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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    Just imagine how good Merckx would have been if he knew how to pedal properly.
    Or Sean Kelly, if he'd had a "pro" fitting.

  2. #52
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Hopeless, they look just awful.

    -Bandera
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    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

  3. #53
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    Well, thank god we have science on our side these days. The sport is so much better now!

  4. #54
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    50 years ago, I didn't know there were such things as cycling shoes. I cut grooves in the bottoms of my tennies so I couldn't pull my foot out and learned to pedal circles. It was obvious. However the half-step gearing of the time, 52-48 IIRC, kept me riding low cadence. Circles, but much slower cadence than with modern gearing. I think it didn't occur to me to pedal faster where I could and slower where I had to. Or maybe because all the climbing had to be slow, I didn't develop the nerve/muscle changes necessary for fast pedaling.

  5. #55
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    Just imagine how good Merckx would have been if he knew how to pedal properly.
    Or how many of his feats would have been beyond him without dexedrine.

  6. #56
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    , I didn't develop the nerve/muscle changes necessary for fast pedaling.
    One of the reasons Old School coaches required fixed gear training on the road.
    No better way to develop a wide power band than being forced to power it out on the uphill, spin it out on the down and just get on with it in a ~70" gear FG.


    -Bandera
    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

  7. #57
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
    One of the reasons Old School coaches required fixed gear training on the road.
    No better way to develop a wide power band than being forced to power it out on the uphill, spin it out on the down and just get on with it in a ~70" gear FG.


    -Bandera
    What did I know? I didn't even know anyone else who had a road bike, much less training secrets of the pros. Some 40+ years later, I led a ride series where we rode geared bikes but took an oath not to shift. We rode our usual routes with plenty of climbing, but nothing over 10%. As you say, around 70" was the sweet spot. We got really good at climbing at a 40 cadence and keeping a taut chain until north of 135. However, after a couple of months of this we weren't any better when we shifted normally, so we never repeated the experiment. It was fun, though. People still talk about it. No one had any knee trouble. I think it was just that we were all pretty good pedalers. 50 years ago it would have made a big difference. Junior gearing.

  8. #58
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    What did I know? I didn't even know anyone else who had a road bike, much less training secrets of the pros...... .
    Being able to join an established club w/ good coaching and a program that developed young riders in a number of disciplines was/is really important. We were fortunate to have that environment "back when" and I had been active in supporting my cycling club through the ABL of A & USCF years. Going through the early UCSF Coaching Certification program w/ Eddie B., Dr. Burke & their cohort it was obvious that the "seat-of-the-pants" training, tactics and rider positioning were on their way out and a more rigorous & effective system would produce better results, and it did.

    I admit that taking my road bike out that weighs what my track bike did & shifts flawlessly across a "straight-block plus climbing gear" range is pretty darn nice but the foundation of technique & discipline that my 1st coach promoted is really what gets me up the hills.

    Glad that you are still at it 5 decades on, keep crankin' & promote your local cycling club.

    -Bandera
    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

  9. #59
    Senior Member Eric S.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weatherby View Post
    A 42x21 was also considered a tiny gear back then.

    My 70's vintage road bike sports a 55-44 crankset and a straight block.
    I found this video awhile back and guessed that the biggest cog you see may be a 23T. I re-geared one of my bikes to 52/42 and 12-23 and it's really not that bad; kind of how slow I end up pedaling anyway!

  10. #60
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
    What are 99ers?
    It is an old running joke amongst some of us that have been here for a while.

    There are people who think bike racing was invented when Lance won his first tour in 1999.
    "Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart, but considerably more successful."
    Bret Stephens, WSJ

  11. #61
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    Or Sean Kelly, if he'd had a "pro" fitting.
    Or either of them if they had power meters.

    Actually, Kelly had a "pro fitting". All the bike were custom from scratch. Because "10 speeds" sucked, fit-wise versus now.
    Last edited by roadwarrior; 03-31-14 at 06:04 AM.
    "Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart, but considerably more successful."
    Bret Stephens, WSJ

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadwarrior View Post
    It is an old running joke amongst some of us that have been here for a while.

    There are people who think bike racing was invented when Lance won his first tour in 1999.
    I'm more of a '57er, toes pointed down ala Monsieur Chrono.

  13. #63
    Ed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    They wore shoes with cleats that prevented the foot from being pulled out of the toe clip without first looseing the strap. Like these: Bicycle Shoe Cleats for Toeclip Pedals $29.95 at Yellow Jersey
    You make me feel so OLD! In my case it's not 'past tense' however.

  14. #64
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    I wonder if Kelly's bikes were custom. I'm not sure if the "glued-and-screwed" aluminum bikes of the day were amenable to custom sizing. At any rate, any "pro fitter" who told Kelly to sit like that should have been shot. I remember LeMond saying that if Kelly ever learned how to sit properly, he would have been unbeatable. As Kelly was essentially unbeatable anyway, I always thought that was kind of a stupid thing to say - and I certainly bear it in mind when I read BF nonsense about how the pro fitter lowered the saddle by 2mm and "Now I'm averaging 3 MPH faster!"

    On another note, 26 tooth cogs were widely available in the 70s, and Nuovo Record derailleurs handled them without problem. Regina stocked them as a standard item and they were regularly fitted for "extreme" conditions like L'Alpe d'Huez. IOW, pros of the era used big gears and threw themselves all over the bike because A) that's what the winning riders did and B) it looks really cool on TV.

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