pedaling technique

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by dannyboy1206, Jul 28, 2004.

  1. dannyboy1206

    dannyboy1206 Guest

    What is the rule when you are pedaling do you spin your legs in lower
    gears or do churn the legs round in high gears.Some people say you
    build muscle endurance quicker in the higher gears but other people
    say it damages your knees can anyone help.

    Cheers
     
    Tags:


  2. In news:[email protected],
    dannyboy1206 <[email protected]> typed:
    > What is the rule when you are pedaling do you spin your legs in lower
    > gears or do churn the legs round in high gears.Some people say you
    > build muscle endurance quicker in the higher gears but other people
    > say it damages your knees can anyone help.


    Much much better to spin the legs in relatively low gears. I can't remember
    the reasons at the moment, but it just works for me, and is the received
    wisdom from those in the know.

    A
     
  3. Velvet

    Velvet Guest

    dannyboy1206 wrote:

    > What is the rule when you are pedaling do you spin your legs in lower
    > gears or do churn the legs round in high gears.Some people say you
    > build muscle endurance quicker in the higher gears but other people
    > say it damages your knees can anyone help.
    >
    > Cheers


    Well I've got dodgy knees, and found spinning in low gears was a lot
    easier on them - but only once I'd got the saddle high enough that the
    position wasn't bad, till I did that spinning was very bad for them!

    I think if you can maintain the spin up hills then it's probably the
    better way to do it, but if you have strong knees and don't *overdo*
    it in higher gears you might find you prefer a higher gear - I think it
    depends on the person.

    I found spinning very tiring initially, and my rpm would have been about
    60-70 by choice - these days I only do that if I'm coasting along -
    normal riding cadence is 80-95, peaking at 105-110 on rare occasions.

    I change between spin and high gears depending on the gradient and wind,
    and how the legs feel - sometimes it's nice to give hte spinning a rest
    and use the muscles differently for a short distance before going back
    to spinning along again.
    --


    Velvet
     
  4. "Ambrose Nankivell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > In news:[email protected],
    > dannyboy1206 <[email protected]> typed:
    > > What is the rule when you are pedaling do you spin your legs in lower
    > > gears or do churn the legs round in high gears.Some people say you
    > > build muscle endurance quicker in the higher gears but other people
    > > say it damages your knees can anyone help.


    I don't know about building muscle endurance quicker, you'll certainly wreck
    your knees quicker.

    Pedalling a little faster in an easier gear is the way to go, the
    cardiovascular system pumps better and you will keep a better average speed.
    And you won't wreck your trusty knees.

    Burns more calories too if I'm not mistaken.

    Alan
     
  5. On 28 Jul 2004 13:44:24 -0700, [email protected] (dannyboy1206)
    wrote in message <[email protected]>:

    >What is the rule when you are pedaling do you spin your legs in lower
    >gears or do churn the legs round in high gears.Some people say you
    >build muscle endurance quicker in the higher gears but other people
    >say it damages your knees can anyone help.


    High gears, slow cadence: Ullrich
    Low gears, fast cadence: Armstrong.

    Who won? ;-)

    Guy
    --
    May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
    http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

    88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
     
  6. Meschersmit

    Meschersmit Guest

    Everyone's different though. There can surely be no "right" or "wrong"
    way - it's whatever suits you. Ullrich does use low cadence yet still came
    second up Alpe D'huex time trial - against high cadence spinners. It must
    surely depend on the muscularity of the legs. Not that I am an expert, I'd
    be the first to admit. I must say though that I favour the low cadence
    approach; but then again I'm a very big guy.
    MS

    "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > On 28 Jul 2004 13:44:24 -0700, [email protected] (dannyboy1206)
    > wrote in message <[email protected]>:
    >
    > >What is the rule when you are pedaling do you spin your legs in lower
    > >gears or do churn the legs round in high gears.Some people say you
    > >build muscle endurance quicker in the higher gears but other people
    > >say it damages your knees can anyone help.

    >
    > High gears, slow cadence: Ullrich
    > Low gears, fast cadence: Armstrong.
    >
    > Who won? ;-)
    >
    > Guy
    > --
    > May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
    > http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk
    >
    > 88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
     
  7. On Wed, 28 Jul 2004 22:26:35 +0100, "Meschersmit" <[email protected]>
    wrote in message <[email protected]>:

    >Everyone's different though. There can surely be no "right" or "wrong"
    >way - it's whatever suits you. Ullrich does use low cadence yet still came
    >second up Alpe D'huex time trial - against high cadence spinners. It must
    >surely depend on the muscularity of the legs. Not that I am an expert, I'd
    >be the first to admit. I must say though that I favour the low cadence
    >approach; but then again I'm a very big guy.


