fast spin vs bigger gear



leanman

New Member
Sep 20, 2009
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a question, and i'll try to explain myself correctly..
if riding at a hard tempo at say100+ rpm's, would it be eazier to train to spin at say 110 rpm's, or would it be eazier to spin at 90 rpm's but using a slightly harder gear? my way of thinking is that all of us are different and we all handle stress a different way.maybe for a guy thats phisically bigger, he will have an easier time adapting to the training way of using a bigger gear, where the slightly thinner guy has stronger lungs and can spin more, putting a bit less stress on his legs, but more on his heart/lungs. does this make sense?
or do you need to do both? train in a bigger gear at times.
i read two different stories on chris charmichaels muscle tension intervals. put it in the 53x11 and spin at 60 rpm's holding great form, recruiting as many muscle fibers as possible. do a few of these for 10 minutes. i also read where a well known dr. said all this kind of training does is give you tired legs..
so whats everyones opinions on getting from point a to point b the most economical way? learn to spin faster, using more lungs/heart, ot learn to ride a bigger gear putting more stress on the legs?
earlier this summer we were in a 3 man pace line doing a good hour tempo training ride,and the other two were in their say 53x17. i was in my 42x16 or so, and one guy commented saying its great i can spin that fast relaxed and keep up with them, and he even said to look out if i ever shifted it into the big ring.
thing is, if i do shift it in a bigger gear, will my legs give out sooner than if i had stayed in the smaller gear..
so i just want opinions on which way is the better way to train to be good at spinning and bigger gear riding?
thanks again

thanks
 

DancenMacabre

New Member
Jul 17, 2009
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The best way to train is the way that helps you meet your goals!!! (whatever those are)

Yeah I am green but gotta say, why does it matter what cadence you use? I figure if you race courses on super steep hills and gotta pound at 50rpm for 30 minutes, then you better train at 50 rpms sometimes.

I watched a replay of a big bike race online a few days ago. They had a time trial stage some of the top 5 riders were spinning, some were mashing but all went fast though!!! Is that not the goal? ;)

There is no magic to one number or another except the one you need to go at for your ride or races. Guess if you are on a fixie then it would matter but you have gears on the road bike.

What cadence is most comfortable to you, the one you just kinda always seem to ride at or pick?

I read some stuff on a website that said the cadence you usually choose is related to you being more of an enduro or sprinter. Anotherw ebiste by the writer of the power training book says that big gear drills dont work at getting more fibers. Pretty complicated stuff but check it out: "Strength endurance" training: a physiologist's view

Guys on the local hills always ask me if I do spin classes because I like spinning very fast gears. I figure that enjoying spinning is a good thing because I want to do plenty of crits, and I think mashing a huge gear in a crit would be painful and slow.
 

skammer

New Member
Sep 17, 2007
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I train on flat ground most of the time, but my cadence varies between 70-100, I try to keep it in the upper 80s as my target though. I have to chug the hills so there is no fair comparo there. I just try to get up the one hill we have around here I ride that is 10-13% grade for a mile.
 

swampy1970

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2008
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The goal is to go as fast as possible over the distance required.

Cadence (pedal rpm) changes with training and event type/distance. Finding your ideal cadence is easy but it takes time and honest testing but like anything else, it's worth it.

For example, I used to be quicker a 10 mile events at around 85 to 90rpm but at 50 mile tt events I'd cramp using those rates - I'd typically use 80 to 85rpm.
 

bubsy

New Member
Sep 5, 2004
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swampy1970 said:
The goal is to go as fast as possible over the distance required.

Cadence (pedal rpm) changes with training and event type/distance. Finding your ideal cadence is easy but it takes time and honest testing but like anything else, it's worth it.

For example, I used to be quicker a 10 mile events at around 85 to 90rpm but at 50 mile tt events I'd cramp using those rates - I'd typically use 80 to 85rpm.

Thats weird l'm the exact oppisite,
lower cad for 10 mile much higher for longer TT's or I'll cramp.
Everyones different l guess go figure!