Pedalling Technique

skyblueamateur
skyblueamateur Posts: 1,498
edited February 2012 in Road beginners
Now that I'm all set to go with my SPD's could anyone point me in the direction of pedalling techniques?

Any advise/word of wisdoms would be much appreciated 8)

Thanks
«1

Comments

  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    In brief, push through the 12 o'clock position with the foot parallel to the ground, rotate the foot to point the toes down a bit as you push though 2 - 5 o'clock then return to parallel as it goes through 6 o'clock. At this point someone will describe the action as that of scraping mud of your shoes, which is close enough.

    By now your other foot is going through 12 o'clock so repeat until the 60 miles comes up.

    Don't pull your trailing foot on the upstroke. It doesn't work and your knees aren't designed for it. Enjoy the short rest.
  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,531
    Kick the door open and wipe your feet. If you want to pedal harder, kick harder and wipe harder....

    If you ever work out how to do this without concentrating on it 100%, let me know! ;)
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • BruceG
    BruceG Posts: 347
    just pedal dont even think about it, all that nonsense you hear is just that, no point in wasting energy trying to pull the pedals up when you other foot is quite efficiently pushing down, any conscious effort will lead to poor outputs, just pedal as you did before.
  • alihisgreat
    alihisgreat Posts: 3,872
    BruceG wrote:
    just pedal dont even think about it, all that nonsense you hear is just that, no point in wasting energy trying to pull the pedals up when you other foot is quite efficiently pushing down, any conscious effort will lead to poor outputs, just pedal as you did before.


    + you'll injure yourself if you start thinking too much about foot positioning etc.

    just pedal.
  • anto164
    anto164 Posts: 3,500
    the way i pedal is push through from 12 o'clock and then do the scraping back at the bottom of the stroke.

    I then lift my leg, but make sure that my leg is only unweighted, not pulling up on the pedal. Repeat with other leg.
  • springtide9
    springtide9 Posts: 1,731
    BruceG wrote:
    just pedal dont even think about it, all that nonsense you hear is just that, no point in wasting energy trying to pull the pedals up when you other foot is quite efficiently pushing down, any conscious effort will lead to poor outputs, just pedal as you did before.

    +1

    There have been a few studies on improving pedalling techniques... and the best method appears to be the technique that feels natural to the rider, without thinking about it.

    Just tried to find the article...
    http://www.bikeradar.com/fitness/articl ... pro-12772/

    I know I pull slightly with my technique, but only from pedaling without SPDs (which feels unnatural). For me, I find concentrating on relaxing through the stroke makes the biggest difference.
    Simon
  • oldwelshman
    oldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    Of course you get benefit from pulling up on the pedals, otherwise we wouldall be using flat cage pedals if we just pushed down on pedals.
    Climbing and sprinting are two examples when pulling up is beneficial.
    I good way to improve technique is to ride on a track with fixed wheel and if no track ride fixed on rollers, or if no fixed bike any bike on rollers :D Ypu will learno to pedal smooth or your off :D
    If you practice hard you could be as good as this guy, watch him at the end of the clip !! classic.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=ogFdg5KwHd4
  • Pedal in circles.
  • Of course you get benefit from pulling up on the pedals, otherwise we wouldall be using flat cage pedals if we just pushed down on pedals.
    Climbing and sprinting are two examples when pulling up is beneficial.
    I good way to improve technique is to ride on a track with fixed wheel and if no track ride fixed on rollers, or if no fixed bike any bike on rollers :D Ypu will learno to pedal smooth or your off :D
    If you practice hard you could be as good as this guy, watch him at the end of the clip !! classic.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=ogFdg5KwHd4

    Hilarious video - cheers!
    Current bike: 2014 Kinesis Racelight T2 - built by my good self!
  • Google ankling and check out Sheldon Brown on it - as far as I can see there is no consensus though so I tired it for a bit, didn't like it and then just forgot about it!
  • Tom Dean
    Tom Dean Posts: 1,723
    The harder you smash the pedals, the faster you go.
  • BruceG
    BruceG Posts: 347
    Of course you get benefit from pulling up on the pedals, otherwise we wouldall be using flat cage pedals if we just pushed down on pedals.
    Climbing and sprinting are two examples when pulling up is beneficial.
    I good way to improve technique is to ride on a track with fixed wheel and if no track ride fixed on rollers, or if no fixed bike any bike on rollers :D Ypu will learno to pedal smooth or your off :D
    If you practice hard you could be as good as this guy, watch him at the end of the clip !! classic.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=ogFdg5KwHd4

    So do you believe that you pull harder than you push? I very much doubt it, therefore your efforts of pulling are being overcome by the push and are superfluous, and will only serve to sap energy without gain. I dont believe that the ability to "pull" was the driver behined the developement of attached pedal systems, the more beneficial reasons are more likely to be, greater control over foot position, a far more secure fixing that less unlikely to fail/slip during hard efforts of pushing ie sprinting and climbing, weight saving (had to come in somewhere), asthetics, etc etc
    As others have said the general consensus amongst learned scholars who have looked into this, are that you should just adopt a natural feeling technique when pedalling any perceived gains from "wobbling thinking" ie pulling your pedals up is a myth.

