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-   -   Rudimentary & Remedial Spin Help Needed, (http://www.bikeforums.net/training-nutrition/897693-rudimentary-remedial-spin-help-needed.html)

bigfred 06-24-13 05:09 PM

Rudimentary & Remedial Spin Help Needed,
 
I'll try to keep this short and to the point. I would love to hear from anyone that has either had to work through themselves or coach others through remedial spin issues.

I "had" a pretty good spin. Sufficiently so, that when joining new or unfamiliar groups I'm accustomed to people asking, "You been cycling long?" Me, "Yeh, sort of. Why?" Them, "You've got a really smooth pedaling style."

But, that's history. It's gone. After 25+ years of spinning mostly 180m cranks I'm experimenting with 200's. Top dead center is now 40mm higher than it once was and that has completely broken my otherwise wonderful spin. It's also creating an even bigger issue with standing climbs. My trailing hip is getting jacked up because my knee is not naturally bending enough to bring my foot over TDC without being driven there by the pedal.

So, I'm looking for the quickest way to regain my form.

I've pulled some of my training books off the shelf and done a couple internet searches. It seems that in these regards not a lot has changed over the last 30 years. One legged drills, pulling (top of the shoes) drills, focusing on various sectors of the stroke as your primary means of power etc.

Because bottom dead center has not changed for me. Ankling and the bottom half of the stroke aren't as much a concern. It's primarily the top that I'm most concerned with.

One legged drills are currently the hardest thing for me to do and subsequently what I believe to probably be providing the greatest benefit. On the 180's I can sit on the trainer and happily spin a single leg for 5 minutes over a range of cadences and resistances. On the 200's I'm far from smooth, after 40 seconds it becomes an effort to keep any form and I don't think I've completed an entire 2:00 minutes without either stopping or stalling and unintentionally back pedalling.

Are there any drills that might be of greater benefit?

Standing climbs: As stated they aren't smooth or efficient at the moment. Initially I started trying to keep my butt down, encouraging my knee to bend and bringing my foot up by focusing on trying to maintain awareness of where my saddle nose was. However, I believe this keeps me too low and aft. So, currently I'm just trying to mentally imagine my butt 4cm lower than I might otherwise end up.

Any thoughts on how best to approach standing climbs?

If you've got anything that could help expedite this relearning curve, thanks for reading and responding.

chasm54 06-24-13 05:24 PM

OK, my first suggestion probably won't appeal. Ditch the 200mm cranks. I've never been convinced by the notion that big guys would benefit from long cranks, because it seems to me that maintaining a similar cadence with long cranks requires higher leg speed, and if you have to slow the leg speed to compensate for the higher cranks, you may as well have just stayed in a higher gear to begin with.

But if you want to continue the experiment, then my answer would be rollers. There's nothing like them for promoting smoothness.

bigfred 06-24-13 05:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chasm54 (Post 15778844)
OK, my first suggestion probably won't appeal. Ditch the 200mm cranks. I've never been convinced by the notion that big guys would benefit from long cranks, because it seems to me that maintaining a similar cadence with long cranks requires higher leg speed, and if you have to slow the leg speed to compensate for the higher cranks, you may as well have just stayed in a higher gear to begin with.

But if you want to continue the experiment, then my answer would be rollers. There's nothing like them for promoting smoothness.

Yeh, you've made your opinion of the long cranks known before. Hey, they're an experiment. I can tell you this, the additional torque is quite noticable. Cruising along an 8km stretch of flat road on Saturady at what was a second best ever rate of speed seemed easy. I was literally thinking to myself, "I wonder why no one seems to want to work today." It's all an experiment. One that seems to have worked well for the majority of those with dimensions similiar to mine.

Rollers. I don't currently have a set. But, I think I know of some just a couple blocks away that I might be able to borrow. May cost me a few beers. Good idea. Used them quite a bit when I was a junior. Hmmm, maybe that was part of me learning to spin smoothly.:thumb:

Rowan 06-24-13 07:27 PM

What are your dimensions? That might be helpful.

Carbonfiberboy 06-24-13 10:07 PM

Besides OLP, the other smooth spin promoter I've used is pedaling at a high cadence on rollers. I've also tried that on the road, but it's not the same - too hard to find somewhere to do it continuously and be able to concentrate. Anyway, I pedal at 115-120 continuously for up to 45 minutes, once a week. I do this as a recovery drill, so keep my HR down in zone 2, the idea being to learn to do this effortlessly in a small gear. It's quite effective IME. It might be hard to hit that cadence in zone 2 right off the bat, maybe 110 and then gradually work it up higher. You could also do it at more of a working resistance, probably does the same thing.

bigfred 06-25-13 05:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy (Post 15779761)
Besides OLP, the other smooth spin promoter I've used is pedaling at a high cadence on rollers. I've also tried that on the road, but it's not the same - too hard to find somewhere to do it continuously and be able to concentrate. Anyway, I pedal at 115-120 continuously for up to 45 minutes, once a week. I do this as a recovery drill, so keep my HR down in zone 2, the idea being to learn to do this effortlessly in a small gear. It's quite effective IME. It might be hard to hit that cadence in zone 2 right off the bat, maybe 110 and then gradually work it up higher. You could also do it at more of a working resistance, probably does the same thing.

Thanks for that. Once Chasm mentioned rollers, memories of how many winter hours I spent on them when I was younger came flooding back. I've got a mate with a set that I believe are gathering dust. If not his, I'll see what I can do about acquiring some as soon as possible.

chasm54 06-25-13 05:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bigfred (Post 15780219)
Thanks for that. Once Chasm mentioned rollers, memories of how many winter hours I spent on them when I was younger came flooding back. I've got a mate with a set that I believe are gathering dust. If not his, I'll see what I can do about acquiring some as soon as possible.

