Re: [CR]Ankling? Re: Pacing with your toes down & radios

Example: Framebuilders:Alex Singer

From: <>
To: <>, "Doug Van Cleve" <>, <>
References: <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Ankling? Re: Pacing with your toes down & radios
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 11:44:12 -0700

Hopefully I'm not beating this to death -- but to respond to Ken and to clarify my earlier "low heel" comment, the modern approach based on studies of elite cyclists is to minimize ankle movement, keeping ankle and shin at about 90 degrees throughout the peddling cycle. "Low heel" was perhaps not the best choice of words -- what I meant to convey was that "ankling," by extending the toe of the foot through the bottom of the cycle is no longer thought to be as efficient or powerful. ("Efficiency" was the watch-word in this debate during the '60s -- now its all about power, watts and joules.)

On a road cycle, given the position of the seat behind the BB and the angle of the thigh and shin, keeping the ankle at about 90 degrees will naturally have the toe roughly level or slightly up at the top of the stroke and down to some extent at the bottom, with the heel being lower at the bottom than if ankling were taking place. That's what I meant by low heel. It almost looks like ankling but its not since the ankle joint is held nearly still. As I understand it, the net effect is to shift work (and power production) from the shin and calf muscles to the more powerful thigh muscles, and to allow the flatter muscles of the thigh to be more fully engaged in the pull through the bottom and the kick over the top. Also reduces strain on the lower leg and on the ankle joint.

A number of recent books discuss this, including Edmund Burke's "Serious Cycling," at p. 276. There's probably more info out there on the web.

The flip side to all of this is that by engaging larger muscles, more work is done, more energy expended, more calories burned. So maybe for reasons of "efficiency," ankling may still be appropriate for crusing and long distance touring. Or to keep things clearly on topic, as an older style, maybe it should be reserved only for when riding CR bikes! Regardless, the new style seems to work for me when I remember to do it. But now the cat's out of the bag, I'm afraid that Classic Ankling may be doomed and you guys are just going to drop me more often.

Dion Dyer, "getting dropped in" San Diego

P.S. Ken's email apparently crossed with my prior "low heel" post at 7:50AM, if anyone is truly interested in following this thread.

----- Original Message -----
To: "Doug Van Cleve" ;

<> Sent: Wednesday, August 17, 2005 8:58 AM Subject: Re: [CR]Ankling? Re: Pacing with your toes down & radios

> Being recently (past 2 years) returned to cycling, I'm
> obviously ignorant. Why is ankling not thought to be good
> any more? I always thought it was an approach to
> efficient pedalling where the upstroke does not fight the
> downstroke, ideally a means to facilitate pedalling smooth
> circles.
> Ken Freeman
> Ann Arbor, MI
> -------------- Original message --------------
>> Yes, for for the last 20 years or so ;^)
>> Doug Van Cleve
>> Chandler, AZ
>> On 8/17/05, Ken Freeeman wrote:
>> > I must have missed a memo: ankling is now bad?
>> >
>> > Ken Freeman
>> > Ann Arbor, MI