    But hey this is like most things everyone will have an opinion, and at least anyone reading this thread for example has a broad band of opinion to consider.
  • BruceG wrote:
    So do you believe that you pull harder than you push? I very much doubt it, therefore your efforts of pulling are being overcome by the push and are superfluous, and will only serve to sap energy without gain. I dont believe that the ability to "pull" was the driver behined the developement of attached pedal systems, the more beneficial reasons are more likely to be, greater control over foot position, a far more secure fixing that less unlikely to fail/slip during hard efforts of pushing ie sprinting and climbing, weight saving (had to come in somewhere), asthetics, etc etc
    As others have said the general consensus amongst learned scholars who have looked into this, are that you should just adopt a natural feeling technique when pedalling any perceived gains from "wobbling thinking" ie pulling your pedals up is a myth.

    But hey this is like most things everyone will have an opinion, and at least anyone reading this thread for example has a broad band of opinion to consider.


    That makes no sense - the pulling force and pushing force are turning the crank in the same direction therefore the total force will be the sum of the effort from both legs - there is no way one force can "overcome" the other.
  • mamba80
    mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    The article that has been quoted doesnt really say what BruceG is suggesting, infact it says that its a short term study and that pulling up can increase power and that more research is needed.

    To the Op, One legged drills on a turbo is good practice, try to get a smooth 360' action
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 42,104
    BruceG wrote:
    just pedal dont even think about it, all that nonsense you hear is just that, no point in wasting energy trying to pull the pedals up when you other foot is quite efficiently pushing down, any conscious effort will lead to poor outputs, just pedal as you did before.

    Whilst I'd agree on not pulling up I would disagree with not thinking about it. If you are new to the game it is a good time to develop a fluid, economical pedalling action as described in the first two posts. Try it for a while and you will notice your speed increase but if you haven't developed it over time you have to really concentrate on what you are doing (I usually can't keep it going for more than a few minutes).
  • Tom Dean
    Tom Dean Posts: 1,723
    mamba80 wrote:
    To the Op, One legged drills on a turbo is good practice, try to get a smooth 360' action

    Pedalling one legged with no counterbalance uses energy through the stroke in a totally different way to pedalling two legged. What is the point in training to do this?
  • Pseudonym
    Pseudonym Posts: 1,032
    bollocks to all this - just ride the fkin bike.....
  • Crankbrother
    Crankbrother Posts: 1,695
    Of course pulling up on the pedal helps you transmit more power through the pedal stroke ... If you are spinning then granted it will be negligable but anytime you are physically pushing down on the pedal rather than spinning it round then aiding that force by pulling with the opposite leg can only provide extra power ...

    I have a spin bike at home and anything around 80rpm and I can feel a natural pulling motion even without thinking about it (the bike is a cycleops with rear resistance so the pedalling motion is identical to a bike ... so if I feel it on there it must happen on my real bike as well) ...
  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    Still avoids the issue that knees & associated ligaments aren't designed for the tension generated by pulling, as opposed to the compression of pushing.

    FWIW I find that doing the push-press-drag-rest action adds a couple or three mph onto my road speed without much extra effort. Introducing the uplift into the proceedings adds nothing more in terms of speed, but knackers me quite quickly and requires a lot of concentration to keep it going.
  • BruceG
    BruceG Posts: 347
    BruceG wrote:
    So do you believe that you pull harder than you push? I very much doubt it, therefore your efforts of pulling are being overcome by the push and are superfluous, and will only serve to sap energy without gain. I dont believe that the ability to "pull" was the driver behined the developement of attached pedal systems, the more beneficial reasons are more likely to be, greater control over foot position, a far more secure fixing that less unlikely to fail/slip during hard efforts of pushing ie sprinting and climbing, weight saving (had to come in somewhere), asthetics, etc etc
    As others have said the general consensus amongst learned scholars who have looked into this, are that you should just adopt a natural feeling technique when pedalling any perceived gains from "wobbling thinking" ie pulling your pedals up is a myth.

