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Mash or Spin?

Old 05-05-21, 11:17 AM
  #26  
burnthesheep
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Custom cadence for a custom individual! I'd say there's perhaps a realm of reasonableness on either end between zero and 200. That reasonableness is based on your knees, your available gears, and whatever you need to do with the bike during that next 100 yards you plan to traverse.

That's all I've got on this one.
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Old 05-05-21, 11:20 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
Well daggum it, I need to get that post count up, LOL!
Same here. I feel like I will never get to 30,000 at the going rate.
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Old 05-05-21, 11:22 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Same here. I feel like I will never get to 30,000 at the going rate.
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Old 05-05-21, 11:36 AM
  #29  
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Spinning while going at low speed looks ridiculous. Often one sees it with people on MTBs

At one time, spinning purposely at higher cadence (~100) I developed a burning behind my knee cap on one leg that a month of taking it easy cured it. I'd say, both mashing or spinning can lead to problems but usually it only brings out potential problems that are already there, not causing them.

Spinning uphill taxes ones aerobic reserves more than mashing it unless maybe you train specifically for that. If you have spindly legs like Froome, spinning is your only option.

As one gets older, it helps doing home exercising for firming up your knees, like small jumps when your knees don't bend too much, that sort of thing like what male ballet dancers train.

Last edited by vane171; 05-05-21 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 05-05-21, 11:59 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by vane171 View Post
Spinning while going at low speed looks ridiculous. Often one sees it with people on MTBs

At one time, spinning purposely at higher cadence (~100) I developed a burning behind my knee cap on one leg that a month of taking it easy cured it. I'd say, both mashing or spinning can lead to problems but usually it only brings out potential problems that are already there, not causing them.

Spinning uphill taxes ones aerobic reserves more than mashing it unless maybe you train specifically for that. If you have spindly legs like Froome, spinning is your only option.

As one gets older, it helps doing home exercising for firming up your knees, like small jumps when your knees don't bend too much, that sort of thing like what male ballet dancers train.

I'm not going to bother to look it up, but the one study I found on this found that bicycling had a minimal chance of causing repetitive stress injury, and that spinners were more prone to one kind and mashers were prone to another, but the differences were barely statistically significant.

And I think what you say is very true--there's usually a combination of causes for a repetitive stress injury, especially with the knee.
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Old 05-05-21, 12:02 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Same here. I feel like I will never get to 30,000 at the going rate.

OK, but how many of those are popcorn gifs?
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Old 05-05-21, 12:21 PM
  #32  
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There is a third choice: spin slowly and easily. That is what I do. I had knee problems in my 20s and walking is definitely harder on them than biking. I see no reason, since I bike for fun, to push with either speed or pressure. I turn at about 50 rpm with no particular pressure most of the time and my knees are happy.
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Old 05-05-21, 12:35 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
OK, but how many of those are popcorn gifs?
And let's not forget **** (commenting before the thread is locked), before it was censored.
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Old 05-05-21, 12:36 PM
  #34  
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Always Been a masher.
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Old 05-05-21, 12:58 PM
  #35  
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I think of bicycle cadence like a cars engine rpm. If we apply near full throttle to car engine in high gear at low speed, The engine will likely overheat and the stress on its components is much higher. Something can break. Same with a bike cadence. Sustained near max effort at a low cadence is a recipe for serious injury with the resulting fatigue forcing you to slow way down or stop. That might be OK for a short burst, Like climbing a small hill, But not for just "Riding along". Of course we are all built differently and the point at which we over tax our muscles is different, But the same principle applies.

On the other hand if we leave a car in too low a gear with a light load we burn up more fuel then in the proper gear. We also increase wear and tear on the engine. On a bike, Same thing. Pedal at a high cadence and light load we burn up more energy then we should, and it will lead to unnecessary wear and tear on the legs/joints.

My normal cruise cadence is from 55 - 70 rpm. I try to balance cadence with effort. Low effort = low cadence, High effort = High cadence (If you call 75 rpm high)
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Old 05-05-21, 01:04 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Always Been a masher.

Coincidentally, that's the title of the Fred national anthem.
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Old 05-05-21, 02:07 PM
  #37  
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When one-dimensional cadence threads pop up, I like to refer folks to this article, as it contemplates various cadences for various riding needs and suggests that all riders should be aware of these situations and cadences.

https://cinchcycling.cc/blogs/news/t...ycling-cadence

Otto
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Old 05-05-21, 02:46 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by ofajen View Post
When one-dimensional cadence threads pop up, I like to refer folks to this article, as it contemplates various cadences for various riding needs and suggests that all riders should be aware of these situations and cadences.

https://cinchcycling.cc/blogs/news/t...ycling-cadence

Otto

It leaves out FTL cadence. I use it for time travel.
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Old 05-05-21, 03:48 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
It leaves out FTL cadence. I use it for time travel.
Use a blue bike. They shift faster than red ones.

