Mt Washington

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Bob, Jan 23, 2003.

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  1. Bob

    Bob Guest

    Hi,

    I'm thinking about doing the mout Washington NH bike race 2003. I have a trek 5200 with a low
    gearing of 30-25. I'm in good shape and I think I can make it up the mountain in good time, but I
    still wonder about the gearing. Someone said they use a 33-32 gears and I was thinking of changing
    out my rear sprocket for a low 28 tooth. Anyone do the Mt Washington bike race?
     
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  2. Jim Flom

    Jim Flom Guest

    >From: "Bob" [email protected]
    >
    >I'm thinking about doing the mout Washington NH bike race 2003. I have a trek 5200 with a low
    >gearing of 30-25. I'm in good shape and I think I can make it up the mountain in good time, but I
    >still wonder about the gearing. Someone said they use a 33-32 gears and I was thinking of changing
    >out my rear sprocket for a low 28 tooth. Anyone do the Mt Washington bike race?

    You should be fine with the 30-25. Maybe try the try the pre-race and see how you like it.

    JF
     
  3. J & D Klau

    J & D Klau Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, "Bob"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Hi,
    >
    > I'm thinking about doing the mout Washington NH bike race 2003. I have a trek 5200 with a low
    > gearing of 30-25. I'm in good shape and I think I can make it up the mountain in good time, but I
    > still wonder about the gearing. Someone said they use a 33-32 gears and I was thinking of changing
    > out my rear sprocket for a low 28 tooth. Anyone do the Mt Washington bike race?
    >
    >

    Hi,

    I've done it (practice ride and race) and one of the things I noticed is that many folks seriously
    underestimated the pitch of that hill. Also, I got advice all over the map (all from folks who'd
    done it) some saying go with full MTB gearing, others saying I'd be fine with a triple and my 12-25.
    I decided to go with an XTR rear der and a 14-34 cassette (specially made up at Sheldon Brown's
    shop). Wimpy, I know (then again, when I look at what Heras used on the Angliru, I don't feel
    *quite* as wimpy as I did), OTOH, I spun easily up the whole thing and felt pretty good at the top
    (which means I prolly didn't work hard enough - that'll be this year's task).

    It really depends on how strong you are, and what your climbing style
    is. How's that for helpful? ;-) Train on lots of hills (duh) and do the practice ride to see if
    your gearing is correct. You can also do the Whiteface race, which isn't quite as steep and is
    shorter, but is still quite a climb.

    Good luck!

    -jennifer

    --
    -Jennifer reply to: jen at klau dot com
     
  4. bobqzzi

    bobqzzi Guest

    Figure out what you feel is optimal cadence, then work backward by figuring a target speed using
    previous results of the climb. Or, if you have a way of measuring your LT power output (Powertap,
    SRM, polar) you can use analyticcyling.com to figure out you speed and adjust the gearing to get the
    cadence you want.

    I can't imagine going with a 30/25. It only makes sense to have a selection of low gears, including
    ones that may be lower than you need. Sticking with a 12/25 offers no advantage, because all the
    cogs below 23 are useless.

    I'd put on a 26T granny gear, and 14-32 cassette. If you don't need the lowest gears, all well and
    good, you don't have to use them during the race. But if you do need them, and they aren't there,
    life is likely to be unpleasant.

    Good Luck,

    Bob

    On Wed, 25 Dec 2002 15:42:10 GMT, "Bob" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Hi,
    >
    >I'm thinking about doing the mout Washington NH bike race 2003. I have a trek 5200 with a low
    >gearing of 30-25. I'm in good shape and I think I can make it up the mountain in good time, but I
    >still wonder about the gearing. Someone said they use a 33-32 gears and I was thinking of changing
    >out my rear sprocket for a low 28 tooth. Anyone do the Mt Washington bike race?
     
