LeMond Pedaling Technique

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Eric22, Aug 21, 2005.

  1. Eric22

    Eric22 New Member

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    After reading an article I decided to try the LeMond method of scraping your feet like you are getting mud off it on every downstroke. Having pedals with toe straps, it seemed difficult because as I "scraped my feet" on the down stroke they would eventually slide out of the strap. Is there anyway I can correct this? It is possible for me to change the angle of my foot on the down strokes and tighten the straps (however having them too tight hurts my feet after a while). If I cant fix it somehow will I need to get clipless pedals and shoes?
     
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  2. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Well-Known Member

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  3. temp3st

    temp3st New Member

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    assuming one can actually read all of that without falling asleep ;)
    Can anyone summarise for those of us with a little less time on our hands?
     
  4. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Well-Known Member

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    The top cyclists generate virtually all of their power at the 3 o'clock position on the downstroke with each leg. The 2nd tier cyclists generate most of their power at this same position but generate some power throughout the rest of the stroke, apparently in an effort to pedal in a circular fashion or pull up or whatever. So, the best cyclists don't "scrape the mud off the bottom of their feet" at the bottom of the stroke; in fact, their leg is basically passive after it is past ~4:30 on the downstroke.
     
  5. cbjesseeNH

    cbjesseeNH New Member

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    I guess we don't know, from this study, whether the national-elite class cyclists progressed from the pedaling techniques used by state-class cyclists, or if they just never used the technique seen in state-class cyclists.

    If any of the state-class cyclists went on to be elite national-class cyclists, would they unlearn the technique seen in state-class cyclists? If the state-class cyclists reverted to the technique of the elite national-class cyclists, would they do better or worse?

    Is the greater torque seen in the elite national-class cyclists dependent to some degree on the difference in pedaling technique from state-class cyclists?

    Is the lesson to use the technique exhibited by state-class cyclists if you want to reach that level, or to use the technique exhibited by elite national-class cyclists?

    Correlation does not prove causation, but I'm sure there has been a decade or more of discussion on this study and its implications.

    If "scraping the mud" is a learning stage to unweighting the opposite pedal during the down-stroke, then perhaps SpinScan, ankling and all that are still useful training measures.
     
  6. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Well-Known Member

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    I think all we know from this study alone is that the best cyclists (as measured by their 40K MPs) simply don't exhibit any of these often-prescribed pedaling techniques (pull-up, scrape the mud, circular, et al). But, there is a way for each of us to find out whether these techniques are in our interest: get a PM and go out and do some MP tests using various pedaling techniques. The pedaling style that allows you to generate the highest sustainable average power for a duration is the one you should use. That's one of the least understood benefits of having a PM. You have your own test lab for evaluating things like pedaling styles and aero positions, wheels, skin suits, helmets, etc., etc.
     
  7. simonbroekhuize

    simonbroekhuize New Member

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    good point, you're usually best off to experiment yourself rather than follow some study. if id ever get one, measuring pedalling efficiency would be the main reason for me to get a PM.



     
  8. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    Thanks for the link to that excellent study report. Although it was slow going in spots, and I didn't understand all of the terms, thought it was worthwhile reading.

    More interesting to me than the pedaling mechanics issue was the correlation of 1 hour power output to % of VO2 max at LT, Type 1 muscle fibers, capillary density, and years spent in leg endurance sports.
     
  9. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Well-Known Member

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    Well, we should both thank Woofer, because I think he's the one who put the link up on another thread. The thing is that there are dozens of great studies out there. Most of the issues important to us as cyclists have been studied in detail. I'm sure that the real gurus on this forum have some great laughs at us as we debate issues that they know to be "settled science."
     
  10. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Well-Known Member

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    You're onto something, but I think you may be seeing the tip of the iceberg. Everything we do to turn the cranks gets turned into power at the rear wheel and power at the rear wheel translates to bike speed with a given set of equipment and a given position. So, any technique that is supposedly "better" can be tested in terms of maximum sustainable power for a given duration. So, if somebody tells you that you can generate more power if you pedal with your toes pointing down, you can go try it. Likewise, once you know your maximum sustainable power over a given duration, you want that to translate into the maximum bike speed under the course conditions (topography, wind, etc.). Every part of your bike (e.g., frame and wheels) can be evaluated by pedaling at a constant power on a known course and looking at bike speed. Likewise, every aspect of your position on the bike can be evaluated in the same way. If you think it's better to drop your bars 1.5" so you can get more aero, then drop your bars 1.5" and go test it on a know course segment (just be careful that you know the wind). Cycling is pretty simple: generate the maximum power over a duration and, with that power, get the maximum bike speed. A PM helps you attain both of these elusive objectives.
     
  11. bent1rider

    bent1rider New Member

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    New person here...obviously; but what is a PM? :confused:
     
  12. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Well-Known Member

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    Power Meter.
     
