I have recently noticed that I appear to have quite a big imbalance between my right and left leg. I noticed this doing a number of rides (Getting Away with It, Elements of Style, GOAT). When using only the right leg, the effort felt > 25%-40% more then with just the left leg. Moreover, when doing a ride indoors (erg mode), I observed that my power numbers from my left crank (4iiii, I don’t have one on the right) were consistently higher than seen from my Kicker. When I think of pedalling more with my right, then I can get the 2 power meters (left crank and Kickr) to line up. Finally, when I ride a bike without pedal clips, considerably more effort is required especially from right leg as compared to when I am clipped in. Is my analysis from left crank power meter and Kickr correct?
Background: I had a bike accident 1.5 years ago – broke femur, 9 ribs, shoulder, hand, collapsed lung, all on my right side. I spent weeks in hospital, and then rehab in a clinic and then physio and yoga to this day. 2022 was my first year back on the bike and it went quite well – dealing with the psychological strain has in some ways been the hardest. While riding outside this summer, I never noticed that my right leg was lacking strength! So easy to deceive oneself.
Going forward, I am keen on using the off-season to address this r/l imbalance and would like your suggestions. A limitation that I have is that I am unable to put pressure on my right heel (so squats with weights are out) due to nerve damage there (biking is ok, pressure on toes, forefoot, all ok). Also, how do I know if I have addressed or improved on the imbalance? Is a dual side power meter a necessity? Thanks.
I could suggest some obvious stuff, but considering the degree of your injuries, probably best to see a physical therapist to ensure you’re doing the right things to improve and avoiding doing things that might exacerbate anything.
I agree. Anything more than a 60/40 balance needs to be attended to by a professional.
@M_Tomaszewski, I concur with the suggestion to see a physiotherapist. At a minimum, they will help educate you on the various ways to address your condition. That way, you’ll be mentally prepared and flexible as your condition evolves. Healing usually happens in layers. As the obvious conditions resolve, underlying ones come to light. Prepare for a process, not a fix.
I have a very slight imbalance, with my left side slightly weaker than my right. My power profile is pretty consistent at 49% 51%. From a bike fit standpoint, this is totally acceptable and normal. However, I have a nagging issue of saddle rub on the left, which has caused me to try MANY different saddles in an effort to remove it.
Last month, I started doing the SYSTM yoga series for runners, which involves slower and longer poses. Whilst in a prolonged hip stretch, I could feel some very deep adhesions around my left hip joint loosen up. As I continue to do more sessions, the mobility in my left hip has notably improved and opened up. Concurrently, my saddle rub has decreased as my pelvic bones sit more evenly on my saddle.
Traumatic injury always stores “memories” and new patterns in the tissues that later must be resolved in order for deep healing to occur. I encourage you to build your long-term self-care strategy around gentle hip focused yoga poses. Doing so will yield tremendous benefits in your whole body, mind and spirit.
Thank you for your feedback. I will reach out for some guidance.