When you have, and are used to them again, don't get cocky. A few weeks ago the phone rang while I was on the rollers. I reached for it, couldn't quite get there, turned my body to make the stretch...

Rode off the side of the rollers and completely destroyed a dining chair. Only superficial damage to my ribcage, ego in poorer shape.

bigfred 06-25-13 05:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rowan (Post 15779262)
What are your dimensions? That might be helpful.

I asked about drills in the generic sense that would help retrain my muslces. But, given that my fit has been reasonably static for a long time and the cranks have introduced a large change, I'm not beyond considering that there might be mechanical considerations that could help. Seat height and fore/aft position seem the most likely possibility.

Not sure how detailed you would like to get, but:

Height: 1950mm
Cycling Inseam: 960mm
Sternum to Floor: 1590mm
Arm (as measured by L.Zinn): 620mm
Comp Cyclist measures
Trunk: 690mm
Forearm: 375mm
Arm: 695mm
Thigh: 650mm
Lower Leg: 615mm
Shoe Size: 51/16US

Current setup with 180mm cranks. Saddle to BB 875mm, Saddle Nose to BB setback 80mm.
New setup with 200mm cranks. Saddle to BB855mm, Saddle Nose to BB setback 80mm.

Yes, that places the saddle ever so slightly further aft on the new setup compared to the pedal spindle when at full extension in line with the seat tube. But, identical when at bottom dead center.

My knee has gone from being approx. 20mm ahead of pedal spindle to approximately even with it. I'll try to get some decent measurements of this in the next day or two.

I'm currently running my cleats full aft and outboard. The new cranks also have 24mm greater Q factor.

Thoughts?

bigfred 06-25-13 05:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chasm54 (Post 15780232)
When you have, and are used to them again, don't get cocky. A few weeks ago the phone rang while I was on the rollers. I reached for it, couldn't quite get there, turned my body to make the stretch...

Rode off the side of the rollers and completely destroyed a dining chair. Only superficial damage to my ribcage, ego in poorer shape.

I have a nice narrow hall leading to a back bedroom. And once back up to speed on them, a nice, open, two car garage (tin shed).

Rowan 06-25-13 06:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bigfred (Post 15780247)
I asked about drills in the generic sense that would help retrain my muslces. But, given that my fit has been reasonably static for a long time and the cranks have introduced a large change, I'm not beyond considering that there might be mechanical considerations that could help. Seat height and fore/aft position seem the most likely possibility.

Not sure how detailed you would like to get, but:

Height: 1950mm
Cycling Inseam: 960mm
Sternum to Floor: 1590mm
Arm (as measured by L.Zinn): 620mm
Comp Cyclist measures
Trunk: 690mm
Forearm: 375mm
Arm: 695mm
Thigh: 650mm
Lower Leg: 615mm
Shoe Size: 51/16US

Current setup with 180mm cranks. Saddle to BB 875mm, Saddle Nose to BB setback 80mm.
New setup with 200mm cranks. Saddle to BB855mm, Saddle Nose to BB setback 80mm.

Yes, that places the saddle ever so slightly further aft on the new setup compared to the pedal spindle when at full extension in line with the seat tube. But, identical when at bottom dead center.

My knee has gone from being approx. 20mm ahead of pedal spindle to approximately even with it. I'll try to get some decent measurements of this in the next day or two.

I'm currently running my cleats full aft and outboard. The new cranks also have 24mm greater Q factor.

Thoughts?

Probably not that detailed. You are a big-big guy and the 200mm cranks aren't too way out.

However, that Q factor increase has me wondering. I know that when I go from road cranks with their narrower Q to MTB cranks (both triples), I start having issues, usually with my ITBs. But I figure also that the extra Q is enough to upset the forces I am applying to the cranks.

I haven't followed your ghetto crank thread in C&A, and I gather that the Q is non-negotiable. So it might be possible to retrain your legs to take that into account and improve your pedal stroke.

The things I look at are: Will you be able to adapt so you become smooth in your pedal stroke? If the answer is yes, then fine provided you don't have muscle and tendon/ligament issues emerge. If the answer is no, after experimenting, then are you wise to persist? That is, is the trade-off in a less-smooth and possibly less efficient pedal stroke worth the perceived gains in power?

bigfred 06-25-13 08:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rowan (Post 15783080)
Probably not that detailed. You are a big-big guy and the 200mm cranks aren't too way out.

However, that Q factor increase has me wondering. I know that when I go from road cranks with their narrower Q to MTB cranks (both triples), I start having issues, usually with my ITBs. But I figure also that the extra Q is enough to upset the forces I am applying to the cranks.

I haven't followed your ghetto crank thread in C&A, and I gather that the Q is non-negotiable. So it might be possible to retrain your legs to take that into account and improve your pedal stroke.

The things I look at are: Will you be able to adapt so you become smooth in your pedal stroke? If the answer is yes, then fine provided you don't have muscle and tendon/ligament issues emerge. If the answer is no, after experimenting, then are you wise to persist? That is, is the trade-off in a less-smooth and possibly less efficient pedal stroke worth the perceived gains in power?

Um, yeh. We sort of got that far before I ever ordered the cranks.

Any great success stories with any particular drills or exercises with regard to retraining smooth spinning or standing pedal strokes?

From the very get go I expected there to be an adaptation requirement and period. Others have reported 2 weeks to 2 months. I'm just trying to minimize the amount of training time lost to redeveloping my stroke. If after a couple months I'm no better off, which would really surprise me, I'll start to consider whether to adandon the experiement or not. But, right now, we're only a week into this and I can still count the number of rides on the the cranks on my fingers.


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