The future of cycling is here LPP

Ok I actually managed to read through all of this.

I now see that you are really serious about this and that you believe that you’ve got something big. However, you’ve gotta realize that by opening up to McGill Cycling you’ve opened yourself up to people who do are cursed doing professional science.

My only comment is that you should release all your data that you currently have (I realize you want some funds to do real research, but you also mentioned that you’ve done some preliminary analyses) so that the cycling community can assess your results independently. Data speaks louder than words.

If it turns out that your data are interesting enough and results in a real performance increase then we’d have something to talk about


Thanks for the offering and I will be more than happy to provide detail and data above and beyond what has been discussed to McGuill Cycling. Of course I would like to do it internally so that the information is protected. Your team’s curse is also a blessing because it lends more credibility to the subject matter. I’m also very technical and very picky about doing things right so we are vibrating in the same frequency!

We are also blessed that we are going to be able to start generating pro level performance data using the technology. That is very exciting indeed because we will be able to derive performance statistics related to the highest competitive realm. Please contact me on behalf of the team at so that we can make arrangements.

Once all is said, done and verified, I would not mind ultimately standing 100% behind your team and helping your guys achieve greater performance goals with it! I can tell you this much, I talked today to the US Mountain Biking pro that started using it and he told me he loved it! He used it across an 80 mile training track yesterday and felt it to be solid. I have a feeling that McGuill Cycling will ultimately be very impressed too! Thanks so much and take care!…Joe


No apology required my friend! I was expecting the reaction to LPP to be pretty drastic. It is hard to believe that in this day and age of incredible advances, there could have been yet another way in which pedaling could have been improved.

As it happens with technology innovations, I had the luck and the blessing to stumble into this one and the presence of mind to pay attention to it. I don’t think I will ever forget the precise moment in time and place when I decided to purposely lift those pedals instead of pushing down on them and the sensation of pedaling smoothness and easily sustained propulsive power that all of the sudden I got from it!

Luck came from the fact that I was at the right gear ratio, the right grade and had the right momentum on the bike to feel that pedaling motion change that I had never felt before. From that moment on, my engineering side took over. I had to figure out what the heck happened and them after months of playing with it, accept the fact that it was different from everything else out there. Trust me when I tell you that I was the absolute toughest adversary of the technique. I did everything I could to disprove what was happening and all that I got back was reassurance. That is what it took to get to this point but I’m very, very happy to be here today talking to you and your teammates about it!

I do have one big favor to ask….Please thank MikeB on my behalf for having had the courage to bring LPP up to the team and give me the benefit of the doubt. It was his openness of mind that motivated me to establish serious communications with McGill Cycling. Of course, my thanks also go to Dennis for grilling the heck out of me! His questions have been incisive, very well thought and consistently hitting the key point, including putting the link to the youtube video on the way pros pedal! That one was priceless!!!

I will tell you everything I know about LPP and even though I would have loved to have reams of power data about it (darn!), I do have some pretty neat Garmin stuff with other key variables that will be helpful. I will do the very best I can to make you guys experts on it so that you can also test it. I cannot begin to talk about all the science I wanted to put behind it with the Kickstarter funding but if that doesn’t happen, between us we can figure out ways to provide the science and better yet, the proven performance it will yield with the means at our disposal.

Cheers and looking forward to your email…Joe

Time to add my two cents…

So, I am incredibly skeptical about LPP as a cycling technique. You’re making extraordinary claims about cycling improvements, which in my mind requires extraordinary evidence, not just anecdotes and testimonals. The fact that you’re looking for money also triggers my BS alarm.

After a quick literature search I found a paper by Korff et al ( which looked at different pedalling techniques and their corresponding force effectiveness and gross efficiency. If you haven’t read it, I suggest you do, but to summarize, pulling on the upstroke does indeed improve force effectiveness (the percentage of applying force perpendicular to the crank out of total force), but was shown to be the LEAST efficient technique. Their results and conclusions are open for criticism and discussion, but this doesn’t make a convincing case for your hypothesis.


