Equal and opposite…


Long, long ago I discovered that if the handlebar is relatively close to the saddle, I can better use it to pull against the pedals when steaming up a slope.

This was no experiment; I simply happened to have borrowed a too-small-for-me 24″-wheeled roadster with north-road handlebars which curve back towards the saddle; I suddenly realised I was relatively easily riding up a hill that had defeated me, until then. This realisation lodged in my brain. Several years later I read advice on hill-climbing in a re-print Victorian cycling-advice pamphlet; it recommended a technique called ‘driving through the hips’, which resonated with me; it appeared to support the phenomenon I’d recognised, but seems now to be largely forgotten.

Let’s say you wanted to kick-in a door, not that you should make a habit of such things but; if you did and wanted hand-holds to pull against and give your leg more power, would you reach above your head, or look for something either side of the door, around hip level? I could refer to a situation where a gentleman may grasp something at hip level to enhance his thrust, but it would imply that this situation doesn’t apply equally to women.

What we’re talking about here is that well-known law of physics: “Each and every action has an equal and opposite reaction*.”

The action in this instance is pushing down on your pedal with your leg.

The reaction is your body being pushed in the opposite direction.

With the conventional riding posture there is little to resist that reaction, unless you stand on the pedals. This technique certainly increases thrust, but at the cost of an undesirable forward weight bias, which reduces rear wheel traction and hampers your ability to control your centre of gravity, which is largely done by gripping the saddle with your inner thighs.

The Landseer’s design places your upper body weight in alignment with that reaction, producing the maximum possible resistance to it. Thus you are able to put considerably more power into the down-stroke on your pedal, without compromising traction or control.

Posted by drystonepaul

There was a brief test of technical climbing ability on a steep and loose section of path. I failed twice, but Geoff Apps proved that the Cleland position is perfect for the job. A perfect demonstration of the design, before he reclined in the heather and watched the rest of us fail.

Click here to read the next page.

Click here to go to the beginning of the whole story.

  • This is Newton’s Third Law of Motion, one of the fundamental and immutable laws of physics that govern our everyday lives and applies to nearly everything we do.  I’ve just spent the past few minutes trying to think of something on which it has no effect, and can’t; for example, even sleeping on a mattress relies on it to get the springing just right.
  • However, be warned: if you actually believe in it, you are a kitten-hating, swivel-eyed, terrorist-loving conspiracy theorist.
  • The logic is this; according to the official report, WTCs 1, 2 & 7 each collapsed through their own (largely undamaged) structures in less than ten seconds – near free-fall acceleration through the path of greatest resistance – without a cause other than fire, which has not happened before nor since that day in 2001. And, what about those relatively delicate aluminium aeroplanes penetrating one of the strongest steel structures ever built, leaving plane-shaped holes?
  • Both of these examples indicate an ‘action’ without a corresponding ‘reaction’ and confounding this law of physics. Thus you cannot believe in it AND, at the same time, accept the official account of what happened on September 11th 2001.



About gmacleland

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4 Responses to Equal and opposite…

  1. Pingback: Stability… | Cleland > L A N D S E E R

  2. stuart crawford says:

    Not nearly as effective as having a quick release on the handlebar stem which could be adjusted on the move – down for uphill, allowing you to ‘pull’ and up for downhill – how simple and effective is that – just need to think ‘out of the box’

  3. Pingback: Using your C of G… | Cleland > L A N D S E E R

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