Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Professional Cycling For the Fans Follow the Tour de France,the Giro de Italia, the Spring Classics, or other professional cycling races? Here's your home...

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-25-08, 03:27 PM   #1
eabrdbike
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Gearing

Hi
New to the forum.

Curious if anyone knows what gears that most riders in the TDF push when they are going up these
grades in the Alps as well as how fast they are moving?

Thanks
eabrdbike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-08, 04:04 PM   #2
Hezz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 1,649
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think most of them are using a 42 tooth small chainring while climbing steeper stuff. For 1-5% grades they are probably still in the big chainring. Speeds are very dependent on the actual grade and conditions for the day but they are faster than most people think. My guess is that they are still maintaining 17-19 mph on a long 6% grade.
Hezz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-08, 05:26 PM   #3
asgelle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Bikes:
Posts: 3,211
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by eabrdbike View Post
Curious if anyone knows what gears that most riders in the TDF push when they are going up these
grades in the Alps as well as how fast they are moving?
Standard is 53/39, 11/23, but they may go to a 25 or even 26 for the most extreme climbs (that would only happen once, maybe twice a year). Similarly, sprinters might change to a 55 or 56 if they know the finish will be very fast (again, this is very rare).
asgelle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-08, 06:42 AM   #4
eabrdbike
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Big Legs

Quote:
Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
Standard is 53/39, 11/23, but they may go to a 25 or even 26 for the most extreme climbs (that would only happen once, maybe twice a year). Similarly, sprinters might change to a 55 or 56 if they know the finish will be very fast (again, this is very rare).
Makes you wonder just how you can develop that kind of leg strength and endurance. It blows me away every time I see it. I was watching the Giro D'ITalia yesterday - there was a pass at average 11% and max at 18% - that's pretty wild.

The sprinters can generate enough watts with their legs on a sprint to power up the city of Denver on xmas. Sheesh!!
eabrdbike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-08, 06:48 AM   #5
asgelle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Bikes:
Posts: 3,211
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by eabrdbike View Post
Makes you wonder just how you can develop that kind of leg strength and endurance.
Don't confuse leg strength and power. It takes very little force to ride up even the steepest grades. Pro cyclists have no greater leg strength than the age and weight matched general untrained population.
asgelle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-08, 10:28 AM   #6
Hezz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 1,649
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
Don't confuse leg strength and power. It takes very little force to ride up even the steepest grades. Pro cyclists have no greater leg strength than the age and weight matched general untrained population.
Most guys would be able to lift as much or more than these guys with their legs for up to about 30 reps on a weight machine. Where these guys shine is the ability to work at high wattages for long periods of time and having their body weight as low as possible. I mean the average guy cannot pedal at 400-600 watts for 35-60 minutes which is what these guys have to do in a TT.

The only way to develop this kind of ability is to practice short high intensity efforts in big gears of 30-60 minutes. Alternating with long slow recovery days at relatively low speeds (relative to the riders conditioning level).
Hezz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-08, 01:49 PM   #7
asgelle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Bikes:
Posts: 3,211
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hezz View Post
The only way to develop this kind of ability ...
Now why would you say that?
http://home.earthlink.net/~acoggan/setraining/
http://www.cyclingpeakssoftware.com/power411/levels.asp

It would seem the best way to develop that ability is to put in a lot of time riding at or slightly below that intensity level.
asgelle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-08, 03:28 PM   #8
Hezz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 1,649
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
Now why would you say that?
Based upon personal experience. However, I am not advocating the type of high intensity training as outlined in that article. It does not make any sense to me based on my present understanding of human performance. The gearing must be as high as you can do a 70-90 rpm cadence for at least twenty minutes and upping the effort as soon as you can increase it. So, as soon as you can do 85-90 rpm cadence in a certain gear you should move up to the higher gear. Your cadance will drop to around 70 rpm and you train in this gear until you can do 90 rpm. Then you go to the next gear. THis is not for the purpose so much as building strength but to build endurance at higher wattages. When you do this you are training at near the lactate threshold which is the most important thing. Also, it is not possible to train at maximum intensities for more than a minute or so. So the maximum effort intervals are a different thing altogether.

To build maximum strength it is better to combine some strength cross training and in this instance the wattage needs to be high enough so that muscular failure (or close to it) comes in less than 20-30 repetitions. Or, to do several very short near maximum intensity intervals, like sprint for a minute and then ride at a fast resting pace for two or three minutes then repeat for several reps.

The object is to ride at just below the lactate threshold for most of the time but to cycle above it for periods and then to come back down. You are doing the same thing with sprints, it's just the lactate threshold comes a lot sooner.

The main point is this. You can ride 8 hours a day at 150-200 watts 6 days a week and you still will not be able to do a 35 minute TT at 400 watts if you don't train yourself up to those intensities.

Last edited by Hezz; 05-26-08 at 03:50 PM.
Hezz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-08, 03:33 PM   #9
asgelle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Bikes:
Posts: 3,211
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hezz View Post
Based upon personal experience.
Ah, the old n=1 controlled experiment. So you're recommending 20 minute intervals (nothing surprising there) then superimposing some restricted cadence. The question then becomes is the training more or less effective due to the cadence restriction?
asgelle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-08, 04:13 PM   #10
Hezz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 1,649
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
Ah, the old n=1 controlled experiment. So you're recommending 20 minute intervals (nothing surprising there) then superimposing some restricted cadence. The question then becomes is the training more or less effective due to the cadence restriction?
This is only a generalization. Optimum resting, cadence, effort intervals will vary to some degree from person to person. I believe my original statement was a bit over broad and it was mis interpreted.

