learning to spin

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Eric Gleason, Mar 25, 2003.

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  1. Eric Gleason

    Eric Gleason Guest

    The weather finally broke and I'm starting to ride again. I know hardly anything about this, so I'm
    trying to learn.

    So I've been trying to spin more, but it just feels goofy. Is this something that goes away, or is
    there a special technique? When I'm in a gear low enough to spin, my pedaling motion feels uneven
    and jerky, when I pick it up a gear everything smoothes out nicely, but my cadence is much lower,
    around 45 rpm (I'm guessing, just counting pedal strokes and using a stopwatch best I can).

    Any pointers?

    Eric
     
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  2. > So I've been trying to spin more, but it just feels goofy.

    MJA: I will assume the "goofy" feeling is due to bouncing up and down in your saddle at a high
    cadence. This is quite normal since you are just starting out, however the goal is to be able to
    spin with little jerkyness. This will come as your overall body strength increases. In the mean
    time, when you are trying to achieve a high cadence, focus on proper mechanics,
    e.g. keeping your hips smooth with little rocking; concentrate on pulling through the bottom of the
    pedal stroke and over the top, etc.

    Checking your cadence with the count method works just fine. Once you have developed a rhythm, begin
    counting your pedal revolutions per 10-second count. Therefore, 18-20 revs/10 seconds equates to a
    cadence of 108-120. This is plenty accurate, and soon enough you will have a feel for what 90, 100,
    110 etc. should feel like.

    Hope this helps.

    Michael

    Is this
    > something that goes away, or is there a special technique? When I'm in a gear low enough to spin,
    > my pedaling motion feels uneven and jerky, when I pick it up a gear everything smoothes out
    > nicely, but my cadence is much lower, around 45 rpm (I'm guessing, just counting pedal strokes and
    > using a stopwatch best I can).
    >
    > Any pointers?
    >
    > Eric
     
  3. Ken

    Ken Guest

    eric gleason <[email protected]> wrote in news:BAA6819C.10300%[email protected]:
    > So I've been trying to spin more, but it just feels goofy. Is this something that goes away, or is
    > there a special technique? When I'm in a gear low enough to spin, my pedaling motion feels uneven
    > and jerky, when I pick it up a gear everything smoothes out nicely, but my cadence is much lower,
    > around 45 rpm (I'm guessing, just counting pedal strokes and using a stopwatch best I can).
    >
    > Any pointers?

    1. make sure your seat and cleat position are correct
    2. use cleats; either clipless or clipped will work
    3. a cycle computer with cadence readout gives you great feedback
    4. age below 25 helps; most people get stronger but slower as they get older 5. concentrate on
    pedalling in circles (or at least triangles), instead of just up/down 6. try riding in a group
    and copying the cadence of the person in front of you

    45 is way to slow for most people. Practice makes perfect.
     
  4. Chuck Dahl

    Chuck Dahl Guest

    Hey Eric,

    Been trying the same thing for last two years,

    Some things I have read and practice is to pedal through the bottom like you are scraping something
    off the bottom of your shoe.

    At the top of the pedal stroke, imaging you are rolling a log over the top in a log rolling contest.

    I have found that my heal dropped parallel with the ground and I had to lower my seat a tad.

    I am climbing at about 82-85 rpm and ride flats at 100-115. I notice my heat rate is lower at these
    higher rpm's.

    As for slowing down as you get older, I've been riding 25 years and am just hitting 40. I have never
    spun faster or ridin faster.

    Look at Lance Armstrongs training diary.

    It really is easier to spin.