  5. You can also train on Mt. Ascutney in Vermont any time you like.

    Brian Lafferty

    "J & D Klau" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In article <[email protected]>, "Bob"
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > Hi,
    > >
    > > I'm thinking about doing the mout Washington NH bike race 2003. I have a trek 5200 with a low
    > > gearing of 30-25. I'm in good shape and I think I
    can
    > > make it up the mountain in good time, but I still wonder about the
    gearing.
    > > Someone said they use a 33-32 gears and I was thinking of changing out
    my
    > > rear sprocket for a low 28 tooth. Anyone do the Mt Washington bike race?
    > >
    > >
    >
    > Hi,
    >
    > I've done it (practice ride and race) and one of the things I noticed is that many folks seriously
    > underestimated the pitch of that hill. Also, I got advice all over the map (all from folks who'd
    > done it) some saying go with full MTB gearing, others saying I'd be fine with a triple and my
    > 12-25. I decided to go with an XTR rear der and a 14-34 cassette (specially made up at Sheldon
    > Brown's shop). Wimpy, I know (then again, when I look at what Heras used on the Angliru, I don't
    > feel *quite* as wimpy as I did), OTOH, I spun easily up the whole thing and felt pretty good at
    > the top (which means I prolly didn't work hard enough - that'll be this year's task).
    >
    > It really depends on how strong you are, and what your climbing style
    > is. How's that for helpful? ;-) Train on lots of hills (duh) and do the practice ride to see if
    > your gearing is correct. You can also do the Whiteface race, which isn't quite as steep and
    > is shorter, but is still quite a climb.
    >
    > Good luck!
    >
    > -jennifer
    >
    > --
    > -Jennifer reply to: jen at klau dot com
     
  6. [email protected] wrote:
    >
    > Figure out what you feel is optimal cadence, then work backward by figuring a target speed using
    > previous results of the climb. Or, if you have a way of measuring your LT power output (Powertap,
    > SRM, polar) you can use analyticcyling.com to figure out you speed and adjust the gearing to get
    > the cadence you want.

    This sounds like a sensible plan.

    > I can't imagine going with a 30/25. It only makes sense to have a selection of low gears,
    > including ones that may be lower than you need. Sticking with a 12/25 offers no advantage, because
    > all the cogs below 23 are useless.

    I guess you mean that you couldn't imagine personally going with a 30/25. For many people, a 30/25
    is a very workable low gear. Afterall, when Hamilton set his record he used a
    39/25. I personally have done Mt. Washington with a 22/21 (a ratio half-way between a 30/28 and a
    30/29) and was able to maintain a relatively high cadence of 80rpm.

    As far as the smaller rear sprockets, they are still useful. Although the grade on Mt. Washington is
    generally quite steady, it can vary a bit in some sections. In particular, there is the "cow
    pasture", a lengthy and relatively flat stretch just below the summit, where speeds are higher and
    smaller sprockets can come in handy. There is also the dead flat 200 yards at the very start of the
    race, where a good selection of smaller sprockets can help one to jockey for position before the
    climbing begins, so you don't have to thread your way through the pack as people adjust to their own
    personal climbing speeds.

    Mark McMaster [email protected]
     
  7. [email protected] wrote:
    >
    > Figure out what you feel is optimal cadence, then work backward by figuring a target speed using
    > previous results of the climb. Or, if you have a way of measuring your LT power output (Powertap,
    > SRM, polar) you can use analyticcyling.com to figure out you speed and adjust the gearing to get
    > the cadence you want.
    >
    > I can't imagine going with a 30/25. It only makes sense to have a selection of low gears,
    > including ones that may be lower than you need. Sticking with a 12/25 offers no advantage, because
    > all the cogs below 23 are useless.
    >
    > I'd put on a 26T granny gear, and 14-32 cassette. If you don't need the lowest gears, all well and
    > good, you don't have to use them during the race. But if you do need them, and they aren't there,
    > life is likely to be unpleasant.

    I too think that makes sense for a pure hill climb race; that is, having plenty enough low gears.
    But a 30+t cog and a change to a triple (granny) will be a maintenance hassle for race prep. You
    need to change the rear derailleur, because I don't think road derailleurs are rated for much more
    than 28t or so. You might need to change the f-der. You might need to change the BB spindle. You
    might need to change the left brifter to a triple model if you use Shimano. You'll need to adjust
    the cables and indexing after the derailleur changes. Sounds like a big PITA assuming you are
    starting with the standard double chainring
    130/135 BCD crank. Of course, now I re-read the original post, and he's got a triple, so probably
    just the r-der needs changing.

