How to Improve Cycling Performance by Pedaling Technique

Posted by tan xiao yan on

Pedaling is an important acting element to cycling performance in a simple circle is a complex thing, but you can control it to save energy, crucial to ensure that you get the absolute most power from each revolution as riders can generate the same quantity of power at a heart rate as five beats per minute lower. It seems that the effortless pedaling technique is a symbol of a good and pro cyclist, growing with over countless miles and millions of pedal revolutions, and can play an important role in the improvements in stamina and power output while decreasing the risk of injury. Many amateur cyclists pump their legs down, in a style which results in ‘spikes’ in torque, rather than a smooth, consistent application of power.

You can use the following three ways to identify your pedaling efficiency.

You can use an indoor training bike providing performance data, is a great tool to see whether your pedaling imbalances and inefficiencies or not, because of the sheer amount of data it provides, including left-to-right power and a pedaling technique analysis tool to show where you are applying power on the pedal stroke. However, not everyone has access to an indoor training bike. So you are recommended to try single leg riding, and you should be able to pedal with one leg without that clunking when your leg stops being able to rotate smoothly.

2. Another easy way to assess if your pedaling is inefficient is to change up your cadence to highlight weaknesses.

3. Try to ride at a slow cadence in 60rpm and get the sense of the pedal stroke to observe whether it acts like a push-and-stop effort. You can identify a weakness in your pedaling efficiency when you constantly discover yourself re-engaging on the stroke because it refers that you must have disengaged from them in the first place.

Getting it right means you’ll be producing more power for the same or less energy output, and the power is produced by applying force to the pedals and in many cases, the pedaling technique by which this force is applied can be improved. You should remember to stay the hip-knee-ankle alignment: seen from the front, your hip, knee, and ankle should line up during the pedal stroking, otherwise, your knee will wobble. Just think pistons, straight up and down. If you can't correct this, you may need orthotics or another type of biomechanical adjustment. The following is the techniques to improve the efficiency, reduce the chance of injury to joints and muscles, and prolong component life due to less stress put on your equipment.


People believe that they use hamstrings only on the upstroke, but a good cyclist uses them in the down stroke, due to the effect of extending the hip. The good way to move your large leg muscles in the back is to drop your heel when you come over the top of the stroke. The period of greatest muscle activity is to stroke the pedal from 12 o'clock to about 5 o'clock. At 12 o'clock, your toes should be pointed down 20 degrees, but after the above, you should drop heel so that it's stay level of the ground or even 10 degrees past parallel by the time you get to 3 o'clock.

Use the same muscles as the technique one but with a lesser degree, when you enter technique 2, motivate the calf muscles to point your toe. As you reach the bottom of the stroke, the toe should be pointed down 20 degrees. This ankle technique transfers some of the energy from the technique 1 by the bigger muscles to the crank. Just act like you're get rid of the mud from the bottom of your shoe.


When looking at even the pro cyclists’ ride, you may find that they are losing power when on the upstroke. The pedal is actually making your leg up, so the purpose is to lose little power possibly and get that foot far way. One interesting way to enhance the efficiency of your cycling upstroke is to ride the mountain bike. Since the terrain limits your ability, when you're only focusing on the down stroke, you'll lose traction and fall off your bike in steep parts of the road.

Proper saddle height and fore-aft adjustment are the prerequisites for a smooth and effective pedal stroke. The correct position is to knee over the ball of your foot when pedaling at 3 o'clock while knee slightly bent at 6 o'clock, in this way you'll maximize your energy output and also can make your ankle technique suitable for different terrain and effort levels.

A tip: when you start to reach the top of the stroke and ready to push down, act like pushing your knee forward, toward the bar. But your pelvis should remain a stable level, with no back forward or moving forward.