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  1. #1
    Redefining Lazy Slackerprince's Avatar
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    Riding Style of the 70's

    The riders from the Merckx era had such aggressive upper body movement.
    So much different than the fluid, spinning style of riders today.

    Take a look at this short video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8km8B7A0L9Y

    Does anyone know when riding styles in the pro peloton changed, and what prompted it?
    Watching that video makes Thomas Voeckler look like butter.
    They were really pushing some big gears on those climbs. True hardmen.

    S
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    I think it changed in the 90's based upon pedaling efficiency studies.

    I seem to recall studies done in Colorado Springs in the late 80's or early 90's. Ed Burke and Eddie B era. Science.

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    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.

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    I assume they didn't have clipless pedals back then? maybe those little shoe cages that they used to wear didn't do so much for the upstroke? just a guess, all that upper body motion to help the down stroke....

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    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weatherby View Post
    I think it changed in the 90's based upon pedaling efficiency studies.

    I seem to recall studies done in Colorado Springs in the late 80's or early 90's. Ed Burke and Eddie B era. Science.
    I have seen video and read where both Greg Lemond and Lance Armstrong... individually take credit for the cycling/sports knowledge learned through testing at the Olympic training facility. I have to admire their ego's. However... I think it is generally accepted (true or not) that Armstrong introduced the increased cadence [which is the current trend] to racing.

    In reality the efficiency increases weren't found by ether sport legend or any of their team members. Hard working, nameless (maybe "fameless" would be a better word) researchers helped cyclists and other sports competitors learn to become better.
    Last edited by Dave Cutter; 03-26-14 at 10:38 PM.

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    Redefining Lazy Slackerprince's Avatar
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    Any opinions on whether the fans were more reckless back then?

    s
    Shut up, everything

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    Actually, it goes in waves. Some eras feature gear mashing and some feature spinning. It has been that way for at least 70 years, and it seems to depend on who is winning races at the moment. Merckx was a gear masher. So was Hinault. During those eras, pros (and their imitators) threw themselves all over the bike. But Anquetil was a spinner, as was Armstrong. During those eras, pros (and their imitators) held their upper bodies as quietly as possible. And during every era, the status quo was/is defended as the only correct way, with scientific studies held up as proof.

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    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    .... And during every era, the status quo was/is defended as the only correct way, with scientific studies held up as proof.
    All true! Styles change and appear to be repeat. But "scientific studies" really are new. Although.... much of what we get in magazines and such are still "popular opinions" (like in the old days) and not really "scientific". There is some real science in some areas of sports today.

    Back in the 1960's and 70's it was debatable as to how much efficiently was added using toe cages.... we had absolutely no way to measure. All we had was expert guesses. Today at least... there are some tools that can actually measure output pretty accurately.

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    Oh, hell, I have copies of "scientific" studies from the 30's, telling us that if we want to be champions we have to eat salad with beets and sleep with our legs in "cycling position". Of course today, that sort of thing looks anything but "scientific" - but how do you think our science is going to look to cyclists a hundred years from now?

  11. #11
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    Oh, hell, I have copies of "scientific" studies from the 30's, telling us that if we want to be champions we have to eat salad with beets and sleep with our legs in "cycling position". Of course today, that sort of thing looks anything but "scientific" - but how do you think our science is going to look to cyclists a hundred years from now?
    We could say that about many branches of science - medicine, particle physics, oceanography, etc. But the fact that scientific wisdom evolves is a strength, not a reason to discard it all as some kind of useless fashion. the data we collect today and our best understanding of those data are not inviolate. But in field after field, the trend is towards a closer and closer approximation of the physical (and biological) universe. In other words, some of our current wisdom will be overturned in the next 100 years, but much less than we have overturned in the last 100 (or next and last 30, etc.).

    Translated to cycling style and form, of course our coaching and training techniques will improve, but I think it unlikely that the trend towards spinning and away from mashing will be completely reversed. (Remember, the mashers of yore were aided by amphetamines)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    I have seen video and read where both Greg Lemond and Lance Armstrong... individually take credit for the cycling/sports knowledge learned through testing at the Olympic training facility. I have to admire their ego's. However... I think it is generally accepted (true or not) that Armstrong introduced the increased cadence [which is the current trend] to racing.

    In reality the efficiency increases weren't found by ether sport legend or any of their team members. Hard working, nameless (maybe "fameless" would be a better word) researchers helped cyclists and other sports competitors learn to become better.
    You could have stopped your sentence right there.

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    Actually it's right up there with long cranks and elliptical chainrings (they come and go in cycles)...

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    Citing any of the BS "studies" involving Armstrong at this point is ridiculous.

