do you staighten leg at 6 o'clock? chenging pedalling

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
jawaka
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do you staighten leg at 6 o'clock? chenging pedalling

Postby jawaka » 2 Jun 2020, 11:36am

I've resumed the turbo trainer I've not done any significant riding this year, not quite the same incentive as I am no longer planning to go to Italian Alps but reckon I'm going to train as if, (and just maybe I might get there)

I'm 67 and mostly been a touring cyclist so I've always twiddled, never felt the need to be off the saddle. But I've just started with the Cyclego app which has some out of the saddle sections , so I've had to have a go at it. I've found it hard to start, but i am feeling that if I straighten my leg at the bottom the it gives a momentary rest and seems easier than when My knee remains slightly bent

I am thinking that this also applies to sitting; maybe I should think about changing my pedalling , which seems remarkable given that I've ridden for tha last 30 years. Maybe your pedalling changes with time? I also used to do ankling and had to think consciously before it felt natural using it, but an article in CTC mag suggested it was wasting energy and if I remember correctly, 12 to 4 o'clock was the arc when to push, and equally importantly make sure pressure is off the pedal coming up, so I've started to do that.

Isn't it strange that after a century+ of cycling we are still discussing pedalling technique?

Jdsk
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Re: do you staighten leg at 6 o'clock? chenging pedalling

Postby Jdsk » 2 Jun 2020, 11:47am

I'd go with whatever feels most comfortable. but as always, with occasional tweaks to position to see if anything has changed.
jawaka wrote:Isn't it strange that after a century+ of cycling we are still discussing pedalling technique?

That debate just might decrease now that measurements are so much easier.

Jonathan

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: do you staighten leg at 6 o'clock? chenging pedalling

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 2 Jun 2020, 12:05pm

Hi,
I started cycling over 50 years ago and I would never get out of the saddle for any reason.
But I tend to get out the saddle more and more partly due to the fact that I am getting older and also need to maintain muscles and flexibility.
Just like running it doesn't take very long before it becomes very easy.
I suggest you keep it up and when you get back on the road to a bit more standing.
There are two types one where are use are quite high cadence Very difficult to do this sort of thing on a static turbo, your legs tend to collapse a bit.
The other method is a slow cadence hard push, this will definitely generate strength in your legs, and I find it useful at the end of a long ride to be able to stand and rest for sitting muscles.
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jawaka
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Re: do you staighten leg at 6 o'clock? chenging pedalling

Postby jawaka » 2 Jun 2020, 2:07pm

Just checked seat height, heel on pedal leg nearly straight at 6 o'clock and with foot on pedal I need to dip my ankle at the bottom to fully straighten. I definitely am finding that I get less of burning thighs this way

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531colin
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Re: do you staighten leg at 6 o'clock? chenging pedalling

Postby 531colin » 2 Jun 2020, 2:32pm

Its the fashion to set the saddle high so that you have to dip your ankle to reach the pedal at the bottom.
What is the supposed advantage?
A couple of photos I've shown before....
Image003 by 531colin, on Flickr
The starting saddle height resulted in dropping the hip to reach the pedal as well as extreme toe-pointing.
Image012 by 531colin, on Flickr
With the saddle lower, there is the same bend in the knee, with less extreme toe-pointing and hip dropping.
The subject refused any further lowering.
My point is that the knee bend is the same; in other words, you need to retain a certain bend in the knee at the bottom of the stroke in order to pedal smoothly, particularly at high cadence (this subject is a low-cadence pedaller)
The higher you put the saddle, the more extreme the toe-pointing and hip dropping become; what is the point of doing this?

thatsnotmyname
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Re: do you staighten leg at 6 o'clock? chenging pedalling

Postby thatsnotmyname » 2 Jun 2020, 2:56pm

531colin wrote:Its the fashion to set the saddle high so that you have to dip your ankle to reach the pedal at the bottom.


It's not a 'fashion' that I've ever heard of. The only fashion I'm aware of is to have the saddle at the correct height.

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531colin
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Re: do you staighten leg at 6 o'clock? chenging pedalling

Postby 531colin » 2 Jun 2020, 3:12pm

thatsnotmyname wrote:
531colin wrote:Its the fashion to set the saddle high so that you have to dip your ankle to reach the pedal at the bottom.


It's not a 'fashion' that I've ever heard of. The only fashion I'm aware of is to have the saddle at the correct height.


Most of the people I see on the road wearing "the uniform" (helmet, drop bars, lycra) have the saddle set at a height where they have to point their toes to reach the pedal at the bottom.
Is that (now) "the correct height"...?
If that is the correct height, then why? What is the advantage of pointing your toes at the bottom?
Do you point your toes at the bottom?
Theres one contributor to this thread who has just started dipping his toes at the bottom.

