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Old 03-08-09, 08:01 PM   #1
sac02
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Pedal strikes

Avoid at all costs, or OK from time to time?

I did my first crit today, so I'm sure it's because of my poor technique that I was getting some pedal strike, not my excellent cornering. With that said, I clipped a pedal lightly three times today, but none of them serious enough to upset me or the bike. I think this may be partially due to the fact that I feel pretty comfortable pedaling through corners and controlling the occasional pedal strike from riding an old Peugeot road bike converted to fixed-gear for the last 2.5 years.

What's the conventional wisdom on pedal strikes? Are they to be avoided at all costs, and I should modify my cornering technique to coasting with the inside pedal up? Or is it really no big deal getting one or two scrapes if I feel comfortable enough with it?

Mac
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Old 03-08-09, 08:05 PM   #2
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Don't do it. Sometimes it happens, but pedaling through corners that you should not pedal through is just dumb and causes crashes all the time. All it takes is one big strike that kicks your back wheel up, blows your rear tire, and you take out a bunch of guys around you. If you need to pedal to keep up with people gliding in corners, you are doing something wrong.
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Old 03-08-09, 08:08 PM   #3
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Old 03-08-09, 08:12 PM   #4
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Well, you just demonstrated that you can do it with no problem.

I strike pedals quite frequently. One crit last year (the Matrix in Dallas), one particular corner I must've hit almost every lap.

And ZeCanon, it was an uphill corner so the cost of coasting was a lot of lost momentum.

Granted, some guys shouldn't do it; for whatever reason they don't have a good spatial sense to tell them when it's "too far" or the bike handling to absorb a bump and keep riding.
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Old 03-08-09, 08:13 PM   #5
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if you aint clicken', you aint cornerin'
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Old 03-08-09, 08:15 PM   #6
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Wear holes in the outside of your shoes then we'll talk.
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Old 03-08-09, 08:47 PM   #7
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Well, you just demonstrated that you can do it with no problem.

I strike pedals quite frequently. One crit last year (the Matrix in Dallas), one particular corner I must've hit almost every lap.

And ZeCanon, it was an uphill corner so the cost of coasting was a lot of lost momentum.

Granted, some guys shouldn't do it; for whatever reason they don't have a good spatial sense to tell them when it's "too far" or the bike handling to absorb a bump and keep riding.
I wouldn't ride anywhere near you, or any of the other idiots putting pedals down on a regular basis. Either learn to pedal without clipping, or stop pedaling before you cause a crash.

At least half the crashes I saw last weekend were a direct result of people putting pedals down. The cat 4 race had a huge pileup in the last corner because some moron tried to pedal, clipped, then tried again, clipped, then tried again clipped and ate it into a curb.

You rarely hear pedal strikes in higher cat races even though they hit corners way faster. Ever wonder why?
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Old 03-08-09, 09:47 PM   #8
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Well, you just demonstrated that you can do it with no problem.

I strike pedals quite frequently. One crit last year (the Matrix in Dallas), one particular corner I must've hit almost every lap.

And ZeCanon, it was an uphill corner so the cost of coasting was a lot of lost momentum.

Granted, some guys shouldn't do it; for whatever reason they don't have a good spatial sense to tell them when it's "too far" or the bike handling to absorb a bump and keep riding.
please dont do it, because the one time you get some air under the rear and lose grip, you'll take out many people.

are you trying to brag about pedal strikes or something? if you are going fast enough to lean in, you are going fast enough to coast through the apex. ruining shoes/pedals because you think you're better is really silly.
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Old 03-08-09, 09:49 PM   #9
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Don't do it. Sometimes it happens, but pedaling through corners that you should not pedal through is just dumb and causes crashes all the time. All it takes is one big strike that kicks your back wheel up, blows your rear tire, and you take out a bunch of guys around you. If you need to pedal to keep up with people gliding in corners, you are doing something wrong.
Again, newb speaking here, but wouldn't a couple pedal strokes through the corner mean less acceleration needed on my part coming out of the corner compared to the guy coasting?

Mac
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Old 03-08-09, 10:00 PM   #10
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Again, newb speaking here, but wouldn't a couple pedal strokes through the corner mean less acceleration needed on my part coming out of the corner compared to the guy coasting?

Mac
You ever consider the possibility that the friction generated from dragging a pedal might actually hurt more than help?

And is the risk of crashing worth what can only be considered a perceived benefit?

Next crit you're at stand on a corner and watch the P12's race and tell me how many pedals strikes you hear/see.
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Old 03-08-09, 10:01 PM   #11
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Again, newb speaking here, but wouldn't a couple pedal strokes through the corner mean less acceleration needed on my part coming out of the corner compared to the guy coasting?

