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not about the bike (gears)

Old 08-18-06, 10:54 AM
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scotton
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not about the bike (gears)

I did a fun little experiment this week. The last 5 rides I rode the same ride, 15.5 miles, a few short climbs. Did it on my old PX-10 single speed, set up 44:16.

Today I did the same ride on my LeMond Poprad. Same exact tires, same crank length.

I compared my ride today with my ride Monday, which felt similar in terms of effort.

Here are the differences:
Geared avg hr: 157 SS avg hr: 144
Geared max hr: 184 SS max hr: 164
Geared avg mph: 13.20 SS avg mph: 13.30
Geared total time: 1:10:12 SS total time: 1:10:50
Geared total miles: 15.45 SS total miles: 15.70 (forgot my water bottle and had to go back)
Temp: 95 degrees both days

The SS ride had a headwind over tougher part of the ride. Also, I am a fat, slow bastad as well as a data geek.

It really suprised me that I worked a lot harder to go slower on the geared bike. On the geared ride, I was focussing on keeping my cadence between 70 and 90. On the SS, I don't look at cadence, I just try not to tip over.

Just thought I would throw this out there to see if anyone has had similar experiences.
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Old 08-18-06, 12:43 PM
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Not with just one bike, but I've seen many times I could gain speed by lowering gears.

No, I don't know why I don't do that all the time.
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Old 08-18-06, 01:47 PM
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I think the difference is cadence.

With the 44:16, I estimate your cadence would be about 65 to go just over 13 mph.
If you went the same speed with a cadence of 70 to 90, of course your HR would be higher!
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Old 08-18-06, 09:09 PM
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Yes, it's definitely cadence. Also, with the geared bike I wasn't recovering on descents, I was pedalling through. With the SS, I spin out over 19 mph, so I coast more. I've figured out the gears that come closest to my SS, so next ride I'm going to try to stay there as my go-to gear and not look at the cadence at all and see what happens.
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Old 08-18-06, 09:22 PM
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Interesting experiment. Do the same experiment, but this time using a fixed cog instead. I'm curious to see what the result will be.
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Old 08-18-06, 09:29 PM
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Interesting. It can't be called a very comprehensive data set, but I've always figured single speeds should edge out geared bikes on efficiency, and I always feel zippier when I'm on one.
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Old 08-18-06, 11:21 PM
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What are you doing at a 70 cadence? You should be at least 85 if you're going 15mph or faster.
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Old 08-19-06, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by The Fixer
Interesting experiment. Do the same experiment, but this time using a fixed cog instead. I'm curious to see what the result will be.
+1 That should be interesting.
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Old 08-19-06, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Falkon
What are you doing at a 70 cadence? You should be at least 85 if you're going 15mph or faster.
Hmm...I have trouble keeping an even stroke when I get above 80 rpm if I'm putting a sustainable force into the pedals. I get too much up and down and not enough circle, which is hard on my knees and inefficient.
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Old 08-20-06, 04:07 AM
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Efficiency of a single speed bike. Rather impressive!

I'm also a new convert to spinning, always thought grinding was the way forward, and used to cruise along in my hardest gear. Fitted a new cycle computer and realised that when I dropped 3 gears my legs went faster, but it wasnt as hard to pedal and I was going about 2 mile an hour faster too.

Crazy, still "felt slower" than grinding, but the cycle computer was saying otherwise!
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Old 08-20-06, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by M3ta7h3ad
Efficiency of a single speed bike. Rather impressive!

I'm also a new convert to spinning, always thought grinding was the way forward, and used to cruise along in my hardest gear. Fitted a new cycle computer and realised that when I dropped 3 gears my legs went faster, but it wasnt as hard to pedal and I was going about 2 mile an hour faster too.

Crazy, still "felt slower" than grinding, but the cycle computer was saying otherwise!
Strange. Most people can figure out that shifting to a lower gear makes cycling easier when the current gear gets too difficult, and they have figured it out without computers since gears were invented.

Works in automobiles too!
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