Very interesting …

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Zinn writes up about a bit of research presented by some egghead biker riders.

pretty cool stuff and i pulled out a couple scans ~
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“The upshot of his research skewered two rather sacred beliefs of cycling fitters. One of his conclusions is that floating pedals do not reduce the rotational and lateral moments about the knee and are hence of no use in preventing knee injuries. The other conclusion is that 10 degrees of valgus canting (i.e., tipping the foot inward, or knock-kneed), reduced rotational and lateral moments about the knee and are therefore beneficial in preventing knee injuries.”

“… seemed to dispel the ideas that cycling adaptation takes time, that pedaling technique refined over time is important, particularly to learn to pedal efficiently at high RPM, and that avoiding “working against yourself” on the backstroke (revealed in graphs showing a net negative torque past bottom dead center) is useful.”wordly.jpg

“Martin says that you are then left with two things to go faster. Hard training and good nutrition, hydration and recovery are the keys to maximizing the power you can produce. And reducing aero drag and reducing braking are some ways you can minimize the power you must produce. That’s it. Simple.”

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okey-dokey, then.

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6 Responses

  1. Sweet. Does this mean I don’t have to try and spin an 86 inch gear again this Saturday and can just mash away the big gear with everyone else? 50×14? I might not feel like a blender that way.

  2. Yay! I can mash! Oh, but then that means fitness is my limiter, and not technique. It sounded better to say I am working on technique than to say I am out of shape….

  3. Geeks Gone Wild.

    Seems like our pedalling lab rats offered more contradictory conclusions than a convention of economists.

  4. Wow. That Martin’s a genius. Don’t brake, and you’ll go faster.

    Should I stop dragging my cat behind when I ride, too?

    I suppose this means I can dust off the old platform pedals too (the ones with the reflectors on them), since there is no benefit to “pedaling circles”. And now that I’ll no longer be clipped in, maybe I won’t fall down so much!

  5. we are such nerds.

  6. After hearing about this “secret” on the topica (now google) wattage group, I abandoned my concentration on trying to maintain an “efficient” pedal stroke and high cadence last year. Bc most of my training here in the land of ice and snow is on the trainer through the winter, that means my avg cadence was dropping from 100+ to the high 80s, with some harder efforts in the low 80s.

    Guess what? Best year of my not-so-storied amateur career. Plus as soon as the snow melted and I started riding outside, lo and behold, my cadence returned to “normal” of 100+ or so.

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