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"Suffice to say there is no evidence that these methods produce any significant improvements in efficiency over the normal, simple method of simply concentrating on the ‘press-down’ phase of each pedal revolution(1). The best riders push down harder than the slower riders and therefore go faster – it’s as simple as that!

Rule #1: push the pedals and don’t over-analyse any special foot action"

http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/cyc...chnique-make-you-a-more-efficient-rider-42241
 

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I'm glad to see/read this! I think you can get too uptight about stuff and overthink it. I'll concentrate on my pedal stroke sometimes, but most of the time I'm just out riding, not thinking too much.

One thing that I was able to fix with a little focus though was keeping my knees in - my left one would kick out on each stroke.

And if you watch the pros, everyone is a bit different. Some guys bob on their bike. Some guys weave side to side a bit, Some are stone still.

Whatever works!
 

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Creakyknees said:
"Suffice to say there is no evidence that these methods produce any significant improvements in efficiency over the normal, simple method of simply concentrating on the ‘press-down’ phase of each pedal revolution(1). The best riders push down harder than the slower riders and therefore go faster – it’s as simple as that!

Rule #1: push the pedals and don’t over-analyse any special foot action"

http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/cyc...chnique-make-you-a-more-efficient-rider-42241

I'll disagree (but will read the article later). I think Graeme Street has some good drills.

I'm sure everyone is different and there are tradeoffs, as we are all pretty much built/wired differently, and learn differently.

But I believe, getting the upstroke in properly to unload the pedal is a good start. And then other drills can help more.


Graeme Street even likes the non-circular rings and believes in them and was even selling them.
 

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bas said:
I'll disagree (but will read the article later). I think Graeme Street has some good drills.

I'm sure everyone is different and there are tradeoffs, as we are all pretty much built/wired differently, and learn differently.

But I believe, getting the upstroke in properly to unload the pedal is a good start. And then other drills can help more.


Graeme Street even likes the non-circular rings and believes in them and was even selling them.
I read his stuff too. Generally agree with his approach. I don't see a conflict w the conclusions of the article.
 

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Not news, not definitive, still laden with opinion, and will not end the controversy, which is eternal. But interesting, I guess.

There is a secret pedaling technique which can make every rider more efficient, but Jacques Anquetil is dead and didn't reveal it to anyone.
 

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JCavilia said:
Not news, not definitive, still laden with opinion, and will not end the controversy, which is eternal. But interesting, I guess.

There is a secret pedaling technique which can make every rider more efficient, but Jacques Anquetil is dead and didn't reveal it to anyone.
hmm..interesting.. I never saw a video of him riding. I will have to hit you tube.


http://www.cyclingforums.com/archive/index.php/t-46848.html

If you can get a hold of some of the old Tour de France videos or of some old classics videos you will see that even the top level pros have differences in pedalling styles. Jacques Anquetil used a pedalling style that no one has used since that I know of, toes pointed down all the time. While Merckx and other classics riders would pedal "squares" while aggressively attacking. And, in our own time, Lance Armstrong pedals very smoothly and at a very high cadence even when climbing.
 

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Anquetil

I kind of put that in as a joke, and an example of the wild theories that are often raised on this subject. I have seen the question discussed at length, and quite vociferously.
 

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Secrets

JCavilia said:
There is a secret pedaling technique which can make every rider more efficient, but Jacques Anquetil is dead and didn't reveal it to anyone.
Apparently you've never heard of Noel Crowley. He has shown up on various forums over the years claiming to indeed being on the verge of mastering the Anquetil technique. The ultimate bike forum troll!
 

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Kerry Irons said:
Apparently you've never heard of Noel Crowley. He has shown up on various forums over the years claiming to indeed being on the verge of mastering the Anquetil technique. The ultimate bike forum troll!
He's still about :)

When you use power as your reference for performance, you quickly learn that most of this "technique" stuff that's bandied about is just a ruse.

1. Get a good position on the bike (including proper cleat placement for you)
2. Focus on getting the power down and don't "think" about pedaling.
3. It's all about the down stroke.

Of course if you are very new to cycling then it takes a little time to feel "smooth" but don't confuse smooth with thoughts of "pedaling in circles" or "scraping mud", or "pulling up" or thinking that one-legged pedaling will help etc etc.

The focus should always be on developing a powerful down stroke with the neuromuscular coordination to turn those firing units on/off at the right times so that you can also do that at a high pedaling rate. That's what smoothness is.
 

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In the words of those wise sages En Vogue - Free you mind and the rest will follow
 

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bas said:
Jacques Anquetil used a pedalling style that no one has used since that I know of, toes pointed down all the time. .
Although hardly an Anquetil, a riding buddy of mine does pretty much the same thing. He rides a much bigger frame than would seem to fit him. He's a very fine rider and a knowledgeable mechanic. He's the only one I've ever observed riding that way.

