The pedaling technique thread

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Mar 10, 2009
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FrankDay said:
You are kidding right?
I was hoping for more exact figures. When you get a PM like the Axis Crank that can give continuous torque readings around the crank's 360 degrees. If it can give a torque value at each degree, for your average torque per pedal stroke do you take it over 180 degrees (the power stroke sector) or 360 degrees.
 
Sep 23, 2010
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coapman said:
I was hoping for more exact figures. When you get a PM like the Axis Crank that can give continuous torque readings around the crank's 360 degrees. If it can give a torque value at each degree, for your average torque per pedal stroke do you take it over 180 degrees (the power stroke sector) or 360 degrees.
360º. It is the average for the whole, not the half. Spinscan looks like it is a 180º average because it is taking the average of both cranks at the same time and what is going on on the back stroke is small but it is still two halves for one revolution. What happens on the backstroke contributes to the average for the entire pedal revolution whether one is looking at one crank or both cranks together. The power number you see on the typical power meter is the average power for each crank added together to give one number.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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FrankDay said:
Unless you can show us your actual pedal forces no one is going to believe that you have perfected any technique or anything else you claim.
I don't care how many believe it, unlike you I am not selling anything. The 3 quadrants I was using for attempted force application were 10.30 to 1.30, 1.30 to 4.30 and 4.30 to 7.30. When using that technique, where do your muscles get time to recover, especially when using powercranks. You have your ICranks, why not produce a sinusoidal graph of this special method of applying torque to your cranks.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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FrankDay said:
Here is the problem. There is a big difference between measuring technique and being able to change technique, IMHO.
I don't see it as a problem. You have a brain, your brain controls your muscles, give your brain the specific instructions and if that change is possible, you should get results in a day or two. Equipment cannot change technique, only your brain can do that.
 
Sep 23, 2010
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coapman said:
When using that technique, where do your muscles get time to recover, especially when using powercranks.
It doesn't matter what technique one is using when cycling, the muscles will have about half of the time to recover because muscles recover when they are not contracting. So, all joints have at least two sets of muscles, one that moves the joint one way and the other moves it the other way. When one set is contracting to move the joint its way the other set is relaxing and recovering. The cycling motion involves all the joints moving one way or the other about 50% of the time so the amount of time for recovery is about 50% of the time regardless of whether using PowerCranks or any other pedaling technique.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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FrankDay said:
It doesn't matter what technique one is using when cycling, the muscles will have about half of the time to recover because muscles recover when they are not contracting. So, all joints have at least two sets of muscles, one that moves the joint one way and the other moves it the other way. When one set is contracting to move the joint its way the other set is relaxing and recovering. The cycling motion involves all the joints moving one way or the other about 50% of the time so the amount of time for recovery is about 50% of the time regardless of whether using PowerCranks or any other pedaling technique.

Physiologically that me be true, but when both legs are attempting to apply maximal torque at the same time, even though it is in different directions, all involved muscles appear to be in a constant state of tension throughout the pedalling circle and the fact that they soon tire confirms this lack of recovery time.
 
FrankDay said:
It doesn't matter what technique one is using when cycling, the muscles will have about half of the time to recover because muscles recover when they are not contracting. So, all joints have at least two sets of muscles, one that moves the joint one way and the other moves it the other way. When one set is contracting to move the joint its way the other set is relaxing and recovering. The cycling motion involves all the joints moving one way or the other about 50% of the time so the amount of time for recovery is about 50% of the time regardless of whether using PowerCranks or any other pedaling technique.
However, the quadricep and hamstring muscles each cross two joints, the knee joint and then alsoo at the hip. Therefore they will have two functions each, that of flexion and extension.
On the downstroke of pedal, the prime mover is coming from extension of quads at the knee with assist from extension of hamstrings at the hip. Then on upstroke, or coming around the back, you get flexion of hamstrings at knee and quads at hip.
The percentage of each muscle group used is unknown to me but the upper leg muscles are working 100 % of the time it seems, just different amounts.
Perhaps you could address this better.
 
