Gears, cadence, speed - help!

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Spider1977, Aug 18, 2003.

  1. Spider1977

    Spider1977 New Member

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    I've recently started racing. I notice that when I get passed (which is quite often at the moment) the people passing tend to be riding at high cadence in much higher gears, getting along at about 40kph. I'm crunching it out on the lower gears feeling comfortable, moving along at about 30 to 35kph. When I go into higher gears I can't maintain the speed.

    I know I have to do a lot more training, just to get my speed and endurance up. The question is how should I focus this training?
    On the flat what gears should I be concentrating on (I have a Shimano 105 group set)?
     
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  2. zaskar

    zaskar New Member

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    how long have you been riding? me being new to road bike
    (ex mtb) i started spinning small gears, over 24mph i have to
    get on the big ring and had trouble sticking with the big ring also
    but as i ride more i can stay on big ring longer now. it just
    takes time, good thing is when you teach your self to spin fast
    when you get on the big ring you will what to spin fast
    the result will be more speed! stick with it!
     
  3. Fatboy

    Fatboy New Member

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    I think that concentrating on cadence is an excellent way to increase your fitness, try and hold higher cadences for periods say between sets of lights or markers on a road. Aim reasonably high and each time you ride that section aim to hold the cadence a bit longer. This is like doing intervals.
    On the flat I generally ride a 53/19 or 53/17 which equates to about 36-37 @ 100cadence and just on 40k @ 100.

    The benfits of cadence are lower power required per stroke so less load on muscles and joints. But it does require a higher aerobic effort so you get fitter.

    I found it took several months but now if I drop to the low 90s cadence it feels like I am grinding away and I change down or push my speed back up.

    Some of the training groups I have ridden with insist on you being in the small chainring to make you spin. Then as you improve you can move up.

    HTH
     
  4. Spider1977

    Spider1977 New Member

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    Thanks guys for your advice.

    On another thread J-Mat suggests using 43-17 and cadence of 90 to 100. I tried it today on my 11k ride to work. I can maintain a speed of about 29 to 30k on the flat doing this and while its hard to keep the legs going at that speed it's much easier work. J-Mat advises that this is a tried and true training method for top cyclists.

    My physio, who I saw today, says its better, because it emphasises the pull, rather than the push, therefore a more balanced use of muscles and less likely to lead to knee and hip soreness.

    Once I feel comfortable at this level I will try and increase the cadence a little. Then when I feel good say at maintaining around 100 for long periods of time I'll move to 43-15 and see how that goes.

    By the way I've been riding for 5 weeks now. Two races of 42 km, first race a little over a week ago took 92 minutes, on Sunday took 83 minutes. My aim is to get under 70 minutes in a year's time for that distance.:)
     
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