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The pedaling technique thread

Moderator: King Boonen

06 Mar 2013 19:18

CoachFergie wrote:We await testing to show if these differences have a significant effect on performance.
Wait away. And, in the meantime keep on using those power meters that have never been shown to have a significant effect on performance.
Life is short, both reading my posts and training with PowerCranks will make it seem longer
FrankDay
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06 Mar 2013 19:30

Some most amusing claims being made on the iCrank site...

What do we mean by adding SYNERGY?

Synergy is defined as a combination of efforts being more effective than what the isolated use of the efforts can do by themselves. iCranks combine endurance training, specialized muscle training with additional technique feedback training (something never available before) into one training tool so these all occur all at the same time. The result is usually a lot more benefit coming from the time spent training.


*Specialized muscle training. What does that even mean? In a race on normal cranks you will only pedal one way. Fernandez-Pena showed that any changes to pedalling technique will lost rapidly when you go back to riding normal cranks.

*Technique feedback training. No validation or testing of Spinscan or Wattbike to show that they measure what they claim or that this type of feedback has an actual effect on performance. A marketing claim at best.

Beyond power and speed improvements, iCranks do much more including helping runners develop better form and avoid injury (the coordination required to use iCranks is closely related to optimum running coordination), helping the injured rehabilitate faster and better (use involves zero impact), and helping the injury prone to avoid injury (through better coordination, muscle balance, and reduced joint impact) while maintaining training intensity.


Unproven.

When compared to traditional training methods, iCranks, when properly integrated into the training routine, allow most athletes to achieve much more than was ever possible before using “normal” training techniques.


Very bold statement for a new product. Is this like the product testing performed on uncoupled cranks that you claim you lost Frank? How many test subjects were used to make such a claim?

iCranks are, simply, independent bicycle cranks that replace the regular cranks found on a typical bicycle or exercise machine. Independent means one leg cannot help the other in making the pedals go around and in order to pedal the bike one cannot simply relax on the back stroke but must actively raise the pedal using your hip flexor and hamstring muscles (those generally undertrained muscles mentioned above).


See the Powercrank thread to see that training in this fashion does not lead to any change in cycling performance in studies from 5-10 weeks.

This simple change ensures that your leg muscles will become balanced (both right/left and fore/aft) and that you will be training additional muscles with a coordination important to overall well-being and superior athletic performance. They have been described as plyometrics without the impact or injury risk.


Clearly does not understand what Plyometrics are.
Hamish Ferguson
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06 Mar 2013 19:32

FrankDay wrote:Wait away. And, in the meantime keep on using those power meters that have never been shown to have a significant effect on performance.


I totally concur Frank. NOTHING, NADA, ZIPPO effect on performance!
Hamish Ferguson
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06 Mar 2013 20:08

More iCrank hype...

CYCLISTS

PowerCranks train cyclists to pedal in a more efficient and more powerful fashion, being used by a long list of World, Olympic, and TDF champions. But, the question has always been to the developer of the PowerCranks as to whether more can be done.


Marketing claims are evidence of nothing.

1. Evaluate the difference in technique when training on PowerCranks and when riding standard, fixed, cranks to see if the adaption is complete or further training is possible.


So you train to adapt to a pedalling technique that you can't use in competition and research (Fernandez-Pena, 2009) has shown is rapidly lost when you go back to coupled cranks.

2. Evaluate any change in technique with time. Whether a race lasts 2 minutes or 5 hours if pedalling technique substantially deteriorates at the end of the period this would suggest that more aerobic training is indicated. If there is no deterioration in technique then emphasis can be placed on improving power.


Would be more concerned about fatigue and training to meet the demands of competition than a deterioration of pedalling technique.

3. The ability to measure pedal forces at any point in the pedal circle gives the ability to look for specific muscle or coordination weaknesses since different muscles are active at different points on the circle.


The main issue in cycling is sustaining the necessary power to meet the demands of the event.

This gives one the ability to concentrate on drills to enhance specific weaknesses should they be

identified. For instance, an analysis of the torque curves provided to me earlier uncovers the following issues:

1. Both legs are doing substantial negative work for a large portion of the upstroke and across the top.

2. Also, the right leg is substantially weaker than the right leg on the upstroke.


Unproven that this has a significant effect on performance.

3. The left leg has a substantial delay before applying a positive torque when coming over the top. Ideally positive torque should start 30-45º before TDC (similar to how positive torque continues 30-45º past BDC).

4. Comparing how the graphs change with time should give valuable information as to the aerobic endurance of the various muscles.


Unproven.

5. The ability to measure pedal forces around the circle at different cadences allows one to determine the most effective cadence for any rider at that power level.


Cadence is a red herring.

It is not possible to gather any of the above information using current techniques yet all of the information is potentially useful to both the coach and the athlete.


Unproven.

RUNNERS

PowerCranks have shown themselves to be useful to enhance running speed in average runners and in helping runners recover from injury without losing speed despite not running. Enhanced benefits include:


Uh huh, two studies so far (see Powercrank thread) that would suggest otherwise.

