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  1. #101
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    It's clear the OP wants a drink from our magic water bottles and doesn't trust trail and error sessions. However..., the thread did get a few new members to respond and that's a good thing.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  2. #102
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duncanblkthrne View Post
    I personally don't think that's a subject that can be dealt with purely in a text-based setting. As previously stated, I believe that some things, like squats and deadlifts in the gym, or proper sprinting technique on the bike, should probably be taught in person by someone who knows very well how to do them, and who knows how to teach someone else.
    Didn't I write that on page 2 of this thread?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleave View Post
    Hi duncanblkthrne, now you're getting it. There's an eclectic mixture of ways that people respond. Roll with it.

    If you believe that a bike is holding you back it will. However, the bike probably is not physically holding you back. If you like a bike a lot and you think it makes you faster, it probably will.

    As others have said, aerodynamics are probably holding you back more than anything else. I there is a first order effect in play here if you have trouble breaking 30 MPH in a solo sprint. Unless the bike is completely the wrong size (which is possible), it is not going to hold you back to the level that you're experiencing. After aerodynamics and before equipment is technique. You are going to need someone to help you with aerodynamics (body position, not bike) and technique. One can rarely sleuth these things out and fix them via internet discussions.

    Also, don't pay too much attention to your numbers in term of absolute performance. A coach can use wattage, etc. to help make you better but you can't predict good or bad speed just from wattage.
    Thanks.
    Cleave
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  3. #103
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    A couple of possibly final thoughts, from someone who has more recently than others gone through the early (steep) learning curve on a -lot- of racing issues, certainly including how to sprint:

    1. Aki (carpediemracing) is one of "God's Gifts" to cycling and the online cycling community. You owe him (and the other experts here) heartfelt thanks for taking the time from busy schedules to write a doctoral dissertation addressing your issues.

    2. Aki's blog, at http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.com/ has lots of the videos you are seeking, with narratives on why he does what he does. Also watch the many TdF sprint finishes, paying particular attention to Cavendish, when he isn't crashing.

    3. You appear very 'closed' in your attitude, especially for someone who (like me) clearly has lots of room for improvement. Open up, both in what you are willing to provide, and what you are willing to actually listen and respond to. I'd be shocked if the approach you appear to have here doesn't carry over into your racing, and negatively affect your outcomes. Being receptive to ideas and experimentation is one of the many keys to success.

    4. It's just not true that you need an in-person coach to watch you and improve your sprinting. Would that be ideal? Yes, of course. Is it necessary in order to dramatically improve your sprint results? No, it's not. And for you to say it is, when people with national caliber sprints say it isn't, is a reflection of item #3 . It's frankly a subtle way of making excuses for your performance: "If I had someone to watch and teach me, I could improve my sprint, but I don't, so I'm stuck where I am." Again, it's just not true. There are always factors holding all of us back from our ultimate potential. The key is to make the absolute most out what YOU have, and that includes all the various "life factors".

    In other words, (a) HTFU, and (b) listen.

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    got it.
    so you want advice on an internet forum, but believe that advice can only be had face to face, but you want to remain anonymous.
    this is going to work out well.
    I'd like to change my answer to the original question:
    Yes, your bike is holding you back. Buying a new one will prevent this thread from going on another 10 pages.
    I'm sorry, are you being funny or are you actually offended?
    If you're offended, whatthe heck did I do!?

  5. #105
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duncanblkthrne View Post
    I'm sorry, are you being funny or are you actually offended?
    If you're offended, whatthe heck did I do!?

  6. #106
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Better Crickets:


  7. #107
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Doesn't have to be a coach or a race. Are there groups you can/do ride with regularly? Someone there you trust? Do you do group sprints? Can you ask them what you look like? Seems like that'd be more or less free.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    (thanks)
    Thanks for the kind words. I know that at some level this is simply an online forum. I've met a few riders, I've had them come up to me in races and such, but I understand that any forum is a less-personal way to interact with others. My philosophy is to try and treat the person like I'm sitting next to them, not sitting in some anonymous chair staring at a computer (a comedian has a good bit on how people change when they get into a car - he asks if you would say the same things to someone in an elevator like you would to another driver). At any rate my goal is to try to help interested people into racing. My posts are like throwing chum into the water. Some readers bite, some don't.

    I did learn one thing from the (negative) responses I've seen to my posts - what 'tl;dr' means. haha
    "...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

  9. #109
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    It might help you trust the folks here if you look at this. Four of the folks who replied to your thread in are in the photo.
    Racer Ex..."Don't know if the shop is under new ownership. If not feel free to shoplift stuff and break bottles in his parking lot."

