Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Drop your heels!

Notices
Road Cycling ďIt is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

Drop your heels!

Old 12-06-20, 05:38 PM
  #26  
ryan_rides
Full Member
Thread Starter
 
ryan_rides's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: South Florida
Posts: 273

Bikes: 2018 Aventon Cordoba 2021 Specialized Allez

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 143 Post(s)
Liked 33 Times in 23 Posts
Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
I've been riding a long time, and I have no idea what the OP is talking about.
Keep the change.
ryan_rides is offline  
Old 12-06-20, 07:51 PM
  #27  
noodle soup
Senior Member
 
noodle soup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 8,911
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4695 Post(s)
Liked 1,863 Times in 992 Posts
Originally Posted by ryan_rides View Post
Some people love to hate.
How is my comment "hate"? You clearly don't know what you are talking about, and I'm merely pointing that out.
noodle soup is offline  
Old 12-06-20, 08:18 PM
  #28  
cxwrench
Senior Member
 
cxwrench's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Nor-Cal
Posts: 3,767

Bikes: lots

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1954 Post(s)
Liked 2,925 Times in 1,488 Posts
Originally Posted by ryan_rides View Post
Some people love to hate.
Why the extreme butthurt? You didn't expect everyone to agree w/ your post, did you? It's the interwebs, put on your big boy pants.
cxwrench is offline  
Likes For cxwrench:
Old 12-06-20, 08:33 PM
  #29  
Koyote
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 6,660
Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6048 Post(s)
Liked 9,152 Times in 3,951 Posts
Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
I've been riding a long time, and I have no idea what the OP is talking about.
Originally Posted by ryan_rides View Post
Keep the change.
If that's supposed to be wit, then Oscar Wilde can rest easy.
Koyote is offline  
Old 12-06-20, 08:33 PM
  #30  
Bigbus
Very Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Always on the Run
Posts: 1,211

Bikes: Giant Quasar & Fuji Roubaix

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 413 Post(s)
Liked 343 Times in 244 Posts
I didn't know it mattered on a road bike so long as you were comfortable. A mtb is a whole nother animal and you have to heel drop in the rough like mack turtle said earlier, or get used to eating dirt along with twisted ankles, etc. Unless you're clipped in your foot is going to slide forward off that pedal quick,
Bigbus is offline  
Likes For Bigbus:
Old 12-06-20, 08:39 PM
  #31  
bampilot06
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: 757
Posts: 7,900

Bikes: Madone, Emonda, 5500, Ritchey Breakaway

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7145 Post(s)
Liked 3,341 Times in 1,421 Posts
Took a look at my heel today for one full stroke. Itís neither flat nor pointed. I guess that means I need to find a new sport.
bampilot06 is offline  
Old 12-06-20, 10:14 PM
  #32  
big john
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Posts: 21,931
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6127 Post(s)
Liked 6,099 Times in 3,076 Posts
Originally Posted by Bigbus View Post
. Unless you're clipped in your foot is going to slide forward off that pedal quick,
Especially if you're wearing the boots in your avatar.
big john is online now  
Likes For big john:
Old 12-06-20, 11:52 PM
  #33  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 18,869

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 113 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3573 Post(s)
Liked 1,568 Times in 1,145 Posts
Some folks take it as personal criticism when someone tries to do something that's different from what they do. Ignore it. Note my sig. One little training motto I have to always remind myself of is to stay with the program. Results are never immediate. Training anything new takes time.

It's natural to tense your calf muscles when one uses one's legs. It's unnatural to relax them. BTW what you're trying to do is the opposite of what was known as "ankling," which is the forceable extension of the toe during the downstroke. That's really handy sometimes when going over the top and your legs are losing it a bit, but a minute of that is about all I can take. But anything's trainable.

I've been working on relaxing my calves for over 20 years and I still fail at it half the time. It's not easy. We're supposed to walk and run, not ride a bike. Proprioception is built in and tries to take over. The technique you're looking for is a bit complicated to explain. Starting at BDC you are pulling back, lower leg relaxed, feeling the heel cup. On the upstroke, your lower leg still being relaxed, your toe naturally drops as you lift the leg (but not the pedal) up. At about 10:00-11:00 you lift the toe so your knee doesn't have to come up so high to get over the top. Your calf is still relaxed. On the downstroke you just push down some, feeling the heel cup, but lower leg relaxed. At the bottom, the down force becomes a back force.

