What makes pedaling with toes more effective?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Ken M, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. Ken M

    Ken M Guest

    Just got back from my morning ride, and seeing as how my rides have
    been cut back due to extreme heat and humidity, I have been trying to
    work on my form. I still have platform pedals, but I have heard / read
    that using the toes is more efficent than say the middle of the foot.
    Which is probably why toes clips and clipless pedals were invented. My
    question is why is it more effeicent? Is there a web published page
    that explains this? I did a google search and didn't really find
    anything. I have noticed my speed has improved using the front of my
    foot versus the middle.


    Ken M
     
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  2. Ken M

    Ken M Guest

    Well perhaps I didn't word my post exactly right. I should not have
    said "toes" and should have used "ball of the foot". But the front part
    of the foot is what I was refering to.

    Ken M
     
  3. On 30 Aug 2005 08:47:08 -0700, "Ken M" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Well perhaps I didn't word my post exactly right. I should not have
    >said "toes" and should have used "ball of the foot". But the front part
    >of the foot is what I was refering to.


    Oh. Okay then. If that is the case, then I agree with you completely and for the
    biomechanical reasons stated. <big grin>

    Sorry I misunderstood you.

    --
    Steve Koterski
    Atlanta, Georgia

    "Whenever you are to do a thing, though it can never be known but to yourself, ask
    yourself how you would act were all the world looking at you and act accordingly."
    -- Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
     
  4. wle

    wle Guest

    one thing about using more of your foot is that,
    if you use more foot, you use less leg extension.

    if you pedaled with your heel, the leg would have to do all the work.

    wle.
     
  5. andy gee

    andy gee Guest

    "Ken M" <kencmj[email protected]> wrote in news:1125413686.583502.27030
    @o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com:

    > Just got back from my morning ride, and seeing as how my rides have
    > been cut back due to extreme heat and humidity, I have been trying to
    > work on my form. I still have platform pedals, but I have heard / read
    > that using the toes is more efficent than say the middle of the foot.
    > Which is probably why toes clips and clipless pedals were invented. My
    > question is why is it more effeicent? Is there a web published page
    > that explains this? I did a google search and didn't really find
    > anything. I have noticed my speed has improved using the front of my
    > foot versus the middle.
    >
    >
    > Ken M
    >


    It's for the same reason the "throwing stick" was used for spears before
    we invented the bow and arrow: moment arm. Same reason we use a
    baseball bat instead of punching the ball.

    --ag
     
  6. wle wrote:
    > one thing about using more of your foot is that,
    > if you use more foot, you use less leg extension.
    >
    > if you pedaled with your heel, the leg would have to do all the work.


    From someone who just started cycling this last weekend...

    It looks like if you pedal with your heel, your knees must travel the
    distance of the diameter of the pedals in an up and down movement. This
    seems to extend the muscles of the thigh beyond their most efficient
    extents. If you pedal with the forward part of the foot, you allow a
    more natural motion that is not strictly circular but more eliptical,
    and it also pulls in the calf muscles to share more of the load. Because
    an eliptical movement is more natural it is also hard to maintain
    consistent contact with the pedals when using the heel. When you use the
    front part of the foot you have three joints in play to translate the
    more natural eliptical movement of your legs to the circular movement of
    the pedals while maintaining consistent contact.

    But thats just a WAG.

    Randy.
     
  7. Ken M jr writes:

    > Just got back from my morning ride, and seeing as how my rides have
    > been cut back due to extreme heat and humidity, I have been trying
    > to work on my form. I still have platform pedals, but I have heard
    > / read that using the toes is more efficient than say the middle of
    > the foot. Which is probably why toes clips and clipless pedals were
    > invented. My question is why is it more efficient? Is there a web
    > published page that explains this? I did a Google search and didn't
    > really find anything. I have noticed my speed has improved using
    > the front of my foot versus the middle.


    The calf muscles come into play to articulate the foot about the heel.
    This is a valuable effect that works for walking, running, and
    pedaling because it absorbs the quick reversals with the light weight
    foot articulation while leaving the heavy pushing for the thigh and
    gluteus muscles.

    It's not the toes but with the ball (base of the big tore) of the foot
    over the pedal spindle plus minus a centimeter. High pedaling speeds
    are difficult and strenuous to achieve without placing the foot that
    way. The best way to appreciate that is to get some pedals and shoes
    with cleat attachment, and of these I recommend the SPD Shimano
    recessed cleats and SH-TO92 shoed mentioned in another thread.

    SPD cleats are recessed and allow normal walking. You may be drawn
    toward the others (Look) external plastic cleated systems because they
    make you look like a professional racer as you stumble around like a
    duck out of water, clack clack clack. Don't be misled.

    Jobst Brandt
     
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