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  1. #1
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    Do you shift while standing during sprints?

    Hey guys,

    One of my major limiters is a week sprint. I'm trying to sort out my technique and then practice. I currently shift two gears higher and then stand and hammer. As my legs spin up I grab the next gear. Usually I'm in the highest gear by the time finish the sprint.

    How do you guys sprint? Any suggestions for how to improve mine?

    -s

  2. #2
    Aut Vincere Aut Mori Snuffleupagus's Avatar
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    You're overgearing. Start in a lower gear and spin it up. There is no way you should be sprinting in your 12 or 11, unless it's downhill - or you're Tom Boonen.

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    Race to train jrennie's Avatar
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    I could be reading "highest gear by the end" wrong but unless your sprinting at 40+(which if that is the case you dont need any advise) you will most likley never sprint in a 53/11 except a downhill. I try to start a sprint around 95 and spin to about 115-120 before shifting.

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    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spessx View Post
    One of my major limiters is a week sprint.
    I can see your problem. Sprints shouldn't last longer than a couple of minutes, let alone 7 days!!!
    "Well, I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want... Sooner or later, these kids aren't going to have anything to read or write about." (Richard Dreyfus as Glenn Holland)

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    i got nothing. Crash716's Avatar
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    you guys shift with full power on?...i need to work on my sprinting and i am kinda curious how to do it.
    14 days...

  6. #6
    cmh
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    Quote Originally Posted by spessx View Post
    Hey guys,

    One of my major limiters is a week sprint.

    -s
    There is your problem. A sprint should only last about 20 seconds.

    Edit: Guess I should read the other posts before posting. Good one urbanknight!

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    cmh
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    Yes - I shift during most sprints. And I agree with previous posters - most sprinters spin pretty high revs and rarely get to a 53x11 unless it is downhill or they have a great leadout.

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    i got nothing. Crash716's Avatar
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    is 34 on the flats without a lead out pretty good for a Cat 5?...thats' about what i pull right now...
    14 days...

  9. #9
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    I don't want to start a Campy vs Shimano war here but I noticed I sprinted differently when I went from DA to Record. Since I can hook my thumb over the shift lever with Campy, I jump one gear smaller and shift (under full power) 1 gear at a time until I am in my biggest gear, then I sit and spin it up as fast as I can.

    BTW - By biggest gear I don't always mean the 11 or 12. I mean the largest gear I will use for that sprint. I always ride the last km of the course a few times to look how to time a sprint. And then I hope it doesn't come to that!

    An attack will be similar but a bit different in that I will settle sooner in the gear I want to turn for the effort I want to make instead of riding to failure (nothing left and can't sustain the effort a moment longer) like a finishing sprint.

    With DA I would grab 2 extra cogs as I jumped instead of 1. I would also tend to sit sooner, spin up the gear I was in and have one more shift left to spin up after that (that's 2 while seated instead of 1).

    Also, it depends on the kind of sprint. Is it a long sprint where I'm already on top of the gear and only have 2 left or is it uphill? Out of a corner? technical in some other way that means the sprint will start from a lower general speed before ending in utter mayhem?

    This is how I sprint. Your mileage may very. Try lots of different techniques and find what works for you and your particular skill set.
    Last edited by Bob Dopolina; 11-25-07 at 10:10 PM.

  10. #10
    Slow'n'Aero DrWJODonnell's Avatar
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    Yes, one can shift while sprinting. I would not consider it until you are at LEAST 120 rpm. I don't know how many times I hve zoomed past people who just drop into the smallest cog. Most sprints I hit 140 rpm

  11. #11
    Senior Member Geoff326's Avatar
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    here's a tip. always sprint in the drops. it makes you more aero.
    Cannondale CAAD7

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    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff326 View Post
    here's a tip. always sprint in the drops. it makes you more aero.
    Here's another tip. Go as fast as you can without killing yourself or those around you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash716 View Post
    is 34 on the flats without a lead out pretty good for a Cat 5?...thats' about what i pull right now...
    It's not bad. But you won't win anything unless you have the tactics part of it down pat, though. At least in FL there will usually be several guys at each cat 5 race who can do that, too.
    ex-poor-fessional tri-geek.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWJODonnell View Post
    Yes, one can shift while sprinting. I would not consider it until you are at LEAST 120 rpm. I don't know how many times I hve zoomed past people who just drop into the smallest cog. Most sprints I hit 140 rpm
    +1 I am exactly the same. I like to top out at 140-150rpm and then if ive got more to give do a quick dump down. Its so easy to feel fast when you sprint against yourself a lot.

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    I dont shift much when I'm actually out of the saddle sprinting, it's my preference to have my shifting done when still seated and on a lead out wheel, then to shift to sprint gearing, jump, and go. My sprint is a short one, i.e. I have a big jump and am up to speed quickly, but if I need to go from >150M, I'm often going to lock up prior to the finishing line. I'd imagine those who rev up and build or maintain top speed longer would prefer to shift more and therefore sprint differently.