    But hey this is like most things everyone will have an opinion, and at least anyone reading this thread for example has a broad band of opinion to consider.


    That makes no sense - the pulling force and pushing force are turning the crank in the same direction therefore the total force will be the sum of the effort from both legs - there is no way one force can "overcome" the other.
    Basic physics Scouse, what you are saying would only be true if the amount of force being exerted in the pull equalled that exactly of the push, then both actions would be contributing to the rotating power, if however one is less, and due to the biomechanics of the human leg, where it is more effcient in a straightening action (same as pushing in this context), the the push will always exert a greater force, unless you back off on the push then you achieved bugger all, apart froom robbing yourself of your most efficient pedalling force.
    As most have said dont even think about it just pedal naturally and fluidly without thought and you will find a natural effcient system for yourself
  • mamba80
    mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    Tom Dean wrote:
    mamba80 wrote:
    To the Op, One legged drills on a turbo is good practice, try to get a smooth 360' action

    Pedalling one legged with no counterbalance uses energy through the stroke in a totally different way to pedalling two legged. What is the point in training to do this?

    Google One legged turbo cycling drills
    or http://www.bikeradar.com/fitness/articl ... ing-24170/

    For me i believe it works... we used to do them on rollers so perhaps it's a generational thing :lol:
  • oldwelshman
    oldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    BruceG wrote:
    BruceG wrote:
    So do you believe that you pull harder than you push? I very much doubt it, therefore your efforts of pulling are being overcome by the push and are superfluous, and will only serve to sap energy without gain. I dont believe that the ability to "pull" was the driver behined the developement of attached pedal systems, the more beneficial reasons are more likely to be, greater control over foot position, a far more secure fixing that less unlikely to fail/slip during hard efforts of pushing ie sprinting and climbing, weight saving (had to come in somewhere), asthetics, etc etc
    As others have said the general consensus amongst learned scholars who have looked into this, are that you should just adopt a natural feeling technique when pedalling any perceived gains from "wobbling thinking" ie pulling your pedals up is a myth.

    But hey this is like most things everyone will have an opinion, and at least anyone reading this thread for example has a broad band of opinion to consider.


    That makes no sense - the pulling force and pushing force are turning the crank in the same direction therefore the total force will be the sum of the effort from both legs - there is no way one force can "overcome" the other.
    Basic physics Scouse, what you are saying would only be true if the amount of force being exerted in the pull equalled that exactly of the push, then both actions would be contributing to the rotating power, if however one is less, and due to the biomechanics of the human leg, where it is more effcient in a straightening action (same as pushing in this context), the the push will always exert a greater force, unless you back off on the push then you achieved bugger all, apart froom robbing yourself of your most efficient pedalling force.
    As most have said dont even think about it just pedal naturally and fluidly without thought and you will find a natural effcient system for yourself
    You dont have to think about pulling up it becomes natural,espcialy if you ride fixed also.
    If you only pedal with a downward stroke as you suggest you end up "square pedaling" which is ineficient, you often see this with beginners on the track and it looks as if they are pedalling on oval wheels :D
    If you pedal up a hill using pulling action only you will soon feel the backof your calves ache.
    If you say it adds no power how come I can pedal up hill using just the up strokes, according to you I would come to a standstill and fall off? It is also normally the upstroke that makes the back wheels lift when climbing or sprinting hard if the pedalling becomes uneven.
    Anwyway as others say just pedal and it should become natural and not have to think about ankling, toe up toe down, pulling or whatever.
  • MattC59
    MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    Just pedal !!

    It may sound silly but try to pedal in circles, you dont necessarily need to pull up with your trailiing leg to do this just follow through the movement completing the circle; this smooths the circle. A lot of people, and to differing extents, just pedal half of the circle (myslef included I'm sure). This can end up in a very choppy motion, ie stamp, stamp, stamp, stamp, which in extreme cases is also visible in the motion of the upper body. This is something I picked up back in the day, mountain biking, where pedaling with a choppy motion in mud or on a loose surface can result in a loss of traction.

    As has been discussed, any improvement in power is debatable, but pedaling in circles, with a smooth technique will also smooth the movement in the rest of the body, conserving energy.

    I certainly don't have a great pedaling tecnique, but every now and again when I'm out (on flat sections 'cause it's easier) I conciously try to pedal in smooth circles. when doing so, I notice that cadence increases slightly and 'percieved' effort decreases.

