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Drop your heels!

Old 05-04-22, 04:55 PM
  #51  
couldwheels
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Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
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'.
Their saddle is simply too high for dropping heel. Saddle height is probably the strongest influence on pedaling technique.

Pro bike fitter Neil Stanbury told for heel droppers you'll have to lower the saddle 40mm against baseline measurement, 60mm against "toe dippers". In my experience, it can be lower by 80mm against baseline. Other factors will influence like foot position against pedal, ankle flexibility. I have poor ankle flexibility at first but improved with the technique until I was able to put the pedals right under the ball of my feet.

When people complain they can't pedal smoothly if they drop heel is because they didn't lower the saddle for the technique. It's made even worse by positioning the pedals farther back against the foot. And then it takes time to adapt riding with lower saddle with dropped heel. You won't be seeing the benefits overnight.
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Old 05-05-22, 03:29 PM
  #52  
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I tend to naturally drop my heels more when pedalling with high torque and low cadence, which I think is typical of most riders. If I'm spinning with relatively low power I don't drop my heels hardly at all, but as the power increases my heels start to drop more as the ankle loads increase.
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Old 05-05-22, 04:24 PM
  #53  
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Re the material in post 50:
Yes, as has been pointed out many times, as crank inertial load increases, I.e. at speed on the flat, it becomes more efficient to hammer the downstroke. People like Dylan are supposed to know that, but some folks just like to push one viewpoint 'cause it's simpler. To see a very different force application, one can look at climbers, Froome for example:

Yup, he was a heel dropper while climbing, even at high cadence. Climbing, even as fast as these riders go, is a lower crank inertial load environment, hence it makes sense to apply force through a greater range of pedal arc.

I should also point out that if one is as fast as a pro on a 40k TT, that really increases that inertial load and optimizes the downstroke. OTOH, if one is riding at 20kph rather than 40+ kph, your inertial load will be a lot less and your optimal pedal stroke will be different.

Another thing to think about is endurance. It seems to me that more one can spread the pedal stroke out over more muscles, the less each muscle has to work and the longer they'll last. I've focused a lot on my pedal stroke over the past 25 years and found that it is certainly trainable and also has a big effect on my performance, enabling me to ride above what my age and FTP predict.

Riding around here, it's all about climbing speed, and thus concerns pedaling form. My little oddity is that I do all my indoor training on a set of resistance rollers. My bike has light tires and tubes and the rollers themselves are ABS, so the whole arrangement has a very low inertial load. That’s the reason that they say rollers make you smooth. So I’ve always focused on smooth pedaling, which has served me very well on local climbs.

Toe pointing or heel dropping is sort of another issue. I'm a heel dropper because it puts less strain on my calves and so is easier to do for very long periods.
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Old 05-05-22, 08:51 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Re the material in post 50:
Yes, as has been pointed out many times, as crank inertial load increases, I.e. at speed on the flat, it becomes more efficient to hammer the downstroke. People like Dylan are supposed to know that, but some folks just like to push one viewpoint 'cause it's simpler. To see a very different force application, one can look at climbers, Froome for example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3xPRJEXDYk

Yup, he was a heel dropper while climbing, even at high cadence. Climbing, even as fast as these riders go, is a lower crank inertial load environment, hence it makes sense to apply force through a greater range of pedal arc.

I should also point out that if one is as fast as a pro on a 40k TT, that really increases that inertial load and optimizes the downstroke. OTOH, if one is riding at 20kph rather than 40+ kph, your inertial load will be a lot less and your optimal pedal stroke will be different.

Another thing to think about is endurance. It seems to me that more one can spread the pedal stroke out over more muscles, the less each muscle has to work and the longer they'll last. I've focused a lot on my pedal stroke over the past 25 years and found that it is certainly trainable and also has a big effect on my performance, enabling me to ride above what my age and FTP predict.

