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The pedaling technique thread

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Jun 1, 2014
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Frank, they don't have to because they are measurement devices. Just like a tape measure company doesn't have to prove that a tape measure builds a better house.

Anyway, this is the pedal technique thread, not a power meter thread.
 
Sep 23, 2010
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JamesCun said:
Anyway, this is the pedal technique thread, not a power meter thread.
Are you finding it a bit inconvenient to your beliefs that power meters are now starting to measure both power and pedaling technique as if the two somehow might be related?
 
Jun 1, 2014
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FrankDay said:
JamesCun said:
Anyway, this is the pedal technique thread, not a power meter thread.
Are you finding it a bit inconvenient to your beliefs that power meters are now starting to measure both power and pedaling technique as if the two somehow might be related?
A power meter isn't measuring pedalling technique. They are measuring the stress in the crank/chain ring/spider caused by the forces transferred from the rider. The software, rider, coach and/or sport scientist is interpreting that readout as an indication of technique.

Lots of gimmicks sell. Pioneer will certainly sell units based on the unique features it has. Remains to be seen what impact that has on pedalling technique understanding and training.
 
Sep 23, 2010
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JamesCun said:
FrankDay said:
JamesCun said:
Anyway, this is the pedal technique thread, not a power meter thread.
Are you finding it a bit inconvenient to your beliefs that power meters are now starting to measure both power and pedaling technique as if the two somehow might be related?
A power meter isn't measuring pedalling technique. They are measuring the stress in the crank/chain ring/spider caused by the forces transferred from the rider. The software, rider, coach and/or sport scientist is interpreting that readout as an indication of technique.
By that same notion power meters don't actually measure power. They simply measure the strain (not stress) wherever they are measuring it along with a speed component (usually cadence) and then a computer calculates an average power for that period which then must be interpreted by the rider/coach or whoever is seeing it. The new power meters, by choosing where they measure the strain (upstream of where the two leg outputs are combined) can take this information and by additional processing give the user more detailed information regarding how the power is being developed. Many believe such information will be useful in helping riders identify technique weaknesses so they can be corrected to the competitive benefit of the user.
JamesCun said:
Lots of gimmicks sell. Pioneer will certainly sell units based on the unique features it has. Remains to be seen what impact that has on pedalling technique understanding and training.
From this I take it you believe these new power meters (Pioneer, iCranks, etc.) are nothing more than gimmicks? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gimmick
In marketing language, a gimmick is a unique or quirky special feature that makes something "stand out" from its contemporaries. However, the special feature is typically thought to be of little relevance or use. Thus, a gimmick is a special feature for the sake of having a special feature.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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FrankDay said:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gimmick
In marketing language, a gimmick is a unique or quirky special feature that makes something "stand out" from its contemporaries. However, the special feature is typically thought to be of little relevance or use. Thus, a gimmick is a special feature for the sake of having a special feature.
Frank, did you seriously need to look up the definition of a gimmick? You need look no further than your warehouse.
 
Jun 1, 2014
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Frank, we agree. All power meters give a number or numbers that allow information to be gathered about what happens as someone rides a bike. Glad we agree that the Pioneer and iCranks don't measure pedalling technique :)
 
Sep 23, 2010
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JamesCun said:
Frank, we agree. All power meters give a number or numbers that allow information to be gathered about what happens as someone rides a bike. Glad we agree that the Pioneer and iCranks don't measure pedalling technique :)
What they measure is one thing. What they display is another. While I suppose there might be varying definitions of pedaling technique (http://www.active.com/triathlon/articles/4-drills-to-improve-pedaling-technique) as long as people are going to talk about pedaling technique there should be a way of measuring it so we can know what we are doing and both Pioneer and iCranks present data that many would say is a representation of the riders pedaling technique. What Pioneer puts out is what the scientific community has generally gathered and put forth as representing pedaling technique when they have studied same (even though, in my opinion, it is not as it includes many non-muscular components) so I think it is hard to say with a straight face that Pioneer is not trying to give the user information on their pedaling technique. The problem is not whether Pioneer is trying to give the user information on pedaling technique, they are. The problem is to know what to do with the information.
 
