The pedaling technique thread

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Jun 4, 2015
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[quote="CoachFergie"
Problem with common sense is that it is not all that common.

[/quote]

True, those involved in the scientific side of cycling were not capable of realizing that a narrower hand/arm position would give an advantage in time trials and refused to believe it until that Tour de France TT. I was using my own home made aero bars before B Lennon's appeared in triathlons.
 
Jun 1, 2014
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backdoor said:
CoachFergie said:
Problem with common sense is that it is not all that common.
True, those involved in the scientific side of cycling were not capable of realizing that a narrower hand/arm position would give an advantage in time trials and refused to believe it until that Tour de France TT. I was using my own home made aero bars before B Lennon's appeared in triathlons.
Then go out and get your pedalling technique tested and prove to the world how much smarter you are with cycling. It's unbelievably easy to test your theory, so just go and do it. With some data you would silence every critic and also revolutionize the cycling world. Seems logical that you'd want to do that, unless you're worried that you might be wrong???
 
Apr 21, 2009
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True, those involved in the scientific side of cycling were not capable of realizing that a narrower hand/arm position would give an advantage in time trials and refused to believe it until that Tour de France TT. I was using my own home made aero bars before B Lennon's appeared in triathlons.
Of course you were.

It's not the job of scientists to invent stuff. We are there to estimate the effects of different manipulations on, in this case, cycling performance. As I said it would be very easy to estimate the effects of normal pedalling v your technique. Easily done with any power meter. I am not surprised that you have been too lazy to do this.
 
Mar 13, 2013
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backdoor said:
Obviously you don't know what is meant by the "effectiveness" of your pedalling. That's why I believe it should have been called pedalling efficiency (torque/force x 100) as distinct from the metabolic efficiency. In all natural pedalling styles the effectiveness cannot be improved where most force is being applied. That probably explains why it is overlooked by all the experts.
Pedalling is efficient over a given duration when you gain the most forward motion of the system (rider plus bicycle) for the least metabolic cost.

That's all we need to measure to verify any claim.
 
Article about the various aspects of 'cycling performance'

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3659296/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3659296/pdf/fphys-04-00116.pdf

How to assess performance in cycling: the multivariate nature of influencing factors and related indicators

It doesn't seem to provide any 'new information', but it is a good overview of the metrics that have been discussed in this forum, and how they relate to each other, and to overall cycling performance. It is also a good reference about the various terminology that gets used - and that alone can help understanding.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
 
Re: Re:

berend said:
backdoor said:
Obviously you don't know what is meant by the "effectiveness" of your pedalling. That's why I believe it should have been called pedalling efficiency (torque/force x 100) as distinct from the metabolic efficiency. In all natural pedalling styles the effectiveness cannot be improved where most force is being applied. That probably explains why it is overlooked by all the experts.
Pedalling is efficient over a given duration when you gain the most forward motion of the system (rider plus bicycle) for the least metabolic cost.

That's all we need to measure to verify any claim.
That's not the definition of efficiency.
Efficiency is and always will be a measure of energy out / energy in.
i.e. mechanical energy delivered to the cranks as a proportion of metabolic energy demand.

It is not velocity / energy in.

Velocity is a function of mechanical energy out and the various resistance forces involved (changes in gravitational potential energy, rolling resistance, air resistance, frictional losses, changes in kinetic energy).
 
Jun 4, 2015
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JayKosta said:
Article about the various aspects of 'cycling performance'

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3659296/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3659296/pdf/fphys-04-00116.pdf

How to assess performance in cycling: the multivariate nature of influencing factors and related indicators

It doesn't seem to provide any 'new information', but it is a good overview of the metrics that have been discussed in this forum, and how they relate to each other, and to overall cycling performance. It is also a good reference about the various terminology that gets used - and that alone can help understanding.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/effectiveness

The effectiveness of the mashing technique is best for sprinting because it gives instantaneous power to the pedals.
 
