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  1. #1
    Senior Member Sincitycycler's Avatar
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    So do you pot your bike in it's biggest gear when you sprint finish?

    I'm not a racer (yet) but I always like to finish off a ride with a lame sprint finish attempt at the end.

    To this point, I have been shifting down and trying to spin off a finish, but I've been reading some articles about riders shifting up to their 53-11 and just pounding it!

    Isn't it hard to accelerate in such a massive gear?
    "How did all those 'Keep Off the Grass' signs get there?"

  2. #2
    Giving you the business. Cypress's Avatar
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    I put it in a gear that is a little too hard to sit and push from the speed prior to sprint. That way I can wrap it up hardcore closer to the line. My sprints are won not because of the initial "snap", but because nobody can match my top end.

    I know a lot of guys that can go 28-35 fairly quickly, but after that, they fizzle out. When I come down the home straight at 40+, it's tough to keep up with that. It makes for a long sprint, but hey, I'd rather have the win by over 1 second than risk a photo finish.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    I usually downshift to get the revs up for sprinting (faster acceleration). So if I'm cruising at 90rpms, I downshift one gear to start at 100rpms. Spin up to 120rpms or so and upshift one gear down to 105rpms ... spin it up to 120rpms... I try to cross the finish line at 115-125rpms.

  4. #4
    Out of Commission OC Roadie's Avatar
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    On a flat or slightly uphill sprint finish, I'm usually in 53/13 or 53/14. I'm not a strong sprinter, that gearing usually tops me out at about 34-35 mph.
    If you don't have anything nice to say about anybody, then come sit next to me.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Snicklefritz's Avatar
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    I think a lot depends on the individual and also the situation. Last week I did some testing/data gathering at the infineon speedway's drag strip in Sonoma, CA. I tried various types of starts, from being in an easy gear to begin with for easy spin-up. Another thing I tried was starting in a harder gear that I thought I could use for most of the 1/4 mile and avoid shifting. In this situation, my best times came from starting in an easier gear in the back and then spinning up to 110+ rpm and then shifting to a harder gear as I got my momentum going.

    The following week when I was practing uphill sprints, I found the opposite. My best times came from starting in a harder gear and sticking with it.

    I'd probably need to take more samples over a few months to really get a true picture of the situation, but so far, this is what has worked for me.

  6. #6
    Giving you the business. Cypress's Avatar
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    I shift as little as possible. Keeps my mind on going fast and nothing else.
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  7. #7
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Only people that should be sprinting in a 53x11 are being paid for it. At 120 rpm thatis 46mph. Unless you are incredibly strong. or have a great leadout, everyone is going to be down the road before you begin to get on top of that. Good sprinting cadence is around 140 rpm. Pick a gear you can accelerate to 140 rpm quickly. And as for having a bigger gear for a higher top end you can always shift up. That's one reason they invented STI so you can shift with your hands on the drops out of the saddle.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Sincitycycler's Avatar
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    This month's Pro Cycling said that Tom Boonen can crank a 54-11 on a sprint finish!!
    "How did all those 'Keep Off the Grass' signs get there?"

  9. #9
    Announcer EventServices's Avatar
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    Too many variables.

    Tailwind - Headwind
    Downhill - Uphill
    lead-out - going from the front
    how fast are we going when we start?

    I find the biggest gear that I can turn over.
    I usually know within 1 or 2 pedal strokes if I'm going to do anything special.

  10. #10
    Giving you the business. Cypress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sincitycycler
    This month's Pro Cycling said that Tom Boonen can crank a 54-11 on a sprint finish!!

    He is a manbeast.

    Pay me to ride my bike instead of working all day and I could eventually pull that off too.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    Geesus christ, I hope you're kidding - please tell me you know how many variables there are in a sprint - Like a jillion.

  12. #12
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress
    He is a manbeast.