My feeling that the best training routine would be one that used a different approach every day. One day you do cruise intervals which are 5 minute or so efforts followed by 10-15 minute fast recovery riding for a couple of hours. Next day run and lift weights (legs and a few upper body). But don't do too many upper body exercises. 3-4 leg and 5-6 upper body exersices should be good. And do a short easy spin with little effort. Next day do long slow ride of 4-5 hours using only slow twitch muscles. Next day do a couple of 20-30 minute TT intervals after warming up. Next day do sprint intervals for an hour (1 minute sprint 2-4 minute fast recovery)and then cruise for an hour in the highest gear you can maintain. Then do another running and weight lifting day. Then take a day off. Next day go mountain biking up some really steep trails or do some steep hills on the road bike. In all work outs try to operate near lactate threshold except on the slow easy rides which are intentionally easy and of longer duration.

Last edited by Hezz; 05-26-08 at 04:19 PM.
Hezz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-08, 04:24 PM   #11
asgelle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Bikes:
Posts: 3,211
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hezz View Post
I believe my original statement was a bit over broad and it was mis interpreted.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hezz View Post
The only way to develop this kind of ability is to practice short high intensity efforts in big gears of 30-60 minutes.
I think I get it. When I read "only" I thought it meant singly, unique, with no alternative when in fact you meant one of infinite possibilities. Clearly it was my mistake.
asgelle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-08, 07:30 AM   #12
eabrdbike
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
gearing / reps

I really like the approach that you outline below... [/I]but if you are going up something so steep where you have run out of gears and can't get in the 70 range - what do you do and are you hurting yourself overall?

Sometimes when I get on a long ride and then hit something that is 8-9% there is no way I can keep that spin going - and I just don't have anything easier on the chainring... so I am trying to figure out how to improve this power and endurance.

My time is limited during the week because of work - so I have to do a lot of stuff in the gym later at night before bed.

Thanks



Based upon personal experience. However, I am not advocating the type of high intensity training as outlined in that article. It does not make any sense to me based on my present understanding of human performance. The gearing must be as high as you can do a 70-90 rpm cadence for at least twenty minutes and upping the effort as soon as you can increase it. So, as soon as you can do 85-90 rpm cadence in a certain gear you should move up to the higher gear. Your cadance will drop to around 70 rpm and you train in this gear until you can do 90 rpm. Then you go to the next gear. THis is not for the purpose so much as building strength but to build endurance at higher wattages. When you do this you are training at near the lactate threshold which is the most important thing. Also, it is not possible to train at maximum intensities for more than a minute or so. So the maximum effort intervals are a different thing altogether.
eabrdbike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-08, 08:35 AM   #13
spoke50
Miles over Matter
 
spoke50's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: birmingham al
Bikes: trek
Posts: 387
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
http://www.cyclingnews.com/photos/20...0027747_1_full

Here he is in the smallest gear. Also in the pink!
spoke50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-08, 09:45 AM   #14
merlinextraligh
pan y agua
 
merlinextraligh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Jacksonville
Bikes: Wilier Zero 7; Merlin Extralight; Co-Motion Robusta; Schwinn Paramount; Motobecane Phantom Cross; Cervelo P2; Motebecane Ti Fly 29er; Calfee Dragonfly Tandem
Posts: 29,108
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
To put it in perspective. Marco Pantani's climb up L'Alpe de Huez averaged 23kph, or about 14 mph. Up a 9 mile climb with an average grade of 8%.

If you want to keep turning 90rpm at 14mph you need a 39/21. Given that there are sections on that climb for example that go 11-12%,and even he couldn't maintain 14mph, you'd need a 23 or even a 25 if you wanted keep spinning.
merlinextraligh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-08, 10:06 AM   #15
Hezz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 1,649
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by eabrdbike View Post
I really like the approach that you outline below... [/I]but if you are going up something so steep where you have run out of gears and can't get in the 70 range - what do you do and are you hurting yourself overall?

[/I]
I see where you are going with this statement and I have gotten myself into the same predicament when on steep mountain bike rides. Of course to complete the ride you have to do what ever this requires. You just have to grind it out at what ever cadence you can. Ok when this happens you are moving somewhat out of the ideal zone for training yourself for long fast endurance rides but it will turn to your advantage after you trash your legs like this if you do one thing.

Take the next day or two off. Or take one day off completely and then the next day do some running and weight lift only the upper body. This way you keep your overall fitness very high but give maximum time for those leg muscle groups to rest from the leg thrashing trail ride or steep road ride. Any time that you feel you have trashed your legs you should take the next day off completely or do cross training the next day where you exercise different muscle groups in your legs. Which is why I recommend running as it seems to be one of the best compliments to cycling. In fact, if you do this properly you will find that hard hill ride has upped your power and fitness level for riding.

Last edited by Hezz; 05-27-08 at 10:22 AM.
Hezz is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:07 AM.