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Drop your heels!

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Drop your heels!

Old 12-04-20, 12:47 PM
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ryan_rides
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Drop your heels!

This is something I struggle with. Not sure why but I have to actively think about dropping my heels throughout my pedal strokes. I usually donít do it. I have a bike fit. My bike is comfortable to me. I just know that youíre supposed to drop your heels and recently a rider last Saturday told me that I should drop my heels while riding. Is there a way to train myself to change my pedal strokes so that it becomes natural?
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Old 12-04-20, 01:24 PM
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If you do train yourself to do that,

then your fit won't fit.
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Old 12-04-20, 01:27 PM
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If you're naturally comfortable not dropping your heels, why are you trying to drop your heels?
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Old 12-04-20, 01:35 PM
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I had to learn to drop (well, keep it horizontal) to match the (now prhosthetic) left foot. It took a little lowering of the saddle and some practice to remember to flat-foot it more. I rarely need to remember doing it now.
But, really, if what you do is comfortable, I don't see any need to do things differently.
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Old 12-04-20, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
If you're naturally comfortable not dropping your heels, why are you trying to drop your heels?
This. Most likely whatever your most comfortable "natural" style is going to be ok.
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Old 12-04-20, 01:59 PM
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There are better things to concentrate on. This is much like red bikes being faster.

If you already have strong calf muscles, then I guess maybe you should see what they'll do for you. So compare your data.

Don't forget to lower your saddle while you are being a heel dropper and raise it when you go back to not being a heel dropper.
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Old 12-04-20, 02:15 PM
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i thought toes pointed down was the correct stance. that makes the heels go up...no? have i got it wrong?
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Old 12-04-20, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
i thought toes pointed down was the correct stance. that makes the heels go up...no? have i got it wrong?
Jacques Anquetil pointed his toes down, and by most accounts, he was pretty good at riding a bicycle.

But Eddy Merckx tended to drop his heels. Was Merckx riding in an "incorrect" stance?
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Old 12-04-20, 02:59 PM
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Old 12-04-20, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
Jacques Anquetil pointed his toes down, and by most accounts, he was pretty good at riding a bicycle.

But Eddy Merckx tended to drop his heels. Was Merckx riding in an "incorrect" stance?
Iíve been told both. But I see most pro riders pedal with heel down. Not during the sprint of course. I guess itís more of a ďfullĒ pedal?

I come from riding fixed gear so I think thatís why I donít do it.
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Old 12-04-20, 03:51 PM
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I'm no roadie, but when I read this thread title, I thought about my experience with mountain biking. dropping your heels on bumpy, bouncy, momentum-killing is a great idea because it helps drive your body weight into the pedals as obstacles on the ground continually push back. If you're clipped in, this can save your calves a lot of strain. If you're riding flat pedals, it is essential to keeping your feet on the pedals and, therefore, your face out of the dirt.

On the road, I would think it would help lower your CoG. that's helpful in some situation. more importantly, it would save your calves from strain. there's probably a middle ground where it's useful in some situations, just like standing/ sitting, spinning mashing, and using different parts of your handlebar are the best depending on the situation.
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Old 12-04-20, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
I'm no roadie, but when I read this thread title, I thought about my experience with mountain biking. dropping your heels on bumpy, bouncy, momentum-killing is a great idea because it helps drive your body weight into the pedals as obstacles on the ground continually push back. If you're clipped in, this can save your calves a lot of strain. If you're riding flat pedals, it is essential to keeping your feet on the pedals and, therefore, your face out of the dirt.

On the road, I would think it would help lower your CoG. that's helpful in some situation. more importantly, it would save your calves from strain. there's probably a middle ground where it's useful in some situations, just like standing/ sitting, spinning mashing, and using different parts of your handlebar are the best depending on the situation.
Yes, it definitely relieves my calves of strain when I drop my heels. But I wish that I didnít have to think about doing it to do it. I think that riders that drop their heels more naturally have more developed calf muscles. Iím hoping 2021 comes with more riding for me and more training miles. Hoping to double what I did this year. I know I said that I have a bike fit and feel comfortable but I also think I need shorter cranks.
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Old 12-04-20, 06:42 PM
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If you want to drop your heels, lower your saddle.