Instead of thinking about dropping your heels, you could notice contact between your instep and the insole. That's another way to notice what you're doing with pedal pressure or lack thereof. Your calf will still be contracting, even though you aren't noticing it. That's fine. Don't force the heel down, just relax the ankle. The idea of this technique is that one's upper leg muscles are much stronger than one's lower leg, so use more of what's stronger.

Here vids worth watching: Don't look at their feet w/r to horizontal, but rather lower leg/foot angle. Note how similarly Lance and Marco pedal. Notice that they both point their toes when OOS but not sitting.

Here's a slo-mo version:
Notice that all these folks are doing about the same thing.
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Likes For Carbonfiberboy:
Old 12-08-20, 01:25 PM
  #34  
burnthesheep
Newbie racer
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 3,375

Bikes: Propel, red is faster

Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1566 Post(s)
Liked 1,537 Times in 956 Posts
There's a lot of smoke and mirrors involved also regarding what bike is being ridden as it relates to the person's pelvic rotation, hip angle, and the stack they run on their bike.

A TT or hour record setup is going to often make it look like someone is pointing their toes a lot. The bike fit of being aero literally rotates your body about the saddle towards the cockpit to get you closer to a prone recumbent like position. It may even appear that the foot is never near level with the ground. But, it likely is level to the BDC as it relates to the pelvis/hips if you were to rotate the camera view.

This is true to the extend that the most aero shoes are the tightest laceup Giro SLX that fits your foot because when the foot presents itself to the oncoming air that way.......that shoe is super narrow in that plane. Per HUUB Wattbike fame for running laceups. The speed is in the narrowness of the shoe in that vertical orientation. NOT in the horizontal. Speedplays have as much to do with "pedal stack" height and hip angle as it does with aero cleats.

When someone is riding buckshot upright on a road bike spinning up a hill or whatever, then yeah.......it'll look flatter. Not only is the stack less and you're not rotating your pelvis as much.........if someone is climbing you've literally got the slope of the hill possibly playing games with what you're seeing in a video. If you're riding in a car or moto beside a rider to film them, you're not going to hold the camera at the same slope as the hill or grade you're on. You're going to probably have it level with gravity since that's how the camera is weighted.

IMO........you do you. Setup the bike for your body and pedal it.

It is my opinion you should not fight for years of your life trying to force yourself to pedal a different way. That just sounds ludicrous. Especially if you still often can't do it.

If someone has their bike setup how they like it for comfort and physical safety and it REALLY matters to them..........the best advice I could give for the pedaling thing is to buy a set of rollers and learn to ride them. Don't try to pedal certain ways on purpose, just focus on staying on the rollers. Over a good period of time, your natural best stroke will likely find you and be ingrained.
burnthesheep is offline  
Likes For burnthesheep:
Old 12-08-20, 07:35 PM
  #35  
Bigbus
Very Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Always on the Run
Posts: 1,211

Bikes: Giant Quasar & Fuji Roubaix

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 413 Post(s)
Liked 343 Times in 244 Posts
Originally Posted by big john View Post
Especially if you're wearing the boots in your avatar.
I was born in jump boots, just ask my mammy. She's 92 and still wearing her's proud!
Bigbus is offline  
Likes For Bigbus:
Old 12-08-20, 10:35 PM
  #36  
79pmooney
Senior Member
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 11,501

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

Mentioned: 119 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3989 Post(s)
Liked 2,874 Times in 1,870 Posts
I've been riding a long time and I don't. I keep my foot roughly the same angle, heel up, toes down, for the full stroke. Sitting or standing doesn't make much difference.

Yes, I could see that lower heel (and lower seat to go with it) would make for better cornering. I was never a crit rider so I didn't care. Being a roadie, what mattered to me was the most efficient, effective pedal stroke that came naturally and kept me injury free. Whether it met someone else's approval mattered zero to me.

I"m not saying anyone else needs to or should follow my lead. I am saying the OP needs to figure out what works for him. (Did his fitter tell him to drop his heel? If not, is this person offering advice more knowledgeable than his fitter)

Edit: burnthesheep's got it. Rollers will teach you a lot. And the lessons go to your body, not your head. Riding fix gear (including spinning ridiculously fast downhill) will do the same.

Last edited by 79pmooney; 12-08-20 at 10:40 PM.
79pmooney is offline  
Old 12-11-20, 11:03 AM
  #37  
nycphotography
NYC
 
nycphotography's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,718
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1168 Post(s)
Liked 102 Times in 59 Posts
If your fit is good, you should be able to pedal either heel up, or heel down.

heels up uses the calves, you will feel the burn there.

heels down uses the quads and glutes. you will feel the burn there.

the ability to make that adjustment on the run, giving one or the other a chance to recover without coming off the power, is very useful.