Riding around here, it's all about climbing speed, and thus concerns pedaling form. My little oddity is that I do all my indoor training on a set of resistance rollers. My bike has light tires and tubes and the rollers themselves are ABS, so the whole arrangement has a very low inertial load. That’s the reason that they say rollers make you smooth. So I’ve always focused on smooth pedaling, which has served me very well on local climbs.

Toe pointing or heel dropping is sort of another issue. I'm a heel dropper because it puts less strain on my calves and so is easier to do for very long periods.
In case anyone's wondering, you'll see clearly see Froome's heel drop style at the 2:36 minute and 4:47 mark (helicopter shots) on the video.

That would explain Froome's flimsy calves. He's barely using them.

So I’ve always focused on smooth pedaling, which has served me very well on local climbs.
I'm not sure what you meant by smooth pedaling. I'm good enough at maintaining consistent torque on the pedal even on slow, 20% climbs with some load on the bike, usually, one pannier bag and two bottles of drink. I can keep traction without losing grip even if there's plenty of fallen leaves on the road.

However, one thing I can't maintain smoothness is preventing my body from "snaking" side to side when on long and steep climbs. I don't do anything about it, it just happens, maybe as a result of nearly body weight resistance I'm encountering on the pedals. If I try to fight it, I end up spending more effort. I've seen pros do the same thing on long and steep climbs.

And then I've also seen other riders doing it on purpose, pumping their arms and doesn't look good. They are definitely "rocking" instead of "snaking".
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Old 05-05-22, 10:16 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by couldwheels View Post
<snip>
I'm not sure what you meant by smooth pedaling. I'm good enough at maintaining consistent torque on the pedal even on slow, 20% climbs with some load on the bike, usually, one pannier bag and two bottles of drink. I can keep traction without losing grip even if there's plenty of fallen leaves on the road.

However, one thing I can't maintain smoothness is preventing my body from "snaking" side to side when on long and steep climbs. I don't do anything about it, it just happens, maybe as a result of nearly body weight resistance I'm encountering on the pedals. If I try to fight it, I end up spending more effort. I've seen pros do the same thing on long and steep climbs.

And then I've also seen other riders doing it on purpose, pumping their arms and doesn't look good. They are definitely "rocking" instead of "snaking".
A good way to figure it out is on maybe a 4% long steady hill. Set a steady, maintainable pace, maybe tempo. Then gear up until your cadence gets down to 50-55. Grab the bar tops. Now try to pedal with only your legs, no upper body motion at all, no prying on the bars. It takes some messing with the pedaling to see what works. You want that motionless thing where to the observer, you're just rolling up the hill, seemingly effortlessly. Ha, ha. 4 X 10', zones 3 or 4. once a week.

Same thing at the other extreme. This works best on a trainer, but can be done outdoors on the right flat road. Gear way down. I've used from 42 X 25 to 39 X 30 as I've aged. Try to pedal a steady 115-120 cadence, no bouncing at all. Wiggle your toes, pedal with the uppers and heel cup. Keep a layer of air between the bottom of your foot and the insole - or it sorta feels like that anyway. If you can't pedal that fast without bouncing, take it up to just below bouncing. You'll get better. Hold that cadence for several minutes. This isn't easy either, at least not for me nor for most folks. In my 50s and early 60s I used to be able to hold 117 for 40 minutes. Now I'm down to 20' at 114. This is exactly the same thing as the low cadence pedaling except everything happens a lot faster.

One can also do one-legged pedaling on a trainer or rollers, lazy foot propped in the frame triangle. Try 55 cadence in a big gear and 85 cadence in a small one, one go until exhaustion with each leg, then some easy pedaling with both legs, repeat until you can't anymore. The 55 cadence is to slow it down to where one can see what's going on, the 85 is tough. Switch it out and recover the working leg when you start to get a slack chain going over the top - that's failure. Try 2' intervals, perfect form.

