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Gummee! 04-23-2012 06:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Askel (Post 18522154)
Supposedly, 80-90RPM is ideal.


But that makes my legs feel like they're gonna fall off.

60-70 is about where I usually end up. Sometimes I mash up big hills at an even lower RPM because it's faster for me.

The official explanation for spinning is that it works your aerobic system more than it does your muscular system. The 90-110rpm recommendation seems to be a good one, keep your feet spinning the same speed and go faster or slower by changing gears.

50-60rpm on the steeper hills (but LA would argue with you on that one. He won 7 races in France so he may know more'n me...) seems to be OK.

To our Finnish friend: You have 3 chainrings for a reason. Steep uphill? Granny ring. Normal riding? If you go past the middle of the cassette in the back (going to physically smaller gears) shift back a couple of cogs bigger and get into the big ring. Keep spinning 90-110rpm. Downhill? Big ring.

A mtn bike or touring bike isn't going to be as fast as a dedicated road bike. :nah Different horses for different courses. :nod

Some folks are spinners, some are mashers. They'll both get you down the road about equally as well if you're not racing.

M

FinlandThumper 04-23-2012 10:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aurelius (Post 18522392)
When I started riding back in October, the magic figure everyone told me was to maintain a cadence between 80 and 100 rpm. It wasn't until I got a bicycle computer that I realized I'd been loping along at roughly 50-60 rpm. I experimented with various pedaling speeds over the intervening months and came to the realization that 90 rpm seems to give me the best combination of power and endurance. I've seen other experienced (and fast!) riders on the trails pedaling much slower than that, so obviously there isn't a one size fits all cadence. You'll have to determine for yourself what your ideal cadence is, and it's even possible that this figure will change as your fitness improves. In my case, I went from being able to maintain only 12 mph to 22 mph, and I more than doubled my top speed from 15 mph to 35 mph, all in the space of a few months.

Thanks to all for this advice. Contrary to my earlier thinking, perhaps I need to try and increase my cadence a bit, the speeds quoted here sound encouraging too!

YakSpout 04-23-2012 11:21 AM

City of Angels Fun Ride yesterday http://www.coafunride.com/

I've done this organized ride 5 times now. It's a great start with the LAPD running a rolling road closure and the advanced group running about 23mph through the streets of LA while blowing through traffic lights, etc. For some reason, though, the police escorts always seem to blow it near the end as we start the climbing. They'll split the group in half and force the 'slower' riders to peel off and wait while the 'faster' half climbs a steeper hill. Then they'll bring the groups back together and start up again. In any case, it's still a neat way to pedal around the city.

<iframe height='405' width='590' frameborder='0' allowtransparency='true' scrolling='no' src='http://app.strava.com/runs/7184935/embed/fa0d3047f78bce50017e4275c2fcc739fac58892'></iframe>

Aurelius 04-23-2012 11:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FinlandThumper (Post 18524558)
Thanks to all for this advice. Contrary to my earlier thinking, perhaps I need to try and increase my cadence a bit, the speeds quoted here sound encouraging too!

Get yourself a bicycle computer and do some experiments. In my case, I would exert myself just short of the point where I started to experience lactic acid buildup and and/or ran short of oxygen, and see if I could maintain that pace for at least half an hour. If you pedal at a slow cadence while trying to keep your speed high, your muscles will tire before you run out of oxygen. Conversely, if you pedal very fast while keeping your speed high, you'll run out of oxygen before your leg muscles tire. The trick is to find the right combination. Below is a video I made while doing a top speed run. When I topped out at 35mph, I was pedaling at 130 rpm, and couldn't move my legs any faster than that. I tried another run the following week starting one gear lower, thinking that by doing this, I might be able to exceed 35mph before hitting the 130 rpm cadence barrier. It sounded plausible in theory, but it didn't work. In the second experiment, my muscles tired out before I got past 28 mph, and I had no strength left to push harder on the pedals.

<object style="height: 390px; width: 640px"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/dOEcN7z9z9k?version=3&feature=player_detailpage">< param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/dOEcN7z9z9k?version=3&feature=player_detailpage" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" width="640" height="360"></object>

Scurley 04-23-2012 03:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by YakSpout (Post 18524743)
City of Angels Fun Ride yesterday

Dude, that's freakin' awesome! I run just about every red light I come across, anyway, but slow down or stop until it's safe, of course. To be able to just blow through them all for nearly 50 miles through the streets of LA must be a blast!

There's a decent chance I'm going to be living in Irvine or Costa Mesa or somewhere thereabouts this time next year. Even if I'm not, I'm sure as hell going to try and make it there for the 2013 fun ride!

YakSpout 04-23-2012 03:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scurley (Post 18526539)
Dude, that's freakin' awesome! I run just about every red light I come across, anyway, but slow down or stop until it's safe, of course. To be able to just blow through them all for nearly 50 miles through the streets of LA must be a blast!

There's a decent chance I'm going to be living in Irvine or Costa Mesa or somewhere thereabouts this time next year. Even if I'm not, I'm sure as hell going to try and make it there for the 2013 fun ride!

It really is amazing to just pedal along with 200-300 of your closest friends on a street closed to motor vehicles. :D

Check the red light running at the Irvine City Limits. I lived there for a couple of years and the IPD doesn't have a lot to do other than break up parties and harass motorists/cyclists. :evil Besides, there are plenty of bike paths in that area.

ducnut 04-23-2012 05:31 PM

A few weeks ago, I started wearing ear plugs, while riding. Like on a motorcycle, I'll never ride without them again. They make rides so much more peaceful and enjoyable. I use a helmet-mounted mirror, but, can still easily hear cars coming from behind. I picked up this tip from cyclo-tourists.

I ordered the 42mm Conti Country Plus tires, discussed a few days ago.

I've been averaging over 50 miles, every other day and riding at night 2 or 3 of those nights (7:30pm depart).

My buddy ordered one of these for his first road bike. If he enjoys the road, he's looking at a Lynskey Procross, in the fall and has already called them for suggestions. He's an excellent MTB partner and should be the same on the road. Our first road ride, at night, he on an old GT MTB, resulted in a ~15mph avg over 34 miles. Gung Ho! :lol3

markjenn 04-23-2012 07:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Askel (Post 18522146)
Well, any suitably hard surface can chew up a good CX tire in a couple hundred miles. Even hard pack dirt or gravel. I've yet to find one that gives any serious traction improvements over a regular touring tire that lasts to any degree.

This sounds awfully pessimistic. I've got 3.5K miles on my Maxxis Raze CX tires (95% pavement) and they easily have a couple thousand miles left.

- Mark

Askel 04-24-2012 03:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by markjenn (Post 18528553)
This sounds awfully pessimistic. I've got 3.5K miles on my Maxxis Raze CX tires (95% pavement) and they easily have a couple thousand miles left.

- Mark

:eek2

I can't get that kind of mileage out of *touring* tires. I'll burn up a rear Maxxis Locust every fall. Mostly CX racing, but there the occasional commute along with a few late season gravel rides. Maybe ~1000 miles.

ducnut 04-24-2012 07:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by markjenn (Post 18528553)
This sounds awfully pessimistic. I've got 3.5K miles on my Maxxis Raze CX tires (95% pavement) and they easily have a couple thousand miles left.

- Mark

I sure don't see how you're doing that. I don't have anywhere close to that mileage on a set of Conti Contact and they're almost smooth. Yes, I rotate position and direction.

FinlandThumper 04-24-2012 09:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aurelius (Post 18524893)
Get yourself a bicycle computer and do some experiments. In my case, I would exert myself just short of the point where I started to experience lactic acid buildup and and/or ran short of oxygen, and see if I could maintain that pace for at least half an hour. If you pedal at a slow cadence while trying to keep your speed high, your muscles will tire before you run out of oxygen. Conversely, if you pedal very fast while keeping your speed high, you'll run out of oxygen before your leg muscles tire. The trick is to find the right combination. Below is a video I made while doing a top speed run. When I topped out at 35mph, I was pedaling at 130 rpm, and couldn't move my legs any faster than that. I tried another run the following week starting one gear lower, thinking that by doing this, I might be able to exceed 35mph before hitting the 130 rpm cadence barrier. It sounded plausible in theory, but it didn't work. In the second experiment, my muscles tired out before I got past 28 mph, and I had no strength left to push harder on the pedals.

