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Old 04-27-06, 12:23 PM   #1
Sincitycycler
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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?
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Old 04-27-06, 12:28 PM   #2
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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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Old 04-27-06, 12:31 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 04-27-06, 12:56 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 04-27-06, 12:56 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 04-27-06, 12:58 PM   #6
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I shift as little as possible. Keeps my mind on going fast and nothing else.
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Old 04-27-06, 01:01 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 04-27-06, 01:14 PM   #8
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This month's Pro Cycling said that Tom Boonen can crank a 54-11 on a sprint finish!!
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Old 04-27-06, 01:45 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 04-27-06, 02:52 PM   #10
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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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Old 04-27-06, 03:17 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 04-27-06, 03:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
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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?
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Old 04-27-06, 03:50 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 04-27-06, 04:05 PM   #14
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in my limited experience, i max out at 34 mph in any of the top gears.
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Old 04-27-06, 04:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
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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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Old 04-27-06, 06:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
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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.
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Old 04-27-06, 06:49 PM   #17
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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.
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Old 04-28-06, 09:56 AM   #18
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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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Old 04-28-06, 10:01 AM   #19
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Quote:
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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!
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Old 04-28-06, 10:20 AM   #20
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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.
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Old 04-28-06, 02:21 PM   #21
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Quote:
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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.

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.
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Old 04-28-06, 09:41 PM   #22
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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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