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Thread: Fix my spin

  1. #1
    Senior Member xengravity's Avatar
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    Fix my spin

    I'm relatively new to cycling in general and just picked up a set of Kreitlers a few months ago. I figure I simply need to spend more time on the rollers to get smoother which is what i'll be doing.

    But in the mean time i'd like to get your feedback on how I can improve technique, form, and speed.

    I feel smooth on the track; however with higher cadences on the rollers and trainer I start to bob and jump all over the place.

    Rollers are 200+ and trainer is 160's-200's:



    My goal is to be like this guy:


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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xengravity View Post
    I'm relatively new to cycling in general and just picked up a set of Kreitlers a few months ago. I figure I simply need to spend more time on the rollers to get smoother which is what i'll be doing.

    But in the mean time i'd like to get your feedback on how I can improve technique, form, and speed.

    I feel smooth on the track; however with higher cadences on the rollers and trainer I start to bob and jump all over the place.

    Rollers are 200+ and trainer is 160's-200's:
    A few questions:

    - How long are your crank arms?
    - At what cadence do you experience the dissonance?

    I used to have problems from 120-130RPM, but after 130, I smoothed out again.

    It's highly debatable whether any work over 160RPM is useful, with or without load. It's my opinion that it doesn't help much to push rev-outs super high...except for braggin' rights


    Quote Originally Posted by xengravity View Post
    My goal is to be like this guy:

    It's funny that you reference this video. A couple of years ago I calculated his cadence to be around 200RPM. I used frame-by-frame and counted the pedal strokes vs the elapsed time. It's the camera's slow frame rate that makes it look faster.

  3. #3
    Senior Member longbeachgary's Avatar
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    Why?

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Also, I think you might benefit from a longer stem. Maybe 2cm?

    Your hands are behind the front axle. Your handling will improve when your hands are ideally directly above the front axle.

    Quick story:

    I was on the bike trail one day on a dreaded 2hr ride. I came up on a family (dad, mom, daughter about 8). Daughter was weaving back and forth on the trail and I was hesitant to pass. While I was back waiting I was chatting with her dad. Dad was hoping daughter would get the hang of the bike soon.

    I noticed that her BMX style bars were tilted backwards, bringing the hands way far behind the axle.

    Anyway...BOOM! Daughter wrecks herself. (good thing I stayed back). She wasn't hurt.

    I helped them get her back setup. I mentioned to dad that I think her bars are in a bad spot. I ask if I can adjust them. I use my pocket tool and adjust the bars such that the grips were above the axle.

    Daughter gets on the bike again and rides straight as an arrow.

    When the hands are behind the axle, the steering is counter-intuitive: Push the bars left in order to go right. When the hands are above or in front of the axle, the steering is intuitive.

    Imagine steering a race car's steering wheel with the hands:

    - At 10:00 and 2:00 (up top)
    - At 9:00 and 3:00 (middle)
    - At 8:00 and 4:00 (bottom)



    In the middle would be ideal for precise steering. The bottom would be worst of all 3.
    Last edited by carleton; 01-15-14 at 05:33 PM.

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by longbeachgary View Post
    Why?
    Why what?

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    Senior Member xengravity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    A few questions:

    - How long are your crank arms?
    - At what cadence do you experience the dissonance?

    I used to have problems from 120-130RPM, but after 130, I smoothed out again.

    It's highly debatable whether any work over 160RPM is useful, with or without load. It's my opinion that it doesn't help much to push rev-outs super high...except for braggin' rights
    I was hoping you'd chime in.

    Track cranks are 165 and road is 172.5. I'm having a hard time looking for 165 road cranks to match. I got the road bike 2 months ago and noticed an immediate difference in stroke; it's awkward.

    I would say 155-160 is when I start to bob. I rarely hit that on the track. The only time would be on a warm up jump.