    SlowPokey "eric gleason" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:BAA6819C.10300%[email protected]...
    > The weather finally broke and I'm starting to ride again. I know hardly anything about this, so
    > I'm trying to learn.
    >
    > So I've been trying to spin more, but it just feels goofy. Is this something that goes away, or is
    > there a special technique? When I'm in a gear low enough to spin, my pedaling motion feels uneven
    > and jerky, when I pick it up a gear everything smoothes out nicely, but my cadence is much lower,
    > around 45 rpm (I'm guessing, just counting pedal strokes and using
    a
    > stopwatch best I can).
    >
    > Any pointers?
    >
    > Eric
     
  5. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "eric gleason" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:BAA6819C.10300%[email protected]...
    > The weather finally broke and I'm starting to ride again. I know hardly anything about this, so
    > I'm trying to learn.
    >
    > So I've been trying to spin more, but it just feels goofy. Is this something that goes away, or is
    > there a special technique? When I'm in a gear low enough to spin, my pedaling motion feels uneven
    > and jerky, when I pick it up a gear everything smoothes out nicely, but my cadence is much lower,
    > around 45 rpm (I'm guessing, just counting pedal strokes and using a stopwatch best I can).

    Cadence is really unimportant, especially for a beginner. There is are no special techniques to
    pedaling, just ride frequently and you'll get stronger.
     
  6. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Ken" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > 4. age below 25 helps; most people get stronger but slower as they get older

    That's a silly thing to say.

    > 45 is way to slow for most people. Practice makes perfect.

    Practice does make perfect, but a cadence of 45 is perfect for many people.
     
  7. Jon Isaacs

    Jon Isaacs Guest

    >Cadence is really unimportant, especially for a beginner. There is are no special techniques to
    >pedaling, just ride frequently and you'll get stronger.

    I agree with Peter. My guess is that your cadence is probably higher than 45rpm but it may not
    be, no big deal, just ride your bike and as you become more comfortable you will find a
    comfortable cadence.

    Trying to model yourself after a successful rider like Lance Armstrong is a mistake, rather you
    need to discover what works best for you, your body type, your bicycle fit, what you are trying to
    do etc....

    For some people low cadences work just fine. I find that often I ride along at 45 or 50 rpm and
    for me this conserves my energy better than riding at 90 or 100 rpm. If I want to produce some
    real power then I might spin it up to 140 rpm for short burst or just playing around I might top
    200 for a few seconds. I can do a 20km time trial at 95-100 rpm but I will go faster if I am down
    around 75 rpm.

    This is not to say that you should do what I do, rather simply that this is what I have discovered
    about myself and that you need to cycle enough to discover what works for you.

    When Lance won his first tour de France riding at high cadences it was all the talk.

    Soon after the world Time Trial championship was won at a cadence of around 70rpm and that was
    all the talk.

    Fashion comes and goes, what is important to discover what works for you, not some other fellow.

    As Jobst says: "RIDE BIKE"

    Jon Isaacs
     
  8. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Jon Isaacs" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > >Cadence is really unimportant, especially for a beginner.
    There is are no
    > >special techniques to pedaling, just ride frequently and
    you'll get stronger.
    >
    > I agree with Peter. My guess is that your cadence is
    probably higher than
    > 45rpm but it may not be, no big deal, just ride your bike
    and as you become
    > more comfortable you will find a comfortable cadence.
    >
    > Trying to model yourself after a successful rider like
    Lance Armstrong is a
    > mistake, rather you need to discover what works best for
    you, your body type,
    > your bicycle fit, what you are trying to do etc....
    >
    > For some people low cadences work just fine. I find that
    often I ride along at
    > 45 or 50 rpm and for me this conserves my energy better
    than riding at 90 or
    > 100 rpm. If I want to produce some real power then I
    might spin it up to 140
    > rpm for short burst or just playing around I might top 200
    for a few seconds.
    > I can do a 20km time trial at 95-100 rpm but I will go
    faster if I am down
    > around 75 rpm.
    >
    > This is not to say that you should do what I do, rather
    simply that this is
    > what I have discovered about myself and that you need to
    cycle enough to
    > discover what works for you.
    >
    > When Lance won his first tour de France riding at high
    cadences it was all the
    > talk.
    >
    > Soon after the world Time Trial championship was won at a
    cadence of around
    > 70rpm and that was all the talk.
    >
    > Fashion comes and goes, what is important to discover what
    works for you, not
    > some other fellow.

