9 Tips for Better Cycling Efficiency

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by passionispain, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. passionispain

    passionispain New Member

    Mar 30, 2011
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    Sometimes when you’re underperforming during a race you begin to question the legitimacy of your training program. Thoughts like, “Am I doing this right? Do I have the right equipment? Am I just not tough enough?” begin to race through your mind. If you let these thoughts to go out of control they will ultimately hurt your finish time and leave you further discouraged come next competition. This is where making sure other aspects of your technique are economically sound.
    When you’re doing any long distance event, efficiency becomes extremely important. Here are the nine golden rules that will help you get the most out of every pedal stroke:
    Lean Body
    It’s common sense that a lighter cyclist expends less energy to move down the roadway. But there is a lot of information circulating out there as to what the proper cycling weight is. If you plan on racing a course with a lot of elevation gain, you should weigh no more than 2-2.1 times you’re height in inches. This means a cyclist standing at 5’10” should weigh between 140-147 lb. However, if your route is relatively flat you will be fine weighing up to 2.5 times your height in inches.
    [FONT= 'Calibri']Proper Bike Fit[/FONT][FONT= 'Calibri'][/FONT]
    [FONT= 'Calibri']Helps you extract as much power as possible and improves comfort.[/FONT]
    Low Stress
    The idea here is that when you’re cycling, that’s all you should be doing. You shouldn’t be going over events that happened during the day or worrying about work or family problems in your mind. What you need to do is stay in the present moment. Realize that everything that happened is in the past and running things over through your mind does nothing to fix them. While I’ve read lots of literature on embracing the present, a good starting point is Eckhart Tolle’s
    [FONT= 'Calibri']Cadence[/FONT][FONT= 'Calibri'] [/FONT][FONT= 'Calibri'][/FONT]
    [FONT= 'Calibri']Ideally you should be spinning at 80-90 revolutions per minute while never straying below 60 or above 120.[/FONT]
    [FONT= 'Calibri']Light, appropriate equipment[/FONT][FONT= 'Calibri'][/FONT]
    When determining which parts of the body/cycle system constitute drag, typically the body accounts for 65%, the bike 20%, wheels 10%, and rolling resistance 5%. The easiest ways to improve aerodynamics are to install aerobars and deciding whether lightweight or aero wheels would be better suited to your course makeup. Also, eliminate all unnecessary aids from bags you carry. Remember that there will be multiple break points along the way.
    Reduce Drag
    Assume as low a frontal area as comfortably possible as well as practicing drafting techniques with your local bike club.
    [FONT= 'Calibri']Strength Training[/FONT][FONT= 'Calibri'][/FONT]
    [FONT= 'Calibri']Although this is something you should put into practice during the off season, it’ll still help you get up those steep inclines.[/FONT]
    [FONT= 'Calibri']Efficiency on Bike[/FONT][FONT= 'Calibri'][/FONT]
    [FONT= 'Calibri']I know this guideline sounds a little too general but I’ve decided to include it anyways. [/FONT]Try practicing the things pros do like riding a straight line, keeping your upper body from rocking side to side, and reaching down, drinking, and replacing your water bottle while moving.
    [FONT= 'Calibri']Efficiency off Bike[/FONT][FONT= 'Calibri'][/FONT]
    [FONT= 'Calibri']If your racing unsupported make sure your gear in any packs are organized. [/FONT]Some races allow you to place drop bags at several locations along the course. Make sure you know where everything is inside these as well.[FONT= 'Calibri'][/FONT]
    [FONT= 'Calibri']Follow these tips and you’ll go a lot farther for a lot less.[/FONT][FONT= 'Calibri'][/FONT]

  2. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

    Nov 25, 2010
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    Hey you are right down the street from me!! Do you do any of the local rides (TAB, Wheelmen)??
  3. overgeared

    overgeared New Member

    Apr 16, 2011
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    great post, it's the constant adding together of all the little improvements that gets us closer to our goals, or as british cycling referred to it "the aggregation of marginal gains".
  4. vspa

    vspa Active Member

    Jan 11, 2009
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    on track-cycling UK does good. For road cycling, team SKY will need more than just marginal improvements to reach their goals.
  5. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

    Feb 12, 2011
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    Most of the issues you address are really compromises.

    Lower body weight only helps until you weigh too little. For many higher body weight would help for some events.

    Air resistance and comfort are at odds.

    Cadence is personal. I finished up my usual 50 miles today. My cadence averaged 81 (while pedaling). On the big hill I don't have the power to push my 34/27 up as high as 60. But tomorrow I will be out for my usual 50 miles. Even with the "low" cadence I use I have never had problems.


    Moderation is the key. Find a nice balance and enjoy.
  6. TobyAletha

    TobyAletha New Member

    Dec 14, 2010
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    great tips! thanks)))