Sep 23, 2010
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veganrob said:
However, the quadricep and hamstring muscles each cross two joints, the knee joint and then alsoo at the hip. Therefore they will have two functions each, that of flexion and extension.
On the downstroke of pedal, the prime mover is coming from extension of quads at the knee with assist from extension of hamstrings at the hip. Then on upstroke, or coming around the back, you get flexion of hamstrings at knee and quads at hip.
The percentage of each muscle group used is unknown to me but the upper leg muscles are working 100 % of the time it seems, just different amounts.
Perhaps you could address this better.
Double jointed muscles not withstanding all muscle recover when they are relaxed (and blood flow is going to them) and are working when they are contracted (especially when contracting so hard as to prevent blood flow to the muscle). Despite the fact when cycling that there are always some muscles working it is equally true that that other muscles are recovering, getting ready for the next effort. Despite the fact that the leg (as a whole) is working all of the time each muscle in the leg will only be working, maximum, about half the time. This is true for all muscles. Even though the heart is working constantly it is relaxed and recovering about half of the time (when exercising, more at rest).

Oh, and the prime mover on the downstroke is probably the glutes, not the quads (at least it should be as it is a bigger, stronger muscle and its resultant action is more in line with the direction of the pedal.)

The percentage that each muscle will work will depend on a lot of things including how well the athlete is trained, how hard he is working, and the pedaling technique (coordination) he is using.
 
FrankDay said:
Double jointed muscles not withstanding all muscle recover when they are relaxed (and blood flow is going to them) and are working when they are contracted (especially when contracting so hard as to prevent blood flow to the muscle). Despite the fact when cycling that there are always some muscles working it is equally true that that other muscles are recovering, getting ready for the next effort. Despite the fact that the leg (as a whole) is working all of the time each muscle in the leg will only be working, maximum, about half the time. This is true for all muscles. Even though the heart is working constantly it is relaxed and recovering about half of the time (when exercising, more at rest).

Oh, and the prime mover on the downstroke is probably the glutes, not the quads (at least it should be as it is a bigger, stronger muscle and its resultant action is more in line with the direction of the pedal.)

The percentage that each muscle will work will depend on a lot of things including how well the athlete is trained, how hard he is working, and the pedaling technique (coordination) he is using.
Thank you for response. About gluteus maximus, I understand the importance of it, but I always thought that is engaged more in a more dynamic forceful move such as jumping or sprinting than cycling or jogging.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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FrankDay said:
Double jointed muscles not withstanding all muscle recover when they are relaxed (and blood flow is going to them) and are working when they are contracted (especially when contracting so hard as to prevent blood flow to the muscle). Despite the fact when cycling that there are always some muscles working it is equally true that that other muscles are recovering, getting ready for the next effort. Despite the fact that the leg (as a whole) is working all of the time each muscle in the leg will only be working, maximum, about half the time. This is true for all muscles. Even though the heart is working constantly it is relaxed and recovering about half of the time (when exercising, more at rest).

Oh, and the prime mover on the downstroke is probably the glutes, not the quads (at least it should be as it is a bigger, stronger muscle and its resultant action is more in line with the direction of the pedal.)

The percentage that each muscle will work will depend on a lot of things including how well the athlete is trained, how hard he is working, and the pedaling technique (coordination) he is using.


You invented Powercranks, what is your connection with these ICranks and what prevents you from getting a pair to demonstrate how your technique applies its torque around the pedalling circle.
 
Sep 23, 2010
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coapman said:
You invented Powercranks, what is your connection with these ICranks and what prevents you from getting a pair to demonstrate how your technique applies its torque around the pedalling circle.
Well, I had a pair until the bike they were mounted on was stolen out of my garage. Even if I still had my pair they still don't have the software ready to adapt to the cranks mounted on a bicycle because they have put all of their effort into the software for their main product, the BioBike. Don't worry, when I get a pair and have the software available you will see some data pretty soon thereafter.
 
