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What Gears Do Pros Use to To Reach 40+ MPH On The Flats and Sprints

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What Gears Do Pros Use to To Reach 40+ MPH On The Flats and Sprints

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Old 05-23-10, 01:02 PM
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StephenM
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What Gears Do Pros Use to To Reach 40+ MPH On The Flats and Sprints

What gears to the pros use in order to reach such high speeds on the flats and in final sprints? I have an 11-28 cassette and 50/36 crank and cannot imagine being able to pedal fast enough to get myself anywhere near professional speeds, even for a 3 second burst of effort. Are they using the same gears I'm using? Is it my weight, puny leg muscles, and couch potato conditioning? I can only go that fast when pointed straight downhill, and even then I have to pedal hard to get up to top speeds--and I don't like going that fast. I am awed and humbled.
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Old 05-23-10, 01:42 PM
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I don't think it's possible to go smaller than 11 on the rear, and I think 53 is pretty much what's on the big ring throughout road stages. Notice that the speed gets built up over a couple kilometers, and that they're getting dragged along by their lead-outs. Not saying it's easy, but easier than just revving up to that by yourself.
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Old 05-23-10, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by StephenM View Post
What gears to the pros use in order to reach such high speeds on the flats and in final sprints? I have an 11-28 cassette and 50/36 crank and cannot imagine being able to pedal fast enough to get myself anywhere near professional speeds, even for a 3 second burst of effort. Are they using the same gears I'm using? Is it my weight, puny leg muscles, and couch potato conditioning? I can only go that fast when pointed straight downhill, and even then I have to pedal hard to get up to top speeds--and I don't like going that fast. I am awed and humbled.
I can reach 40MPH+ easily with a 48 x 11 just after spinning it out.

Cavendish & Co are probably using 53 x 11's.

Last edited by $ick3nin.vend3t; 05-23-10 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 05-23-10, 03:41 PM
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Cavendish, and many other sprinters, apparently don't even get into the 11 or 12 in a final sprint. Leg speed and fast-twitch muscles get them going to those speeds, as well as well-tuned leadouts.
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Old 05-23-10, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by *****3nin.vend3t View Post
I can reach 40MPH+ easily with a 48 x 11 just after spinning it out.
unlikely
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Old 05-23-10, 06:41 PM
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http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/

it only goes up to 120rpm, but you could use 80rpm and double the speed. this will help relate gears and speed.
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Old 05-23-10, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by *****3nin.vend3t View Post
I can reach 40MPH+ easily with a 48 x 11 just after spinning it out.

Cavendish & Co are probably using 53 x 11's.
Wait! This was you, huh? http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ook-like-Lance
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Old 05-23-10, 07:52 PM
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The OP has a pretty big lack of cadence or really can't imagine how fast you can go in a bike. You can ride peacefully between 32 and 37 km/h (20 to 22 mph for the ones who dont know metric system) using only 42x16... In a 1 km track tt starting from a still position, the guy using maybe 51/53x15 can get average a little bit more than 60km/h (40 mph) so that means that at some point the racer hit maybe 70km/h (43 mph). In the road when a team is preparing the sprint the guys are riding around 55 to 60 km/h.

I have seen some of cipolini's sprints at you tube and u can tell he is going maybe 150 rpms using 53x11 maybe, probably the sprint is going d/h but either way, to move 53x11 that fast u have to be strong as hulk.

The trick is not the gears you can move but the cadence, w/o having the cadence learn (in my country we call it "racing cadence") and programed in your legs and brain you can't do a thing. This takes to another subject... some newbies mistakenly when training try to build power instead of cadence (many triats have this defect in my opinion), when is just the opposite. Cadence is the foundation, power comes by itself and with the training.

Cheerrzzz
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Old 05-23-10, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by *****3nin.vend3t View Post
I can reach 40MPH+ easily with a 48 x 11 just after spinning it out.

.
what % down hill is that 40mph sprint?
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Old 05-24-10, 09:35 AM
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Track Sprinters use 47x14 ... so dont see why you can't reach 40 mph with 48x11, besides 48x11 is pretty much the same than 53x13...
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Old 05-24-10, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by ultraman6970 View Post
Track Sprinters use 47x14 ... so dont see why you can't reach 40 mph with 48x11, besides 48x11 is pretty much the same than 53x13...
I don't think umd meant you can't reach 40mph in a 48x11 but it certainly isn't done easily on a flat road.
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Old 05-24-10, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by ultraman6970 View Post
Track Sprinters use 47x14 ... so dont see why you can't reach 40 mph with 48x11, besides 48x11 is pretty much the same than 53x13...
Originally Posted by WCroadie View Post
I don't think umd meant you can't reach 40mph in a 48x11 but it certainly isn't done easily on a flat road.
Possible, sure... anonymous bf member with no credibility "easily" go over 40 mph, unlikely.
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Old 05-24-10, 11:02 AM
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I've gone over 40mph numerous times with a 50-12. (Down steep, steep hills, but hey I was still on top of the gear.)
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Old 05-24-10, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by ultraman6970 View Post
The OP has a pretty big lack of cadence or really can't imagine how fast you can go in a bike. You can ride peacefully between 32 and 37 km/h (20 to 22 mph for the ones who dont know metric system) using only 42x16... In a 1 km track tt starting from a still position, the guy using maybe 51/53x15 can get average a little bit more than 60km/h (40 mph) so that means that at some point the racer hit maybe 70km/h (43 mph). In the road when a team is preparing the sprint the guys are riding around 55 to 60 km/h.

