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Thread: Foot Position

  1. #1
    Cries on hills supton's Avatar
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    Foot Position

    It's been dawning on me that the reason why my bike isn't fitting so well lately is because I've been trying to move my foot position. The most riding I've done, well, when I've been working hard anyhow, was offroad riding, through the mud and whatnot; and I've tended to wear work boots to do that--the step under the heel worked great to help keep my feet on the pedals. As a result, I kinda set things on my bike with the center of my foot over the center of the pedal.

    Lately, since I've read a bit more about it, I've been trying to ride with the ball of my foot over the pedal; and I think that's why the bike suddenly feels strange. [That, and years of being off it.]

    Just how inefficent is it to ride the way I used to ride? Is it bad from a physical standpoint? [Like, wrong seat height can mess with your knees.]
    '07 Trek Pilot 1.2
    '85 Panasonic Sport 1000 (beater, gone now)
    '69 Raleigh Sprite 5 speed (AW instead of S5, for now)

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    I get tired more when I ride like you used to ride. On the other hand, if I ride like I have SPD shoes, and I don't, my feet tend to come off pedals when going over bumpy side walk.

    I notice difference when going straight line, in both acceleration, and how tired I get.

  3. #3
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djSlvt
    I get tired more when I ride like you used to ride. On the other hand, if I ride like I have SPD shoes, and I don't, my feet tend to come off pedals when going over bumpy side walk.

    I notice difference when going straight line, in both acceleration, and how tired I get.
    A real man would own the road. He would not ride on the sidewalk. Sidewalks are for wussies.

    East Hill
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    I'm a wussie all the way. You right there, a kid on play ground, saying I'm better than you.

    For every action there is a reason. Why would you say that?


    Because at some point your ego got hurt. Why would your ego get hurt? Because it's small and fragile. You are susceptible to words hurting your little fragile ego. Thus the classic "I'm better than you" reflex. That reflex originated in your reptilian brain. Meaning you don't think. Further meaning you don't have good gens. Which is translated you're a bad choice when it comes to reproducing - what female would go with a bad choice?


    What we say is only 7% of our communication, but not in every person's reality. Some take this 7% to be the only communication they are able to perceive, the other 93% is none existent, because there is no skill to understand it.


    Such as, you replying in this thread to supposedly hurt me, is saying that you are so hang up on me, that I sooo hurt your ego, that you just had to do it. Just gotta get across that this guy is evil, and I'm better, because when I'm better I feel good, and when I'm anything but better I feel bad. I don't like my feelings get hurt. I have feelings, and they are very fragile.

  5. #5
    Two H's!!! TWO!!!!! chephy's Avatar
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    Too funny.

    Even if it's starting to get repetetive...

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    Double Agent Astronomical's Avatar
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    Yeah but who rides on the sidewalks! The only time I do is when the road's scoured or the cars are way too fast.

  7. #7
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djSlvt

    For every action there is a reason. Why would you say that?
    Because real CYCLISTS don't ride on sidewalks.

    It's not as safe as riding on the road.

    East Hill
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    It sounds like its dj's ego that got hurt
    Quote Originally Posted by M_S View Post
    ..... but at the end of the day we're all just dorks riding around on bicycles, right?

  9. #9
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyBikeGotStolen
    It sounds like its dj's ego that got hurt
    I guess this is why he doesn't post in the Road Cycling forum. They'd eat him alive over there.

    Oh no, wait, he doesn't post in the Road Cycling forum because he doesn't ride on the roads.

    Sorry, my bad.

    East Hill
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  10. #10
    Cries on hills supton's Avatar
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    I hate to be a rude newbie, but what does this have to do with my question? I just ignore this guy--I've only been here a week maybe, and I've learned that much already.

    Sorry, not trying to be rude, just honestly curious about the question.
    '07 Trek Pilot 1.2
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  11. #11
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supton
    I hate to be a rude newbie, but what does this have to do with my question?

    Sorry, not trying to be rude, just honestly curious about the question.
    You know, I had just been thinking that we never did answer your question. Sorry .

    I think it feels strange because you aren't used to it. If you ever go to clipless pedals, that will also feel strange. If you do go to clipless pedals, they are set up so that the ball of your foot is the part that is over the pedal, so that is the most efficient place for your foot to be.

    Not to say that the postition you are used to was bad (at least not for you), but I would imagine that there would be more stress involved.

    Others will chime in if I am wrong.

    Don't forget though, riding on sidewalks is not as safe for you, no matter what your foot position.

    East Hill
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    TRY EMPATHY & HAVE LOVE IN YOUR HEART, PERHAPS I'LL SEE YOU ON THE ROAD...

  12. #12
    Cries on hills supton's Avatar
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    Haven't ridden sidewalks in eons, and around home, there isn't any. But thanks for the tip anyhow.

    Yeah, I figured, there's going to be a learning curve as I get back into the saddle again. I'm probably going to do some bike shopping, and I plan to spend some time on the trainer again. Maybe by the end of summer I'll know what I'm doing.
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    I'm not a physiologist or anything but going by physics, there is a good reason to pedal with the ball of the foot. The ball of the foot has the most surface area that actually comes into contact with the surface of whatever you apply pressure to. (Think of footprints made when walking on concrete with wet feet). The main part of your foot applying downward pressure when you push down with the center of your foot is the outer edge (again think of footprints). Thus when you pedal with the ball of the foot vs. the center of the foot you are able to apply force over a greater surface area, thus reducing the likelyhood of foot pain/fatigue due to excessive force being repeatedly applied to a small cross-section of your foot.

    If I'm wrong feel free to correct me, but that seems to me to be a logical reason why the ball of the foot is preferable.

  14. #14
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Biomechanically it has to do with the muscles in the lower leg. Due to the way the bones are arranged, the muscles in the lower leg move the foot up & down and pivot at the ankles. If you were to pedal with your heel on the pedal, ALL of the muscles in your lower leg goes to flipping your toes up & down in thin air; all that power is wasted. With the ball of the foot on the pedals, you end up harnessing this power into driving the pedals around. The slight ankling motion, while seemingly minor, imparts serious power into your pedal-stroke. Those who play squash or racquetball knows how much more power you get from a tiny flick of the wrist at the last moment of contact.

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    Senior Member Caspar_s's Avatar
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    If you're riding offroad and had boots with heels, they would help keep your feet slipping off the pedals. Keeping your feet on the pedals was probably more important than how efficient it was.

    If you now want to ride mostly on the road, efficiency is more important, so get toe clips/clipless and change the set up.

    I ride on the pavement - the entrance to one MUT is about 10 feet from an intersection and there is no cutoff opposite it, so I go up onto the pavement. Same thing when I want to use the shortcut into the mall parking lot. I don't ride long distances on them - the up and down of the driveways get really annoying at 30km/hr

  16. #16
    Erectible Member pedalMonger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djSlvt
    Meaning you don't think. Further meaning you don't have good gens. Which is translated you're a bad choice when it comes to reproducing - what female would go with a bad choice?
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=esl2NNOtHQE

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