    I'd like to think that practicing this regularly will train my muscles and legs to pedal in smoother circles when I'm not thinking about it.
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • BruceG wrote:
    [
    Basic physics Scouse, what you are saying would only be true if the amount of force being exerted in the pull equalled that exactly of the push, then both actions would be contributing to the rotating power, if however one is less, and due to the biomechanics of the human leg, where it is more effcient in a straightening action (same as pushing in this context), the the push will always exert a greater force, unless you back off on the push then you achieved bugger all, apart froom robbing yourself of your most efficient pedalling force.
    As most have said dont even think about it just pedal naturally and fluidly without thought and you will find a natural effcient system for yourself


    Not at all - there is no requirement for the forces to be equal. When you calculate the turning moment about the crank axel the two forces will sum together no matter how asymmetric they are.

    Try it yourself:

    crank.jpg

    The moment about A = (F1 x L/2) + (-F2 x - L/2)
  • BruceG
    BruceG Posts: 347
    BruceG wrote:
    [
    Basic physics Scouse, what you are saying would only be true if the amount of force being exerted in the pull equalled that exactly of the push, then both actions would be contributing to the rotating power, if however one is less, and due to the biomechanics of the human leg, where it is more effcient in a straightening action (same as pushing in this context), the the push will always exert a greater force, unless you back off on the push then you achieved bugger all, apart froom robbing yourself of your most efficient pedalling force.
    As most have said dont even think about it just pedal naturally and fluidly without thought and you will find a natural effcient system for yourself


    Not at all - there is no requirement for the forces to be equal. When you calculate the turning moment about the crank axel the two forces will sum together no matter how asymmetric they are.

    Try it yourself:

    crank.jpg

    The moment about A = (F1 x L/2) + (-F2 x - L/2)

    And F2 becomes superfluous in adding anything to the turning force if it is less then f1, it is just a passenger (which in 99.99% of people it will be due to biomechanical design pof the human leg)therefore wasted energy thanks for providing the diagram to show this
  • BruceG
    BruceG Posts: 347
    MattC59 wrote:
    Just pedal !!

    It may sound silly but try to pedal in circles, you dont necessarily need to pull up with your trailiing leg to do this just follow through the movement completing the circle; this smooths the circle.
    not thinking about it.
    This ^^^^^^^

    probably what 99.99% of use do without thinking about it, the other 0.01% (scouse and the welsh guy) are busy concentrating on using an ineffcient pull system, however if it is good for them thats great
  • ilm_zero7
    ilm_zero7 Posts: 2,213
    CiB wrote:
    Don't pull your trailing foot on the upstroke. It doesn't work and your knees aren't designed for it. Enjoy the short rest.
    dont listen to this - - thats rubbish., the pull up is a valid part of both climbing and sprinting technique
    http://veloviewer.com/SigImage.php?a=3370a&r=3&c=5&u=M&g=p&f=abcdefghij&z=a.png
    Wiliers: Cento Uno/Superleggera R and Zero 7. Bianchi Infinito CV and Oltre XR2
  • Bruceg - not sure how you're working that out - the F2 term clearly contributes to the turning moment for all values greater than 0.
  • Having just got back from my first ride clipless (SPDs) I did find it more efficient pedalling up hill and/or stood on the pedals. Its did seem to help on the pull up. I will say that getting the cleats aligned correctly is a must. My right foot did not feel right and, being a lazy sod, I did not stop and adjust it. I can feel where it was putting pressure below my knee now. I have NOW adjusted the cleats correctly :-)
  • oldwelshman
    oldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    BruceG wrote:
    MattC59 wrote:
    Just pedal !!

    It may sound silly but try to pedal in circles, you dont necessarily need to pull up with your trailiing leg to do this just follow through the movement completing the circle; this smooths the circle.
    not thinking about it.
    This ^^^^^^^

    probably what 99.99% of use do without thinking about it, the other 0.01% (scouse and the welsh guy) are busy concentrating on using an ineffcient pull system, however if it is good for them thats great
    Bruce you really have no idea at all.
    Maybe Chris HOy and Jason Kenny need your advice as both of them pulled out of their pedals last year even though they had double toe straps on, are you suggesting this was caused by the force of the other leg ushing on the pedal and causing the opposite foot to come out as you suggest no force is applied?
    Have you never heard of anyone pulling out of their pedals during sprints or climbs and hard efforts? Are you saying this is not due to the effort from pulling up? If not how to you explain the foot comeing out?
    If you suggest that this force does not contribute to forward momentum I suggest you try to climb a steep hill with flat pedals and time yourself, then repeat the climb in cleats.
    Maybe you can also try this with a timed standing start 200m effort.
    I would be interested to see your times :D