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Thread: Fix my spin

  1. #26
    aka mattio queerpunk's Avatar
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    zizou, my first guess would be weight distribution, before aero spokes and wind depth creating turbulence. are you further forward on your track bike? steeper seat tube angle?

    also, some people attribute rear-wheel-skip in a sprint to an uneven pedal stroke. you push down but when your crank is at 6, if you don't pull up in time - if you're just the slightest bit out of sequence - then you wind up pushing down, effectively lifting your body somewhat (as if you were starting to stand up - micro movement) and then when you do lift back up, you lift your rear wheel a tiny bit.
    the hipster myth.

    i practice vagabondery.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    One thing that really helped my spin recently was to concentrate on producing power from my hips (using hamstrings and gluts) rather than from the knee (using quads). That's not to say you don't use your quads, it's just that when you concentrate on using your hips and letting your knee follow, I think it both produces more power and a smoother spin. It also seems to get rid of the "dead band" at ~120rpm when a lot of people (including me, at times) get bumpy. My theory is at lower rpm, it is irrelevant whether you are taking your neuromuscular cues from your knees (quads) or hips (hamstrings), but that only works up until your brain has trouble tracking your knee extension due to the pedaling frequency. Probably completely bunk, but I think the central premise of concentrating on hips rather than knee holds water.

    Anyway, my 2 cents.

    ps. I'm just mess'n with you so I get you all confused and get the edge next time we are matched up together.

    pps. Just kidding. Probably.
    Interesting, might have to give this a try tonight and like most I bounce around a lot around 120-130rpm but anything below or beyond that is much more controllable.

  3. #28
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    The OP's spin already looked pretty good to me...

  4. #29
    Senior Member Velocirapture's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    One thing that really helped my spin recently was to concentrate on producing power from my hips (using hamstrings and gluts) rather than from the knee (using quads). That's not to say you don't use your quads, it's just that when you concentrate on using your hips and letting your knee follow, I think it both produces more power and a smoother spin. It also seems to get rid of the "dead band" at ~120rpm when a lot of people (including me, at times) get bumpy. My theory is at lower rpm, it is irrelevant whether you are taking your neuromuscular cues from your knees (quads) or hips (hamstrings), but that only works up until your brain has trouble tracking your knee extension due to the pedaling frequency. Probably completely bunk, but I think the central premise of concentrating on hips rather than knee holds water.
    I'm also intereste in giving this a try... but just to check i've got it right; are you focussing on the scrape along the bottom (glutes?) and pull up with the hammies, vs the kick over the top and stomp down (quads and glutes)?

    ta

  5. #30
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velocirapture View Post
    I'm also intereste in giving this a try... but just to check i've got it right; are you focussing on the scrape along the bottom (glutes?) and pull up with the hammies, vs the kick over the top and stomp down (quads and glutes)?

    ta
    With the pedal at the top of the circle, keep your back straight and stiff and drive the pedal down using your hip extensors. So instead of treating your hamstrings in a secondary role by using them to pull on the pedal, you use the muscle as a primary driver as the pedal is going down.

    Basically, your hamstrings can be used in two ways since they cross two joints: as a muscle to close the knee (knee flexor) or as a muscle to extend the hip (hip extensor). When you pull up on the pedal, you are using your hamstring to close your knee joint. If you keep your back straight and stiff, you can use your stiff back to serve as a platform for the hamstring and glutes to extend the hip. When you do this, your quads are still doing their thing because the knee is also extending, but you are adding the hamstring and glutes to drive the downstroke. This means the hamstrings are unavailable to pull up on the pedal as the leg is recovering, but I think this is okay, as you don't really get a good drive (and things tend towards injury since the leg isn't really designed to apply force in retraction) if you pull too much on the pedals, and pulling tends to pull the rear wheel off the ground anyway.

    What put me onto this was the observation that when deadlifting and squatting, much of the power comes from the hamstrings and the quads seem almost secondary. These motions are not all that different than the pedaling motion, the primary difference is most cyclists ride with soft backs which take the hip extensors right out of it. I tried some things and found a lot more power.
    Last edited by Brian Ratliff; 01-17-14 at 08:36 AM.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  6. #31
    Senior Member Velocirapture's Avatar
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    ^ Excellent, thanks! this is very clear. Appreciated, and looking foreward to giving it a go.

  7. #32
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baby Puke View Post
    The OP's spin already looked pretty good to me...
    Yeah +1

    Motor pacing at the track in a smaller gear has helped my "spin". I have done it at Hellyer (outdoors) and Velo Sports Center (indoors 250). Being able to spin fast for seconds is good but being able to spin smooth and relaxed for a longer period of time behind a motor running at constant speed or accelerating is, IMO, better.

    Also, I train using race gears, under geared and over geared. Being able to spin fast is nice and may improve neuromuscular capability but, IMO, power and endurance trump high spin rates unless one is in too low of a gear and spins out.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  8. #33
    Senior Member zizou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by queerpunk View Post
    zizou, my first guess would be weight distribution, before aero spokes and wind depth creating turbulence. are you further forward on your track bike? steeper seat tube angle?

    also, some people attribute rear-wheel-skip in a sprint to an uneven pedal stroke. you push down but when your crank is at 6, if you don't pull up in time - if you're just the slightest bit out of sequence - then you wind up pushing down, effectively lifting your body somewhat (as if you were starting to stand up - micro movement) and then when you do lift back up, you lift your rear wheel a tiny bit.
    Yeah i guess i am a little further forward probably expains it!

    Interesting about the micro movement hadnt thought of it like that before.

  9. #34
    Senior Member Velocirapture's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    With the pedal at the top of the circle, keep your back straight and stiff and drive the pedal down using your hip extensors. So instead of treating your hamstrings in a secondary role by using them to pull on the pedal, you use the muscle as a primary driver as the pedal is going down.
    ...
    What put me onto this was the observation that when deadlifting and squatting, much of the power comes from the hamstrings and the quads seem almost secondary. These motions are not all that different than the pedaling motion, the primary difference is most cyclists ride with soft backs which take the hip extensors right out of it. I tried some things and found a lot more power.
    Brian, just wanted to say thanks again for your initial comments on this, as well as your great description. I've been applying this method (work in progress, but getting there), and from the start it already felt like a more powerful stroke. Ive also hit a few PB's lately

  10. #35
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Awesome. Glad to hear it!
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

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