Some people may think: "What’s the big deal?! Why to write the whole article about the pedaling technique? There is nothing difficult about it! Just put your foot with pressure on the pedal, and the bike will ride." However, not everyone realizes how important the correct technique is to rotate the pedals. It depends on the energy consumption of the cyclist and keeping your joints safe for a lifetime.
Moreover, the wrong technique brings inconvenience to the rider, and with long bike trips such a user can simply not reach the destination. So let's look at how to pedal correctly, and what factors affect our technique.
The importance of a warm-up
Before seating in a saddle, as well as before the beginning of any training, warm-up is necessary. It is important not only for muscles, but also for joints and ligaments. The work of our body can be compared to the engine of a car.
Every car owner knows that before driving in cold weather, the motor must be warmed up. Otherwise, you risk seriously damaging the cylinder-piston group, which will lead to capital and expensive repairs. With the joints of a man, the situation is similar. Therefore, to avoid injury after a long ride on a bicycle, it is important to give a few minutes of warm-up.
Let's return to comparison with cars: what does the driver do when he sits behind the wheel of someone else's car? He adjusts the seat: adjusts the reach and height of the steering wheel, and also moves the chair. This is necessary for convenience and safety. If the seating is incorrect, after a while the back and hands of the driver will start to get tired.
Equally, the bicyclist needs to adjust his driver's seat. And here it is necessary to pay attention to three points:
- Handlebar stem;
- The height of the seat post.
For ease of riding, the saddle should be placed horizontally. Tilts can lead to entrapment of the pelvic arteries. Met should have a special attention to the saddle. For them, there are saddles with a special notch in the central part.
It allows you to ensure a full flow of blood to all parts of the body and do not pinch anything important. Studies have shown that long trips on irregularly shaped seats can even lead to impotency. So everything is pretty serious.
The width of the rudder should match the width of the shoulders. The stem should be set according to the average inclination of the bicycle body. This will ensure comfortable riding at high and low speeds.
This is the most important factor affecting the pedaling technique. The pin must be adjusted so that at the bottom of the pedal the leg is almost fully bent. Let us assume that the bend in the knee is about 10-15 °. At the same time, toes should be touching the pedal and not the middle of the foot or heel. On the correct setting of the foot, we'll talk below.
Such a height of the seat will reduce the load on the knee joint and quickly gain speed. With the correct seating, the cyclist will spend less energy when rotating the pedals and can comfortably travel a greater distance.
Depending on the manner of riding, seating may differ. With quiet riding at low speed, the biker's body should be placed almost vertically, and during high-speed movement, a strong inclination towards the handlebar is required. The horizontal arrangement of the luggage carrier makes it possible to direct more forces to the rotation of the pedals and to increase the aerodynamics. Tilting the torso will help reduce air resistance and increase speed.
If during speeding up the body swings from side to side with the bike, you are sitting up incorrectly.
In order to rotate the pedals effectively and with less energy consumption, it is important to put your feet correctly. We have already said that at the lowest point of the pedals the leg should be maximally unbent. In addition, it is important to put the foot so that the pedal is located on its front part, and not the center or especially the heel. This situation will allow not just to put pressure on the pedal, but to rotate it.
There is a common and incorrect opinion that you have to put pressure on the pedal. In this case, the force is directed downward. In fact, the movement of the legs should be rotational. In this case, when the bottom point is reached, the foot is unbent, and when it reaches the top, it straightens. The technique is shown in the picture. This method will reduce the effort, keep the joints safe and quickly reach maximum speed.
Contact pedals, which have an unusual shape of the body, help leaning to properly pedal. They come complete with special sneakers. Like ski boots, the biker's shoes are inserted into the grooves of the pedals and fixed on it. This design not only provides excellent grip, but also allows you to turn the pedals upwards, saving the driver's efforts.
Their use will help to master the correct rotation more quickly. Also, platform pedals with metal pins on the body are sold in the shops. They will help improve grip on your shoes and circumscribe the circle during rotation.
And, what about riding standing? This driving technique is used for extreme riding or overcoming rough surfaces, when one does not want to feel every change in the terrain by all parts of the body.
However, if you move to a standing position from fatigue, then, most likely, your saddle is installed incorrectly. By the way, some have to try several models before finding a suitable seat.
When riding up the hill, you do not need to get up. The main thing is to focus on breathing, lower the body torso horizontally and switch to the lower gear. A frequent standing ride increases the load on the bicycle parts and leads to their damage, so avoid this technique whenever possible.
Cadens to determine the correctness of technology
To determine if you have mastered the technique of pedaling, you can use a cycling computer that measures the cadence. Cadence is the speed of the pedals. For a healthy person, this figure is 70-100 rpm.
To summarize, we can say that the correct technique of pedaling is very important. With its help, you will be able to:
- Save your strength;
- Reduce the burden on the joints;
- Ensure the convenience of the trip;
- It is better to gain speed.
Enjoy a comfortable bike ride while learning the method of correct rotation of the pedals. And special tools and measuring instruments will help you in this.