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Alex Simmons/RST said:
...
That's not the definition of efficiency.
Efficiency is and always will be a measure of energy out / energy in.
i.e. mechanical energy delivered to the cranks as a proportion of metabolic energy demand.
...
-----------------------
I think there are (at least) 2 ways to view 'efficiency' -

1) The 'power production' view of energy-out / energy-in necessary to obtain a desired POWER level. This is probably of most interest for racing situations.
With this view, achieving a certain amount of POWER is the main concern.

and

2) The 'fuel usage' view of work-done / fuel-in needed to accomplish some amount of WORK (such as distance travelled). This is frequently used to measure motor vehicle fuel economy (e.g. mpg).

BOTH views are important in cycle racing - e.g. 'power' is critical for sprints and climbs, and 'fuel' is important to avoid 'running out of gas' (a good example being riders who 'save themselves' by staying in the pack and drafting as much as possible until the end of a race).
BTW - the 'fuel' view has also been decisive in some US NASCAR races when a pit stop has been avoided.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
 
Mar 14, 2016
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Not to be mean or anything, but if some people put the same effort into training as they put into calculating the precise angle of their feet when pedalling, they'd see a much bigger improvement.

Pro cyclists do it because they can pay someone else to calculate all this while they ride, but 99% of people here can't afford that luxury. So just go out and train hard. :)
 
Apr 21, 2009
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Misses the point to an extent. Yes, riders should just ride and race but coaches need to be forever learning and looking for ways to sharpen the sword. As a coach I am bombarded with people trying to market new training techniques, tools and gadgets, dietary supplements, diets and, sport psych techniques. The list is endless. This is where the science helps us to wade through all this and be a little more selective with what we adopt, what we trial and in Noel's case just straight out ignore because he has zero data to support his claims.
 
Jun 4, 2015
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CoachFergie said:
Misses the point to an extent. Yes, riders should just ride and race but coaches need to be forever learning and looking for ways to sharpen the sword. As a coach I am bombarded with people trying to market new training techniques, tools and gadgets, dietary supplements, diets and, sport psych techniques. The list is endless. This is where the science helps us to wade through all this and be a little more selective with what we adopt, what we trial and in Noel's case just straight out ignore because he has zero data to support his claims.
http://www.bicycling.com/bikes-gear/previews/pioneer-revamps-power-meter

They have got additional data but don't know what to do with it ?
Broker like yourself continues to discourage riders from searching for a more effective way to apply force to the pedals. You will not find the perfect way by concentrating on the 360 deg. circle, all that's required is all 180 deg. where real power can be applied by each leg in turn. The smoothness comes from the chain ring's power to the chain not from what the pedal is doing around its circle.
 
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backdoor said:
...
http://www.bicycling.com/bikes-gear/previews/pioneer-revamps-power-meter

They have got additional data but don't know what to do with it ?
...
---------
Yes, that seems to be the situation. I haven't found ANY info from a PM maker that gives a description of what a well-documented PROVEN optimum pedalling technique should look like.
The Watt-bike comes closest in terms of instruction and illustrations about the technique that they recommend, but I don't recall ever seeing anything that proves that their technique really does give better performance.

And I find the lack of documented single-person info quite surprising.
By now, I thought that a PM maker would have collected and published results about the pedalling technique of some top pro cyclists - perhaps from ITT events, or solo breakaway portions of road races.
Perhaps the cyclists refuse to allow their info to be made public because it would help their competition.
p.s. I know that single-person info is 'annecdotal' but it would be better than what we have now - especially if there were multiple examples of the same technique being used successfully.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
 
Apr 21, 2009
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"What we have now"? You mean a lot of good solid data supporting the way that everyone pedals not what some crackpot thinks one person pedalled like and can't even be bothered to test his own assumptions. More so, a lot of really good data that debunks a lot of the nonsense out there like elliptical rings, Gimmickcranks, single legged pedalling drills, low cadence training etc.
 