    I've experimented with some very long and very steep climbs here in NorCal. For me, the long
    climbing experience gets very unpleasant if I can't sustain my cadence up to around 50 rpm. And that
    is just what keeps me from being miserable, not what helps me maximize my power output (my speed). I
    think it is a decent gearing goal, even if it can't always be met, to have a gear you can turn at 80
    rpm while climbing. Short climbs don't matter nearly as much. That ends up meaning very low gears
    for long steep climbs.

    I changed to the older Ritchey 110 BCD double crank this past year, just so I could get over some of
    these nasty local mountains in decent style. With this crank, I can get a low of 33x28 and all I
    have to do is slip on the special cassette and bolt on the 33t chainring (I have a DA "triple" r-der
    always on the bike). No adjustments or other hardware changes are necessary. The 33x28 is
    approximately equal to a 39x33. Jeanson went up Washinton in a 39x28 this past year, IIRC. I doubt a
    33x28 would be "too low" for me there. My low is about 14% lower than what Jeanson used. My low is
    only enough to keep me from being miserable on some of the mountain roads around here. I could use
    lower, but will likely leave my bike as it is.

    To tell the truth, I don't think there is much about a hill climb race that is very pleasant.

    > On Wed, 25 Dec 2002 15:42:10 GMT, "Bob" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >Hi,
    > >
    > >I'm thinking about doing the mout Washington NH bike race 2003. I have a trek 5200 with a low
    > >gearing of 30-25. I'm in good shape and I think I can make it up the mountain in good time, but I
    > >still wonder about the gearing. Someone said they use a 33-32 gears and I was thinking of
    > >changing out my rear sprocket for a low 28 tooth. Anyone do the Mt Washington bike race?
     
  8. Robert Chung wrote:
    >
    > "The Pomeranian" <[email protected]> wrote
    > > I've experimented with some very long and very steep climbs here in NorCal. For me, the long
    > > climbing experience gets very unpleasant if I can't sustain my cadence up to around 50 rpm. And
    > > that is just what keeps me from being miserable, not what helps me maximize my power output (my
    > > speed). I think it is a decent gearing goal, even if it can't always be met, to have a gear you
    > > can turn at 80 rpm while climbing.
    >
    > Do you have a power meter, or have you done controlled experiments examining power with cadence
    > and gear by gradient?

    No. The "maximize my power" claim is based solely on some presumptions, some circumstantial
    evidence, and other subjective (and repeated) experiences I try to be objective as possible about. I
    see no reason why the max horsepower v. rpm curve (for a human) would have a broad and flat
    distribution. (Most motors don't. Why would a bio-motor?) That is to say, I presume that the max
    horsepower at 50 rpm, 80 rpm, and 110 rpm will not be identical.

    How much different is a valid question, but bike racing is about performance at the margin. Even a
    margin of 1% is huge in something like a hill climb race. And I suspect the difference is a good
    deal more than that. I'd be more than happy to do the "real" research for a quite reasonable price
    (no more than what I get paid now)! Any takers?

    I hate long climbs at 40 rpm, that much is for sure. People like Jobst Brandt do it okay, but I
    think that is highly unsual.
     
  9. Robert Chung

    Robert Chung Guest

    "The Pomeranian" <[email protected]> wrote
    > No. The "maximize my power" claim is based solely on some presumptions, some circumstantial
    > evidence, and other subjective (and repeated) experiences I try to be objective as possible about.
    > I see no reason why the max horsepower v. rpm curve (for a human) would have a broad and flat
    > distribution. (Most motors don't. Why would a bio-motor?) That is to say, I presume that the max
    > horsepower at 50 rpm, 80 rpm, and 110 rpm will not be identical.
    >
    > How much different is a valid question, but bike racing is about performance at the margin. Even a
    > margin of 1% is huge in something like a hill climb race. And I suspect the difference is a good
    > deal more than that.

    Well, I agree with your latter point but even if it isn't flat, what makes you think the max is
    where you think it is?

    Here's some data of power by cadence for a guy doing a 40K TT (collected from a Power Tap--hence,
    the holes in the cadence numbers at 94, 99, and 102rpm):
    http://mywebpage.netscape.com/rechung/wattage/cadence/cadence-plot1.png

    Here's some data for a completely different guy doing hillclimb intervals using a Polar S710:
    http://mywebpage.netscape.com/rechung/wattage/cadence/cadence-plot2.png

    What do you see?
     