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Mick F
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Re: do you staighten leg at 6 o'clock? chenging pedalling

Postby Mick F » 2 Jun 2020, 3:24pm

We are all different.
I'm a toe pointer, but my saddle height doesn't dictate it, I just prefer it.
I could pedal with feet level, but I don't.
Mick F. Cornwall

thatsnotmyname
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Re: do you staighten leg at 6 o'clock? chenging pedalling

Postby thatsnotmyname » 2 Jun 2020, 4:26pm

531colin wrote:Most of the people I see on the road wearing "the uniform" (helmet, drop bars, lycra) have the saddle set at a height where they have to point their toes to reach the pedal at the bottom.
Is that (now) "the correct height"...?
If that is the correct height, then why? What is the advantage of pointing your toes at the bottom?
Do you point your toes at the bottom?
Theres one contributor to this thread who has just started dipping his toes at the bottom.


By 'uniform' - do you mean cycling-specific clothing? If so, your use of 'uniform' sounds somewhat pejorative.

The 'correct' height is whatever someone is individually comfortable with, and one which doesn't present them with any physiological issues. For some, that might mean a physical preference to ride naturally 'toe-down', others might prefer 'heel-down' while others (me, for example) might pedal with more or less level feet. Each of those styles are likely to require a different saddle height, for obvious reasons. There is no particular performance benefit to any of the above, and certainly no 'fashion' involved.

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Re: do you staighten leg at 6 o'clock? chenging pedalling

Postby foxyrider » 2 Jun 2020, 6:59pm

Not sure how 'ankling' is wasting energy, surely its a natural thing to do? For some reason, the other day i looked at my pedaling action, seems to be pretty much the same as its always been, level through the power stroke before the heel lifts on the up stroke to move back to level @ 11 o'clock for the down stroke. Nothing forced, just a continuous cycle of action. Quite why you'd want to push your heel down at any point is beyond me :roll:

As to ATNGI's having the saddle clearly too high, well i see as many with it too low but fwiw, i think its largely a misunderstanding of the advice, 'leg straight at 6 o'clock' but then missing the bit about 'with the heel on the pedal'. And of course as they generally ride in their own little social circle of 'born again cyclists' there is no one to correct things. After several firm rebuttals i've given up trying to help bad positions, choice of gearing, pointless helmet wearing so spend my life biting my tongue when i see such easily sorted issues, these last weeks in particular have highlighted just how poor the general populations understanding of bicycles is.

Set with the heel on the pedal, when you assume the correct pedaling position when you straighten your leg at the bottom it should lift you @ 1/2" from the saddle. Anyone riding 'ballet style' is losing a lot of potential oomph as you can't push the power into your foot when its in that position. Yes we are all different but the basic physics don't change. :wink:
Convention? what's that then?
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Re: do you staighten leg at 6 o'clock? chenging pedalling

Postby cycleruk » 2 Jun 2020, 8:30pm

Too high a saddle will damage your hips over time. Possible cause of saddle soreness.
Too low and the knees will suffer especially with age.

Heel on peddle at 6 o' clock, with leg relaxed, then adjust to account for sole/pedal thickness etc.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KIwILw693Q
You'll never know if you don't try it.

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Mick F
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Re: do you staighten leg at 6 o'clock? chenging pedalling

Postby Mick F » 2 Jun 2020, 8:34pm

cycleruk wrote:Heel on peddle at 6 o' clock, with leg relaxed, then adjust to account for sole/pedal thickness etc.

Yep.

I still point my toes though. :wink:
Mick F. Cornwall

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531colin
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Re: do you staighten leg at 6 o'clock? chenging pedalling

Postby 531colin » 2 Jun 2020, 9:39pm

thatsnotmyname wrote:…. others (me, for example) might pedal with more or less level feet..... There is no particular performance benefit to any of the above....

There, you see, that wasn't too hard, was it?

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Re: do you staighten leg at 6 o'clock? chenging pedalling

Postby 531colin » 2 Jun 2020, 9:45pm


That's one of the vids. I found on a random flick through. Do you see how the subject (wearing yellow shoes) points her(?) toes at the bottom of the stroke? She(?) points the toes just as much when the saddle is set notionally too low.
Its pretty common on bike fitting vids. on you tube.

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Re: do you staighten leg at 6 o'clock? chenging pedalling

Postby peetee » 2 Jun 2020, 9:54pm

I’m mid fifties and returned to cycling last summer after about ten years out. For the first couple of months it was very hard to ride out of the saddle, my thighs would just scream at me within a few revolutions. Now, about 1500 miles later I can ride for a minute before it gets uncomfortable and then it’s usually my arms and shoulders getting tired first.
Winter had arrived in the land of Kernow. Along with it came wet roads and cool winds.
“Oh, my wheels and coupling rods!” Peetee exclaimed.