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Force - Power measurement pedals

In order to increase the effectiveness while pedaling (Gross
Efficiency) we have to increase the efficiency of the
pedaling.

This is basically impossible without measurement technology and
visualization. In collaboration with SRM we have designed a
SPD-R compatible pedal - software product that measures and
displays the effect of the legs' stroke. The aim is to maximize
the tangential forces (**F**_{t}) on the
crank, as only these are involved in propulsion. The radial
forces (**F**_{r}) are
dissipation forces that do not contribute to the pedaling
motion. The graphic
illustrates the kinematic connection between pedal and pedal
crank forces. The magnitude of the normal pedal force
(**F**_{n} is
perpendicular to the pedal surface) depends on the direction of
the total force. And this is based on the one hand by the
contact points with the bike (hip/saddle and foot/pedal) and on
the other hand by the dorsal an plantar flexion of the ankle. In
English we say 'ankling' for this.

Due to the fixed distance with the crank the pedal moves in a
circular path around the bottom bracket. If we could apply the
force perpendicularly (tangentially) to this circular path we
would use the maximum possible lever length (crank length). A
machine might be able to do that but not humans with their
limited anatomical abilities.

In order to describe the path of the pedal mathematically, one
uses the conversion from polar to Cartesian coordinates. This
creates a so-called sinusuid (blue graph). It is almost the
ideal of a circular motion. If our ankle could move so
flexibly, we could achieve this as an ideal function, i.e. transfer the
maximum possible force to the pedal. But the nature has set us
limits here. We can therefore only work with the maximum and
minimum possible ankle angles. We have packed the problem into
a mathematical equation to calculate the trajectory of the ankle with the
maximum and minimum possible joint angles in order to achieve
an optimum (green graph) following a sinusuid
function. This would be the optimal 'ankling'. The circular
plot clearly shows how big the difference good pedaling
technique can be. And that is expressed directly in the speed
driven with the same energetic effort. And this can definitely
mean the difference between victory and defeat in a time trial.