If you've ever done knee lifts on a Roman chair, this is kinda like that, heavy hip flexor use, 25 reps knees higher than hands, no swinging.. People say you can't do this sort of thing, hip flexors aren't that strong. Oh yeah?
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Old 05-06-22, 08:49 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
A good way to figure it out is on maybe a 4% long steady hill. Set a steady, maintainable pace, maybe tempo. Then gear up until your cadence gets down to 50-55. Grab the bar tops. Now try to pedal with only your legs, no upper body motion at all, no prying on the bars. It takes some messing with the pedaling to see what works. You want that motionless thing where to the observer, you're just rolling up the hill, seemingly effortlessly. Ha, ha. 4 X 10', zones 3 or 4. once a week.

Same thing at the other extreme. This works best on a trainer, but can be done outdoors on the right flat road. Gear way down. I've used from 42 X 25 to 39 X 30 as I've aged. Try to pedal a steady 115-120 cadence, no bouncing at all. Wiggle your toes, pedal with the uppers and heel cup. Keep a layer of air between the bottom of your foot and the insole - or it sorta feels like that anyway. If you can't pedal that fast without bouncing, take it up to just below bouncing. You'll get better. Hold that cadence for several minutes. This isn't easy either, at least not for me nor for most folks. In my 50s and early 60s I used to be able to hold 117 for 40 minutes. Now I'm down to 20' at 114. This is exactly the same thing as the low cadence pedaling except everything happens a lot faster.

One can also do one-legged pedaling on a trainer or rollers, lazy foot propped in the frame triangle. Try 55 cadence in a big gear and 85 cadence in a small one, one go until exhaustion with each leg, then some easy pedaling with both legs, repeat until you can't anymore. The 55 cadence is to slow it down to where one can see what's going on, the 85 is tough. Switch it out and recover the working leg when you start to get a slack chain going over the top - that's failure. Try 2' intervals, perfect form.

If you've ever done knee lifts on a Roman chair, this is kinda like that, heavy hip flexor use, 25 reps knees higher than hands, no swinging.. People say you can't do this sort of thing, hip flexors aren't that strong. Oh yeah?
No doubt these exercises will make you last longer on efforts. But that Dylan video posted by cyclezen presents a pretty strong argument backed by scientific studies.. But probably because I already do all the things Dylan discussed in his video, I didn't need to learn anything new - the lazy way obviously!
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Old 05-06-22, 09:19 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
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.
I just finished the Dylan video. Didn't watched it at first, but watched the GCN video instead. Both presenters gave opposing recommendations on the matter. Simon says "pulling" on the pedals while Dylan's scientific studies suggest it's better not to pull. Simon did acknowledge that only few Pros actually pull hard, most of them don't.

Otherwise, it's a positively very informative, quite useful video about pedaling. I have the same experience with every study he presented. I have adopted more than two different pedaling styles during my first year into cycling. But the one that worked best is the one that came naturally and required the least amount of thinking.
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Old 05-06-22, 09:32 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Re the material in post 50:
... To see a very different force application, one can look at climbers, Froome for example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3xPRJEXDYk
Yup, he was a heel dropper while climbing, even at high cadence. Climbing, even as fast as these riders go, is a lower crank inertial load environment, hence it makes sense to apply force through a greater range of pedal arc.
.
I did watch the entire video, and I guess how we can 'see' things can be very different...
I saw no 'heel dropping' in Froome's part, in any view which could give a good reference. And have not seen it , in any consistent form, on any other videos of him.
"flat' doesn't constitute a heel drop in my book.
As for physical morphology of muscle - don't make the mistake of equating 'power' or 'endurance' with slim or thick muscle. Certainly Froome isn't a Ganna, but they are and were awesome TT'ers, and deliver/delivered the power they needed to win.
We all will do what we do; but I see no reason to change my view. Everyone is capable of trying 'heel drop', at any time in their pedal stroke - decide how that works for themselves.
There are prolly quite a few BFers who now have pedal-based PMs, and might be able to determine effectiveness/appropriateness for themselves.
There are a few more implications to pedal-drop style than just the initiation of pedal stroke...
so give it a try, and decide for yourself.
Ride On
Yuri
Haven't given up on Froomie yet, he may not be back to where was, and time does march on, but determination and ongoing work, can still take a person quite far...
EDIT: Apparently there was a prior thread on BF which dealt with power on pedal stroke - with many views...
L/R pedal powermeter data and peak power arcs

