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hellraiser
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74 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I've been having trouble lately when pedaling at higher RPMs with bouncing up and down on my saddle. Does anyone know how to cure this?

I'm pretty sure my seatpost is the right height (I don't think my hips move when pedalling). Maybe I just don't know how to spin properly. Maybe I'm not supposed to pedal that fast, I don't know. :confused:

Any advice would be appreciated.

Cheers.
 

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4,012 Posts
velcro

coach#1 said:
Hi all,

I've been having trouble lately when pedaling at higher RPMs with bouncing up and down on my saddle. Does anyone know how to cure this?

I'm pretty sure my seatpost is the right height (I don't think my hips move when pedalling). Maybe I just don't know how to spin properly. Maybe I'm not supposed to pedal that fast, I don't know. :confused:

Any advice would be appreciated.

Cheers.
I was going to say: velcro...
if you happen to pedal where it get so uncomfortable with the rpms, slow down, or coast.

I ride my fixie around here (hilly Oconomowoc are in Wisconsin) all the time, and some of the downhills I can top at 40 mph, but I try so hard not to bounce, meaning that I have grasped a good pedaling technique...

What gearing are you running?
 

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trail rat
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7,825 Posts
It's a technique thing; learning to pedal a high cadence smoothly takes time and practice.

The time tested and proven way for road racers (before mtn. bikes) was to ride a fixed gear to learn. Riding an SS fixed or FW on the road is still a good way, but on an MTB it is the same (except high volume - low pressure tires tend to exaggerate the bouncing), just keep doing it and you will get smoother. If you want to use a cadence sensor on your bike computer that gives you a tool to use to reach a goal as well.
 

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R I D E S T E E L
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646 Posts
Agreed with the above, it is technique. If you have a road bike, one good way to practice is to get warmed up and get up to a decent speed, then start down shifting. Do your best NOT to slow down. Keep working on this until you smooth out. Even if you master it, I find it takes practice to maintain a smooth pedal stroke. Obviously, a fixy works great for this, if you have one.

I have noted that the mountain bike is evil with this, meaning the longer seat post and larger volume tires amplify a poor pedal stroke. It doesn't take much to get bouncing on a mtn. bike, especially a 29er.
 

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Yep, it's your (choppy) pedalling technique. Try concentrating on smearing your shoe and lifting the legs as they come through the bottom of the stroke rather than pushing down on the pedals from 12:00 to 6:00.
 

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hellraiser
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74 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies so far. I'm running 34:19 gearing on a 29er.

So I'm a crappy spinner eh? I guess I'll have to work on that. :thumbsup:

Quote Nat: "Try concentrating on smearing your shoe and lifting the legs as they come through the bottom of the stroke rather than pushing down on the pedals from 12:00 to 6:00."

Can you elaborate on that a bit - what do you mean by smearing my shoe?

Any other spinning technique points would be appreciated. Don't be afraid to get technical on me, it helps me to know the hows and whys of technique points.

Cheers.
 

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trail rat
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7,825 Posts
Nat said:
Yep, it's your (choppy) pedalling technique. Try concentrating on smearing your shoe and lifting the legs as they come through the bottom of the stroke rather than pushing down on the pedals from 12:00 to 6:00.
Unless you are climbing. Then mash 'dem suckers! :p :D :thumbsup:

All technique points above are excellent.

edit: 34:22 on my Inbred 29er for the climbs around central coastal CA. Even more need to spin and opportunity to bounce. What helps is that I was a road racer beginning in 1970. :)
 

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coach#1 said:
Can you elaborate on that a bit - what do you mean by smearing my shoe?
On your pedaling downstroke, pretend you stepped in dog poo and you're scraping it off on the sidewalk. Basically, you're pulling back as you push down on the pedal, instead of just hammering down.
 

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Another good reason to ride road. It's the best place to practice your spin. Fixed is best but you can do a good job with a geared bike, too. It's muscle training and muscle memory which only comes from miles of repetition. Good spinners have taken years to develop their technique.
 

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One trick I learned a while back that works for me (I think I read it in Road Bike Action magazine - remember that?) is to spin smaller & smaller circles as you spin faster.
Basically, as your cadence speeds up you imagine that crankarms are getting shorter & your feet are going in smaller circles. Works well for me to smooth my spin.

I don't find I spin fast enough for it to be a problem off road as I generally use a slightly taller gear than when I'm road riding.
 

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*Hotter than Hell*
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Mashers Only!!
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578 Posts
Scoot forward on your seat!! Get ontop of the cranks!! Forward on your seat= less power and high RPMs.... Move back on your seat= more power,lower RPMs, and bouncie bounce.... Its amazing when you top out the RPMs then scoot forward and accelerate even faster! Try it.... It works..

HUGH
:)
 

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slocaus said:
Unless you are climbing. Then mash 'dem suckers!
Yes, thanks. I should've clarified. I was talking about when spinning out so fast that you're bouncing (e.g., flats or descents). When climbing though, stand up and give 'er all she's got Captain!
 

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hellraiser
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Great stuff folks, I'll give it a try. Dog poo, shrinking crankarms, scooting forward and practice, practice practice.

If all that fails I'll give the velcro a try.:D
 

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trail rat
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7,825 Posts
coach#1 said:
Great stuff folks, I'll give it a try. Dog poo, shrinking crankarms, scooting forward and practice, practice practice.

If all that fails I'll give the velcro a try.:D
No friggin' wonder our non-bike friends think we are goofy! :p :D :thumbsup:
 

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badjenny fan club founder
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56 Posts
I've been riding a fixie for a long, long time, and all the good tips have been mentioned. I'd go after them in this order:

practice
think smaller circles
practice
point toes
practice
scoot forward
practice
velcro
practice
seat belt
 

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ss poser
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406 Posts
toes down?? is this only when spinning out? not while climbing, too? i naturally pedal w/toes pointed & was recently 'corrected' by an awesome, hardcore (pro?) adventure racer. "heels down!" so, which is it? toes down when spinning out & heels down when climbing? tks.

-confoozed
 

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Master Gardener
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Much depends on a person's physiology, but speaking in very general terms, you can spin easier at very high rpms with your toes down. As for heels down, I'm not sure there's any situation in which it's ideal for every person to pedal heels-down. I've known a lot of fast fellas and gals and some pedals heels-down, some parallel and some toes-down. Do what feels right to ya.
 
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