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Big chain ring and high cadence on the trainer... Can't do it

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Big chain ring and high cadence on the trainer... Can't do it

Old 01-19-10, 08:00 AM
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Big chain ring and high cadence on the trainer... Can't do it

Iím having a tough time getting into the big chain ring on my trainer and keeping the cadence up. I donít have this difficulty outside. Itís not the shifting of the bike, itís just sooooo hard on the trainer. Iím usying a Cycleops Fluid II. Any ideas as to what Iím doing wrong? Is this normal?
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Old 01-19-10, 08:09 AM
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Cheers and welcome to the Forums.

I'm moving this to Road Cycling. Where it was (Winter Cycling) it's only likely to generate replies towards getting better studded tyres.

--Juha, a Forum Mod
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Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?

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Old 01-19-10, 08:22 AM
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Three reasons:

1 - The fluid 2 (especially the previous model with the knob instead of the yellow lever) has higher resistance per wheel speed than outdoors... for a smooth tire road bike.

2 - There is less momentum to maintain wheel speed while on the trainer (notice how soon the wheel stops when you quit pedaling). This translates to having to accelerate the crank a little more each stroke compared to outside.

3 - Indoors suck motivation. I think Satan is directly involved.

All the above reasons, to me, make indoor training much more difficult than riding outdoors.
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Old 01-19-10, 08:23 AM
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resistance. plain and simple. work on it. you will improve.
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Old 01-19-10, 08:32 AM
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Kurt says that the Kurt fluid trainer is equivalent to riding up a 1% slope. Your trainer is probably similar in resistance.

For instance, this bike speed calculator shows 14.8mph on a 1% slope vs 17.6 on the flats for 150 watts.

I mostly use the small ring with fast cadences on the trainer, too.

Last edited by rm -rf; 01-19-10 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 01-19-10, 08:40 AM
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Cycleops Fluid 2 definitely has a lot more rolling resistence than riding the same speed on the road. I'm usually in the small ring when riding on the trainer, even doing power intervals over 400 watts.

Don't worry about your gear, or your speed on the trainer. Just be concerned about your time, intensity and cadence. Those things translate to the road.

Gearing and speed don't.

To add a little math, 53x23 at 100rpm is 18.5 mph.

For my Cycleops Fluid 2 (based on a very informal test with my powertap) that's about 240-250 watts.

For an average sized rider to do 18.5mph on the road is only 170 watts.

Thus high cadence in the big ring is going to take substantially more effort on the trainer than on the road.
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Last edited by merlinextraligh; 01-19-10 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 01-19-10, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Juha
Cheers and welcome to the Forums.

I'm moving this to Road Cycling. Where it was (Winter Cycling) it's only likely to generate replies towards getting better studded tyres.

--Juha, a Forum Mod
Maybe Training and Nutrition might have been even better?

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Old 01-19-10, 09:20 AM
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use the other ring
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Old 01-20-10, 07:32 PM
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I don't think that there is anything wrong. It's just that the resistance of the trainer is not exactly the same as real world riding. Plus with real riding you have inertia helping you out. It acts like a flywheel to keep you traveling at the present speed. If it were not for the wind, tire and wheel friction and that caused by gravity you would keep moving at the present speed.

Certain models of trainers are known for having a more realistic kind of resistance than the others. Seriously, only a couple out there are highly recommended. I am new to trainers this year and I am experiencing the same thing. But I just use the middle chainring and crank away. I think that some trainers are designed to work with both mountain and road bikes. So the resistance is higher for the lower gearing of mountain bikes.
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