  10. Michael Hoyt

    Michael Hoyt Guest

    Plot the standard deviation and my guess is that neither of those charts mean much.

    M

    > Here's some data of power by cadence for a guy doing a 40K TT (collected from a Power Tap--hence,
    > the holes in the cadence numbers at 94, 99, and 102rpm):
    > http://mywebpage.netscape.com/rechung/wattage/cadence/cadence-plot1.png
    >
    > Here's some data for a completely different guy doing hillclimb intervals using a Polar S710:
    > http://mywebpage.netscape.com/rechung/wattage/cadence/cadence-plot2.png
    >
    > What do you see?
     
  11. Robert Chung

    Robert Chung Guest

    "Tom Kunich" <[email protected]> wrote
    >
    > Very interesting data though I don't get what you mean by the cadence/power being more complicated
    > that on first look.

    Some guys (not anyone in this thread, of course) seem to think that the relationship *is* simple,
    and that power is a function of cadence. Guys who have never seen power data think that one can and
    should find an optimal cadence, and stick to it. (Some people who *have* seen power data seem to
    think so, too). The extreme case is guys who look at record holders who ride on even courses and
    extrapolate from that that we should all and always ride at 100rpm. I tend to think that the optimal
    cadence varies by goal, situation, and condition, and that it is a response rather than a factor
    (i.e., dependent instead of independent variable). I've often been told that one should spin at X
    rpm, but I've never heard the added qualification, "on the flat, and Y rpm on a hill of W
    percent grade."

    > It would appear to me that when someone starts putting out a great deal of power the cadence
    > necessarily slows.

    Nope, but when someone starts putting out a great deal of force the cadence generally slows. You can
    generate high power at many different cadences.
     
  12. Jim Flom

    Jim Flom Guest

    >From: J & D Klau

    >You can also do the Whiteface race, which isn't quite as steep and is shorter, but is still
    >quite a climb.
    >
    >-jennifer

    There's a Whiteface "race?" All I ever heard of was sneaking up early in the morning so you can be
    down before the gates open. What is this about a race?

    Jim
     
  13. There's been that road race up there for years. The broker who did our house sale won it as a Cat 2
    many years ago. Brian

    --
    Together We Can End Violence, Exploitation and War Visit UU PeaceWork, AFSC and True Majority
    http://www.home.earthlink.net/~javaeye/index.html http://www.afsc.org http://www.truemajority.org
    "Jim Flom" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > >From: J & D Klau
    >
    > >You can also do the Whiteface race, which isn't quite as steep and is shorter, but is still quite
    > >a climb.
    > >
    > >-jennifer
    >
    > There's a Whiteface "race?" All I ever heard of was sneaking up early in
    the
    > morning so you can be down before the gates open. What is this about a
    race?
    >
    > Jim
     
  14. "Jim Flom" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > >Reply-To: "Brian Lafferty"
    > >
    > >You can also train on Mt. Ascutney in Vermont any time you like.
    > >
    > >Brian Lafferty
    >
    > ... said the anti-hillclimb rebel. ;-)

    FREE Mt. WASHINGTON!!! All hillclimbs should be free (or under $5)!!

    Brian
     
  15. Robert Chung wrote:
    >
    > "The Pomeranian" <[email protected]> wrote
    > > No. The "maximize my power" claim is based solely on some presumptions, some circumstantial
    > > evidence, and other subjective (and repeated) experiences I try to be objective as possible
    > > about. I see no reason why the max horsepower v. rpm curve (for a human) would have a broad and
    > > flat distribution. (Most motors don't. Why would a bio-motor?) That is to say, I presume that
    > > the max horsepower at 50 rpm, 80 rpm, and 110 rpm will not be identical.
    > >
    > > How much different is a valid question, but bike racing is about performance at the margin. Even
    > > a margin of 1% is huge in something like a hill climb race. And I suspect the difference is a
    > > good deal more than that.
    >
    > Well, I agree with your latter point but even if it isn't flat, what makes you think the max is
    > where you think it is?

    Where do you think I think it is? I don't think it is 50 rpm.

