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Mash or Spin?

Old 05-11-21, 01:07 PM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by hotman637 View Post
Have you ever tried it? So many people say it does not work but the ones who DO IT say it is great! It is like green eggs and ham!
Yoga is stupid---a friend of mine has been a yoga instructor for decades and yet still manages to injure himself a couple of times a year. It's stupid, that is, unless you want to pick up women.

Me, I stretch when I yawn. Otherwise, I get all the stretching I need riding bikes with clip-on aero bars.

As for mashing versus spinning, mashing is fine if you're content to be a mediocre cyclist. I agree with Eddy Merckx on this topic. Someone once asked him, "To be a good cyclist, which should I do: spin small gears or push big gears?" Merckx replied, "Spin big gears."
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Old 05-11-21, 02:54 PM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Yoga is stupid---a friend of mine has been a yoga instructor for decades and yet still manages to injure himself a couple of times a year. It's stupid, that is, unless you want to pick up women.

Me, I stretch when I yawn. Otherwise, I get all the stretching I need riding bikes with clip-on aero bars.

As for mashing versus spinning, mashing is fine if you're content to be a mediocre cyclist. I agree with Eddy Merckx on this topic. Someone once asked him, "To be a good cyclist, which should I do: spin small gears or push big gears?" Merckx replied, "Spin big gears."

You understand that the joke was he was about the only person who could actually do that, right? I could use that quote to say that spinners are also mediocre cyclists.
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Old 05-11-21, 03:10 PM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post
Not exactly; It’s more about cadence / effort on ‘flat’ roads or long, shallow climbs: ‘Mashing’ is pushing a bigger gear, at a lower rpm, and higher peak effort; ‘Spinning’ is the opposite, a lower gear, and higher rpm, typically lower peak effort but higher cardiovascular intensity.

You tend to see ‘mashing’ with newer riders, and larger stronger/more muscular riders, especially if they’re coming from another sport. (I’m an ex-rower, so low rpm , high effort is my default setting)

Depending on what you’re doing, either technique is valid, especially if you’re riding a single speed, or a vintage bike with a limited choice of gearing. However, if you’re doing long rides in varied terrain, then ‘spinning’ a lower gear at a higher cadence may feel ‘slower’ you’ll be able to sustain it for a longer time. (Could make a big difference on a 100-mile ride)

if you’re to the point where you’re out of the saddle, you’re headed for max effort, regardless of what your preferred technique is.
hmmm, learn something new every day. in reading lots of stuff on BF i had always associated mashing with standing. my thought process was that it reminded me of making mashed potatoes. i still use a fully manual operated potato masher. i still do both but probably more mashing with occasional out of saddle efforts.
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Old 05-11-21, 08:46 PM
  #79  
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I ride a single speed. The terrain determines if I'm mashing or spinning.

For some reason, I always seem to be in the wrong gear . . .
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Old 05-12-21, 12:32 AM
  #80  
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Coppi was a masher, Merckx was a masher, the animal and the cannibal, you gonna argue with those guys? so what if they limp like Cap'n Ahab?

Anquentil was kind of a sissy so he used to spin,

depends on the rider, the bike, the terrain and the temperature.

don't mash in the cold weather, there is no fat over the knee cap to insulate it from the cold, and also no nerves, so you can be do damage and not even know it, I read a story about a guy with a mad grudge on a long distance ride, grinding his knees in the cold weather, never rode again, toast, done. one bad ride was all it took.

frame geometry-i had an 84 Stumpjumper, laid back, perfect for mashin up steep hills, big gears are more efficient. ever do the same hill over and over and then one day you try it in the big ring and get up it twice as fast and only breathing a bit more?
Look at Ali Felipe attacking at the worlds in that monster gear.