With all due respect, and I’m not an engineering light-weight either, there is one instance where pushing down to generate watts is much more effective than pulling up and that is on the standing sprint to the finish line. There, and for a short period of time because it takes a world of effort for sprinters to get to that finish line, there is no other way but to push on those pedals.

However, once you are on the road on a variety of terrain under normal conditions, pushing down the way 80% of cyclists out there do it is indeed very, very, very inefficient. Somehow the data of all these technical papers escaped them. I have discussed the reasons related to why this is the case and why the money is important to add more science and properly disseminate the technique so going over that one more time is not going to make a difference to this discussion. The question in my mind is at what level of expertise is the Lift Propulsive Pedaling technology a wash? Can it help cyclists at the highest levels of the competitive scale? I think that indeed it can. Time and data shall tell.

So in summary, I’m absolutely convinced that this technique will better serve the large population of cyclists out there that are not even close to pedaling with the required measure of efficiency to be effective in their rides. The jury is still out as to whether or not it will make a big difference at the top levels. And if at the end of the day it does, I will be even happier. I can tell you something though! I’m not interested one bit in pushing down on pedals ever again in my rides and neither are many of the cyclists that don’t do it any longer, including some pretty advanced ones too. Cheers and thanks for your insight!…Joe

the ring came off my pudding can

Mmmmmm……An interesting study indeed. Seven years old which is not current but let’s take from here at face value:

  1. How much time was devoted to deprogram the subjects in such a manner that their pulling technique was pure and therefore, instinctive and highly effective? None……That leads to suspect data…. All the subjects have racing experience and the pedaling technique of the time is fully ingrained in them. All of a sudden they are asked to do for 6 minutes something that is totally foreign to them and that data is used to pass judgement over the effectiveness of a pedaling stroke? The study does not provide enough adaptation time and furthermore the researchers have the presence of mind to admit it! This quote comes straight out of the study to support this assertion:

“Before concluding that the instructions regarding the pedaling technique are counter productive or irrelevant, two factors should be considered. First, multiple physiological systems are likely to adapt in response to training with a specific pedaling technique. Our data supports this speculation by demonstrating that in all participants, the preferred pedaling style was accompanied by the greatest gross efficiency (although not significantly different from circling or pushing). A LIMITATION of the study, however, is that IT DOES NOT RULE OUT the possibility that THERE MAY BE A MORE EFFICIENT PEDALING STYLE if participants are given enough time to adapt to it. Longitudinal studies are needed to explore this possibility….”

  1. Was everything done in the pedaling mechanism to promote enhanced inertial mass on the downstroke? Most definitively not! All the subjects used the same ergometer with a fixed set up, which based on logic, must have been designed to accommodate the optimal cycling set up of 2007…….That further skews the results because in order for lifting to be highly effective, it requires a complementary inertial mass. The seat position has to change to enhance that or lifting action effectiveness will be seriously negated.

  2. Were the shoes utilized in the study conductive to the best possible power transfer during the upstroke’s lifting action? Most probably not because of the prevailing shoe technology of the time, which was primarily velcro straps, would not support optimal lifting power transfer. Velcro is good for keeping the shoe in snug and stable during the downstroke, yet not optimal for lifting during the upstroke because the top of the shoe will “give” as the force is applied. The best shoes for lifting are those that have BOA type mechanisms or ratchet adjustable solid straps. in addition, in LPP the best position of the cleat is all the way to the back of the cleat adjustment slots in order to also promote the best possible power transfer.

