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How To Improve Your Pedalling Technique

How To Improve Your Pedalling Technique thumbnail

In this post we will explore pedalling (‘pedaling’ if you are American) technique for road cyclists. This is an important area.

The meeting of foot and pedal is the primary interface between human and bicycle (well, primary moving interface – you wouldn’t get padded cycling shorts if there wasn’t a pretty significant ‘interface’ in that area as well).

Good technique increases the efficiency with which the power that we generate is turned into forward movement. It also helps avoid injury, both by avoiding unnecessary strain on joints and ligaments and by promoting an even strengthening across the leg and core muscles.

This post is, in fact, in response to a reader request. The Lanterne Rouge wrote,

“… I’ve been struggling with my pedalling technique for some time. Books and the internet give all sorts of advice. Perhaps you might blog on the subject of perfecting ones pedalling technique and when and what variation might be appropriate?…”

Let’s start at the beginning. [click to read more…]

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What Should I Wear On RideLondon (And Other Questions)?

The RideLondon 100 (and its new 46 sibling) is an unusual sportive. Due to its size and location, it presents logistical challenges for riders and organisers alike. On the participant side, it’s not just a case of rocking up with a car boot (trunk) full of kit and a few gels in your pocket and knocking out a cheeky century.

It’s therefore entirely reasonable that first-time participants have questions, not all of which are answered in the organiser’s bumf.

Here are some questions sent in by reader, Ian, which I will attempt to answer. Can I also ask the Sportive Cyclist hive mind (particularly those of you that have RiddenLondon already), to chime in with your views. Every little helps….

So, those questions…. [click to read more…]

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Training with Power vs. Heart Rate – Which is Best? thumbnail

Are you ready to bring your training to the next level? Of course you are. And to do that, you’ll want to know the difference between training by heart rate versus by power meter (you will!). Well look no further, I’m here to explain both, and help you decide which one (or both, or neither!) is best for you.

Note from Monty: Yes, a note from me! For ’tis not me writing this post. ‘Tis Katelyn, a qualified cycling and (whisper it) triathlon coach, with the first post on Sportive Cyclist from a ‘staff writer’.

With work and a recently-increased family peloton, I’m struggling to find time to publish articles for you good people. In order to keep you supplied with useful and entertaining blog posts, I’ve engaged a few cyclo-writers to help increase the frequency (and, lets face it, quality) of posting.

I do hope you enjoy the broadened viewpoint that having a wider writing staff will have on the blog. If you have any article suggestions, or a cyclo-question you’d like answering on the blog, then let me know.

And with that, back to Katelyn…

Cyclists in general are a bunch of data nerds. While we certainly love the wind in our hair, sometimes it’s all about being King (or Queen) of the Mountain on Strava. And Kings and Queens know all about power.

[click to read more…]

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Service Course: In Which Our Hero Starts To Upgrade From Shimano 105 To Ultegra (And May Need To Buy New Wheels) thumbnail

I am pleased to report that my gallant Trek Domane has been in for a service. I am less pleased to report that I have been guilty of a little bike neglect.

But there is a silver lining to every cloud. In this case it’s an Ultegra lining.

And this nimbostratus may even have a platinum lining as we, whisper it, consider… new wheels.

So, without further ado (and another paragraph that starts with a conjunctive), I give you my bike service REPORT! [click to read more…]

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Shimano 105 vs Ultegra: Is It Worth It To Upgrade?

Shimano 105 vs Ultegra: Is It Worth It To Upgrade? thumbnail

There comes a time in every road cyclist’s life when it becomes clear* that the quickest way to progress to professional standards of performance is to splash more cash on a random bike component.

(*Not all that clear)

That time occurs before you buy your bike, roughly a week after you’ve bought your bike, then on a weekly basis until you cycle off this mortal coil.

So now is the time to consider whether upgrading from Shimano 105, a perfectly functional bike groupset, to Shimano Ultegra, a perfectly functional bike groupset, will take you from dog-dog to Froome-dog. [click to read more…]

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Help A (Poor) Cyclo-Blogger Out (Pretty Please…) 

In today’s post I’m going to ask you for a favour. Please send me money.

I jest.

SEND ME MONEY!

Ahem, I jest once more.

In fact it’s a favour of non-monetary value. [click to read more…]

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Torque To The Hand (Or What’s The Best Torque Wrench For Bikes?) thumbnail

It feels like spring is starting to agitate in its loins (as Keats would say). It also feels like I need to show my bike a little TLC after it has spent the winter doing a ‘good job of work’.

And as every beautician will know, performing some serious TLC requires a serious torque wrench.

Whilst I’ve been washing off my bike after most rides, and a couple of weeks ago, I gave the whole drivetrain a (relatively) deep clean, I’m thinking that it might be time to start taking key components off the bike in order to clean (and grease) them properly. I want my summer cycling to hum to the tune of sweetly-tuned gears.

This is another of those ‘research before buying one’ posts. I’ve always known (in my heart of hearts?) what a torque wrench does (it tightens stuff to a precise amount of, er, tightness). But until now I’ve never had cause to use one.

Having decided to buy one, I’ve been doing some research and in this post I’ll share it with you (in case you, too, wish to tighten things to precise levels of tightness). [click to read more…]

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First Impressions Of TrainerRoad: Upgrading The Paincave

First Impressions Of TrainerRoad: Upgrading The Paincave thumbnail

I have this sense that there is a secret to training that, if I crack it, will result in my becoming a stronger/faster/more stylish cyclist. If not instantly, then at least overnight.

It is this inner inkling that prompts my fascination with power meters (“If only I had a power meter then a programme of effective training would be within my grasp…”).

My innate Yorkshireness (long arms/deep pockets) means I haven’t quite pulled the trigger and bought one. Perhaps my other inner inkling is saying, “Don’t be ridiculous. Spending £500 on a Stages power meter just because Team Sky uses it is clearly not going to turn you into Luke Rowe.”

And yet, and yet… Those crank-based power meters do look awful shiny…

Thankfully, before I splurged half a monkey (or a couple of stoats) on a cheeky power meter, I remembered an email I received from a company called TrainerRoad, way back in the mists of time 2014… [click to read more…]

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Are You Looking For An Entry For RideLondon 2016?

… then look no further, dear cyclist. I might have just what you’re looking for.

Perhaps you missed out on a spot in the ballot? Or you couldn’t commit to raising £500 for a given charity?

Maybe you’ve only just heard of the RideLondon sportive (where have you been!?) and you’re finding that places are now largely gone.

Whatever. Fear not. I have some…. [click to read more…]

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What Bike Do I Need For The RideLondon 100?

What Bike Do I Need For The RideLondon 100? thumbnail

… Or indeed any other 100-mile sportive or gran fondo?

This post has been prompted by a reader question over on the Sportive Cyclist Facebook page.

Yes, there is a Sportive Cyclist Facebook page. And yes, this blog has the occasional reader.

So, to repeat, what bike would be suitable for the RideLondon 100 sportive?

This question wasn’t sent in to me by a recently-retired pro, looking to record the course record. There’s no need to discuss the relative merits of a five grand Pinarello versus a top-of-the-range Trek. [click to read more…]

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