I like to climb hills out of the saddle in the big ring at a slow cadence. not really mashing as you are using the body in a way that saves the knees.

do you ride on the drops? ever get snapping hip syndrome? ouch! you might even have it without even knowing it, get down on the drops in a big gear and mash while using your right hand to feel your hip joint. do you eel something weird going on? like pressure building up on a tendon then a sudden release like a rubber band snapping? spinning would be better in this situation, but it still won't completely get rid of the snap. so i ride the hoods as previous years of mashing has already caused damage

getting paid a lot of $$ to ride? have to go fast for a living? mash for cash. you can trade your body in on cash like Felippo Ganna and mash at 35 MPH for 6 miles and collect that check. destroy now, create your legacy, pay the surgeon later. not worth it for us street punks.

you would be surprised how fast you can go in a 43-17, your butt is gonna be bouncing off the saddle, but you should be able to hit 25 mph. got spider legs? maybe you won't bounce. got sprinter tree trunks for legs? you gonna bounce. so you have to adjust cadence to leg mass, otherwise you will tire easily.

the only way i can drop the E bikers is to mash past them on a steep hill in the big ring. when they finally catch up as the grade slackens, they check my bike for batteries. they say "how did you do that?" and i say watch out for a spinner when they put it in the big ring because they gonna mash past at full gas and drop your azz. see ya at the recharging station.

Last edited by cjenrick; 05-12-21 at 12:46 AM.
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Old 05-12-21, 09:13 AM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
If this works so well, why is nobody doing it anymore?

Honest question.
It is a good question. I will try to give you an answer, you probably won't think it good.

Cycling for sport was tiny. The modern notion of sport did not exist at all until 1880s or 1890s. Even in times and places where cycling was big box office and whole populations rode for transport the sport side was small. In US it was minuscule. With a big exception. Before WWII US was fully integrated into world track racing. Which meant six day. Here or in Europe six day was big money.

When I clubbed up in 1965 that meant I was immediately riding with racers. Not Cat6 posers, national champs, Olympians, one working and winning pro, a group of retired six day pros. I didn’t even give racing a try for another ten years, I was always welcome. Simple century rides were largely populated by racers, who else was going to ride that far?

We were taught. We learned the tradition. Doing a warmup at a steady 110rpm is so easy. I’ve seen hundreds of new riders pick that up in one or two rides. Of course far easier when in a group of twenty or forty riders doing exact same thing than if trying to re-invent the wheel solo.

A poster above says Coppi was a masher. Coppi set his hour record on a 78 inch gear. Which was controversially high at the time. Someone else thinks it is a big deal to do 25mph in a 42x17. Anyone can do that. Anyone can pick that up on two rides with a group that knows how. What can’t be done is to argue with endless mobs who don’t know much.

Mass participation started in Europe after WWII. In US not until after Greg and Lance. In Europe the tradition was continuous. Here the (small) tradition was completely broken after WWII. The old guys were dead before cycling came back.

Other factors as this gets long. People are bigger now. Big long heavy legs will not spin so easily. Drugs and weightlifting.

Most have never spun. At all.Still they know everything
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Old 05-12-21, 09:39 AM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
I agree with Eddy Merckx on this topic. Someone once asked him, "To be a good cyclist, which should I do: spin small gears or push big gears?" Merckx replied, "Spin big gears."
Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
You understand that the joke was he was about the only person who could actually do that, right? I could use that quote to say that spinners are also mediocre cyclists.
How so? If you're spinning you're spinning, no matter the gear. Anyway, it doesn't matter. Eddie's timeless quote belongs in this thread.
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Old 05-12-21, 10:16 AM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
How so? If you're spinning you're spinning, no matter the gear. Anyway, it doesn't matter. Eddie's timeless quote belongs in this thread.

Because, as the question clearly implied, "spinning" as used by cyclists refers to high cadence, low gear. Technically, anyone who turns a crank on a bike is actually spinning (as the dictionary would define it) their feet around an axis, so any cadence and any gear is technically spinning. .That renders the quote meaningless, so it obviously isn't what he was saying.

The real meaning of the quote is that everybody is mediocre compared to Eddy M., and we know damn well, that's exactly what he meant--he's too good to have to make the choices lesser mortals must. That's what makes it funny, and why it's the best thing in this thread and most any other thread in which it appears.
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Old 05-12-21, 10:30 AM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
It is a good question. I will try to give you an answer, you probably won't think it good.

