The way of pedaling is very intuitive and natural, the introduction of the automatic pedals has caused errors and wrong concepts in the pedal stroke technique.
OET Method of cycling has studied the different ways of pedaling to offer you the best advises. If you are a novice cyclist, the best you can do is to cycle with sport shoes and conventional pedals, as a consequence you’ll learn to push downward because you can’t pull upward like you usually do with automatic pedals, and you’ll learn to project your body weight toward pedals. What we are going to discuss is the cycling technique for endurance cycling, not sprinting, but it is the basics to learn pedal stroke technique.
Coaches and biomechanics talk about the «inertial pedaling», this is the way of pedaling that get advance of the pedal inertia created in the propulsive fhase(downward) to rise the pedal upward again, instead of pulling. This technique is what we are going to talk. Imagine the pedal cycle like a watch , you have to push from 1 o’clock to 5 0’clock, in the rest of the tour you mustn’t to push downward to avoid slowing down the inertia, the foot only accompanies the pedal.
The first step you have to do is to learn to project your body weight toward the pedals. Stand up on the bike, with your hands in your usual position over the handlebar, don’t pedal, you must be balanced, sit down in this position, begin to pedal and maintain the perception while you are pedaling that the body weight in on the pedals, not on the saddle. I like to prescribe the next training, 3 sets of 5 minutes on your trainer, with sport shoes at 50 of cadence, moreover, this work can be done on the road with a light slope.
The second step is to shift the body weight to the other foot in order to release the foot that was pushing and not to stop the pedal inertia during the upstroke. This technique can be practiced during the small climbs, where you can feel the force applied to the pedal.
In conclusion, does this technique during your bike sessions, wherever you be to improve your stroke mechanics.
Carlos Martín Caro