    I read that a big part of Lance's training had to do with improving his power and efficiency over a
    wider range of cadences -- making him just as efficient at 60 RPM as 100 RPM, for example. Many
    riders have a narrow PRM range at which they're efficient, or at which they like to pedal. So
    developing some flexibility with respect to this can be a big advantage. Like with racing cars, it's
    not always the maximum horspower that makes the difference, but the "area under the curve."

    This is why a fixed gear bike has long been considered a good training device.

    > As Jobst says: "RIDE BIKE"

    That's the bottom line. I don't think it pays to get hung up on this stuff, even if you're at a very
    high level. Ride what you got, and ride it a lot.

    Matt O.
     
  9. Ron Hardin

    Ron Hardin Guest

    Power idle, nose up a bit to a clean stall, full rudder and goose the power for a second at
    the stall.
    --
    Ron Hardin [email protected]

    On the internet, nobody knows you're a jerk.
     
  10. Ron Hardin <[email protected]> wrote:
    : Power idle, nose up a bit to a clean stall, full rudder and goose the power for a second at
    : the stall.

    try as i might i can't seem to get any altitude.
    --
    david reuteler [email protected]
     
  11. Eric Gleason

    Eric Gleason Guest

    Try it in a Champ, it only spins to the left! To the right it's just kind of a lazy
    roll-over-and-play-dead routine :)

    Eric

    > From: Ron Hardin <[email protected]> Organization: MindSpring Enterprises Newsgroups:
    > rec.bicycles.misc Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2003 16:32:29 -0500 Subject: Re: learning to spin
    >
    > Power idle, nose up a bit to a clean stall, full rudder and goose the power for a second at
    > the stall.
    > --
    > Ron Hardin [email protected]
    >
    > On the internet, nobody knows you're a jerk.
     
  12. Ron Hardin

    Ron Hardin Guest

    eric gleason wrote:
    > Try it in a Champ, it only spins to the left! To the right it's just kind of a lazy
    > roll-over-and-play-dead routine :)

    Champs go either way fine, but they do need that power goose, which increases the stall and gives
    the rudder lots of airflow.

    They also snap roll but require full aileron in the direction of the roll.
    --
    Ron Hardin [email protected]

    On the internet, nobody knows you're a jerk.
     
  13. Andymorris

    Andymorris Guest

    wafflycathcsdirtycatlitter wrote:
    >
    > A couple of years ago I went to the Track World Masters event in Manchester (track cycling is
    > *fantastic* spectator sport) and at the very end was a 10km race on the track. It was won by an
    > Australian guy, in his 50's, who did the final 1km as fast as Jason Queally did his Olympic gold
    > 1km event - it was announced as such at the event.
    >

    Yeah, but Queally's time was from a standing start.

    --
    Andy Morris

    AndyAtJinkasDotFreeserve.Co.UK

    Love this: Put an end to Outlook Express's messy quotes
    http://home.in.tum.de/~jain/software/oe-quotefix/
     
  14. Eric Gleason

    Eric Gleason Guest

    Man, not the one I was flying! The extra p-factor from power made spinning to the right even harder.

    > From: Ron Hardin <[email protected]> Organization: MindSpring Enterprises Newsgroups:
    > rec.bicycles.misc Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2003 19:26:02 -0500 Subject: Re: learning to spin
    >
    > eric gleason wrote:
    >> Try it in a Champ, it only spins to the left! To the right it's just kind of a lazy
    >> roll-over-and-play-dead routine :)
    >
    > Champs go either way fine, but they do need that power goose, which increases the stall and gives
    > the rudder lots of airflow.
    >
    > They also snap roll but require full aileron in the direction of the roll.
    > --
    > Ron Hardin [email protected]
    >
    > On the internet, nobody knows you're a jerk.
     
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