Last edited by cyclezen; 05-06-22 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 05-06-22, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
I did watch the entire video, and I guess how we can 'see' things can be very different...
I saw no 'heel dropping' in Froome's part, in any view which could give a good reference. And have not seen it , in any consistent form, on any other videos of him.
"flat' doesn't constitute a heel drop in my book.
As for physical morphology of muscle - don't make the mistake of equating 'power' or 'endurance' with slim or thick muscle. Certainly Froome isn't a Ganna, but they are and were awesome TT'ers, and deliver/delivered the power they needed to win.
We all will do what we do; but I see no reason to change my view. Everyone is capable of trying 'heel drop', at any time in their pedal stroke - decide how that works for themselves.
There are prolly quite a few BFers who now have pedal-based PMs, and might be able to determine effectiveness/appropriateness for themselves.
There are a few more implications to pedal-drop style than just the initiation of pedal stroke...
so give it a try, and decide for yourself.
Ride On
Yuri
Haven't given up on Froomie yet, he may not be back to where was, and time does march on, but determination and ongoing work, can still take a person quite far...
EDIT: Apparently there was a prior thread on BF which dealt with power on pedal stroke - with many views...
L/R pedal powermeter data and peak power arcs
"Heel-dropping" refers to having a less than 90° angle between centerline of calf and bottom of foot. Bottom of foot level at the bottom of the stoke means the heel is well dropped. In that link you posted, look at the TTers in my last post. Notice how powerfully most of them drop the heel as they come over the top, and this is on the flat with a very high crank inertial load. Also note my post in that thread referring to the increase in power using increased duration of force on the pedals. Force X time = momentum. IOW if you increase the duration of your force on the pedals, you go faster using the same force. Too bad no one else had a significant comment on the OP's question.
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Old 05-06-22, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
"Heel-dropping" refers to having a less than 90° angle between centerline of calf and bottom of foot. Bottom of foot level at the bottom of the stoke means the heel is well dropped.
Below is a level foot at the bottom of the stroke. I don't see how a level foot can be considered a "well dropped" heel.

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Old 05-06-22, 05:49 PM
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[QUOTE=tomato coupe;22497513]Below is a level foot at the bottom of the stroke. I don't see how a level foot can be considered a "well dropped" heel.[QUOTE] That's a slightly cherry-picked photo. The pedal is well forward of BDC and the heel is already below the toe. As the pedal comes back, the angle between the bottom of the foot and the tibia will further decrease. The objective of the heel drop is to relax the calf as much as possible, consistent with being able to pull the heel cup straight back at the bottom of the stroke, no calf muscle involved. Here's some serious pro heel-dropping with bottom of foot more or less level, this time due to the butt being well forward of the usual road position:

Plus it's on the flat with a high inertial load, so one would expect to see more hammering on the downstroke. Note that during the pull-back phase, the bottom of the foot is square off the tibia, just like it would be if one were in a more upright climbing position. The TT position means that BDC happens maybe 20° later w/r to the horizontal.

As for the why this works for at least some of us: At high speed on the flat there's a high crank inertial load. There are many research papers which show that as crank inertial load increases so does cadence in trained cyclists. As cadence increases, power production is almost entirely during the downstroke. But there's a however. Climbing, crank inertial load decreases by as much as 90% and cadence also decreases, although power production actually increases.