Cycling for sport was tiny. The modern notion of sport did not exist at all until 1880s or 1890s. Even in times and places where cycling was big box office and whole populations rode for transport the sport side was small. In US it was minuscule. With a big exception. Before WWII US was fully integrated into world track racing. Which meant six day. Here or in Europe six day was big money.

When I clubbed up in 1965 that meant I was immediately riding with racers. Not Cat6 posers, national champs, Olympians, one working and winning pro, a group of retired six day pros. I didn’t even give racing a try for another ten years, I was always welcome. Simple century rides were largely populated by racers, who else was going to ride that far?

We were taught. We learned the tradition. Doing a warmup at a steady 110rpm is so easy. I’ve seen hundreds of new riders pick that up in one or two rides. Of course far easier when in a group of twenty or forty riders doing exact same thing than if trying to re-invent the wheel solo.

A poster above says Coppi was a masher. Coppi set his hour record on a 78 inch gear. Which was controversially high at the time. Someone else thinks it is a big deal to do 25mph in a 42x17. Anyone can do that. Anyone can pick that up on two rides with a group that knows how. What can’t be done is to argue with endless mobs who don’t know much.

Mass participation started in Europe after WWII. In US not until after Greg and Lance. In Europe the tradition was continuous. Here the (small) tradition was completely broken after WWII. The old guys were dead before cycling came back.

Other factors as this gets long. People are bigger now. Big long heavy legs will not spin so easily. Drugs and weightlifting.

Most have never spun. At all.Still they know everything

Sorry, I just don't get this--maybe you just have a different understanding of what spinning is than other people? I'm not trying to start an argument, btw, but there's a bunch of people on this thread who say they're spinning, and now you're saying almost nobody really does? What's the disconnect? Is "real" spinning dependent on 110+ synchronized cadence? That seems something of an eccentric definition to me.


I know we bumped heads on this topic before, so I don't want you to think I'm asking you to relitigate that. While my legs are not long, they have always been too heavy (muscular) for prolonged fast cadence to make any sense for me.
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Old 05-12-21, 11:41 AM
  #85  
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Doomed to mash! Behold the laughable attempt of heavy-legged former world sprint champion Francois Previs to spin on his track bike:

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Old 05-12-21, 11:45 AM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Yoga is stupid---a friend of mine has been a yoga instructor for decades and yet still manages to injure himself a couple of times a year. It's stupid, that is, unless you want to pick up women.

Me, I stretch when I yawn. Otherwise, I get all the stretching I need riding bikes with clip-on aero bars.

As for mashing versus spinning, mashing is fine if you're content to be a mediocre cyclist. I agree with Eddy Merckx on this topic. Someone once asked him, "To be a good cyclist, which should I do: spin small gears or push big gears?" Merckx replied, "Spin big gears."
OK Yoga is stupid! Explain that to LeBron Shaq The All Blacks etc. etc.!
https://www.stack.com/a/yoga-athletes
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Old 05-12-21, 11:47 AM
  #87  
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Spin.
If you want to ride a good brevet, you need to learn to spin.
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Old 05-12-21, 11:51 AM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Sorry, I just don't get this--maybe you just have a different understanding of what spinning is than other people? I'm not trying to start an argument, btw, but there's a bunch of people on this thread who say they're spinning, and now you're saying almost nobody really does? What's the disconnect? Is "real" spinning dependent on 110+ synchronized cadence? That seems something of an eccentric definition to me.


I know we bumped heads on this topic before, so I don't want you to think I'm asking you to relitigate that. While my legs are not long, they have always been too heavy (muscular) for prolonged fast cadence to make any sense for me.
Your question was understood as “what has changed”. So I told you a few things about history. Yes, things change as time passes.

Now we are back to physiology. Or maybe we are back to point where you just don’t believe there ever was a past, that things ever were different. I am historic and remember different.

