A Circular Question



DavidM

New Member
Apr 15, 2004
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Is there any power advantage in circular pedalling ? - Is it more efficient ? Will a cyclist with a 'good', smooth, circular style generate more power at the rear wheel at the same VO2 as a cyclist with a less smooth style ? (all other things being equal).

I used to think so, but I'm sure I read that studies on Professionals discovered the way they differ from amateurs is that the tend to press harder on the downstroke and in fact pedal less circularly.

Anyone know the answer to this ?
 
DavidM said:
Is there any power advantage in circular pedalling ? - Is it more efficient ? Will a cyclist with a 'good', smooth, circular style generate more power at the rear wheel at the same VO2 as a cyclist with a less smooth style ? (all other things being equal).

I used to think so, but I'm sure I read that studies on Professionals discovered the way they differ from amateurs is that the tend to press harder on the downstroke and in fact pedal less circularly.

Anyone know the answer to this ?

in the Coyle et al 1991 study using force instrumented pedals (other studies using iEMG; can't recall refs off the top of my head) better cyclists push down more and pull up less than less good cyclists. off the top of my head, the better cyclists were averaging ~52 mins for a 40km TT, and the less good ~59-mins (give or take a few mins for both groups).

the only time it pays for you to ride 'circularly' is if you race in slippy conditions (e.g., MTB up steep muddy hill, wet cobbles, etc) as stomping down hard in these conditions will cause the rear wheel to lose traction.

other than that don't worry about how you pedal, just train to produce the highest sustainable (for the duration you race over) powers you can

happy new year everyone!
ric
 
ric_stern/RST said:
in the Coyle et al 1991 study using force instrumented pedals (other studies using iEMG; can't recall refs off the top of my head) better cyclists push down more and pull up less than less good cyclists. off the top of my head, the better cyclists were averaging ~52 mins for a 40km TT, and the less good ~59-mins (give or take a few mins for both groups).

the only time it pays for you to ride 'circularly' is if you race in slippy conditions (e.g., MTB up steep muddy hill, wet cobbles, etc) as stomping down hard in these conditions will cause the rear wheel to lose traction.

other than that don't worry about how you pedal, just train to produce the highest sustainable (for the duration you race over) powers you can

happy new year everyone!
ric

You must have read my mind...was about provide the oft-repeated reply "ask Ric Stern about this one"!
 

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