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Old 08-08-05, 06:40 AM   #1
canhep
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Spinning too much?

I generally ride 25-40 miles at a time on rolling hills averaging about 18mph... when I first starting back into biking I found the tops of my knees were sore so I started working hard at spinning more and mashing less... well my wife made a comment after a ride yesterday that she thinks I am spinning too much now.. I frequently see my cadence around 100 sometimes as high as 110 - - she noticed that she sees my body bouncing a bit when I am pushing it - and others we ride with are much smoother.

I have found that on flats when I need to catch someone's wheel or something I frequently shift into an easier gear to speed up - which obviously does not make too much sense, but seems to work.

Bottom line, my lungs are my strong point, raw strength is not - - but having said that is there a point where I am really not doing myself a favor by doing what feels the most comfortable. Would it make sense for me to do some more work at lower cadences to build strength? Just curious in people's thoughts.

Footnote - was up in N. Virginia this weekend biking on the N&O trail out near Frederick - THANKS to the biker who stopped and gave my wife a tube after we had our second blowout - - refused $$... just a nice guy doing a nice thing.

Thanks!
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Old 08-08-05, 07:43 AM   #2
cc_rider
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If you're bouncing, you are probably in the wrong gear. Try for smooth and even.
You could vary your style, mostly spin, mash some.

PS Where is the N&O trail? I know most of the trails in NoVa, but I don't know that one. W&OD or C&O maybe? Perhaps Fredrick, Maryland, rather than Virginia?

Trail users around here are pretty good. When I've had blow outs on the trails around here, someone has always stoped to help. I try to stop and help if no one else already has, but someone usually beats me to it.
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Old 08-08-05, 07:54 AM   #3
canhep
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Oops - a little too early for me I guess - I meant the W&OD trail west of Herndon, VA...
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Old 08-08-05, 08:36 AM   #4
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"I have found that on flats when I need to catch someone's wheel or something I frequently shift into an easier gear to speed up - which obviously does not make too much sense, but seems to work."

That makes perfect sense, because for the same effort on the pedals, the easier gear will let you accelerate faster and the higher-RPMs will give you more power. Just that your heart-rate may be a little higher than using a bigger gear, but that will end up hurting your legs more. It's all a balancing act.


As for bouncing, test your spin-stroke by doing 5-10 revolutions slowly with one leg at a time. Also ride more rollers...
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Old 08-09-05, 04:00 AM   #5
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If your knee's don't hurt anymore keep spinning, with a bit of practice you can smooth out just pay attention and try and to turn your feet in circles instead of just pushing.
My cruise is about your highest stated rpm.
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Old 08-09-05, 07:56 AM   #6
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Just riding with a high cadence can be just mashing the pedals at a higher cadence, it is not spinning. I hope this makes sense. When I spin, I feel like my feet are not presssing on the pedals at all with any pressure. However, the increase in efficiency increases my speed several miles per hour without an increase in input.
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