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Leg position when pedalling

slowmartslowmart Posts: 4,041
I was having a post ride coffee with a mate when he bought up the subject of my leg position when pedalling. My right leg is fine and rotates in line with no out ward deflection. My left leg however moves out at the knee and he suggested I'm losing efficiency peddling like this.


I had a bike fit a couple of years ago so do I book myself in for another fit or is it more of a conscious effort on my behalf to keep my left knee in line with the crank when I'm pedalling? I had a ride earlier today and I was making an effort to keep better knee/leg alignment....which from my subjective viewpoint worked quite well and no doubt I'll ask for feedback on this Sundays ride.

Thank in advance
“Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

Desmond Tutu

Posts

  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    slowmart wrote:
    I was having a post ride coffee with a mate when he bought up the subject of my leg position when pedalling. My right leg is fine and rotates in line with no out ward deflection. My left leg however moves out at the knee and he suggested I'm losing efficiency peddling like this.


    I had a bike fit a couple of years ago so do I book myself in for another fit or is it more of a conscious effort on my behalf to keep my left knee in line with the crank when I'm pedalling? I had a ride earlier today and I was making an effort to keep better knee/leg alignment....which from my subjective viewpoint worked quite well and no doubt I'll ask for feedback on this Sundays ride.

    Thank in advance
    I wouldn't worry initially about inefficiency, I'd worry more about harming your knee over time. When I started riding I had a tendency to let my knees stick out a bit. My toes also angled outwards somewhat. These were both symptoms of a postural issue with my glutes, core and lower back. I made an effort to keep my knees close to the top tube and eliminate any lateral wobble and this soon became second nature. I think it helped a bit with muscle balance and reduced some knee pain I was experiencing but I also did some work on my glutes and core which helped me with posture both on and off the bike. It also eliminated slight back pain that I used to get when I ran.

    IMO this forum has an unhealthy obsession with ascribing all woes to issues with bike fit. While getting your bike fit right is important, it doesn't automatically prevent or address all problems. just because you have a problem when riding your bike, does not mean the setup of the bike is causing it or even that cycling is causing it. It's perfectly possible that the cause is completely unrelated to cycling and any odd bio-mechaincs or pain observed while riding are just a symptom....or it could be bike fit.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,089
    slowmart wrote:
    I was having a post ride coffee with a mate when he bought up the subject of my leg position when pedalling. My right leg is fine and rotates in line with no out ward deflection. My left leg however moves out at the knee and he suggested I'm losing efficiency peddling like this.

    Unless this is actually causing you any problems (which it sounds like it isn't) - then it's not an issue. Ask your mate to explain why he thinks pedalling like that is somehow less efficient - I suspect he won't be able to.
  • ncrncr Posts: 98
    Imposter wrote:
    slowmart wrote:
    I was having a post ride coffee with a mate when he bought up the subject of my leg position when pedalling. My right leg is fine and rotates in line with no out ward deflection. My left leg however moves out at the knee and he suggested I'm losing efficiency peddling like this.

    Unless this is actually causing you any problems (which it sounds like it isn't) - then it's not an issue. Ask your mate to explain why he thinks pedalling like that is somehow less efficient - I suspect he won't be able to.

    It's less aerodynamic, which means it increases wind resistance.
  • styxdstyxd Posts: 3,234
    Could be down to your bike fit; saddle may be too low? Or perhaps you have a "bowed" leg?
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    styxd wrote:
    Could be down to your bike fit; saddle may be too low? Or perhaps you have a "bowed" leg?
    Possible but unlikely
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,089
    ncr wrote:
    It's less aerodynamic, which means it increases wind resistance.

    That might be technically accurate, but, really? Come on...
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,643
    I have a dodgy hip which causes my left knee to turn outwards while pedalling. I am currently trying to make an effort to keep it straight, and when I do it is definitely less efficient and more painful. I'm going to keep trying, I'll let you know how I get on.
  • ncrncr Posts: 98
    bompington wrote:
    I have a dodgy hip which causes my left knee to turn outwards while pedalling. I am currently trying to make an effort to keep it straight, and when I do it is definitely less efficient and more painful. I'm going to keep trying, I'll let you know how I get on.
    Have you tried one legged pedalling ?
  • styxdstyxd Posts: 3,234
    ncr wrote:
    bompington wrote:
    I have a dodgy hip which causes my left knee to turn outwards while pedalling. I am currently trying to make an effort to keep it straight, and when I do it is definitely less efficient and more painful. I'm going to keep trying, I'll let you know how I get on.
    Have you tried one legged pedalling ?

