Pedal stroke efficiency

Discussion in 'Training / Health' started by rushlake, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. rushlake

    rushlake Member Tavern Member

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    Looks like a fun addition to training to break up the routine.
    Just a little off topic question. Is there a way to tell where and how much pedal pressure is applied in your stroke? I know the are pressure sensors in some but.. real time graphics or video capture of pressures shown with the pedal stroke arc.
    On the trainer the last 3 nights no matter how much I focus on pedal stroke, cadence, technique, breathing etc. to try to make sure I’m getting the most efficiency out of my pedal stroke. There is really no way to determine when and how much pressure I am applying and where in the stroke.
    It is really interesting to see the mph move up and down changing saddle position. Or pedaling technique, and upper body position.
     
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  2. RidesAlot

    RidesAlot Well-Known Member

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    Hello rushlake,

    Zwift only measures watts and there is no left/right or other way to analyze. I can honestly tell you that I learned/am learning all about what you are asking and I improve on it the more I ride, just through experimentation. I came across a great picture that explains the four muscle groups and how they affect the pedal stroke. I can post it if you like. I note my ELEMNT has categories for left/right power analyzing, so another app can probably do it if I had power meters.

    John, if I lived in FL, I would not be indoors either, but this is not the same as that trainer you rode. :)

    I logged in to give some warning of issues to those wanting to start with Zwift that I and other's learned the hard way. There is Zwift, IOS and Windows. There Zwift Mobile Link, IOS and Android. You can use BTLE or Ant+ to connect your sensors.

    I am old school. I use a PC and I highly recommend getting an Ant+ dongle for it. Relying on a device with wifi and or BT, there are more troubles as there are so many devices that are used. Use a PC, HDTV and Ant+ for Zwift if you can and use ZML for communicating only.

    Your free trial starts as soon as you pedal. I could not pedal until I bought the Ant+, so I did not lose any free trial days. If you have troubles with BTLE and can still pedal, your free trial starts and can end before you resolve your issue. Once it works correctly, it was all worth it.
     
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  3. rushlake

    rushlake Member Tavern Member

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    IMG_0013.jpg
    Like this from Powertap. But this is some expensive hardware.
     
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  4. rushlake

    rushlake Member Tavern Member

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    Here is a bit from The Obree Way
    IMG_0016.jpg
     
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  5. newleaf150

    newleaf150 Deranged Touring Cyclist Tavern Member

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    That sounds complicated in an intriguing kind of way. Much to be said for adding new muscle groups to the party, though! Have you tried it?
     
  6. rushlake

    rushlake Member Tavern Member

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    This and other things on the trainer.
    One thing is that now pretty much everyone states that when clipped in you don’t pull up on the pedals. So when you finish pulling through the bottom of your stroke, wiping your feet, you stop pulling otherwise that foot just gets in the way of the other foot on the downstroke.
     
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  7. RidesAlot

    RidesAlot Well-Known Member

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    Hello everyone. First visit to the thread since it was moved. Please note I am no expert and I am only taking part in a conversation. :)

    I'll pull up, I'll engage my calves at times, I'll lock my toes down sometimes to engage my calves and another group (I'll have to read up before I say it wrong), I do intervals to engage my hip flexors and I spend a lot of time pedaling over the top and through the bottom. Left/right, down, down, down is just one way of doing it. Learning to pedal all the way around is pretty cool when it comes together and being able to recover by different muscle group focus helps a lot (for me).

    I tried adding some data fields to my ELEMNT. Only things I see working are torque and torque average. I'll try them to see what happens as I ride and I'll look into the other ones that don't work (I stopped pedaling for the picture).

    [​IMG]

    Torque Effect %, Smoothness % and L/R POWER %, would be great to use.
     
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  8. Merlincustom

    Merlincustom Senior Member

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    Don’t quote me, but I think Pioneer Power meters give you measurements around the arc of the circle.
     
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  9. RidesAlot

    RidesAlot Well-Known Member

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    I saw these listed at the ELEMNT support site:

    • Crank: Stages, Quark, 4iiii, SRM, Pioneer*
    • Pedal: Powertap P1 and Vector
    • Hub: Powertap
    • Other: Velocomp
     
  10. RidesAlot

    RidesAlot Well-Known Member

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    I could not continue that post after the paste. I may look into power meters for riding as I do find it interesting. It is a shame the KickR can't be used with those options. I bet it could with coding.