    I go much faster and with far fewer joint problems since I increased
    my cruising cadence from 80-odd to 100+. I am not particularly big,
    at 6'1" and 13st.

    Guy
    --
    May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
    http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

    88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
     
  8. On 28-Jul-2004, [email protected] (dannyboy1206) wrote:

    > What is the rule when you are pedaling do you spin your legs in lower
    > gears or do churn the legs round in high gears


    There isn't a rule; it's really down to what suits you best. Both
    techniques have produced great champions.

    Spinning low gears is easier on the muscles and joints and arguably produces
    more responsivity (if you suddenly need to sprint uphill for example) It
    also /tends/ to increase the heart rate.

    *Churning* high gears may also be desirable, but only if you have built up
    good leg strength. It can be (maybe for psychological reasons, I don't
    know) less tiring on long rides. This is the technique I prefer. It does
    require getting into a good rolling rhythm, though. Once you feel you are
    *grinding*, it's time to change down.

    I suggest you experiment and find out what suits best.

    Ian
     
  9. cd667

    cd667 New Member

    Joined:
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    Spinning has to be the way to go, within reason. People who churn might not be harming themselves, but then again they might without realising, so do anything to reduce that possibility. You will never get a new pair of knees.
     
  10. Call me Bob

    Call me Bob Guest

    On Wed, 28 Jul 2004 20:55:20 GMT, "Mr. Alan Paterson"
    <apsw07048<spam>@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:

    >I don't know about building muscle endurance quicker, you'll certainly wreck
    >your knees quicker.


    I see this written here all the time and by so many different people.
    I always end up thinking, there's so many of 'em, they can't all be
    wrong... but it always niggles in the back of my mind.

    Is it really going to make that much of a difference? Are our knees
    really put at risk by a habit of pushing a slightly higher gear?

    I wonder what the difference is in terms of actual pressure and
    working load in the knee between moving at a given speed with a
    cadence of say 65 and that same speed at 85rpm. Is one really going to
    be measurably more damaging to your knee than the other?

    Spinning at a higher cadence would I suppose slightly lower the
    pressures in the knee, but at the same time it forces the joint into
    many more repetitions for the same amount of work. Is there any
    science to prove the knee is better adapted for this?

    Okay, I'm no bio-mechanical expert (or novice even) so I accept my
    understanding could be way out here, but surely cycling either way
    (spinning or pushing higher gear) is less stressful for the knee than
    running, climbing stairs and even walking? After all, most of our
    weight is supported by bum and arms when cycling so the pressure on
    the joint is much reduced from it's normal working conditions anyway.

    The knee is only doing what it has evolved to do (not exactly, I grant
    you, but pretty bloody close). Plus, our knees are designed to put up
    with a lot more grief then our modern sedentary lifestyles ask of
    them.

    *shrug*

    Well, there you go, I've said it out loud now for all to hear. That's
    what goes through my mind everytime I read the "it'll bugger your
    knees" line.

    You can all point out my ignorance and stupidity now. I promise to
    take it like a man...

    :)
    --

    "Bob"

    'The people have spoken, the bastards'

    Email address is spam trapped.
    To reply directly remove the beverage.
     
  11. elyob

    elyob Guest

    "Call me Bob" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]

    > The knee is only doing what it has evolved to do (not exactly, I grant
    > you, but pretty bloody close). Plus, our knees are designed to put up
    > with a lot more grief then our modern sedentary lifestyles ask of
    > them.
    >
    > *shrug*
    >
    > Well, there you go, I've said it out loud now for all to hear. That's
    > what goes through my mind everytime I read the "it'll bugger your
    > knees" line.
    >
    > You can all point out my ignorance and stupidity now. I promise to
    > take it like a man...
    >
    > :)


    Sometimes I cycle like Ullrich, sometimes like Armstrong... never, ever, as
    well though.
     
  12. Tim Hall

    Tim Hall Guest

    On Wed, 28 Jul 2004 21:57:46 +0100, "Just zis Guy, you know?"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On 28 Jul 2004 13:44:24 -0700, [email protected] (dannyboy1206)
    >wrote in message <[email protected]>:
    >
    >>What is the rule when you are pedaling do you spin your legs in lower
    >>gears or do churn the legs round in high gears.Some people say you
    >>build muscle endurance quicker in the higher gears but other people
    >>say it damages your knees can anyone help.

