts: 3,163
    I have to... my knees are knackered ! - if I ride a bike without clipless pedals for any distance my knees really give me grief !
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    Pulling up with the pedals becomes for of a natural subconcious effort in time.
    You can try to concentrate in training and pull and push together to improve, but you find it comes natural when sat climbing or accelerating, and when using higher gears.
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    Bhima wrote:
    By the way, while out of the saddle climbing at a low cadence, I sometimes find that i'm not pushing down at all and it's all pulling instead! :shock:
    Are you sure? :D
    You must have absoultely huge calves then :D
    When I climb (maybe I am odd) and I am balls out and standing I pull on the bars at the same time as pushing down on the pedal, similar to track riders doing standing start.
  • will3will3 Posts: 2,173
    Bhima wrote:
    By the way, while out of the saddle climbing at a low cadence, I sometimes find that i'm not pushing down at all and it's all pulling instead! :shock:

    Does that help you levitate up the hill then?? :roll:
  • tozi1tozi1 Posts: 119
    Thanks for that everyone! I guess it's a natural progression-or not-we'll see! As a "returner" I must say it don't come naturally!
  • guillianoguilliano Posts: 5,495
    I find that on the road bike I am keeping a smooth circular motion on flats and down hills, possibly pushing forward and back a little more than push down/pull up, but up hills I use a push/pull stroke due to the increased effort. I can't do it anywhere near as effectively on the MTB though.
  • DomProDomPro Posts: 321
    Pulling on the peddle can't have much effect on power output surely. Better saving it all for the downstroke and just keep pressure off on the upstroke.
    Shazam !!
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    DomPro wrote:
    Pulling on the peddle can't have much effect on power output surely. Better saving it all for the downstroke and just keep pressure off on the upstroke.
    I never actually measured the increase in power but obviously if you push with same effort and add the pull to it you will get extra power.
    It is easier to notice when riding up a drag, not a steep climb, just a drag.
    Years ago we had a cycle coach who made us climb (old toe straps) in just our socks so we just pulled :D If your theory was right and pulling does not generate power, if we did not push we would have fallen off the bike ? :D
    It is not going to be as much as some suggest as twice more efficient but definitely improves stroke.
    I have removed the power tap from my bike now so maybe some one elase can generate the figures using a long drag cycling with just push and then with push and pull :D But then how would you ensure the push was same effort for bothe methods ? :D
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    Thinking about it in more depth, perhaps it wasn't 100% pulling, but it was definately 90% pulling. I assumed I wasn't pushing down at all but when pulling up, I lean to the other side slightly, which would put weight on the pedal by definition...

    By the way, i'm only talking about 4/5 pedal strokes here, as a quick variation to try and work different muscles when i'm getting tired...
  • It may be helpful not to concentrate so much on "pulling up" on the pedals. What I have found to be more effective is concentrating on kneeing the handlebars. In effect, it does the same thing, but it puts more emphasis on the muscles used when pulling up rather than on the end result of what the muscles are doing. In my opinion, it is much more efficient.

    Another point, a full pedal stroke is vital if you are wanting to maintain speed for any considerable length of time. The downstroke is second nature. The upstroke, on the other hand, does take a little bit of practice. Only stomping on the pedals is neglecting the other half of the pedal stroke and leaves you with much less power. If this weren't so, the pros would just use flat pedals and wouldn't worry about clipping in.
  • tozi1tozi1 Posts: 119
    Ok.It sounds like it's quite an "advanced" technique,but very useful,the other thing i wondered about is-you only have so much gas in the tank as it were,at any one time,so does this mean you just use it up quicker by pulling and pushing at the same time,or perhaps you can really only use it properly once you have good fitness and muscle strength,I guess what I'm thinking is maybe I should not be trying to learn it now,but wait until I'm fitter-but then-might it be better to learn good habits from the start.......
  • guillianoguilliano Posts: 5,495
    When I went from flats to clipless on my MTB I noticed an instant decrease in effort to maintain the same speed...... do it from the off and learn the correct technique. It sort of comes naturally when you are clipped in as you soon get tired of mashing the pedals and pull up just to take the strain off your quads
  • tozi1tozi1 Posts: 119
    lots of help there-gonna try out some of the tricks suggested-thanks guys
  • will3will3 Posts: 2,173
    Bhima wrote:
    Thinking about it in more depth, perhaps it wasn't 100% pulling, but it was definately 90% pulling. I assumed I wasn't pushing down at all but when pulling up, I lean to the other side slightly, which would put weight on the pedal by definition...

    By the way, i'm only talking about 4/5 pedal strokes here, as a quick variation to try and work different muscles when i'm getting tired...

    Right so how do you support your weight then? All on the handlebars? I think you are overestimating your pulling ability :roll:

    You should look up some research done by a chap called Newton, you might find it enlightening.
  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,165
    i don't really at all, my limit is heart and lungs than power, i like clippless they are nice and secure but any meanigful % increase in speed/power from them? i'm far from conviced.
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,448
    Like others have said, sometimes on hills, just to add variety and to use some different muscles. The problem I have with it is that your shoes need to be fastened really tightly for it to feel like you are not wasting energy and by the time you hit the hill and realise they have loosened off a bit it is too late to tighten the buckles!
  • SalvSalv Posts: 2
    On a normal pedal cycle, you're usually only using one leg at a time to push. If you're going go pull with one leg while pushing with the other, you're going maximising power?

    You could push down with little effort on one leg and pull up with a greater effort on the 2nd leg to rest certain muscles. I imagine pulling up on one leg is going to rest the 2nd legs glutes, hams and parts of the quads as well as working the lower abs.
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    will3 wrote:

    Right so how do you support your weight then? All on the handlebars? I think you are overestimating your pulling ability :roll:

    Yes, I probably am. It's hard to measure though! :)
  • MrChuckMrChuck Posts: 1,663
    I don't consciously do it, but I do notice a difference if I ride my commuter in regular shoes rather than SPDs (I have the SPD one side/regular the other pedals) so maybe it's something you just develop over time.
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    i don't really at all, my limit is heart and lungs than power, i like clippless they are nice and secure but any meanigful % increase in speed/power from them? i'm far from conviced.

    Do an average 2 minute climb with them and then try it without clipping in or with normal shoes. You'll notice the difference! :wink:
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    If you're not pulling, you're losing the opportunity to engage some of your strongest muscles, your hamstrings - particularly useful on seated climbing. If you pull up hard enough when out the saddle, it's possible to lift the rear wheel. Also the pulling action is more akin to scraping something off the bottom of your shoe! One-legged drills on a turbo also helps to smooth out your action and develop the right muscle memory.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • tozi1tozi1 Posts: 119
    helpfull stuff-thanks -some very specific training ideas-thanks
  • guillianoguilliano Posts: 5,495
    I've done the one legged thing before...... had a creaking BB due to a broken shim so rode from Tring to Aylesbury on one pedal, pull up, push down all the way, before buying a new crankset. Can honestly say I was able to ride all that way comfortably on one leg (about 9 miles)
  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,165
    Bhima wrote:
    i don't really at all, my limit is heart and lungs than power, i like clippless they are nice and secure but any meanigful % increase in speed/power from them? i'm far from conviced.

    Do an average 2 minute climb with them and then try it without clipping in or with normal shoes. You'll notice the difference! :wink:

    i'm used to MTB and flats so it very possible i don't pull up from there i go hunting steep hills which i like, and while i'm no racing snake i seem to have the low down torque to just keep on plodding up and past the 20% i have the SPD's very loose so if i pulled up with any force i'd simply unclip.
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