I have been riding my powercranks for about 3 weeks now. While some experiences (such as sore hamstrings) have been expected, there are other training effects that I have not expected (such as sore abdominal muscles!). Here's a summary of three of the expected and three of the unexpected things I have experienced so far with my powercranks:

Expected #1) My pedal stroke is nowhere near as circular as I had hoped. I am most glaringly deficient on the 4 o'clock to 8 o'clock range, and also on the 10 o'clock to 1 o'clock range. With powercranks, you're forced to pedal through these zones, however, or else you pedal stops dead.

Expected #2) As I alluded to in my intro, my hamstrings have been tremendously sore.

Expected #3) My mileage has gone waaaay down. The first week, I couldn't continuously pedal for more than about 2 minutes. Now, in week three, I have made it for a long ride of 25 miles. Even so, I end most rides with my legs feeling pretty shot.

Unexpected #1) Sore abdominal muscles. It turns out that pulling up on the pedal involves my core muscles in ways I hadn't anticipated. I can feel them working while I am riding, and they are definitely sore afterwards.

Unexpected #2) It's VERY hard to stand. I haven't been able to pedal for more than 1 or 2 pedal strokes while standing. If I don't get the pedal all the way around and over the top on the upstroke, both of my legs fall to the 6 o'clock position. Apparently, it's possible to learn to stand, and I hope to conquer this challenge soon!

Unexpected #3) So far, I am faster on my powercranks than on my regular cranks. Even though the rides dominate my leg musculature, I am coming home with faster average speeds on my rides. I think this could be for a few reasons. Maybe it's because I am getting power from the full pedal stroke, instead of just pushing. Maybe it's because you have to keep working with the powercranks, even if there's a wind at your back, because when you stop a forceful pedal stroke, your legs fall dead to the bottom. I am not sure why I am faster, but I am not complaining, either.


Anonymous said... @ November 12, 2008 at 10:26 PM

Trust that over time riding PCs will feel more natural. After 3 months I was able to do 70 miles rides. I could stand and even sprint. Unfortunately, the bearings failed during a sprint which was pretty scary.

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