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View Poll Results: What position is your foot in when you pedal?
Toe pointed down
19
36.54%
Foot parallel to the ground
30
57.69%
Toe pointed up
1
1.92%
uh.. I ride a hand bike
2
3.85%
Voters: 52. You may not vote on this poll

Pedal technique

Old 01-20-06, 03:01 PM
  #1  
MMACH 5
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Mine are sort of pointed down, but when I really start pumping, it seems more effective to hold my foot parallel to the ground.

Just curious if this is the norm.
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Old 01-20-06, 03:24 PM
  #2  
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Drive the heel down. Get more power into the pedal.

At the bottom of the stroke, drive the toe down.
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Old 01-20-06, 04:05 PM
  #3  
SteveFox
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well, i have this crazy technique...i push down with my left leg..still following? ok good, then when my left leg is fully extended, i push down with my right leg, thus bringing my left leg back up...repeat said movements if necesary. its kinda complicated to explain, but i did my best. but really, i just do what feels right...hard to put into words what happens on teh road, its all instinct haha.

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Old 01-20-06, 05:52 PM
  #4  
Dewbert
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I switch it up a little, but I think, overall, I'm mostly level with the ground.
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Old 01-20-06, 06:05 PM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by EventServices
Drive the heel down. Get more power into the pedal.
At the bottom of the stroke, drive the toe down.
This suggestion frightens and confuses me. Your toe doesn't have much leverage if it's above your heel.
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Old 01-20-06, 07:13 PM
  #6  
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okay, everybody now, and a one, and a two...

"heel, toe, heel, toe, heel, toe...."

If I'm actively thinking about it, I try to engage the pedal early at the top, push it down, 'grab it' with my toes, and pull the pedal back up thru the top, while keeping my foot level and the motion smooth thru the whole rotation.

I visualize an Archimedes screw...
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Old 01-20-06, 07:14 PM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by EventServices
Drive the heel down. Get more power into the pedal.

At the bottom of the stroke, drive the toe down.
Isn't that called "ankling"?
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Old 01-20-06, 10:31 PM
  #8  
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Ankling is a more exaggerated motion than what I described, really.

If you're holding your foot in the same position all the way through the stroke, you're probably wasting/losing some energy.
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Old 01-21-06, 01:33 AM
  #9  
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Pointing the toe down on the 2nd half of the downstroke adds additional power from your calves... one of the strongest muscles in your body for its size. My feet is usually horizontal at 90-degrees (midway down). By the time it gets to the bottom, the ball of my foot over the pedal is about 1.0-1.5" lower than the heel.
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Old 01-21-06, 09:52 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by EventServices
Ankling is a more exaggerated motion than what I described, really.

If you're holding your foot in the same position all the way through the stroke, you're probably wasting/losing some energy.
Oh No! The Horror, The Horror!
My take on this waste/loss: BFD; what ever works for each individual cyclist is the best and preferred technique.

For more info on this pedaling technique by whatever name it is called:

http://sheldonbrown.com/gloss_an-z.html#ankling

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/brandt/ankling.html
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Old 01-21-06, 01:41 PM
  #11  
huhenio
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I change it all the time ... It does wonders for my on the saddle, single gear climbing.
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Old 01-21-06, 05:04 PM
  #12  
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Anquetil won 5 TdF pedalling toe down. Someone should have told him
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Old 01-21-06, 06:33 PM
  #13  
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Looking at the responses, at least some of you have apparently done something to really confirm what you are doing. Others I can't tell. The reason I mention this is that awhile back I was experimenting with pointing the toe down the entire stroke - shoving one foot down while the other pulled up. I do know I seemed to go faster that way, but also got tired sooner (whether because it isn't a good system or just because I wasn't used to it, I don't know since I never kept working on it).

Anyway, what "felt" like having the toe pointed down quite a bit turned out to not really be nearly as much a difference as I thought when I got to see my reflection in a big store window.

Just an observation from my limited experience. But maybe others are going by feel rather than by actually seeing it - feelings can be wrong.
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Old 01-21-06, 07:14 PM
  #14  
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I actually experiment a bit when pedalin'.I use clips and straps so I try different positions-heel up,heel down,parralell...I read somewhere once that Anquteil used heel up position.Pedaling with your heel up definetly makes those calf muscles burn..Hey,whatever works for ya'........
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Old 01-21-06, 08:06 PM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by MMACH 5
Mine are sort of pointed down, but when I really start pumping, it seems more effective to hold my foot parallel to the ground.

Just curious if this is the norm.
that's exactly what I do...and it works for me I guess
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Old 01-22-06, 01:36 AM
  #16  
MMACH 5
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Oh No! The Horror, The Horror!
My take on this waste/loss: BFD; what ever works for each individual cyclist is the best and preferred technique.

For more info on this pedaling technique by whatever name it is called:

http://sheldonbrown.com/gloss_an-z.html#ankling

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/brandt/ankling.html
After reading the links, I have to think that there is no real advantage to changing foot position. Whatever feels right is probably fine.
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Old 01-22-06, 09:40 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by MMACH 5
After reading the links, I have to think that there is no real advantage to changing foot position. Whatever feels right is probably fine.
Good thing to keep in mind when evaluating all sorts of conventional wisdom about cycling techniques derived from racing.
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Old 01-22-06, 10:21 AM
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That's true. What works for one doesn't work for others. And I vary mine for the situation. But in general, the lowered heel gives more power.

I just picked up some things from riding with some great riders.

There's also a technique to use when you're nearly spun out (as in a downhill sprint) in which you pedal more like you're trying to scuff gum off your shoe. Think forward and back, forward and back. Try that one sometime when you're maxed out.
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