    >
    >High gears, slow cadence: Ullrich
    >Low gears, fast cadence: Armstrong.
    >
    >Who won? ;-)



    Not that simple though. Shirley the Ulrich line should read

    High gears, slow cadence, eat pies all witer.


    Tim
     
  13. Alex Ferrier

    Alex Ferrier Guest

    Velvet wrote:
    >
    > dannyboy1206 wrote:
    >
    > > What is the rule when you are pedaling do you spin your legs in lower
    > > gears or do churn the legs round in high gears.Some people say you
    > > build muscle endurance quicker in the higher gears but other people
    > > say it damages your knees can anyone help.
    > >
    > > Cheers

    >
    > Well I've got dodgy knees, and found spinning in low gears was a lot
    > easier on them - but only once I'd got the saddle high enough that the
    > position wasn't bad, till I did that spinning was very bad for them!
    >
    > I think if you can maintain the spin up hills then it's probably the
    > better way to do it, but if you have strong knees and don't *overdo*
    > it in higher gears you might find you prefer a higher gear - I think it
    > depends on the person.
    >
    > I found spinning very tiring initially, and my rpm would have been about
    > 60-70 by choice - these days I only do that if I'm coasting along -
    > normal riding cadence is 80-95, peaking at 105-110 on rare occasions.
    >
    > I change between spin and high gears depending on the gradient and wind,
    > and how the legs feel - sometimes it's nice to give hte spinning a rest
    > and use the muscles differently for a short distance before going back
    > to spinning along again.


    <fx: clink of tuppence hitting the pot>

    I too change between pedalling cadences quite a lot. On the flat my
    cadence is usually around 90-95, however on the uphill stuff I quite
    often find I arrive at the top of a hill in the best condition if I
    drop my cadence to the low 70s. I suspect body type has much to do with
    this. As a mesomorph I have a lot of weight to drag up a hill, those
    bloody weeny little ectomorphs have a much easier time of it... I guess
    my muscle and bone structure is just better suited to grinding a bigger
    gear than spinning, up hills. As a recreational cyclist and someone who's
    never had any kind of joint pain or problems, I figure that I'm in no real
    danger of damaging my knees, though if I ever do start to get twinges...
    I'll re-evaluate asap.

    --
    Alex
    BMW R1150GS
    DIAABTCOD#3 MSWF#4 UKRMFBC#6 Ibw#35 BOB#8
    http://www.team-ukrm.co.uk
    Windy's "little soldier"
     
  14. Gawnsoft

    Gawnsoft Guest

    On Wed, 28 Jul 2004 23:11:17 +0100, Call me Bob
    <[email protected]> wrote (more or less):

    >On Wed, 28 Jul 2004 20:55:20 GMT, "Mr. Alan Paterson"
    ><apsw07048<spam>@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
    >
    >>I don't know about building muscle endurance quicker, you'll certainly wreck
    >>your knees quicker.

    >
    >I see this written here all the time and by so many different people.
    >I always end up thinking, there's so many of 'em, they can't all be
    >wrong... but it always niggles in the back of my mind.
    >
    >Is it really going to make that much of a difference? Are our knees
    >really put at risk by a habit of pushing a slightly higher gear?


    Yep - they really are.


    --
    Cheers,
    Euan
    Gawnsoft: http://www.gawnsoft.co.sr
    Symbian/Epoc wiki: http://html.dnsalias.net:1122
    Smalltalk links (harvested from comp.lang.smalltalk) http://html.dnsalias.net/gawnsoft/smalltalk
     
  15. davek

    davek Guest

    dannyboy1206 wrote:
    > What is the rule when you are pedaling do you spin your legs in lower
    > gears or do churn the legs round in high gears.Some people say you
    > build muscle endurance quicker in the higher gears but other people
    > say it damages your knees can anyone help.


    Riding on the flat with the wind at my back, as was the case with the
    first half of my ride yesterday evening, I kept up a steady 105 rpm for
    around 20 minutes and it felt fantastic - my legs were going round
    easily with no sensation of stress on either muscles or joints. Over
    that part of the route I was averaging well over 20mph.

    Then I hit the one big hill on my route, my cadence dropped to 65-70 and
    suddenly my legs felt very tired. I managed to get up it quite well
    (keeping up a steady 8mph) but only by pushing quite hard - and in a
    gear that was probably too high - and by the time I got to the top my
    knees were starting to feel sore. Near the top, I tried dropping to a
    lower gear and spinning, but I just couldn't get my legs going round
    fast enough to make it count.