    I spent some time reading Part 1 from my earlier link

    http://www.thetallcyclist.com/2016/01/fit-fast-but-are-you-funcitonal/

    That site is very good and I find it amazing to read about things I have learned or learned the hard way over the years. As I rode the trainer this winter and learned about riding posture, I read many things to watch out for or do: "butt out", "low back straight", etc. when all taken together can make a good riding posture (please excuse those examples).

    I had this epiphany while riding one day. When young in baseball, I was taught an athletic position to be in for best performance, for example, an infielder position. I can be on the bike, think "hey batter.. swing!" and poof, I am in a very good bike posture with all proper points in place. It is worth 1 mph usually. It was so easy and worked so well that I am very comfortable on the bike. It is very interesting to read about this very thing at the excellent website.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
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  11. RidesAlot

    RidesAlot Well-Known Member

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    The biggest issues I am seeing with my ergonomics are my body's asymmetry and my shoes. While my cadence is going boom, boom, boom, my muscles are firing at all these different times and my inner rhythm feels quite different. :)

    I've just experimented with a cushion insole in my shoe to try and improve the fit. I did notice less foot movement in the short test I did last night. I've been using Louis Garneau shoes with a BOA lacing and Shimano SPD mtn bike pedals (2 hole cleats).

    I'm considereing going to the SPD-SL type of pedal on my road bike and a 'road' style of shoe.

    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/bike-parts-components/pedals-cleats/road-pedals/shimano-105-pd-5800-pedals-50-2339


    I was wondering if any of you had thoughts on using this type of pedal/shoe/cleat combo. I like a stiff setup on the soles.

    If anyone finds an app that produces a power curve graph for cadence, please let me know. That would be so valuable for this sort of thing. Current graphs I see only plot the RPM.
     
  12. rola643

    rola643 Two skinny Js Staff Member Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    I can tell I recently made the switch to Speedplay and the difference is huge! Can't ever see going back to SPD-SL pedals. Very quite feet on the pedals and the feel is very positive. Kinda a pain to get set up the first time but well worth it I feel I have a MUCH better pedal stroke because of them.
     
  13. RidesAlot

    RidesAlot Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Jeff, which Speedplay's? I was looking at those also, they are quite light.

    The insoles in my shoes and a 5mm drop in seat height and I am now 'there'. I can pedal a circle with ease now.

    Forecasting 60* and sunny on Tuesday!
     
  14. rola643

    rola643 Two skinny Js Staff Member Admin Staff Tavern Member

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  15. rushlake

    rushlake Member Tavern Member

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    I am also trying to be aware of making sure I relax my legs while pedaling. If you’re already tense you can’t put your most into each stroke.
     
  16. rola643

    rola643 Two skinny Js Staff Member Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    Splain yo self to me :D
     
  17. rushlake

    rushlake Member Tavern Member

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    Think about pulling your fist back to punch. Now tighten your fist and arm and punch with muscles tense all the way through.
    Now try punching with your arm relaxed tightening your fist and arm at the point of punch impact. You can punch much faster and with greater impact by relaxing and tensing just at the point of impact. If your arm is tense all the way through you can’t deliver as much force and it slower.
    Also by keeping your muscles tense all the time and not relaxing them you will fatigue much faster.
     
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  18. kneedrachen

    kneedrachen Moderator Staff Member Mod Team Tavern Member

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    big part of the TrainerRoad base instructions when you fist start off
     
  19. RidesAlot

    RidesAlot Well-Known Member

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    Nice thing about the trainer is you can close the eyes and relax the muscles everywhere. Relax more with each breath.
     
  20. rushlake

    rushlake Member Tavern Member

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    Taking this originally off topic thread off topic. I have been using my trainer time to experiment with different drinks and foods. Narrowing down my list of potential products to take along on rides I have decided I don’t like the Hammer gels. And the thick viscosity along with the packaging design makes for a prolonged 2 handed extraction.