Power is a function of cadence and pedal force. So if power is going to increase and cadence decrease and pedal force continue to be only during the downstroke, as some folks obviously believe, pedal force is going to have to increase a lot. Not going to happen on a long climb. Instead, what happens is the dwell time of the pedal force increases. That pedal force is probably less when our TT champion is on a long climb than when they TT, climbs taking so much more time, so the dwell time has to increase by a lot. Therefore they start pushing forward at 11:00 and pull back until maybe 8 o'clock. I read an analysis somewhere of combined pedal forces which concluded that for optimal results on a steep climb, each foot should generate force for about 220° because the forces on each pedal have a lot of taper on either end of their arc. IME that's about right. It's all about getting the muscle damage down by decreasing maximum force.
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Old 05-06-22, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
Below is a level foot at the bottom of the stroke. I don't see how a level foot can be considered a "well dropped" heel.

It depends on a few factors, the foot angle is at the limit of ankle ROM in the most acute angle possible against the tibia. There is significant amount pressure exerted on the ankle in a large range of the downstroke, up to the bottom of the stroke in many cases.

And finally, the rider adjusted the saddle height lower than baseline. Those are the things I did as a heel dropper and the saddle height concerning heel droppers is what some pro fitters recommend. In the end, the only sure way to know is ask the rider.

Talking about Froome in this thread. He did have that acute foot angle a good range of the downstroke on the video posted by Carbonfiberboy. But looking at some of his pictures with him and his bike standing together, the saddle is normal height which isn't ideal for dropping heel.



It's still possible he reduced saddle height on that video to give him that acute foot angle. I've read articles on TdF racers that some of them lower their saddles as the race progresses when they start dropping their heel (most likely due to fatigue). Again, that tendency supports Dylan's presentation on the study concerning change in form and technique during high levels of fatigue.
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Old 05-06-22, 08:31 PM
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@couldwheels thank you for the stretch suggestion. I have been meaning to do the pigeon on the floor but I actually got around to doing it as you suggested, seated.

I wonder why ankling has become less popular. I thought it might be because with lots of team funding, and radios, cycling has become even more of a team sport, in which approximately 80 percent of riders never achieve a top ten placing (
), but escort those who are closer to sprinters to do their thing. But even so, one would expect the domestiques to be ankling but very few are these days it seems.

Perhaps it is because teams are so strong that cycling is a serial relay sprint race where muscular cyclists take it in turns to sprint?

Very few people seem to be getting INTO the of the drops of their road bikes, which were surely designed to favour that position, allowing one to access the brakes.

Getting into the drops has become rarer in the Peloton too
When I was road running I would get ONTO my drops but rarely INTO them. GCN made a video recently about cycling position and did not even mention getting INTO the drops, only ONTO them.

Rather than (wattle and) daubing, which I have never done, the action starts off like pointingmortar, on the soles of my feet, into brickwork.
But that metaphor is really just to get an idea of the motion. As mentioned above, as I speed up my feet become level.

I feel a bit like a squid advancing in the direction of my hand-leg-tentacles.

One of the things that made me stick with road-running so long was the scientific studies that showed (?) that riders are only putting putting power out on the downswing using power meters. In respect of this
0) The riders tested may be 'modern' ones that don't use the technique.
1) The biggest pull provided by my glutes now occurs on the downswing from about 5 o'clock (as Carbonfibreboy suggested, I think, somewhere). I start pushing sooner and pass the baton to my glutes sooner while still on the downswing, and as couldwheels says the pull on my glutes at that point is dramatic.
2) I can feel my glutes working even when my feet are behind me like I am kicking sand in the face of (absent) following riders but perhaps the power is not great enough to be sensed by the (absent) power meters. It feels good though.

Above all, I know is that my knees were failing and my legs were falling off: I had hip instability in my right hip after about 20 years of time-trialy road bike running. Now when I get on my bike I can feel myself rejuvenating my glutes, which are really feeling quite youthful. I think I am going to have to reinstall Strava :-)

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Old 05-06-22, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by timtak View Post
@couldwheels thank you for the stretch suggestion. I have been meaning to do the pigeon on the floor but I actually got around to doing it as you suggested, seated.

