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How do you Pedal? Pulling up, or pulling back or something else.(10 posts)

How do you Pedal? Pulling up, or pulling back or something else.jdl
Jul 30, 2001 1:06 PM
How do you Pedal? Pulling up, or pulling back or something else.
My OpinionDCP
Jul 30, 2001 1:32 PM
The objective is circles, but the notion that pulling up makes much of a difference is, in my opinion, wrong. Pushing down with the other leg simply overwhelms any benefit from pulling up.

On the other hand, pushing forward with one foot at the top and backward with the other foot at the bottom adds real power and brings other muscle groups to the party.

Practice it, but learn to relax to make it all work together.
My Opinionjdl
Jul 30, 2001 1:50 PM
I have been practicing pulling back and pushing down at the same time. The sequence has taken me about a week to learn. I used to pull up until I read the Greg Lemond book. The pulling back make tremendous difference when riding up hills. But it is really tough to keep the right sequences. I'm using a metranome to help keep things together. But I think it will be many months before this becomes second nature to me.
Forward, down, back, forward, down, back ...Humma Hah
Jul 30, 2001 1:39 PM
I pedal semicircles using BMX platform pedals. Childish, I know, but it seems to get the job done in hundred-mile chunks and more. I get started quicker than my roadie buddies, and am not tempted to blow thru stoplights rather than unclip.
something that helped for melonefrontranger
Jul 30, 2001 2:12 PM
I never got it when my former coach used the "scraping mud off your shoes" analogy. All that did was make my pedaling style even heavier because I was focusing too much on the bottom of the pedalstroke, and mashing downward as a result.

What works for me is to go to an easy spin gear, then visualize smoothly lifting the knees up and over the twelve 'o'clock position, then "snapping" them through the top of the pedalstroke. Try to make your legs feel weightless. This "lightening of the leg" technique helps me recruit my leg muscles more evenly and efficiently. It takes a bit of doing, and you'll use some muscles you haven't really recruited before - you may feel it a bit in the psoas / ITB region to start with (stretching really helps).

This significantly lightens my pedaling style, helps my "ankling" motion, and makes my spin quite a bit faster and rounder. I figured this visualization technique out after ohhh, about 1000 miles of riding a fixed-gear, where there IS no option but to spin or die.
Practice one leg at a timejtolleson
Jul 30, 2001 2:47 PM
Two things helped my technique, I think.

1. Sweeping. Kind of a variation on the mud off the shoes analogy, dragging the foot back from the front of the bottom of the pedal stroke to the rear. It may not be a full circle, but mentally it got me out of "mash the pedal" zone

2. Riding one footed. Definitely a technique best left to the trainer or spinner bike. I instantly could tell that my week leg was not making a very good circle at all, and that even my strong leg was a tad oblong.
Try spinning downhillmr_spin
Jul 30, 2001 2:56 PM
Spinning downhill will give you some sensation of the motion you need. With only a little resistance on the pedals, try to control your pedalling motion so it is smooth all the way around the circle, on both sides of the bike. A great exercise is to try one leg only--clip out with the other. Don't crash doing this!

Pedalling circles is not easy to do. It will take time.
One-legged pedalling does draw the strangest of looksbill
Jul 30, 2001 5:56 PM
as people try to figure out if you're crippled, in pain, or part of some scientific experiment gone horribly wrong. You, however, learn one heckuva lot about your pedal stroke. It becomes impossible to move if your stroke isn't circular.
In a variation on a theme, I also try to maintain even pressure on the balls of my feet. Actually, more accurately I try to maintain as little pressure on the balls of my feet as possible while keeping the pressure even. I then find myself using a lot more of my leg and even muscles up through my lower back (I guess the hip flexors).
re: How do you Pedal? Pulling up, or pulling back or something else.Andrew
Jul 30, 2001 4:18 PM
I have read all of these posts and I think they are pretty similar to what I do. I basically just focus on spinning. I work to make sure that neither of my legs do any more work than the other at any time during a revolution. I am still relatively new at it too, but I have noticed that when I really focus I go faster than I do when I don't focus and mash. Eventually it will become second nature. It is almost like learning how to ride again. You don't have to worry about the balance, but have to concentrate for awhile to allow it to become a part of your natural riding style.

re: How do you Pedal? Pulling up, or pulling back or something else.Jon Billheimer
Jul 30, 2001 5:00 PM
Another trick that helps me is to focus on maintaining even pressure on the pedal all the way around the pedal stroke. If you practice this in a big gear or on hills you'll find yourself using your hip flexors and hamstrings a lot more. Similar to LFR's visualization.