Spinning on Endurance Rides

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by brtguy, Feb 14, 2005.

  1. brtguy

    brtguy New Member

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    Question: For endurance rides, is it advisable to devote the entire time to over-spinning? That is, is it better to concentrate on 110 rpm and then drop down in a race to 100 rpm? Of course, the 110 rpm will drop lower on hill climbs, however, under the previous scheme one may drop to 90 in training but in a race drop to 80. Would the other work on intervals make up for whatever strength may not be gained during spinning?

    All responses will be most appreciated.

    :confused: Brtguy
     
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  2. ct2

    ct2 New Member

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    The harder you go, the higher your cadence should be. The easier, the slower. So on an endurance ride, you should probably be around 80 rpm for the most efficient spin. Check this out...

    http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=2880

    Summary - there are individual differences in cyclists that cause their most optimum cadence to vary, but as a general rule the more power you put out the faster you should spin.
     
  3. vitiris

    vitiris New Member

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    Interesting article but in my experience if you want to change your cadence buy a fixed wheel with lowish gearing (I'm on 63.5"). I can now spin quite happily at 150+ and power the pedals at 130+ and that's only after 2 months and 1500 miles. By the way it's very hilly round here 1:5 is not unusual up or down. Good fun on the road bike afterwards as you don't want to stop spinning because it's bad news on the fixed and you have to make a positive effort to override your brain telling you that stopping the pedals is fatal
     
  4. brtguy

    brtguy New Member

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    Your experience is interesting and I basically managed to accomplish a similar gain, that is, an improvement in cadence. However, I want to know whether you think this came at the expense of power for hill climbing. My question is, are you better off reducing cadence to develop the strength for hill climbing?
     
  5. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    I'm trying to work on both sides of the coin now: high cadence intervals to raise most efficient natural cadence, and also low cadence/high muscle effort to build strength. My theory is that building leg strength helps when quick accel is needed to stay with the pack, as well as powering over rollers without downshifting. But, for long-distance rides, high cadence seems to help save the legs.

    An endurance ride or indoor trainer is a great time to use combine both these intervals. Believe it's better to throw in some high/low cadence training rather than just riding the same cadence and gear all the time.
     
  6. vitiris

    vitiris New Member

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    Funny you should ask that as hill climbing is my strength (there are nothing but hills round here). I went out on the road bike for the first time in a couple of months last Sunday and found that my flat/rolling speed seemed well up but that my power on the climb seemed down. I don't really understand why as I ride hills on the fixie, seated and out of the saddle, some of them are 10 to 15% which require a lot of power to climb in a 63.5" and as you can imagine the cadence is very low. The best training I've found for hills, apart from doing them, is taking a tandem with a slightly unfit partner over hilly terrain. You fly up them after that!
     
  7. ct2

    ct2 New Member

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    CLIMBING CADENCE

    Jonathan Vaughters advises using your energy wisely on long climbs.

    "Short climbs are different, but on long climbs you always want to descend your rpms -- that is, use a higher cadence at the bottom of the hill than at the top," Vaughters says.

    "It's easier to go from a little too small a gear at the bottom up to a bigger gear than it is to go from a big gear down to the right gear. Physiologically, your body cannot adjust from pushing a big gear at a low rpm to a lower gear and a higher rpm in the middle of the climb."

    Vaughters continues, "Lots of people make a big deal about Lance's high rpm, but that just comes straight from Michele Ferrari (the famous Italian cycling doctor).

    "Ferrari's studies say that if you keep the muscle contraction force below a certain level by pedaling at a higher rpm -- perhaps over 70 rpm on a climb for most people -- you keep the capillaries from collapsing under the pressure, and you get deeper oxygenation in the muscles.

    "But Lance's 90 to 100 rpm when climbing is extreme and unnecessary for most riders, since very few people are putting out 500 watts during a half-hour climb like he is. Consequently they don't have as high a muscle contraction force collapsing the capillaries.

    "You don't necessarily need as high an rpm as Lance," Vaughters concludes, "but the theory is the same."
     
  8. edd

    edd New Member

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    Hi
    last year I trained in big gears at relatively low cadences(60 to 80 most of the time). Didn't focus much on the exact cadence, just tried to maintain good road speed.

    This year I started to train at specific cadences. In endurance rides I use a small digital metronome, it just ticks away in my pocket. I maintain a cadence of 95 for about an hour and half then drop back to 75 for about another hour. I am now doing 75% of my training at these two cadences.

    When I do intervals, I start at 75 hold for about 10min then raise the cadence to 95 trying to hold the same gear for another 10min.. these are a serious heart buster.

    I beginning to think that those very high cadences are for those with extremely good aerobic capacities

    On a hill I find 75 is better then 95, however, I try to lift to 95 near the top of the hill. I found by doing this instead of selecting a bigger gear dropping the cadence and honking I'm in better shape at the top of the hill.
     
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