Saturday, January 26, 2008


On reading suggested speed drills, I came upon this tip from Joe Friel to improve pedaling mechanics:

"As the foot approaches the top of the stroke, the raised heel is lowered. (Triathlete's Training Bible, 2nd Ed, p 169)

About 45 minutes into tonight's trainer ride, I remembered this concept and deliberately switched form. I don't know if my muscles were tired and just changing it up eased the strain, but it seemed to make a difference as I could feel more of my quadriceps sharing the load.

After the workout, I googled to find out more on this idea. I discovered that "ankling" is not a new concept and has been the subject of many discussions, including the (ในที่สุด) Thai website that I stole the above image from.

So what's your thought on ankling?


  1. I spent a good chunk of the winter and spring of 2006 on it. Makes a huge difference.

  2. Aye, ya see? There's a positive comment.

    One of the first things that I noticed when I started ankling is that the muscle contraction is a similar feeling to squating weights.

    I believe that I've been riding the bike like I run. At the top of the stroke, my high heel was positioned so as to "land" on the front ball of the foot. As a former runner, you can probably appreciate this.

  3. I think it helps. It seems to me that it does what you mentioned. Distributes the workload. I don't know, though. I usually forget to do it.

  4. Ask Munson about "Cankling". It's the technique that big fat fatties like him use.

  5. Fred, next time we ride together, be prepared to be hurt.

    There's a lot of debate about this. Most people ankle a little bit. However, there are also plenty of really strong people who point their toes down constantly. First one that comes to mind is Jon Randell, even though I don't think you've even seen him ride. So let's go to the pros: If you look at this photo, you'll notice that Boonen on the front is ankling, and from there back, it's about 50/50 of toes down/ankling. And again in this photo, on the left pane, guys in Red and blue are toes down, guy in white is ankling.

    What I've heard, in general, is that you're supposed to just do what comes natural. If you want to experiment and continue ankling, go ahead and see if things improve. But at the first sign of any discomfort, you should cease and go back to your natural tendencies. They're usually natural for a reason.

  6. I'm sorry Munson. It's not nice to make fun of people. Especially the "big-boned". As far as hurting me next time we ride ... I suppose if you sit on me, that would hurt pretty bad.

    You realize I'm being ironic, right? I'm big and fat now. I don't ride. All I do is study. The doc says I swallowed a lot of agression as a kid -- and a lot of pizzas.

  7. Fred, Fred, Fred. That mouth of yours is going to get you into trouble. (How many time have you heard that one??)

    I know it's all in fun. But I'm still going to make you suffer next time we ride together. Even if that involves pushing you over and sitting on you.

  8. Munson: so what about this canckling thing? Should I "go" for this?

    Bryan: Are you calling for a dogpile?

    Fred: Lighten up Francis.

  9. This ankling & crankling....this isn't another of the h-erotic stuff brady keeps it?

    I thought the deal was to pretend you're scraping mud off your bike shoe as you pedal?

  10. True about the scraping mud part. But with ankling, it's a question of whether you're scraping off mud by using the step up in front of you, or turn around and use the step you're standing on - in other words, foot angle. An efficient pedal stroke always scrapes mud, and for that matter, knees the handle bars. That's how you apply power to most of the 360 degree stroke. Usually pros are naturally good at doing this. The rest of us have to train really hard to be half as good.