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  1. #1
    the digitalmouse digitalmouse's Avatar
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    Focus breathe: how to climb fast with a recumbent

    Blatantly spamming this on various 'bent focused forums because I thought it was a great bit of info. Did a search in the forum and didn't see this posted already, so I'm passing it along (please correct me if I'm wrong).

    Just got a link to an interesting article via Twitter, titled "Focus breathe: how to climb fast with a recumbent" http://www.fietsersafstappen.nl/engl...th-a-recumbent

    Not sure how old the article is, but it brings up a great technique for improving your climbing power. Enjoy!
    current ride: 2010 Steintrike Nomad with Wildcat nose fairing https://picasaweb.google.com/jimm.pratt/NomadWildcat

    Recumbent Adventure! - recumbent cycle touring all year around!
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  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Interesting article.
    I must admit to being skeptical that putting his head and shoulders back allowed him to outclimb a trained rider on a lightly-loaded DF while he was riding a heavily-loaded recumbent.
    From a physiologic standpoint, lactate threshold is lactate threshold, and I don't think the amount of air you get in and out of your lungs is the limiting factor for most people, certainly not for people who are concerned about how quickly they go up mountains on bicycles.

  3. #3
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    It looks to me as if the author did a study based on a sampling population of one. His method of alternating positions was to slouch in his seat on a bike tour. He notes the hip angles; but is only interested in how it affects breathing, not muscle recruitment. Left unstated was that it also altered other measurements, such as his leg extension. So, even if we believe he was faster in one position, it's not valid to assume the difference in breathing was the cause. As theories go, however, I suppose it's no worse than blindly believing that closed hip positions climb better.

  4. #4
    the digitalmouse digitalmouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    It looks to me as if the author did a study based on a sampling population of one.
    Might want to read the article again, in more detail.

    "...research has been done with traditional time trialists..."
    "...Some research has been done on the influence of body position on aerobic power output..."
    "...
    my own experience in the mountains.."

    So he's not relying on just his own experience, but includes research papers and studies and other web sources to help support his idea. I would think that any effort to improve breathing also improves some power output. The author just expresses one that appears to work for him. It's possible that it will work for others too, if they take the suggestions given to heart. The best validity is for others to try his ideas. The more experience, the more valid or invalid the technique. I can't see the harm in trying the techniques if I get improved power output from improved breathing.
    current ride: 2010 Steintrike Nomad with Wildcat nose fairing https://picasaweb.google.com/jimm.pratt/NomadWildcat

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  5. #5
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    Want to climb faster, spend time climbing. My hill repeats on some steep hills is just a tiny bit slower that on the DF.
    So it does not only take a well designed and adjusted recumbent to climb fast. It also takes practice.

  6. #6
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    He didn't cite anything, just "some research has been done..." so I'm not sure it was any serious studies. There has been "some research" that shows almost anything you could imagine. Tim Brummer insists that closed position is best and also backs it up. Not saying I agree with that, either. My problem is the author's basic premise that climbing has a direct relationship to our ability to breathe, or IOW our breathing is the limiting factor in our climbing. I'm not the world's best example of a climber, but I usually run out of legs before I run out of breath! And he simply dismisses the effects of an inefficient frame. The difference in frame efficiency is huge! For the same hill, I can be struggling to keep up with the uprights on my Baron, or over the hill and a dot on the horizon with my M5. Maybe he doesn't weigh enough to stress the frames he uses, but his attitude implies he's just running on personal experience.

  7. #7
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by russHahn View Post
    Want to climb faster, spend time climbing. My hill repeats on some steep hills is just a tiny bit slower that on the DF.
    So it does not only take a well designed and adjusted recumbent to climb fast. It also takes practice.
    PRACTICE?!?! Nobody told me that when I got my bent. They only talked about cookies....

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    My problem is the author's basic premise that climbing has a direct relationship to our ability to breathe, or IOW our breathing is the limiting factor in our climbing. I'm not the world's best example of a climber, but I usually run out of legs before I run out of breath!
    Agreed. On a long climb my legs are feeling dead and my heart rate is nearly maxed out, but, except for very short exceptionally steep pitches, I can still carry on a conversation and certainly don't feel that my breathing is at all stressed.

  9. #9
    the digitalmouse digitalmouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    He didn't cite anything.
    Three citations at the bottom of the article (and cited in the article itself - that's what the little numbers are for ):

    "1 Raoul F. Reiser II, Michael L. Peterson, Jeffrey P. Broker: Anaerobic Cycling Power Output With Variations in Recumbent Body Configuration, Journal of Applied Biomechanics, Vol. 17, No. 3, 2001.

    2 Steven R. Bussolari and Ethan R. Nadel: The physiological limits of long-duration human power production-lessons learned from the Daedalus project, Human Power Vol. 7 No. 4, 1989.


    3 See http://www.bikeradar.com/fitness/art...rything-31165/"

    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    My problem is the author's basic premise that climbing has a direct relationship to our ability to breathe, or IOW our breathing is the limiting factor in our climbing.


    And certainly could be the case, based on your body's position. A laid back position where your lungs are opened up is better than an upright 'bent position, like on an Anthrotech trike for example, vesus a Steintrike Nomad or Wind Cheetah. His take is that proper breathing is one way of generating a bit more power for climbing. I don't find that un-reasonable, and it's certainly testable.


    current ride: 2010 Steintrike Nomad with Wildcat nose fairing https://picasaweb.google.com/jimm.pratt/NomadWildcat

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  10. #10
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Okay, so I read what I could - the bikeradar article. The study dealt with upright riders only. (Pro riders typically get down into extremely closed positions for time trialing.) It concluded that an aerodynamically-efficient position didn't do any good if it caused breathing to be impinged. I'd call it a no-brainer that IF your breathing is restricted, you won't be able to perform your best. It's also a far cry from that to saying that recumbent riders' breathing is holding us back from climbing better.

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