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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 06-14-02, 01:54 PM   #1
brent
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1 gear for muscle building?

Hi kids,
I was wondering if anyone here knew much about the effeciency of riding a single gear bike (not fixed gear, just a single speed) for muscle building. For some reason I seem to remember reading that being in a most effecient gear is the most effecient way to ride, but i sure do feel more of a burn when i'm climbing hills on my 1speed with no granny gears to go to.
Any ideas?
thanks
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Old 06-25-02, 01:59 AM   #2
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Yeah, riding a single speed makes you strong and if you get the right gear you can work on your spin too. Balance is critical, if you ride too big a gear, on any bike, you can hurt your knees eventually. Doing leg curls will combat the potential problem.
I used to ride an old Schwinn cruiser a lot and it really helped my riding.
The bad part, after many years of riding hard on the road bike and the cruiser, I developed chondromalasia, it's very painful and the surgery wasn't any fun either. I didn't know about leg curls yet.

Ride Stronger
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Old 06-25-02, 11:00 AM   #3
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define "spin" please. I'm not familiar with that term....
and i am talking about single speed with freewheels, not fixed gears, just to make sure you know.
how big of a gear would be too big? my ratio is 42:17 right now
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Old 06-28-02, 04:40 PM   #4
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spin is usually defined as a cadence over 90 rpm and turning the cranks with power throughout the stroke. When pros talk about spinning they also mean: relaxed upper body, suppleness, and smooth power transfer.
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Old 06-28-02, 05:54 PM   #5
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Spinning doesnt just mean spining the pedlas fast. It also means gearing down, so you use less force and more pedal speed. You wanted to build muscles by using more force and less speed, which is bad practice in cycling.
Single speed is OK in flatland, and fixed is even better at developing a good pedalling style.

Generally cycling is not a good way to build up muscle bulk, You get muscle where you need it, and as you practice , the muscle becomes more effective, but the aim is to ride, not to body build.
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Old 06-29-02, 02:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by pat5319
didn't know about leg curls yet.
Which excersie is a leg curl, I'm sure I do it, but I cannot recall all the names?

Thanks!
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Old 06-29-02, 08:49 PM   #7
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There are a few ways to do it. Lay on your stomach and lock you legs under a bar and literally curl the weight to touch your ass (depending on flexibility). You can also do it standing with you leg locked against a pad once again curling the weight to your glutes.

Another great exercise that strengthens other parts of the glute/hamstring combination is the stiff legged deadlift. It works the hamstring in the stretched position.

1 - stand striaght up with the holding the bar at your hips with arms straight (like anchors NOT curling the bar)
2 - with your legs slightly bent lean over keeping your torso stiff in an airplane positio, until you feel a stretch
3 - stand up

This will improve hamstring strength and flexibility a massive amount thereby imrpoving your ride.

Thats funny I went searching for a bodybuilding picture and found a cycling training manual. Check out figure 25 I believe.

http://www.c2i2.com/~sven/ccc-training_tips.htm


WARNING - Be sure not to push to far past the stretch. Use a light weight to figure out the range.

[edit]
Just a note this should be done alongside the curl. It isn't better or worse than the curl it just attacks the muscle differently.
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Old 06-30-02, 11:10 AM   #8
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what I do, when I go out for strength building (cycling wise), I would usually have my bike gearing at 39 x 17, and I will not change the ratio from the moment I leave my house until I return home, and that is about doing 60 to 90 k, and will totally forget about the shifter, wether I am going on a very stiff hill and will also do a lot of spining interval on them on a flat road, you will really feel
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Old 05-04-05, 05:32 AM   #9
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Maybe we should get one of those Infomericals and market s/s bikes as total body workout devices?We could make a few bucks--its the American way LOL---JJ
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Old 05-04-05, 06:13 AM   #10
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Maybe we should get one of those Infomericals and market s/s bikes as total body workout devices?We could make a few bucks--its the American way LOL---JJ
As long as the commercial is nothing like the Land Rider commercials. Those things are funny to watch, "Shifting is dangerous", um problem solved.
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Old 05-04-05, 03:15 PM   #11
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Your current ratio seems fine to me for road, for hilly areas or off road the biggest i would go would be 2:1 or about 32:16.

That's me, fat wimpy guy with so so knees. If you are young and tough, or just into pain, bigger might be ok.
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Old 05-04-05, 03:23 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by kurremkarm
Your current ratio seems fine to me for road, for hilly areas or off road the biggest i would go would be 2:1 or about 32:16.

That's me, fat wimpy guy with so so knees. If you are young and tough, or just into pain, bigger might be ok.
I've got a feeling the original poster's not going to read this. This thread's from '02.
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