Because in cycling as in other areas, you can improve all the time, here are some expert tips to perfect your pedaling technique.
If it sounds obvious, pedaling is the essential technique to be as efficient as possible on a bike. But many cyclists who do not suspect that they can still improve their pedal stroke.
We met with two experts to give us some tips on how to pedal properly and improve our cycling efficiency.
Hannah Reynolds is a guide to Saddle Skedaddle, a writer and journalist specializing in cycling. Barney Wainwright is a university researcher and sports scientist at Leeds Beckett University and author of a study on pedaling.
Here are their best tips for pedaling properly.
1. Set your bike correctly
Just choosing the right position on your bike is the beginning of effective pedaling. “It’s important to get your ride on the bike to get the best muscle possible,” says Barney Wainwright, “take the time to go to a specialty store that optimizes your bike position. If moving from one set to another seems too difficult, it is often your position that is in question. “
2. Play with cadence
There are many studies on the optimal cadence (the pedaling frequency) to have on a bike. In the early 2000s, high speeds became fashionable, thanks in part to Lance Armstrong. Chris Froome also pushed this technique, especially during his infernal climb on the slopes of Mont Ventoux.
“A beginner should not be aiming for too much-pedaling pace, however,” Barney Wainwright says, “you need to have a reasonable pace and gradually increase your speed as you train.” A 90 to 100 rpm rate is a good goal for you. to make progress during long trips.
“If your pace is too high for your level, you will not see any improvement in your progress, but the opposite is true too: a cadence of pedaling too low of 50 or 60 rpm maintained on a climb does not will allow nothing more than enjoying a quiet bike ride. “
You have to play with the pace. Climb slowly but with a high cadence. You can also progress using a technique widely used by professionals: start at normal speed then pedal as fast as you can for 30 seconds. This will allow you to gradually increase your maximum pace and will help you do it without a systematical dancer. You can do this exercise during each of your outings.
3. Keep the same power on each leg and put yourself on the ATV
You must be able to distribute the same power on each leg when you pedal. The distribution of forces on the pedal stroke has a considerable impact on efficiency.
Hannah Reynolds confirms: “The mountain bikers are particularly vigilant to always give the same power when they pedal, especially to maintain a perfect grip on the technical surfaces. In this regard, the use of a Wattbike (exercise bike ) is a good way to learn how to pedal perfectly evenly, if you still want to improve your technique, the Wattbike gives you quick feedback on how you pedal, so you can adjust your pedaling according to the data on the screen.
4. Practice exercises with one leg
Because you aim for equal power distribution on each leg, it is important that they be equally strong. “The exercises that focus on one leg at a time are not to be neglected,” confirms Reynolds. “You have to clearly insist on one leg when you start this exercise for the first time, otherwise it can be quickly confusing,” says Barney Wainwright, “focus on one side, then another on the same training.”
5. Press your pedals in semicircles
Barney Wainwright explains that many cyclists focus more on pulling the pedals rather than pushing on them. To have a better technique, favor a semicircular movement. “The movement of power to give on the pedals is the one that will bring the pedal from top to bottom. It is often said to cyclists to try to pedal in circles. you have to avoid that, the purpose is more to pedal in half circles, you push down with your left leg, then you push down with your right leg, it’s a continuous movement between the two legs that so focus on pushing on the pedals and not pulling on them. “
6. Work your upper body
A strong and stable trunk helps you maintain a good posture on the bike and a smooth pedaling technique. “For your gluteal muscles to work properly, your upper body must also be powerful,” says Hannah Reynolds.
“Everything you do in the gym needs to be specific and transferable to cyclings, such as split squats and one-leg squats, and every rider should be able to hold a board, squats, and push-ups. always on your bike saddle as if it were a bar stool on which you want to perch, just the opposite of an armchair in which you slouch. “