Don’t you need to Pull Up on the Backstroke?

This is a great question and one that we get quite often, or one that we will hear from people interested in the pedal, but confused about what they have heard in the past.

The short answer is no. The Korff (et al. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2007; 39:991-995) and Mornieux (et al. Int J Sports Med 2008; 29:817-822) Cycling Efficiency Studies clearly show that pulling up on the backstroke produces less power and burns more energy than simply driving hard on the downstroke and letting the trail leg come up just hard enough to get ready for the next hard downstroke push.

The video in this post shows a rider who tried to prove that he needed to pull up on the backstroke and instead proved that he was more efficient when he couldn’t pull up on the backstroke.

In all my years of looking, I have found no studies or evidence that supports the theory that you need to pull up on the backstroke and I have an open challenge to anyone who can show me some

This was just a theory that sounded great but now that we can actually look at what is happening during the pedal stroke the evidence clearly shows that pulling up on the backstroke is not the “right” way to pedal.

That’s all for now. Thank you for your continued support!

Until next time,

Pedal Strong,
James Wilson and the Pedaling Innovations Team

Stay in the loop...

Sign up for insider updates from Pedaling Innovations — including, news, pre-release special offers, and pricing for our early adopters!

We’ll keep your email safe and you can opt-out any time.