Sep 23, 2010
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elapid said:
FrankDay said:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gimmick
In marketing language, a gimmick is a unique or quirky special feature that makes something "stand out" from its contemporaries. However, the special feature is typically thought to be of little relevance or use. Thus, a gimmick is a special feature for the sake of having a special feature.
Frank, did you seriously need to look up the definition of a gimmick?
James called the Pioneer cranks a gimmick. I just wanted to confirm he knew the definition of that word and that he meant to say what Pioneer was doing has no value, at least in his opinion. Of course, he has yet to confirm that was his intent.
 
Jun 1, 2014
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FrankDay said:
JamesCun said:
Frank, we agree. All power meters give a number or numbers that allow information to be gathered about what happens as someone rides a bike. Glad we agree that the Pioneer and iCranks don't measure pedalling technique :)
What they measure is one thing. What they display is another. While I suppose there might be varying definitions of pedaling technique (http://www.active.com/triathlon/articles/4-drills-to-improve-pedaling-technique) as long as people are going to talk about pedaling technique there should be a way of measuring it so we can know what we are doing and both Pioneer and iCranks present data that many would say is a representation of the riders pedaling technique. What Pioneer puts out is what the scientific community has generally gathered and put forth as representing pedaling technique when they have studied same (even though, in my opinion, it is not as it includes many non-muscular components) so I think it is hard to say with a straight face that Pioneer is not trying to give the user information on their pedaling technique. The problem is not whether Pioneer is trying to give the user information on pedaling technique, they are. The problem is to know what to do with the information.
They are measuring the output of pedalling. Technique includes or is influenced by body position, bike fit, component choices, alignment, joint angles, muscle activation, etc. A power meter measures none of those things directly, only the output is measured. The pioneer gives 12 numbers per cycle instead of a single number.
 
Sep 23, 2010
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JamesCun said:
FrankDay said:
JamesCun said:
Frank, we agree. All power meters give a number or numbers that allow information to be gathered about what happens as someone rides a bike. Glad we agree that the Pioneer and iCranks don't measure pedalling technique :)
What they measure is one thing. What they display is another. While I suppose there might be varying definitions of pedaling technique (http://www.active.com/triathlon/articles/4-drills-to-improve-pedaling-technique) as long as people are going to talk about pedaling technique there should be a way of measuring it so we can know what we are doing and both Pioneer and iCranks present data that many would say is a representation of the riders pedaling technique. What Pioneer puts out is what the scientific community has generally gathered and put forth as representing pedaling technique when they have studied same (even though, in my opinion, it is not as it includes many non-muscular components) so I think it is hard to say with a straight face that Pioneer is not trying to give the user information on their pedaling technique. The problem is not whether Pioneer is trying to give the user information on pedaling technique, they are. The problem is to know what to do with the information.
They are measuring the output of pedalling. Technique includes or is influenced by body position, bike fit, component choices, alignment, joint angles, muscle activation, etc. A power meter measures none of those things directly, only the output is measured. The pioneer gives 12 numbers per cycle instead of a single number.
"The output of pedalling" as it varies around the circle is what many would call a measurement of pedaling technique. So, Pioneer gives 12 numbers and vector components and iCranks gives an "infinite" breakdown of the torque variation. Neither is perfect at determining and showing muscular pedaling technique as neither get rid of non-muscular components (and non-muscular components can be inferred and subtracted from the output if one is OC) but they come a lot closer than what was available before; stuff like Spinscan (and that ilk) or, in other words, pretty much nothing. If you don't care about technique why don't you go back to the power meter thread and talk about how wonderful having that one number is. For those of us who believe technique matters though it is clear that we are starting to get tools that should let us confirm that belief.
 
Apr 21, 2009
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JamesCun said:
They are measuring the output of pedalling. Technique includes or is influenced by body position, bike fit, component choices, alignment, joint angles, muscle activation, etc. A power meter measures none of those things directly, only the output is measured. The pioneer gives 12 numbers per cycle instead of a single number.
And all this stuff has been well measured in the lab and often in the field. Most research would suggest that unless you go to extremes, too long a crank or too short, too high a saddle or too low, too high a cadence or too low, etc, that the opportunities for improvement from manipulating or training one aspect in isolation are non-existent.
 
