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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 07-10-11, 06:30 PM   #1
iheartbenben
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Sprinting Technique

Check the road and training forum for more background, or search the title.

I want to know how you sprint 35mph plus. Flats please. Don't feel like any input is too little.

I'm am focusing on the pronounced 'wobble' seen in sprinting, from pros to amateurs, vs the 'stiff' style of sprinting.

Links, discussion, etc, will be greatly valued.

(I'm 210lbs, though I know weight has little to nothing to do with this. That is my healthy weight. )
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Old 07-10-11, 08:53 PM   #2
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Could you clarify, "wobble" vs. "stiff"?

Regardless, make sure

- you're comfortable shifting when you're exerting pressure on the pedals
- you have a good pedal/cleat system in working order
- you're bent over hands in the drops
- you can turn a large gear (53x14 maybe?)
- you can "throw" your bike around, side-to-side, and yet you still ride straight
- you don't sprint for Stop signs or red lights (ask me how I know: I'm a dad)
- you know how to push yourself to your limits

On that last one, I like to tell people new to riding/racing (not necessarily you, benben) that they haven't really raced until they've thrown up due to exertion, and keep on riding.
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Old 07-10-11, 09:13 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
Could you clarify, "wobble" vs. "stiff"?
Yes, you can see it in nearly every race/ride. A good form for sprint seems that you will introduce a heavy amount of pull on the bars, but not to steer left or right.

A wobble is more for climbing, and I feel also for laziness. You will still track completely straight, but your front wheel will be obviously steering left in right in cadence with your pedal stroke. Your front wheel and frame 'wobbles', and your seat sways much more to the left and right from a following POV.

I've seen it done both ways, in every imaginable scenario, by amateur riders to UCI pros. Questions still without answers.

Last edited by iheartbenben; 07-10-11 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 07-10-11, 09:17 PM   #4
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My little take...

Good sprint technique can be seen in track racing. Tight upright body with the legs putting everything in. No energy wasted in throwing the bike around etc. However, at the end of a road race, your legs should be pretty stuffed. Therein comes different techniques that are more for the reason of fatigue than form. As I fatigue in track trianing I find I tend to throw the bike around more. This is bad technique on the track and a sign you should have a rest. On the road, your legs are fatigued and you can employ some upper body strength in arms and core to help you generate more power into those pedals. As mentioned above, the really important part is to keep a straight line when you do sprint in this way. Moving erratically just means you're putting energy where it's being wasted. Also get to know the gears you want to use for the sprint. Practice pratctise practise
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Old 07-10-11, 09:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by iheartbenben View Post
A wobble is more for climbing, and I feel also for laziness.
No. It's all about weight. Some sprinters like to shift their weight from pedal to pedal, in an effort to get the maximum amount of force possible into the pedal stroke. If you put the majority of your weight on one pedal, you're going to have to allow the bike to move around underneath you if you want to continue traveling in a straight line.
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Old 07-10-11, 10:16 PM   #6
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How I do it? Head down, hands on the hooks, and spin like a crazy mofo because I ride a 44/17 singlespeed on the road. A 35mph sprint is about 170rpm for me. Not unattainable, but I'm only good enough to maintain that kind of speed for 30 - 40 second bursts.
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Old 07-11-11, 01:47 PM   #7
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This it the wobble steer I'm talking about. Yeah I know, it's a race, but the point is amplified here.



@ Brawlo - That makes a ton of sense, and I think this is the reason also. Is the 'wobble' speed +1?
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Old 07-11-11, 04:16 PM   #8
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Another thing to remember also, is that cleats don't like it too much when you pedal hard while laying the bike over for leverage. Lean it over too far and you could pull a cleat. Results may not be pretty!
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Old 07-15-11, 03:38 AM   #9
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I may not be a full fledge racer type guy but I love sprinting! Things that make a good sprinter are power, pretty easy to fiquire this out. Form, hands on drops, weight over rear wheel to keep power on the road I use to struggle with keeping my rear wheel grounded but a lot of practise took care of that. Gearing, if you can get into your biggest gear for the last push, this also falls under form, no sence going to that 53-11 if you can't turn it fast enough to get advantage from it. Punishment, you have to enjoy killing yourself that full out redline is harder than you think. Go as hard as you can than push farther!! As for the wobbles, I find in a real hard honest to goodness sprint you will be throwing the bike at the end no matter what very few riders can put it all onto the pedals without putting weight onto alternating pedal especially road riders after an already long effort. What makes a great sprinter...nerves! Group sprints are dangerous and you had better be able to find spots and hold a line. The fastest I've managed to date in a sprint was 43mph but that was a big group sprint of 20 guys and I didn't jump till 150 yards left and speed was already ramped up to 40mph at that point, suck that wheel till last second. Oh and I won bragging rights by half a wheel length that day..lol There are many things that can help and just doing them helps but I found doing uphill sprints took my sprinting to another level. As for solo sprints I aim for 35mph as a goal, some days I hit it others not so.
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