road sprinting vs track sprinting cadence

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by dominikk85, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. dominikk85

    dominikk85 New Member

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    Sorry for starting another thread:D.

    do you know why the best track sprinters go 150-160 RPM but the best road sprinters only 110-120? also road sprinters sprint out of the saddle while track guys only sprint out of the saddle the first 3-4 seconds of the acceleration and then go seated the rest.
     
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  2. fergie

    fergie Member

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    Yes back in the old days when sprinters raced on 88in and 90in gears they used those cadences. Now they run very big gears and the optimal cadence is around 130 rpm. Some would suggest even lower. Most of the top track sprinters use a 102-110in gear.

    I expect that because they all use similar gears the track sprinters are out of the saddle less because they haven't ridden 100 miles coming into the sprint and can wind up the gear faster.
     
  3. marcovelo125

    marcovelo125 New Member

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    It might be worth pointing out, too, what is meant by track sprinter. If you mean a match sprinter, then the previous poster covers it.

    It might be added that sprinting tactics have changed, and the gears with it, as noted by fergie. Jump from standstill used to be a common tactic, which required a small gear that could be accelerated. Now, tactics tend to revolve around managing the spacing between one's opponent, which takes place at a higher speed, so that the gear is already turning and no small gear is needed for fast acceleration from zero.

    I'll just point out in case you aren't familiar with track racing, that track cyclists in general tend to use relatively small gears by road standards. Even professional Madison racers (6-day racers) still tend to use something in the range of 88s, for example. First of all, it is a long program with lots of racing, and a big gear will kill you. Also, having only one gear , all track racers both need to be able to accelerate it now and then be able to develop/maintain a high top end speed. Of course having a smaller gear that can be accelerated easily has to be "paid for" with a very high cadence at the top end. Hence the ability to spin 150+ rpm easily and develop real power at the very limit of your cadence. (If you haven't tried it, it's not easy.)

    Road cyclists don't have to make this trade off and so never have to develop a really high cadence.

    The in/out of the saddle is related: very difficult (impossible?) to spin 150+rpm out of the saddle, which track racers have to do given the relatively small gear.
     
  4. dominikk85

    dominikk85 New Member

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    so are they using lower cadences now? why is that? I remember reading that you can achieve higher power output at higher cadences (I think le mond or so said that 160 was best for sprint, 140 for kilo and 120 for pursuit)?

    is that info wrong?
     
  5. fergie

    fergie Member

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    Yup, those evil sport scientists done studied it (using World Class and National class French Sprinters) and found the optimal cadence is far lower than previously thought.

    Still depends on the rider. Bos or Pendleton used a smaller gear and higher cadence but both were a lot lighter than the opposition.
     
  6. ambal

    ambal Active Member

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    I suspected that was the case, Theo Boss is probably the only sprinter in recent history who could convert to the road! do you have a link to any of the studies?
     
  7. fergie

    fergie Member

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    This Australian Sprinting site has links to most of the relevant studies...

    http://upupup.aboc.com.au/

    The Dorel and the Gardner (Pendleton's partner) papers are the main ones to look at.
     
  8. dominikk85

    dominikk85 New Member

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    are the best match sprinters actually using 130 or is it just the best in theory?
     
  9. dominikk85

    dominikk85 New Member

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    Northstein also did it but not on the big stage I think.

    I wonder why bos is doing so bad on the road? that guy did a 9.8 a few years ago and could probably produce 2000+ watts but he consistently loses badly in road sprints (and not even close but like 8th to 10th). I would understand if he got dropped (which often happens) but even if he is in the first 20 on the last KM he still doesn't do anything. I have never seen him winning a sprint (although I know that he won some minor events this year).
     
  10. bubsy

    bubsy New Member

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    I gotta say it's kinda hard to change gears on track bike mid race so high cadence is the only option, I'm sure if track bikes had gears you would see many sprinters choose a lower cadence when sprinting or at least when winding up for the sprint,

    It would also be very hard to get off the line in a 55 - 11t, someone with less power but smaller gearing could get off the line faster and TT their way to the finish line, so a compromise is made to suit the rider.
     
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