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please, i need cadence coaching from someone who knows!!!!

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

please, i need cadence coaching from someone who knows!!!!

Old 02-23-05, 09:17 AM
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please, i need cadence coaching from someone who knows!!!!

I just picked up a cadence computer. The reason I did this is lately when taking my 40 mile group rides, I notice that when we are cruzing along at 23mph, I seem to tire too quickly, then i notice that i am spinning much slower than the rest of the group. Basicly, i just don't know what gear to be in at what time.

on my 14 mile commute in to work today, for about the first 7 miles, i was naturaly at 100 rpm. the second half of the ride, when i began to feel it, i was able to keep it right at 100, but i defiantely had to work to keep it there. the route is all flat, and this morning i had an 8mph head wind, and i averaged 19.26 mph.

I am 28 years old, 6'3'' and weigh 250 lbs. (i was 300 pounds, and will soon be 220) Don't let my weight fool you, i am a natural athlete . The pounds came in the weight room when playing college football, and of course allot of it has turned to fat since. I plan to try riding in some scrub races this summer for the fun of it. My current bike is a 2004 giant TCR2. (road bike)

The question: Knowing that i plan to partake in these "scrub" races, and don't want to place last, how do i figure out what cadence i should be shooting for? Should i have different cadence goals for a 40 mile ride, compared to a century? I know these are difficult questions, but please, take a moment to tell me what you know!
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Old 02-23-05, 09:23 AM
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That weight regardless of fat, likely, or muscle, in denial, will always relegate you to the back of the pack. And not just in the hills.

Its your weight not your cadence. Drop 50 more pounds and you might have a fighting chance.
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Old 02-23-05, 09:24 AM
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I don't know all that much, but seemingly the consensus is you should spin anywhere from 90-100 on flats depending on preferance. I find that I like to be from 90-95. On the CTS training DVDs, Carmichael says you should be around 95-105 for shorter faster spirts and from 75-85 on ascents.
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Old 02-23-05, 09:33 AM
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First, check out your bike. At 6'3" tall, you should be riding 180 mm length crank arms at a minimum. I will bet your Giant has 175's or shorter. Install the longer cranks and you will become instantly more efficient. Your candence does not have to be exactly at 100 rpm. I would bet at your size and considering your background, a slower candence may be more natural. As long as your knees are not sore after a ride, 85 rpm +/- is fine. Ideally, you should have good power over a wide rpm band. So, if you are on a long climb (big man's weekness) you can sit and spin if you want. Then, if a mate goes up the road, stand and slog a big gear to try to stick. With time you will develop your ability to spin fast without bouncing as well as turn a large gear without a lot of unesessary body movement.

On group rides, you will find that your candence at the back does not mean much - if you are drafting a lot of times you will be almost coasting. When you are second in line, check out the gear of the guy in front and use the same gear when you pull through. Try to use your gears and shift as the terrain changes so you are not slogging all the time. Just try to be smooth!

I am not sure what a 'scrub' race is, unless you mean a Cat 5 office park crit....
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Old 02-23-05, 09:43 AM
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by "scrub" race i meant the lowest level race i can find.
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Old 02-23-05, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by ewitz
That weight regardless of fat, likely, or muscle, in denial, will always relegate you to the back of the pack. And not just in the hills.

Its your weight not your cadence. Drop 50 more pounds and you might have a fighting chance.
That information comes with a bad attitude and is a bit misleading.

You admitted that you have some extra fat. You also noted that you've been taking it off, so keep up that work. But it's not like you need to shoot for some magical weight in order to be competitive. Just lose all of the fat you can.

I disagree with the notion that real muscle is wasted weight. Sure we don't need to be bodybuilders and 20'' guns would be a bit of overkill, but having a little muscle can never be a bad thing. If you lose all of your fat and still have muscle, then it's not like you need to starve yourself to be a good rider.
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Old 02-23-05, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by ewitz
That weight regardless of fat, likely, or muscle, in denial, will always relegate you to the back of the pack. And not just in the hills.

Its your weight not your cadence. Drop 50 more pounds and you might have a fighting chance.
you would have to see my body to understand, but i don't think another 50 pounds is going to happen. Even as a senior in HS, in perfect shape ( before i threw on 50 pounds in the weight room), i was still weighing in at 220. Plus, I believe you are incorrect when referring to it being such a big disadvantage in the flats. I am without a doubt carrying extra weight in my belly, but my legs are still pretty solid, and can offer allot more power than the average 170 pound rider. In the hills, my weight is a definate disadvantage, but on the flats, i think it is the opposite.
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Old 02-23-05, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by galen_52657
First, check out your bike. At 6'3" tall, you should be riding 180 mm length crank arms at a minimum.
That's quite possibly true. Lots more info here (And a sales pitch ): https://www.zinncycles.com/cranks.aspx

And as far cadence goes, unfortunately there is no best cadence that fits everyone. You need to find the cadence that works for you.