Sep 23, 2010
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A new study looking at how independent cranks change muscle coordination and use: http://www.frontiersin.org/Exercise_Physiology/10.3389/fphys.2013.00232/abstract
Altered muscle coordination when pedaling with independent cranks
François Hug1,2*, Florian Boumier1 and Sylvain Dorel1

1Laboratory “Motricité, Interactions, Performance” (EA 4334), UFR STAPS, University of Nantes, Nantes, France
2NHMRC Centre of Clinical Research Excellence in Spinal Pain, Injury and Health, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Pedaling with independent cranks ensures each leg cycles independently of the other, and thus eliminates the contribution of the contralateral leg during the upstroke phase. Consequently the subject is required to actively pull-up the pedal to complete the cycle. The present study aimed to determine the acute effect of the use of independent cranks on muscle coordination during a submaximal pedaling exercise. Ten healthy males were asked to perform submaximal pedaling exercises at 100 Watts with normal fixed cranks (control condition) or independent cranks. Both 2-D pedal forces and electromyographic (EMG) SIGNALS of 10 lower limb muscles were recorded. When the mean EMG activity across the cycle was considered, the use of independent cranks significantly increased the activity level compared to control for Tibialis anterior (TA) (P = 0.0017; +336 ± 302%), Gastrocnemius medialis (GM) (P = 0.0005; +47 ± 25%), Rectus femoris (RF) (P = 0.005; +123 ± 153%), Biceps femoris (BF)—long head (P = 0.0001; +162 ± 97%), Semimembranosus (SM) (P = 0.0001; +304 ± 192%), and Tensor fascia latae (P = 0.0001; +586 ± 262%). The analysis of the four pedaling sectors revealed that the increased activity of hip and knee flexors mainly occurred during the top dead center and the upstroke phase. In addition, a high inter-individual variability was found in the way the participants adapted to pedaling with independent cranks. The present results showed that the enforced pull-up action required when using independent cranks was achieved by increasing the activation of hip and knee flexors. Further studies are needed to determine whether training with independent cranks has the potential to induce long-term changes in muscle coordination, and, if so, whether these changes are beneficial for cycling performance.
 
I meant to write this somewhere, some time ago:

even if pulling up or back (whatever) was efficient, I'd be surprised is doing so generated more than a fifth as much force as pushing; maybe even a tenth!

If anyone wants to prove me wrong, they can come and race me: I ride down Beach Rd in Melbourne every night. :D I'll even have a crack at ya on my recovery day.

Hip and knee flexion, even when combined, is a very inefficient/weak movement.
There's no comparison to hip and knee extension. I realise that gym movements may not always provide the best comparisons, but consider how much weight can be squatted compared to how much could be lifted with a straight leg raise or a hamstring curl. The hamstrings' true power comes to the fore during hip extension.
 
Sep 23, 2010
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Captain Serious said:
I meant to write this somewhere, some time ago:

even if pulling up or back (whatever) was efficient, I'd be surprised is doing so generated more than a fifth as much force as pushing; maybe even a tenth!
It isn't the force on the pedals that is important. Just eliminating the negatives on the upstroke can gain 10-20 watts for most people. Why would anyone want to give up on those gains?
If anyone wants to prove me wrong, they can come and race me: I ride down Beach Rd in Melbourne every night. :D I'll even have a crack at ya on my recovery day.

Hip and knee flexion, even when combined, is a very inefficient/weak movement.
There's no comparison to hip and knee extension. I realise that gym movements may not always provide the best comparisons, but consider how much weight can be squatted compared to how much could be lifted with a straight leg raise or a hamstring curl. The hamstrings' true power comes to the fore during hip extension.
You are missing the big picture. The total power is the average of the power exerted on the pedals around the entire circle. The hard push part of the stroke only constitutes about 35-40% of the circle. Therefore, what goes on during the rest of the stroke has a greater influence on this average than it might seem. So, even though those numbers may be small, if they are less small then the average will be higher.
 
Apr 21, 2009
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FrankDay said:
It isn't the force on the pedals that is important. Just eliminating the negatives on the upstroke can gain 10-20 watts for most people.
10-20 watts is 60-180sec in a 40km TT. No wonder people don't find you credible. Why not just say a gazillion watts better and be done with it?

Noel is equally as ludicrous suggesting power can be doubled by pushing over the top. So Tony, Brad or Fabian should be capable of putting out around 900 watts at Worlds in the TT?

Why would anyone want to give up on those gains?You are missing the big picture.
Because most people can spot BS claims from a mile away.

