Road Cycling “It 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.” -- Ernest Hemingway

ankling...

Old 03-23-02, 04:04 PM
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ankling...

Can someone please help me to understand "ankling" and whether it is a desireable way to pedal, i.e. does ankling provide a more "rounded" pedal stroke?. Does the toe point slightly down all the time or do you sort of make an effort to push your heel down. I think, currently, I am more of a toe pointer. Any comments would be appreciated.
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Old 03-23-02, 05:36 PM
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Ankling is not something you want to experience. It is very painful, and takes a while to heal.

Check out this site for better info

Sheldonbrown.com/pain.html

this is a great site, got to love that Sheldon Brown
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Old 03-23-02, 06:13 PM
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If you are experiencing pain, you may be doing it wrong, or going to fast. I'm still learning this technique, and have not noticed much, if any results just yet, it will take some time to see the results, I believe. Try thinking about your pedal technique when your out riding next time, basically you want your toes pointed downward when the pedal is at the bottom of the stroke, and your toes pointed up when the pedal is at the top.

Heres a good page about ankling: http://hauns.com/~DCQu4E5g/Ankling.htm
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Old 03-23-02, 08:57 PM
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I believe Sheldon is cautioning against extreme ankling. A modest amount can carry you through the dead spots at the top and bottom of the pedal stroke and can let your calf muscles assist your glutes, quads, etc. I have ankled a little ever since I first got toeclips; 35 years later, I do not think it has hurt me.
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Old 03-24-02, 05:24 AM
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An interesting site with lots of info is www.coachcarl.com -- Go to the "Riding Discipline" section and you'll find a section on ankling. Hope it helps!
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Old 03-25-02, 08:20 AM
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I, too, have been developing my ankling technique this Spring. So far, I like it. When I get it right I have the feeling like I picked up a tailwind.

I started just doing a little bit of it on each ride, one leg at a time. I might go 10 to 20 seconds per leg--then do it again a few minutes later. Now, I am extending the periods where I consciously work on it, with the hope that it will eventually become unconscious. So far, no calf muscle pain.

Okay, now this might sound a bit goofy, but, today, as I was walking to the grocery store, I realized I could practice my ankling while walking, too. All you need to do is give little extra push (coming from the ankle and calf muscles) in the last part of a stride, i.e. in the moment just before your foot leaves the ground to come forward again. It’s kinda like putting a little extra spring in your step. I suppose one could overdo it and come up with a new portfolio for Monty Python’s “Ministry of Silly Walks.” I don’t recommend practicing it in high heels, however.

Moreover, you can visualize yourself on the bike, thinking of your walking stride as your pedal stroke (even if the walking stride occurs at a much slower cadence). The walking thing should help with both aspects of ankling, creating a new habit and strengthening the calf muscles.

There is also a good discussion of ankling at www.thankstomycranks.com.

I would add that Sheldon Brown seems to have a rather radical idea of ankling. He talks of “fairly drastically” changing the angle of the foot while pedaling and he mentions having taken it to “an extreme” (30 miles straight-off isn’t just extreme, it’s off a cliff.) As in all things, the only thing to be taken to an extreme is moderation. With my ankling, I am changing my foot angle only moderately in the bottom part of the stroke. Moreover, it needs to be built up slowly and carefully. If it hurts, one has probably pushed it too far. As much as I respect Sheldon Brown’s judgment in two-wheeled issues, I don’t accept his claim that it is “discredited”: virtually all the pros do it to some degree. But, if someone can offer a real argument about why it is wrong, I am all ears.

Cheers,
Jamie
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Old 03-27-02, 07:18 PM
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Thanks to all the responses- I have been out of town (camping at the beach) and am looking forward to a ride tomorrow when I can try some of these techniques- I already sort of "scrape the Shi8" off the bottom of my shoe while riding but do not conciously flatten out my heel on the backstroke (or up) - I'll check this out tomorrow- thanks
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Old 03-28-02, 02:50 AM
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I ankle a bit, and even with a knackered right ankle, think it smooths my stroke.
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Old 03-28-02, 07:05 AM
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I have been "ankling" for some 20 years... didn't know it had a name. I just started doing it because it felt right.
I dunno, my technique might be crappy, I'll have to check out some of the sites you have recommended.
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Old 03-28-02, 07:10 AM
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Chewa -

1. Do you actually have a Flying Scot (bike or boat)? I would love to have one of the former - or a Hetchins, and used to teach on and sail the latter.

2. Isn't NQ where Digital had a plant once? Almost got there on business when I was a Digit.

Cheers...Gary
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Old 03-28-02, 08:25 AM
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Originally posted by gmason
Chewa -

1. Do you actually have a Flying Scot (bike or boat)? I would love to have one of the former - or a Hetchins, and used to teach on and sail the latter.

2. Isn't NQ where Digital had a plant once? Almost got there on business when I was a Digit.

Cheers...Gary
1. Yes and you can see it on John's Flying Scot

2. I think that's South Queensferry, the other side of the river. Now an Agilent plant, which is an anagram of genital!
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Old 03-28-02, 08:31 AM
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Oh, that's who you are! I think I know you from CR.

Cheers...Gary
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Old 03-28-02, 11:16 AM
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CR?
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Old 03-28-02, 11:24 AM
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The Classic Rendezvous list. I have seen your site mentioned there, and looked at it. But, come to think, maybe that is not your site, but only your bike.

In any case, it is a nice machine.

Cheers...Gary
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Old 03-29-02, 08:16 PM
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Ankling is one of many "Body Science vs Cycling Efficiency" arguments that tend to complicate a rather natural and simple act - peddling a bicycle. Other than "You gotta put in the miles", the best advice I ever received was to ride the rollers and always feel pressure between your shoes and the pedals. See you out there.
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Old 06-13-06, 08:00 AM
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I first read about anking a few weeks ago. I tried it out but I'm not sure if I'm doing it right. I had a hard time oordinating both feet. However, I found that if I focused on keeping my ankles limp and pushing with my heels, I did seem to get more pedalling power. However, I did get some pain in my calf on my last ride.
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Old 06-13-06, 08:50 AM
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Way to bump a 4 year old thread.
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Old 06-13-06, 08:51 AM
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its the return of the living dead thread

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