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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 06-18-07, 06:13 AM   #1
Fenlason
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Do you ankle?

I am curious how many here use anking as part of their pedal stroke? I do wonder how many even know what it is... I now some will...I am sure TG and Rudy... will know...as well as some others.

So do you ankle?

glenn

personally I do not do it 100% of the time.. but it is a techni wow somehow that got sent before I finished?? anyways it is a technique i do like to use a bit.
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Old 06-18-07, 06:19 AM   #2
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Yes... It's just part of my normal pedal stroke.
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Old 06-18-07, 06:26 AM   #3
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Yes
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Old 06-18-07, 07:05 AM   #4
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I ankle on my single -- have since the late 1960s when I started racing. Do not do it regularly on our tandem. Might have something to do with the fact that my cadence is different on the big bike, or perhaps the enjoyment of being Twogether?
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Old 06-18-07, 07:24 AM   #5
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We both ankle. We always exchange looks when some of the "less experinced" spinning instructors tell the class: "keep your feet flat at all times"
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Old 06-18-07, 08:58 AM   #6
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Yes. Here is an interesting piece of equipment and software. http://www.computrainer.com/html/coa...t-example.html

Last month, I attended our racing club meeting and part of the meeting was a presentation on bike fit featuring a local guy who is a physical therapist / personal trainer / cyclist, one of our professional women racers from Webcor Builders pro team and the Computrainer. He works with cyclists to improve performance and eliminate pain problems due to muscle weakness, lack of flexibility or bike fit issues. The state of the art for bike fitting is at the level of golf swing video analysis with specialized software and sensors for the bike. He works with the pro on her on bike fit, TT position, training, stretching and etc. I was very impressed and thought I knew quite a bit about fit, flexibility and core strength. Well, I have knowledge but it is superficial compared to what was presented.

Ankling was discussed as one of the many topics and he had video software that captured our racer in slow motion and frame by frame he could draw lines and calculate angles such to show optimum positions for knees, ankles, back and etc. She then rode on the stationary trainer and the spinscan showed the torque production and power produced by each leg. She had near perfect pedal stroke.
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Old 06-18-07, 07:54 PM   #7
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Ankling, huh?
Did practice ankling in the early 70s. In competitive events I would not ankle until the extra effort was needed to kick it up another couple mph and in the sprints.
Have not ankled much on tandem unless, again, it was in a competitive situation, which we really don't get much involved in any more.
Last time I recall really ankling was at the Senior Olympics on my single . . . got to beat some of those
CycleVets from the San Diego club!
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Old 06-18-07, 09:37 PM   #8
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I should probably clarify a bit... in the event someone goes off and reads an article on "Ankling" and gets the wrong idea.

There's "ankling" and then there's "Ankling". The former is what I use. For me it's quite simply a practiced but natual foot movement much the same as my knees-in riding style.

"Ankling" with a capital 'A' is to some a very exaggerated movement of the foot often times described in older books on cycling technique and the like as a performance enhancing technique that can be employed for certain events or conditions.

Debbie, bless her heart, is all over the map and there's not much I can do about it. She'll sometimes have her toes pointed all the way around the pedal circle (I refer to this as her twinkle toes technique) which at the top of the pedal stoke makes it appear as though her saddle is way too low with her upper thigh leveled in many photos... that is, unless you happen to check out the foot position.

Of course, as a tandem captain you've got to be caught on video or still photos to see what exactly your stoker is sometimes up to back there. For example, this was "us" coming down the final descent on the Tail of the Dragon in Tennessee. Debbie apparently noticed that Team Hunter had their camera out and, well, there you go....
Attached Images
File Type: jpg tailofthedragon.jpg (57.6 KB, 119 views)

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Old 06-18-07, 10:53 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by TandemGeek
Debbie apparently noticed that Team Hunter had their camera out and, well, there you go....
A camera hog -- girl after my own heart, and a namesake to boot -- heh, heh. Way to go!
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Old 06-18-07, 11:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenlason
I am curious how many here use anking as part of their pedal stroke? I do wonder how many even know what it is... I now some will...I am sure TG and Rudy... will know...as well as some others.

So do you ankle?

glenn

personally I do not do it 100% of the time.. but it is a techni wow somehow that got sent before I finished?? anyways it is a technique i do like to use a bit.
Your ankle's going to plantar- and dorsi-flex naturally, unless you try to hold it perfectly flat. Ouch. Your Achilles tendons will complain if you practice flat-footed pedaling.

A relaxed pedal stroke will involve some "ankling." If you use the pull and scrape portions of the stroke then your foot will naturally change angles, but nothing should be exaggerated.

Watch the pros climb hills...see where there heels are higher than their toes. Watch them speed along the flats. What's different?
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Old 06-19-07, 05:53 AM   #11
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I was going to say it is good to "see" some others that ankle.
Yet now maybe I am confused. ankle vs Ankle??