Mac
I'm not saying don't pedal through corners ever, I'm saying don't pedal through corners that are too tight to pedal through without whacking the ground every time. Learn to pedal as long as possible before the corner and as soon as possible after. There are far less moronic techniques than pedal clipping that can be used to make up time while cornering.
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Old 03-08-09, 10:14 PM   #12
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I'm not saying don't pedal through corners ever, I'm saying don't pedal through corners that are too tight to pedal through without whacking the ground every time. Learn to pedal as long as possible before the corner and as soon as possible after. There are far less moronic techniques than pedal clipping that can be used to make up time while cornering.
Are you a particular angry individual? Did something in my question offend you? I asked an honest beginner's question trying to understand how I should approach cornering in a crit and within 10 posts you've either directly or indirectly called me dumb, an idiot, and a moron (twice). Are you the type of guy that cusses out a course marshal when he gets a flat?

Mac
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Old 03-08-09, 10:33 PM   #13
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I avoid strikes, but I don't think it's a big deal. The difference in cornering force between a pedal strike angle and the angle at traction limit is huge. If you're just starting to catch the pedal, you're not leaning very far, the wheel can hop, and will stick when it comes back down. I suppose this can vary for different crank lengths (I'm running 175s).

My pedals look machined on the outside from strikes. Of course, I've only ever owned two pairs of road pedals, and still ride the first pair from 1992. I've probably caught a pedal 100 times in the last 16 years, and never even come close to crashing.

Still, I avoid it. Last time I caught one was in a crit last season. We'd been cruising this corner pedaling for 40 minutes with no strikes. Then I attacked and went through the corner about 5mph faster, and that was enough to catch a pedal on the same corner. No big deal. Won.

So, avoid it, but not to the point of panic. When it happens, stay calm. Unless you planted it with WAY too much lean, your bike will come out of it fine. You're going to freak out some breakaway partners though.
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Old 03-08-09, 11:03 PM   #14
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Hey sac02, I don't think anyone is calling you out in particular (especially Zecanon.) So I wouldn't take anything personally.

What it comes down to is this - pedal strikes happen, but that doesn't mean you should do it intentionally. There a very thin line between a minor hit that skips your rear wheel and something big enough to make you lose control of your bike.
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Old 03-08-09, 11:26 PM   #15
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Hey sac02, I don't think anyone is calling you out in particular (especially Zecanon.) So I wouldn't take anything personally.

What it comes down to is this - pedal strikes happen, but that doesn't mean you should do it intentionally. There a very thin line between a minor hit that skips your rear wheel and something big enough to make you lose control of your bike.
I wasn't feeling insulted. I'm pretty thick-skinned, and one of the most laid back people you will meet; it takes a lot to ruffle my feathers. I was just pointing out that literally every one of ZeCanon's replies included a derogatory epithet, and appears (I don't know ZeCanon from Adam) to exemplify the stereotype of the roadie who is condescending to newcomers. [/emo]

Enough of that, I'd love to hear more talk about cornering.

Mac
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Old 03-09-09, 01:08 AM   #16
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What WR said. I got major pedal strike in a crit on the way to a W, but obviously kept it upright (on a uphill to downhill transition corner.) Ya should've heard the crowd gasp, but I guess years of MTB where that stuff happens all the time prepared me even when my bike jumped what felt like two feet. Otherwise I try to avoid it. You can corner with the bike more upright and still pedal... All about the COM. I'm still working on that. Oh yeah, that crit where I clipped my pedal? Lower cat crit. Good place to learn stuff.
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Old 03-09-09, 07:39 AM   #17
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I wasn't feeling insulted. I'm pretty thick-skinned, and one of the most laid back people you will meet; it takes a lot to ruffle my feathers. I was just pointing out that literally every one of ZeCanon's replies included a derogatory epithet, and appears (I don't know ZeCanon from Adam) to exemplify the stereotype of the roadie who is condescending to newcomers. [/emo]

Enough of that, I'd love to hear more talk about cornering.

Mac
I was responding to those who posted that it is perfectly ok to clip pedals on a regular basis, not your question. Note that my first post was a simple answer to your question. It was some of the answers you got which were advocating something both idiotic and dangerous that I was irked at in my later posts, which had nothing to do with the original question.

Note the use of "reply with quote."
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Old 03-09-09, 08:25 AM   #18
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Enough of that, I'd love to hear more talk about cornering.

Mac
This is the right question to ask Most importantly, learn to take a good line through the apex of a corner. If you take a good line in the first place, you won't need to lean as far in and clip your pedals. For some instruction watch a pro 1-2 criterium and see how its done.
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Old 03-09-09, 09:01 AM   #19
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Again, newb speaking here, but wouldn't a couple pedal strokes through the corner mean less acceleration needed on my part coming out of the corner compared to the guy coasting?

Mac
No, pedaling through the corner means you're already accelerating coming out. You reduce the acceleration required by carrying more speed into the corner. Disregard anyone that says that you negotiate corners fastest by pedaling more and accelerating harder out of them - they're wrong. Hitting the apex with as much speed as possible is what you want to do. Not that this is EASY, by any means.

Oh, and another warning about pedaling while leaned over in a turn - unless you're very good and practiced, you're likely to throw yourself off your line a bit. Accelerating while banked over in a turn is very unstable. You don't need a pedal strike to cause a pile-up. I avoid pedaling usually until I'm most of the way through, because I don't have the balance right now to really accelerate safely while banked.