Most who have big muscular legs like it that way and do not wish to change. Speaking as a cyclist, if you have big heavy legs you have to pick them up 60 or 80 or 100 times a minute. Mashing big gears leads to hypertrophied muscles. If you think you get so much out of your legs on the downstroke that it doesn’t matter how heavy they are on the upstroke my chances of persuading you otherwise are nil. Not a fight I want.

90 rpm is not spinning. It’s fine to ride that way, no problem. No problem at all. It is not spinning. Every now and then I see someone young and thin who is a natural talent who moves the pedals light and quick. A group spinning? Not in thirty years. Group is the easy and likely way to learn. If the group ain’t doing it few will ever learn.
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Old 05-12-21, 12:13 PM
  #89  
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Definitely a grinder (masher?!)
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Old 05-12-21, 02:22 PM
  #90  
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Like 63rickert, I began racing in the early '60s, graduating from my Raleigh Blue Streak (with Cyclo Benelux derailleurs) to the 531 Helyett Speciale track bike that I wheedled my parents into buying for me at the beginning of 1964. Six months later, my first race as an ABLA member was the Track Nationals at the Kissena Park Velodrome in Queens, New York. I had no business being there, but, as 63rickert pointed out earlier, the racing scene included so few cyclists in those days, especially on the East Coast, that I was the only 13-year-old boy in Connecticut with a track bike and so qualified by default. (Oddly, two other members of the New Haven Bicycling Club with track bikes were 11- and 12-year-old girls. Wonder where Jean and Joanne are these days.)

Spinning big gears, per the Merckx quote, is exactly what those six-day racers who mentored 63rickert had learned to do in their days of racing on indoor tracks. Merckx himself was quite a successful six-day racer, partnering with Patrick Sercu and other stars, so he was used to being surrounded by track racers capable of spinning big gears.

With apologies to 63rickert, though, mashing with big gears was a time-honored tradition from the earliest days of road racing. Henri Desgrange forbade the use of gears in the Tour de France ("Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailleur? We are getting soft... As for me, give me a fixed gear!") until he finally capitulated to the demands of the racers, who had had enough of slogging along through the Alps while being passed by tourists with derailleur-equipped bicycles.

There was definitely a macho element to choosing to stick with limited gearing, even after derailleurs had improved to the point where they were capable of shifting up to sprockets larger than 24 teeth. As late as the mid-'80s, one of my teammates prided himself on using a low gear of 44/18 for even the hilliest terrain.

But the pros have, at long last, come to accept wider-range gearing (and thus, the practice of maintaining much higher cadences in the mountains and elsewhere), as amply demonstrated by the 39-tooth inner chainrings and the 11- and 12-speed cassettes that they're using, the latter typically with a large sprocket of 29 or 30 or even more teeth. Amateur racers, would-be and otherwise, may not initially learn to spin at 110 rpm, but those who make it to cat 2 or 1 or turn pro soon hone their pedaling technique. You won't see any pros racing in the Giro this week mashing gears, except on the most outrageously steep inclines. Elsewhere, they're using cadences approved by those of us who learned to spin in the 1960s.

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Old 05-12-21, 06:09 PM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Like 63rickert, I began racing in the early '60s, graduating from my Raleigh Blue Streak (with Cyclo Benelux derailleurs) to the 531 Helyett Speciale track bike that I wheedled my parents into buying for me at the beginning of 1964. Six months later, my first race as an ABLA member was the Track Nationals at the Kissena Park Velodrome in Queens, New York. I had no business being there, but, as 63rickert pointed out earlier, the racing scene included so few cyclists in those days, especially on the East Coast, that I was the only 13-year-old boy in Connecticut with a track bike and so qualified by default. (Oddly, two other members of the New Haven Bicycling Club with track bikes were 11- and 12-year-old girls. Wonder where Jean and Joanne are these days.)

Spinning big gears, per the Merckx quote, is exactly what those six-day racers who mentored 63rickert had learned to do in their days of racing on indoor tracks. Merckx himself was quite a successful six-day racer, partnering with Patrick Sercu and other stars, so he was used to being surrounded by track racers capable of spinning big gears.

