Wattbike’s pedalling technique guide

15th September 2015

When did you last think about how you were pedalling on your bike? Most likely it was a while ago, that is if you have ever thought about it at all. The truth is, correct pedalling technique can help you achieve performance gains like improved power output and increased endurance.

To help you maximise your performance, Wattbike have developed a simple guide on pedalling technique:

What good pedalling technique looks like

Wattbike’s unique pedalling technique analysis tool, the Polar View, gives a graphical representation of pedalling technique. After analysing the pedalling technique of many pro cyclists, Sport Scientist Eddie Fletcher developed the Polar View graph of a beginner, intermediate and elite cyclist. Take a look at the diagrams below to find out more about each shape.

Wattbike’s pedalling technique guide2 Beginner: This graph shows the cyclist stamping on the pedals which results in lost momentum during the transition between legs (points 1 & 2).
Wattbike’s pedalling technique guide3 Intermediate: To move from beginner to intermediate, where some momentum is maintained during the transition between legs, you should imagine scraping mud off the ball of your foot. This extends the leg drive and improves your transitions.
Wattbike’s pedalling technique guide4 Elite: The ‘perfect technique’ is consistent, balanced between each leg and maintains good pedal momentum throughout.

 Top tips for improving your pedalling technique

Take a look at these top tips to help you change your pedalling technique from beginner to elite:

  1. Check your cycling position – Having your saddle in the incorrect position can cause havoc with your pedalling technique and can also cause recurring problems with your legs, back and shoulders.
  2. Think about the whole pedal stroke – Rather than just pushing the power through the downwards section of the pedal stroke, think about engaging your hamstrings. You’ll feel as though you’re scraping your feet at the bottom of the pedal stroke and getting ready for your next revolution.
  3. Invest in a good pair of cycling shoes – Using cycling shoes will help you optimise both the drive and recovery phases of the pedal stroke.
  4. Practice makes perfect – Find yourself a Wattbike and get practising! At first, this new approach to pedalling may feel alien, however after a few sessions the technique will start to become ingrained in your muscle memory. This also means you’ll be able to transfer those all-important performance gains out on the road.

Get more training tips and advice from Wattbike’s Training Hub.