Not sure why you want to do that, though. Some people drop their heels, some people don't. Usually the people that do have lower saddle positions than the people that don't.
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Old 12-04-20, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ryan_rides View Post
This is something I struggle with. Not sure why but I have to actively think about dropping my heels throughout my pedal strokes. I usually donít do it. I have a bike fit. My bike is comfortable to me. I just know that youíre supposed to drop your heels and recently a rider last Saturday told me that I should drop my heels while riding. Is there a way to train myself to change my pedal strokes so that it becomes natural?
Utter nonsense.
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Old 12-04-20, 07:12 PM
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Used to be called "ankling"; long since debunked.
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Old 12-04-20, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Used to be called "ankling"; long since debunked.
"Ankling"LOL, I learnt something new today.
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Old 12-04-20, 09:32 PM
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I've been riding a long time, and I have no idea what the OP is talking about.
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Old 12-04-20, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Used to be called "ankling"; long since debunked.

I don't think that's what the OP is asking about ,

but I actively thought about ankling BITD, & developed a good case of tendonitis.
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Old 12-04-20, 10:48 PM
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I find if I focus on using my hamstrings more, my heels will naturally drop ....
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Old 12-05-20, 12:05 AM
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Have always ridden with my feet parallel to the ground on my road bike. Never knew there were any benefits to a heal-down attitude. Can someone point me to some hard research that shows an advantage? Thanks
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Old 12-05-20, 01:58 AM
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Originally Posted by ryan_rides View Post
Yes, it definitely relieves my calves of strain when I drop my heels. But I wish that I didnít have to think about doing it to do it. I think that riders that drop their heels more naturally have more developed calf muscles. Iím hoping 2021 comes with more riding for me and more training miles. Hoping to double what I did this year. I know I said that I have a bike fit and feel comfortable but I also think I need shorter cranks.
I'm heel dropper and drop it as far as my legs will allow. I do it all the time when pedaling out of the saddle and less frequently when sitted (only when dealing with very steep gradients). I do it to stretch and recover my leg muscles while maintaining pace.

However, the technique is very personal and individual. It may or may not benefit you in the same degree other pedaling techniques will.

Do a bit of search about Eddie Merckx. He's also a heel dropper. You might come across studies discussing pedaling techniques like heel dropping etc. Some of these studies have concluded that dropping heel doesn't give you an advantage over another rider using a different pedaling technique he or she favors or most comfortable with.

Do what feels best for you, not what others think is good for them.
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Old 12-05-20, 04:34 AM
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Heel drop is a byproduct of saddle height and set back. Sometimes it has it's advantages, sometimes it doesn't. OP, make sure the bike fits you (starting with saddle height/set back) and then pedal the way you do naturally. With time on task you'll develop "your" pedal stroke. The only part of the pedal stroke I've ever concentrated on was the bottom when both pedals (one at 12 o'clock and the other at 6) are out of battery. Sweeping the bottom pedal back with a slight heel drop (like you're scraping mud off the bottom of your shoe on a porch step) will put the pedal at 12 o'clock into battery more quickly and makes for a more consistent delivery of power. That kind of delivery minimizes surging and conserves energy.

One last thing; never underestimate the power of the mind when it comes to cycling. If you believe your fitness, technique or equipment makes you faster, it can. Don't doubt yourself, it will slow you down. The human body is an amazing machine, it knows how to adapt to just about anything.
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Old 12-05-20, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
I have no idea what the OP is talking about.
Thatís understandable. He doesnít know what he is talking about either.
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Old 12-05-20, 08:43 AM
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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. My speed and cadence go up if I remember to do that when I'm pegged in my lowest gear.
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Old 12-06-20, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
Heel drop is a byproduct of saddle height and set back. Sometimes it has it's advantages, sometimes it doesn't. OP, make sure the bike fits you (starting with saddle height/set back) and then pedal the way you do naturally. With time on task you'll develop "your" pedal stroke. The only part of the pedal stroke I've ever concentrated on was the bottom when both pedals (one at 12 o'clock and the other at 6) are out of battery. Sweeping the bottom pedal back with a slight heel drop (like you're scraping mud off the bottom of your shoe on a porch step) will put the pedal at 12 o'clock into battery more quickly and makes for a more consistent delivery of power. That kind of delivery minimizes surging and conserves energy.
X2. You might want to play with these two adjustment to see what feels more efficient to you when pedaling. Every one is different. Just yesterday this thought did cross my mind while riding and adjusted my pedal stroke to see what feels good and efficient. The position my seat was in seemed perfect because I could pedal with my heels up, mid and down without any side affects. After awhile I think I like flat the best for flat rides.

I sometimes put my heel down going up hills when seated which helps. It's sort of like having another tool in your belt to climb hills. I also put my toes down when standing going up hill. Having different techniques when doing things helps me climb better and also gives me things to think about when the pain starts getting the best of me...

No right or wrong here. Try it out and if you like it keep doing it. If not then don't worry about what someone else says to do...
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