In my years of doing this... fitting bikes and such... I see very very few who ankle.

I guess what I mean when I say ankle is pushing the front of the foot down on the downstroke and sweeping through and then pulling the front of the foot up... on the up stroke.

I generally see people who keep their foot flat... some that prefer the "twinkle toes technique" or those that are just all over the place.

I would say that I probably ankle to some degree all the time. There are times the motions are more "exagerated" and times that I put a lot of emphasis.. on the lower leg muscles...so that a lot of the power of the stroke is generated by the lower leg..

Thanks for the info Hermes.. I have not used the video analyst... but have used the computrainer's spin scan a lot. It is very telling of a persons pedaling stroke.

My understanding ....years ago [I think the US team] adjusted seat heights... by measuring oxygen uptake... to see where a cyclist was the most efficeint. It ended up that there was not a consistant percent of leg length that the was the "best" seat height for everyone.

glenn
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Old 06-19-07, 05:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenlason
I guess what I mean when I say ankle is pushing the front of the foot down on the downstroke and sweeping through and then pulling the front of the foot up... on the up stroke.
aka, scraping mud off the bottom of your boot. This is the "ankling" technique to which I refer.

There are also those who greatly exaggerate this movement and that's what I call ankling with the capital A: it's not a natural-looking movement by any stretch.

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Old 06-19-07, 10:12 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Fenlason
I
I guess what I mean when I say ankle is pushing the front of the foot down on the downstroke and sweeping through and then pulling the front of the foot up... on the up stroke.
I would say that I probably ankle to some degree all the time. There are times the motions are more "exagerated" and times that I put a lot of emphasis.. on the lower leg muscles...so that a lot of the power of the stroke is generated by the lower leg..
+1

The spinning class has been very helpful because there is mirrors on three walls...
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Old 06-19-07, 01:31 PM   #14
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I've heard it said, "Heels down and pedal round." After seemingly a couple of zillion miles on the rollers, watching HR vs. speed, and trying different techniques, that describes what I like. With normal saddle fit, i.e. heel just touches pedal with leg locked, keeping one's heels down at the top of the pedal stroke causes a natural extension of the foot during the downstroke. One doesn't have to think about it.

Keeping one's heels down at the top also makes it much easier to power the foot forward at that point. Raising the toe on the backstroke is then a continuation of the scraping action at the bottom. It's not so much an upward pull as it is an unweighting and preparation for the forward push at the top and then the power stroke.

I do sometimes "Ankle" for short steep pitches while climbing, to get a bit of extra power.

For the purposes of this forum, it seems to me the important thing is for both team members to pedal similarly. When we use singles on our rollers or trainers, we face each other, so we can watch each other pedaling. We try to get our "whirrs" to match.
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Old 06-19-07, 07:13 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by TandemGeek
For example, this was "us" coming down the final descent on the Tail of the Dragon in Tennessee. Debbie apparently noticed that Team Hunter had their camera out and, well, there you go....
That picture looks like pure enjoyment!
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Old 06-19-07, 09:12 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by DBC Steve
That picture looks like pure enjoyment!
Thanks and, yes, I'm a lucky guy...

For those who've never heard of it, "The Tail of the Dragon" is a famous mountain pass (Highway 129) running from North Carolina to Eastern Tennessee that many motorcyclists, sports car enthusiasts and cyclists consider a "must do" ride as it's one of the most incredible rides on the East Coast.

318 Curves in 11 Miles... and we did it as part of an out and back route on the day before the official start of the Tennessee Tandem Rally. So, make that 636 curves in 22 miles + 16 more along Chilhowee Lake. The A-list riders tackled an extra 30 miles and several thousand feet of climbing while we enjoyed lunch at Chicago's.

Here's a link to a map of the Dragon.
http://350zroadsterclub.com/uploads/...the_dragon.jpg

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Old 06-19-07, 10:12 PM   #17
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Way back in the 70's when I was learning the craft of cycling, my first coach (a former Euro pro 6-day rider) told us to forget about ankling, but to "churn" the pedals.

As far as "ankling" vs "Ankling," when you're powering the pedals around the velodrome at 120 rpm's (typical cadence for riding a pursuit or hammering in a pack) you do not have time to "Ankle." However, you do have to keep your legs "relaxed," and you do have to be conscious of using the entire pedal stroke.

If you want to see really good pedaling, just look at anybody who has a track racing background. (And if you want to see really ugly pedaling, with the upper body bouncing up and down and wasting enormous amounts of energy, just look at the typical mountain biker...)

- L.
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Old 06-20-07, 06:08 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by lhbernhardt
If you want to see really good pedaling, just look at anybody who has a track racing background.
Any track racing background, a successful track racing background, or track racing at the elite levels?