    Interesting note on the hand position, I never thought to line up the hands with the axle but now that you mention it, I can see others doing the same. I think that seals the deal for me on picking up a bigger frame this year. I'm effectively maxed out on my current frame. Saddle is as far back as it goes, and the stem is about as long as they get (130mm).

    Thanks for the tips!

    *Regarding max cadence drills; I get everyone has a different opinion. And without data to back it up no one can actually prove either way. But from what I can gather, I see a lot of guys doing warm up max cadence efforts before racing. Listening to some of the fast guys discussing the topic, they strongly suggest that it is beneficial to neuromuscular adaptation but i've never heard a fast guy suggest that they are actually bad for you.
    Last edited by xengravity; 01-15-14 at 05:57 PM.

  7. #7
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xengravity View Post
    Track cranks are 165 and road is 172.5. I'm looking for 165 road cranks to match. I got the road bike 2 months ago and noticed an immediate difference in stroke; it's awkward.
    Yeah, 172.5s for a guy your height are for climbing at a slow pace and grinding big gears.

    I put 165s on my road bike in 2011 when I raced 165s on my track bike. You'll really dig them being the same. I even put 40cm road bars on my road bike. Hills sucked, but my road bike was only for track training. I use 170s now.

    My track bike and road bike feel very similar. The only major difference is that the bars are much higher on the road bike for comfort.

    Quote Originally Posted by xengravity View Post
    I would say 155-160 is when I start to bob. I rarely hit that on the track. The only time would be on a warm up jump.

    Experiment with different pedal strokes. Basically, you'll activate different muscles and/or activate them at different points in the pedal stroke. For example:

    - Full circle
    - Pushing down hard
    - Scraping through the bottom
    - Pulling up
    - Kicking over the top
    - Tapping down (not applying pressure during the entire down stroke)
    - Shuffling front to back

    There is a different stroke for different cadences/torque combinations. This may also explain why it may happen on the track and not the rollers and vice-versa...the torque component changes.

    We all know that shorter cranks are easier to spin and longer cranks are easier to grind. Every rider has to find the right crank length for them according to their femur length, choice of events, and riding style.

    Quote Originally Posted by xengravity View Post
    Interesting note on the hand position, I never thought to line up the hands with the axle but now that you mention it, I can see others doing the same.
    Yup. Look at the hands of the Kerin rider in the video above

    Quote Originally Posted by xengravity View Post
    I'm effectively maxed out on my current frame. Saddle is as far back as it goes, and the stem is about as long as they get (130mm).
    Yeah, I was thinking that frame might be about 2cm too short. But, it's hard to tell sometimes from a video.

    The bike fit is a 2 part system:

    1) Your butt to the pedals
    2) Your butt to the handlebars

    Rule #1 of bike fitting: Do not move your saddle to give yourself more reach.

    Your saddle position is the foundation of your fit. It defines how your legs address the pedals. Set your saddle position, then pick the appropriate top tube length. The stem length is a function of the head tube length and angle. Basically, the shorter the headtube, the shorter the stem needed to put the hands above the axle because of the slant. The longer the headtube, the longer the stem need to push the hands back out.

    Quote Originally Posted by xengravity View Post
    Thanks for the tips!
    No problem
    Last edited by carleton; 01-15-14 at 06:07 PM.

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xengravity View Post
    *Regarding max cadence drills; I get everyone has a different opinion. And without data to back it up no one can actually prove either way. But from what I can gather, I see a lot of guys doing warm up max cadence efforts before racing. Listening to some of the fast guys discussing the topic, they strongly suggest that it is beneficial to neuromuscular adaptation but i've never heard a fast guy suggest that they are actually bad for you.
    Yeah, that's the debate.

    Old school guys will say that you should be able to spin well over 200RPM for some significant amount of time to create some neuromuscular training. The Germans used to have an exact number

    Others say that, "Why train at over 200RPM when you'll never hit 160 in a race?" Even top sprinters don't go over 160 in a flying 200M. And now with the Big Gear Revolution, max cadences are in the 140s.