    One legged pedalling has been shown to have a real benefit in learning correct technique. I used to practice it some years ago; if you can find some 10mm BMX stunt pegs and attach them to either end of your rear axle, it'll give you something to rest your foot on on whilst practicing one legged drills.
  • secretsqizzsecretsqizz Posts: 424
    If you can stop a pig in an alley, I wouldnt worry about it.
    My pen won't write on the screen
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,089
    styxd wrote:
    One legged pedalling has been shown to have a real benefit in learning correct technique. I used to practice it some years ago; if you can find some 10mm BMX stunt pegs and attach them to either end of your rear axle, it'll give you something to rest your foot on on whilst practicing one legged drills.

    Pedalling with one leg tells you absolutely nothing about how to pedal with two.
  • NeXXusNeXXus Posts: 854
    styxd wrote:
    ncr wrote:
    bompington wrote:
    I have a dodgy hip which causes my left knee to turn outwards while pedalling. I am currently trying to make an effort to keep it straight, and when I do it is definitely less efficient and more painful. I'm going to keep trying, I'll let you know how I get on.
    Have you tried one legged pedalling ?

    One legged pedalling has been shown to have a real benefit in learning correct technique. I used to practice it some years ago; if you can find some 10mm BMX stunt pegs and attach them to either end of your rear axle, it'll give you something to rest your foot on on whilst practicing one legged drills.
    What is correct technique?
    And the people bowed and prayed, to the neon god they made.
  • ncrncr Posts: 98
    NeXXus wrote:
    styxd wrote:
    ncr wrote:
    bompington wrote:
    I have a dodgy hip which causes my left knee to turn outwards while pedalling. I am currently trying to make an effort to keep it straight, and when I do it is definitely less efficient and more painful. I'm going to keep trying, I'll let you know how I get on.
    Have you tried one legged pedalling ?

    One legged pedalling has been shown to have a real benefit in learning correct technique. I used to practice it some years ago; if you can find some 10mm BMX stunt pegs and attach them to either end of your rear axle, it'll give you something to rest your foot on on whilst practicing one legged drills.
    What is correct technique?

    Knees not out, after that it depends on what it's needed for, this one below is for flat TT's, mashing and circular are for use in road races.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hh2DcgpnkU
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    The standard of trolling on here has really dropped :cry:
  • JayKostaJayKosta Posts: 635
    slowmart wrote:
    ...
    My left leg however moves out at the knee and he suggested I'm losing efficiency peddling like this.
    ...

    I'd start by paying attention to the feeling in your feet and ankles as you pedal.
    Do both sides 'feel' the same? Can you feel any tilt or motion that different between sides?
    If feeling in feet seems ok, then move up to knees, and then hips.

    Also consider if one leg is longer than the other.
    Try walking on a flat smooth surface (e.g. indoor shopping mall) and feel if your walking motion feels the same with both legs. Does one leg seems to strike the floor differently, or is there imbalance in hip motion?

    Jay Kosta
    Endwell NY USA
  • slowmartslowmart Posts: 4,041
    JayKosta wrote:
    slowmart wrote:
    ...
    My left leg however moves out at the knee and he suggested I'm losing efficiency peddling like this.
    ...

    I'd start by paying attention to the feeling in your feet and ankles as you pedal.
    Do both sides 'feel' the same? Can you feel any tilt or motion that different between sides?
    If feeling in feet seems ok, then move up to knees, and then hips.

    Also consider if one leg is longer than the other.
    Try walking on a flat smooth surface (e.g. indoor shopping mall) and feel if your walking motion feels the same with both legs. Does one leg seems to strike the floor differently, or is there imbalance in hip motion?

    Jay Kosta
    Endwell NY USA

    Hi Jay and thanks for answering - I'm carrying a permanent injury on my right leg and while its a lot weaker than my left it rotates fine! Everything feels "normal" in terms of feet, knees and hips and I'm pleased to say I'm pain free. I'm making a conscious effort to keep my left leg in better alignment and it seems a mixed reaction on here if there is an issue with a deflected pedal stroke?
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    If you've got stiffness/weakness one side, then I'd be looking to use stretching to see if you can balance out. I think making an active effort to ride balanced could cause injuries elsewhere particularly in your lower back muscles.
  • slowmartslowmart Posts: 4,041
    That has been in my mind recently as I've increased my weekly mileage so I've got my first yoga class on Friday.

    The 1200 calories a day is kicking in, I'm getting some good times on my standard loops and the weight is dropping off. OK if i have a longish ride i up my calories by 200 to 400 and it was a lack of patience that was more of an issue!
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
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