Tips for smoothly pedaling in circles

Most of us are probably familiar with the tip to pull back at the bottom of the pedal stroke like you’re trying to scrape mud off your shoe. It’s a well known tip that originated with Greg LeMond’s training classes.

But there is a second part of the tip that isn’t as well known. Push your knee toward the handlebar during the upstroke instead of trying to lift with your heel.

That tip came from “29 Pro Cycling Secrets for Roadies” at There’s more detail in their free eBook along with 28 additional tips.

I’ve been trying that tip on the bike, Coker, and muni. When I think about the knees my pedaling gets smoother. My feet already instinctively know what to do from years of unicycling. But the rest of my legs tend to get bouncy at higher RPMs. Forgetting about the feet and the rest of the legs and instead just thinking about the tip about the knees has smoothed out the pedaling.

It’s better practice with longer cranks. With short cranks the knees don’t move forward and back much so there is not as much to work on. But the bike and the muni have 170 cranks and that’s when I notice the effect most.

On the unicycle I try to think about the knees moving along a diagonal going up and forward rather than pumping straight up and down.

I still get bouncy at higher RPMs but it is gradually getting better.