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Old 01-26-10, 11:35 PM   #1
arcticcat38
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Spin Class transfering to the road?

I've done a search and did not find the answer I was looking for. I was wondering how spin class transfers when you get back outside? There is not much cycling in the Chicagoland area in the winter so I spin at least 5 times a week for 1 hour and now I am starting to wonder if anyone knows how it will transfer when I get to get outside again.
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Old 01-26-10, 11:51 PM   #2
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Does wonders for your aerobic capacity, not so much for your bike handling skills.
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Old 01-27-10, 06:21 AM   #3
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Spinning to Road

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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Does wonders for your aerobic capacity, not so much for your bike handling skills.
I live in Michigan, and have the same inability to hit the road. The bike trainer is too boring, so I spin 3 days a week, and lift and do aerobics at the gym 3 days as well.

I find spinning is helping me both aerobicaly, as well as improving some additional leg strength, and agility. The spin instructors mix it up between slow and hard, and light and quick and I like the varity. I use a heart monitor to insure I get the aerobic workout I want, which means continual resistance increases as I improve strength.

In the past couple years, I have felt much stronger in the spring adding spinning to my winter regime, than only the gym rat routine.

I hope we both have an early spring--
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Old 01-27-10, 12:36 PM   #4
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I spin during the week days before work. On the weekends I ride. Spinning works very well for me. I don't follow a class routine. I find it has too much intensity variation to compare to road riding. I vary my pace in slower increments and stay at various intensities longer. It works for me. As for bike handling, it doesn't help. It is excellent for on the bike conditioning though. But I suppose that depends on how hard you push yourself. People can fake it in a spin class. It is harder to fake it on the road.
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Old 01-28-10, 06:50 AM   #5
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I spin during the week days before work. On the weekends I ride. Spinning works very well for me. I don't follow a class routine. I find it has too much intensity variation to compare to road riding. I vary my pace in slower increments and stay at various intensities longer. It works for me. As for bike handling, it doesn't help. It is excellent for on the bike conditioning though. But I suppose that depends on how hard you push yourself. People can fake it in a spin class. It is harder to fake it on the road.
I follow a similar approach, especially during the winter when the days are too short to get in an outdoor ride. A lot of the benefit of a spin class depends on whether or not the instructor is a gym rat who doesn't cycle or someone with real riding experience. A couple of our instructors do nice programs, like the 45 minute climb known as Big Ass Hill, intervals, etc, which transfer very well to the road.

The biggest critique I have about spin classes is that, with rare exceptions, there is no overall plan, nothing consistent or progressive from one class to the next, because they have to accommodate the "drop in" crowd....especially in January . It's not a structured training program unless you make it so. Good instructors won't care if you don't follow exactly what they're doing, especially if you tell them before the class.

I also recommend a HRM monitor. There's no fooling yourself then.
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Old 01-29-10, 11:04 AM   #6
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interesting article on this topic:

http://www.roadbikerider.com/kir_page.htm
(scroll down to the EXCERPT)
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Old 01-30-10, 04:44 PM   #7
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It depends a lot on the instructor. If yours rides a lot or rides competitively, that's a big help.

Generally, spin classes are structured to create 1 song intervals, so really quite short and intense. That's a good thing. You want to go as hard as you can during these intervals and not crap out before the end of the song. You want to use all the tension you can during the high tension low cadence intervals, and spin super fast with moderate tension during that type of interval. If you are just starting to go anaerobic before the end of each hard interval, that's good.

However, if you are doing 5 spin classes/week, you'll have to periodize this advice. IOW, do 1-2 classes/week as the above, and then go moderate during the other classes.

If you apply yourself during spin class, it will make a major difference out on the road. You'll still need saddle time, and might get that more effectively by using your road bike on rollers and spin class maybe only twice/week. That'll smooth up your pedalling and give you better road feel.

Using spin bikes puts you at a disadvantage because the big flywheel makes it easy to get by with an inefficient pedal stroke.
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Old 01-30-10, 07:21 PM   #8
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All these folks are right. I am a spin instructor, so I teach like drills. My drills are longer than one song- usually about 11 minutes of a drill, then change to a different drill. All are intervals, and all work with increasing aerobic capacity, so quite a few spin ups and lactate threshold work. Some days, I do drills on hills, and other days, I do drills on flats.

I think spinning is great (with the right instructor) when you're working on increasing leg strength, working on correcting leg imbalances, increasing aerobic capacity and lactate threshold, cadence drills, working with heavier resistance and spinning, and breathing.

Spin bikes made by star trac are not as good- like the previous poster said, the 40 pound flywheel is chain driven, so you can just let the wheel spin your legs real fast- whoopdee-doo, I always say. A good spin bike is one that is belt driven- they force you to ride with a smoother pedal stroke, and if you try to ride with too little resistance, you'll definitely feel you don't have good control of the wheel. People learn how to ride with proper resistance and learn how to develop a smoother pedal stroke. The only bike I know in Chicago with that is East Bank Club with the LeMond cycling bikes.

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