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  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
    I still want to know what limitations are we talking about. Is it the speed ??. Is it the handling and control of the bike ??.. I think the limitations he speaks of are more in the rider then a bike... Yes top speed is limited, but so what ??. This is commuting not racing. On a good day I am happy to be cruising at 17-22 MPH. I know it's too slow for most of the pros on commuting forum but it's good enough for me.
    Sometimes I fell like reading comprehension is a lost art. Yes, the limitations for fixed gear on the street are small, I never said they were large or insurmountable. What I gave were facts while arguing against blatant misconceptions certain people have about their super sweet fixed gears.

    I simply stated they will always be at a disadvantage to a geared bike, whether you look at acceleration, top speed, cruising, handling, etc... Gear ratios are very simple things, if used correctly they give you a noticeable leg up on anything with one gear. I loved riding fixed gear, the reason I stopped is because I broke my knee.

    Go back and look at who I responded to, and what I actually said. There's no way anyone could take issue with it unless blinded by fixed gear fan boy sight.
    IMO the maintenance issue with fg is the biggest plus. The drawbacks are often minor, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

    Just please don't spread lies about being limited to one gear somehow making your acceleration faster, its completely false, and luckily easily seem that way by anyone with a modicum of objectivity.

    At the end of the day, my thought is to ride whatever makes you happy. Which is why I still have a junky single speed that puts a smile on my face, in addition to my road bike and old hybrid junker.

  2. #77
    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    Fast acceleration is based upon how much power you have.. Power is the ability to generate high amounts of force over short period of time..Fast acceleration is an explosive movement, so the more power you have the faster you'll be able to accelerate. Explosive strength applied as fast as possible=power.. The only way to develop power and explosive strength is through training and practise.

  3. #78
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    I believe you misunderstood my post. The OP asked how he can get quicker acceleration. My reply was to describe a workout or drill that he can do a few times a week to improve his jump. The 15 seconds is how long each rep of the drill lasts.
    I see what the confusion is now. A double quotation mark is far more commonly used for inches than seconds.
    Stuart Black
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  4. #79
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Doofus View Post
    Ouch! I'm a klutz who stays happily with platform pedals.
    That's going to be a large part of your problem for improving your acceleration. Acceleration is about putting power to the pedals. With platforms, you can only put power to the front side of the pedal stroke. On the back side of the pedal stroke, you can only let the pedal return to the top of the stroke so that you can push down on the pedal again.

    With clipless, you can pull the pedal up to get it back around to where you are pushing down again. There's not a huge amount of power developed during the backstroke but there is some. How much power you get depends on how hard and fast you can pull the pedal back up. It's worth learning how to use clipless or, at the very least, toeclips. Toeclips have some other issues but they are at least better than platforms.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  5. #80
    Senior Member Giant Doofus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    You're description raises another question: are you seated at the stop with one foot down? That position will give you the fastest, most powerful, most stable start. I know some people dismount forward and stand flat-footed, but while that technique has merits, it's not the max launch.

    Regarding the northroads bars, they are going to hurt your effort. Because they sweep back, they inhibit getting forward, outfront, and driving the pedals from a low position, as well as reducing your hand leverage while sprinting out of the saddle. So, in the narrow context of going harder and faster from a stop, they're a poor choice, and you'd almost certainly be better served by adding bar ends to your existing flat bar. Oh, whole new bike I see...still, nothing equipped with northroads is optimized to get you out of the gate rapidly.

    In any case, and no matter what you ride, you can also improve your getaway speed by training your sprint. Work at it, push yourself, and you'll get faster, I'm sure!
    I think I'll go ahead and try the power grips. To answer your question: Yes, I'm starting with my left foot on the peddle at about 11 o'clock and my right foot on the pavement. Also, I can see that the upright position and swept back bars are not going to help with this particular problem, but I'm going with them for other reasons (easier to ride in dresses, keeping my wrists at a comfortable angle, etc.). Thanks for taking the time to help me think about these things. Your advice has been really helpful.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    That's going to be a large part of your problem for improving your acceleration. Acceleration is about putting power to the pedals. With platforms, you can only put power to the front side of the pedal stroke. On the back side of the pedal stroke, you can only let the pedal return to the top of the stroke so that you can push down on the pedal again.

    With clipless, you can pull the pedal up to get it back around to where you are pushing down again. There's not a huge amount of power developed during the backstroke but there is some. How much power you get depends on how hard and fast you can pull the pedal back up. It's worth learning how to use clipless or, at the very least, toeclips. Toeclips have some other issues but they are at least better than platforms.
    Yeah, I'm starting to rethink this. As I mentioned to chaadster, I'm considering trying out the powergrips. Not to start a controversy, but I've read Grant Peterson on the issue of foot retention and, as I recall, he argues that you aren't really pulling up with the back foot. You are simply not pressing down with it. The result is that your feet aren't working at cross purposes with each other. Either way, I'm thinking of trying it out at least so that my left foot won't slip when I'm trying to power down on it to get going from a stand still.

  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Doofus View Post
    I think I'll go ahead and try the power grips. To answer your question: Yes, I'm starting with my left foot on the peddle at about 11 o'clock and my right foot on the pavement. Also, I can see that the upright position and swept back bars are not going to help with this particular problem, but I'm going with them for other reasons (easier to ride in dresses, keeping my wrists at a comfortable angle, etc.). Thanks for taking the time to help me think about these things. Your advice has been really helpful.