    I personally like to rev-out at a controlled 160-170ish RPM and work on feeling loose, free, relaxed, and in control. When you do a flying 200M right, that's the feeling that you are going for. I can pull off a 220-225RPM balls-out rev-out on the rollers. But why?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Impreza_aL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by longbeachgary View Post
    Why?
    +1

    i don't know how to ride rollers
    Last edited by Impreza_aL; 01-15-14 at 06:18 PM.

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Oh, and if your saddle is far back, this will hinder your spin. It is easier to spin when your saddle is forward.

    Grinders and roadies like their saddles back.
    Spinners and high-cadence sprinters like their saddles forward.
    Big gear grinding sprinters are all over the place

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    Senior Member xengravity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    Oh, and if your saddle is far back, this will hinder your spin. It is easier to spin when your saddle is forward.

    Grinders and roadies like their saddles back.
    Spinners and high-cadence sprinters like their saddles forward.
    Big gear grinding sprinters are all over the place
    I'm using a Fizik Arione which is a bit longer than the average saddle (300mm).

    My memory of the UCI regulations are a bit vague but I recall it saying that the nose of the saddle can't go beyond the center of your BB; except for sprint events.

    I had my nose 3cm in front of the BB and putting it all the way back (which happens to also be 3cm) puts it in line with the BB.

    A few people had mentioned that I look too far forward on the bike and that was my response to fix it.

    Ultimately the correct thing for me to do is buy a bigger bike and like you said, don't mess with the saddle position. I feel like the nose is sticking up my butt sometimes

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    According to the UCI the saddle cannot ever go in front of the center line of the BB under any circumstances.

    Assuming a rider is riding an average 55cm bike:

    "Back" would be 7cm
    "Normal" 5cm
    "Forward" 4 down to 0cm
    Last edited by carleton; 01-15-14 at 06:50 PM.

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    Senior Member xengravity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    According to the UCI the saddle cannot ever go in front of the center line of the BB under any circumstances.

    Assuming a rider is riding an average 55cm bike:

    "Back" would be 7cm
    "Normal" 5cm
    "Forward" 4 down to 0cm
    There is/was a clause in there that makes exception to sprint events e.g. Match Sprint, Keirin, F200, Kilo, etc. I'll have to find it again and ask someone what it means. Too many rules constantly changing to keep up with :/

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    Senior Member xengravity's Avatar
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    UCI rule 1.3.013 states the following:


    The peak of the saddle shall be a minimum of 5 cm to the rear of a vertical plane passing through the bottom bracket spindle. This restriction shall not be applied to the bicycle ridden by a rider in a track sprint event, keirin, 500 metres or 1 kilometre time trials; however, in no circumstances shall the peak of the saddle extend in front of a vertical line passing through the bottom bracket spindle.

    If I understand this correctly, it sounds like everyone must be a minimum of 5cm back, except for sprinters which can go up to 0cm back. But no one regardless of being a sprinter can go past 0cm.


    Dang, I can't imagine being 5cm back. It was a big change for me going from +3cm to 0cm.

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xengravity View Post
    UCI rule 1.3.013 states the following:





    If I understand this correctly, it sounds like everyone must be a minimum of 5cm back, except for sprinters which can go up to 0cm back. But no one regardless of being a sprinter can go past 0cm.


    Dang, I can't imagine being 5cm back. It was a big change for me going from +3cm to 0cm.
    Shorter riders can get an anthropomorphic exception.

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    Senior Member longbeachgary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    Why what?
    Why would you want to or need to spin at 200rpm?

