correct ankle technique :)

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Darren Grant, Jul 8, 2003.

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  1. Darren Grant

    Darren Grant Guest

    hi there,

    a techniques question for ya :)

    when pressing down on the pedal, is it correct to hold your foot as flat as possible (parallel with
    the road surface, on a flat road), or to relax the muscle slightly, so as to point your foot ever so
    slightly upwards (so your toes point sligtly to the sky)?

    thanks! darren grant.
     
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  2. Everyone's foot is different, so everyone's ankling style is different. But basically, your toes are
    very slightly pointed up at the top of the stroke (because you have just finished pushing the pedals
    forewards).

    As they descend, they slowly go toe down, so you can better push the pedal back. Lifting them again
    as you pull up, so you can again push forwards.

    The tilting, however, is very slight. Again, everyone is different. so don't take this as gospel.
    Whatever move your bike with the smoothest and least amount of effort is what's right.

    May you have the wind at your back. And a really low gear for the hills! Chris

    Chris'Z Corner "The Website for the Common Bicyclist": http://www.geocities.com/czcorner
     
  3. S. Anderson

    S. Anderson Guest

    "Chris Zacho "The Wheelman"" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Everyone's foot is different, so everyone's ankling style is different. But basically, your toes
    > are very slightly pointed up at the top of the stroke (because you have just finished pushing the
    > pedals forewards).
    >
    > As they descend, they slowly go toe down, so you can better push the pedal back. Lifting them
    > again as you pull up, so you can again push forwards.
    >
    > The tilting, however, is very slight. Again, everyone is different. so don't take this as gospel.
    > Whatever move your bike with the smoothest and least amount of effort is what's right.
    >
    > May you have the wind at your back. And a really low gear for the hills! Chris
    >
    > Chris'Z Corner "The Website for the Common Bicyclist": http://www.geocities.com/czcorner
    >

    Yep, pretty much. I used to ride very much toes-down and several people who could actually ride told
    me to flatten my feet out for more power. I think if you drop your ankle too much you're asking for
    achilles tendon injuries so I would be very careful about making a big change in your heel position.
    Flat or very slightly dropped is probably best.

    Cheers,

    Scott..
     
  4. Forget totally about your ankle and just cycle. People have different natural styles, as they have
    natural gaits walking.
     
  5. Darren Grant

    Darren Grant Guest

    "Gearóid Ó Laoi, Garry Lee" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Forget totally about your ankle and just cycle. People have different natural styles, as they have
    > natural gaits walking.

    True, but that doesn't mean that the way they have learned to cycle is correct for their physiology.

    I walked incorrectly for most of my life (I'm 23) - but having just had a physiotherapist show me
    that my toes naturally point out quite far when standing or walking, and by making by making
    myself consciously aware of this, I now have all but eliminated a limp that until now I've barely
    been aware of.

    Two weeks ago I realised I was not relaxing my body when stretching, and I reached down and, keeping
    my knees straight, I touched my toes - for the first time in my adult (or not-so-adult) life.

    Many people are lucky and learn things correctly the first time round, but we often learn to do
    things wrongly (for me, typing and playing music appear in this category) - until we discover, or
    are taught, the correct technique.

    Cheers :) Darren.
     
  6. [email protected] (Darren Grant) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    > when pressing down on the pedal, is it correct to hold your foot as flat as possible (parallel
    > with the road surface, on a flat road), or to relax the muscle slightly, so as to point your foot
    > ever so slightly upwards (so your toes point sligtly to the sky)?

    You mean "inverse ankling" as depicted at http://www.cranklength.info/animation/monty.htm ?

    There's no hard data on ankle technique and there's never likely to be any but I don't see the point
    of developing that particular technique. The situation is complex, but why would you get more power
    with that, the calf muscles in eccentric contraction (ie in power dissipation mode)?

    Andrew Bradley
     
  7. Chris Zacho "The Wheelman" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Everyone's foot is different, so everyone's ankling style is different.

    It's probably more to do with calves than feet -. those with weak calves may favour
    toes-pointed-down or the technique the OP describes.

    > But basically, your toes are very slightly pointed up at the top of the stroke (because you have
    > just finished pushing the pedals forewards).
    >

    In these days of cleats, the angle of your foot doesn't dictate the direction you can apply pressure
    to the pedal.

    > As they descend, they slowly go toe down, so you can better push the pedal back. Lifting them
    > again as you pull up, so you can again push forwards.
    >
    >The tilting, however, is very slight

    This sort of thing will happen automatically if you simply lock the calf as can be verified while
    sitting at the computer and flexing and extending the leg. It is qualititavely like "traditional"
    ankling, but the calf adds no power.

    Andrew Bradley
     
  8. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Darren Grant" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "Gearóid Ó Laoi, Garry Lee" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > > Forget totally about your ankle and just cycle. People have different natural styles, as they
    > > have natural gaits walking.
    >
    > True, but that doesn't mean that the way they have learned to cycle is correct for their
    > physiology.

    From what I have read it seems like cyclists tend to automatically optimize, in other words, listen
    to your body and do what feels natural, artificial techniques can cause problems.
     
  9. Pedalling in circles is nonsense as regards power though to try to do so is smoother. It does not
    give more power however. All the effective power is down.
     
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