Re: Re:

JayKosta said:
backdoor said:
...
http://www.bicycling.com/bikes-gear/previews/pioneer-revamps-power-meter

They have got additional data but don't know what to do with it ?
...
---------
Yes, that seems to be the situation. I haven't found ANY info from a PM maker that gives a description of what a well-documented PROVEN optimum pedalling technique should look like.
The Watt-bike comes closest in terms of instruction and illustrations about the technique that they recommend, but I don't recall ever seeing anything that proves that their technique really does give better performance.

And I find the lack of documented single-person info quite surprising.
By now, I thought that a PM maker would have collected and published results about the pedalling technique of some top pro cyclists - perhaps from ITT events, or solo breakaway portions of road races.
Perhaps the cyclists refuse to allow their info to be made public because it would help their competition.
p.s. I know that single-person info is 'annecdotal' but it would be better than what we have now - especially if there were multiple examples of the same technique being used successfully.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
A Wattbike is providing net combined data from both cranks, and so the charts it produces are still not the real picture when it comes to pedalling. It cannot individually distinguish what each leg is doing, only the net result.
 
Re: Re:

Alex Simmons/RST said:
...
A Wattbike is providing net combined data from both cranks, and so the charts it produces are still not the real picture when it comes to pedalling. It cannot individually distinguish what each leg is doing, only the net result.
-------------------------
I was only commenting on the amount of how-to-use literature that Wattbike has available on their website. Not on the accuracy of the data, and not even on the usefulness of the data!

Wattbike appears to be marketing their product with fairly specific information about how it can be used to (supposedly) improve performance. The information from Wattbike seems to be a form of 'coaching'.
Pioneer's product provides more detailed information, but with little information about how to use that info. Pioneer is selling a 'tool' and letting the users figure-out how to use it.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
 
Jun 4, 2015
785
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Re: Re:

JayKosta said:
Alex Simmons/RST said:
...
A Wattbike is providing net combined data from both cranks, and so the charts it produces are still not the real picture when it comes to pedalling. It cannot individually distinguish what each leg is doing, only the net result.
-------------------------
I was only commenting on the amount of how-to-use literature that Wattbike has available on their website. Not on the accuracy of the data, and not even on the usefulness of the data!

Wattbike appears to be marketing their product with fairly specific information about how it can be used to (supposedly) improve performance. The information from Wattbike seems to be a form of 'coaching'.
Pioneer's product provides more detailed information, but with little information about how to use that info. Pioneer is selling a 'tool' and letting the users figure-out how to use it.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
Wattbike appears to be training cyclists to use the circular style. The experts don't know how to use Pioneer's information only because they don't know how to use their most powerful muscles around TDC.
 
Apr 21, 2009
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Re: Re:

backdoor said:
JayKosta said:
Alex Simmons/RST said:
...
A Wattbike is providing net combined data from both cranks, and so the charts it produces are still not the real picture when it comes to pedalling. It cannot individually distinguish what each leg is doing, only the net result.
-------------------------
I was only commenting on the amount of how-to-use literature that Wattbike has available on their website. Not on the accuracy of the data, and not even on the usefulness of the data!

Wattbike appears to be marketing their product with fairly specific information about how it can be used to (supposedly) improve performance. The information from Wattbike seems to be a form of 'coaching'.
Pioneer's product provides more detailed information, but with little information about how to use that info. Pioneer is selling a 'tool' and letting the users figure-out how to use it.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
Wattbike appears to be training cyclists to use the circular style. The experts don't know how to use Pioneer's information only because they don't know how to use their most powerful muscles around TDC.
Thanks Noel, your wild arrrsed guess has been duly noted.
 