    So, yes, spinning does work and is a lot easier on the knees than
    pushing, but hills do tend to throw a bit of a spanner in the works.
    However, I would much rather encounter the occasional hill and suffer
    through it than sit on an exercise bike in a gym.

    d.
     
  16. MSeries

    MSeries New Member

    Joined:
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    0
    I am surprised it took 5 posts before the name Armstrong was mentioned. Anyone would think he invented pedalling. High cadence has been the recommendation for years. I can't remember the reasons why but it comes failry naturally now.
     
  17. davek

    davek Guest

    Meschersmit wrote:
    > It must
    > surely depend on the muscularity of the legs. Not that I am an expert, I'd
    > be the first to admit. I must say though that I favour the low cadence
    > approach; but then again I'm a very big guy.


    Well, they always say that Ullrich can pump round the big gears at high
    speeds because of his "big engine" - I'm not entirely sure what that
    means, but I suspect it translates into a much higher proportion of
    "fast twitch" muscle fibres than the average person, which would enable
    him to work harder for longer than the average person.

    Spinning uses the "slow twitch" parts of the muscles, which makes it
    easier to sustain for a longer period, and in theory anyone should be
    able to ride like that, even Ullrich.

    To do it to Armstrong's level doesn't rely on muscle type so much as
    excellent technique, intense concentration and lots and lots of
    practise. I think the real reason Ullrich can't ride like that is
    because he is too set in his ways.

    d.
     
  18. On Thu, 29 Jul 2004 17:40:45 +1000, MSeries wrote:

    > I am surprised it took 5 posts before the name Armstrong was mentioned.
    > Anyone would think he invented pedalling. High cadence has been the
    > recommendation for years.


    Quite right. I have a 1989 book that recommends a cadence of 80-100 on
    flat or slightly undulating roads. It mentions that UK time trialists
    commonly used cadences of 110-120 between the world wars but the theory
    subsequently changed to 60-70. Obviously the pendulum has now swung back.

    --
    Michael MacClancy
    Random putdown - "They never open their mouths without subtracting from
    the sum of human knowledge." - Thomas Brackett Reed
    www.macclancy.demon.co.uk
    www.macclancy.co.uk
     
  19. On Thu, 29 Jul 2004 07:38:43 +0000 (UTC), davek wrote:

    > dannyboy1206 wrote:
    >> What is the rule when you are pedaling do you spin your legs in lower
    >> gears or do churn the legs round in high gears.Some people say you
    >> build muscle endurance quicker in the higher gears but other people
    >> say it damages your knees can anyone help.

    >
    > Riding on the flat with the wind at my back, as was the case with the
    > first half of my ride yesterday evening, I kept up a steady 105 rpm for
    > around 20 minutes and it felt fantastic - my legs were going round
    > easily with no sensation of stress on either muscles or joints. Over
    > that part of the route I was averaging well over 20mph.
    >
    > Then I hit the one big hill on my route, my cadence dropped to 65-70 and
    > suddenly my legs felt very tired. I managed to get up it quite well
    > (keeping up a steady 8mph) but only by pushing quite hard - and in a
    > gear that was probably too high - and by the time I got to the top my
    > knees were starting to feel sore. Near the top, I tried dropping to a
    > lower gear and spinning, but I just couldn't get my legs going round
    > fast enough to make it count.
    >
    > So, yes, spinning does work and is a lot easier on the knees than
    > pushing, but hills do tend to throw a bit of a spanner in the works.
    > However, I would much rather encounter the occasional hill and suffer
    > through it than sit on an exercise bike in a gym.
    >
    > d.


    You need to change down sooner. ;-)
    --
    Michael MacClancy
    Random putdown - "He had delusions of adequacy." - Walter Kerr
    www.macclancy.demon.co.uk
    www.macclancy.co.uk
     
  20. Arthur Clune

    Arthur Clune Guest

    MSeries <[email protected]> wrote:

    : I am surprised it took 5 posts before the name Armstrong was mentioned.
    : Anyone would think he invented pedalling. High cadence has been the
    : recommendation for years.

    What's different is the cadence he climbs at. Though of course the
    old guys were climbing the Alps on a 44 small ring so didn't have
    much option about spinning up the hills!

    Arthur

    --
    Arthur Clune http://www.clune.org
    "Technolibertarians make a philosophy out of a personality defect"
    - Paulina Borsook
     
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