Otto
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Old 05-05-21, 05:13 PM
  #40  
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I ride a fixed gear or single speed 99% of the time so I say MASH IT and THRASH IT!!
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Old 05-05-21, 06:07 PM
  #41  
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Avoid mashing too much, bad for the joints and back. Go at your preferred cadence.
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Old 05-05-21, 06:23 PM
  #42  
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Not my choice. I ride a seven speed bike, so steep hills are a mash.
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Old 05-05-21, 09:25 PM
  #43  
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Since I am a lazy cyclist, I tend to put out the least amount of effort to still maintain 18-20 MPH on the flats, which means a higher cadence. For hills I gear down to try to maintain that cadence. I will get out of the saddle and mash for short rises or for short spurts on long climbs where I want a little variety. Never been a big gear masher, unless going down hill.
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Old 05-05-21, 09:33 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by kahn View Post
Talk to those 70 year olds still riding. And, of course, I will throw anecdotal "evidence" that human tissue: ligaments, tendons, muscle, cartilage and bone only have so much life to them. Same hip replaced twice (no accidents or specific trauma) and lots of friends "running" with new knees and even a few ankles. Yes, legs and cardiovascular systems are not standard but many have a "use by date!"
I'm 71 and have been mashing my whole life, except down hills. The chutes we used in the military were the equivalent of jumping from a 6 foot wall, if you landed right, which I rarely did, and my knees are still holding me up and carrying me forward. NOW YOU TELL ME THEY HAVE AN EXPIRATION DATE! ! I better get my use out of them before they fail then,
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Old 05-05-21, 09:59 PM
  #45  
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If I'm not smashing the grit in the chain rollers, then what is the purpose for even riding?
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Old 05-06-21, 06:11 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
Avoid mashing too much, bad for the joints and back. Go at your preferred cadence.

My preferred cadence has been a mash for 5 decades now and my knees and back are fine.
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Old 05-06-21, 06:56 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Trust me, there's really good reasons I put that guy on ignore. I can only put up with so much aggressive condescending BS. Look at the guy jump on me for no reason right there, for example. I wouldn't have known about it if you hadn't quoted him.
Wow, that was a bit harsh. Especially considering my post merely referred to post counts/join dates… public information shown next to everyone’s name in each post. Oh well, at least we’ll always have our thread. You know, the one where you decided I was the problem but the moderator requested you curtail posting and leave the thread!

It’s been a while since I’ve noticed you posting. If you've just returned from a period of not posting much welcome back. I still do enjoy reading many of your thoughts. Mash On!

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Old 05-06-21, 07:53 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by PaulH View Post
Not my choice. I ride a seven speed bike, so steep hills are a mash.
Number of gears you have don't make you mash. It's not putting the gear ratios on the bike that you need.
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Old 05-06-21, 07:58 AM
  #49  
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back in the day, Jan Ulrich was always known as a masher, but he still "mashed" at 85 rpm up Alp d'Huez (and we all know Lance prefer his 100 rpm, lol).

Mashing at LOW POWER is not something to worry about. But try mashing at HIGH POWER, it will be a different story on your knees and back.
Nobody can mash at high power over a sustained period. Standing on the pedals on an uphill and letting your body weight do the pedalling.. is not mashing, you're just doing zone 2-3 at best, hardly a high power output effort. Now if you say you stand and mash at 60 - 70 rpm while climbing... at threshold power... then count me as impressed.
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Old 05-06-21, 07:59 AM
  #50  
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I've done a lot of heavy leg presses along with many years of cycling. As a result, I had three surgeries for torn meniscus. By the time I was 57, my knees were almost bone on bone. I quit cycling to build a house and build a hot rod in retirement. 3000 hours of labor on each finished off my knees, so I got two new ones in 2017. A year later I returned to cycling and now have over 12,000 miles on my artificial knees. My kneecaps are still the original, but they have plastic liners instead of cartilage. With almost 8 years off the bike, it took over 2 years to regain my cycling muscles. I'm about to turn 68 and my power output is lower than 10 years ago, but my pedaling is now, just as before. I prefer a cadence of 90-105 for flats, but 75-85 for most climbs. I also ride out of the saddle a lot more this season. I have some grades that I do standing in a 48/28. Just last week I did a whole mile of mostly 10% grade, standing. I don't think it was any faster, so I'll stick to seated next time. Standing works well for me on more moderate grades. My bikes have sram force axs drivetrains, except for the cranks. I use a 10-36 cassette and 48/31 or 46/30 chain rings to get more range.
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