Jun 4, 2015
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Re: Re:

Alex Simmons/RST said:
JayKosta said:
backdoor said:
...
http://www.bicycling.com/bikes-gear/previews/pioneer-revamps-power-meter

They have got additional data but don't know what to do with it ?
...
---------
Yes, that seems to be the situation. I haven't found ANY info from a PM maker that gives a description of what a well-documented PROVEN optimum pedalling technique should look like.
The Watt-bike comes closest in terms of instruction and illustrations about the technique that they recommend, but I don't recall ever seeing anything that proves that their technique really does give better performance.

And I find the lack of documented single-person info quite surprising.
By now, I thought that a PM maker would have collected and published results about the pedalling technique of some top pro cyclists - perhaps from ITT events, or solo breakaway portions of road races.
Perhaps the cyclists refuse to allow their info to be made public because it would help their competition.
p.s. I know that single-person info is 'annecdotal' but it would be better than what we have now - especially if there were multiple examples of the same technique being used successfully.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
A Wattbike is providing net combined data from both cranks, and so the charts it produces are still not the real picture when it comes to pedalling. It cannot individually distinguish what each leg is doing, only the net result.

Does your heel cleat setting have the same effect in road race and forward TT body positions.
 
Re: Re:

backdoor said:
Does your heel cleat setting have the same effect in road race and forward TT body positions.
Not on power output.

My sustainable power on my TT bike and my road bikes (whether on the flat or climbing or on a high inertia trainer with adequate cooling) was the same.

Which bike had the actual measured power best depended on the precise duration of effort I would be comparing, e.g. some courses would take longer on road bike than a TT bike, but the difference was pretty small, only a few watts, which given the relative flatness of the power duration curve when you start going much longer than about 20-25 minutes is no surprise. Hence at times I'd have a specific duration power PB set on TT bike (like I did at 2011 para world cup) and other times I'd get one on the road bike testing at a local course. Slightly different durations, that's all, but all within ~1% when at peak fitness.
 
Jun 4, 2015
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CoachFergie said:
Problem with common sense is that it is not all that common.

Yes, if Jacques pedalling technique was the reason for his success as opposed to having a high VO2max, good metabolic efficiency and a high fractional utilisation of VO2max as has been well measured in Tour de France Champions and other well performed endurance athletes then you should be able to easily test and show that the technique allows one to produce more power. You have repeated said the technique produces more power. ANY power meter can easily measure this.
It's not only a case of producing more power, it's more about how and where this extra power is being generated and applied.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11071054
 
Re: Re:

backdoor said:
CoachFergie said:
Problem with common sense is that it is not all that common.

Yes, if Jacques pedalling technique was the reason for his success as opposed to having a high VO2max, good metabolic efficiency and a high fractional utilisation of VO2max as has been well measured in Tour de France Champions and other well performed endurance athletes then you should be able to easily test and show that the technique allows one to produce more power. You have repeated said the technique produces more power. ANY power meter can easily measure this.
It's not only a case of producing more power, it's more about how and where this extra power is being generated and applied.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11071054
Noel,

If you have the whole study would you please quote the portion than supports your contention. I'm not really seeing it in the abstract's conclusion.

"Our findings suggest that in top-level professional cyclists, climbing performance is mainly related to physiological factors (VO2max normalized for body mass, anaerobicl buffer capacity, motor unit recruitment) whereas time trialists tend to achieve greater absolute power outputs. It would also seem that other "technical" requirements of the sport (i. e. pedaling efficiency probably related to biomechanical factors etc.) may be associated with successful time trial performance"

Hugh
 
Apr 21, 2009
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I believe the scientific term is clutching at straws Hugh. Amusing that Noel can't see how all cyclists become more efficient at the type of riding they do the most.

Hamish
 
Jun 4, 2015
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CoachFergie said:
I believe the scientific term is clutching at straws Hugh. Amusing that Noel can't see how all cyclists become more efficient at the type of riding they do the most.

Hamish

Yes, all cyclists can become more efficient but you need something more before you become invincible.
 

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