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More comfortable riding faster

Old 03-31-13, 12:07 PM
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jimwells41
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More comfortable riding faster

I am more comfortable riding faster. Slower hurts my butt and shoulders. My theory is that slower means less foot pressure and therefore more weight on seat and bars. What do you think?
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Old 03-31-13, 12:21 PM
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It's possible, because you're putting more force on your lower body, so you aren't leaning so forward, which puts weight on shoulders and hands. Higher bars might help as well if you don't want to ride so fast all the time.
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Old 03-31-13, 01:08 PM
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Foot pressure and speed aren't generally in any fixed relationship... unless you have a single-speed bike or are stuck somehow at the end of your gear range. You can go very fast without much foot pressure, just by getting into a high cadence, i.e. not too high a gear ratio.

It reminds me a bit of the old puzzle, do you get wetter in the rain walk or running? If you have a fixed destination, then running will mean less time in the rain, so it's going to be the smarter option!

So one question: are you comparing an hour riding slow versus an hour riding fast, or ten miles riding slow versus ten miles riding fast? And it might still be a bit different than comparing 10 hours or 10 days or 10 weeks, or maybe 100 or 1000 or 10,000 miles!
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Old 03-31-13, 01:23 PM
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It's not just a theory, it's fact -- we look at racers and think their positioning looks uncomfortable, but they're riding so hard that there isn't as much pressure on the hands and shoulders.
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Old 03-31-13, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by jimwells41 View Post
I am more comfortable riding faster. Slower hurts my butt and shoulders. My theory is that slower means less foot pressure and therefore more weight on seat and bars. What do you think?
Broadly speaking, you're correct. A road cyclist in the stretched out position is "flying over the bike" with most of the weight being taken by the feet on the pedals.
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Old 03-31-13, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by jimwells41 View Post
I am more comfortable riding faster. Slower hurts my butt and shoulders. My theory is that slower means less foot pressure and therefore more weight on seat and bars. What do you think?
How fast, or how slow are you talking here?

For me, there's a happy medium which is faster than a few and slower than most.
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Old 03-31-13, 06:42 PM
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I wonder what is the range of power output where one is "flying over the bike" rather than sitting on the saddle. Here is one graph of general power output versus duration of output:

http://autonopedia.org/renewable-ene...g-pedal-power/

There is a nice video on Bradley Wiggins where they mention his power capability of like 440 watts for half an hour. That's actually a bit short of the Eddy Merckx point on the chart at that link.

By that chart I am not so healthy. My time limit for 300 watts is just a few minutes!
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Old 03-31-13, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by jimwells41 View Post
I am more comfortable riding faster. Slower hurts my butt and shoulders. My theory is that slower means less foot pressure and therefore more weight on seat and bars. What do you think?
absolutely!
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Old 03-31-13, 09:05 PM
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What do I think? I think if you had told me this 16 years ago when I started riding and before reading several articles, I might have thought this was something new.
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Old 04-01-13, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
What do I think? I think if you had told me this 16 years ago when I started riding and before reading several articles, I might have thought this was something new.
I guess I am both illiterate and slow. I have been riding for 62 years and this never occurred to me. At my age, it is thrilling to make a discovery. All the rest is deja vu.

Regarding the earlier question about same distance or same time, I meant same time.
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Old 04-01-13, 07:01 AM
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This whole thing would mean a 90 year old rider would be in constant pain. Can't ride fast anyways. This takes the issue of time into a different level. But 90 was just an extreme. Mr Beanz meant a 40 year old compared with a 50 and so on.
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Old 04-01-13, 10:18 AM
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Huh?

Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
This whole thing would mean a 90 year old rider would be in constant pain. Can't ride fast anyways. This takes the issue of time into a different level. But 90 was just an extreme. Mr Beanz meant a 40 year old compared with a 50 and so on.
Excuse me. I don't understand your meaning.
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Old 04-01-13, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
This whole thing would mean a 90 year old rider would be in constant pain. Can't ride fast anyways. This takes the issue of time into a different level. But 90 was just an extreme. Mr Beanz meant a 40 year old compared with a 50 and so on.
Umm, it's not about the absolute speed, but the exertion...
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Old 04-01-13, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
it's not about the absolute speed, but the exertion...
Actually this is a nice puzzle. Of course speed isn't part of the equation but power output would be. Headwinds, hills, weight, rolling resistance, etc. affect the relationship between power output and speed.

Seems to me though that this natural flying business is all about power and only indirectly about effort or exertion.

Of course a person can just stand up on the pedals without turning them, removing all stress from seat and hands but with zero power output. Just holding oneself in a crouch posture while standing on the pedals, that would seems to take quite a bit more effort than just sitting on the saddle - just coasting along, anyway.But this natural flying business is something else, I think. One is not pushing down on the back pedal to lift oneself off the seat!

Usually standing up and pedaling is a way to get more power output. Is it more efficient, i.e. more power output for the same effort? Usually there is more effort standing up, but maybe you get 20% more power for 10% more effort - I sure don't know!

Sitting and pedalling, as the power output goes up.... certainly if the cadence is constant and one is not pulling up hard on the back pedal, then the net downward force on the pedals increases and one naturally starts to float above the seat. But this certainly has a direct relationship to power and not to exertion.

To what extent does power output decline with age, and whether this is just a statistical correlation or really age causes a decline, that is another subject, too!
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Old 04-03-13, 02:32 PM
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Out riding today, I decided to experiment a bit. Sure enough, just shifting into a higher gear, so my cadence went down and my torque went up: that reduced the pressure on my saddle. Lots of factors involved in finding an "ideal" cadence. But, for a given power output, a high cadence will put more pressure on the seat!
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