  10. #110
    Semper Fi, A way of life. qcpmsame's Avatar
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    Cool Take the great advice and ride wth it !!!

    Offering just one thing, as said many times, you have gotten a lot of good advice from some good people, it would be a shame to ignore what is being offered or to remain closed about what is said and offered here. Every one that has replied to your question has gone far beyond what you would get in other forums here and on other BB's. Use what has been offered freely here, accept the things said with an open mind (not saying you are closed minded, you need not go there) and apply the advice to your training and racing.

    Just the fact you chose to race and train puts you above the other 99.999% of the cycling population, good for you. Stick around this forum and get to know the people here, no one I know of is on any of the police watch lists for stalking, or such. I cannot race due to health problems, but the folks here have helped me with my "training for fitness" as I refer to what I ride for, without any conditions or harsh treatment. The humor used here is a way to break the ice and not go slap dab crazy, roll with it.

    Best of luck with your racing, it is a truly good goal and way to deal with the stress of life in the real world.

    Bill

    Sarals, one question, the picture of that Gang of Four you linked to, would you buy a used car from one of them? Especially the floozy blonde girl?......

    I would! That is a keeper picture, all good folks there.
    "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

  11. #111
    Senior Member hack's Avatar
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    I'm not a "Master" racer, but stop in at times to read up on what's discussed in the world of racing outside of the '33'. Heaps of good information in this thread and quite a bit that I was previously unaware of.

    To the OP, regarding bikes...I was going through a lot of the same thoughts as you and was looking to get a new bike becasue I thought my bike was holding me back. By the way, I'm 6'3" and about 200lbs. I had (still have) a '06 Felt F65, racing geometry, carbon seat stays and fork, but otherwise aluminum bike. I could get it up to the low 30's on flats, but that was about it. This past year I decided I would try my hand at racing and bought a new bike. Nothing grand, but an entry level carbon frame with some heavy wheels and components. I took it out the day after I bought it and I could basically match my prior top speed, nothing more.

    A short while later I upgraded wheels to something stiffer and that made a difference in feel. I tried them on my old frame and noticed a similar change in feel. HOWEVER, speed stayed about the same. I changed out other parts on the new bike over time to get a better and lighter fit (bars, stem, saddle, pedals, etc). Now, the bike is not a feather weight, but it is fine for me at 17lbs.

    Since I decided I wanted to start racing, I started joining in local group rides and this is where I learned and improved much more than most any equipment could have provided. I was able to ride with high level racers, very experienced non-racers, total beginners, and everything in between. The racer types were able to quickly pick apart form when I pulled or sprinted and from their advice during various rides I learned how to improve my sprint (and ride in general). Power is one thing, but applied power is another.

    Initially, I'd jump early be out of the draft, hit my 30mph and fade before the finish. No fun at all. With some instruction on form (get the body low, get the hands deep in the drops, and use the lats to pull through the pedal stroke) and postioning/timing of the sprint I can now contend or win a group ride sprint or a crit. Again, regarding applied power, if you're in the right spot, you don't have to be hitting massive speeds to win, you need to be smart about where you're putting yourself rather than just going out and blasting your legs.

    Long story short, I'd say I could do all the things on my old flexy bike that I can on my stiffer carbon bike. Heck, I've raced the old bike a few times and have used it on group rides and the end result is pretty much the same. If I wanted to save some money, I'd probably go back in time and have just purchased some new wheels stiff (Ksyrium, ROLs, whatever).

    Kind of a ramble fest, but my suggesting is if finances are tight, don't focus on getting a new bike (maybe wheels and a stem from craigslist). Get out on some group rides where you know racers will be and watch them. Once you get comfortable, ask them for advice. You might even find out that some of those folks are on here, too.
    Last edited by hack; 12-13-13 at 03:07 PM.

  12. #112
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
    Offering just one thing, as said many times, you have gotten a lot of good advice from some good people, it would be a shame to ignore what is being offered or to remain closed about what is said and offered here. Every one that has replied to your question has gone far beyond what you would get in other forums here and on other BB's. Use what has been offered freely here, accept the things said with an open mind (not saying you are closed minded, you need not go there) and apply the advice to your training and racing.

    Just the fact you chose to race and train puts you above the other 99.999% of the cycling population, good for you. Stick around this forum and get to know the people here, no one I know of is on any of the police watch lists for stalking, or such. I cannot race due to health problems, but the folks here have helped me with my "training for fitness" as I refer to what I ride for, without any conditions or harsh treatment. The humor used here is a way to break the ice and not go slap dab crazy, roll with it.