    Yeah, I'm starting to rethink this. As I mentioned to chaadster, I'm considering trying out the powergrips. Not to start a controversy, but I've read Grant Peterson on the issue of foot retention and, as I recall, he argues that you aren't really pulling up with the back foot. You are simply not pressing down with it. The result is that your feet aren't working at cross purposes with each other. Either way, I'm thinking of trying it out at least so that my left foot won't slip when I'm trying to power down on it to get going from a stand still.
    You're welcome, and I can certainly understand the merits of setting up a bike for something other than stoplight sprints! It sounds like you've got a nice-- well, what I call a "ute"--- in the works with some well-thought touches that'll make riding an all 'round better experience.

    Just to riterate what's already been said upthread: train, practise, and develop your sprint, at least by doing it, if not in conjunction with specific training regimens both on the bike and in the gym, which help you build strength and power.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  7. #82
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Given the type of bike, I think the most practical way to get through an intersection quickly will be:
    - start in quite a low gear, something you'd climb hills in
    - push off, stand on the pedals for a few strokes to get off the line
    - then sit and quickly spin the revs up to pretty high, like 100 rpm or so
    - quickly change up one gear, revs up, change up, revs, etc.

    Basic idea is using leg speed, high rpm and lower gear, instead of using leg power, low rpm, and higher gear. Like accelerating a manual shift car, you start in a low gear, keep the motor at a high rpm, and flick through the gears. OP will probably be through the intersection by the second gear change.

    Reason? This is a city-type bike with upright position, high and swept back bars, platform pedals, step through frame. It isn't designed for the rider to apply big power like on a sprint. You can't get the right body position, pull down hard on the bars, or push and pull hard on the pedals. I also think the OP is a nicely dressed lady in skirts and street shoes, not in tights and cleated bike shoes. Finally, I think the OP should be able to get across the intersection quickly now, without first spending months in the weight room building thighs like steel thunder. So track start technique might be of limited relevance and a fixed gear bike would be a bad choice.

    Practicing fast gear changing will be helpful. I can't recall if the bike has IGH or derailleur, but anyway it has indexed shifting so you can bang through the shifts quickly.
    Last edited by jyl; 03-30-14 at 07:30 AM.
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  8. #83
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Doofus View Post
    Yeah, I'm starting to rethink this. As I mentioned to chaadster, I'm considering trying out the powergrips. Not to start a controversy, but I've read Grant Peterson on the issue of foot retention and, as I recall, he argues that you aren't really pulling up with the back foot. You are simply not pressing down with it. The result is that your feet aren't working at cross purposes with each other. Either way, I'm thinking of trying it out at least so that my left foot won't slip when I'm trying to power down on it to get going from a stand still.
    Take what Grant Petersen says with a grain of salt. Out of the saddle in a maximum effort, you are definitely pulling up with your foot on the backstroke. Even he admits it here

    When you climb a super steep short hill, you actually can pull up on the upward-moving pedal for a few strokes, and doing so helps you turn over the other pedal
    He even mentions "vicious sprints" which is basically what you want to do if you are trying to improve your acceleration across an intersection. Maybe not "vicious" but you want to sprint.
    Stuart Black
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    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  9. #84
    Senior Member Giant Doofus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyl View Post
    Given the type of bike, I think the most practical way to get through an intersection quickly will be:
    - start in quite a low gear, something you'd climb hills in
    - push off, stand on the pedals for a few strokes to get off the line
    - then sit and quickly spin the revs up to pretty high, like 100 rpm or so
    - quickly change up one gear, revs up, change up, revs, etc.

    Basic idea is using leg speed, high rpm and lower gear, instead of using leg power, low rpm, and higher gear. Like accelerating a manual shift car, you start in a low gear, keep the motor at a high rpm, and flick through the gears. OP will probably be through the intersection by the second gear change.

    Reason? This is a city-type bike with upright position, high and swept back bars, platform pedals, step through frame. It isn't designed for the rider to apply big power like on a sprint. You can't get the right body position, pull down hard on the bars, or push and pull hard on the pedals. I also think the OP is a nicely dressed lady in skirts and street shoes, not in tights and cleated bike shoes. Finally, I think the OP should be able to get across the intersection quickly now, without first spending months in the weight room building thighs like steel thunder. So track start technique might be of limited relevance and a fixed gear bike would be a bad choice.

    Practicing fast gear changing will be helpful. I can't recall if the bike has IGH or derailleur, but anyway it has indexed shifting so you can bang through the shifts quickly.
    Good advice. Thanks. My current bike is a hybrid with flat bars and derailleur gearing. New bike is steel step-through with swept back bars and IGH (class dutch bike, but a little lighter). I think you are right that these techniques are probably going to work best. I'm still going to try the interval training though. I put a lot of miles on, so even though I'm riding in a dress and street shoes, my legs are pretty strong and surprisingly muscular. I might be able to add a little power to the mix, especially on one particularly busy and wide road crossing that I have in mind.

  10. #85
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Ever heard the Music Joke, Question: "How do I get to Carnegie Hall ? Answer: ... Practice, Practice, Practice ..

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