It will be interesting (and hopefully worthwhile) to learn how coaches and riders react to the additional 'power distribution' information provided by the new generation of power meters.

In a short while, people will have bought and used enough of these devices and will be asking about (or providing) information about what to do with the new info.

Regarding how new technology affects behaviour -
Was there much controversy in the early days of 'wind tunnel' testing regarding body position, helmets, clothing, etc.?

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
 
Sep 23, 2010
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JayKosta said:
It will be interesting (and hopefully worthwhile) to learn how coaches and riders react to the additional 'power distribution' information provided by the new generation of power meters.

In a short while, people will have bought and used enough of these devices and will be asking about (or providing) information about what to do with the new info.

Regarding how new technology affects behaviour -
Was there much controversy in the early days of 'wind tunnel' testing regarding body position, helmets, clothing, etc.?

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
I don't hold much hope that we will learn much quickly for the following reasons:

1. The average coach or cyclist doesn't have a clue how to interpret this information. Just look at this thread.
2. Even Pioneer doesn't seem to know what to do with the information as they give no guidelines.
3. The Pioneer system is particularly difficult to interpret because it includes non-muscular forces that are not obvious to the end user.
4. If anyone dares to suggest that "here is how to use the information" to get better is likely to run into those who think technique doesn't matter so all that is going to happen for awhile is the noise level is likely to go up but it isn't going to be possible to have a rational discussion until a "study" is published showing technique does make a difference. At least now it is reasonably easy to do such a study and any study done on PowerCranks (a device intended to change pedaling technique) that doesn't measure pedaling technique will be rightfully criticized.

I am sure there are other reasons also but I am not holding my breath that there is going to be a sudden and wide-spread understanding of this stuff just because it can now be easily measured.
 
Apr 21, 2009
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JayKosta said:
It will be interesting (and hopefully worthwhile) to learn how coaches and riders react to the additional 'power distribution' information provided by the new generation of power meters.

In a short while, people will have bought and used enough of these devices and will be asking about (or providing) information about what to do with the new info.

Regarding how new technology affects behaviour -
Was there much controversy in the early days of 'wind tunnel' testing regarding body position, helmets, clothing, etc.?
For this coach, probably little reaction, as the ability to measure this stuff has been available for the last 40 years and the information has allowed us to eliminate a large number of pet theories, marketing claims and snake oil salesmen spiels in that time. It's not new information at all. Some people are just ignoring an inconvenient truth.

Re the wind tunnel, or more recently using variations of the Chung method, the process was the same, it allowed us to focus on what really improved aerodynamics and eliminate a lot of BS.
 
Sep 23, 2010
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CoachFergie said:
JayKosta said:
It will be interesting (and hopefully worthwhile) to learn how coaches and riders react to the additional 'power distribution' information provided by the new generation of power meters.

In a short while, people will have bought and used enough of these devices and will be asking about (or providing) information about what to do with the new info.

Regarding how new technology affects behaviour -
Was there much controversy in the early days of 'wind tunnel' testing regarding body position, helmets, clothing, etc.?
For this coach, probably little reaction, as the ability to measure this stuff has been available for the last 40 years and the information has allowed us to eliminate a large number of pet theories, marketing claims and snake oil salesmen spiels in that time. It's not new information at all. Some people are just ignoring an inconvenient truth.

Re the wind tunnel, or more recently using variations of the Chung method, the process was the same, it allowed us to focus on what really improved aerodynamics and eliminate a lot of BS.
Well, as I expected, one of my observations has been proved correct
1. The average coach or cyclist doesn't have a clue how to interpret this information.
But, over the last couple of days I have been thinking about this a bit. Many here seem to have a distorted view of the role of science in such a debate. It doesn't matter what you believe to be the best pedaling technique - whether it be circular, mashing, "linear", or, even, that there is no best technique - science cannot prove any of them to be correct. Science cannot prove anything to be true, all science can do is prove a theory to not be true.
For instance, Einstein's theory of general relativity has not been proven correct but is only accepted as being true because it has yet to be proven wrong (despite many attempts http://discovermagazine.com/2015/april/12-putting-relativity-to-the-test)
When he unveiled his general theory of relativity, Albert Einstein wasn’t exactly met with applause. Almost no one else could do the math necessary to understand his abstract ideas, and at the time he didn’t have any evidence to back it up. But in the century since it was proposed, Einstein’s theory has continued to pass ever more stringent tests. It remains our best explanation of the phenomenon of gravity.
except when dealing with the very small when quantum mechanics rule, Hence, the search for the Universal theory continues and scientists continue to look for places where general relativity fails so we can better understand the world. Therefore, those who demand "proof" confirming a new theory before they are willing to consider changing a view are asking for the impossible. Science is hardly ever black and white yet some of the people who hang out here seem to think, and loudly proclaim, it is.