I wonder why ankling has become less popular. I thought it might be because with lots of team funding, and radios, cycling has become even more of a team sport, in which approximately 80 percent of riders never achieve a top ten placing (https://youtu.be/iUuwBfXDlTs?t=1330), but escort those who are closer to sprinters to do their thing. But even so, one would expect the domestiques to be ankling but very few are these days it seems. Very few people seem to be getting INTO the of the drops of their road bikes, which were surely designed to favour that position, allowing one to access the brakes.
When I was road running I would get ONTO my drops but rarely INTO them. GCN made a video recently about cycling position and did not even mention getting INTO the drops, only ONTO them.

Rather than (wattle and) daubing, which I have never done, the action starts off like pointingmortar, on the soles of my feet, into brickwork.

But that metaphor is really just to get an idea of the motion. As mentioned above, as I speed up my feet become level.

I feel a bit like a squid advancing in the direction of my hand-leg-tentacles.

One of the things that made me stick with road-running so long was the scientific studies that showed (?) that riders are only putting putting power out on the downswing using power meters. In respect of this
0) The riders tested may be 'modern' ones that don't use the technique.
1) The biggest pull provided by my glutes now occurs on the downswing from about 5 o'clock (as Carbonfibreboy suggested, I think, somewhere). I start pushing sooner and pass the baton to my glutes sooner while still on the downswing, and as couldwheels says the pull on my glutes at that point is dramatic.
2) I can feel my glutes working even when my feet are behind me like I am kicking sand in the face of (absent) following riders but perhaps the power is not great enough to be sensed by the (absent) power meters. It feels good though.

Above all, I know is that my knees were failing and my legs were falling off: I had hip instability in my right hip after about 20 years of time-trialy road bike running. Now when I get on my bike I can feel myself rejuvenating my glutes, which are really feeling quite youthful. I think I am going to have to reinstall Strava :-)
Fast riders today set up their bikes so that with hands on hoods and forearms horizontal, they are at their most efficient hip angle for fast riding on the flat. Dropping their hands onto the drops increases wind resistance. The drops are now used for descending and sprinting. Racers are usually riding in very close quarters to one another and almost never use their brakes. I mean, who wants to convert all the work they've been doing into heat energy and start going backwards?

No one ankles any more for more than a minute or two because calves are such small muscles compared to thighs. They burn out pretty quickly. Ankling is plantarflexing the foot during the downstroke, then dorsiflexing on the backstroke.

Every single pro rider we see out there is a genetic freak who trains like you can't imagine. It's said to be the worst job in the world. No normal employer expects their employees to endure that much pain on a daily basis and for months at a time. Nobody's loafing except maybe the sprinters a little on a mountain stage, but even then some have to really give it up to finish under the time cutoff. The pay's crappy, too.
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Old 05-07-22, 02:08 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by timtak View Post
@couldwheels
Very few people seem to be getting INTO the of the drops of their road bikes, which were surely designed to favour that position, allowing one to access the brakes.
No prob!

Getting into the "C" is not comfortable with traditional bike fitting.

You'll have to reduce reach and angle the dropbar a little bit downward to be comfortable into the "C". It's a good thing if good access to brakes and good braking form is high priority for things like riding in the city.
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Old 05-07-22, 05:15 AM
  #66  
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I was using tomato coupe's definition of ankling
Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
What you described is ankling.

Which is changing the angle of the ankle rather than the definition that you provide:
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
"ankling," which is the forceable extension of the toe during the downstroke.
which is the way I had understood ankling before I was corrected (?) by tomato couple and the link he or she provided.
I can understand
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
No one ankles any more for more than a minute or two because calves are such small muscles compared to thighs.
But it seems to me that with their high seats, downward pointing toes, and not far rearwardly offset saddles, pros today are pushing down left right, left right rather than using a forward quad (thigh) push followed by a rearward glute pull, resulting in, as you point out, a longer duration of applied torque.