You can easily demonstrate the effect for yourself by going up your stairs on tip toes, and then doing it again with heels hanging off the steps.

not sure why everyone seems to think this is some kind of binary thing with a religious experience... but then again, it is bikeforums.

Last edited by nycphotography; 12-11-20 at 11:10 AM.
nycphotography is offline  
Likes For nycphotography:
Old 12-11-20, 11:37 AM
  #38  
rubiksoval
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Music City, USA
Posts: 4,444

Bikes: bikes

Mentioned: 52 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2620 Post(s)
Liked 1,429 Times in 711 Posts
Originally Posted by nycphotography View Post

not sure why everyone seems to think this is some kind of binary thing with a religious experience... but then again, it is bikeforums.
Or it simply doesn't matter, much like cadence.

Do what you do without thinking about it. Everything is fine.
rubiksoval is offline  
Likes For rubiksoval:
Old 12-12-20, 02:19 AM
  #39  
Hapsmo911
Senior Member
 
Hapsmo911's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 854
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 88 Post(s)
Liked 34 Times in 18 Posts
if you want less, or no, calf muscle in your pedal stroke just move your cleats back as far as they can go. This will force you to move the saddle down a bit.
Hapsmo911 is offline  
Old 05-01-22, 10:16 PM
  #40  
timtak
Senior Member
 
timtak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Yamaguchi City, Japan
Posts: 1,045

Bikes: Trek Madone 5.2 SL 2007, Look KG386, R022 Re-framed Azzurri Primo, Felt Z5, Trek F7.3 FX

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 368 Post(s)
Liked 81 Times in 69 Posts
Since I was fat, had a bad back and was a jogger with sore knees, I cycled for a long time using downward pointing toes, as far forward as possible, sort of like I was running on my bike, using one foot after the other. Having my heels up and toes down meant that I could push the pedals back a little at the end of the down stroke, or at least avoid hurting my knees by attempting to extend the crank. Downward pointing toes helps with spinning the pedals behind you as it were. I describe it as cycling like Road Runner (cartoon).

Road Runner
Pedaling toe down works, and it is similar to running, so I think that most of us can do it quite easily. I think it is fast too.

But my butt muscles got weak (which made my knees and hips sore till I found this exercise) so I moved to a old-school rearward offset position, and attempted to use my glutes by pulling backwards, in the immortal words of Greg LeMond "scraping the mud off my feet." But I could not make a downward push, followed by a backward scrape work.

Then I started pushing with my heels down and pedalling technique fell into place. There was something counter-intuitive to pedalling heel down, because pushing forwards with heels down, made me feel like I was pushing my body backwards. But if you lower your heels you can start pushing earlier, and it is no more "counter-intuitive" than using a pedal powered go-kart. Once I realized that pushing forwards drives my bike forwards (dur) "scraping the mud off the bottom of my feet" took on a different meaning.

I had always thought that I would be scraping the mud off my feet on the level ground beneath me, as one does if one steps in some mud, or something. But now I find it easier to visualise it as (wattle and) daubing a wall in front of me. I push forwards heel down and then scrape the mud on the sole of my feet into the wall in front of me, pulling back with my glutes. And this is how I have finally understood glute intensive, LeMond style (?) pedalling technique.

It has two or three advantages (other than providing exercise for weak old glutes)

1) Just as you are running out of forward/down stroke you pull back to leave that mud on the wall, and this acts as a sort of whipping motion that serializes the use of your 1 quads in your thigh and 2 glutes in your butt. This means that instead of muscles taking it in turns, their power is additive. Whipping motions achieve speed.

2) Since I am pedalling by pushing heel down earlier starting at the top of the cycle and scraping the mud from about 5pm to just past 6pm, each leg is just about active for more than 180 degrees (even if ever so slightly, even if there is only that perception) such that instead of taking it in turns, my legs feel like they are cooperating, and the push of one leg overlaps slightly with the pull of the other. It is a great feeling.

3) You can use your calf muscles, at the scrape point too. I don't, yet.

I cycled for about 20 years without understanding the "scraping the mud off the soles of your feet." Now I understand it as (wattle and) daub whipping.

