Advice for a smoother pedal stroke

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woody0010
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Advice for a smoother pedal stroke

Postby woody0010 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 20:46 pm

I've been trying to improve my pedal stroke but have been having little success, I have looked at videos on youtube but cant seam to put into practice the advice that's on offer.

Basically I find that when going full RPM during interval training I bounce on the seat. This is also becoming a problem when training on my rollers with a sufferfest dvd.

As far as I know the seat height and position are correct for mysyself but do any of you have any tips? Is the fault with the pedal stroke or is it something else

jomoj
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Re: Advice for a smoother pedal stroke

Postby jomoj » Tue Oct 09, 2012 21:03 pm

If you're bouncing on the seat then you're probably just spinning too fast. What rpm are you doing?

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declan1
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Re: Advice for a smoother pedal stroke

Postby declan1 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 21:06 pm

woody0010 wrote:I've been trying to improve my pedal stroke but have been having little success, I have looked at videos on youtube but cant seam to put into practice the advice that's on offer.

Basically I find that when going full RPM during interval training I bounce on the seat. This is also becoming a problem when training on my rollers with a sufferfest dvd.

As far as I know the seat height and position are correct for mysyself but do any of you have any tips? Is the fault with the pedal stroke or is it something else


Your saddle may be too high. I bounce on my saddle if it's too high. Try lowering it 1-2mm and see if it helps.

Road - Dolan Preffisio
MTB - On-One Inbred

I have no idea what's going on here.

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Sprool
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Re: Advice for a smoother pedal stroke

Postby Sprool » Tue Oct 09, 2012 21:18 pm

high cadence + bouncing may be just trying too hard. You have to think in circles, not force pedals down or up but r o u n d all the way and get your legs and ankles to r e l a x. It will come, its quite hard but practice, it will make your pedalling much more efficient.
I've come on in leaps and bounds since getting a set of rollers last week - they really focus you on pedalling smoothly and relaxing, and you find yourself able to go faster and keep it sustained and smooth in order to stay on.

getprg
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Re: Advice for a smoother pedal stroke

Postby getprg » Tue Oct 09, 2012 21:24 pm

I've been trying to improve pedal stroke too. You don't say what your maximum is but FWIW these drills have helped me (over the last 2 years)

Always keep shoulders relaxed - this makes a big difference for me - and use very (very) small gears - this helps keep the legs relaxed - I use a triple granny ring with a 25 on the rear. The point is you are trying to improve muscle memory for the pedal stroke and feel for spinning - not trying to lay down a final sprint.

Try pyramids - 1 minute at 100, 105, 110, 115,120,125,130 then a recovery for say 5 mins - see how far you get

Try longer periods say 5 mins at 100, 4 mins at 105, 3 mins at 110, 2 mins at 115 and 1 min at 120

Try a gradual but smooth increase from 100 to see how far you get before bouncing - keep a record over time.

I've managed to reach 150 and even 160 rpm (only for an instant!) before bouncing.

It works for me - but then I'm not you.

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Sprool
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Re: Advice for a smoother pedal stroke

Postby Sprool » Tue Oct 09, 2012 21:36 pm

do you have a cadence meter to monitor this?

getprg
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Re: Advice for a smoother pedal stroke

Postby getprg » Tue Oct 09, 2012 21:57 pm

do you have a cadence meter to monitor this?


Yes - linked to garmin but I usually only do these drills when on the turbo set at very low resistance. I occasionally try spinning really fast on the road as a bit of a distraction on a commute but the roads I ride vary too much in gradient and surface to try a structured pyramid like this.

getprg
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Re: Advice for a smoother pedal stroke

Postby getprg » Tue Oct 09, 2012 22:06 pm

One other thread worth visiting is this - about Mark Cavendish's required cadence in the final sprint to achieve his 40 mph +

http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/index.php/t-666439.html

If the gearing calculation is correct (and it looks a reasonable estimate) then he is maxing at about 120 - 125 rpm - for maybe 10 to 20 seconds.

So drills that get you to 130 rpm should be enough for anyone - although we certainly can't crank his power output at that cadence - well I certainly can't.

Guanajuato
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Re: Advice for a smoother pedal stroke

Postby Guanajuato » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:32 am

During the build up to the road race season, Cav was tweeting a fair bit from the training camp (in Mallorca?) and they had a cadence competition. He won with something around 240rpm. Much above 120 and I'm bouncing all over the place.

getprg
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Re: Advice for a smoother pedal stroke

Postby getprg » Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:40 pm

He won with something around 240rpm


........and if you're at all curious as to what 240rpm might look like - try viewing this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVbwngNoHm0 :shock:

edhornby
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Re: Advice for a smoother pedal stroke

Postby edhornby » Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:58 pm

I did a back of a fagpacket calculation when someone was asking me about the keirin at the olympics, I reckoned that Hoy was doing 160ish RPM to win his Olympic gold

sprool is right, the secret is relaxation, and thinking in circles - imagine that you are wiping dogs1t off the bottom of your shoe, this will help to smooth the power transfer between the pedals
"I get paid to make other people suffer on my wheel, how good is that"
--Jens Voight

woody0010
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Re: Advice for a smoother pedal stroke

Postby woody0010 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 17:00 pm

Many thanks for the replies. I have seen a few videos about ankle position and the idea of wiping dog s**t off your shoes. Something tells me I just need to focus a few training sessions on this and not worry about distance and average speed.

I don't yet have a cadence computer yet but hope to in time.

Snailpace-Bob
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Re: Advice for a smoother pedal stroke

Postby Snailpace-Bob » Wed Oct 10, 2012 19:26 pm

Ive really worked hard on my pedal stroke since getting into road cycling in June. I try to maintain a good circular motion by concentrating on the wipe action and letting the down stroke take care of itself. However I still find that when Im out I let my technique drop. Lately I bought a spinner bike and Im starting to really improve my form by warming up using one leg and resting the other on the frame. It forces you to concentrate on the circular motion and the cycling bibles say that it develops muscle memory so that you do it naturally without thinking about it.

kayakerchris
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Re: Advice for a smoother pedal stroke

Postby kayakerchris » Wed Oct 10, 2012 19:50 pm

I bought a cheap single speed and then swapped the rear wheel to a fixed gear. I have found this quite useful as I cannot stop pedalling at all! Takes some getting used to but I am finding the action smoother. Also coming down hill at any speed forces the legs to spin or come off the pedals (happened on the first few hills!). Initially i was bouncing all over the place but after 3 weeks I am now staying seated and managing to push the pedals round rather than them taking me round!

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Monty Dog
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Re: Advice for a smoother pedal stroke

Postby Monty Dog » Thu Oct 11, 2012 20:01 pm

I've found that if you push-through your 'bouncy' phase then it smooth out at higher revs. The trick is to relax through the pedal stroke.
Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..


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