Sunday, March 4, 2012

Pedalling Power

It is not my intention to publish daily updates on this blog but as and when things are added to my cycling collection and to record significant trips and events.

When I started cycling, 4 years ago now, I was always struggling to keep up with my friends, partly due to lack of fitness but also because of lack of technique. The pedals I originally used were the standard platform pedal because they came with the bike. That old second hand MTB soon broke and I went and bought myself another machine, a Hybrid Specialized Sirrus Comp. This was fitted with pedals which had toe clips.
One's instinct is to push down with each leg while pedaling a bicycle. This is where most of the power in a pedal stroke will originate, however once the pedal reaches the bottom of its travel, a significant amount of power can also be transferred to the pedals while the foot is lifted on the upstroke. This can only be accomplished if the foot is affixed to the pedal in some way. Pedaling efficiency is normally best achieved with a cadence of around 90 strokes per minute. This is very difficult to achieve without having your feet affixed to the pedals. Toe clips are the original method and having them improved my performance and as my fitness gradually improved, and my excess weight decreased, I was able to hold my own when we went for a ride. 
The new bike takes this pedal technology to the next stag; whilst clipless pedals offer this same advantage but at less weight and with somewhat more efficiency. With these type of pedals the foot and shoe are attached firmly to the pedal using a cleat mechanism. My new bike comes with the necessary pedals but no cleats were included ( perhaps I should have asked when I collected the bike ) and so I have purchased a set, one of which can be seen below.

All i need to do now is just master the use of this latest piece of technolgy and to-morrow will be a good time to start.

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