If you are at top notch cardiovascular fitness with a massive VO2 max, etc., then undoubtedly you want to use a very high cadence.

But for the rest of us, you need to find the right balance. Slower cadence makes more use of your leg muscles, faster cadence relies more on your CV system. Leg muscles don't have nearly the recovery ability of most people's CV systems so generally you want to rely more on CV for longer rides. But at the same time, if you have real strong legs that aren't even fatigued but your out of breath and spent at the end of the ride, you probably would have done better dropping down on the cadence, at least for periods of time.

And that's just for today's ride. It's even more complicated by training (what combination of cadences do you use to build strength, stamina and endurance).
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Old 02-23-05, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by mcavana
you would have to see my body to understand, but i don't think another 50 pounds is going to happen. Even as a senior in HS, in perfect shape ( before i threw on 50 pounds in the weight room), i was still weighing in at 220. Plus, I believe you are incorrect when referring to it being such a big disadvantage in the flats. I am without a doubt carrying extra weight in my belly, but my legs are still pretty solid, and can offer allot more power than the average 170 pound rider. In the hills, my weight is a definate disadvantage, but on the flats, i think it is the opposite.
If you got back to 6'3" @ 220, you would still have more of a track sprinter's build. If you ride long and hard, you will be surpized at how light you can get. I am 6'4" and weighed 215 in highschool and now weigh 195 when in racing shape. Being 220 would not hurt in the flats assuming you have good possition, but it will kill you climbing.

If you train hard in the hills your body will shed all excess body mass- fat and muscle. Your arms and chest will get smaller, your legs will stay about the same size but get ripped. You will become a cyclist.
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Old 02-23-05, 11:18 AM
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"If you train hard in the hills your body will shed all excess body mass- fat and muscle. Your arms and chest will get smaller, your legs will stay about the same size but get ripped. You will become a cyclist."

wow, i need to make a poster out of that one, and sell it!!!!
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Old 02-23-05, 11:19 AM
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i was never able to achieve a high cadence until i learned how to pedal properly. nice smooth circles. it's still a skill i work on all the time.
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Old 02-23-05, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by timmhaan
i was never able to achieve a high cadence until i learned how to pedal properly. nice smooth circles. it's still a skill i work on all the time.
What he said.

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Old 02-23-05, 02:09 PM
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https://w3.iac.net/~curta/bp/velocity/velocity.html

The above website is called "Bicycle Velocity predictor" and should be in the bookmarks of any and every road cyclist.

You can determine the effect of your weight on your speed quite easily. You can also deduce backwards and get a rough idea of how many watts you are generating.
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Old 02-23-05, 02:31 PM
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Spin

I did this:

Trainer = Do intervals…. Set a time and a base rpm. FE, start at 65 rmp and add 5 rmp every 5 min. Do this for 15 min. This set will end at 80 rpm. Then rest and do it again but start at 70 rpm and go for 15 min. Then rest and start at 75 rpm. Play with this basic format in terms of time you build up your rpm and how long you hold your max rpm. If you bounce a lot you may want to try one leg intervals. I can hold 140 rpm with little bounce and relatively good form on the trainer for a few min now but could only do 110 when I started.

Road= go a lower gear than you would normally use and try and stay at you avg speed.

Hope it helps…
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Old 02-23-05, 04:01 PM
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Well, working on the assumption that Mr. Universe really will take up shuffleboard after he sees you, let's try some different definitions of fit weight.

If you have hip bones you can see, ribs you can see (and I mean easily), and collarbones you can see including the knobs that point up on the outer ends, you aren't tooooo fat.

Maybe you could get a calculated body fat percentage with skinfold calipers, etc. I have heard that it has been decided that that is more accurate than the underwater weight, because they never can get people to reliably exhale all the air.

It is possible to win races with a devastating sprint at the end if you are still in the lead pack, but this will require huge amounts of power and a favorable power-to-weight ratio. If you are much larger than everybody else, and you can get head-to-head solo sprints into the wind, after a while they won't be able to hack the speed anymore, they'll blow, and you will win. This is virtually impossible to achieve, because there is always one guy who will draft and then launch, and then everybody is toast. If you can work around that, you can win.

On the matter of cadence with proportional to leg length crankarms, as noted by Galen:

to do well as a cyclist you are going to have to be able to make power between 90 and almost 140 rpm. The key to efficient, powerful pedaling is to be able to pedal well faster than you have to pedal. You have to concentrate on getting the most out of both legs all the way around the pedal circle. You can never have one leg carry the other because of a weak spot somewhere in the pedal circle, or you will be vulnerable to others who do not have that.