  3. Were a variety of conditions used in the study to establish overall performance effectiveness as opposed to a ‘single event’ performance result? Definitively not! Steady state cycling (a fixed bike) at 90 rpm does not provide enough variability to pass judgement over pedaling technique performance. I quote from the same paragraph within the study:

“Second, we examined the effect of pedaling technique on mechanical effectiveness and gross efficiency during steady state cycling. Although our results suggest that actively pulling the pedals reduces gross efficiency during steady-state cycling, there may be situations during which AN ACTIVE PULL is beneficial in terms of adding power to the crank (e.g., during maximal power sprinting).”

With this study I further strengthen my belief in Lift Propulsive Pedaling. In this 2007 study, based on limiting condition and with very little consideration to an optimal system of forces that could really prove or disprove its effectiveness, lifting only as a pedaling method was put in substantial doubt, although with the appropriate caveats. It is reassuring to know that I was not the first one to think about it. However, by a strike of fate, it seems that I’m the one that has brought it back to life and continues to take the time to prove its ultimate performance effectiveness as a pedaling technique. I CAN LIVE WITH THAT!

And I do not have time to go to Tahiti, DavidF…Even after two and a half years of critically looking at LPP, there is still a lot of work to be done to truly understand the ultimate effectiveness of this technique.

I do love the mental chess matches that keep popping up here and there! Never a dull moment…Cheers guys!

In closing from my side,

In what relates to the study, it is very hard to judge the effectiveness of a jab in boxing if you ask 2 out of 8 boxers that are totally used to throwing upper cuts to spend 6 minutes throwing jabs without changing their foot positions. In order for the data to be effective, boxers throwing jabs should be compared against boxers throwing upper cuts and all the conditions that aid each boxer to perform its technique should be present and optimal. That is why the study is too narrow to be effective.

In essence and per the article, Lift Propulsive Pedaling has essentially become the longitudinal study needed to explore the possibility that there may indeed be a more efficient way of pedaling than constantly pushing down on those pedals.

At the end of the day, if you look at the statistics of Google searches on how to pedal efficiently, no matter how you phrase it, you will see that there is very little or no interest from people to find out how to do it. The bottom line is that people by and large take pedaling for granted. They think that all they have to do is jump on a bike, with or without cleats, pedal and things will magically fall in place. So they spend their time and money on bikes and gear and very little or no time on how to use it right. Sad but very true. I hope that one day that attitude will change.

Thanks for having kept alive for so long this Lift Propulsive Pedaling mechanics discussion, be safe, please take care and hopefully I will see you on the road one day!

Joseph Vilella
San Diego, CA


A summary of this thread for future visitors:

1 Like

I hate being on the road and missing stuff like this.

I’m fucking dying here looking at David’s posts.

This topic has actually been studied fairly extensively (in a genuinely scientific context) and the most frequently reported result is that the best power output and efficiency is achieved when power output versus radial position is evened out to the best of the cyclists ability and taking into account the fact that a human’s quads (even a career cyclist’s) are generally stronger than any other muscle in the leg and will be able to output more power.

The entire leg, and the quad that drives it is designed to put out significant force/power for all sorts of tasks, the muscles that lift the legs are designed mostly for stroke completion.

This is why walking around in marginal terrain (deep snow, mud, marsh, etc) is so fatiguing, because even for people with high fitness, the extra work in having to lift the leg for no gain is exhausting. And that’s one of the beautiful things about cranks, they allow that leg lift, which is entirely wasted work while striding, to be turned to useful power output.

This is basic biomechanical fact.

Obviously if you just mash on the downstroke and coast through the aft 180 deg of the stroke you’re going to be inefficient and burn out your quads, but I don’t know any performance minded cyclist that doesn’t work on evening out their stroke and extracting power from the aft 180 deg of the stroke. Mostly because being a pedal masher sucks on serious rides.

None of this is a great mystery to any cyclist. The problems are that has the cadence increases, power demands increase and fatigue sets it, maintaining an even pedal stroke is hard.

In all the thousands of words I’ve seen typed, there hasn’t been a single data point. No one is going to take a bunch of mumbo jumbo seriously, people respect data. Power meters aren’t that expensive, go get one.