1. The ability to measure pedal forces at any point in the pedal circle gives the ability to look for and document specific muscle weaknesses since different muscles are active at different points on the circle. This gives one the ability to concentrate on drills to enhance specific weaknesses should they be identified.


Uh-huh, using cycling muscle activation to assess running muscle activation:p

2. Runners with substantial weaknesses or imbalances can be withheld from hard running activity until these weaknesses and imbalances are corrected which should lead to lower risk of injury.


Uh-huh, using cycling muscle activation to assess running muscle activation:p

3. Evaluate any change in technique with time. Whether a race lasts 2 minutes or5 hours if pedalling technique substantially deteriorates at the end of the period this would suggest that more aerobic training is indicated. If there is no deterioration in technique then emphasis can be placed on improving power.


And this helps running:p

It is not possible to gather any of the above information using current techniques yet all of the information is potentially useful to both the coach and the athlete.


Again, unproven.

MEDICAL AND REHAB PROFESSIONALS

PowerCranks have proven to be useful to medical and rehab professionals because of their ability to diagnose and correct lower extremity imbalances while still providing a good aerobic workout. It is why they have been chosen to be used by world champion Football, Baseball, and Rugby teams. Enhanced benefits if the iCranks should include:


Frank, you're letting the side down. It's been proven so you must have a link to the medical journal this was published in!

1. The ability to measure pedal forces at any point in the pedal circle gives the ability to look for and document specific muscle weaknesses since different muscles are active at different points on the circle. Documenting specific weaknesses should help when interacting with insurance companies when requesting authorization to treat.


A very long bow.

2. Allowing the documentation of weakness also allows for the documentation of improvement seen with treatment making assurances to athletes or coaching staff that recovery is complete based upon objective data or making requests for additional time (or continuing to hold athletes off the field) based upon continued objective data.


Again unproven.

It is not possible to gather any of the above information using current techniques yet all of this extra information is potentially useful.

Biomechanical assessments of the effect of visual feedback on cycling for patients with stroke

Abstract

Stroke patients exhibit abnormal pattern in leg cycling exercise. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of visual feedback on the control of cycling motion in stroke patients from kinesiological, kinematic and kinetic aspects. The cycling performance derived from cycling electromyography (EMG), cycling cadence, and torque of forty stroke subjects was evaluated under conditions with and without visual feedback of cycling cadence. Kinesiological indices, shape symmetry index (SSI) and area symmetry index (ASI) were extracted from EMG linear envelopes to evaluate the symmetry of muscle firing patterns during cycling. Roughness index (RI) was calculated from cycling cadence to represent cycling smoothness from kinematic aspects. Averaged cycling power (Pav), the product of cadence and torque, was used to represent force output. The rectus femoris EMG showed significantly greater ASI with visual feedback, however, the difference in SSI between the two conditions was not significant. For the biceps femoris, there was a significant decrease in SSI with visual feedback, while the ASI was not affected significantly by the task conditions. The cycling smoothness was better and the average power generated was larger when visual feedback was provided. This study found that the addition of visual feedback improved both neuromuscular control and overall performance. Such improvement is likely to be the result of better control of the rectus femoris muscle activation and coordination of both legs.


A little bit more equipment providing feedback than what an iCrank will offer:rolleyes:
Hamish Ferguson
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06 Mar 2013 23:19

FrankDay wrote:Image

Here is something I didn't expect. Just got an email from the iCranks people. He tells me the rider above (example 2 if you download the software) is a pro cyclist. Now, I will say that I think people tend to modulate their power, especially at low power, by adjusting the back pressure more than the pushing pressure which might explain the fairly large negative forces at this low power but it doesn't explain the imbalance. Apparently this rider was shocked when he saw this dynamic.
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FrankDay
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06 Mar 2013 23:37

An anecdote even with pretty pictures is still just an anecdote.

We await scientific validation of the measurement equipment before we may register any emotion.

Judging by the marketing claims on the iCrank site there there has been little if any validation of their product.
Hamish Ferguson
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06 Mar 2013 23:41

CoachFergie wrote:We await scientific validation of the measurement equipment before we may register any emotion.

Fergie, you are registering plenty of emotion now, me thinks.
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FrankDay
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06 Mar 2013 23:59

FrankDay wrote:Fergie, you are registering plenty of emotion now, me thinks.


Compared to last week where riders I coach won 9 NZ titles the level of emotion above is closer to me being dead.

Did you have a point pertaining to the measurement or the claimed enhancement of pedalling in your post?
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07 Mar 2013 00:17

CoachFergie wrote:Did you have a point pertaining to the measurement or the claimed enhancement of pedalling in your post?
Are you referring to the iCranks data? If so, I think it is pretty obvious to anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of engineering/mechanics/physics how such data MIGHT BE USED to enhance performance. To anyone who doesn't have the educational background to understand this potential from a quick glance any explanation I might make probably won't help.
Life is short, both reading my posts and training with PowerCranks will make it seem longer
FrankDay
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07 Mar 2013 00:25

FrankDay wrote:Are you referring to the iCranks data? If so, I think it is pretty obvious to anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of engineering/mechanics/physics how such data MIGHT BE USED to enhance performance. To anyone who doesn't have the educational background to understand this potential from a quick glance any explanation I might make probably won't help.


