Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-17-13, 08:09 PM   #1
vol
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 3,314
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
How to pedal the bike efficiently

This may be a laughable discovery for many, but it's new for me. I recently found that if I apply force to the pedal all the way until it is at the lowest point, it's more efficient and less tiring than if I release too early, before the pedal has reached the lowest point (the latter is what I usually did in the past). By the same token, start applying pedal force a bit later, when the pedal has passed the highest point by some angle, instead of starting pedaling hard when it's at the highest point, it also helps with efficiency. Perhaps such detailed observations are addressed when learning professional cycling? (Did I make myself clear?)
vol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-13, 08:50 PM   #2
Machka 
Long Distance Cyclist
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: I ride where the thylacine roamed!
Bikes: Lots
Posts: 46,237
Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 336 Post(s)
Now, instead of easing up at the lowest point, keep applying pressure through the bottom and pull up a little bit at the "back" of the pedal stroke.

In other words, sort of like the motion you'd use to scrape a lot of mud off the bottom of your shoe.

These observations are addressed in any number of cycling books.
Machka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-13, 09:21 PM   #3
vol
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 3,314
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Now, instead of easing up at the lowest point, keep applying pressure through the bottom and pull up a little bit at the "back" of the pedal stroke.

In other words, sort of like the motion you'd use to scrape a lot of mud off the bottom of your shoe.

These observations are addressed in any number of cycling books.
Yes, I was going to say that--keep applying pedaling force after the lowest point--but I was afraid I couldn't make what I say clear . Thank you so much for the affirmation! It produces great inertia, like just letting the wheels glide along for a while after releasing the force.

Any other tips?
vol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-13, 09:44 PM   #4
Machka 
Long Distance Cyclist
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: I ride where the thylacine roamed!
Bikes: Lots
Posts: 46,237
Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 336 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by vol View Post
Any other tips?
Yes ... get books.

Smart Cycling by Dr Arnie Baker
Bicycling Medicine by Dr Arnie Baker
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_sa...Aarnie%20baker

The Cyclist's Training Bible by Joe Friel
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_sa...cycle+training

Just to name a few choices.
Machka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-13, 09:53 PM   #5
vol
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 3,314
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Thanks. (Never thought I need to read books to know how to ride the bike )
vol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-13, 12:54 AM   #6
Machka 
Long Distance Cyclist
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: I ride where the thylacine roamed!
Bikes: Lots
Posts: 46,237
Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 336 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by vol View Post
Thanks. (Never thought I need to read books to know how to ride the bike )
If you just want to ride around the block or something, you probably don't need to do any further research, but if you want to train and improve etc. that's where books come in. When I started to cycle "seriously" I read everything my library had on bicycles and cycling. Since then I've acquired a small library of books on cycling.
Machka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-13, 11:25 AM   #7
sreten
Banned.
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Brighton UK
Bikes: 20" Folder, Road Bike
Posts: 1,664
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi,

Strictly speaking advanced pedalling techniques allow you to generate a little
more power when you might want to, but there is no real evidence over a
long ride there is anything more efficient than letting your legs do what
ever they decide to do naturally. It is more than likely than any form of
exaggerated pedalling technique is less efficient, but still has more power.

For a top cyclist power to weight is more important than efficiency.

rgds, sreten.
sreten is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-13, 11:56 AM   #8
ThermionicScott 
Gratuitous glib and snark
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers)
Posts: 13,607
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 210 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by vol View Post
This may be a laughable discovery for many, but it's new for me. I recently found that if I apply force to the pedal all the way until it is at the lowest point, it's more efficient and less tiring than if I release too early, before the pedal has reached the lowest point (the latter is what I usually did in the past). By the same token, start applying pedal force a bit later, when the pedal has passed the highest point by some angle, instead of starting pedaling hard when it's at the highest point, it also helps with efficiency. Perhaps such detailed observations are addressed when learning professional cycling? (Did I make myself clear?)
One other big thing is to unweight your other foot when pedaling -- when your legs are both pushing down on the pedals (even a little), it wastes energy and slows you down.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-13, 02:59 PM   #9
SpeshulEd
Super Moderator
 
SpeshulEd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Bikes:
Posts: 7,421
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 343 Post(s)
Pedal in circles...all the way around.

