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how do you pedal correctly(10 posts)

how do you pedal correctlysurf
Nov 26, 2001 1:31 PM
Im new to bikes and i have some real basic questions if anyone can help. I just got my first real bike (road)
1-- When pedaling, do you finish the downstroke with the heel or toes pointed down?
2--What is "ankling"
3--any other tips on the correct pedaling mechanics
4--I am doing triathlons, should i move the seat up or leave it where it is, does it make a difference on a road bike???
thanks for any help!
just friggin pedal you nerdy wuss (nm)Red
Nov 26, 2001 1:52 PM
just friggin pedal you nerdy wuss (nm)surf
Nov 26, 2001 2:32 PM
Red.... Your sooo cool man. Thanks for the help budy. Did you get dropped as a baby, maybee thats why you "just friggin pedal".....
shut yer pie hole (nm)Red
Nov 26, 2001 3:22 PM
re: a poem 4 udzrider
Nov 26, 2001 1:53 PM
The centipede was happy, quite until a toad in fun
Said "Sir, which leg comes after which?"
This worked his mind to such a pitch
He lay distracted in a ditch
Considering how to run.

Get a shop to help you with the seat height. If you want to change the height make very small adjustments until you get it comfortable. Practice moving your feet quickly in easy gears right from the start.
It's an art form for some but can be in done many ways.Sintesi
Nov 26, 2001 2:01 PM
It's an eccentric style but many people find benefit in the toes down method. Bobby Julich for one, Pantani, Hinault I think as well. So if you go this route in you're in pretty good company. Most people find this stressful on the achilles tendon and doesn't provide a lot of brute downward force. Incidentally this is known as "ankling."

Sheldon Brown (cycling guru) weighs in:
"Some older cycling books and articles recommend the practice of "ankling." This refers to changing the angle of the foot fairly drastically during the course of the pedal stroke, so that the toe is pointed upward at the top of the stroke, and downward at the bottom. The idea is to make more use of the muscles of the lower leg, and to permit "pedaling in circles", i.e., applying more force to the cranks at top and bottom dead center.
This practice is pretty much discredited these days. If carried to an extreme, it can cause injury. This happened to me when I was a teen-ager; I had read about ankling, and had just acquired my first pair of toe clips, just before setting out on my first overnight tour. I ankled for about the first 30-40 miles, when there was a sudden sharp pain in one of my Achilles tendons. I had to lower the saddle, remove the toe clips, and finish out the 4 day tour pedaling on my arches, because I couldn't bear the slightest load on the front of my foot, pulling on the Achilles tendons. For about a month thereafter, I would need to massage my Achilles tendons for about 5 minutes each morning before I would be able to walk. 40 years later, I've still not completely recovered from this injury. "

Triathletes mostly use aero-bars and consequently move their saddles forward to accomodate the low position on the bike and help their elbows reach the pads. Moving the saddle forward will also accentuate the quads which many find helpful for fast "spinning."
Moving the saddle back emphasizes the gluteal (sp?) muscles and adds power but tends to slow the rpms a bit.

As for pedalling technique I say mix it up. Do what ever it takes to get you over the hill or across the valley the fastest. The accepted method is one should pull back and up from the bottom of the stroke. "like scraping dog crap from the bottom of your shoe" The idea is not so much to generate power but rather to unweight the pedal so your other driving foot isn't doing extra work lifting your foot and leg like dead weight. Think circles and putting power to the stroke all the way around. It is in fact virtually impossible to pedal complete cicles all the way around but this is the mental ideal to make the stroke as efficient as possible. If you strive in this direction constantly you will improve. Another thing. If you find your hips rocking side to side on the saddle then your saddle height is too high- avoid.
Nov 26, 2001 2:17 PM
mjd "Newbie Question - Pedaling in Circles" 11/24/01 3:00am
rather than think about what my toes are doing, I try tobill
Nov 26, 2001 2:21 PM
maintain a comfortable, even pressure on the bottom of my feet and focus on moving my ankle bones in a circle. I'm not even sure how the orientation of my feet and ankle may change through the movement, but I suspect that it doesn't change much. Sometimes I envision the "mud-scraping" thing, but the most important thing is, IMHO, keeping the pressure on the balls of my feet spread out laterally across the width of the shoe and comfortaby even through as much of the stroke as possible. You can get to where you feel the ball of your foot as an egg or a peach or something that you don't want to lift up on too much to let it slip out or to bear down on too much to crush.
The feet on the pedals go round and round,round and round..(nm)I AM
Nov 26, 2001 11:07 PM
re: how do you pedal correctlyHigh Gear
Nov 27, 2001 4:51 PM
One thing that has helped me in the past (especially in the off season on the trainer) is to think " pedal in small circles" . This will help you to even out the pressure on the pedals the full 360 deg. Do this on the trainer at a some what fast cadence 100-110. Now is the time to work on form. Good Luck