With apologies to 63rickert, though, mashing with big gears was a time-honored tradition from the earliest days of road racing. Henri Desgrange forbade the use of gears in the Tour de France ("Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailleur? We are getting soft... As for me, give me a fixed gear!") until he finally capitulated to the demands of the racers, who had had enough of slogging along through the Alps while being passed by tourists with derailleur-equipped bicycles.

There was definitely a macho element to choosing to stick with limited gearing, even after derailleurs had improved to the point where they were capable of shifting up to sprockets larger than 24 teeth. As late as the mid-'80s, one of my teammates prided himself on using a low gear of 44/18 for even the hilliest terrain.

But the pros have, at long last, come to accept wider-range gearing (and thus, the practice of maintaining much higher cadences in the mountains and elsewhere), as amply demonstrated by the 39-tooth inner chainrings and the 11- and 12-speed cassettes that they're using, the latter typically with a large sprocket of 29 or 30 or even more teeth. Amateur racers, would-be and otherwise, may not initially learn to spin at 110 rpm, but those who make it to cat 2 or 1 or turn pro soon hone their pedaling technique. You won't see any pros racing in the Giro this week mashing gears, except on the most outrageously steep inclines. Elsewhere, they're using cadences approved by those of us who learned to spin in the 1960s.

Yeah, this is what I don't get about63rickert 's posts-- I'm under the impression that spinners dominate pro racing right now, and he writes about how basically no one is spinning. I think I'm missing something, but his last post didn't clarify it to me at all. Can you translate?
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Old 05-13-21, 04:04 AM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Yeah, this is what I don't get about63rickert 's posts-- I'm under the impression that spinners dominate pro racing right now, and he writes about how basically no one is spinning. I think I'm missing something, but his last post didn't clarify it to me at all. Can you translate?
I don't want to put words in his mouth, but my guess is that he means that most of the triathletes and road racers he sees around him out on the road look as if they're pushing inefficiently high gears. Fair enough, if so. Might be a power meter thing.
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Old 05-13-21, 04:41 AM
  #93  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
Your question was understood as “what has changed”. So I told you a few things about history. Yes, things change as time passes.

Now we are back to physiology. Or maybe we are back to point where you just don’t believe there ever was a past, that things ever were different. I am historic and remember different.

Most who have big muscular legs like it that way and do not wish to change. Speaking as a cyclist, if you have big heavy legs you have to pick them up 60 or 80 or 100 times a minute. Mashing big gears leads to hypertrophied muscles. If you think you get so much out of your legs on the downstroke that it doesn’t matter how heavy they are on the upstroke my chances of persuading you otherwise are nil. Not a fight I want.

90 rpm is not spinning. It’s fine to ride that way, no problem. No problem at all. It is not spinning. Every now and then I see someone young and thin who is a natural talent who moves the pedals light and quick. A group spinning? Not in thirty years. Group is the easy and likely way to learn. If the group ain’t doing it few will ever learn.

I'm 60 years old, I've had big legs my entire life. My hypertrophy is a done deal and I have no intention of changing my style of riding that has served me well for decades. I "picked" a style suitable for someone who isn't genetically disposed to be a light pedal dancer. I look and feel better with hypertrophy, I'm not going to adjust my body to achieve some imaginary ideal cadence. You described a style of synchronized high cadence riding and postulated several advantages to it, group solidarity, conversation, "smoothness" , but then you said nobody has been doing this since the 1980s. You seem to be arguing that this way of riding was clearly superior, but the influx of the ignorant hoi polloi killed the tradition. This story doesn't make a lot of sense to me, if it was so great as a method AND built group solidarity, there should be a hard core of "traditional " groups operating in this manner, yet you say essentially no one on the planet is doing this. I've never raced, and I'm not really interested in racing, so I don't know if pro teams do or don't synchronize cadence, but frankly I don't think that the cadence they use is a relevant standard for the riders in a General Cycling forum. "Spinning" is a relative term, 90 rpm is a high cadence for the average person, it's silly to exclude it because it's not fast enough for your standards.

