View Full Version : Pedaling technique

02-26-2004, 04:20 AM
I have been trying hard to pay attention to my pedaling technique with clip ins on my trainer this winter. I saw a description in one of the forum discussions that described an image of scraping gum off the bottom of your shoe at the bottom of the stroke, which feels like what I'm doing. My question is this: Will I ever get to the point where my legs/ankles/feet automatically push through the bottom of the stroke and pull up the back side when I'm riding? Or will I always have to make a consious effort to keep that form going? If you just pedal along, you aren't thinking about "are my legs and feet pushing the pedals down?" Do you get to the point where you don't HAVE to think about it and still maintain good form?

02-26-2004, 06:46 AM
One legged drills on the trainer are really good for building that circular motion you want.

And yes, eventually I think it just becomes habit.


02-26-2004, 07:25 AM

I can see how a one-legged drill would force the desired motion. Thanks for the tip!

02-26-2004, 07:39 AM
[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by cyclingnewbie

Do you get to the point where you don't HAVE to think about it and still maintain good form? /QUOTE]

My personal experience says yes and no. To clarify that: If you concentrate on pedaling form it will become second nature, BUT I have found that eventually I start to get sloppy and I have to go back and review and concentrate all over again. Indoor riding is very beneficial that way. I really work on it all winter and when I get back outside, I start out pedaling with pretty good form. By the end of the season, I have to make sure that I don't let it slip. So I guess what I am saying is that is gets MUCH easier, but don't ever take it for granted, keep on top of it. What do others have to say? What's your experiences with this?

02-26-2004, 10:54 AM
I agree with you Annie. While I am pretty good at keeping the right motion going, I find I can still always improve and make it more efficient. It's especially easy for me to lose it when I'm tired and going up a hill. Just the other night I thought I'd just mash on the pedals a bit to feel the difference and see how I was doing. I really had to make a conscious effort to only mash and not pull through and that made me very happy...

02-27-2004, 04:01 AM
All right ladies! I did my first one-legged drills last night and I was very surprised. I had to crank back the resistance on the trainer to keep those pedals going through the whole rotation. I thought I was doing pretty well, until I tried that drill! I obviously need a lot more work. Steph, I'm glad to hear it will get to be a normal motion eventually.

The weather this weekend is going to give me the first opportunity to get outside since January and try out my pedaling technique in the real world. I'm anxious to see if the riding on the trainer has kept me in decent shape or, will I have a heart attack and die, or have my legs fall off, in the first five minutes on pavement!!

02-27-2004, 01:01 PM
"Try these drills to improve your pedaling efficiency"


and i agree the one leg drills are tough, but it just takes practice, like anything else we want to get good at. :)

02-27-2004, 06:57 PM
Hey! Thanks for the article on pedaling technique. Very interesting, and good information.

04-14-2004, 12:58 PM
While we're on the subject, I have a pretty basic or dumb question.

What muscles do you pedal from... do you push from your quads or do you work from the hip flexors? I always thought I knew how to ride a bike but I have been wondering about this for a while.

It seems to me that when you work from the hip flexors you get better momentem.

:o :o

04-14-2004, 02:30 PM
No dumb questions ever!

When you pedal, you actually use all of your leg muscles, including your glutes. If you practice pedaling in a circle, you'll eventually learn what muscles need the most work - this is especially evident the next day as you leap out of bed!

You'll get the most momentum out of your larger muscles - quads & glutes.

04-28-2004, 05:57 AM
Thanks for your reply Dogmama.

I have been away on a cruise so I haven't been cycling for a while but I plan on going for a ride tonight and am sure I will feel my unused muscles in the morning.

I also have to work off some of those extra calories.


04-28-2004, 09:34 AM
It helps to envision your motion starting from your hip area. Your entire leg gets involved, not just quads.

A cruise, eh? And you didn't ride your bike around the boat?

04-29-2004, 04:50 AM
Thanks Dogmama, I think that concentrating on the hips is the answer I was looking for because they are the strongest area and should give you more power.

No, we didn't bike around the ship, we took our cycling clothes to spin in the gym but got too lazy and slept in. Did lots of eating though.