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How strong is strong?

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How strong is strong?

Old 09-18-18, 01:29 PM
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spelger
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How strong is strong?

on another thread i came across the phrase "Since there are a lot of strong older cyclists on this forum..." this made me wonder how to determine how strong "strong" is. so, what is the guideline? what is your guideline? i'm 51 (is that old?) and i know what i can do and what i can't do. 20 years ago a century was a piece of cake. today it would probably take me all day with a big rest in the middle, if lucky.

-scott
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Old 09-18-18, 01:32 PM
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To me, strong is always a little better than I am at any given time.
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Old 09-18-18, 01:33 PM
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400 watts.
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Old 09-18-18, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by PepeM View Post
400 watts.
27 mph
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Old 09-18-18, 01:45 PM
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Please don't start another debate about strength and power here...

That discussion never ends well...
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Old 09-18-18, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by PepeM View Post
400 watts.
Originally Posted by Dan333SP View Post
27 mph
​​​​​​
Close the thread, this matter has been settled.
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Old 09-18-18, 01:46 PM
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You will understand how strong "strong: is when you are higher than "up."
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Old 09-18-18, 01:46 PM
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Strong isn't the right word for a cyclist IMO. Most pros aren't "strong" in the usual sense.
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Old 09-18-18, 01:47 PM
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I ride with a guy who is 65 and seldom averages less than 21-22mph for 40 miles at a time.

I'm 38 and he can drop me whenever he feels like it.

He's strong.
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Old 09-18-18, 01:51 PM
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At the risk of being helpful, "strong" (and we don't have to get into a debate of what "strength" actually is, since that ends poorly as noted above) is subjective. "Strong" on a bike for the average American (who is obese and exercises maybe a couple times a month) is probably being able to ride more than 5 miles without stopping. "Strong" for people on this forum usually means "someone faster than me".

For me personally, "strong" is viewed through the lens of group rides and racing. Age does not seem to be a huge impediment there, as I know a couple of 55+ year olds with kids in college who win local crits against 20 year old domestic elite development riders.

I feel "strong" when I can take my turns on the front of the hammerfest local rides and still have a bit left in the tank to either attack or hang around at the various sprint points, or when I can finish in the main group in our "A" training races. I feel weak when I cannot do either of those things, but I'd probably still be considered strong by someone who just started riding.
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Old 09-18-18, 01:56 PM
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"Strong" is relative. A lot of people are strong in different ways, I think.

(Anecdotal sample size of one
For me, I average about 220 watts average on my commute. 45 minutes each way each day. That's 90 minutes per day at 220 watts. People say I'm strong. Get me on a hill though, and I get dropped easily. I'll churn out 4-5 minutes of 350+ watts and the skinny-mini's just walk away. They are strong...except they are not. They are light, they are fast, they are aero with the deep rims & they can sprint. Add 50 pounds to their bike to equalize the difference or ask them to keep a sustained 20 mph average minus all their aero and they just sort of cramp up & peter out.

I guess it's turtle v/s hare. Sprint v/s endurance. I like to say: "Anybody can buy their way into fast, but you can't buy strong."

I guess a stronger rider is anyone who is faster than you or inspires you to apply effort. In our local club rides, we all agree we are strong riders (22+ mph) but where everyone is strong is different.
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Old 09-18-18, 01:57 PM
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Someone that can ride an unassisted (drafting, wind, gradient) 25 mile TT in under an hour on a road bike (not TT bike, aero bars etc).
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Old 09-18-18, 02:17 PM
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Strong is really defined as when the predetermined load and force is equal to or greater than I have no idea what the hell I am talking about.
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Old 09-18-18, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
"Strong" is relative. A lot of people are strong in different ways, I think.

(Anecdotal sample size of one
For me, I average about 220 watts average on my commute. 45 minutes each way each day. That's 90 minutes per day at 220 watts. People say I'm strong. Get me on a hill though, and I get dropped easily. I'll churn out 4-5 minutes of 350+ watts and the skinny-mini's just walk away. They are strong...except they are not. They are light, they are fast, they are aero with the deep rims & they can sprint. Add 50 pounds to their bike to equalize the difference or ask them to keep a sustained 20 mph average minus all their aero and they just sort of cramp up & peter out.

I guess it's turtle v/s hare. Sprint v/s endurance. I like to say: "Anybody can buy their way into fast, but you can't buy strong."

I guess a stronger rider is anyone who is faster than you or inspires you to apply effort. In our local club rides, we all agree we are strong riders (22+ mph) but where everyone is strong is different.
being a 1 speed rider doesn't make you strong. Riding the same speed every day doesn't make you fast.
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Old 09-18-18, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
on another thread i came across the phrase "Since there are a lot of strong older cyclists on this forum..." this made me wonder how to determine how strong "strong" is. so, what is the guideline? what is your guideline? i'm 51 (is that old?) and i know what i can do and what i can't do. 20 years ago a century was a piece of cake. today it would probably take me all day with a big rest in the middle, if lucky.