I ride with my saddle just a little too low due to some knee problems developed when I've raised my saddle.
 

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Kerry Irons said:
Apparently you've never heard of Noel Crowley. He has shown up on various forums over the years claiming to indeed being on the verge of mastering the Anquetil technique. The ultimate bike forum troll!
I have read Noel's posts many times. That's what I was referring to, but I made it a bit too obscure. I needed the conspiratorial tone and raising of the eyebrows to convey the atmosphere, but I haven't figured out how to do those in a web posting.
 

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nayr497 said:
One thing that I was able to fix with a little focus though was keeping my knees in - my left one would kick out on each stroke.
There's an interesting article on velonews.com that addresses pelvic asymmetry and how it affects the tracking of knees throughout the pedal stroke. The gist of it is that because of the way our bodies are built, right knees generally track inwards, while left knees track slightly outwards.

If your knee was tracking more than "slightly" outwards, I would guess it was more an issue of pedal spindle length, in which case seeing a fitter and having them analyze your stroke would be beneficial, especially since speedplay pedals come in different spindle lengths specifically for this purpose.
 

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Or not

bas said:
But I believe, getting the upstroke in properly to unload the pedal is a good start.
Sure, but the problem you have there is that lots of studies on professional riders show that they DON'T unload the pedals on the upstroke. Just saying.
 

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steelbikerider said:
Long ago Velonews had an article about an Anquetil technique that involved resting each alternate legs every tenth pedalstroke.
I have a video tape about Anquetil in which his masseur says that unlike other rider's backs when laying face down, Anquetil's back had "no downward curve, but was completely flat." The masseur then elevates his observation into the claim that this flat back at the face-down position on the massage table was "the real secret behind Anquetil's power." Hey—no more bizarre than resting one's legs on a numerical pattern. :)
 

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Kerry Irons said:
Sure, but the problem you have there is that lots of studies on professional riders show that they DON'T unload the pedals on the upstroke. Just saying.
great - another belief of mine shattered... so focusing on pulling up has no impact even for hills?

-K
 

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The thing about all of these studies you have to realize is that they're kind of BS. That being said, I'm a university student…so I abused my student status and actually read some of the papers cited in the OP's article (yes, I can read that data).

They're interesting. And the OP's article seems about right on the analysis…for a journalist.

But, they're kind of "duh" too.

The whole "pull through the bottom," "throw your knee over the bar," stuff just sounded too much like MBA/Marketing stuff to me. I mean, I did it. I still kinda do, though not to the extremes of a lot of people…if I think enough about moving my ankle like that, I forget to actually pay attention to where I'm going or, you know, breathe.

On the other hand, BS has it's place. If something you're doing makes you feel faster and you have data to show that it's at least not harmful…it'll probably make you faster if for no other reason than raising your pain threshold and thinking that your technique works better than someone else's.

I'm convinced that's the reason for ultra-light bottle cages…they don't affect center of gravity, they don't affect any meaningful moment of inertia, and 40g or so is insignificant compared to a 70kg (aka, 70,000g, aka 154 lbs) rider. The second (full) bottle weighs over 10 times that amount. Yet, people swear by them and spend way too much money on them (IMHO).

I'm thankful for this article and reading the studies, though. I have problems climbing ('cuz i'm "fat" for a cyclist at 6', 190lbs…also because I'm still relatively new) and it makes me feel a lot better when my technique reverts to "press…press…press" 'cuz i'm concentrating on controlling my asthma. It also makes me feel better, 'cuz I feel like i'm the only borderline grinder left in the world…I tend not to use my small ring unless I'm in trouble going up a hill or am worried about cross-chaining. Both of those little psychological tricks will help in group rides and random exercise.



(Full disclosure: I'm a relatively new cyclist who couldn't keep up with a lot of you…but I can do math and I have a degree in Psychology, so some of this sh*te just makes sense to me).
 

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Anecdote for what it's worth:

I have been a competitive cyclist for many years. Am not a young bloke anymore so a lot of my racing is local cat 3/2 level and masters age championships.

In 2007 I made podium at masters nationals (points race) along with two guys that have world masters championships to their name. I have used power meters for many years and so have an excellent record of my individual capabilities over time.

2 weeks after that 2007 result I had training accident, resulted in below knee amputation.

Now I ride with prosthetic. I have no lower leg. I can't 'scrape mud". I can't push over top, or pull across the bottom, I can't "pull up". At least not on that side.

I got back to riding, then racing. In last 6 months I've done 20-min TT intervals at my all time personal best power. 3 months ago i set my all time best 2-hour race power. And I mean best power pre- and post- amputation.

All I am able to do is push harder and faster. But I am also a smooth pedaller.
 

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Get your postitioning fairly right, probably a combination of common trends but also ensuring that position is comfortable for your own riding.

After that develop you own style it has to be natural. Having said that, smoothness of pedalling does help alot and comes with time.
 
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