    > Here's some data of power by cadence for a guy doing a 40K TT (collected from a Power Tap--hence,
    > the holes in the cadence numbers at 94, 99, and 102rpm):
    > http://mywebpage.netscape.com/rechung/wattage/cadence/cadence-plot1.png
    >
    > Here's some data for a completely different guy doing hillclimb intervals using a Polar S710:
    > http://mywebpage.netscape.com/rechung/wattage/cadence/cadence-plot2.png
    >
    > What do you see?

    On cadence-plot1.png I see that the rider chose to pedal primarily in the 88 to 108 rpm range. The
    highest power samples were in the high 80 to 105 range. But that seems probable because that's were
    most of the samples are. High single point samples might not be sustainable. The red line peaks
    between 90 and 100, so that suggests that may be where peak "sustainable" power is. The red line is
    somewhat flat, but the number of samples is much less for the lower and higher cadences. "Flatness"
    does not say that the red line values are sustainable for these other cadences with lower sample
    counts. The concentration of samples in the "middle" cadences suggests the red line (average for rpm
    I assume) value is sustainable for the middle vlaues. Did the rider "naturally move away" from the
    lower and higher cadences because of the incentive of greater speed (power) at the middle cadences?
    Is that what the graph says?

    So similar data runs for identical time periods should be made with the rider focusing more on both
    higher and lower cadences rather than the middle cadences. The difficulty with that is the fact that
    it is a different run at a different time. I don't know what the stability of the rider's power
    capability is over long time periods (like 1+ weeks). I don't know what the stability of the rider's
    psychological focus is over longer time peroids. (I don't know that separate runs can assume "all
    other things equal.") Because of these uncertainties, I would demand multitudinous sample runs over
    all the conditions over time. The uncertainties demand statistical significance (high number of
    sample runs), if one really wants to be scientific about it. By nature, the sample runs can't be
    done "blind" because the subject has to be instructed to focus on particular cadences and try "just
    as hard" with each. The price for meaningful data is rising and I still have no bidders.

    On cadence-plot2.png, again this different rider has chosen to put his/her cadence up around 95 rpm
    for most samples. There (in the red line) appears to be higher power output at lower cadences, but
    the sample numbers are low and again this may point to unsustainability, and probably does
    considering the rather significant power output.

    So what does it mean that the two different riders seemed to choose a cadence of about 95 rpm? Why
    would they choose this cadence? Maybe they looked at their speedometers and found they could get a
    tad more sustainable speed when focusing on these cadences. That would be a very basic negative
    feedback system. I still don't know how flat the max horsepower v. rpm curve is for most humans, and
    I still don't see a reason to assume it is flat.
     
  16. Steve

    Steve Guest

    On 12/30/02 11:27 AM, in article [email protected], "Michael Hoyt"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Plot the standard deviation

    RBR does not have many "standard deviants" Most are "mensa deviants".......

    and my guess is that neither of those charts mean
    > much.
    >
    > M
    >
    >
    >> Here's some data of power by cadence for a guy doing a 40K TT (collected from a Power Tap--hence,
    >> the holes in the cadence numbers at 94, 99, and 102rpm):
    >> http://mywebpage.netscape.com/rechung/wattage/cadence/cadence-plot1.png
    >>
    >> Here's some data for a completely different guy doing hillclimb intervals using a Polar S710:
    >> http://mywebpage.netscape.com/rechung/wattage/cadence/cadence-plot2.png
    >>
    >> What do you see?
     
  17. Robert Chung

    Robert Chung Guest

    "The Pomeranian" <[email protected]> wrote
    > > What do you see?
    > Because of these uncertainties, I would demand multitudinous sample runs over all the conditions
    > over time. The uncertainties demand statistical significance (high number of sample runs), if one
    > really wants to be scientific about it. By nature, the sample runs can't be done "blind" because
    > the subject has to be instructed to focus on particular cadences and try "just as hard" with each.
    > The price for meaningful data is rising and I still have no bidders.
    >
    > On cadence-plot2.png, again this different rider has chosen to put his/her cadence up around 95
    > rpm for most samples. There (in the red line) appears to be higher power output at lower cadences,
    > but the sample numbers are low and again this may point to unsustainability, and probably does
    > considering the rather significant power output.

    Hmmm. Wow, you were trying hard.

