Ankling - ?

Fat Lars

Regular
The thing with pedalling technique is that it is the cadence that is the determining factor. I don't think it's helpful to think about it too much. Just do what comes naturally and feels most comfortable. For me with a cadence of +100 rpm the technique becomes automatic.
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
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.
There's a good quote from some old time cycling hard man that I read, I've looked for it but I can't find it on line.

He was asked about his cycling technique and he said "You see that there? (pointing at the pedal) when that gets to the top I stamp on the bugger as hard as I can, and that one there, I do the same. And I keep on doing it".

As to the question, I don't know. It's something I've always been aware of - probably from Richard Ballantyne's book. But it's not something I consciously do. Or maybe I do it naturally? I doubt it.
 

yello

Legendary Member
Location
France
He was asked about his cycling technique and he said "You see that there? (pointing at the pedal) when that gets to the top I stamp on the bugger as hard as I can, and that one there, I do the same. And I keep on doing it".
I remember some similarly subtle advice for riding on cobbles - 'big ring and twat it'
 

freiston

Über Member
Location
Coventry
I tried to observe what I do when out on the bike today and I reckon that the closest I get to ankling is when the gradient increases and I go back on the saddle and push the pedals over the top of the stroke to maintain cadence, using a bit of ankle extension to do so - my knees are weaker than when I was younger and I rarely lift my arris off the saddle and honk nowadays - so as an alternative I go back on the saddle as described.

Otherwise, I reckon I might get an approximation of what ankling looks like but rather than being a result of extending the ankle for power, it is a case of relaxing the ankle and dipping the heel on the downstroke, letting the rest of the leg do the work.

Of course, my perception and analysis could be wrong and if I could see my technique from a third person perspective, I might have a different opinion.
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
Years ago I used to go to a gym that had a Wattbike. This Wattbike gave you feedback on your power output throughout the pedal stroke and presented it in a polar graph.

Apparently the best power transfer on their graph looked like a peanut or a sausage and if you just stomped on the pedals it gave you an hourglass. I don't know if it was excellent science or made up guff, or something in between. Here's what I'm wittering on about:

https://support.wattbike.com/hc/en-gb/articles/115001848609-A-Beginner-s-Guide-To-Perfect-Pedalling

Anyway, I discovered how to give the required peanut/sausage shape. I now know what that feels like. When I need to accelerate sharply, or maintain a brisk speed that is I think what I do. I don't know if that's "ankling".
 

Sharky

Guru
Location
Kent
He was asked about his cycling technique and he said "You see that there? (pointing at the pedal) when that gets to the top I stamp on the bugger as hard as I can, and that one there, I do the same. And I keep on doing it".
I remember that quote. From one of those riders in the era of Baras, West or Lambert.

Another rider from that era, Reg Smith, local to me and he often rides our evening 10's. One week he had forgotten his cycling shoes and rode wearing sandals. Starting behind me, he passed me on the way back. You could almost hear the thrust he was putting into the pedals as he thumped them down.
 

Sharky

Guru
Location
Kent
(my bold) Isn't that ankling? Genuine question, I'm not sure but think so.
Yep, the scraping mud off I believe was a quote from Greg Lemond.
Ankling is just trying to deliver power for more than just the down thrust and flex at the ankles is a natural byproduct of doing this.
 

gbb

Legendary Member
Location
Peterborough
It takes a bit of work perfecting it but I used to find it very useful on long rides. Intervals of angling ankling (rather than doing it all the time) I found allowed me to rest muscles I normally used.
 
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Twilkes

Guru
Anything I've read recently about pedalling circles or scraping back or whatever has said that's generally not the best way to increase your average power. Those muscles are weak in comparison to the muscles that push the pedals down, and the key is to maximise the pushdown, not try to smooth everything out. As long as your feet don't stop at the bottom of the stroke you'll be fine. If you try to power over the top and the pullback you'll put more power out for a short period of time but will become exhausted much more quickly.
 
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