​​​​​​​I think you're really nostalgic for a time when very few adults rode bicycles and that you don't approve of us lesser mortals who don't choose to emulate people who rode for very different purposes than we do, and who are built a lot smaller than we are. Yeah, we're not going to agree on that.
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Old 05-13-21, 10:06 AM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Yeah, this is what I don't get about63rickert 's posts-- I'm under the impression that spinners dominate pro racing right now, and he writes about how basically no one is spinning. I think I'm missing something, but his last post didn't clarify it to me at all. Can you translate?
For the 2020 pro season most team bikes used a top gear of 54x11 or 49x10. Those gears cannot be spun. I find it impossible to care what they are doing in 2021. At same time much lower gears are being used for climbing. Can you hold two things in your head at same time? A few climbers have always done a bit of spinning, on the shallower grades, mostly climbing and spinning do not go together.

In case you don’t know it pro cycling is dying. It has become difficult or impossible to get permits and road closures, even for events with 100 years tenure. There are Slovenians and Kazakhs and Colombians on the podium because French and Italians have no interest in the job. French used to race pour la gloire, there is no longer any glory. Italians raced because it was beautiful, it is now merely sordid. They are using monster gears because it is simpler to dope riders and dispose of them than to train them.

Transportation riders do not care what their cadence is. There is no reason they should care. A typical enthusiast who rides 3000-5000 a year is doing fine if they get to 90rpm. If they hold that 90 for ten minutes out of a two hour ride that is great. But no reason to tell them they are spinning. Because a confessed masher thinks that is fast is not a good reason to give bad information.

There are lots lots of ways to ride a bike. There are lots of things that can be done on a bike. Closing out possibilities on the basis of willed ignorance is not a good idea.
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Old 05-13-21, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
For the 2020 pro season most team bikes used a top gear of 54x11 or 49x10. Those gears cannot be spun. I find it impossible to care what they are doing in 2021. At same time much lower gears are being used for climbing. Can you hold two things in your head at same time? A few climbers have always done a bit of spinning, on the shallower grades, mostly climbing and spinning do not go together.

In case you don’t know it pro cycling is dying. It has become difficult or impossible to get permits and road closures, even for events with 100 years tenure. There are Slovenians and Kazakhs and Colombians on the podium because French and Italians have no interest in the job. French used to race pour la gloire, there is no longer any glory. Italians raced because it was beautiful, it is now merely sordid. They are using monster gears because it is simpler to dope riders and dispose of them than to train them.

Transportation riders do not care what their cadence is. There is no reason they should care. A typical enthusiast who rides 3000-5000 a year is doing fine if they get to 90rpm. If they hold that 90 for ten minutes out of a two hour ride that is great. But no reason to tell them they are spinning. Because a confessed masher thinks that is fast is not a good reason to give bad information.

There are lots lots of ways to ride a bike. There are lots of things that can be done on a bike. Closing out possibilities on the basis of willed ignorance is not a good idea.

Like I said above, "spin" is a relative term. Look at the OP, do you really think he had a 110 rpm cadence in mind when he was asking about this question? I don't know and probably don't care what you'd call a 90 rpm cadence in a lower gear, but it sure isn't mashing in any sense of the word I know. He's asking whether people prefer to ride at the faster end of their range of cadences or at the slower end but with higher gears. You want to call him "ignorant" for not having in mind a cadence like you and your buddies had in 1979?

BTW, why does the highest gear on a bike determine whether it could be spun?
​​​​

You've made the question into something of a joke by using a definition that by your admission nearly no one uses anymore. But clearly you are the one true cyclist and everyone else are plodding pedal pushers.
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Old 05-15-21, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Like I said above, "spin" is a relative term. Look at the OP, do you really think he had a 110 rpm cadence in mind when he was asking about this question? I don't know and probably don't care what you'd call a 90 rpm cadence in a lower gear, but it sure isn't mashing in any sense of the word I know. He's asking whether people prefer to ride at the faster end of their range of cadences or at the slower end but with higher gears. You want to call him "ignorant" for not having in mind a cadence like you and your buddies had in 1979?