In practice, this suggests some one-legged pedaling, to get power all the way around with no dead spots, some high cadence spinning (and I mean like 130 rpm) to write pedaling software, and a lot of those nasty 3 minute intervals to work on power.

It has been a long, long time since I have done a mass-start USCF race, but I would plan on a constant 105 rpm, and perhaps more here and there.

Wouldn't hurt to find a training book or program on-line. You are looking for structured workouts leading up to your goals.

A century on the back of the lead pack is different from on the front. On the front, you are basically making serious watts to the other end of the ride, and the moment-to-moment power requirement is similar to a shorter race. On the back, you hardly have to work at all. You can chase the pedals at 85-88 and think about doing a marathon afterward to get at least a little training in today....

George Hincapie at 6'3" weighs 183lbs? Yes, you can be a flat-ground sprinter if you are bigger, but if you want to be an all-round cyclist, that's about where you are going to end up. There's just no way around it (please prove me wrong! I want to eat fat again! butter croissants with more butter, you bet!).Cyclists with relatively thin legs make extraordinary amounts of power, and anyway, I have read (can anybody confirm this?) that something like 80% of the body economy of an endurance athlete in moderate temperatures is devoted to cooling, with only the remaining 20% going to making power. This then suggests little need for muscle, and an extraordinary requirement for insulation reduction?

I have one or two friends with those tree-trunk thighs who specialize in delivering a devastating sprint at the end of the race out of the pack, but they are only big there and in the shoulders/arms, and skinny everywhere else. My all-round good cyclist friends conform to the climber model, starved everywhere. I can't build muscle, and I'm not very good at going hungry, and I don't have time to ride more, so I am never going to be very good. Nevertheless, I would like to hear that you do well without conforming to the models. Let us know what happens.
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Old 02-23-05, 05:50 PM
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https://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=2880
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Old 02-23-05, 06:45 PM
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interesting. I just rode home, keeping it at 100 rpm again, and man it was a workout!!!! i am getting a heck of a lot more exercise now then i was before... i will continue to keep at this speed for a while, if for no other reason, to help me loose some more of this FAT ASSSS!!!
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Old 02-23-05, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mcavana
you would have to see my body to understand, but i don't think another 50 pounds is going to happen. Even as a senior in HS, in perfect shape ( before i threw on 50 pounds in the weight room), i was still weighing in at 220. Plus, I believe you are incorrect when referring to it being such a big disadvantage in the flats. I am without a doubt carrying extra weight in my belly, but my legs are still pretty solid, and can offer allot more power than the average 170 pound rider. In the hills, my weight is a definate disadvantage, but on the flats, i think it is the opposite.
There are a few pretty big boys in our club, and they can sure mash those pedals and sprint! As a 152 pounder, I kill them on the hills, but I haven't seem them slow back on the sprints or flats.
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Old 02-23-05, 06:58 PM
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Oh, and when I upped my cadence, my weight started dropping.
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Old 02-23-05, 08:34 PM
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Cyclists with relatively thin legs make extraordinary amounts of power, and anyway, I have read (can anybody confirm this?)
.

Yea I would say thats me, I think. Yea my legs are pretty small, but really toned, just about all muscule 3-6%body fat, before i started cycling I use to workout alot(leg pressed 1000lbs 4yrs ago), I only weight like 163lbs and I'm 6'2. I still workout but only once a week.

I always have been wanted to get my legs bigger, thats why now I'm starting to mash instead of spin because (correct me if I'm wrong) spinning really builds your cardio and mashing your legs, and my cardio is pretty strong and I have noticed my legs getting more toned and increasing slightly in size since I started mashing.

I use to mash up climbs too (no more) I recently (today, loLLL) tired spinning up a climb, woww man, was it so much easier, it wasn't a long distance but pretty steep and i just stood up seemed like I flew up the climb, it was refreshing. But when I got back on the flat it was back to mashing tryin to increase my leg size.

So are you saying that I should keep my legs small because cyclist with small muscular legs can produce lots of power???

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Old 02-23-05, 08:46 PM
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"So are you saying that I should keep my legs small because cyclist with small muscular legs can produce lots of power???"

It's more like I am asking....but, do good general / hill-climbing cyclists mostly look like marathon runners or long-distance cross-country skiers, and less like football players / body builders? That's my opinion.

Cycling seems to be some combination of lungs/heart/legs/cooling, and not just muscle. It seems like if the muscle gets to be in excess of supporting systems, the cyclist goes slower, certainly at least uphill?
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Old 02-24-05, 08:45 AM
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ooh ok, I see what your saying
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