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Old for some/new for me (or, my butt hurts)

Old 01-19-19, 08:51 PM
  #1  
spelger
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Old for some/new for me (or, my butt hurts)

today i went to my LBS and when through something called a spin scan analysis. if you don;t know what it is it is supposed to measure how well/efficient your pedal stoke is. mine stunk. but i learned what i need to do. me? i need to concentrate more on lifting and sweeping and less on pushing with my quads. this was a real eye opener. in just one session i was able to see a difference of about 30 watts with what seemed less effort, and, AND i was able to consistently do this for about an hour! i have been going there for a class two days a week (winter sucks) and noticed that some others can hold a conversation 45 minutes into a "ride," me? i\ve always felt like there was not enough air to keep me going. today was so different, more power and less panting. i will feel it tomorrow for sure. i am so surprised at how wrong i have been peddling. with this new found technique i cannot wait for real riding weather.

has anyone done this before? what is your take? good/bad/indifferent?

-scott
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Old 01-19-19, 10:53 PM
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I "saw the light" when I began training with rollers. I used a set which had two small rollers in front instead of the single, large roller, the smaller rollers greatly increased pedaling resistance. After 20 or 30 minutes I could keep my balance well enough not to have to hold onto anything, and the first thing I noticed was the sound, the "whir, whir, whir" sound which occurred each time I stepped on a pedal. With a great deal of effort, I was eventually able to pedal with a single, steady "whirrrrrrrrrrrr." This took some weeks.

Using rollers made an unbelievable difference in my pedal stroke, the only equipment I needed was my ears. But another thing rollers helped with was balance and steadiness. Though I had been riding a bike since I was 5, I was not nearly as balanced and steady as I had thought. After my very first session on rollers, as soon as I got on the road I felt a dramatic improvement.

When you begin attempting to pedal in circles, your heart rate immediately picks up, as more muscles are being worked, and more blood is necessary to keep them working. Being able to use all of the muscles in your legs distributes the effort across all of them. At first it is difficult because if you have been pedaling as if you had been climbing stairs, you'll have have strong muscles which are used regularly, and weak muscles which were used very little. Getting those unused muscles to the same level of strength and efficiency as the strong muscles takes time. But once they are strong, you'll notice a big improvement in your riding ability.
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Old 01-20-19, 12:17 AM
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canklecat
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Yup, I've been working more on my spinning this year. Kinda had to -- some health setbacks in 2018, so while I'm waiting to gradually regain my strength I figured I might as well work on technique.

I switched my old school steel road bike from 52/42 to 50/39 chainrings, and from the 13-24 freewheel to 13-25, and will probably try a 13-28. I need to work on spinning up hills, less mashing, grinding and standing to stomp the pedals.

The smaller 50T big chainring also forces me to spin more on some fast downhills, especially with a tailwind. There's little pedal resistance and I need to spin at up to 130 rpm just to get close to my former speeds. A downhill run at 40 mph on ripply pavement spinning at 130 rpm really reveals my flawed technique. But by the third or fourth repeat Friday I was getting smoother.

I also had to switch saddles. I'd been using a minimally padded flat Selle Italia, which was comfortable last year when I was pedaling at 60-80 rpm. But when trying to stay above 80 rpm I was sitting more heavily and getting sore. I'm trying a different Selle Italia, more padded, a little curved but not quite a hammock, and denser, firmer padded shorts and bibs. So far, so good, but not sure I'll stick with that saddle.

Also realized I needed to scoot the saddle forward about 1/2", which surprised me. But I couldn't spin efficiently with the former position, even though it felt comfortable. But the more rearward position basically forced me to mash and rely more on downward pressure. This is still taking some getting used to.

I video myself on the indoor trainer and on some outdoor rides once in awhile to check my form. Good way to get a decent idea of bike fit too. For example around 2016 or '17 I suddenly developed low back and hip pain, which I hadn't experienced since a 2001 car wreck. I turned around my handlebar video camera to get some footage of passing scenery near some historical areas along the MUP. The ultra-wide lens also captured my left side. When I reviewed the video later I realized I was rocking in the saddle -- it was too high. I had swapped saddles a week or so earlier and forgot to check the seat post height. So now I use the video camera anytime I feel some new twinge in the knee, etc. Helps me correct bike fit, poor form, etc.

And I'm tempted to borrow some rollers from a friend. The Cycleops trainer doesn't really mimic anything about real world riding. Good exercise but it doesn't translate to road conditions.

I probably should try a bike fit expert, but the two I knew of locally closed up shop. There are probably others, I just need to call around.
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Old 01-20-19, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
...i need to concentrate more on lifting and sweeping and less on pushing with my quads. ...
The best advice, IMO, is that you should concentrate on making circles. Not pushing, pulling, lifting, or using any certain muscles. Making circles.

Dan
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Old 01-20-19, 04:19 AM
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Rollers did it for me, too. One winter on them and in the spring I was much more efficient on the rides. I still use them to this day, but not as much as I should as I have taken up hiking again, which is a good winter activity as it cuts down on the exposure to tics.

Rollers can be dangerous, however if you go off them once, you never ever do it again! Danger solved.
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Old 01-20-19, 08:08 AM
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An old racer told me once: "You should pedal like if the bike has no chain".
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Old 01-20-19, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Also realized I needed to scoot the saddle forward about 1/2", which surprised me.
I had been thinking of adjusting my saddle for a while and the owner of the store who was working with me not only adjusted the seat forward but also raised my seat up about an inch and adjusted the cleats on my shoes a bit back so more foot ball was over teh pedal. such a big difference for what seemed a little adjustment. can't stress enough how important a good bike fit is.

this morning i assumed i would wake up feeling it after using so much that i really did not use too well before. surprisingly not so bad.

-scott
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