And I am not sure why. Pro cycling was always tough, but for some reason the push pull seems (I may be wrong) to have been replaced by a greater focus on stomp stomp.

Originally Posted by couldwheels View Post
Getting into the "C" is not comfortable with traditional bike fitting.

Do you mean tradition as in the past twenty years or tradition in the 1980s? It seems to me that in the 1980s people would cycle along IN (not on) the drops for long periods. And I assume that this is why road bike handlebars are the shape they are - getting into the C was once comfortable.

I am now finding getting INTO (not on) the drops comfortable. This is because, I think, my stroke is now forward and back rather than stomp stomp. It is difficult to stomp when ones legs are facing forwards under ones chest.

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Old 05-07-22, 07:05 AM
  #67  
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I think that most of you just like to argue and make up definitions to suit your needs. I don't ankle. I pedal heels up. I can pull up on a low cadence climb without dropping my heels. When I pull up, my cadence and speed increase, but of course it drains the rider. There is no free lunch. I say pedal however you please. I do a lot of my climbing out of the saddle. No ankling.
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Old 05-07-22, 07:20 AM
  #68  
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IMO, this whole pulling up and heel down, etc., is a lot of over thinking of the pedal stroke. Like so much in cycling, it depends so much on the rider. I used to do that and would wind up with sore knees, ankles, feet, something would hurt. Now, I am getting up there in the years and comfort has become the most important issue for most riding. Do what works for you.
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Old 05-07-22, 07:26 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by timtak View Post
Do you mean tradition as in the past twenty years or tradition in the 1980s? It seems to me that in the 1980s people would cycle along IN (not on) the drops for long periods. And I assume that this is why road bike handlebars are the shape they are - getting into the C was once comfortable.

I am now finding getting INTO (not on) the drops comfortable. This is because, I think, my stroke is now forward and back rather than stomp stomp. It is difficult to stomp when ones legs are facing forwards under ones chest.
Ooh, I actually meant "traditional" being "orthodox" or standard bike fit practices but also the most recent and most modern standards in bike fit . Wrong choice of word on my part!

Sounds like you moved your saddle as far back as possible to make your legs push forward. That will definitely unload the arms and improve comfort on the handlebar.

Eddy Merckx is also "into" the drops often. Also a heel dropper and maximize saddle setback adjustment. His setup has short reach and handlebar drop is smaller compared to modern race fit. His knees nearly banging the tops of the handlebar when out of the saddle:


Merckx into the drops. He rides on this position a lot. Easy to notice the very cramped setup... Evident of the short reach. Today's race fit has more reach to improve performance on sprints but sacrifices comfort when cruising on the flats seated. Classic fit have superior comfort even when cruising fast and IMO, safer because you can comfortably place your hands at the part where brakes are most effective.

Last edited by couldwheels; 05-07-22 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 05-07-22, 07:42 AM
  #70  
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Previous Bike Forums threads on ankling . . .
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Old 05-07-22, 09:33 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by timtak View Post
<snip>
And I am not sure why. Pro cycling was always tough, but for some reason the push pull seems (I may be wrong) to have been replaced by a greater focus on stomp stomp.


Do you mean tradition as in the past twenty years or tradition in the 1980s? It seems to me that in the 1980s people would cycle along IN (not on) the drops for long periods. And I assume that this is why road bike handlebars are the shape they are - getting into the C was once comfortable.

I am now finding getting INTO (not on) the drops comfortable. This is because, I think, my stroke is now forward and back rather than stomp stomp. It is difficult to stomp when ones legs are facing forwards under ones chest.
Try this: Go out on a nice long flat, low traffic if you can find it, Get your crotch up onto the nose of the saddle and drop your torso as far as you can and still pedal hard - now you're in a TT position - take your cadence up to 100 or so, point your toes down a little and, with rigid calves, just hammer the living crap out of the downstroke. Nothing else, just hit that downstroke as hard as you can at that high cadence. You won't be great at doing this because, like everything else, it takes a lot specific training to do it well, but you'll get the idea. This is how we TT. You get dropped and you want to get back on, this is how you do it. It works best at well over 20 mph.