BTW, why does the highest gear on a bike determine whether it could be spun?
​​​​

You've made the question into something of a joke by using a definition that by your admission nearly no one uses anymore. But clearly you are the one true cyclist and everyone else are plodding pedal pushers.
You ask direct questions, I give you direct answers. Then you accuse me of derailing the discussion. You never accept facts, never accept any information but your own. From here it looks like you enjoy talking to yourself and shutting other people up. Enjoy
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Old 05-15-21, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
You ask direct questions, I give you direct answers. Then you accuse me of derailing the discussion. You never accept facts, never accept any information but your own. From here it looks like you enjoy talking to yourself and shutting other people up. Enjoy
Actually, no, you literally have not answered any of my questions, you made up several of your own and then proceeded to call me and basically every other bicyclist in the known universe "ignorant.". It's rather clear that you're only talking to hear yourself, so I won't be missing you.
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Old 05-15-21, 06:54 PM
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Speaking of facts, this paper is useful:

https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/fil...12500.full.pdf

For those who would rather not read the paper, they show that the internal work done when pedaling, that is the work you do just moving your legs up and down, separate from the external work done pushing the pedals, increases rapidly with cadence, as you might expect from the physics of the system. This internal work was found to be about the same for a particular cadence, regardless of the external work rate, which also makes sense, because it’s just based on the inertia of the legs and rate of motion.

It’s significant: changing from 0.1 W/kg at 50 rpm, to 0.3 W/kg at 70 rpm to 0.6 W/kg at 90 rpm and 1.0 W/kg at 110 rpm.

To be more specific, I weigh about 75 kg, so if I’m maintaining a steady speed at 150W of external work moving me forward, I’d be spending about 7.5W more watts moving my legs at 50 rpm, 22.5W more at 70 rpm, 45W more at 90 rpm and 75W more at 110 rpm. I think that explains why a medium cadence of 70-85 rpm seems to suit speed maintenance in a lot of situations: you aren’t dealing with the higher torque of a slow cadence or the big energy loss of a high cadence.

OTOH, there will be times when you want to pay the price of that higher cadence because you are wanting to attack, accelerate or push really hard and don’t mind ramping the total wattage higher.

Otto

Last edited by ofajen; 05-15-21 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 05-16-21, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
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.
I stand when climbing regularly, even on threshold efforts. Not that impressive, really. It's a way to take some pressure off the bottom and stretch out the lower back.

Click up a gear (or two), stand and pedal for ~30 seconds, sit back down, click back down a gear (or two).

My standing cadence is in the low 60s, seated cadence in the low 70s.
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Old 05-17-21, 08:06 AM
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some interesting videos backed by science

Seated or stand?

Low cadence or high cadence?

In general, the takeaway is:

-riding at your preferred cadence is best for "overall" cycling performance (whether climbing or going on flat)
-now if you want to generate higher power, then doing it at higher cadence will give better cycling (mechanical) economy
-if you generate lower power, then doing it at lower cadence gives better physiological economy (eg, you "save" more energy)
-leg press/squat is still better than doing low cadence work on the bike
-ultimatley, the question of "low cadence vs high cadence" boils down to "cycling economy vs physiological economy", ie. low cadence gives better physiological economy but only if power output is also low, while higher cadence gives better physiological economy at higher power.
-out of the saddle efforts will cost more metabolically until you start to approach threshold power and beyond. So if you do NOT climb at threshold power, and your goal is to "save energy" (ie, be physiologically efficient), then it's probably best to stay seated. But if you attack, then do it out of the saddle, at a higher cadence.
-but you will generally want to avoid this combo of...1) staying seated, 2) spin at a low cadence, 3) while trying to produce threshold power. This is probably the worst combo of trying to produce wattage.

The caveat in all this is that each person's "perferred cadence" is different, and that when they say "high cadence or low cadence", it's in reference to the person's preferred cadence. So I suppose the first thing one must know is: What is one's natural preferred cadence? Anedoctically, it does seem that bigger guys seem to have a naturally lower cadence than lighter guys.

Last edited by aclinjury; 05-17-21 at 11:29 AM.
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