Ankling - ?


I'm sure I read somewhere that it knackered Sheldon Brown's ankles.....


Cake or ice cream? The choice is endless ...
I think I do it up hills, but I don't do hills now so I don't think I do it anymore, anyway..


It'll be Reyt.
I've been riding bikes almost 50 years but have never heard of this:wacko:
That said I only came back to road riding as an adult about 16 years ago.I am consciously going to try this on my next ride.Does it make any difference if riding clipless?


Über Member
I recall doing it when younger and consciously monitoring my technique as best I could - but in those days, I used to err on the side of higher gears with a lower cadence than I do now. Nowadays, I can't really tell to what extent or whether I do it or not (I have made a half-hearted effort to try to observe it) but I feel that my pedal stroke with the lower gearing and higher cadence is more natural and requires less conscious application vis-a-vis pedal/ankle technique. I hope that makes sense.

EDIT: I think it worth mentioning that I don't push as hard nowadays as I used to and I would much rather drop a gear and speed to maintain a cadence with relatively little effort now whereas when I was younger, I would push harder to maintain my speed when the going got harder (and still not reach the cadences that I usually ride now).
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Puzzle game procrastinator!
Yes, I practiced "ankling" in the early 1980's, it was a big thing then. Personally, I think that Biopace oval chainrings improved the deadspots, I know people will disagree.

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I think that would be better if it were turning a bit more slowly! :wacko:

Wiggins and Froome both seemed to like the modern equivalent of Biopace rings, though IIRC Wiggo did a typical about-turn and declared them 'bollocks' after using them for years.

I had Biopace rings on my bike in 1989. It took me a long time to get used to them, and even longer to realise that had been fitted incorrectly so they were hindering instead of helping! :laugh:


Velo, boulot, dodo
My natural tendency is to mash and I've mostly given into it, the cranks do the circular bit and I focus on smashing the pedals downwards. On longer rides I think about my pedalling differently and try to modify it, just to give me something to focus on while riding- but it's more contemplative than about efficiency. I've never moved my ankles much though, despite knowing -at least theoretically -about ankling since the early 80s.


I have no idea whether I do it, because I have no idea what it means
I have no idea whether I do it, because I have no idea what it means
Should perhaps have qualified my post by saying that I only 'ankle' on the flat, gentle up slopes or downhill. For me, on steeper up hills, it's a downward angle on the downstroke with no back angle and sometimes out of the saddle as well. :okay:

Smokin Joe

Legendary Member
Used to be debated at length when I started cycling. I think it was only ever a British thing, I have never heard any continental cyclist refer to it and if you look at the likes of Kelly and Merckx they didn't worry about technique, they just stamped on the pedals as hard as they could.
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