    Practice "form sprints". I like to do form sprints on a slight downhill where I'll get "sprint speed" but dont need to generate it myself and can therefore focus on good form. These can be incorporated into any tempo or endurance mile ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWJODonnell View Post
    Yes, one can shift while sprinting. I would not consider it until you are at LEAST 120 rpm. I don't know how many times I hve zoomed past people who just drop into the smallest cog. Most sprints I hit 140 rpm
    slight OT but,

    are there any specific tips for training a high rpm sprint? for some reason ive never been able to sprint over 125 rpm even in practice, much less a race. i suspect this has been holding me back...

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    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    I shift a bit when the pace rises, during the leadout portion of the sprint. When I'm actually surging for the line myself, I never shift. I start my final sprints around 100-110 rpm, and when I pull off the last wheel at 35 mph, getting to 40 (tailwind, downhill ) is only going to take me to 120 rpm. No need to shift.

    I do plan to power test my sprint at various cadences though, to dial in where I really should be.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by stea1thviper View Post
    slight OT but,

    are there any specific tips for training a high rpm sprint? for some reason ive never been able to sprint over 125 rpm even in practice, much less a race. i suspect this has been holding me back...
    things I've done/do for cadence training:

    steady high cadence drills: 120+ rpm for 3 to 5 minutes. seated, smooth leg action and upper body. i've found done easiest on the trainer. alternatively, if riding outside, do your typical ride in a smaller gear, one in which your cadence feels uncomfortably fast.

    spinups: all in the saddle, in the drops. multiple reps x 30" each, start each fully recovered. I do these with the 1st 10" spinning 110 - 120 rpm; increase cadence to 120 - 140 for next 10"; then maximal legs flying cadence that you can still control (not bouncing) for last 10". I try to do these on a slight downhill.

    form sprints: practice sprinting focusing on good form and high cadence instead of power/speed.

  19. #19
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stea1thviper View Post
    slight OT but,

    are there any specific tips for training a high rpm sprint? for some reason ive never been able to sprint over 125 rpm even in practice, much less a race. i suspect this has been holding me back...
    Get a fixed gear and ride it down hills. Note, start with a moderate grade.
    "Well, I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want... Sooner or later, these kids aren't going to have anything to read or write about." (Richard Dreyfus as Glenn Holland)

  20. #20
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    I love sprinting...

    cadence training:
    http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...x-231-rpm.html

    working on sprinting:
    http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...sprinting.html

    how to sprint:
    http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...al-sprint.html

    throwing the bike at the line:
    http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...your-bike.html

    note:your solo speed is decent but it's better to get an "assisted" top speed - it's a different thing sprinting 5-6 mph faster and it's hard to work on it if you aren't going that fast. So a leadout type sprint workout (group rides, even a ride with a friend and you two take turns leading out for town lines etc) would be good.

    Someone on the forums noted in a different high-rpm post that proper seat height is critical. In particular you'll limit your rpms if your seat is too high.

    I regularly shift under 100% sprint effort out of the saddle. In a led out sprint ending on a long, gradual 1-2% upgrade (Gimbles 120 sprint for those in NY), I'll start in the 14, shift into the 13 on my first downstroke, and shift while I sprint. I top out in a 53x12 in most conditions, 53x11 in a cross/tailwind. I think my rpms don't go too much over 110-120 rpms when I actually sprint.

    There is definitely shock to the drivetrain when shifting under pressure - I used to pull my shoes out of my clips and straps (double Bindas) until I added a third strap and tightened the straps until my feet went numb. With the shaped rear cogs it's much smoother now and I haven't had problems in sprints since going to clipless pedals.

    cdr
    "...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson

  21. #21
    LOOK, a bike! LOOK! LOOK!
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    If I have a good leadout I'm already in the right gear to be spinning for max power. This is 53/15 or 14 for me. Otherwise it's nice to start out in 53/17 or so. I usually double/triple tap those following shifts to simplify things.

  22. #22
    The mods changed this... damocles1's Avatar
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    I start in the 53/15 or 16 and then drop it directly into the 13 or 12 when it's go time. The 12 is only used on a few downhill sprints around here. 53/13 and a high cadence is good for 40mph and I can stay on top of it for a long while. My big power numbers are being generated when my cadence in a sprint is between 170-200. My max was a 193 cadence and 43.9mph @ 1549 watts.

    That being said, you cannot gauge your sprint, cadence or power by others. Some make big numbers and can't sprint at all and other barely break 1000 and can fly.

  23. #23
    Blast from the Past Voodoo76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stea1thviper View Post
    slight OT but,

    are there any specific tips for training a high rpm sprint? for some reason ive never been able to sprint over 125 rpm even in practice, much less a race. i suspect this has been holding me back...

    You need to do overspeed work. My preference is behind a Motor, lacking that work on a slight downhill.

  24. #24
    Edificating dmotoguy's Avatar
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    Damocles, what computer did you use for your cadence? I cant stand how the powertap ends at 141 or whatever.
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  25. #25
    The mods changed this... damocles1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmotoguy View Post
    Damocles, what computer did you use for your cadence? I cant stand how the powertap ends at 141 or whatever.

    My PT SL reads all the way up...no stopping @ 141...

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