    Pay me to ride my bike instead of working all day and I could eventually pull that off too.
    You gonna try out for the spot on Disco?
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  13. #13
    Slow'n'Aero DrWJODonnell's Avatar
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    my rule is that I ry to go into the buildup at 120-140 RPMs on the leadout. I will then shift two clicks and pound it out (usually accelerating to about 140-150 RPMs). If I start spinning out too much I may click once or twice more.

  14. #14
    so whatcha' want? bigskymacadam's Avatar
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    in my limited experience, i max out at 34 mph in any of the top gears.

  15. #15
    Giving you the business. Cypress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarWizard
    You gonna try out for the spot on Disco?

    If I can take the next 6 months off of work and still get paid!

    I still wouldn't make it.
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  16. #16
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress
    If I can take the next 6 months off of work and still get paid!

    I still wouldn't make it.
    Well....I think the next tryout is in May, so you're in luck....you don't have to take 6 months off from work.
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  17. #17
    "Uh-uh. Respek Knuckles." hypersnazz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    I usually downshift to get the revs up for sprinting (faster acceleration). So if I'm cruising at 90rpms, I downshift one gear to start at 100rpms. Spin up to 120rpms or so and upshift one gear down to 105rpms ... spin it up to 120rpms... I try to cross the finish line at 115-125rpms.
    +1

    I generate max output in much higher RPM ranges, maybe 120-135rpm. At lower rpm ranges it's hard to respond or recover if you make a mistake in timing...I'll usually start looking around, watching riders around me, looking for openings and slowly winding up to wide open, upshifting as I go to keep pulling in that magic rpm range. For me sprinting is every bit as much about rhythm and form as it is about pure leg strength. I'm *not* a super explosive rider, I'm definitely not snapping bottom brackets out of frames, but if I get a chance to wind up in 53-12 I can be pretty dangerous. Two races ago I narrowly avoided a near-crash right near the finish, it dropped me all the way to the back 2/3 of the pack, I miraculously found a hole to motor through for 1st place.

  18. #18
    Giving you the business. Cypress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hypersnazz
    +1

    I'm definitely not snapping bottom brackets out of frames,

    Hehe. If you're wondering how I ended up with a new 565 a month after buying my first LOOK...
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  19. #19
    "Uh-uh. Respek Knuckles." hypersnazz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress
    Hehe. If you're wondering how I ended up with a new 565 a month after buying my first LOOK...
    *bounces up and down in a girly manner* Herk-uh-LEEZ herk-uh-LEEZ!

  20. #20
    Blast from the Past Voodoo76's Avatar
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    Do you guys really count rpm's setting up for a sprint??? I've usually got a lot more on my mind than whether im at 90 or 130 Agree with Event, there are a lot of varaibles. Example, I used to love seeing guys shift into a big gear going into a tight final corner (the I always sprint in a 53 by xx crowd), nothing worse than standing up and going backwards! Boils down to is it a jump or a top end contest.

  21. #21
    Slow'n'Aero DrWJODonnell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Voodoo76
    Do you guys really count rpm's setting up for a sprint??? I've usually got a lot more on my mind than whether im at 90 or 130 Agree with Event, there are a lot of varaibles. Example, I used to love seeing guys shift into a big gear going into a tight final corner (the I always sprint in a 53 by xx crowd), nothing worse than standing up and going backwards! Boils down to is it a jump or a top end contest.

    I usually know where my RPMs are by feel, though occasionally if there is room, I will glance down. Coming up to a sprint I think of three things: When to start (early), Where is my cadence (high), and dont forget to use the psoas. Though I consider myself a TTist mainly, I do very well in sprints where I am inside the top 15 with 400 meters to go.

  22. #22
    "Uh-uh. Respek Knuckles." hypersnazz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWJODonnell
    I usually know where my RPMs are by feel, though occasionally if there is room, I will glance down. Coming up to a sprint I think of three things: When to start (early), Where is my cadence (high), and dont forget to use the psoas. Though I consider myself a TTist mainly, I do very well in sprints where I am inside the top 15 with 400 meters to go.
    +1

    I have plenty of time / open road to look down at my cadence when I'm doing practice sprints and sprintervals.

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