I have seen some of cipolini's sprints at you tube and u can tell he is going maybe 150 rpms using 53x11 maybe, probably the sprint is going d/h but either way, to move 53x11 that fast u have to be strong as hulk.

The trick is not the gears you can move but the cadence, w/o having the cadence learn (in my country we call it "racing cadence") and programed in your legs and brain you can't do a thing. This takes to another subject... some newbies mistakenly when training try to build power instead of cadence (many triats have this defect in my opinion), when is just the opposite. Cadence is the foundation, power comes by itself and with the training.

Cheerrzzz
This is my experience too. I have a 43x16 on my fixed gear. On a gentle slope like freeway overcrossing, I can get over 31mph/50kph seated by just focusing on keeping the legs loose and smooth. Takes practice, of course. When I started, I thought there was no way I'd be able to keep up with the pedals.
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Old 05-24-10, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by OrionKhan View Post
The classic! I miss R600, I'm still not completely sure if he was serious, it was satire, or he was an accomplished troll artist.
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Old 05-24-10, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by umd
unlikely
Originally Posted by umd
Possible, sure... anonymous bf member with no credibility "easily" go over 40 mph, unlikely.
Love the jealously.

Originally Posted by ultraman6970
Track Sprinters use 47x14 ... so dont see why you can't reach 40 mph with 48x11, besides 48x11 is pretty much the same than 53x13...
Its on par with a 53 x 12.

Originally Posted by Crash716 View Post
what % down hill is that 40mph sprint?
Originally Posted by WCroadie
I don't think umd meant you can't reach 40mph in a 48x11 but it certainly isn't done easily on a flat road.
Is it hell achieved easily. But a current a 495 lb deadlift (1RM), great core/hip flexor strength certainly helps.
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Old 05-24-10, 03:46 PM
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^dude, you really should race. You'd totally win.
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Old 05-24-10, 03:46 PM
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113 rpm will get your 50/11 combo over 40mph. If we hear a sonic boom we'll know you made it. GL
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Old 05-24-10, 03:57 PM
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Just pretty much a lifetime dedication to the gym & exercise since 10th grade.
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Old 05-24-10, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by *****3nin.vend3t View Post
Love the jealously.
Love the lack of substantiation.
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Old 05-24-10, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
Love the lack of substantiation.
Your right, I don't race. I have to impose strict restrictions on miles, time & effort. Long distances would be counter productive for me, towards my aims & goals, short (10-50miles/fast/hard efforts are productive, no coasting or letting up on the breathing.

Although, ("hopefully" soon), I would love to ride the Death Valley Stage race one day if I make it over to Cali. Just about my distance too.

When I retire I may buy a home in California.

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Old 05-24-10, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by *****3nin.vend3t View Post
Your right, I don't race.
You don't need to race, just borrow a GPS computer and post up a data file from two sprints (out and back)on a straight section of road. You can take a 30 min break between sprints if you need the recovery, although in your case that wouldn't really be necessary.
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Old 05-24-10, 04:50 PM
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Scott Stewart (Team Type 1) said that during the SF to Santa Cruz stage, they were chasing at 42mph on the flat section. He was in his 53-12.
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Old 05-24-10, 04:56 PM
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Anyone who says it is easy to top 40mph is full of crap... used to be able to do this and had to lay down immense mileage and basically train like a pro and it was still a full on, use every drop of gas in the tank effort.

Could never mash my way up to this speed and would run in the 80 gear inch range (same as track sprinters)and spin like a gerbil on crack and up until a few years ago could do this on my fixed gear which ran 82 gear inches which is a fairly tall gearing for a one speed.

A few guys I rode with said I was as smooth on a bike as anyone they had ever seen and could spin the pedals faster than most... and you need to work on this... alot.

After fragging the back a few years ago my mileage got cut way back and can't ride as hard as I used to and am happy if I can hit 30 mph in a sprint... I can still ride fairly fast and for good distances but still can't kick it up the extra notches that are needed to blow through that wall.
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Old 05-24-10, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Sea Green Sky View Post
The classic! I miss R600, I'm still not completely sure if he was serious, it was satire, or he was an accomplished troll artist.
Yeah, maybe he's still here. Just with a new identity!
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