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    aka mattio queerpunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xengravity View Post
    Dang, I can't imagine being 5cm back. It was a big change for me going from +3cm to 0cm.
    keep in mind that your arione is a particularly long-nosed saddle. you could use a different saddle and achieve that 5cm behind the bb plane, while still keeping your position. the important part is the "sweet spot" of the saddle, but it's hard to measure where that is.

    despite being a shortie on a short bike i was nervous about anthropomorphic exemption so i got a specialized TT saddle - super short nose. got my 5cm setback.

    then i broke 2 ribs 30mi into a 90mi road race in iowa a month before nationals. rode to the finish line, too. but couldn't go to rock hill. #fml
    the hipster myth.

    i practice vagabondery.

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    Senior Member xengravity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by longbeachgary View Post
    Why would you want to or need to spin at 200rpm?
    People will argue both ways. There is no data to prove one way or another so you need to make your own choice.

    The fast guys i've heard from, all sub 10's, say it's a great way to develop neuromuscular pathways.

    Francois Pervis who smashed the world record for a flying 200 and the kilo a few weeks ago also trains at 260+. If you want to tell the fastest guy in world history he is doing it wrong, by all means...

    Last edited by xengravity; 01-15-14 at 10:06 PM.

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    Senior Member longbeachgary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xengravity View Post
    People will argue both ways. There is no data to prove one way or another so you need to make your own choice.

    The fast guys i've heard from, all sub 10's, say it's a great way to develop neuromuscular pathways. If you know of someone who can go sub 10 and doesn't include it as part of their training, i'd be interested in knowing who.

    Francois Pervis who smashed the world record for a flying 200 and the kilo a few weeks ago also trains at 260+. If you want to tell the fastest guy in world history he is doing it wrong, by all means...
    Never said anyone was doing anything wrong - I just asked a questions.

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    Senior Member Impreza_aL's Avatar
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    where does it show he hits and trains at 260+? looks like to me he's just showing you his wang aka "260" spin...

    i won't post my unloaded spin but i'm usually in the 60-150 range.

    but to answer your question. in order for me to hit this spin i have to really squeeze my core and just spin like my life depended on it. again i don't know how to ride rollers so this is done on the road or trainer on my road bike. unfortunately i don't have the resources to train at the track. so i only ride my track bike when i'm racing.

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    Senior Member xengravity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Impreza_aL View Post
    where does it show he hits and trains at 260+? looks like to me he's just showing you his wang aka "260" spin...
    Go read his facebook page. He trained in Japan for awhile and if you notice in the first video I posted, the Japanese Keirin school teaches all their students to spin too.

    The primary point i'm making is that some people say it's good for you, some people say it's useless and only used to "show off", but I haven't seen anyone say it's actually detrimental to your speed to train that way.

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    VeloSIRraptor
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    36069077.jpg

    *ahem*

    you racing tomorrow?
    Last edited by Hida Yanra; 01-16-14 at 10:44 AM. Reason: better meme-time
    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    If it comes down to a field sprint, you probably won't win, so don't let it.

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    Brown Bear, Sqrl Hunter Jaytron's Avatar
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    I'm still a little unstable/not confident on the rollers, so my max on the rollers is ~190ish.

    However, on the road I can fairly consistently break 220rpm (no resistance). Going from a max of 210 to 220+ happened in the span of a week, something just clicked I guess. There are a few things that I have to think about for me to hit that rpm:
    -Bend my arms and relax my upper body as much as possible.
    -Move up on the saddle (This seemed like a natural thing for me at high rpm)
    -Pedal as smooth as possible. I've found that when I'm concerned about just the rpm number, I've been slower. If I concentrate on a smooth efficient stroke, it's much better. At higher rpms, concentrating on pulling up makes my pedal stroke less smooth. Not sure why, YMMV.

    Anyways, hope this helps. I have more work to do myself, so sharing tips is great.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    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.
    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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    Senior Member zizou's Avatar
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    On my track bike on rollers when i get up to about 150rpm the back wheel becomes very twitchy and it is difficult to push much beyond that as the twitchyness causes me to bob and bounce. Strangely i dont seem to get the same issue on my road bike so i think it might be something to do with the aero spokes and rim depth creating turbulence.

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