The total power is the average of the power exerted on the pedals around the entire circle. The hard push part of the stroke only constitutes about 35-40% of the circle. Therefore, what goes on during the rest of the stroke has a greater influence on this average than it might seem.
Yet actual measurement compared to the marketing dept at PC would suggest this is more hogwash.
 
Apr 21, 2009
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King Boonen said:
From the University of the bleeding obvious it seems.
Yup, changes in the mechanical constraints to pedalling motion changes the muscle activation of pedalling. Who would have thought.
 
CoachFergie said:
Yup, changes in the mechanical constraints to pedalling motion changes the muscle activation of pedalling. Who would have thought.
I know, it's like all the geniuses in the world got together and designed the greatest ever study in the history of science.

Then these guys did the opposite of it.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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CoachFergie said:
Noel is equally as ludicrous suggesting power can be doubled by pushing over the top. So Tony, Brad or Fabian should be capable of putting out around 900 watts at Worlds in the TT?
(almost doubled, there is a difference) What I find ludicrous is, due to the ignorance of cycling experts and coaches, for over a century engineers continue to waste research time and some cyclists their cash as they attempt to compensate for the inability to apply effective torque at TDC when all this time it has been as easy to apply max torque there as at 3 o'c. As a rough estimate what percentage of 3 o'c force (not torque) do you apply to your pedal at 1 o'c and what percentage of that force is converted into torque. In addition to maximal torque at TDC I can also get 100% of 3 o'c pedal force and 100% torque return at 1 and 2 o'c. You can feel that instant surge of power as you switch from natural to semi circular pedaling.
 
Apr 21, 2009
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coapman said:
waffle waffle nonsense vivid imagination spewed out into a reply prepeating same BS as always never providing any evidence
You do know that you don't need a 2nd generation power meter to test your delusions. If if was an effective way to produce more power any power meter would show it. So stop hiding behind lame excuses and prove your point!
 
Mar 10, 2009
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CoachFergie said:
You do know that you don't need a 2nd generation power meter to test your delusions. If if was an effective way to produce more power any power meter would show it. So stop hiding behind lame excuses and prove your point!

I did not get an answer to that 1 o'c question. It is no delusion that excluding inertia, you are powerless around TDC and between 1 and 2 o'c on average you are only getting about 50% torque return from the force you are applying there, not very efficient you will have to admit. To get the real value of a pedalling technique, you need a PM that can give both force and torque values like that by BrimBros.
 
Apr 21, 2009
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coapman said:
more baseless waffle
No, you said that you can double your power. Any power meter can measure this. Stop hiding behind lame excuses.

It's a very simple hypothesis to test. Measure someone riding a distance maximally pedalling normally and then after an adequate rest period get them to do it again pedalling as you suggest. Any power meter will tell you instantly if the power has doubled.

Ideally done a large sample randomly allocated into control pedalling normally and experimental pedalling as you suggest.
 
Sep 23, 2010
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CoachFergie said:
10-20 watts is 60-180sec in a 40km TT. No wonder people don't find you credible. Why not just say a gazillion watts better and be done with it?

Noel is equally as ludicrous suggesting power can be doubled by pushing over the top. So Tony, Brad or Fabian should be capable of putting out around 900 watts at Worlds in the TT?



Because most people can spot BS claims from a mile away.



Yet actual measurement compared to the marketing dept at PC would suggest this is more hogwash.
Perhaps you missed this screen shot from a 2d gen PM (iCranks) that is actually measuring the total power and showing how much of it is coming from forward force and how much is lost due to negative force. At this point this rider would gain 17 watts by simply eliminating the negative force.
It ain't marketing hype, it is physics.
 
Sep 23, 2010
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CoachFergie said:
Yup, changes in the mechanical constraints to pedalling motion changes the muscle activation of pedalling. Who would have thought.
Nothing about independent cranks change the mechanical constraints to pedaling. All the mechanical constraints of a pedaling system do is constrain the foot to a circular motion. That is the same for both regular and independent cranks. What independent cranks demonstrate is that pedaling technique is not pre-ordained by God and if there are variations in technique possible then variations in effectiveness are probable and it should behoove the curious, serious, cyclist to seek out the technique that is best. If you don't care to that is your choice.
 

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