    1. I should have mentioned that the red lines are a sorta kinda smoothed mean (it's actually a
    locally-weighted regression line, but I can't remember at this moment how wide the rpm window is,
    or the weighting function. Not that important anyway). The Power Tap data are collected at
    2.52-second intervals, while the Polar data are at 5-seconds. Each figure represents about an
    hour's worth of data.

    2. Here's what I see, and I always think it's funny how people can look at the same data and come
    to different conclusions (but then, anyone who reads the OT rbr posts knows this to be so). I've
    had the chance to look at several other power data sets (including Dede Demet's Montreal WC
    data), and what I see is that the relationship between cadence and power is not as simple as it
    seemed you were saying. You're exactly right, there need to be lots of controlled tests. This is
    why I was wondering in your post (where you were so sure about the relationship between rpm and
    power) whether you had a power meter and had done such tests. Nonetheless, my provisional
    thinking is that this relationship varies quite a bit from person to person, and that gradient
    has a lot to do with it. That's what I got from the comparison between the plots: the first is a
    flat 40K TT, the second is a series of hill intervals. I actually don't know if either rider
    should be riding at higher or lower cadences--all we know is what they were doing, not what they
    should have been doing. BTW, the hill interval data are identifiable because the rider was using
    a Polar S710, and I was able to look at the altitude info. I think this is a useful feature for
    power meters. Although Dede Demet's data were collected from an altimeter-less Power Tap, you
    can still spot how the power-cadence relationship is heavily determined by the hills.

    > I still don't know how flat the max horsepower v. rpm curve is for most humans, and I still don't
    > see a reason to assume it is flat.

    It sounds like you're ascribing a position to me that I do not hold. I wasn't challenging you, I was
    asking if you had done the experiments. Since you hadn't I thought you'd be interested in seeing how
    the steepness of the climb seems to have an effect.
     
  18. Tom Kunich

    Tom Kunich Guest

    "Robert Chung" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    > 1. I should have mentioned that the red lines are a sorta kinda smoothed mean (it's actually a
    > locally-weighted regression line, but I can't remember at this moment how wide the rpm window
    > is, or the weighting function. Not that important anyway). The Power Tap data are collected at
    > 2.52-second intervals, while the Polar data are at 5-seconds. Each figure represents about an
    > hour's worth of data.

    Very interesting data though I don't get what you mean by the cadence/power being more complicated
    that on first look. It would appear to me that when someone starts putting out a great deal of power
    the cadence necessarily slows. Indeed, we even see that with Lance where I measured his cadence on a
    flat TT at 120-130 and on climbs at 90-100. If one of the world's fittest men cannot maintain a high
    cadence when climbing I don't know who could.

    Pertaining to power output on the flats, I wonder what the graphs would look like if you were using
    very large gears to achieve the speed.
     
  19. Robert Chung wrote:
    >
    > Hmmm. Wow, you were trying hard.

    Since I wasn't, I guess I should take that as a compliment. In a longhanded way I was trying to say
    I wasn't sure what to make of it... yet. I've seen a few data graphs throughout the years.

    > 1. I should have mentioned that the red lines are a sorta kinda smoothed mean (it's actually a
    > locally-weighted regression line, but I can't remember at this moment how wide the rpm window
    > is, or the weighting function. Not that important anyway). The Power Tap data are collected at
    > 2.52-second intervals, while the Polar data are at 5-seconds. Each figure represents about an
    > hour's worth of data.
    >
    > 2. Here's what I see, and I always think it's funny how people can look at the same data and come
    > to different conclusions (but then, anyone who reads the OT rbr posts knows this to be so).
    > I've had the chance to look at several other power data sets (including Dede Demet's Montreal
    > WC data), and what I see is that the relationship between cadence and power is not as simple
    > as it seemed you were saying. You're exactly right, there need to be lots of controlled tests.

    The trouble is that this ends up being a social science because we can't put the subject in a lab
    for extended periods the way we could mice and machines. The bottom line is that good general
    conclusions would seem to be expensive.

    > This is why I was wondering in your post (where you were so sure about the relationship between
    > rpm and power) whether you had a power meter and had done such tests. Nonetheless, my provisional
    > thinking is that this relationship varies quite a bit from person to person, and that gradient has
    > a lot to do with it.