Last edited by timtak; 05-02-22 at 06:39 PM. Reason: minor spelling
timtak is offline  
Likes For timtak:
Old 05-02-22, 01:03 PM
  #41  
PeteHski
Senior Member
 
PeteHski's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 4,994
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2520 Post(s)
Liked 2,709 Times in 1,708 Posts
There is no "correct" pedalling stance. The end.
PeteHski is online now  
Likes For PeteHski:
Old 05-02-22, 02:20 PM
  #42  
tomato coupe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,555

Bikes: Colnago, Van Dessel, Factor, Cervelo, Ritchey

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2966 Post(s)
Liked 5,169 Times in 2,096 Posts
Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
I agee that ankling serves no purpose, but pulling up on the backstroke, what some describe as wiping mud off your shoes, can be effective on a tough climb.
What you described is ankling.

The technique of drawing force across the bottom of the revolution arc and upwards to the start of the downward thrust is called ankling. The action involves a lowering of the heel as the downward force of the pedals takes place and a lifting of the heel as the pedal begins the upward movement of its revolution. Think of scraping mud off the bottom of your shoe at the bottom of the pedal stroke.
tomato coupe is offline  
Old 05-02-22, 04:52 PM
  #43  
timtak
Senior Member
 
timtak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Yamaguchi City, Japan
Posts: 1,045

Bikes: Trek Madone 5.2 SL 2007, Look KG386, R022 Re-framed Azzurri Primo, Felt Z5, Trek F7.3 FX

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 368 Post(s)
Liked 81 Times in 69 Posts
Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
There is no "correct" pedalling stance. The end.
I see a lot of folks are saying that recently. I am suggesting there are two good poles: sort of road running and using the rear of leg muscles (though some more experienced runners use these too) and I wish I had understood them sooner. I think that in a lot of people the no correct way, do it naturally stance common today leads to more road-bike running, but there are no doubt a lot of cyclists who get the scraping/ankling naturally.

Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
What you described is ankling.

Sorry. Yes. You are right. I was under the miss-impression that ankling involved using the calf muscles. I have amended my post above to reflect your correction.

Sheldon brown says
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_an-z.html#ankling

The idea is to make more use of the muscles of the lower leg, and to permit "pedaling in circles", i.e., applying more force to the cranks at top and bottom dead center.

But the change of the angle of the ankle is the necessary and sufficient definition of ankling, and the use of the calf muscles is an optional 'and." Just as I had misunderstood "scraping the mud off the bottom of your feet" to mean only pulling back on the horizontal, I had misunderstood ankling to mean actively moving the ankle with the calf muscles. I don't think about my ankle or calf muscles at all just daubing and whipping my leg.

I think a lot of people, more coordinated than me get ankling/scraping just from the "ankling" and "scrape the mud off your feet" descriptions. I have a friend who just calls it "road bike cycling!" I did not get it. I hope that by adding more images and metaphor others will get it sooner too.

Finally I would not have bothered with ankling/scraping/daub-whipping, had I not got old and need a full leg work-out on my bike. That said, wish I had known sooner that if I don't use my core (butt) muscles I will become hobbled. I might have learnt how to ankle sooner.

Last edited by timtak; 05-02-22 at 06:43 PM. Reason: Finally...paragraph added
timtak is offline  
Old 05-02-22, 06:28 PM
  #44  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 18,869

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 113 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3573 Post(s)
Liked 1,568 Times in 1,145 Posts
Originally Posted by timtak View Post
I see a lot of folks are saying that recently. I am suggesting there are two good ways, and I wish I had understood them sooner.


I was under the impression that ankling involved using the calf muscles

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_an-z.html#ankling
The idea is to make more use of the muscles of the lower leg, and to permit "pedaling in circles", i.e., applying more force to the cranks at top and bottom dead center.

And I don't use my calf muscles, but if what I am describing is ankling, I am happy with that.
Not to worry. I've been laughed at for discussing pedaling technique here for 15 years. Your video is exactly right. I would add that one will, in time, if one pays attention, wind up only applying force to the pedal tangent to the pedal circle. If one can do what you describe perfectly, one would be applying a constant torque to the BB, However that's not realistic. IME there will always be a little bit of lumpiness in the combined torque applied by both legs.

I thought I explained all that in post 33 and post 34 clarifies the videos I posted. Yeah, exact pedaling technique doesn't much matter . . . although at around 250k things you didn't think mattered do start to matter after all. I don't think that pedaling heels down or up or ankling has anything to do with pedaling circles though usually there is some ankle flexion going on somewhere when pedaling seated, the difference being that your butt height is fixed when seated but not when standing.