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    Well, the science regarding human metabolism and how we turn fuels such as fat and sugars into motion has improved immensely since the 70s, and that has had a huge impact on training.

    Along with power meters - now we can measure how much power is put out.

    Another thing that hasn't been mentioned - increased number of gears. Assuming a pro rider is going to absolutely need the big gears, more gears allows smaller gearing without huge jumps. Imaging trying to have a 53-11 and a 39-25 with just five cogs on the rear end. It wouldn't surprise me a pro-level rider would rather mash up the hills than use such a setup, especially given there was no evidence supporting its use and no one else was using anything like it anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by therhodeo View Post
    Citing any of the BS "studies" involving Armstrong at this point is ridiculous.
    Armstrong hate doesn't belong here. Take it elsewhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by achoo View Post
    Armstrong hate doesn't belong here. Take it elsewhere.
    It takes less time to say what I did than break down the studies point by point given what we know now vs what they claimed to not know then. Besides at this point in history pointing out holes in the Armstrong narrative is less "hate" than accurate history.

    And on the topic. Its interesting to me that Merckx hour record basically still stands (Boardman beat it by 32ft in 2000). Yes there have been others break the time with use of superior tech and medical help but the true UCI hour record on a traditional drop bar bike has remained unchanged for 40 years regardless of riding styles.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by therhodeo View Post
    Citing any of the BS "studies" involving Armstrong at this point is ridiculous.
    If you had taken the time to actually read what I posted.... I credited nameless researchers at the Olympic Training Center.

    The facts are.... even though tons of BS, superstition, and best-guess practices will always be a part of ALL sports.... some knowledge has been gleamed from research. IMHO... The confusion comes when product marketing is presented as if it was a result of research. Or a new products effectiveness is marketed as if it's somehow supported by research. These marketing schemes aren't new... and likely aren't ethical ether.

    I don't think the American Olympic Center releases it's "finds" to the public. After all... they are in global competition. Any knowledge found is held close to the vest.

    Quote Originally Posted by therhodeo View Post
    ....... with use of superior tech and medical help but the true UCI hour record on a traditional drop bar bike has remained unchanged for 40 years regardless of riding styles.
    An excellent point! Great cycling talents are rare and hardly a way to measure the progression of equipment, training, or cycling styles used.

    My performance varies little whether I use vintage or modern equipment. Although I think the great historical talents would have benefited from modern equipment...... it is the drive within the cyclist that makes the greatest difference.
    Last edited by Dave Cutter; 03-27-14 at 08:45 AM. Reason: adding additional info

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    Quote Originally Posted by therhodeo View Post
    It takes less time to say what I did than break down the studies point by point given what we know now vs what they claimed to not know then. Besides at this point in history pointing out holes in the Armstrong narrative is less "hate" than accurate history.

    And on the topic. Its interesting to me that Merckx hour record basically still stands (Boardman beat it by 32ft in 2000). Yes there have been others break the time with use of superior tech and medical help but the true UCI hour record on a traditional drop bar bike has remained unchanged for 40 years regardless of riding styles.
    Won't let it go, will you?

    As another poster has already pointed out, you used a misattribution to drag Armstrong's name into this.

    To use your own logic, Saint Eddy was busted three times for PED use.

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    Quote Originally Posted by achoo View Post
    To use your own logic, Saint Eddy was busted three times for PED use.
    I'm well aware of the history. If you think amphetamines and old school anabolics are anywhere near the same as oxygen vector and HGH doping then this conversation is fairly pointless.

    Big point I was trying to make. Most sport science is at best highly skewed by trends. At worse intentionally false to justify either sales of a product or explain away unnatural performances.

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    Quote Originally Posted by achoo View Post
    Won't let it go, will you?
    And 1 post plus 1 response hardly equals "not letting it go".

  22. #22
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by achoo View Post
    Another thing that hasn't been mentioned - increased number of gears. Assuming a pro rider is going to absolutely need the big gears, more gears allows smaller gearing without huge jumps. Imaging trying to have a 53-11 and a 39-25 with just five cogs on the rear end. It wouldn't surprise me a pro-level rider would rather mash up the hills than use such a setup, especially given there was no evidence supporting its use and no one else was using anything like it anyway.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member Looigi'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.


    ^^^. In that vid their pushing much higher gears than typically used nowadays.
    Ride more. Fret less.

  24. #24
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weatherby View Post
    I think it changed in the 90's based upon EPO.
    FTFY.

    High cadence takes a load from the legs and puts it on the aerobic system. Works better with a turbocharged aerobic system.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norrick View Post
    I assume they didn't have clipless pedals back then? maybe those little shoe cages that they used to wear didn't do so much for the upstroke?...
    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
    Ride more. Fret less.

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