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This is the right question to ask Most importantly, learn to take a good line through the apex of a corner. If you take a good line in the first place, you won't need to lean as far in and clip your pedals. For some instruction watch a pro 1-2 criterium and see how its done.
If you're in a pack, chances are you don't have any choice about the line you take through a corner. You have to do what the group does, or you'll cause a crash. If you can sneak through on the inside or outside line, that's one thing, but generally you can only choose the line through the corner if you're on the front or on a solo breakaway.
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Old 03-09-09, 09:46 AM   #20
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Note the use of "reply with quote."
Noted, with quote.

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This is the right question to ask Most importantly, learn to take a good line through the apex of a corner. If you take a good line in the first place, you won't need to lean as far in and clip your pedals. For some instruction watch a pro 1-2 criterium and see how its done.
I did watch the Men's A race, but at that point I wasn't analyzing my race in my mind and thus did not think to really watch their cornering; I was basically just spectating. As far as choosing a racing line is concerned, I feel I am likely much better than the average beginner because I've been racing cars for about ten years now. Obviously the racing line for a severely underpowered (compared to a car) bicycle will be different, but I've driven anything from a 600whp CP F-body to a stock Miata, and the adjustments appear to be similar.

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No, pedaling through the corner means you're already accelerating coming out. You reduce the acceleration required by carrying more speed into the corner. Disregard anyone that says that you negotiate corners fastest by pedaling more and accelerating harder out of them - they're wrong. Hitting the apex with as much speed as possible is what you want to do. Not that this is EASY, by any means.
As I mentioned, I've driven a Miata, but it's been a while. It's just starting to come back to me what an underpowered vehicle needs compared to the FSAE car I've been driving the past year. Like the Miata, the bicycle needs to maintain as much speed through the corner as possible because the power to accelerate out of the corner just isn't available (or it costs you a match). With a Viper, you try to get on the gas as sooon as possible to take advantage of the strong ability of the car to accelerate.

Actually, a LOT from my auto racing background has come in useful on a bike - racing line, vision, how to deal with the pressure and not make a mistake when someone is behind you trying to pass, etc.

Mac
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Old 03-09-09, 01:00 PM   #21
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Noted, with quote.



I did watch the Men's A race, but at that point I wasn't analyzing my race in my mind and thus did not think to really watch their cornering; I was basically just spectating. As far as choosing a racing line is concerned, I feel I am likely much better than the average beginner because I've been racing cars for about ten years now. Obviously the racing line for a severely underpowered (compared to a car) bicycle will be different, but I've driven anything from a 600whp CP F-body to a stock Miata, and the adjustments appear to be similar.



As I mentioned, I've driven a Miata, but it's been a while. It's just starting to come back to me what an underpowered vehicle needs compared to the FSAE car I've been driving the past year. Like the Miata, the bicycle needs to maintain as much speed through the corner as possible because the power to accelerate out of the corner just isn't available (or it costs you a match). With a Viper, you try to get on the gas as sooon as possible to take advantage of the strong ability of the car to accelerate.

Actually, a LOT from my auto racing background has come in useful on a bike - racing line, vision, how to deal with the pressure and not make a mistake when someone is behind you trying to pass, etc.

Mac
cars have four wheels and can go through corners sideways to go faster..
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Old 03-09-09, 01:11 PM   #22
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in 3 years of racing (mainly crits) I can count on one hand the number of times I've clipped a pedal and I pedal through every turn unless I'm up against a curb. Maybe i'm not being aggressive enough in my lean but i feel like i'm doing what everyone else in the group is doing as far as the lean.
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Old 03-09-09, 01:24 PM   #23
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in 3 years of racing (mainly crits) I can count on one hand the number of times I've clipped a pedal and I pedal through every turn unless I'm up against a curb. Maybe i'm not being aggressive enough in my lean but i feel like i'm doing what everyone else in the group is doing as far as the lean.
You probably have better technique. If you lean your body you can keep your bike more upright and pedal through tighter corners than you would be able to.

I picked up all sorts of spots in my RR this weekend by going inside of guys who would stop pedaling and take bad lines through easy corners.
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Old 03-09-09, 06:14 PM   #24
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If you go through the corner right the situation where a pedal-strike is inevitable is avoided.
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Old 03-11-09, 09:54 AM   #25
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I've seen a couple guys go down this year after striking the pedals in turns... actually they were both in 3-5 person breaks... Not the best way to stay away! Sometimes their are stirkes in the group. Definitley not appreciated by a peleton riding very close together.

As noted above, carry more speed, lean the bike more or your body but don't push it to save what you think may be .015 seconds on the exit. If more people considered the their own safety as well as the safety of others bike racing would be a little better for it. Nothing worse than some no holds barred cat 4 racer who takes out someone else be being overly agressive... 99% of us have day jobs and families and hate road rash, broken bones and ambulance bills!
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