Is there anything published that validates the iCrank tool? Judging by some of the claims made on their site that would be a good place to start.
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07 Mar 2013 01:08

CoachFergie wrote:Is there anything published that validates the iCrank tool? Judging by some of the claims made on their site that would be a good place to start.
Of course not. I do believe the AIS has been playing with it. You snooze you lose, perhaps.
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07 Mar 2013 01:36

FrankDay wrote:Of course not. I do believe the AIS has been playing with it. You snooze you lose, perhaps.


Of course they are:rolleyes:

So no validation of the product. Makes it hard to trust the data. You do have to jump through a few hoops to ensure the validity and reliability of power meter data. Your mate, the MIT grad who didn't perform a zero offset before a FTP test can tell you all about that.
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07 Mar 2013 04:28

CoachFergie wrote:So no validation of the product. Makes it hard to trust the data. You do have to jump through a few hoops to ensure the validity and reliability of power meter data. Your mate, the MIT grad who didn't perform a zero offset before a FTP test can tell you all about that.
So, let me get this straight. You are a big proponent of athletes using a device that has been around for about 25 years and in common use for about 15 years that in all of this time there hasn't been a single shred of scientific evidence that the device makes a scintilla of difference for the athlete and you are concerned that a different device that has additional capability but that hasn't even come on to the market yet doesn't have any scientific validation? If you say so.
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07 Mar 2013 04:41

FrankDay wrote:So, let me get this straight. You are a big proponent of athletes using a device that has been around for about 25 years and in common use for about 15 years that in all of this time there hasn't been a single shred of scientific evidence that the device makes a scintilla of difference for the athlete and you are concerned that a different device that has additional capability but that hasn't even come on to the market yet doesn't have any scientific validation? If you say so.


More trolling.

[SIZE="7"]POWER METERS DO NOTHING, NADA, ZIPPO TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!![/SIZE]

Don't make me petition the mods to put a size 8 font on to make this any clearer.

A good power meter will however measure power with a high degree of validity and reliability if you follow a few simple steps and have the calibration checked at least every six months as you would for any measuring device.
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08 Mar 2013 16:31

FrankDay wrote:

Anyhow, the iCranks people have just upgraded their software and it now has a nice feature, they have included a box to show how much power is being lost on each revolution of the cranks. See below.
Image


Next, at this point in time, the rider is losing over 10% of his positive propulsive efforts from the negative wattage on the upstroke (156 watts positive, 18 watts negative, 138 watts total).

Next, notice the size of the power at 6 o'clock compared to 12, it is much larger than the 12 o'clock number. I think for this rider, the biggest gains will come from working on improving the forces across the top (without changing anything else) and, of course, improving the right leg to be the equal of the left.



This is not the only power that is lost on each revolution of the cranks. How does this rider improve his forces across the top and how can he balance power output from both legs. Are you certain that PM is set up correctly, it is unusual to see negative torque at 12.
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08 Mar 2013 18:19

coapman wrote:Are you certain that PM is set up correctly, it is unusual to see negative torque at 12.
Yes. It is what it is. One can't correct something unless one knows it is there. Unless this rider has some physical issues correcting this imbalance and these negative forces should be quite easy with independent cranks. It will be very difficult with connected cranks.
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08 Mar 2013 18:30

FrankDay wrote:Yes. It is what it is. One can't correct something unless one knows it is there. Unless this rider has some physical issues correcting this imbalance and these negative forces should be quite easy with independent cranks. It will be very difficult with connected cranks.


Not what Noel asked. Where is the validation of the iCrank? Whole lot of marketing claims on their web site.
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08 Mar 2013 18:48

CoachFergie wrote:Not what Noel asked. Where is the validation of the iCrank? Whole lot of marketing claims on their web site.

Actually, he asked me if I were certain it was set up properly.

Regarding validation, I am currently doing what you have done, riding the iCranks on another power meter (Velotron, about as accurate as you can get) to confirm it conforms well to a standard power meter, at least as regards the total power seen. It does.
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08 Mar 2013 19:03

FrankDay wrote:Actually, he asked me if I were certain it was set up properly.

Regarding validation, I am currently doing what you have done, riding the iCranks on another power meter (Velotron, about as accurate as you can get) to confirm it conforms well to a standard power meter, at least as regards the total power seen. It does.


Frank,

How about submitting some dual ride files to Robert Chung for his careful analysis if you really wish to see how the two stack up. "Looks good to me" probably won't cut it with this crowd but Robert's close scrutiny would go a long ways towards acceptance.

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08 Mar 2013 19:15

sciguy wrote:Frank,

How about submitting some dual ride files to Robert Chung for his careful analysis if you really wish to see how the two stack up. "Looks good to me" probably won't cut it with this crowd but Robert's close scrutiny would go a long ways towards acceptance.

Hugh


How will anyone make sure Day did not provide doctored files? He has done it before.
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