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  1. #1
    Senior Member VarVintg's Avatar
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    What do your heels do???

    Okay so I'm fairly new to this c/v riding craze and throughout the last few months I'm learning as I go, so thank you forum. Each bike is a bit different, hand placement, moving up or back in the saddle and such. Lately though I have been noticing my feet placement on the pedals, (no clips or cages). So this maybe a dumb question, but here it goes. What are your feet supposed to look like as you pedal? I mostly ride with my toes pointed slightly lower than my heels almost the entire ride, both up and down strokes. If I start to cramp up, (for lack of a better word) I'll pedal where i stretch out my calf muscles by dropping my heels on the way down from the top. Hope this makes sense. Is there a correct method to pedaling, or should I just be quiet and ride? I'll hang up and listen to your responses, ha ha.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    I usually try to "ankle" , which involves sort of rotating your feet a bit as the crank goes round. Hard to describe but easier with toe clips and straps. You should have the ball of your foot directly over the spindle of the pedal for best efficiency. At least, that's how I learned it.

  3. #3
    Wookie Jesus inspires me. Puget Pounder's Avatar
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    Lots of discussion about this.

    I believe that dropping your wheels puts stress on your ankles. I keep my ankles locked as that is what feels natural to me.

    I think Sheldon Brown talks about this a little bit on his site saying that this is how he got an injury back when "ankling" was the thing to do.

  4. #4
    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    Yeah. Good point. I'm going off thirty five year old info here! I do it just a hint, however. It feels kind of natural to me as I pull up a bit on the up stroke.

  5. #5
    Chainstay Brake Mafia
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    get cages or clips they will help your form a lot by keeping your foot in the right place
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Teon's Avatar
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    I have to agree with frantik......after the last few days of riding and watching my feet go all over the place, I'm going to put my cages back on this evening. Should at least help keep my feet in a somewhat consistent position, plus having some power on the upstroke is bound to help, imo.

  7. #7
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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  8. #8
    Wookie Jesus inspires me. Puget Pounder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frantik View Post
    get cages or clips they will help your form a lot by keeping your foot in the right place
    I think the OP is talking about vertical movement rather than horizontal. I don't see how clips would help with ankle abduction/adduction.

  9. #9
    Oh Snap, not again... atmdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    So bright orange shoelaces are the ticket. Thanks

  10. #10
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atmdad View Post
    So bright orange shoelaces are the ticket. Thanks
    They help to keep your feet lined up.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  11. #11
    Chainstay Brake Mafia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puget Pounder View Post
    I think the OP is talking about vertical movement rather than horizontal. I don't see how clips would help with ankle abduction/adduction.
    i dont know why but i feel like with cages i dont move my ankle as much either..
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Teon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atmdad View Post
    So bright orange shoelaces are the ticket. Thanks
    On my way to the store right now to find a pair of reflective orange shoe laces!!!!

  13. #13
    Wookie Jesus inspires me. Puget Pounder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frantik View Post
    i dont know why but i feel like with cages i dont move my ankle as much either..
    Interesting. Sorry, for a sec, I thought you might've misunderstood the OP's question. It could be that by keeping your foot in one optimal position, your ankle doesn't have to compensate. Just a guess.

  14. #14
    Oh Snap, not again... atmdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    They help to keep your feet lined up.



    Seriously, straps, clips, clipless pedals to keep the ball of your feet roughly centered over the spindle is what you want to aim for. Having fairly stiff soles on your shoes if your regularly riding longer distances is helpful as well. Doing a twenty mile ride in a pair of flip-flops most likely will lead to foot pain

  15. #15
    Chainstay Brake Mafia
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    yeah i think when you have your foot in the right place it's much easier to transfer power from your legs directly to the pedals. plus the cages hold your feet in place so you can just hammer away and not think about your feet at all

    on my mtb without cages i feel like i do move my ankles more, perhaps to keep contact with the pedals.. i never really thought about it much, except ive been meaning to put cages on my mtb haha

    Having fairly stiff soles on your shoes if your regularly riding longer distances is helpful as well. Doing a twenty mile ride in a pair of flip-flops most likely will lead to foot pain
    yes a stiff soled shoe really helps. my regular "riding shoes" are actually a stiff-soled "hiking sandal" with a closed toe.. before that i was riding with some old worn out vans with a flexible sole and they sucked a lot
    Last edited by frantik; 07-14-11 at 01:26 PM.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    Rather than removing your clipless pedals and install cages straps and cleats to retain foot position through the pedal stroke, might you just consider getting "zero float" cleats and just adjust your clipless pedal cleats properly to an optimal position to start out with?

    Chombi

  17. #17
    Chainstay Brake Mafia
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    are you addressing me with that? my mtb just has platform pedals no cleats or anything
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  18. #18
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  19. #19
    Senior Member rothenfield1's Avatar
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    I don't know about you, but magical things happen when I click mine together 3 times. (I wouldn't advise trying this when you are clipped-in however.)

  20. #20
    Senior Member VarVintg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prettyshady View Post
    Okay here is what I'm talking about. Dont have a problem with my feet moving around or off the pedals or anything like that, and I do have proper placement on the pedals. In this pic Eddy's left foot shows his toes way below his heel, yet his right foot is either parrallel to the ground, or the heel of his foot is just below his toes. I mostly ride with both of my feet the way his left foot is, pretty much locked in place, only not tipped down so much. Then when I need to stretch I rotate my ankles a bit like his right foot. Is that what you call "ankling" Just started this riding thing, and getting too old to get hurt!
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    I think some pro racers today seem to still do the ankling motion when they pedal. I seem to detect such with Contador when he pedals hard from the saddle, (specially when there is a upward grade to the road) when I was watching him in the TDF this last two weeks.
    Regarding clipless pedals, they would be a possible solution if you don't want too much lateral foot motion in the pedals as they will limit your foot to pedal movement, depending on the cleat you buy, although you can still do ankling motions with them. as that movement is just coming from you ankle joints.

    Chombi

  22. #22
    )) <> (( illwafer's Avatar
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    OP,

    imo, you've got it figured out. if you can ride as long as you want without any repercussions (other than muscle soreness), you are doing it right. lots of people will tell you to "clip in" and put your feet in an unnatural position...and they will have sore knees because of it.

    however, i will say if you want a extra security from foot slippage and a slight gain in efficiency, check out Power Grips. it will keep your foot in the same position, you can use your same pedals, and they aren't tricky to get out of in a hurry. i have them on all my bikes.

  23. #23
    Wookie Jesus inspires me. Puget Pounder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by illwafer View Post
    OP,

    imo, you've got it figured out. if you can ride as long as you want without any repercussions (other than muscle soreness), you are doing it right. lots of people will tell you to "clip in" and put your feet in an unnatural position...and they will have sore knees because of it.

    however, i will say if you want a extra security from foot slippage and a slight gain in efficiency, check out Power Grips. it will keep your foot in the same position, you can use your same pedals, and they aren't tricky to get out of in a hurry. i have them on all my bikes.
    Your feet are only clipped in at an unnatural position if you set it up that way. No sore knees here--not even on the longest of rides.

    But yes, Powergrips work really well if you can get over the aesthetics. It kind of sucks using them across different shoes if you like them tight.

  24. #24
    Let your bike be the tool cranky old road's Avatar
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    Notice that Eddy's feet are at almost the same angle relative to his lower legs, so his ankles are relatively stable.
    Never try to teach a pig to sing...

  25. #25
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    Um ... hopefully beat Duke a buncha times and win a national championship.

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