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All other conditions (strenght, gear, etc.) being the same, what is the most efficient position of the pedals when starting from a still situation on a very short sprint (like crossing 10 meters wide road with a traffic light giving the start)?

I.e. I think that with the pedal on the highest point one can continuosly push for 180 degrees, but will start with a low torque, while with the pedal being horizontal one will start with the max torque but will then continue with reducing torque on just 90 degrees.

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    When I jump on the bike when standing next to it, I set the pedal "a bit" after the highest position. When I sit on the bike, having one foot on the pedal and the other on the curb, I set the pedal "two bits" before its middle position. – krzyski Jan 17 '17 at 9:00
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    Most force when you are starting comes from your weight on the pedal. The highest leverage is available when the pedal is in the 3 o'clock position. But starting there would waste the energy (with smaller leverage) from 12 o'clock to 3 o'clock. Hence, it makes a lot of sense starting with pedals in the 1 o'clock position with leverage increasing towards 3 o'clock and decreasing towards 6 o'clock. – Christian Lindig Jan 17 '17 at 10:52
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    I generally start from a 1-2 o clock position. Just do some tests and see whats best for you. – Batman Jan 17 '17 at 11:56
  • From a track stand with strongest leg forward at a position of 2-3 o'clock. Track standing reduces the split second loss of getting both feet firmly planted on the pedals when starting with one foot on the ground. – Rider_X Jan 17 '17 at 18:49
  • @ChristianLindig You should post your comment as an answer. – jimchristie Jan 18 '17 at 17:33
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When you are starting, most force comes from your weight on the front pedal. The highest leverage is available when the pedal is in the 3 o'clock position. But starting there would waste the (potential) energy from going from the 12 o'clock (no leverage but maximal potential energy) to the 3 o'clock position. Hence, it makes a lot of sense starting with pedals in the 1 o'clock position with leverage increasing towards 3 o'clock and decreasing towards 6 o'clock.

A physics student could come up with an analysis for the best starting point by also taking into account the inertia of the system but I can't and have to leave it to may hand-waving arguments above.

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