How to pedal with clipless?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by sswats, 19 May 2010.

  1. sswats

    sswats New Member

    I've been using clipless pedals for about 800 miles now. All the unclipping and clipping is not the problem.
    I just don't feel very efficient in the upstroke of the pedal. It tires me out very quckily and I only use it in very short bursts (ie upto 10 strokes) like when moving off from a standstill, and when i start struggling with an uphill. But so few strokes and it tires me out, and the back of my leg instantly feels tight even with loads of stretching.

    Now i've covered 800 miles witht these pedals and I'm still having trouble getting any sort of rhythm going. I only use upstroke about 1% of the time.

    So any tips, on how to improve my technique would be appreciated.
  2. Chrisc

    Chrisc Über Member

    Roll your foot over the top and scrape it along the bottom as though you were scraping mud off rather than pulling up on the pedal.
  3. xpc316e

    xpc316e Senior Member

    I did loads of internet 'research' because I felt much as you did about riding clipped in. I ended up aligning myself fairly closely with the 'it's a myth' crowd. It doesn't work for me, but it might for others, and it seems like it is not something that's giving you much benefit. Do not beat yourself up just because you do not get the results that others claim for this technique.

    I do still like to ride clipped in though because of the solid 'oneness' that I experience.
  4. steve52

    steve52 I'm back! Yippeee

    i was taught not to think of a down stroke and an up strock but to concentrate on moveing my feet through a cicle, it takes a while untill you dont have to think about it, so do it when its easy at first. other than that my mum said to go fast pedal faster and harder!
  5. simon_adams_uk

    simon_adams_uk Veteran

    SW London
    Ditto the advice above about trying to mimic scraping mud off your soles on the upstroke - helps you keep a more circular motion.

    The other technique which I sometimes find useful is to push a bit harder every 3rd pedal stroke (ie alternating extra effort on the left leg, then right leg, then left...).
  6. accountantpete

    accountantpete Legendary Member

    Upstroke? - sit back a bit further in the saddle and I personally have the cleats set back as far as poss on the shoe.

    If you can only do about 10 pulls you are using too big a gear for the muscles you have developed to date - either go up a few sprockets or specifically develop those muscles with short reps.

    Don't use these muscles for starting off or sudden bursts as the under-developed muscles will quickly "burn out"!
  7. paraffinlamps

    paraffinlamps Über Member

    Dudley ,West Mids
    I would agree with accountantpete .I only tend to use upstroke on hills and have found sitting a little further back and a little more upright helps make upstroke easier .
  8. Mr Farley

    Mr Farley Active Member

    From my own experience I would say that I don't consciously try to pedal any differently whilst using clipless. The main benefit is not having your feet moving about on the pedal, so you can pedal at higher cadences for as long as you want without thinking about them.

    I certainly don't bother focusing on the upstroke, It's probably a bit more efficient, but I don't think about it whilst riding either.
  9. Muddyfox

    Muddyfox Veteran

    I agree ... padal in a circular motion rather than and up and down stroke

  10. GrumpyGregry

    GrumpyGregry Here for rides.

    when pedalling try to consciously thing about driving the pedals around in circles.

    when accellerating try to think of pedalling faster in circles not pedalling harder.

    these days the only time I actually think about dragging the pedals upwards is off road on the single speed on steep bits, when I'm out of the saddle and about to burst.
  11. accountantpete

    accountantpete Legendary Member

    I'd agree apart from the bit about accelerating - it's better IMHO just to add a flourish of a push down/pull back etc to the rotation as you can alternate the sectors where this is applied and save the legs.

    If you watch the pro's ascending they usually add a pull up to the rotation when out of the saddle and trying to accelerate.
  12. If everyone would try to remember to call them clip-in pedals rather than clip-less I'd be much happier.
  13. The limit to ones power output is determined by the bodies ability to process oxygen so pulling up on the pedals, even if it were possible to do it for any length of time, wont make you go any faster, there's no such thing as free energy. As as had been said above, making the effort to pedal fluidly 'in circles' will make you go faster when compared to the heavy footed push-push treadle style adopted by many bicycle riders. The most that one can reasonably be expected to achieve by trying to lift the back foot is reduce the requirement of the other leg to push it up the stroke. Most people use the down stroke of one leg to lift the other leg up the back stroke.
  14. jimboalee

    jimboalee New Member

    A lot of newbies concentrate on pushing the pedal down on the downstroke. Logical?

    Trouble is.. at the very start of shoe pressure, the vectored force is directed INTO the crank circle. This is inefficient.

    As a trial, try to pedal thinking about a smaller radius circle, pulling your shoes INTO the crank circle ALL the way round. Now pedal trying to pull your shoes off the pedal OUTWARDS all the way round.
    When you do either of these, the vectored force will not be on the crank circle and inefficient.

    Now you know how each style feels, get a happy mid-ground pedalling action, concentrating on a circular motion of both shoes.

    Practice makes perfect.
  15. jimboalee

    jimboalee New Member

    The advantage of this is a flatter Torque wave at the BB and therefore less momentary acceleration of the drivetrain.

    There will be less torsional twisting deformation of the BB shaft :biggrin:

    When using the down stroke to 'lift the idle leg' you are wasting about 2.5% of the energy you are expending.
    You have muscles which abduct the upper leg, so use them..:smile:
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice