The foundations for successful riding
What I don't understand is the shift in gearing. I recall being taken to a track meet by my dad and they talked about the gearing and everyone was in the 80 something inch range, but if you go to an event nowadays, most are in the 90 something inch range. Has the focus changed from acceleration to top speed?
I don't know about the focus changing Mike, but the thing was when I was racing. When you turned Junior (16yr old) you generally started out on 88.7, until you gained the fitness and ability to maintain and push the bigger gears. By the time you reached 17yrs you would be on at least 90inch for the shorter races and 92.5 for the longer races.
Not having been in the game for, hmmm 28yrs I am guessing that the training methods have changed more towards being able to push bigger gears, at the expense of being able to spin a gear.
Being old school, I believe that if a rider can spin a big gear (as in wind up) quickly, as a posed to someone that needs more time, then he/she is by far a better sprinter.
My way of thinking is! You have sprinters, endurance and plodders in the sport of cycling and you need to, figure out what category you fall into, too be able to train correctly.
My reference to this example is. I raced against a bloke that was QLd sprint champ and discovered that if, I could hold him back to a short sprint, then I could stuff him right up. The reason being was, he road a 96inch gear and this was back in 1975/6.
This is my reasoning for being able to spin a big gear, before being able to push it!
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
Gary/Foo is spot-on.
He's a good summary...
via A Man From The Golden Age: Ron Baensch
Ron Baensch (a power rider) used 94/96 inches in the 1960's.
John Nicholson rode 94.5 inches for both his Pro World Titles. (1975/76)
Both were more power riders, John had a good windup, despite using that gear.
Can only think that track conditions have changed, being better/faster and indoors.
The gears you use depends on the race type.
And you must have trained and be familiar with that gear. FME.
Lone Rider- I rode on the long, dark road... before I danced under the lights.
so cadence is the rate per minute of crank shaft 'revolutions' right?
so if i could compare it to a car, 'cadence' is RPM? yes?
and 'gearing' is just like that in a car,
for 'fuel economy' you want to shift to a higher gear when in the 2000-3000 range (of course depends on the car, but for my car this is the range)
cadence is the crank/leg revolutions per minute.
i remember starting the thread a while ago and now it has taken on a life of its own.
the ongoing discussion ( i wont call it a debate ) is cadence speed v gearing.
high cadence 90+ (IMO) is harder in your cardio but easier on your legs and thus you can maintain it for longer
where as a lower cadence - grinding a higher gear will just destroy your legs.
it's all about finding that happy middle ground which is dependant on the individual
when do we stop for coffee???
makes sense.. thanks
Is there a good way to measure cadence without a computer?
is it simply just looking at a stopwatch and counting the revolutions?
Just installed a Strada Cadence after breaking my Delphi 3. I started using cadence computers in about 1990. Too hard to guess cadence in my opinion.
If you buy a few things from Ribble, $36.32 is low money for a reasonable cadence computer.
http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/sp/road-t ... 7000000000
ooo i think i'll get this.
thanks for the recommendation.
For a cycling newbie is cadence something I should monitor or be aware of ? From my recent rides it does seem to vary alot during the ride...
I have recently been Cycinlg around SOP 40km - 50km rides and on the M7 for slightly longer rides with a few little hills.........
The reason I ask is because im interested in buying a cycling computer bundle either the Garmin Edge 500 or 800. I have been using my Iphone but the problem is I have to stop every now and again for GPS direction or just to check how far I have gone etc ... So im going to go with a mounted computer instead.
While I'm still plodding through this huge thread I would like to throw a few points up for discussion.
There is an optimum speed of contraction to produce max POWER and should not be referred to in optimum cadence because it is for max power. You will also find that max power curve is over a wide range of shortening velocities this is due to inefficent cross bridge cycling. Also there is a lot of talk about fibre type. First there is not just 2 or 3 different fibre types fibre types are actually very misleading as its probably closer to a continuum rather then a few separate groups. Also the percentages of each 'group' while differs between people everyone still has plenty of each fibre. Also your body is a VERY smart machine. It will actually choose the most appropriate fibres for you. When sprinters are not sprinting they will NOT use there type 2X or 2A fibres unless they are pushing out really high power outputs but surprisingly they WILL use the same fibres as what the the climbers etc are using. Which is probably why they have SIMILAR cadences when they aren't pushing out their high powers. Climbers are better up hill because they have more fatigue resistance fibres so they can maintain a highish powers for a long time. Sprinters win sprints because they have more non-fatigue resistance fibres which can smash out the powers at high speed of contraction so they can push out the high candences while not loosing much power doing it. However they can only do this for <2min. On small sharp climbs they are fine. But on longer climbs they are not. These fibre percentages have no major impact on optimum cadence.
One thing I think may impact cadence and my real only explanation for high cadences is muscle pump. Muscle pump is when the muscles act somewhat like a heart with contraction and relaxation actually pumping blood around the body. Its effect can be clearly seen when comparing isometric contractions to isotonic contractions. Infact the heart has to work a lot less hard in these situations. So when comparing say a 50rpm cadence to a 100rpm cadence the muscle is 'beating' 50 extra times per minute thus helping pump the blood around the body (not equivalent to 50BPM of the heart but still considerable difference). This will decrease the amount of work the heart has to do thus making it 'feel' easier and also make you fatigue less.
Further to this individuals 'optimum cadence' (or preferred cadence) will be a learned thing this is why some cadences will feel natural and some will feel unnatural. This is due to your muscular co-ordination that is when they should contract and relax. If you are not at your preferred cadence (which wont be an exact figure more a range), your body may be actually working against itself (antagonist contracting at the wrong time thus working against the agonist). This will mean that you will actually have to work harder to produce the same power output.
Disclaimer: This is based on no studies just my understanding on how the muscles work.
Do you think I have a theory here? Discuss feel free to shoot me down.
What are generally called type 1 and type 2 respectively. However as I said you have a lot of hybrid fibres so I like the definition fatigue resistant and non-fatigue resistant personal preference.
Type 1 and Type 2...How did you not get that? He's basically saying when sprinters are going up hills, they're using type 2 (same as everyone else), but their type 1 are more 'pronounced' for sprinting than, say, a dedicated hill climbers.
Perhaps not more, just better trained. They also weigh a fair amount more than your average hill climber, which also affects output.. They need even more power to get up the hill than a pure climber, so they struggle even more.
Not really. It'll have to pump faster, as you said yourself. The big problem with training at, say 120RPM, is two things; first, you won't learn to spin a big gear. Say you spin the big chainring and a middle cog averaging 22km/h. Your legs will get stronger to compensate and eventually with practice, you'll actually be able to spin the same gear faster. Once you're spinning it too fast though, your heart rate goes through the roof on average. So back to you and your mate cycling 300Watts for two hours; say you both reach a hill. His HR, for arguments sake, will be 140, while yours will be about 160; going up the hill with your chosen cadences, his heart rate will go up to 165, while yours would go up to 185.. So you see the problem with spinning too fast a cadence. Your HR starts high, and stays high. Just like being in in 3rd gear in your car when going up a hill, compared with 2nd gear; 2nd gear will redline the engine, while 3rd gear won't. This article show's the science behind why it happens in the human body;
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entre ... 00m,isrctn
Sort of; it's about neuromuscular control as you said; it's good to practice different cadences, even though you have one 'best' cadence, because lets face it; unless you're riding on the flat lavafields of Kona, you're always going to eventually end up outside your comfort zone.
One thing I think you might find interesting; Tour de France racers generally pick a higher cadence so that they don't have to recover from day to day; by simply spinning the pedals, their muscles and bones aren't stressed as much as they would be if they were using lower cadences. Ironman triathletes generally prefer lower cadences, because it retains carbohydrates a little bit better, and they don't need to do much the next day.
What are these salesmen peddling?
Cycling Australia use rollout in metres today, rather than gear inches.
The age group limits are
Age, Rollout metres, Gear Inches
U19 7.93, 99.3
U17 6.5, 81.4
U15 6, 75.2
U13 5.5, 68.9
U11 5.5, 68.9
Fav Ride : Pottsville, Byron, Bangalow, Eureka, Dunoon, Nimbin, Uki, Mooball, Pottsville 200km 3000m
From what I have learnt I was under the impression you cannot 'train' muscle fibres. There are 3 things that can happen. Increased neuromotor activation of current fibres resulting in more fibres being turned on when you call upon them. Increased cross sectional area of muscle (by increase in fibre size and number) resulting in more power production and lastly a shift in fibre type. What you might be referring to is the shift within what might be called type 2 fibres from type 2A and type 2A/2X hybrid fibres to the slightly higher power output and faster acting type 2X. This is possible this may be the training. Happy to be corrected I wouldn't be surprised if we dont get the whole story to dumb it down for us.
Firstly your contridicting yourself above you say the HR will be lower and now your saying it will be higher which one is it?
Ofcourse there is a point where pedaling gets too fast and it becomes inefficent. I will read your article if full a bit later but it is saying "Apparently, even though the workload was constant, the increase in pedal cadence resulted in a more effective skeletal-muscle pump which increased muscle blood flow and venous return. It is not known if this might contribute to the natural selection of higher cadences by cycling athletes, even though there is reduced economy." Increased muscle blood flow = less fatigue however it is not quite as economic. Will read fully later to figure out what its really saying guess its time I actually read studies instead of making up my own theories .
Lastly your point about not 'breathing as hard', not using oxygen as much thus burning more fat to carbs is completely wrong. It requires more oxygen to breakdown fat as opposed to carbs. Your body uses more fats because it has the increased blood flow thus sparing more carbs for when needed. Of course this is a lot more complex then that as your body will usually take the easy way out and actually needs to be taught to burn fat more then carbs.. From what I know the theory where triathletes race at lower cadences is wrong from the few triathletes I know they race at high cadences which again will increase blood flow to muscle reducing fatigue.
Your uphill example only is true if they maintain their cadences uphill. However on a hill when pushing near max one will choose to be efficent rather then attempt to delay fatigue thus will naturally drop their cadence therefore their heartrates will be the same up the hill, heartrate (generally) = workload. Of course efficency comes into this.
With this triatheletes will also choose the higher cadences (as far as I know) as I said above to reduce fatigue/save legs for run. Cyclist, yep sure they want to have as little fatigue as they can for the next day that they can. They can afford to be inefficent cause they are working at 200-250W on the flat stages and this is not close the their 400W FTP so while they are somewhat inefficent the decreased fatigue is well and truely worth it. They are working that hard anyway. However on the tough mountain stages where they are getting closer to their FTP their cadence drops. I am though curious why on timetrials then it would still be so high as they are usually pushing near FTP. I know when I timetrial I push my cadence up (in the few much around ones I have done). Possibly still better to have the fatigue saving on a 1hr TT then what it is to be efficent? Maybe (or more probably) they are significantly more efficient at those high cadences then the people in the studies you refferred to. Again will have to read it in full to find out. So they have both decent efficiency and decreased fatigue, winning!
Edit: Cant get full study.... Disappointing.
The nature of muscle fibre type recruitment is primarily a function of the power demand, or intended/expected power demand. We can't control it, so there really isn't much point being overly concerned by it.
IOW, the thing to focus on is effort level and choose a gear that feels good. At times do a little pedaling at cadences that don't feel as good for variety, but the most important thing is to be concerned with effort level.
Your first point is exactly what I was saying. Plus the fact that it will choose Type 1 over Type 2 so saying sprinters spin faster etc cause of higher type 2 percent isn't right they are still using their type 1 fibres.
Cadence does not overly worry me. Just interested in the science behind it. Which seems inconclusive. One study I found that was very interesting was that an interval training program using lower cadence during efforts was more effective then one using higher cadence.
I also think that the optimal cadence is a wide range.
Yep. That's because cadence is a red herring.
If that was a relatively recent one, I think it found that the group that trained lower cadence efforts did slightly better at lower cadence hill climb, but the group that trained higher cadence had better performance in higher cadence flatter TT. Gee, what a surprise.
Yes, or probably best simply to say it's not that big a deal and what's "optimal" changes so much depending on many things, e.g.: conditions, gradient, fitness, nature of race/event, relative and absolute power output/demand, fatigue levels etc etc.
Besides, no one has really explained what is meant by "optimal cadence".
IOW focus on effort (power) and choose a gear that feels right or you expect to need to do what you intend to do.