And all that said, there's a considerable advantage in pedaling circles while climbing, but not so much on the flat, the difference being the change in crank inertial load, though pedaling into a strong wind on the flat, circles becomes an advantage again for the same reason.
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Likes For Carbonfiberboy:
Old 05-02-22, 07:27 PM
  #45  
timtak
Senior Member
 
timtak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Yamaguchi City, Japan
Posts: 1,045

Bikes: Trek Madone 5.2 SL 2007, Look KG386, R022 Re-framed Azzurri Primo, Felt Z5, Trek F7.3 FX

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 368 Post(s)
Liked 81 Times in 69 Posts
Thank you, yes. Had I paid more attention I would have got it sooner but road-running worked for me till about last year, my 57th. I should have listened to the wiser.
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I would add that one will, in time, if one pays attention, wind up only applying force to the pedal tangent to the pedal circle. If one can do what you describe perfectly, one would be applying a constant torque to the BB, However that's not realistic. IME there will always be a little bit of lumpiness in the combined torque applied by both legs.
I am starting to feel that. When I wind this technique up, the "scrape" or "daub" becomes less, less lumpy, and I am sort of throwing the mud at the wall, so the push and pull become one, and feel like a I am whipping, flaying, or battle roping, in a sort of sinusoid with my bum.

I agree entirely with the climbing and head wind advantages in me, but the biggest thing for me is longevity. I thought I might have to give up cycling soon last year. Now I am doing this, I am thinking I may be able to keep cycling (God, or the cosmos willing) for as long as you have, and continue to do.

Last edited by timtak; 05-02-22 at 08:49 PM. Reason: I am 57 next month, so the past year is my 57th.
timtak is offline  
Likes For timtak:
Old 05-02-22, 10:07 PM
  #46  
Trakhak
Senior Member
 
Trakhak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 3,846
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1545 Post(s)
Liked 1,575 Times in 918 Posts
From my perspective as a rider who's been doing training-level rides for a long time (started licensed racing in 1964), I've found that thinking about the biomechanics of pedaling tends to be counter-productive. Your natural pedaling technique is likely best.

Paraphrasing what a teammate once said when I asked him why he complimented a rider on a rival team about the smoothness of his pedaling during a race: "The more he concentrates on his pedaling, the more energy he wastes."
Trakhak is offline  
Likes For Trakhak:
Old 05-03-22, 12:40 PM
  #47  
PeteHski
Senior Member
 
PeteHski's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 4,994
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2520 Post(s)
Liked 2,709 Times in 1,708 Posts
Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
From my perspective as a rider who's been doing training-level rides for a long time (started licensed racing in 1964), I've found that thinking about the biomechanics of pedaling tends to be counter-productive. Your natural pedaling technique is likely best.

Paraphrasing what a teammate once said when I asked him why he complimented a rider on a rival team about the smoothness of his pedaling during a race: "The more he concentrates on his pedaling, the more energy he wastes."
Agreed and especially when talking about things like heel drop. If you look at pros they don't all pedal with the same foot attitude. They are not cloned robots all pedalling with identical technique. Some pedal more toe down than others. Some drop their heels more. All you can generalise is that most riders tend to naturally drop their heels more at higher power output.
PeteHski is online now  
Likes For PeteHski:
Old 05-03-22, 11:39 PM
  #48  
cyclezen
OM boy
 
cyclezen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Goleta CA
Posts: 4,164

