L/R Balance.. Does it matter, and should I care?

Hey all TRers… Curious if anyone has thoughts on L/R Balance. My rides vary from 49/51 down to 46/54… where my right leg is 2-8% “stronger” – or at least doing more work. This has been consistent across powermeters (e.g. stages, P1 pedals).

A few questions:

(-) is 50/50 realistic? Is it even optimal?
(-) Does it matter if one leg is putting our more power?
(-) Is there an “ideal” range

In extreme cases, I’ve seen 42/58… but generally in that 47/53 range.

cheers, y’all!


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They have talked about this on the podcast a few times. About the only time you need to focus on L/R balance is if you are recovering from a significant injury to one leg or the other. Then you can use it as a gauge for your recovery on the injured leg. Almost all of us are going to have a dominant leg and by the numbers you gave I would say you fall into the normal range. The 42/58 might be a little concerning but if it’s extreme cases I don’t know that I would worry about it too much.


This is from my last ride 51.43 miles, time on bike 2:52:24

My L/R Balance 50%L / 50%R
L/R Torque Effectiveness 72%L / 68%R
L/R Smoothness is 20%L / 20%R

Each ride is different for me but not by much % wise. I’m actually quite surprised that my balance is not off most rides. I have had three surgeries on my left knee in the past 10 years. Most recent being 2017.

Doing the drill on some of the TR workouts seems like a good way to go to get that balance in check.

2-3% off probably isn’t an issue. A persistent difference greater than that can signal some kind of biomechanical, musckuloskeletal, or metabolic imbalance.

If the L/R balance improves toward 50/50 at higher intensities, it may be less of an issue. If it gets worse at higher intensities, it may be more of an issue.

TR pedaling drills are a simple exercise that may help a biomechanical imbalance, and can’t hurt if it’s not.

A Physio or experienced bike fitter can look at your biomechanics on the bike at low & high intensity. A Physio can also look at MSK/strength imbalances. Those are the low-hanging fruit.

Detecting a metabolic imbalance or blood flow limitation is more complicated, but far less likely to be the cause. Start with addressing the low hanging fruit.

disclaimer: not giving medical advice or coaching advice, but I have a blood flow limitation and I’ve done a few experiments with L/R imbalances.

I haven’t watched the podcast being referred to, but I’ll give you my experience and 2cents on the topic:

Recovering from injury (broken left hip and then 6 months later right hip), the L/R balance was quite valuable measure of progress (in addition to monitoring how much power I could deliver to the pedals before soreness).

My range today is 51/49 to 49/51, but seldom wider. The last 4 hard rides were: 50.1/49.9, 49.3/50.7, 49.4/50.6, and 50.2/49.8 (data from Training Peaks).

However, it wasn’t always this way. Three years ago, variations as wide as 47/53 occurred and 48/52 was common (I am right side dominant. What changed was strength training (in addition to more structured training). I am particularly convinced that leg exercises including single leg weighted calf raises, weighted step ups, and weighted lunges have been extremely helpful to creating both stronger and equal strength balance in both legs. While it is hard to isolate any single aspect of training to results, at age 61 I have crushed every PR of every length beyond Pmax that I set over the prior 15 years.

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