Well optimal cadence to me is whatever gear makes me go quicker (for least perceived effort) and that will vary, depending in the circumstances
At the NSW TTT, it was quite noticeable that my cadence was a fair bit higher than my co riders, so that implied that my optimal cadence was higher than theirs
Effects of Low- vs. High-Cadence Interval Training on Cycling Performance is the study, by Paton, Hopkins & Cook (2009). It didnt do the tests you involved did other tests instead might have to look for the study you are talking about.
Of course you can train muscles, and the specific type. You do aerobic training and you're activating and increasing (sometimes) the activation of type 1 fibres. You do strength training or sprint training, and you end up increasing the size and strength of fast twitch fibres. Number of muscle fibres increasing (hyperplasia) is still under debate.
Whoops, it was late and I was tired, and got you and your twin brother mixed up.. The article (and the second me) got it right though; higher RPM = higher HR. Don't give upon making your own theories; it's free thinking and examining like yours that came up with all this research! Maybe one day you'll find something of your own.
If you look at a Vo2 max test, the 'shift' from fats to carbs happens when the respiratory quotient (or RQ) is met, and respiration increases. RQ = CO2 eliminated / O2 consumed. The RQ of fat burning is 0.7, while the RQ of Carbs is 1.0. This means that during carb burning, you're excreting more CO2 than with fat burning.
Few triathletes you know. I've trained with Mirinda Carfrae on occasion, and she rolls a 60 tooth (no joke) large chainring, at 75 RPM. When climbing, she chose a low cog. Most of them use low cadences. Crowie uses 82RPM. Chrissie Wellington uses 65. Enough said about this.
Generally yes, but HR does not equal workload up a hill at all, so the generalisation is nadda here. You have a good understanding of these principals, so I'm sure you understand why. It is all about efficiency up a hill.
Actually, you're right. I've yet to see a 1 hour record set by someone who cycled below 90RPM. Triathletes usually have a lower power output for the full duration of the course for obvious reasons. Sorry about the article.. I can view it at Uni because we have free access, but I think the abstract says the most of it?
What are these salesmen peddling?
What I was getting at is you cant train the fibre. Hyperplasia from what I have learnt definitely happens. You cant increase the strength of the fibre without doing what I said before increasing the size or increasing the number of fibres or alternatively changing the type slightly. When your fibres get more fatigue resistant they are shifting from hybrid fibres to more pure type 1 fibres.
I do know this. What i was getting at was the way you said it. You are breathing as hard (for the same workload) if not harder. As it requires more oxygen to break down fat. You actually got it the wrong way around with fat burning your actually breathing in more oxygen . However cause of the nature of the molecule you dont produce a linear increase in the CO2 production to O2 consumption.
Fair enough I just said the ones that I have trained with. Who aren't slouches either.
Why does HR not equal workload up a hill? I thought HR still was = to power output up a hill haven't heard otherwise before.
Sorry about the article.. I can view it at Uni because we have free access, but I think the abstract says the most of it?[/quote]
What site do you get it from? Stupid that the reference is on Pubmed and the full article isn't on Medline, Medline is the only search engine i really look at.
Hyperplasia does happen in the body, it's under debate whether or not it happens in human skeletal muscles (mostly due to ethical reasons). You can increase the efficiency and strength of the ones you have, and even if there is an increase in number, it is only very slight.
Actually, no. The air doesn't give you more oxygen, you need to breathe at a higher rate to get more in. With fat, you're not breathing in more oxygen, just exhaling more Co2.
Power output is higher, but HR doesn't have to be.. Lance is famous for picking 110RPM up a hill, which relied heavily on cardiac stress to keep the pedals spinning at that speed, and a higher breath rate/minute. Most athletes HR do not rise significantly as they ascend; 140 watts on the flat = say 135 BPM, it doesnt mean that 140 watts up a hill will = 135BPM.
At Uni, there's a 'see full text article' link there.
What are these salesmen peddling?
The correlation between HR & power can be reasonable under controlled conditions, such as a lab or indoor training when the conditions are kept similar and the rate of change in effort is usually far less and more controlled than outdoors.
When training outdoors, HR-power loses a significant amount of correlation. There is still a reasonable relationship of course, but not nearly as strong as when in a controlled environment.
And of course there are many things that affect HR besides how hard one is pedaling.
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