No, no, Jason… It looks like power meters cost $80,000 these days

I can put a power meter on the moon for you for $80,000.

Figures when I don’t look at this forum for a while, this sort of thing comes up. Dennis mentioned this to me during a ride last week and I just had to check this out. I’ve read through the entire and it didn’t disappoint. Mostly because of the B.S. : evidence ratio that doesn’t prove one damn thing. But also because David’s posts are pure genius, and hit the nail on the head. If this is not a scam, then it is purely idiotic. From a scientific point it actually will help out this developing field when it actually does obtain some scientific data because sometimes it is worth while to seeing how bad something really is. In this case, the idea that only pulling will increase pedalling efficiency. Considering the fact that to you, peddling efficiency simply means going a little bit faster on your bike without looking at power data. If I may ask, what kind of device do you use to measure peddling efficiency if not a power meter?

I would like to know what kind of staff they have working on this LPP because it is very clear to me that you guys don’t really have the proper credentials to be working on such a project nor do you have any idea what you’re doing. Do you have anyone that actually knows a thing or two about physiology/exercise physiology/biomechanics? The pedal stroke has been extensively researched in the past 30 years and I find it hard to believe that you’ve been convoked that all that research must be wrong because you’ve been fooled into believe that this miraculous new technology will revolutionize the way we ride bicycles.

I can actually go into a lot of detail about the biomechanics and physiology behind what Jason has previously said but it is clear that I would only be wasting my time as you would not understand any of it.

Biomechanics aside, I would like to raise an interesting point about the technology itself. Exactly how does this device only take in the power you put in on the upstroke and completely negate any power input from the downstroke other than from the inertial movement of your leg combined with gravity to assist the opposite lifting leg (McGill engineers: feel free to let me know how you think this is possible because your ideas are probably closer to the mark than LPP is). The only thing close to that, that I can think of, would be to buy Ossymetric or Q-rings and instal them in the opposite position.

What the whole LPP system sounds like, to me anyways, is simply teaching cyclist how to use the hamstrings, hip flexors, and tibialis anterior (funny how the use of the muscles he’s promoting has never been mentioned once so far) in accordance with the glutes, quads and calves. Not without them. I seriously doubt that anyone of those so called ‘‘testimonials’’ use the upstroke exclusively and completely negate the use of their quads. These 30% gains in efficiency you’re boasting on about are possible when you go from using flat pedals to clip-less shoes and adopt the idea that the hamstrings and hip flexors will assist in your pedal stroke, however, their contribution is very minimal in terms of where the real power output from your legs comes from. I feel like you may be deluding yourself into believing that all these gains your going on about from this system are exclusively because of this system, when in fact these gains are because everyone using this system is not using as you would like. They’re probably just using their common sense and figured out pretty quickly that exclusively using your weakest leg muscles was a pretty dumb idea and found out that using them a little bit to help out your stronger ones was better.

In short, LPP is not responsible for efficiency gains. Proper pedalling technique that has been well established with clip-less shoe technology is.

Since neither Pete nor David said it yet:

This is about someone pulling your leg

i figured it was but i wanted to see if josef would respond

he managed to get $403 so far

[quote=Ikthir]Since neither Pete nor David said it yet:

This is about someone pulling your leg[/quote]

I’m so glad there’s somebody on here who’s doing something other than beating a dead horse.
Bravo, Ikthir, well done!

I’m going to tap back in here because poor old LPP Joseph doesn’t seem to be around To defend Himself anymore. LPP causes real speed gains in recreational cyclists. This can not be disputed cuz there are The testimonials to prove it. Faster obviously means more efficiency, and where did efficiency increases come from? The pedal strokes. I’m still a bit skeptical about the 30% number, but the bell curve argument described above is flawless, I think… Science at its best! No wait, statistics? Now I’m confused again. I need another long winded reply from Joseph to put my mind at ease.