Comment améliorer sa technique de pédalage ?

How to improve your pedaling technique?

How to improve your pedaling technique?

Pedaling technique is often neglected during training , but it has a direct impact on energy cost and, therefore, physical performance . Swimmers learn to swim technically, skiers learn to glide correctly, but cyclists generally don't receive extensive training on how to pedal effectively. However, the pedaling action is not natural; it requires special concentration and coordination to optimize the transfer of energy between the body and the bike . Although genetic inheritance plays a role, it is always useful to regularly work on pedaling technique to reduce energy cost in all riding conditions, whether uphill, on the flat, in a dancer or in an aerodynamic position .

The Basic Principle

The pedaling gesture is a complex circular movement which alternates a pressure phase and a traction phase on each leg, with two top and bottom dead centers. The essence of good pedaling lies in the optimal transmission of force to the pedal during these two phases, while minimizing the impact of dead spots. Many factors are involved, such as muscular coordination , core strength, flexibility, ankle flexibility , and muscular balance between the quadriceps and hamstrings.

Exercises to Improve Your Technique

Improving your cycling technique is complex because there are many factors involved, and a consistent approach is essential. It is useless to concentrate only on strengthening the quadriceps without working on flexibility, because the pedaling movement requires considerable cognitive coordination. It is recommended to spend time improving coordination , even if it does not require a large expenditure of energy. To maximize results , choose these exercises during periods of low fatigue, such as during a recovery or a recovery period , because excessive fatigue can impair the quality of your pedaling .

Force x Velocity

“Strength x velocity” work is essential to improve power in cycling (Power = force x velocity). It consists of alternating between phases of effort at low cadence (strength) and phases at high cadence (velocity). For example, after a 30-minute warm-up, do a 15-minute climb, alternating 2 minutes at 50 revolutions per minute (rpm) and 1 minute at 90 rpm.

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Indoor strength training can be an important component for strengthening the main muscle groups used during pedaling , while core training strengthens the deep muscles of the trunk , improving energy transmission and muscle performance. It is essential to harmonize muscular strength with velocity to optimize your pedaling action.


Flexibility in the lower limbs is crucial to minimize top and bottom dead spots, thereby reducing the "piston" effect of pedaling . It is recommended to spend 15 minutes on stretching exercises after each training session to maintain optimal body movements.


Proprioception , the sensitivity of a gesture, is essential to develop an ideal "pedal feel", maximizing the transmission of power to the pedal. It is necessary to work on the gestures in pedaling conditions different from that of the basic gesture, favoring nervous activity to create new neural patterns. An effective exercise is working with one leg on a home trainer to improve concentration.

Specificities of Mountain Pedaling

Pedaling technique in the mountains is different from that on flat terrain, due to the slope of the road, the angle of attack of the pedal and the point of maximum force. It is therefore necessary to train in both conditions for complete practice. If your environment does not allow it, consider a sporting trip to the mountains in spring.

Position on the bike

Before working on your pedaling gestures , make sure that your position on the bike is optimal. This involves looking at all the supporting points on the bike, such as frame height, crank length, saddle height, stem length, handlebar adjustment, saddle carriage adjustment, saddle wear and cleat adjustment.

Consult a competent bicycle specialist if you are unsure about these adjustments, as proper position is the basis of any work on pedaling gestures .

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