Please do not confuse this with general weight on your bike or rotating weight. I'm onto about something completely different.

Logic tells me that everytime you do a pedal stroke you need to lift your foot along with most of the legs weight on the upstroke. The heavier your foot and shoe, the more energy you need to expend to lift it. On the other hand, a heavier foot and shoe will create more force on the downstroke.

Assuming you were on a home trainer with 10kg weights attached to each of your feet how would it effect your power output and pedalling style?

What if you ride out of the saddle? High cadence vs. low cadence?

  • 4
    How is this any different than rotating weight? Your shoes rotate with the pedals and are as much rotating weight as the pedals themselves.
    – Johnny
    Apr 25, 2016 at 20:29
  • 3
    When you press down with one foot, the pedal on the other side is raising that foot. It balances. Apr 25, 2016 at 21:09
  • 4
    Just like when the front of your tire is rotating down the rear is rotating up? Apr 25, 2016 at 21:14
  • 2
    Voting to close. Pedals and things attached to them, like shoes, are rotating weight. Pretending they are not is not useful. Apr 26, 2016 at 15:06
  • 1
    You are right. I made some logical errors.
    – AzulShiva
    Apr 26, 2016 at 15:48

1 Answer 1


You are correct that the weight of the shoes cancel out each other for the rotation part. For an extreme example of the same effect, check out Falkirk Wheel, which lifts 250 tons of water and boat using same amount of water as counterweight.

The shoes are not usually centered on pedals, but the axle is under the ball of foot. If hypothetical heavy shoe has even weight distribution, you will have to support the weight of the heel. That weight does not do any work, and it would be possible to design a gear train similar to Falkirk Wheel that maintained the pedals level without outside forces.

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