    Best of luck with your racing, it is a truly good goal and way to deal with the stress of life in the real world.

    Bill

    Sarals, one question, the picture of that Gang of Four you linked to, would you buy a used car from one of them? Especially the floozy blonde girl?......

    I would! That is a keeper picture, all good folks there.
    Especially NOT her, Bill...

    Love ya!!!
    Racer Ex..."Don't know if the shop is under new ownership. If not feel free to shoplift stuff and break bottles in his parking lot."

  13. #113
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    I can't believe that I missed this thread. One of the top ten threads on the "new" Masters forum.

    OP, a few points.

    gsteinb (my teammate) is a fantastic sprinter, who also used to be a bodybuilder. He realized a while ago that being able to leg press 1000+ pounds and the muscles needed to do that might not translate well to bike racing. All that mass and short term power is great but if it's at the expense of endurance it's not worth it. You have to have the FTP (steady state power) to get to the front and stay at the front when it counts. It's all a balance. I strongly suggest that you focus your time on building FTP. Test, train, test again. Push from the bottom and pull from the top. Don't do any intensity until you've gotten your FTP to a reasonable level.

    Now about your bike. Without question, I would flip the stem. Do this after your first test and base block. Change nothing else. Do your next block and then figure out if you want to remove spacers. Make changes one at a time. You may find that as you rotate your torso clockwise that you may need to tweak your saddle both vertically and horizontally just a little bit. I like to strive for a neutral position in the drops. It's hard to describe, but it's when my balance is just right. Not too much pressure on the bars, but not too little.

    Now about expensive bikes. If my bike was stolen and I had to truck down to the LBS and order a replacement, it would cost $10K+. Did I pay $10K for it? NFW. I started with a $2100 complete bike. Added cassettes (new and used). Added wheels (new). Changed the saddle (new). Changed the stem (new). Upgraded the group (new and used). Added a power meter (new). Upgraded both sets of wheels (both used). Upgraded the frame (crash replacement, new). Upgraded the components to electronic (new and used). Step by step by step, I upgraded everything over time. Can I feel the difference between $300 wheels and $2000 wheels? Absolutely, but I can sprint close to 40mph and win races on $300 wheels.

  14. #114
    Yeah, you betcha!
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    gsteinb: "Yes, your bike is holding you back. Buying a new one will prevent this thread from going on another 10 pages."
    This thread cracked me up, laugh out loud "cracked me up" while reading in bed late at night. Waking up my wife laughing out loud. In the end, it reminded me of an observation by a Black Hat (kind of like a Drill Sergeant) in Officers Candidate School. He said, "You're either a rock or a sponge." Enough said.

    More importantly, as a 50+ year old getting back into cycling after 20 years and training to perform, not just to do fondos and charity rides, I learned SO much from the give (mostly "give") and take in this thread. It truly deserves a "bump" once in awhile. Thanks to everyone.
    Last edited by Minnesota Expat; 12-23-13 at 12:45 PM.

  15. #115
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Welcome back,Expat. Now go kick some ass.

  16. #116
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minnesota Expat View Post
    give (mostly "give") and take in this thread. It truly deserves a "bump" once in awhile. Thanks to everyone.
    horses... water... pearls...

  17. #117
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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  18. #118
    Senior Member Spiduhman's Avatar
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    Uh-oh, more notes plz Mo'art!

    I was on a five year plan, uhm, three years later, it's still five years - the long term is to be nationally ranked when I age up to 70, a long time from now.

    Each year has objectives, o' course.

    Let's digress!

    As a coach, there were daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal objectives for Each Athlete - not just the stars - right there cuts the coaching ranks down at least 60%, in swimming anyway.

    The overalls include prepping each athlete to be their best When they can be their best, for the girls, somewhere between 12 to 40, boys, somewhere between 17-30+ (if the Ever grow up), and developing the overall program.

    "The Program" - see, people (especially kids) want to be "normal," so, just keep ramping up what's "normal" for the program; this includes the other teams in the community and LSC (Local Swim Committee). It works (ask me, I'll digress further!); people rise up.

    Ahem, so, back to ME! I know that I'm not a sprinter type. My best chances are in the TT and events where the most folk can get dropped. In a lead group of five, I'll probably get fifth. I'm a great training partner and teammate (details, if you wish).

    Of course, even my sprint can be improved.

    The End (for now), brought to you by Generalized Statements About Stuff*

    *which might devolve to:

    Everyone Has Different Strengths
    Having a Plan is PARAMOUNT - be ready to adjust The Plan
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] "It beats the alternative." "Every day is a good day." - PoppaDaddy

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