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Thread: Xc training

  1. #1
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Xc training

    Simple question,

    Most xc racers seem to very concerned with weight. This may work in a race but why in training. Simple fact to anyone who has ever weight lifted is resistance creates strength. Would this not apply with xc racing. For training ride a bike that is 10 pounds heavier would make your race bike seem like a joke and be that much easier to push. Does anyone do this because it sure seems like a simple way to build xc cycling strength.

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    xc AND road WoodyUpstate's Avatar
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    I assume you're referring to the weight of the bike.

    First, I train and race the on the same bike, so having a light bike to train with means having a light bike to race with. However, I use a different set of wheels for training with more durable, and heavier, tires.

    Second, resistance is resistance. When climbing a hill, for example, I ride at my physical capacity. Whether I ride a heavy or light bike doesn't matter as my muscles still produce the same power. The only thing that changes is how fast I go. With the heavy bike I feel the same fatigue at the top as I would with the light bike, but the extra weight slowed me down.

    Third, if I get the same physical benefit from the light bike as I do from the heavy bike, I'd much rather go faster all the time. . . more fun.

    Fourth, in the XC (race) world heavy bikes are ususally low-end clunkers with lousy components, or FR specific with overbuilt frames and excess suspension.

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    It's the fight in the man Rich's Avatar
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    There is a school of thought that agrees you should train on a heavier machine when training...benefitting the rider on a lighter machine in a race situation.

    It's being lucky enough to have two bikes that may be the problem here.

    Now where did I put that shopper bike?

    Rich
    Making New Zealand a safer place :)

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    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    But wouldn't the resistance of something heavier make for an increased musclular reaction?

    I know this applys with almost every other sport requiring speed. Sprinting and short distant running, swimming, weight lifting. When you add resistance your muscular capacity goes up. Attack that same hill with a heavier bike and the resisitance is far greater.

    Or am I missing something?

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    Senior Member palooka's Avatar
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    What Woody said. Physical output is physical output. It doesn't matter if you're riding a 50lb beach cruiser or a 20lb titanium hardtail.

    If you gave Lance Armstrong that 50lb beach cruiser would it increase his lactic acid threshold or VO2? No - it would make him turn slower training times. Thats the exact reason he trains on the same bike he races on.

    Bike training is just that. Bike training. You can gain strength from sprints and power starts, but beyond that go to the gym.

    For XC racing, you just might gain a small amount of pedal mashing power from training on an extremely heavy bike - but the magic point when your legs are too full of lactic acid to work effectively would NOT go away. In fact, it would come much sooner as you would be used to training innefectively. (not training your legs to pedal, but training them to stomp.)

    If there was anyone on the planet who could stomp through an entire race he would be world champion in every dicipline of racing. Lactic acid tends to catch up quick the harder you work your legs - it is no coincidense that the world champs of cycling produce less lactic acid than the rest of us...they also have higher lung capacities.

    So there is my answer in a nutshell.
    "I'm very proud of my gold pocket watch. My grandfather, on his deathbed, sold me this watch." - Woody Allen

  6. #6
    xc AND road WoodyUpstate's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Maelstrom
    But wouldn't the resistance of something heavier make for an increased musclular reaction?

    I know this applys with almost every other sport requiring speed. Sprinting and short distant running, swimming, weight lifting. When you add resistance your muscular capacity goes up. Attack that same hill with a heavier bike and the resisitance is far greater.
    Why add a heavier bike to increase resistance? Just do a steeper hill, or use a higher gear. Every try to climb an 8% grade in a 53x11 gear?

    Anyway, assume you can push 300 watts at your anerobic threshold (AT) for 20 minutes. Whether your bike is 15, 25 or 35 lbs. you'll only be able to push 300 watts. No more.

    I think your confusion is that you're confusing aerobic training with strength training. Cyclists can use their bikes to improve strength by riding in a high gear at low cadence. If this workout fails to provide enough resistance, then a higher gear, steeper incline or heavier bike would be used. Since resistance can be increased or decreased with gearing or changing hill gradient (different hill), there's no need to add weight to the bike.

    Finally, XC and road cyclists must have two important physical attributes; strong heart and strong legs. While strength training may produce leg strength and sprinter's muscles, it doesn't provide the aerobic training cyclists need.
    Last edited by WoodyUpstate; 10-24-02 at 12:36 PM.

  7. #7
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Ok. I suppose so. But I would assume anaerobically stronger leg muscles would make a difference but as Palooka pointed out this only applys for the beginning when the muscles are in an anaerobic state.

    Of course that makes more sense. Drop the gear and work with a lower cadence to increase strength. I just assumed by creating external resistance (via weight for example) it would make a difference.

    Thank you for clarifying.

    Cheers.

  8. #8
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    If nothing else, training on a heavier bike and switching to a lighter model on raceday could be a psychological advantage. If you're used to riding a trail slowly, then speed it up on a lighter bike, you may sense you're going that much faster and it keeps you motivated. Of course the opposite could be true. If you train slower, you may get used to riding at a certain pace, and on race day on a lighter bike, you subconscious may not recognize the reduction of effort, and you ride slower than you could. I dunno, I'm just babbling at this point!

    L8R
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    Senior Member bg4533's Avatar
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    I know that I like to ride at a certain pace, say 20mph for example. Whether I am on my 20lb road bike or my 31lb MTB I try to go this speed. I presume the MTB at this speed is giving me a better workout than the road bike. I think there is a large psychological aspect here.

  10. #10
    Gravity Is Yer Friend dirtbikedude's Avatar
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    when I was racing XC I liked to train with the same bike so I was used to the action of the bike in different situations. Kinda like when I was raceing motorcycels. although I had a back up bike that was set up the same way as my main ride it still was a little bit different so I had to adjust my riding style.


  11. #11
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    i ride with disc brakes and wheels right now but if i decide to race at the end of summer, i'll switch over to lighter wheels and v-brakes. not really training but we'll see if there's a difference.
    i won't deny it i'm a straight ridah

  12. #12
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    hehe...this is a 2 year old posting I did. I made this one when I first started riding. I believe I was trying to justify to myself why my bike weighed more

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    After swimming competitively for 11 years, all I can say is that removing the resistance (removing hair and wearing a faster swim suit) actually makes the skin more sensitive to the water flow, and your brain subconsciously moves the body into a lesser resistive position. I can't see anything like that in riding a heavier bike. And I bike for fun, so I don't need a super light bike, or need to train at all.

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