<object style="height: 390px; width: 640px"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/dOEcN7z9z9k?version=3&feature=player_detailpage">< param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/dOEcN7z9z9k?version=3&feature=player_detailpage" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" width="640" height="360"></object>

I remained in a lower gear today and upped cadence somewhat. It seemed that especially hills came easier and I didn't feel so burned out during the "big" climbs in the middle of the route (most of the 600 feet elevation gain I have in the commute is experienced in two, steep but short ascents less than a half mile apart, with a frustrating valley between). The hills were easier today! Over flat to moderate ground and no traffic lights I was able to average about 16mph.

Current best time for the 18km (11.5 or so miles) is 57 minutes. My first 200 miles will be done by Friday. I should be able to add an additional 120 miles per week through until winter. I have now set a goal of 2,500 miles by the end of the season. The gut is gonna go. :lol3 This will get easier and it feels better every day.

VxZeroKnots 04-24-2012 11:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scurley (Post 18513937)
Yesterday I had the opportunity of adding this Trek Jack 3 to my stable. Of course, I took it. It needs a little tuneup, but overall I've got to say it's in perfect condition. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what the heck to do with it.

I've been putting down somewhere around 150 miles a week for the last few months on the road bikes, and it's been great. It only takes 19-20 minutes to make the 6 miles into work and, of course, a little more than double that to make the 11.5 mile ride to school. Anyway, after the mountain bike was dropped off at my office yesterday, I thought it would be a good idea to test it out by riding it home. After about an hour and a half (only 1hr 10mins longer than the road bike) I finally got home and wondered why the hell I bought the damn thing. It's obviously really, really slow. We don't have mountains here, or anything larger than the manmade levee hills, so there's not much off-roading I can do unless I just ride on folks' lawns. Even if I shipped it home to CA, where there's mountain biking galore, the frame geometry doesn't seem to lend itself to longer rides, which is almost all I do.

Did I just buy an oversized BMX bike?

You sure did, a freeride hardtail technically.

Aurelius 04-24-2012 11:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FinlandThumper (Post 18532145)
I remained in a lower gear today and upped cadence somewhat. It seemed that especially hills came easier and I didn't feel so burned out during the "big" climbs in the middle of the route (most of the 600 feet elevation gain I have in the commute is experienced in two, steep but short ascents less than a half mile apart, with a frustrating valley between). The hills were easier today! Over flat to moderate ground and no traffic lights I was able to average about 16mph.

One odd thing I keep noticing even among experienced riders I encounter on the trails is a reluctance to downshift when climbing uphill. What typically happens then is that while we were riding at the same pace initially, they are unable to cope with the additional workload and slow almost to a crawl by the time they reach the top of the hill. Often by that point, they've found it necessary to stand on the pedals to produce the necessary force to keep moving, which only tires them out even faster. If they were to do this on a very long climb, they would either be forced to downshift, or they would come to a stop entirely.

Quote:

Current best time for the 18km (11.5 or so miles) is 57 minutes. My first 200 miles will be done by Friday. I should be able to add an additional 120 miles per week through until winter. I have now set a goal of 2,500 miles by the end of the season. The gut is gonna go. :lol3 This will get easier and it feels better every day.
I'll be curious to hear of your progress. For whatever reason, I've been unable to lose even an ounce of fat from bicycling. I've certainly gained a lot of muscle on my legs, and my performance has improved greatly, but my belt is just as tight around my waist today as it was when I began. :cry

k7 04-24-2012 02:31 PM

For anyone near Orange CA this weekend
 
We'll be staying at the Motel 6 on Chapman in Orange CA on Friday night starting a Saturday ride at 0500. Stop by on Friday and say hello if you're in the area.

You're welcome to ride with us on Saturday/Sunday. It'll be kind of a long ride though.... equivalent of the distance from say.... Alabaster AL to Columbia SC. :wink:

I just hope I can finish the damn ride. :lol3

yater 04-24-2012 02:37 PM

About downshifting....some guys have the legs to grind it and keep their heartrate down...especially small guys in great shape. I have pulled away from plenty who are spinning. It's even more fun to grab a taller gear at the top of the climb and pull away.


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