  13. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    I don't think any of us "laugh", we're here to help, and some of the questions are indeed very thought provoking.

    Nothing is really "settled" (i.e., for definite), but often there's a concensus of opinion.

    In regards to pedalling and pedalling mechanics, it would appear from this and other research that better cyclists simply push down more and pull up less than less good cyclists. With that in mind i would not worry about how you pedal just try to generate the highest average power you can over the durations you ride, while allowing recovery for consecutive days training.

    I don't believe that exercises such as scraping the mud off the bottom of your shoe, single leg drills*, or Power Cranks are of any use to cycling performance whatsoever.

    *Single leg drills are of course very important to those people who only have one leg. Unless of course as a two legged cyclist you compete in one legged races (then single leg drills would be important).

    Ric
     
  14. cbjesseeNH

    cbjesseeNH New Member

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    Then, if we would do best to use our PMs to see what works best for us to get more "go", which, if any, of the Computrainer, Polar Power, PowerTap, Ergomo, SRM devices gives us the right feedback?

    None, as has been pointed out by others, senses the force vector on the pedals. They either sense torque on the crank or hub, or the vibration of a chanin, spinning of a dynamo, etc, and compute power through a pedal revolution by using additional speed and cadence measures.

    If the data and/or algorithms are not "true", one might be training the wrong pedaling behavior based on an inappropriate model.

    Has anyone published pedal force relationships for these various devices?
     
  15. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Well-Known Member

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    I think any of the devices that measures power to a reasonable degree of accuracy (e.g., plus or minus 2-3 percent) can be used. I wouldn't get too hung up on whether one device is 1% more accurate than another. At 300w, 1% is 3w. I, for one, am not able to maintain power to within 3w. I don't have personal experience with any but the PT, but I am sure that it and the SRM Pro are sufficiently accurate for this purpose. I simply don't know much about the ergomo. As to the Polar, I'm just not sure. I've read that its accuracy is a function of which gear you are in.

    Only the SRM Pro and Polar capture and output power through the full 360 degree crank rotation. The SRM Pro requires an optional device (~$1K) and only works on a trainer. The Polar doesn't give accurate power output on trainers, so it's strictly for road use. But, I think maybe you're looking for something that would give you charts similar to those in the biodymanics study. What I was talking about is simply looking at the effect on your ability to generate average power (watts) over a duration. So, the goal is more power rather than a pattern of pedal force. It's measurement of the net "result" of, say, your pedaling form. Same thing with using your PM to measure drag of, say, your aero position. You would measure the net result of your position (bike speed) rather than drag directly as you would do in a wind tunnel.
     
  16. jjjtttggg

    jjjtttggg New Member

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    I don't have an opinion one way or another about pedalling technique, but no matter what technique you're using, I think you've just gotta get clipless pedals. I rode with clips/straps for about two or three months when I started and switched to Look style clipless. Huge improvement. For me there's just no comparison. Comfort, one-ness with the bike, responsiveness, no comparison. Doesn't have to be expensive either. I bought Lake CX100 shoes from an online store and used Look knockoff pedals on ebay. Less than $85 for both. I'll probably upgrade the shoes soon, but the cheap pedals work fine. Maybe a few grams heavier than more expensive pedals, but they're lighter than my old clip/strap/gym sneaker setup.

    There you go: 2 cents worth for absolutely nothing. What a bargain!!
     
  17. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    I don't think it's that important to measure pedal force vectors when you're just comparing between a couple different pedalling styles. 1 ride without thinking about how you pedal (baseline), 1 ride while consciously 'mashing' the downstrokes, and 1 ride while consciously pedalling circles is all it takes. Comparing those 3 rides should allow you to make a determination of whether it is worth it to work on pedalling style, and which style generates the most power (preferably with the lowest RPE).
     
  18. cbjesseeNH

    cbjesseeNH New Member

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    ... just thinking, for instance, that should I train a "circular" pedaling style using a CompuTrainer, but should that SpinScan bar/polar chart not accurately reflect the actual pedal force on the 360 revolution L & R, I would potentially reject a "circular" pedaling style when I was actually doing something else. That is, the hardware/software algorithm showed a smoothest circular pedal but the use of cadence, speed and dynamo resistance (as a surrogate for power) did not well reflecting pedal force vectors in the CompuTrainer SpinScan.

    If someone put force platforms on a bike and then set that bike on a Computrainer, or put force platforms on a bike with a SRM, and then showed the comparison of power output measured through full pedal revolutions, such data would be proof. I'll keep searching the biomedical literature, but it might not be published there.

    I get the point being made otherwise - try the pedeling methods and check the power. I'm just looking to see if devices that aid pedeling method training are precise/accurate tools to reject/accept learned pedaling styles.

    I think the best answer is - go ride your bike more - but I remain curious when off the beast.
     
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