Advice. Form and pedaling.

heavymental
heavymental Posts: 2,076
edited September 2013 in Road beginners
I'm not being snobby or anything but I do notice that lots of people I see out riding look ungainly out on the bike. I think maybe it's just because they are not aware of the fact that it is desirable to obtain a certain form when riding and beginners maybe think that the sport is just about perching yourself on the saddle and mashing the pedals to get around a route fast. A lot of people have got into cycling recently and I'm sure not all of them will have had any advice on actually riding their new bike.

Riding a bike well is about being balanced on the bike and pedaling smoothly. Not only for aesthetics but for efficiency. My advice for beginners is to read up on efficient pedaling and to think about it next time you are on the bike. Keep your upper body still and concentrate on smooth pedaling. I'm no expert so I won't try and tell you but I just think it's something that beginners should bear in mind and look into. You will then be able to glide along the roads without looking like just another new recruit to road biking.

Not that I enjoy the snobby (lots of it is tongue in cheek) nature of this website but these articles are a good start to get you thinking about what you should aim to be riding like...

http://www.velominati.com/look-pro/look ... -danseuse/

http://www.velominati.com/tradition/look-pro-souplesse/

Comments

  • Some good points, but you're forgetting one thing - not everyone will be interested in how they "should aim to be riding like" or not "looking like just another new recruit to road biking" the same as some people won't be interested in the lastest innovation in carbon fibre weave or how much their wheels weigh. Cycling is an individual thing and people get out of it what they want.

    When I first started out many a year ago I was mashing away and quickly getting tired, but then I learnt that a lower gear and higher cadence can make me go faster for further. That was choice to learn. I see countless people on a daily basis with saddles so low their knees are almost hitting their shoulders as they pedal and I always feel like saying to them that raising their saddle could make a world of difference, but I don't as its their bike, they paid for it so they can do whatever they what with it.

    BTW, I'm not having a go, I'm just saying.
    Reporter: "What's your prediction for the fight?"
    Clubber Lang: "Prediction?"
    Reporter: "Yes. Prediction"
    Clubber Lang: "....Pain!!!"
  • Ride hard wrote:
    Some good points, but you're forgetting one thing - not everyone will be interested in how they "should aim to be riding like" or not "looking like just another new recruit to road biking" the same as some people won't be interested in the lastest innovation in carbon fibre weave or how much their wheels weigh. Cycling is an individual thing and people get out of it what they want.

    When I first started out many a year ago I was mashing away and quickly getting tired, but then I learnt that a lower gear and higher cadence can make me go faster for further. That was choice to learn. I see countless people on a daily basis with saddles so low their knees are almost hitting their shoulders as they pedal and I always feel like saying to them that raising their saddle could make a world of difference, but I don't as its their bike, they paid for it so they can do whatever they what with it.

    BTW, I'm not having a go, I'm just saying.

    Yeh I know what you're saying but like I said, a lot of it is about efficiency and it will be of benefit to know that there is actually a technique and skill to be learnt. I don't think everyone know that there is more to it than simply pedaling hard and not falling off.
  • I think sometimes it's just a case of finding your form... I still go out on rides and find something new that makes me feel more fluid and more progressive.

    I still ride like a gangly t**t who hasn't got a clue sometimes, but posts like this help people realise where they are going wrong.
  • Some people just don't look elegent on the bike, see Chris Froome for one, and ample other examples around Richmond Park on a sunny weekend. Some are fast some less so.
  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    Maybe Froome looks a bit gangly, but there are too many people who don't give a second thought to positioning on the bike and do end up with the saddle too low so knees stick out looking like they're riding a clown bike, or they have the bars rotated so that the tops of the hoods are facing backwards at 45 degrees off level (like the bloke I saw carrying his bike into Go Outdoors the other week).

    Doing it right is part of the joy and as it's more effiicient to ride with upper body steady, legs not quite straightening, arms almost parallel to the floor with a near 90 degree elbow bend when on the hoods etc etc, you can't help but wonder whether these people ever actually think about what they're doing. It's like driving a car - you can just jump in and do it without thinking about it (after all you passed your test you know everything now surely) or you can continue to think about it and try to be better at it, which starts by knowing and ackowledging what you're not getting quite right. It's a pity the poice can't be armed to pick off anyone riding with the saddle too low and the bars at a comedy angle, and a free shot at those wearing trainers and pedalling with the feet splayed outwards; anyone with that approach shouldn't be on a bike, or has stolen it.

    :wink:
  • elderone
    elderone Posts: 1,410
    As if there isn,t enough to think about already :D .To be honest to many people spend to much time worrying about what other people are doing.Yes, there is a proper way but that needs to be learned as you go along.
    As for myself,I have read loads on here and try and apply anything I learn to my riding,but that,s just me.
    Believe it or not some just want to jump on a bike and peddle.Where is that so wrong.
    Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori
  • elderone wrote:
    As if there isn,t enough to think about already :D .To be honest to many people spend to much time worrying about what other people are doing.Yes, there is a proper way but that needs to be learned as you go along.
    As for myself,I have read loads on here and try and apply anything I learn to my riding,but that,s just me.
    Believe it or not some just want to jump on a bike and peddle.Where is that so wrong.

    I can believe that and its fine by me. Just wanted people to be aware there is technique they can work on if they wish. Interesting sig elderone. Hell of a poem that, If that's what you're referring to?
  • elderone wrote:
    Believe it or not some just want to jump on a bike and peddle.Where is that so wrong.

    A good point. There is no right or wrong way to cycle, if you're happy with how you feel on the bike, then that is the right way for you. To be told you're doing it wrong can cause unnecessary worry for those who may not be fully confident as it's something else to concern yourself with.

    During the weekly commute I'll wear work shoes or trainers. Tried clips but fell off a number of times despite giving them a chance. I suspect I'm not positioned entirely correctly either, but it takes time to learn these things. What's important to me at the moment is getting my fitness up and making sure I'm safe. The 'right way' to pedal and position myself will come later through the minor adjustments I make weekly.

    What's important to note is that this area of the forum is for beginners. Most of us aren't going to spend hundreds on a full bike fit and will more than likely have come back to cycling through the Cycle 2 Work scheme or by picking up a bargain from a LBS or Halfords. If these people choose to cycle longer distances and maybe do a TT or Sportive, then that's the time to worry about their efficiency.

    I note this comes across appearing to bash the OP - that's not my intention, it's just to tell people not to worry too much if you appear to be doing things your own way.
  • elderone
    elderone Posts: 1,410
    elderone wrote:
    As if there isn,t enough to think about already :D .To be honest to many people spend to much time worrying about what other people are doing.Yes, there is a proper way but that needs to be learned as you go along.
    As for myself,I have read loads on here and try and apply anything I learn to my riding,but that,s just me.
    Believe it or not some just want to jump on a bike and peddle.Where is that so wrong.

    I can believe that and its fine by me. Just wanted people to be aware there is technique they can work on if they wish. Interesting sig elderone. Hell of a poem that, If that's what you're referring to?
    Yes it is that poem.For some reason it struck a chord with me as a child and I have liked it ever since.To be fair,my passion is the first world war so I guess it fits.
    Btw I agree with what your saying,just adding that some people don,t or never will be bothered with doing things
    "by the book" :D
    Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori