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Flat Pedal Afficionados Probably Shouldn't Look At This

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

Flat Pedal Afficionados Probably Shouldn't Look At This

Old 12-16-14, 03:52 PM
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Leinster
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Flat Pedal Afficionados Probably Shouldn't Look At This

You'll really, really hate it.

Video: Have a look at what one of Ireland?s top riders is using as a training aid - Sticky Bottle

https://v.cdn.vine.co/r/videos_h264high/8DE3E447C61133749264376643584_SW_WEBM_141328089582203358d4b0b.mp4?versionId=iHDzOO7g_7h7w4xq4yXxgCCE600PcjjC
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Old 12-16-14, 04:06 PM
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That is different
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Old 12-16-14, 06:31 PM
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Wild! I wanna try!
Seriously, at a certain point, it looks very natural and rather like swimming.

Last edited by kbarch; 12-16-14 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 12-16-14, 06:35 PM
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another gimmick:

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Old 12-16-14, 06:41 PM
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This one comes up every few decades. First one I'm aware of dates from the thirties. So far none of them have revolutionized cycling. But then, cyclists have never been as gullible as they are now, so maybe the time has come - assuming the thing is obscenely expensive and can be had in kit-matching colors.
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Old 12-16-14, 06:55 PM
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I always thought these would be fun to try for about a month. Not fun enough to pay what they cost.
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Old 12-16-14, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
another gimmick:

That's nothing! During the NYC Century, there was this contingent of folks on those big ol' eliptical glider contraptions.

Aside from looking spectacularly dorky, the awkwardness of having to carry those things up steps onto bridges and such as we had to do.... What was going through their heads?

Last edited by kbarch; 09-29-18 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 12-16-14, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
This one comes up every few decades. First one I'm aware of dates from the thirties. So far none of them have revolutionized cycling. But then, cyclists have never been as gullible as they are now, so maybe the time has come - assuming the thing is obscenely expensive and can be had in kit-matching colors.
I think you've overstated your case a bit, even if this appears to be little more than an expensive way to do single-leg pedaling drills.
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Old 12-16-14, 07:23 PM
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The idea is to train yourself to completely unload the upstroke, I think. I'm not sure how valuable that is, but that's the idea.
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Old 12-16-14, 07:40 PM
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Can't sit, won't sit.
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Old 12-16-14, 07:54 PM
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A flat peddler would say that is a useless exercise. Me - I have no idea.
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Old 12-16-14, 07:55 PM
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What's a flat peddler?
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Old 12-16-14, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by pallen View Post
What's a flat peddler?
Someone who tries to sell you flats?
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Old 12-17-14, 12:02 AM
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The short story is that if you are new to road cycling or have a crummy pedal stroke, PowerCranks can make a difference. They can improve your pedal stroke and vastly increase your pain tolerance. If you are an accomplished rider, probably not worth it.
Whatever
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Old 12-17-14, 12:49 AM
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Insane concept to me. Never heard of it before, maybe because I haven't been around since the '30s. I skimmed through the article and didn't see anything about there being any purpose to spinning the NDS other than to keep momentum with the DS. Does the NDS actually put any pressure on the crank/drivetrain?
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Old 12-17-14, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by interungulate View Post
Someone who tries to sell you flats?
I have enough flats without buying any...
__________________
Excuse me if I, have some place in my mind,
Where I go time to time
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Old 12-17-14, 07:10 PM
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As long as I started on a downhill and never had to stop I could ride those with flats.
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Old 12-17-14, 09:08 PM
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Oh, and I originally expected synchronized cranks, and was wondering how one would do a standing hill climb.



Here is the company, PowerCranks

And, a person that made a Homebuilt Independent Crankset

On another cycling website, some users insist that nobody pulls up on the cranks, despite many individuals that effectively do it.

Anyway, it would certainly be an interesting setup, and would at least discourage a person from getting lazy and not at least pulling one's pedals back to the top of the stroke.
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Pedals.jpg (8.2 KB, 7 views)
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Old 12-17-14, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by dralways View Post
Insane concept to me. Never heard of it before, maybe because I haven't been around since the '30s. I skimmed through the article and didn't see anything about there being any purpose to spinning the NDS other than to keep momentum with the DS. Does the NDS actually put any pressure on the crank/drivetrain?
That is the purpose of it. You can pedal with either side, and each drives independently. Presumably one foot can lag the other rather than being rigid on opposite sides. Hook up a PM and you could get a more accurate idea of how much each leg contributes.
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Old 12-17-14, 10:00 PM
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Hey, they come in square taper! Ugliest imaginable spider, however.

Tentatively on my lottery winning shopping list.
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Old 12-17-14, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by dralways View Post
Insane concept to me. Never heard of it before, maybe because I haven't been around since the '30s. I skimmed through the article and didn't see anything about there being any purpose to spinning the NDS other than to keep momentum with the DS. Does the NDS actually put any pressure on the crank/drivetrain?
On that setup... I assume the spider is connected to the bottom bracket spindle. Then, both arms are connected to the spindle with a ratchet. So, one could pedal (and derive power) with the right, left, or both pedals, and one could pedal with the pedals out of sync as is "normal", or in sync if one wished to try a bunny hop like stroke. Or one could do one foot at a time.

If you keep tension with the chainrings and chain, then the crank arms would more or less stay in the right place.

The point of the OP's note is that if you ride flats, then pushing down on one side raises the other side, and your feet stay on the pedals and the crank turns. If you have clips or cleats, you can pull up with the opposite side, although apparently it isn't actively being encouraged now. With this set of pedals, if one doesn't pull up at least with the same speed the opposite side is pushing down, then one will end up with a mess... so it will train at least some pulling up, whether that is with significant force would be another question.
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Old 12-17-14, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by dralways View Post
Insane concept to me. Never heard of it before, maybe because I haven't been around since the '30s. I skimmed through the article and didn't see anything about there being any purpose to spinning the NDS other than to keep momentum with the DS. Does the NDS actually put any pressure on the crank/drivetrain?
These have been around for about 10 yrs or so. They were invented by Dr Frank Day who makes fairly outlandish, unsubstantiated claims about the efficacy of training with powercranks. Independent studies never corroborated the claims. The idea is to pedal normally but because the cranks are not directly connected you can't use one leg pushing down to raise the opposite leg. The rising leg must be pulled up so it trains you to completely unweight the pedal.
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Old 12-18-14, 12:08 AM
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Thank you to those of you who've made it very clear, which makes the concept that much more interesting. I wonder if most would feel a similar sense of discombobulation while first trying these as most did the first time they attached their feet to a pair of pedals.
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Old 12-18-14, 01:40 AM
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Originally Posted by dralways View Post
Thank you to those of you who've made it very clear, which makes the concept that much more interesting. I wonder if most would feel a similar sense of discombobulation while first trying these as most did the first time they attached their feet to a pair of pedals.
You mean like a 5 yr old learning to pedal, or when you first tried toe-clips or cleats? I've helped kids learn to ride... it is like a switch clicks for them and they're off. For me toeclips were so long ago, I don't remember the transition, although I do remember falling over once behind my own schoolbus. Cleats were easy once toeclips had been mastered (as well as toeclips + cleats).

Hmmm... another project to build (or, some of the cranks are on E-Bay now, MISSING the pedal threaded inserts).

How natural it would feel would depend on how much a person pulls up.

And... that may depend on what decade one started road riding in, and perhaps whether one "mashes" or "spins".

I tend to have a slow cadence, and believe at least 10% of the time I am pulling up. Certainly on a standing hill climb, I'm pulling up. The other 90%, I don't know. Whenever I want to give myself a little power boost, I start pulling up rather than pushing down harder. So... the independent cranks should be fairly quick to learn as all I have to do is not forget to continue to pull up. Doing a smooth round circle may be more difficult as I always think of two phases, a downward phase and an upward phase. Certainly with standing, the upward and downward phases are more accentuated.

It may be more awkward at higher cadences.

The big question, of course, is whether it makes a difference for overall efficiency and performance. And, that would depend on whether the "stroke" is as important as the cardio-vascular system (a strong cardiovascular system may be a reason why EPO is so valuable to performance).

It would be easy enough for a large cycling team to test.

Split the team into quarters (or more) and prohibit cross-communication.
Give each team group a "performance enhancing upgrade".
  • Wheel Based Power Meter (Cycleops).
  • Pedal Based Power Meter (Look Keo or Garmin Vector)
  • Wheel Based Power Meter (Cycleops) PLUS PowerCranks
  • Pedal Based Power Meter (Look Keo or Garmin Vector) PLUS PowerCranks
  • Some other super upgrade? It would be hard to convince a cyclist that a power meter is an upgrade if they already have one. Another power upgrade that has been touted by some users is rearward cleat placement.

Anyway, if the PowerCranks always perform better than the control groups, then they would be helpful. If not, then it is bunk. Since it is a team sport... perhaps one would have to have quite a few mini teams, but easy enough to do with a large team. And, one would think they would invest in Research and Development as winning is so important (in theory).
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Old 12-18-14, 08:29 AM
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In addition to having to lift the pedals up each stroke, I think it would feel really weird that there is nothing keeping the pedals 180 degrees apart.
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