Pedaling Action

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by Porkyboy, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. Porkyboy

    Porkyboy New Member

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    Hi

    This is how I pedal, any suggestions for improvement? Apart from harder that is! :rolleyes:

    Thanks,

    Q
     
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  2. kmavm

    kmavm New Member

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    Didn't watch your video, but the one-size-fits-all suggestion is: don't sweat it. Your body and mind, together will find a pattern of firing muscles that is correct for your physiology. Nobody, ever, has demonstrated an ability to intervene with pedalling mechanics and make a cyclist better. So, all kidding aside, focus on pedalling harder, more frequently, or both, if you want to get stronger.

    (Cue Frank Day. Sigh.)
     
  3. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    I watched some of the video and I didn't notice any glaring issues with your pedaling. You're not a masher of potatoes, nor do you spin like a hamster. If you wish to continue exploring with your pedal stroke, I suggest you invest in some rollers. I swear by them for active recovery sessions in addition to improving pedaling mechanics.
     
  4. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Or cue Swampy ;)

    Having raced for over a decade and starting to get back into the swing of things after more than a decade off I was 'sure' that I pedaled fairly efficiently. I'd been able to ride 10 mile TT's at more than 28mph and 50 mile TT's at over 26 on the ol' rusty 531 steed (whilst weighing a mere 140something lbs - no, that was me not the bike - that was 24lbs) so it couldn't be all that bad? Right?

    ... well, no.

    Back then I could hold around 340watts for an hour (lab tests at Crewe and Alsager college @190bpm and ~6mmol blood lactate). After a year of having a set of powercranks and despite spending most the year off the bike due to what seems to be pulmonary/lung function issues I've persevered and developed what seems to be a much more efficient style that's giving me more power than what I believe I should be getting at this rather shabby debacle I call training right now. But crappy training or no crappy training I'm only ~40 watts shy of what I once did.

    The only major change - my pedalling style now recruits the hamstrings much much more and I've developed muscles in the 'inner thigh' area that I never had before. Gone has the "quad death" despite pushing much earlier - sometimes too early judging from the "bounce" a get when I start to push everyonce in a while. It seems as though my hamstrings drag the pedal down much more rather than the quads trying to push as much - maybe that's where my 'free' power is coming from.

    And for the record, I do believe that despite thinking I was pulling up I wasn't doing anything of the sort... Not even a little bit.

    But, at the end of the day it's all about how fast you get down the road - or in the case of the OP how well you travel the mountainous roads of France on the trip you're training for.
     
  5. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

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    I didn't see anything obvious but then again, I kind of feel that people make a big deal out of the pedal stroke. If you really want some better feedback, zoom your camera out to show your entire body - I would be more concerned about having a good position on the bike rather than the minutiae of your pedal stroke. So I would want to see knees in relation to pedals, leg action, hip angles, arm angles, etc.
     
  6. bigwillie013

    bigwillie013 New Member

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    Hi Quentin,

    you sure prioritize your cycling, don't you!;)
    Having said that I'd like to quote from a book I'm currently reading by Ed Burke "High Tech Cycling". In there the pedaling effectiveness and physiological implications are discussed in length and as a summary I'd say: don't take to much care about pedaling. Make it natural for you. No spinning like Lance no grinding like (whoever) with only 50 rpm except you're truly exceptional from the pedaling side. Any other than that: the gains are marginal if at all measurable.

    But, keep your sharing up. I did enjoy some of your youtube vid's. :D Awesome. It's far easier to watch someone suffer than doing it myself. :p

    Cheers,
    bigwillie013
     
  7. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Are you, by chance, 180cm-or-taller OR is that just an illusion because of the abbreviated field of view?

    FWIW. If so, then I think that you might want to think about 175mm cranks ... and, possibly a larger frame!?!

    That is, where the seat stays intersect the frame in the abbreviated view suggests a frame that isn't very large ...
     
  8. wiredued

    wiredued New Member

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    +1 I gained about 1mph on rolling hills while FTP stayed the same using FMRs. It makes you lift your knees more to unweight the pedals.

     
  9. Porkyboy

    Porkyboy New Member

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    Hi Steve

    Thanks for the info, I think I'll be doing another one along those lines in due course.

    Cheers,

    Q
     
  10. Porkyboy

    Porkyboy New Member

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    Hi BW013

    BTW, is the 013 cms or ins ;-)?

    Yes, cycling has a high priority, I do tend to fling myself into things and I like the friendships, the gear, the exercise, the outdoors (sometimes!), the excitement, the speed, the competition, it just pushes all the buttons for me, well, almost all ;) I'm VERY fortunate to have a very understanding and supportive wife which makes all the difference.

    Agree about the pedaling, just push down harder seems to be the message! Glad you enjoyed the suffering, more of that to come, planning of making a few longer videos of full turbo sessions using a "proper" video camera I have, might be a giggle, you could join in the fun, I'll make them downloadable :eek:

    Cheers,

    Q
     
  11. Porkyboy

    Porkyboy New Member

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    Hi

    You are correct, 184cm. I'll look into the crank length issue and maybe try some longer ones, on loan ;) Probably stuck with the frame at the moment but I have a plan to change things.

    Thanks for the input.

    Q
     
  12. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

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    I assume you are referring to free motion rollers.

    I got a set of E-motion rollers recently and I have been doing 80% of my riding on them lately due to my schedule. I got out for a long ride on Saturday and I noticed that I feel a little different on the road now - a bit more stable and more aggressive cornering, for some reason. (I don't know what rollers and cornering have to do with each other though.) I was never an unstable, unsteady rider but this has made me even better. I haven't noticed any difference in my pedaling technique though.

    (That's not me in the video. I don't have that much experience on rollers so I'm nowhere near that good. :) )

    I also have to say that now that I have these rollers, I don't dread riding indoors as much as I used to. :cool:
     
  13. wiredued

    wiredued New Member

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    Yup but mine are home made http://s288.photobucket.com/albums/ll187/kiwiwire/?action=view&current=FMR2.jpg
    I am alot more comfortable on the bike since I learned how to ride them. I can ride them for hours without getting bored core strength gets taken care of so my weight training time can go into riding. I still have the KK to check my FTP but don't like stationary trainers anymore. The low inertia of the rollers seemed to force my pedal stroke to improve I think I was a masher from targeting 91% to much on the KK.




     
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