Bikes: a bunch

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 434 Post(s)
Liked 510 Times in 352 Posts
Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
From my perspective as a rider who's been doing training-level rides for a long time (started licensed racing in 1964), I've found that thinking about the biomechanics of pedaling tends to be counter-productive. Your natural pedaling technique is likely best.
Paraphrasing what a teammate once said when I asked him why he complimented a rider on a rival team about the smoothness of his pedaling during a race: "The more he concentrates on his pedaling, the more energy he wastes."
Mostly... when you're just out riding/training, one can focus on their pedal stroke... but not really when in an actual group riding situation. Training memory has to take over, too much else to concern over.
I do remember, when, back in the 60's and 70's, when shoes were not quite as supportive as the later and current modern shoes are; a heel drop naturally happened at the top/start of the stroke.
The shoe sole would give out after some use. Always needed at least 2 pair for a season, sometimes more...
Remembering the park bench coaches in Central Park always harping on me to 'ankle' more! Again, a compensation for shoes which naturally softened quicker... Wasn't until the wood sole Duegis that a solid, no give interface happened. Other shoes like Adidas Merckx comp had a really stiff 'composite' inner sole, so stiff that the cleat nails would not go thru the inner sole... Back then you hammered in the cleat nails and then bent the nail tips down on the inside of the shoe - a total aaarrrggh on the Adidas Merckx !
Anyway, an exaggerated heel drop is problematic for developing a strong, high rpm spin. I find it impossible to get to 120 if there's any drop at all.
Something developed from the track days. And if you couldn't get to at least 140/145 (real world, not rollers or trainers), you were never gonna get anywhere in the results...
if you watch trackies, once the sprint is on, or the pursuit in full flight, if their stroke isn't flat, they will often be 'digging' to some degree (toe down).
There's actually a 'flat' spot in the power curve, at the top of the stroke, if there's a significant heel drop... Something biomechanical - You 'feel' the effort in the muscles, but the power level doesn;t mirror the 'effort' - from 12 to between 1 & 1:30. It will show on a precision ergometer...even at lower rpms like 100 & 90.
When you're riding solo, like in a TT, you have more ability to put attention to all the elements like position, breathing, pedal stroke, cadence, etc... But in a group situation, you're not gonna have the headroom to be worrying about all the elements, and effectively be aware of everything happening.
For me, the most effective method to develop fluid and efficient pedaling is to do one leg drills. When all else seems to finally come around, one leg drills really help me tune my stroke form.
Ride On
Yuri

Last edited by cyclezen; 05-03-22 at 11:42 PM.
cyclezen is offline  
Old 05-04-22, 06:05 AM
  #49  
couldwheels
Banned.
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Posts: 87
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 56 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 17 Posts
Originally Posted by timtak View Post
This technique came to me naturally with low cadence high resistance drills and the technique also "spilling" over to high cadence, low resistance drills.

Dropping heel at the top of the stroke (or before) until you need to pull is good, real good.

However, there are some potential problems. For example, it gave me sore ankle at first. At times, it felt like sprain, although I'm pushing real high resistance so that could have been a strong factor to the pain. Eventually, my ankle adapted to the technique and I'm no longer feeling any pain nor soreness in that area. But for older riders, the problem might only get worse over time.

True, the technique is very much core intensive. Many riders have a tendency to engage the glutes if relaxing the calf muscles. Engaging the glutes tugs on the core muscles quite strongly. If the core is weak, it can be a huge problem and possibly the technique being counter-productive.

Glute and core stretches quite important for this technique. Easy warm ups even more important to avoid hurting the core muscles. And finally, the bike fit. Needs some tweaking to better avoid hurting the core muscles.

https://greatist.com/fitness/glute-s...eated-figure-4

couldwheels is offline  
Likes For couldwheels:
Old 05-04-22, 10:14 AM
  #50  
cyclezen
OM boy
 
cyclezen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Goleta CA
Posts: 4,164

Bikes: a bunch

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 434 Post(s)
Liked 510 Times in 352 Posts
so I was watching Eschborn-Frankfurt yesterday, and paid particular attention to pedaling technique during the mid-race drone on periods..
no heel dropping, no real 'scraping of shoe sole', some toe down noted as regular 'ride on' technique.
Pros Pedaling in Eschborn-Frankfurt. No heel dropping, no 'scraping the sole'.

some other sources reflecting performance cycling
although they talk about 'scraping the sole', it's not actually 'focused' upon, and I see it as a 'smoothing of the stroke, rather than hard edge 'hammer' the stroke most often encountered in out of the seat. You can't do that hard hammer for very long, certainly not for any length of 'ride'.
They do emphasize 'one leg' drills, which go a long way, done in shorter drill sessions, to helping smooth and power the pedal stroke.
and a very good summary of findings and aspects of pedal technique, performance and improvement.
Dylan Johnson does a good job. Check out the segment from 7:30 on...
And what @Tralhak said/noted, focusing on pedal technique (outside of focused training) is a diversion which prolly will reduce your success.
This kind of improvement - pedal/riding efficiency is what 'Training' is for and all about.
Ride On
Yuri
Do what you like, and what seems to work for you. Pedaling efficiency is about making the legs work together, as opposed to working counter to each other.

Last edited by cyclezen; 05-04-22 at 10:23 AM.
cyclezen is offline  
Likes For cyclezen:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.