clipless pedals using different muscles??

hero of valour

Well-Known Member
I've been using them for about 4 days and it feels like different muscles are being used in my thighs and especially my calfs....i think this may mainly be due to the fact I've always positioned the pedal in the middle of my foot....any tips or advice???...other than this I'm loving being clipped in and as yet have not fallen over like a plonker....it will happen!
 

david k

Hi
Location
North West
know what you mean, i think its only slight but you do use slightly different muscles, but this is better yeh?
 
OP
hero of valour

hero of valour

Well-Known Member
I'm definitely getting more speed out of them and having the release set as light as possible its certainly easier to clip in and out than expected....just feeling the strain on the different muscles being used and looking forward to them getting stronger so i can fly even quicker!
 

Rob3rt

Man or Moose!
Location
Manchester
If you just changed to clipless pedals, did you also alter your bike setup to account for any differences in dimension of the new pedals? If not, that could explain feeling things you didnt feel before as the workload will be distributed differently. Especially if you used to ride with the middle of your foot on the pedal and are now riding with your forefoot on the pedal. The fact you used to ride with the middle of your foot on the pedal suggests the bike was set up "wrongly" (most likely saddle too low) and now you are riding on your forefoot as you should do, the saddle being low will be even more problematic.
 
Yeah, I notice them using different muscles too - especially when I concentrate properly and pedal in a full circle rather than just pushing down! I find it a little strange, it's as though pedalling becomes easier (the muscles I have been using notice the lower strain) but at the same time slightly harder (as the new muscles pick up the other half of the work)!
 

wheres_my_beard

Über Member
Location
Norwich
Are you pulling up on the stroke at all? If so you're using your muscles in a very new way, and this will cause fatigue and discomfort until those muscles start to grow and adjust. You will get so much more acceleration and power once you do get this sussed though. Powering up (short) hills yanking up and stomping down on the pedals at the same time is a very invigorating experience!

After a few months riding clipless, I found that it was almost impossible to ride with flat pedals as I kept pulling my feet up in the air in a very undignified way, which must have looked like a slightly mad puppet on a bike!
 

MattHB

Proud Daddy
Must? Really?
Well if the OP is experiencing achy muscles that they've not before going clipless, then they MUST be engaging them around parts of the stroke that we're missing before. Unless they're suddenly doing odd calf press ups.
 

Rob3rt

Man or Moose!
Location
Manchester
Well if the OP is experiencing achy muscles that they've not before going clipless, then they MUST be engaging them around parts of the stroke that we're missing before. Unless they're suddenly doing odd calf press ups.
Like I said above, the bike fit is most likely a fair way out (sounds like the saddle was already too low if the OP was able to ride with their mid foot on the pedal), suddenly changing from mid-foot spazz cycling to ball of foot would require the saddle to go up some way (several cm) if this isn't done then the new riding position will engage muscles differently, even with a non-economic pedal stroke. If you don't put it up you will be cycling with your heels down (would explain calf's aching) or cycling like a T-Rex walks, i.e. with constantly very bent legs (that would make both your calves and your thighs ache). For a very simple sanity check on this theory you could lower your saddle a cm or 2 and cycle for an hour, noticing where you feel you are deriving your power from, then try going the opposite way. A few cm difference in saddle height really can make a hell of a difference as to which muscles are emphasised.

IMO, and this strictly opinion, I think the fit is more the culprit than the ability to pull up on the pedals.

Would be great if the OP can confirm the fit and any alterations made etc, then I can STFU. :tongue:
 
Like I said above, the bike fit is most likely a fair way out (sounds like the saddle was already too low if the OP was able to ride with their mid foot on the pedal), suddenly changing from mid-foot spazz cycling to ball of foot would require the saddle to go up some way (several cm) if this isn't done then the new riding position will engage muscles differently, even with a non-economic pedal stroke. If you don't put it up you will be cycling with your heels down (would explain calf's aching) or cycling like a T-Rex walks, i.e. with constantly very bent legs (that would make both your calves and your thighs ache). For a very simple sanity check on this theory you could lower your saddle a cm or 2 and cycle for an hour, noticing where you feel you are deriving your power from, then try going the opposite way. A few cm difference in saddle height really can make a hell of a difference as to which muscles are emphasised.

IMO, and this strictly opinion, I think the fit is more the culprit than the ability to pull up on the pedals.

Would be great if the OP can confirm the fit and any alterations made etc, then I can STFU. :tongue:
that actually makes a lot of sense
 
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