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Focusing on the upstroke of pedaling?(9 posts)

Focusing on the upstroke of pedaling?stinkfoot247
Jun 3, 2003 11:25 PM
I thought perhaps it may be beneficial to train every once in a while pedaling only up. I'm thinking it would help reserve other leg muscles if you could switch between the two. Has it been heard of anyone concetrating on the upstroke in the pro? I'm not trying to sound like I just came up with a revelutionary cycling technique, just wandering if it would help. Are cycling shoes made for this? Thanks much for your input.
re: Focusing on the upstroke of pedaling?nc
Jun 4, 2003 4:54 AM
That is what POWERCRANKS are meant to do, force you to pull
up all the time as you are applying the downward pressure.
Unweighting the idling pedal is a more beneficial way
of using the idling leg muscles.
Think circlestxcross
Jun 4, 2003 4:55 AM
Some may disagree with me, but I have found not to concentrate on up or down strokes specifically. Instead I think circles, if you are only pushing down or pulling up you are missing the top and bottom of your stroke. What I have done is unclip one foot and pedal one footed for a while. When you first do this you will feel all the spots where you are not applying power throughout your stroke. Try to get it to where you have a smooth and fluid motion with one foot.

I did this while riding road and then applied it to mountain biking and my average speed increased by about 15%
Think circlesFredrico
Jun 4, 2003 6:35 AM
Just pulling up and pushing down will make the stroke jumpy. Following the crank all the way around is the best technique to learn a circular pedal stroke. You'll never get to the point where you'll be forcefully pulling up, but only unweighting the pedal, to minimize the inertia the other leg must overcome pushing down.

Several training books all agree that pedaling with one leg is a great way to learn the round pedal stroke.
Ditto - spin with one leg once in a while...Mariowannabe
Jun 4, 2003 8:06 AM
You'll definiely feel new muscles working.

I concentrate on "ankling", applying through as much of the stroke as possible.
scraping mud off the bottom of your shoes..Dave Hickey
Jun 4, 2003 5:41 AM
I think it was Greg LeMond that said pretend that you're
scraping mud off the bottom of your shoes when your foot is at the bottom of the stroke. It really works.
probably not the way to goDougSloan
Jun 4, 2003 6:31 AM
I have a Computrainer, which can display your torque in a continuous circle for each crank. I've learned (and read, as well) that focusing on upstroke is not helpful. On the upstroke, you are at the same time making big torque with the other leg on the downstroke. The upstroke doesn't add much, and actually makes the pedaling circle more choppy.

Instead, focus on pulling through at the bottom. That seems to yield the best results and highest "spinscan*" numbers.


*SpinScan™ provides a multi-color torque graph which represents one full 360° pedal revolution divided into 15³ segments. It will identify "flat" or "dead spots in the pedal stroke where optimal power is not being transferred to the drive train. Graphs show instantaneous right/left leg power split and where power is being applied for greater aid in development of under-utilized muscle groups The quantifiable measure called the SpinScan Number is the average torque divided by the maximum torque times 100.
Where do you guys put the unused foot at?stinkfoot247
Jun 4, 2003 1:21 PM
When your doing your 1 foot action what is the best place to place the other foot. Thanks for keeping me from wasting my time doing upstrokes.
Where do you guys put the unused foot at?Fredrico
Jun 5, 2003 1:18 PM
Good question. That's one reason I've never used that technique. You just dangle the unused leg at the side, with a bend in the knee to avoid hitting the crank.

There are two phases to learning smooth cadence:

1. Pedal so fast (90-110 rpm) that you can't consciously pump up your quads and push down hard on each stroke. Momentum carries the leg around the stroke. You just concentrate on staying with it. Do that for a week, careful not to succumb to pushing with the quads at cadences below 90 rpm. Use gears that you can pedal fast.

2. Now that the legs know how to follow the crank around above 90 rpm, you go for power. You feel it in the glutes more than the quads at first, Once you get this down, your legs will also know how to work the crank at lower cadences, like pushing hard gears. They call it "staying on top of the gear," or not losing momentum, or filling in the dead spots in the stroke.

At first, pedaling fast seems counter-intuitive. So much energy seems wasted for so little speed. But once your legs can stay on top of the gear, you can accelerate (90-130 rpm) to high speeds instantly, and maintain that speed a bit longer than with a larger gear in a lower cadence.