__________________
Hey guys, lets go play bikes! Strava

SpeshulEd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-13, 05:01 PM   #10
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 7
Posts: 20,408
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 648 Post(s)
Always ride to the leeward side , wind to your back.
fietsbob is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-13, 11:45 AM   #11
vol
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 3,314
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeshulEd View Post
Pedal in circles...all the way around.
Thanks for the video (nice British accent)! Thanks for the other tips, too!
vol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-13, 12:21 PM   #12
sreten
Banned.
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Brighton UK
Bikes: 20" Folder, Road Bike
Posts: 1,664
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi,

Nice video about effective (= power) pedalling.

But its not the same as efficiency (body fuel per mile).

rgds, sreten.
sreten is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-13, 12:32 PM   #13
vol
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 3,314
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sreten View Post
Hi,

Nice video about effective (= power) pedalling.

But its not the same as efficiency (body fuel per mile).

rgds, sreten.
What I mean is "less exhausting", not wasting body energy: going a given distance using the least strength. Doesn't it relate to efficiency?
vol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-13, 12:56 PM   #14
sreten
Banned.
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Brighton UK
Bikes: 20" Folder, Road Bike
Posts: 1,664
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by vol View Post
What I mean is "less exhausting", not wasting body energy: going a
given distance using the least strength. Doesn't it relate to efficiency?
Hi,

Yes it does. But effective pedalling technique, which most posts here are
referring to, allows you to go faster, but is more exhausting per mile.

The most efficient way of riding a bike is going slowly, but it is not very tiring.
As you get faster drag takes its toll and you become much less efficient as
well as requiring more strength to maintain the required power output.

Say you can ride 50 miles with normal pedaling and at the end you are spent.
Say you try riding 15 miles and no matter how fast you pedal you still have
something left in the tank. For the latter effective pedaling will allow you to
go faster, burn more energy and be more tired at the end of the 15 miles.

FWIW the efficiency probably peaks at around the same effort as a decent
walking pace, just pedalling as comes naturally, letting your legs decide.

Of course most of us want to go faster than that, easily can, and do.
In terms of power output, our efficiency curves are quite flat, but
unfortunately power output versus speed is anything but depending.

Uphill at low speed, speed is directly related to power output, and being
able to blast up a short hill if you have the power is not particularly
more tiring than grinding up it, as you get up the hill a lot faster.

On the flat at speed it is very different. Speed is related to the cube of
power output once aero starts to dominate and efficiency drops a lot.

rgds, sreten.

Also FWIW I can pedal very smooth circles compared to when I
started, having made no effort whatsoever to try to, it comes
with simply doing it, somewhat slower than trying to do it.

Last edited by sreten; 08-21-13 at 01:27 PM.
sreten is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-13, 09:19 PM   #15
vol
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 3,314
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Here is another video explaining pedaling technique. As the author answered someone, turns out it's only for clipped pedals.
vol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-13, 09:09 AM   #16
PlanoFuji
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Plano, TX
Bikes: 1982 Fuji Supreme, Specialized 2012 Roubaix Compact. 1981? Raleigh Reliant mixte, Velo Orange Campeur (in progress)
Posts: 1,034
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by vol View Post
Here is another video explaining pedaling technique. As the author answered someone, turns out it's only for clipped pedals.
Those same techniques were developed for straps and clips but also work with clipless and can even work with a well designed platform. All evidence (there are studies) indicate that even pro's do not pedal like that in anything but sprints and such. For most of the ride they pedal the same way the rest of us do, they just do so much faster...
PlanoFuji is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-13, 09:40 AM   #17
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 7
Posts: 20,408
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 648 Post(s)
Less performance than comfort for the knees in the long run, I have found the goldilock's porridge ,

the ratio just right to not have to push hard or spin too fast. works for Me and has for many Decades ..


Now using my Brompton , with a 3 speed hub and a mountain drive crank to double the range.

I just adjust my pace slightly to suit the gear that is approximately right .. and Pootle On..
fietsbob is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:25 PM.