So, when it comes to pedaling technique we are left as with any scientific question with people putting forth theories and then science testing them. The problem with most of the past scientific testing of pedaling theories is most cyclists pedal pretty much the same because they have all learned how to pedal pretty much the same, on platform pedals. It is hard to show a difference between two competing theories when only one theory can be tested because it had not been possible to train people to pedal per the second theory. Just because it is difficult to do something doesn't mean it is wrong.

So, when it comes to pedaling technique there are still, despite the assertions of some here to the contrary, two unanswered questions: 1. Is there a best pedaling technique for any particular purpose like maximum power or maximum efficiency? The failure to demonstrate there is a best technique from past attempts is not good evidence there is not one as concluding that technique doesn't matter violates the laws of thermodynamics. And, 2. Assuming there is a best technique, what is the best way to train riders to use that technique.
 
Apr 21, 2009
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King Boonen said:
Did FrankDay just compare himself to Einstein?
Probably, who cares.

Read his post, usual drivel. More strawman BS. Question isn't what is the best way to pedal. More, does pedalling technique matter? The evidence, as it stands, is that in the whole general mish mash of things, no!
 
If a particular pedaling 'technique' is not demonstratably better than others, then is the additional 'force vector/segment' info from Pioneer-type power meters of any value? Could the additional info be used to identify weaknesses and help improve whatever 'pedaling technique' the rider has chosen to use?

I would expect at least some amount of
"the meter shows you are doing/not doing such-and-such in this segment. or with this leg, and I suspect a change might help improve performance"
"try doing this instead, and let's see if it results in a performance improvement"

EDIT - March 23, 2015
CoachFergie said:
Evidence does not support what you may expect.
...
----
Yes, the analysis and any 'corrective actions' do need to be 'evidence based'.
My using the words "suspect", "try", and "let's see if" is not suitable in a professional training/coaching situation.
If a large number of 'champion' riders make their meter readings known, perhaps then there will be adequate evidence.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
 
Apr 21, 2009
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Evidence does not support what you may expect.

Ride lots, recover well, eat well, have goals and choose your parents wisely.
 
Sep 23, 2010
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King Boonen said:
Did FrankDay just compare himself to Einstein?
No. What you folks don't seem to realize is this was simply an illustration that it doesn't matter how accepted or illustrious a theory is scientists should be always questioning its validity, whether something better exists. To claim that the question of pedaling technique has been definitively answered for all time based upon the paucity of work in this area is truly ludicrous, yet that is what some here have done.
 
Sep 23, 2010
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JayKosta said:
If a large number of 'champion' riders make their meter readings known, perhaps then there will be adequate evidence.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
Don't hold your breath for this. Unless they are sponsored by a power meter with this capability (which none of them are right now AFAIK) they are not going to make their current sponsor look bad even if they are using the newer devices and the information themselves.
 
Jun 1, 2014
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FrankDay said:
JayKosta said:
If a large number of 'champion' riders make their meter readings known, perhaps then there will be adequate evidence.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
Don't hold your breath for this. Unless they are sponsored by a power meter with this capability (which none of them are right now AFAIK) they are not going to make their current sponsor look bad even if they are using the newer devices and the information themselves.
And they would give up their competitive advantage same reason no one is willing to say they use PC ;-)
 
Apr 21, 2009
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Thanks for spamming the group yet again Frank.

I suggest people consult an actual sport scientist or a cycling coach who uses science based practice for real information that benefits their cycling.
 
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