New pedal positioning - seems to work

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by genedoc, Sep 5, 2006.

  1. genedoc

    genedoc New Member

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    I happened across Steve Hogg's Cyclefit website and was interested in his theories on rearward cleat placement relative to the ball of the foot. It happened that in the early 80's we discussed this theory and thought it made sense, but with nailed-on cleats and knee problems already, did not want to take the risk and try it.

    While not having a lot of miles under me yet to validate the concept in my case after returning to cycling from a 10 year sabbatical, I have to say that after one week of moderate training there has been a noticeable change in post ride muscle pain, recovery time and a general sense of improved performance (speeds are definitely up, but that may be simply due to accumulated miles).

    I moved my speedplays to the furthest rear position on my Sidi Genius shoe
    (about 5 mm) and really like the change. Has anyone else experimented with this - or is this really old news?
     
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  2. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    I'm kinda surprised to see someone advocating different cleat placement based on a 1-week trial after 10 years off the bike. :confused:

    Are you saying the changes in post-ride muscle pain, recovery time, and performance are this week compared to your memory from 10 years ago? What post-ride muscle pain issue has the new cleat placement solved for you (IOW, what was the problem before)?
     
  3. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    J Biomech. 2006 Aug 8; [Epub ahead of print] Links
    Is economy of competitive cyclists affected by the anterior-posterior foot position on the pedal?Van Sickle JR Jr, Hull ML.
    Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group, One Shields Avenue, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.

    The primary purpose of this investigation was to test the hypothesis that cycling economy, as measured by rate of oxygen consumption (V O(2)) in healthy, young, competitive cyclists pedaling at a constant workrate, increases (i.e. V O(2) decreases) when the attachment point of the foot to the pedal is moved posteriorly on the foot. The V O(2) of 11 competitive cyclists (age 26.8+/-8.9 years) was evaluated on three separate days with three anterior-posterior attachment points of the foot to the pedal (forward=traditional; rear=cleat halfway between the head of the first metatarsal and the posterior end of the calcaneous; and mid=halfway between the rear and forward positions) on each day. With a randomly selected foot position, V O(2) was measured as each cyclist pedaled at steady state with a cadence of 90rpm and with a power output corresponding to approximately 90% of their ventilatory threshold (VT) (mean power output 203.3+/-20.8W). After heart rate returned to baseline, V O(2) was measured again as the subject pedaled with a different anterior-posterior foot position, followed by another rest period and then V O(2) was measured at the final foot position. The key finding of this investigation was that V O(2) was not affected by the anterior-posterior foot position either for the group (p=0.311) or for any individual subject (p0.156). The V O(2) for the group was 2705+/-324, 2696+/-337, and 2747+/-297ml/min for the forward, mid, and rear foot positions, respectively. The practical implication of these findings is that adjusting the anterior-posterior foot position on the pedal does not affect cycling economy in competitive cyclists pedaling at a steady-state power output eliciting approximately 90% of VT
     
  4. genedoc

    genedoc New Member

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    My intention was only to raise the topic for discussion and not to advocate anything. However, unless the hypothesis above is that "any change in pedal position will either have an immediate impact on VO2 max or has no value" I don't see the importance of the study. While some rider position changes may have a measurable early impact on any of a number of performance or recovery parameters, it's hardly valid or reasonable to presume that any and all changes will manifest as a benefit in one test session.

    As I purposefully qualified in my original post, I have nowhere near enough reportable miles either before or after the change to make any conclusions, nor should an anecdotal report from ANY single rider be sufficient for someone to make a change to their own set up. I would hope no one does. However, in my case, the change in pedal position coincided with a noticeable reduction in post-ride muscle fatigue/pain (at several hours and 24 hours post ride) within 1 week (3 x 25-40 miles rides). Since if I'm not mistaken this is one of the benefits Steve Hogg claims, I remain curious as to whether anyone else has had similar experiences.
     
  5. Geoff2010

    Geoff2010 New Member

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    Funny this topic should come up today... just this AM I shifted my cleats back further behind the ball of my foot. However, I wasn't doing this for performance/recovery purposes, simply because the more forward the cleat is, the harder cycling is on the achiles tendon. I started to get some pain, mostly from climbing and a couple people suggested this. I went out and rode hard today with no pain whatsoever.

    For some reason I doubt that minimal adjustment in cleat position would have any real affect on performance or ability to recover. The only _real_ benefit I see is moving the cleat in an attempt to match the bio-mechanical preferences of your individual body.
     
  6. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Which muscles? All of them in general, or any in particular? Also, is the reduction in pain based from your experiences 10 years ago, or something more recent?

    I'm all for having a discussion, but can we get some clarity on what it is that we're discussing? Maybe you could post a link to Steve Hogg's cleat placement guidance or his discussion of the potential benefits, so we can understand the context of this discussion?
     
  7. genedoc

    genedoc New Member

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    For some reason I thought Steve Hogg was well known. Oh well, here's a couple links to some articles on his site. There may be more info on the site.

    http://www.cyclefitcentre.com/pdf%20final%20docs/SHOE%20AND%20PEDAL%20ARTICLE%208_final.pdf


    http://www.cyclefitcentre.com/pdf%20final%20docs/question_of_leverage.pdf


    In my case, the muscle fatigue that stopped occurring after making the change (I'm not concluding a causative effect), is the general quad fatigue and, I suppose, pain, I typically feel a few hours to a day or so after a hard ride (for me) when I walk up stairs or do some sort of squat. I would say 75% or more of that is gone. My experience is specifically from this current training cycle and not from my racing years from some time ago. I suppose an interesting experiment would be to return the cleats to their original position and see if the fatigue returns.
     
  8. Geoff2010

    Geoff2010 New Member

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    I find the following quote quite funny:

    "... with cleat position as above, the calves work less hard controlling the movement of hte ankle. This leaves them more able to contract in concert with the hamstrings while the leg is extending as a whole. The net effect of this is to assist the quadriceps to extend [straighten] the knee. Get this right and dead quads will never occur, no matter how hard the ride."

    So, basically if I move my cleats back approx 5mm I will become a fatigueless super-cyclist. I will never experience quad muscle fatigue!!! Perhaps I should try drilling some new holes and putting the cleat on the heel of my shoe, i couldn't even imagine what that could do for my performance! :)
     
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