Learning how to use the correct cycling pedalling technique can help you ride faster, climb better and avoid injuries. Few riders actively focus on improving their pedalling technique, so working on pedalling efficiency could help you drop your climbing partner on the next climb!

Correct Pedalling Technique

Expert coach and The Cyclist’s Training Bible author Joe Friel explains that riders should aim for a smooth circular pedalling action with four phases;

  1. Push forward at the top of the pedal stroke
  2. Push down in the main downward phase of the stroke
  3. Pull back at the bottom of the pedal stroke
  4. Unweight the pedal on the recovery pedal stroke

Pedalling Efficiency

Improving pedalling efficiency will help you ride for longer with less fatigue; you will literally be transferring more power from each pedal stroke into forward momentum. A key element of pedalling efficiency is having the correct riding position and cadence:

  1. Keep knees in line with pedals
  2. Keep upper body stable
  3. Maintain a high cadence of 90 RPM+

Pedalling Technique Drills

Using pedalling drills and mental cues to improve your pedalling technique is an easy way to climb more smoothly. Pedalling is a great cycling skill to work on during indoor training sessions.

Use these free Bike Training Videos for Turbo Training Workouts to practice these mental cues:

Mental Cues for Perfect Pedalling Technique

  1. “Kick the football”: At the top of the pedal stroke imagine you are kicking a football, this will bring your foot through quicker
  2. “Scrape the mud off your shoes”: At the bottom of the pedal stroke imagine scraping the mud off your shoes as you pull the pedal back
  3. “Unweight the pedal in recovery”: During the recovery phase don’t waste energy “pulling up” but do unweight the pedal so that your pedalling action becomes smoother

Training Drills for Pedalling

  1. Slow Cadence Drills – Climbing at 40RPM will help identify dead spots in your pedalling technique
  2. High Cadence Spin Ups – Spinning up from 90RPM to the point where you bounce in the saddle will help smooth out your pedal stroke
  3. Ride Fixed – Riding a fixed wheel bike where your pedals, legs and feet are always in motion is amazing for your pedalling technique
  4. Rollers – Training indoors on rollers will improve your pedalling economy
  5. Isolated Leg Training  – riding on your turbo trainer with one leg will help fix any imbalance in your pedal stroke

Pedalling Deadspots

If your gym has a Wattbike then you can benefit from Wattbike’s unique Polar View which highlights the dead spots in your pedalling technique. Crucially with the Wattbike the intuitive visual feedback allows you to correct faults and improve your pedalling technique in real time:


Sportive Training Plan

Are you in training for a sportive? Use our free 12 week Sportive Training Plan to get you in the best possible shape for your sportive challenge. Simply fill the form below and we’ll send you your free training plan:

Free Sportive Training Plan

Free Sportive Training Plan – Request Download

* indicates required

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

WhatsApp us