Left :: Right Power Imbalance

—Favero bePRO Power Meter Pedals - WattBike

—Favero bePRO Power Meter Pedals – WattBike

I’ve liked the various iterations of the Garmin Vector power pedals over the last couple of years. The extra 2-legged metrics are interesting but probably were out of most people’s budgets. 2015 has seen Powertap’s P1 equivalents and Favero’s even cheaper bePro pedals.

Since the Vectors in early 2014 I’ve been dual-sided power free for quite a while but recently have had quite extensive use of the dual-sided version of the bePro.

Anyway, back to the title. In 2014 I had pretty much even 50:50 balance. Now I’m at something like 47:53. which is not great. Some of you will say that asymmetry is natural in some of us. I would agree but would also point out that I was symmetrical last year and I’ve satisfied myself that the bePros are reporting my asymmetry correctly.

What’s gone wrong?

Well I’ve had an injury on my left hip. Yet it is my left leg that reports greater strength.

So just push harder on my right hand side, right?

Or maybe I can’t so I need to build up some more muscle there?

I don’t think it’s either of those for a variety of reasons. Those solutions rely on the problem being in the P+ part of the pedal stroke, below.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/cyclinganalytics/static/torque-effectiveness-pedal-smoothness.png

I’m getting quite good torque effectiveness (TE) figures. IE the green bit from the above chart is a high percentage IE I’m not pushing against the stroke too much (the orange bit).

Yet the BALANCE of my torque effectiveness (TE) is out by a fair bit. If I do one-leg pedalling then, at a given wattage, my left side is more effective. Possibly/probably this is enough to amount to the cause of my problem.

Seems like my left TE is higher than my right TE.

So I reckon I’m not de-weighting on the right side (or pulling up sufficiently on the right side, if you like). Indeed by focussing on just that, today, I got a notable improvement.

I think what had happened was that I was doing quite a bit of injury-related rolling/weights work on my left side and that helped strength my left hip flexors making them better at ‘pulling up’.

Anyway the POINT of the article was just to say that you don’t have to necessarily assume that an imbalance is unnatural. Even if you want to correct any imbalance, the answer MAY NOT be to PUSH HARDER on one side or the other. The answer could also be to pull harder on one side or even be smoother on one side.

Though please note biomechanics are complex and I think I’ve probably simplified the real problem that I have.

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