Last time I checked, there still wasn't any vetting process that eliminated mediocre cyclists or even marginally successful riders with poor technique from track racing anymore than they did from road racing or off-road racing. Moreover, while a lot of the top riders in the pro pelotons have track racing in their background, there are riders like Cadel Evans and Floyd Landis who have had successful careers in mountain bike racing.

Just some food for thought.
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Old 06-20-07, 07:39 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
I've heard it said, "Heels down and pedal round." After seemingly a couple of zillion miles on the rollers, watching HR vs. speed, and trying different techniques, that describes what I like. With normal saddle fit, i.e. heel just touches pedal with leg locked, keeping one's heels down at the top of the pedal stroke causes a natural extension of the foot during the downstroke. One doesn't have to think about it.
Maybe, but we did have to think about it for several hundreds of hours before it was natural to ankle... It is like saying that while breathing hard you just have to blow out and your torax will later expand without any effort... you can also inhale hard and the torax will colapse afterwards. When we ankle we intetionally blow out and inhale forcibly, so to speak. For me it is like i have a paint brush glued to my toes and I try to paint on the down stroke and reload on the up stroke.
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Old 06-20-07, 02:41 PM   #20
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....

If you want to see really good pedaling, just look at anybody who has a track racing background. (And if you want to see really ugly pedaling, with the upper body bouncing up and down and wasting enormous amounts of energy, just look at the typical mountain biker...)

Laffin'.... I LOVE IT
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Old 06-20-07, 11:58 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TandemGeek
Any track racing background, a successful track racing background, or track racing at the elite levels?

Last time I checked, there still wasn't any vetting process that eliminated mediocre cyclists or even marginally successful riders with poor technique from track racing anymore than they did from road racing or off-road racing. Moreover, while a lot of the top riders in the pro pelotons have track racing in their background, there are riders like Cadel Evans and Floyd Landis who have had successful careers in mountain bike racing.

Just some food for thought.
No, just think about what I wrote. Track racing "background" means they've probably already gotten past the informal "vetting process" that would eliminate those without good pedaling from having a background of track racing. And note that I have not made any connection between "good technique" and "successful careers." A lot of riders with ugly technique have been quite successful, just as those with fine technique haven't got very far. Technique is just one component, but it can certainly help mitigate shortcomings in other components. And what I said was, if you want to see good technique, you will almost always see it in someone who has done quite a bit of track racing/riding. The guys with lousy technique on the track either don't last long enough to have a "track racing background," or they develop good technique by training and racing on the track.

- L.
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Old 06-21-07, 04:20 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by lhbernhardt
No, just think about what I wrote.
I did...

I'm reminded of an old joke that can pretty much be tailored to suit a variety of professions and avocations:
Bob, a long time cyclist who was clipped by an environmentalist in a Prius texting a hate note on her new iPhone was met by St. Peter at the Pearly Gates.

Bob couldn't help but notice the wait list to enter was a millenium long.

Bob was scratching his head, pondering where to sit when all of a sudden a guy on a track bike goes racing past everyone in line, then enters the gates by shooting a gap between the first two standing in line.

Bob was aghast, asking St. Peter why the track racer was allowed to pass right in without waiting even half a millenium.

St. Peter replied "Oh that's God he just thinks he's a track racer".
------------------------

"I don't care who you are, that's funny right there." Larry the Cable Guy

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Old 06-21-07, 06:57 AM   #23
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What Jobst and Sheldon have to say on Ankling:


http://www.sheldonbrown.com/brandt/ankling.html
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Old 06-21-07, 07:10 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by TandemGeek
I did...

I'm reminded of an old joke that can pretty much be tailored to suit a variety of professions and avocations:
Bob, a long time cyclist who was clipped by an environmentalist in a Prius texting a hate note on her new iPhone was met by St. Peter at the Pearly Gates.

Bob couldn't help but notice the wait list to enter was a millenium long.

Bob was scratching his head, pondering where to sit when all of a sudden a guy on a track bike goes racing past everyone in line, then enters the gates by shooting a gap between the first two standing in line.

Bob was aghast, asking St. Peter why the track racer was allowed to pass right in without waiting even half a millenium.

St. Peter replied "Oh that's God he just thinks he's a track racer".
Easy on the iPhone criticisms. We still have another 8 days of hype (love my Apple stock, which at this point could finance a few more tandems). In order to maintain the tandem content of this thread, I am sure you meant to refer to my friend's track tandem (photo posted to another thread on June 19).

Last edited by DBC Steve; 06-21-07 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 06-21-07, 09:02 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by DBC Steve
Easy on the iPhone criticisms. We still another 8 days of hype (love my Apple stock, which at this point could finance a few more tandems). In order to maintain the tandem content of this thread, I am sure you meant to refer to my friend's track tandem (photo posted to another thread on June 19).
+1 on the stock.
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