Pedal Balance

When I started ‘training’ my Garmin Vector 3’s indicated a reasonable balance 50/50-52/48 L/R. Nearly 2 years later and things have got ‘bad’ - 58/42 being typical (unless I am at low power - ie Z1/2 where the L/R balance is much closer). Obviously my left leg (dominant leg) is building strength quicker than my right leg.
Is this bad and what can I do about it?

My l/r balance went wonky for a while. Turned out that my saddle wasn’t quite straight. Sorted that, sorted the wonkiness. Probably not that but just adding it to the list of suggestions you may get.

Saddle is straight. Height and fore/aft - well - based on comfort - never had a bike fit. I am a casual rider who’s goal is simply to achieve an FTP that will allow me to get up one of my countries hardest climbs without having to walk.

Hey dhi67540,

Incorporating some strength training alongside your cycling can really help with solving leg/muscle imbalances as you can do specific single legged work. Also, including a bit of running can be useful too as you only ever use one leg at a time. In cycling, due to the fact that you can end up in a scenario where the lazy leg is almost pushed around by the dominant leg, it is important to work each leg independently via S&C or other exercise methods. Best done in the ‘off-season’ or winter training when you don’t have target events.

Cheers,

Andy

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That’s right.
During last winter, thanks to the pandemic, my focus was on the own awareness.
I did a lot of monopodial squat (both right and left). I needed to spend a lot of time before mastering the tecnique and gaining enough strenght without the help of an easel. So I suggest to start gradually.
Also did Sufferlandria’s strenght program and once every two weeks “Cadence Build Hold Single Leg Drills” (no video workout).

In early spring, I was already near 50/50 from a much worse 40/60.

Only with low power efforts (such as warm up or recovery spin) the issue cames back but I think is a non problem.

P.S. if you didn’t, watch a couple of “Elements of Style” video :wink:

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Yep, typically lower powers exacerbate imbalances because you can “prefer” a leg, or you’re often coasting and starting, where you tend to do the first push with your stronger leg.
I find my imbalance on rides out with my kids can be fairly high (54/46 for me is quite high), but during hard efforts I tend to always be very close to 50/50.

I’m not an expert at all, so take this with a huge pinch of salt, but based upon the above (that it is typical for imbalances to be greater during lower power intervals and more aligned during high power outputs (this is “established” not just my theory)) then it is possible, by your experience, that the problem is physiological or bike fit based, that you actually don’t have much of a natural imbalance, but are “protecting” one leg.
Have you any historic leg injuries?
It could be well worth getting a bike fit, seeing a physio or at absolute minimum we could assist with a proxy bike-fit by this forum (you can make educated guesses based on specific photos).
It sounds like either your position is preventing one of your legs from functioning as strongly as the other, or your body is impeding one of your legs to look after itself.

This. Juniors coach used to make us do single-leg drills on rollers all the time. There’s a good single-leg intro video on SUFF (The Cure?), but longer durations are beneficial. Just be safe!