Stopping dropping the heel

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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KWalker
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by KWalker

Yes, which is what I said and I gave 2 probable and common causes for this. Pulling up on the pedal is a waste as studies on pedal force and efficiency have shown.
Don't take me too seriously. The only person that doesn't hate Froome.
Gramz
Failed Custom Bike

rijndael
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Location: Haines, AK - Temporarily

by rijndael

I re-read your post and I don't see where you said it, perhaps it's a language barrier.

by Weenie


HillRPete
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by HillRPete

Honestly ... no, I didn't have a bike fit. Well not from someone else, but the various articles Steve Hogg has online have been helpful.

I am not even a serious rider, and only doing a handful fun races (mostly of the uphill variety) every year. But I like to tinker with the gear and the training and don't mind riding in short repeated loops (intervals) when time is tight (which it always is).

If we must delve into the topic of fit, I am quite skeptical of the "one fit to rule it all" approach. A rider changes a lot over the years, especially at my moderate fitness level. It only seems natural to me, that riding position develops too. When a position feels right, that's a good start. And from there, one can work on being able to ride faster, longer, by improving both the ability to crank the pedals, and to hold a good position. In my humble opinion, "fit" can (should) be trained just as well as "fitness".

PS: I should probably just continue following what boysa said, and consciously work on my pedaling when climbing. Showing good progress already. Thanks everyone for weighing in.

PPS: Yes I often am one of those guys who has to "fall on his face" (as we say here, means "find out for himself") over taking advice. But isn't that the point of a hobby anyway.

KWalker
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Location: Bay Area

by KWalker

Go get fit by someone reasonable. What country are you in?

I don't think one fit rules all. Reading Hogg's blog is confusing especially when you get fit by someone he "approves" and see the wackjob stuff in action. I was fit by one of those fitters twice and it was god awful. I find much of what Hogg writes fairly counterintuitive and don't understand his legendary status on the interwebs.

There have been studies on pedaling efficiency and they concluded that very few riders can consciously alter their net efficiency at high output enough to be measured.

Do whatever you want.
Don't take me too seriously. The only person that doesn't hate Froome.
Gramz
Failed Custom Bike

HillRPete
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Location: Pedal Square

by HillRPete

KWalker, hey, in case it came across like that, I really didn't mean to disrespect your advice. To the contrary, really.

It's just, every so often one would get away with better results faster, being it fixing something in the house, the car, or whatever, by consulting a professional. But then the tinkering just adds to the overall enjoyment, and the process of figuring something out can be very rewarding as well. That's my approach to cycling, I guess, it's not like I'll make a podium any time anyway.

mattr
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by mattr

You've got to bear in mind that if you get a fit badly wrong, it can give you long term issues.
Some can be bad enough that even a nominally good fit feels wrong. So you may end up off the bike for months while injuries heal.

KWalker
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Location: Bay Area

by KWalker

If you're in the UK you should go to Cyclefit. Those guys know their shit. They fit 25% of the pro peloton so the probability of a bad fit is much lower.
Don't take me too seriously. The only person that doesn't hate Froome.
Gramz
Failed Custom Bike

bombertodd
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by bombertodd

Hey KW, not trying to steal the thread, but who would you recommend in Southern California?

KWalker
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Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:30 pm
Location: Bay Area

by KWalker

No idea honestly, I don't know the area very well. I generally start by asking local riders or Googling the popular fit systems and doing some research on the fitters, their experience, and then cross-checking that with the local reports.
Don't take me too seriously. The only person that doesn't hate Froome.
Gramz
Failed Custom Bike

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Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez
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by Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez

I know it will sound a bit too easy to explain but, couldn't it be the consequence of pushing a bigger gear when you are tired?

HillRPete
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by HillRPete

Samuel: probably plays a role, as it occurred to me seeing a pic of myself from a hillclimb event.

Having thought about it a bit more, there's probably a number of other factors too. My previous bike had slightly too much reach, so I started climbing on the tops (flats on the hoods was ok). When moving to another bike this season I kept the habit, despite better position. Also, I did a good deal of the harder intervals on the MTB this year, in spring. Position is a bit different, and it's difficult to ride at a good cadence offroad. All that played together, it seems.

Anyway, thanks everyone for their input. Climbed 2000+m vertical including slopes of over 20% the other day -- on the hoods. Getting there. Specificity is key, lesson learned.

mrfish
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:49 pm
Location: Near Horgen, Switzerland

by mrfish

I like your approach of tinkering with things to see what happens. But it's hard to diagnose something based on text, so perhaps you could try going for a ride with someone who is both an experienced cyclist and has an analytical approach (coach / club?) who can work with you to improve your form. Or to get there faster Cyclefit know their stuff, as do the guys at Bespoke. Also you need to question whether dropping your heel is really a problem.

I think Steve Hogg makes some good points about saddle and cleat position, but as usual on the internet things get taken to the extreme with people interpreting what is likely a few mm change in position as a call to adopt mid foot cleats. His key messages are that the ankle needs to be able to control your foot movement, so putting the cleat towards the heel makes this easier. Then his other insight is that the weight of your upper body provides a reaction force to your downwards pedaling thrust, so adjusting the seat forwards or backwards enables you to find a position where your arms don't need to do much work to support the body. Not rocket science and really pretty simple.

I'd recommend trying a slightly more rearward cleat position maybe 2mm, possibly changing saddle height by 1-2mm until it's comfy again and riding that for 2 weeks before making another change. That way at least you're unlikely to injure yourself, and in my experience moving cleats 2mm can make a large difference given you make thousands of pedal revolutions.

HillRPete
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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:08 am
Location: Pedal Square

by HillRPete

Have raised the saddle by 1cm and compensated with less setback (still a good deal). Seems to do the trick. Reason I've been hesitant about moving cleats back is that I need the forefoot movement when riding in the drops.

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