3

I've recently landed on asphalt because I've met the ground with the left pedal when turning left... It was painful, but no visible damage to me or bike...

The problem is, that my natural position when not pedaling is with left leg down, every other position (right leg down, or middle position) are in long perspective exhausting for my muscles... I don't know if it has to do with some asymmetry in my pelvis or false muscle memory/training (I rarely stand in upright position as well).

Are there any exercises targeted at muscles responsible for good position while riding? When I try this while riding, it's quite exhausting and often makes me making dangerous errors, so I hope there's some exercise I could do at home.

  • 3
    I think the main thing you need to do is to learn to always place your weight on the outside leg when turning. – Daniel R Hicks Jun 4 at 0:07
  • 3
    ... and even actively push the outside foot down because that way you'll have more weight on the outside of the turn. It makes cornering easier. – Carel Jun 4 at 6:54
  • I think it is not possible to answer this question in a general fashion. To answer it in a specific way tailored to your needs and physique, I would recommend to see a physiotherapist, or a bike-fitter who has a good physio background. – Donat Holzer Jun 4 at 14:46
  • @DanielRHicks the problem is, if I forget what leg is correct... happens when I'm tired, so my body hasn't memorized this well... – Danubian Sailor Jun 4 at 16:45
  • 1
    @DanubianSailor - It's the OUTSIDE leg that should be down. Fairly easy to remember. I suspect that when you "forget" it's because you're wanting to put your foot on the ground, as a child learning to ride might do. (Which brings up the point: You may have your seat set too low.) – Daniel R Hicks Jun 4 at 17:16
6

Assuming you don't have fixed gears, i.e. the wheel can roll forwards without the pedals turning, the best way to corner is with the outside foot down, and weight on that foot. The thing is that you don't have to hold this (outside foot down) position for more than a few seconds per corner. If you can pedal without trouble you should be able to hold it briefly without trouble. And actually if you're cornering at modest speeds you can hold your pedals with the cranks horizontal and avoid the ground.

I suspect that your comfortable coasting position is mostly a learned habit - I know that I habitually unweight the saddle for bumpy descents with my right foot back, for example, and don't even notice for a few minutes. A conscious effort to hold a more appropriate position is worth trying before anything else - that would be a useful start even if you do find you have to do something else.

  • 1
    I'm usually very conscious when downhilling, the only problem is, that my muscles start to hurt after a few minutes, often I need to make a stop because of that. I'm aware it's a bad habit, so I'm looking for the effective way to unlearn this (knowing that unlearning is harder than learning). – Danubian Sailor Jun 4 at 17:15
  • It sounds like you're adopting a position on the straight descents that preferentially tires one leg (like me), then loading that leg on the corners is when you have difficulty. If that's the case, you also need to think about your position on the straights. For me, right foot forwards feels unnatural so I have to make myself do it (easier when my right leg is tired). Thinking your way into corners may require slowing down a bit but it's worth it – Chris H Jun 4 at 17:54
  • Having the correct leg down in a turn must become a second nature. It's all a matter of training. Doing it purposefully for some time until it has become an automatism. This said it is most important at higher speeds and tighter corners. Depending on the geometry of the bike cornering may also be possible while pedalling and without striking the ground. Training and 'knowledge' are the words. – Carel Jun 5 at 16:12
3

I'm not trying to be snarky or condescending so please don't take it that way. Proper pedal position for whatever maneuver you're performing is one of the fine points of learning how to ride. I'm 60+ and expect to be learning as long as I'm still breathing.

If a sports medicine specialist can't find any underlying condition that could be giving you trouble, you need to develop some new habits. Don't expect it to be quick or easy. Changing a long held habit is one of the most difficult things a human can do.

  • The fine point which I'd like to practice without landing on asphalt again... I guess I should drive slower, and more consciously? – Danubian Sailor Jun 4 at 16:47
2

I'm going to make this an answer because I believe it is the only truly correct answer we can give you.

Do not ask the Internet at large for medical advice!

As you yourself note, there could be a number of different causes; I can think of a couple more you didn't list. Some of those are biomechanical, and you definitely need to see someone in that case. Doing the wrong exercises can cause injury if you have a biomechanical issue you're not dealing with.

Ask other cyclists for recommendations for a good physiotherapist. In my experience they're a good first point of contact; they can do a lot for you, but they can also make qualified referrals if they can't help. And unlike a chiro, they're pretty good at knowing what they can't do.

(If you're dead set on dealing with it on your own, go to YouTube and look up unilateral leg exercises; it's on you to pick the right ones and do them properly.)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.