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Old 02-28-14, 10:39 AM   #1
mike12
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Newbie Question - slight weaving

I'm pretty new to racing & have a question for you experienced folks. I've noticed a couple of times when I'm really pushing to stay with the pack or just before everyone fans out for the sprint finish that I start wobbling/weaving a little - nothing big but not really steady either. I feel certain it's b/c I'm just about at my limit & my riding form just deteriorates. Any advice to bike handling when at your limit??? Or should I just back off a little & be in more control unless I'm close to winning?
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Old 02-28-14, 10:43 AM   #2
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..

you're going to want to be in control of your bike whenever you're on it. Else, see the thread about the fractures.

The answer, like everything, is to practice what you want to be better at. Go do 6 x 3' intervals and try to hammer the last 20 seconds of each one. Be sure no one is around you to be hurt.
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Old 02-28-14, 10:48 AM   #3
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My answer is probably the obvious one. Practice riding hard. Do short hard intervals.

I might weave a bit in an all out 1' test where I start to not see anything but the pain in my head, but I haven't come close to that in races. Except maybe an uphill finish feels similar.
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Old 02-28-14, 10:53 AM   #4
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You are probably moving your torso around in attempt to tap into any remaining power that you might have. The only solution I would suggest is to get stronger with intervals. Remember a race is just people dying out over x period of time.
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Old 02-28-14, 10:56 AM   #5
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1. When fatigued you will start to lose form
2. You are riding above your limits
3. Often you are pushing a gear that is beyond your limits trying to grind it out, if you have any data take a look at it, I gaurantee that your cadence has fallen and speed stayed close to the same.

You want to work on developing a smooth pedal stroke. As I have said to many others, don't focus on the up-down pedal stroke, focus on the out-down pedal stroke. Visualize dropping that heal as you crest the top of the stroke so that you are pushing out rather than down.

Comes with time and miles my friend.
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Old 02-28-14, 10:59 AM   #6
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As I have said to many others, don't focus on the up-down pedal stroke, focus on the out-down pedal stroke. Visualize dropping that heal as you crest the top of the stroke so that you are pushing out rather than down.

Comes with time and miles my friend.
I am a mountain bike racer and therefor I am blessed with a naturally smooth pedal stroke. Yay for me!

I understand that roadies try to smooth out their pedal stroke with isolated leg intervals?
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Old 02-28-14, 11:07 AM   #7
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I am a mountain bike racer and therefor I am blessed with a naturally smooth pedal stroke. Yay for me!

I understand that roadies try to smooth out their pedal stroke with isolated leg intervals?
If you really want to learn the pedal stroke go to a gym and ride the spin bike (many are like a fixie) for 15 minutes at a steady cadence. Then spend 4 minutes or so pedaling with one leg then switch legs at the same cadence. At the end of the 8 minutes pedal with both legs and you will very quickly see how your stroke changes. Then practice replicating that feeling.
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Old 02-28-14, 11:09 AM   #8
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or find a stretch of road and practice riding with more power no-handed.
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Old 02-28-14, 11:13 AM   #9
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or find a stretch of road and practice riding with more power no-handed.
Done it. I was being an ass one day with a group of cocky Freds so I rode away from them on a climb with no hands on the bars
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Old 02-28-14, 11:17 AM   #10
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Done it. I was being an ass one day with a group of cocky Freds so I rode away from them on a climb with no hands on the bars

I rode for 2 years before I decided I needed to learn to ride without hands. I was 30 years old, riding across campus on my beater bike trying to build up the courage to let go.

It was difficult (for me, honestly) but totally worthwhile. I still work on it, doing the last half mile or so into work without touching the bars, and have found I can still ride pretty leaned forward and put down relatively normal amounts of power without issue.

I would never clasp my hands behind my back and pretend I'm a speed skater though. Never.
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Old 02-28-14, 11:20 AM   #11
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Thanks for the replies. It's like I expected - nothing magical. Just more hard practice & more focus on the pedaling. I have already started shifting into a easier gear and increasing cadence when I feel I'm getting close to my limit. I'm also trying to raise my normal cadence as I think that will help my pedaling form as well. My average cadence is 88-91 on races or hard group rides.
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Old 02-28-14, 11:26 AM   #12
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I move more when I'm fatigued. As long as you're reasonably in control you should be okay, as long as you're holding a pretty narrow lane (less than 6" to each side). For example your torso should be going in a relatively straight line. For example when I'm sprinting out of the saddle my torso isn't moving very much laterally even if my bike naturally moves left/right (but within about a 6" wide line) or my head moves (I tilt it).

I've never been at the limit and still be able to pedal smoothly. However when at the limit I am pedaling pretty efficiently simply because I don't have enough energy to do inefficient things. I've seen clips of me pedaling just before sitting up due to cramps, sitting up because I'm totally exploded, and it looks like I'm riding down to the coffee shop for a mug o'joe. To me it feels really unsmooth.
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Old 02-28-14, 11:32 AM   #13
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could also be an issue of fit. possibly death-gripping the bars in an attempt to delivery more power. if you aren't bending your elbows, i'd start from there. If you are too far forward, there's another thing to look at
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Old 02-28-14, 10:09 PM   #14
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Thanks for the replies. It's like I expected - nothing magical. Just more hard practice & more focus on the pedaling. I have already started shifting into a easier gear and increasing cadence when I feel I'm getting close to my limit. I'm also trying to raise my normal cadence as I think that will help my pedaling form as well. My average cadence is 88-91 on races or hard group rides.
Something that helped me was doing sprint drills where you start out at 80 RPM at 15mph and sprint. Wind out the entire gear to 110 and then shift (while still sprinting!), wind it out again and shift again. This also helps avoid the tendency to shift into a huge gear right before your sprint at the end of the race which really hurts your acceleration and makes you weave all over the place. I read about this in either the Friel book I think...
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