-scott
I don't consider 51 to be old.
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Old 09-18-18, 02:25 PM
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This is a pretty good overview (spoiler, non of it involves cylcing):

https://www.livestrong.com/slideshow...enchmarks-men/
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Old 09-18-18, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by PepeM View Post
​​​​​​
Close the thread, this matter has been settled.
Yes, I gave the definitive description in the other thread and when it was decided there was nothing else to add, the thread was closed.

There is but one answer to define strength in cycling. What is strong? Stronger than Lysol.
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Old 09-18-18, 03:17 PM
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Nevertheless, my point was different people have different strengths. I did a double century on my "good" bike in 12.5 hours this year. My riding partners took closer to 16. My riding partners don't daily commute on a 70 pound beater with panniers like parachutes & have a 50 pound advantage on body weight alone.

I'm not a one speed rider. I led groups of varying speeds & skill levels throughout most of the summer for a few summers now. When I ride recreationally, I grab my good bike & fancy chasing down e-bikes just to pass them and relish MUP TT'ers just so I can see how long they can hold on. Usually it's less than 2 or 3 miles or so.

I have raw strength, I have endurance. That's 2 different strengths. They have light weight and sprint. That's 2 different strengths that are different from my own. Others have the opposite combination. I'm not sure how many would care about a 20 minute power of 3.2 watts/kilo for an unrested nobody, & in truth, I'm not sure it matters.

I know people faster than me that due to equipment and freshness just kill it. And I know people who are stronger than me who fade in nothing flat. Yet most consider me strong by their standards. That why I finished my previous post the way I did. If they inspire you to apply effort, they are a strong rider.

Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
being a 1 speed rider doesn't make you strong. Riding the same speed every day doesn't make you fast.

Last edited by base2; 09-18-18 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 09-18-18, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
This is a pretty good overview (spoiler, non of it involves cylcing):

https://www.livestrong.com/slideshow...enchmarks-men/
Well, I don't have access to a weight room but at least I've got the plank/pushup/pullup thing down. Is a 2 minute plank really that hard?
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Old 09-18-18, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
This is a pretty good overview (spoiler, non of it involves cylcing):

https://www.livestrong.com/slideshow...enchmarks-men/
Do they mean at 1 time? I'm a climber so I can do about 20 pullups in a row, I'd guess 99% of the male population could not do 15 pullups in a row.
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Old 09-18-18, 03:50 PM
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I know a strong rider. He does solo centuries for fun. He does double centuries to challenge himself. He's an older gentleman. He does it all faster than me and his max heart rate is 20 bpm lower than my average heart rate.
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Old 09-18-18, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Do they mean at 1 time? I'm a climber so I can do about 20 pullups in a row, I'd guess 99% of the male population could not do 15 pullups in a row.
I think 99% is a little high but 75% of American males are overweight or obese according to CDC so I would imagine all of those people would have difficulty. You need to be able to do 8 to pass Navy Seal test which is the hardest of military requirements. Most estimates say 6-10 is what a normal fit adult male should be able to do and 10-20 is advanced and over 20 is in the elite range.

But honestly, I'm 41 and I don't consider myself to have elite strength at all and I can do all but the barbell hip thrusts and that's mostly because I've never done a single one of those in my life. I just spend 3-5 days a week in the gym for 30-45 minutes and do the rest of those exercises as part of my regular routine. The 15 pull ups is one of the harder ones for me to hit
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Old 09-18-18, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by memebag View Post
I know a strong rider. He does solo centuries for fun. He does double centuries to challenge himself. He's an older gentleman. He does it all faster than me and his max heart rate is 20 bpm lower than my average heart rate.
In cycling you do have a mechanical advantage and technique that are involved as much or more then strength. Cycling a lot in the right zones etc also gives you great cardio work that lowers your heart rates. The first year I was into road cycling, my heart rate was up and I was working hard on 20 mile ride. After a few years of regular riding I could do 40-60 miles at much higher avg speeds with much lower heart rate because my body adapted. Which is one reason why I don't rely on cycling as my only exercise.
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Old 09-18-18, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
This is a pretty good overview (spoiler, non of it involves cylcing):

https://www.livestrong.com/slideshow...enchmarks-men/
The overhead pressing 100% body weight is pretty tough. Most people probably don't even have the shoulder mobility/flexibility to be able to overhead press a barbell.

As for what is considered 'strong', I think a recreational rider who can maintain 20+ mph solo is pretty strong.
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Old 09-18-18, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
The overhead pressing 100% body weight is pretty tough. Most people probably don't even have the shoulder mobility/flexibility to be able to overhead press a barbell.

As for what is considered 'strong', I think a recreational rider who can maintain 20+ mph solo is pretty strong.
In bold...for how many miles?
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