What changed is pretty interesting. There was a realization that forearms have to be level to go fast along with the realization that our normal road position should have more forward lean. The way they consolidated those two goals was by putting these handles on the top of the hooks which we call brifters. Brifters made all the difference. In the French Fit style you picture, the hooks are higher than our bar tops are now. The whole position is lower, faster, and more comfortable. When I rode French Fit back in the 60s, my hands were sore all the time.
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Old 05-07-22, 10:36 AM
  #72  
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If you came from fixed I’d wager you’re smoother on the bike than the average roadie
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Old 05-07-22, 06:52 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Try this: Go out on a nice long flat, low traffic if you can find it, Get your crotch up onto the nose of the saddle and drop your torso as far as you can and still pedal hard - now you're in a TT position - take your cadence up to 100 or so, point your toes down a little and, with rigid calves, just hammer the living crap out of the downstroke. Nothing else, just hit that downstroke as hard as you can at that high cadence. You won't be great at doing this because, like everything else, it takes a lot specific training to do it well, but you'll get the idea. This is how we TT. You get dropped and you want to get back on, this is how you do it. It works best at well over 20 mph.
That is approximately how I used to cycle, for about 20 years, with my extra long stem
and forward offset saddle. I was fairly fast for my age at least, and was recommending the set up -- timtaked or time trialized road bike -- to everyone, until my glutes got so weak my legs started to fall off, literally (hip socket dislocation).

Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
What changed is pretty interesting. There was a realization that forearms have to be level to go fast along with the realization that our normal road position should have more forward lean. The way they consolidated those two goals was by putting these handles on the top of the hooks which we call brifters. Brifters made all the difference. In the French Fit style you picture, the hooks are higher than our bar tops are now. The whole position is lower, faster, and more comfortable. When I rode French Fit back in the 60s, my hands were sore all the time.
These folks with really low brifters sound like timtaks

Yess!
by Timothy Takemoto, on Flickr
The current pro peloton (first side on shot on Google images searching for Tour de France)

Grand Fondue
seem to have rather "endurance" set up because, I still think, they have turned the tour into a serial sprint relay where power is more important than being aero.

The growth of groupism may also explain why this style is popular with the general public. We engage in positive self talk which seems individual but is in fact a socialising of the psyche, which allows us to eat cake, and prevents us from getting down low.

I am enjoying the French style now. My hands are not hurting so far but then I have a very thick cushioning on both my tops and drops. My glutes are getting a good work out, and my speed seems to be similar because I am now using two sets of muscles whipped or serialised. I recommend timtakery to the young and Frenchiness to the old.

I thought you were cycling French, on your short head tube Trek, at least till you were sixty.

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Old 05-07-22, 07:06 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by couldwheels View Post
Eddy Merckx is also "into" the drops often. Also a heel dropper and maximize saddle setback adjustment. His setup has short reach and handlebar drop is smaller compared to modern race fit. His knees nearly banging the tops of the handlebar when out of the saddle:


Merckx into the drops. He rides on this position a lot. Easy to notice the very cramped setup... Evident of the short reach. Today's race fit has more reach to improve performance on sprints but sacrifices comfort when cruising on the flats seated. Classic fit have superior comfort even when cruising fast and IMO, safer because you can comfortably place your hands at the part where brakes are most effective.
Thank you. Eddy is my new hero. My wife shares his birthday. He often broke on his own, didn't need no team. I have modified his wikipedia photo a little.
The Man

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Old 05-07-22, 08:55 PM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by timtak View Post
Thank you. Eddy is my new hero. Eddy is my new hero. My wife shares his birthday. He often broke on his own, didn't need no team. I have modified his wikipedia photo a little.
Quite uncanny and nice change! He'd be faster than the modern racers in that more comfy bike fit if you gave him the same gear and same good team draft the modern racers are getting.
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