    I don't know what "quite a bit" is, especially among select groups of experienced racers. Naturally
    there is no reason to presume different individuals are identical -- the fact that "different people
    *are* different by definition" would lead to the opposite presumption. What is "quite a bit?"

    I'm not sure why gradient would be too much of a factor (or any factor?) regarding power v. rpm.
    Maybe it is, but I just don't know why it would be... yet. Traditionally riders have used lower
    cadences for climbing but I attribute this as much to limitations in race bike gearing as anything.
    All racers basically had the same equipment limitations, so the playing field was pretty level and
    it didn't matter if cadences dropped, as long as they all dropped. As we move to 10sp cassettes and
    triple fronts w/ front indexing, we might start to see cadences for flat
    v. climbing converge because gearing tradeoffs, as an unseparable parameter, will vanish. It is too
    early to tell. The climbs need to be "long" to begin to sort out the difference.

    > That's what I got from the comparison between the plots: the first is a flat 40K TT, the second is
    > a series of hill intervals. I actually don't know if either rider should be riding at higher or
    > lower cadences--all we know is what they were doing, not what they should have been doing.

    I suppose that as a social science, we should ask if the "body has a wisdom" about this. Riders are
    incentivized to do as well as possible In seeking the optimum because of the reward incentive, they
    "listen to their bodies." The question is are they being fooled by the body or is the body telling
    the truth? Are they interpreting the message rightly? Have other social influences come into play
    that distort the results? For example, a popularized theme of "spin to win" that may or may not have
    been sufficiently scrutinized. Or is the spin-to-win advice generally good but properly vague, and
    based on 100 years of bike racing experience?

    > BTW, the hill interval data are identifiable because the rider was using a Polar S710, and I was
    > able to look at the altitude info. I think this is a useful feature for power meters. Although
    > Dede Demet's data were collected from an altimeter-less Power Tap, you can still spot how the
    > power-cadence relationship is heavily determined by the hills.
    >
    > > I still don't know how flat the max horsepower v. rpm curve is for most humans, and I still
    > > don't see a reason to assume it is flat.
    >
    > It sounds like you're ascribing a position to me that I do not hold.

    No, I'm not assuming you think anything in particular. I'm restating mine so it isn't forgotten, as
    happens sometimes in usenet forums. I'm pointing out that the graphs, while interesting, didn't
    change my presumption.

    > I wasn't challenging you, I was asking if you had done the experiments.

    I wish, but a power meter is expensive and so way down on my list.

    > Since you hadn't I thought you'd be interested in seeing how the steepness of the climb seems to
    > have an effect.

    I was interested and it was interesting. Thanks. But I could not conclude anything from it, other
    than the riders seemed to prefer "95 rpm" for events that apparently were trying to get the most
    joules out possible for some time period.

    I think it is important to note that mass start races don't at all require "most joules out" for the
    length of the race. For mass start races, it is only "most joules out" at specific times. For the
    rest of the time in a mass start race, conservation of energy and prevention of fatigue are more
    important, and this is so one can maximize the joules when it will pay off in spades. Energy
    conservation and fatigue consideration may call for a different cadence than the "max joules out
    over a set time" that TTs require, as those also are likely to have a peak (without trying to say
    how sharp that peak is). Again, there is no reason to assume those different condition cadences are
    the same, although perhaps they are not far apart.

    An illustrative analogy is my car motor. The best fuel economy (conservation of energy) occurs at an
    rpm different (lower) from max horsepower. I don't know why a bio-motor would be conceptually
    different, although the distinctions may not be as sharp and they certainly aren't as easily tested.
    It takes a certain amount of energy to move the legs around in a circle, even with no resistance.
    The faster the rotation, the more energy. While energy conservative pedaling in a race is not a zero
    resistance condition, a bit lower cadence might make sense. As ever, it is a balance of constraints
    that depend upon the specific goal.

    So does a riders attraction towards a cadence mean something? I don't know, but I don't think
    incentivized preferences can be easily cast off.
     
  20. Tom Kunich

    Tom Kunich Guest

    "The Pomeranian" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > The trouble is that this ends up being a social science because we can't put the subject in a lab
    > for extended periods the way we could mice and machines. The bottom line is that good general
    > conclusions would seem to be expensive.

    Are they? Do you ride the way you think you should ride or the way that feels natural to you?
     
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