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# Flying 200s

Track Cycling: Velodrome Racing and Training Area Looking to enter into the realm of track racing? Want to share your experiences and tactics for riding on a velodrome? The Track Cycling forums is for you! Come in and discuss training/racing, equipment, and current track cycling events.

# Flying 200s

07-04-17, 01:43 AM
#51
taras0000
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Go to bed!
07-04-17, 01:45 AM
#52
carleton
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hahahaha
07-19-17, 11:52 PM
#53
carleton
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OK...so I couldn't sleep, @taras0000 and @brawlo.

I did some research and I didn't need to factor in Torque to figure out how different crank length and chainring cog combinations feel the same.

There is a concept called the ground propulsive force ratio that uses the factors:

- Wheel size
- Crank length
- Chainring
- Cog

and gives a dimensionless number similar to how the coefficient of drag is dimensionless...but can be felt

Long story short, longer cranks allow you to use the same given amount of force to drive a bigger gear.

Well, duh. Everybody knows that

But, can everybody prove it?

Here is a chart I made using a spreadsheet of the formulas that shows which gear ratio you can ride to keep a given amount of force (how hard you mash each pedal stroke) the same. Basically, pushing a 94" gear using 165mm cranks feels the same as pushing a 99.7" gear using 175mm cranks.

Bear in mind, the results of the pushing will be different. With longer cranks, your foot has to travel further each pedal stroke resulting in a lower cadence, but you get more distance traveled per pedal stroke. With shorter cranks, each pedal stroke is shorter resulting in a higher cadence, but the distanced gained is shorter. All of this happens with the same amount of force (feel) on the pedal.

This explains part of why changing crank lengths require one to rethink their gear choices

This also helps explain why cranks are offered in minute 2.5mm increments.
Attached Images

Last edited by carleton; 07-19-17 at 11:59 PM.
07-20-17, 09:39 PM
#54
taras0000
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So are the guys on big gears using longer cranks to accommodate this GPF (ground propulsive force)?
07-21-17, 07:18 AM
#55
carleton
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Originally Posted by taras0000
So are the guys on big gears using longer cranks to accommodate this GPF (ground propulsive force)?
Not necessarily.

My comment above was simply to address the sensation that changing crank lengths felt like it requires a gear change like this:

Originally Posted by brawlo
Too damn well! At the carnival mentioned above due to the roller derby being between other events, I was rushing to change gears for the track events. I kept the gearing that I had been used to with my regular 175s. The 165s being 6% different really wasn't a lot, but it was enough to take the snap out of accelerations and I suffered badly in the keirin race where I ran a bigger gear. But that was going virtually overnight from 175-165. I honestly believe that after a month or so, you could condition yourself to adjust to the gear.
I was quantifying what he experienced.

In my opinion, it wasn't simply that @brawlo wasn't accustomed to the shorter length, the 165mm cranks unexpectedly required more force to achieve the same speeds that he did when he was riding 175mm cranks to keep pace with his regular racing partners.

I do know some people are using longer cranks in order to ride bigger gears. I think I read that Sarah Hammer rides 172.5 or 175mm cranks which wouldn't be expected for a rider her height.

I also know of elite sprinters over 6ft / 182cm tall who are riding 165mm cranks. I'm also over 6ft tall and I chose 165mm cranks. My reasons being that I can make more torque than I know what to do with and I can also roll high rpms, so that's the riding style I'll adopt: Moderate Gearing + High RPMs = zoom zoom.

The takeaway is that when one changes crank lengths to suit one's riding style, one must adjust gearing accordingly.

Last edited by carleton; 07-21-17 at 07:26 AM.
07-21-17, 09:57 PM
#56
Baby Puke
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I think generally the trend has been towards bigger gears and shorter cranks, at least among elite sprinters. The reason being that the shorter cranks (along with narrower bars that are all the rage) allow you to adopt a more aerodynamic position, which as we know is more important the faster you are traveling.

I believe long cranks for pursuiters (Sarah Hammer) has been traditional for a while.
07-22-17, 04:38 PM
#57
tobukog
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Short cranks for aerodynamics (especially for better positioning) is the primary reason that bigger riders use short cranks. Shorter riders, on the other hand, can often produce greater torque by switching to shorter cranks. If you're a finesse rider and can spin like crazy (a spinner), go ahead and use long cranks. If you generate power with high torque and force, or want to generate higher torque and force, short cranks. It's pretty obvious.

Last edited by tobukog; 07-22-17 at 07:23 PM.
07-27-17, 03:42 PM
#58
ruudlaff
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Originally Posted by Carlosss
As a reference, on my first competition last year in the flying 200m qualifier with the same stats as you (49/13, peak rpm of 129 and peak speed of 61.8 km/h) and with what I thought was a pretty good line, I got 12.146 seconds.

I'd say 12.1 is in you 100%.
Mystic Carlosss!

Down to 12.2 on the same gear just by gradually winding up coming through turn 3/4 into the straight rather than going full glass straight away. I could feel that I was maxing out my top speed much closer to the start of the 200 timing line and had more energy to fight to keep my cadence up in the finishing straight.

Now to the gym! I want to see 11 by the end of September!
07-28-17, 08:56 AM
#59
sarals
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Originally Posted by ruudlaff
Mystic Carlosss!

Down to 12.2 on the same gear just by gradually winding up coming through turn 3/4 into the straight rather than going full glass straight away. I could feel that I was maxing out my top speed much closer to the start of the 200 timing line and had more energy to fight to keep my cadence up in the finishing straight.

Now to the gym! I want to see 11 by the end of September!
I just want to see sub 14....

I did a sprint session at Hellyer last night. The night before was a gym night, using the leg machines for two sets each. Remember, I'm new to track sprinting? Anyway, when I started using the machines last month, I went in easy, using light weights or no weights at all, just the carriage weight. After the first session, I almost couldn't walk for three days. Night before last I started adding weight, not a lot, but enough to where ten reps was hard to do. So, I thought last night's session would be a bust, because my legs would be cement.

Hardly.

On the menu were 125M "accelerations", simulating match sprint jumps. The format was two laps, make the jump, then three trips around the cool down circle to recover, back to the track and repeat. My legs felt great! No timing on anything, but I saw higher max power (from a rolling start) than I've ever seen, and my cadence is sitting comfortably at close to 130 RPM. Yes, I'm in a spinny gear right now, 86 inches, but wow, have I come a ways.

And my legs LIKE the weight work outs.

Before I got sidetracked by the story, I wanted to say that I find myself spun up and at max speed at Hellyer as I hit the sprinters lane in a flying 200, and I don't do a huge windup. At VSC, I was spun out before I even came off the banking. I know a bigger gear will help, but I'm thinking a longer windup and slower off the banking is a technique that may work for me, too.

Noobs...yes, I am!
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07-28-17, 09:45 AM
#60
ruudlaff
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Sounds like you're on the right track. There's a weight lifting thread that would likely help you get moving with advice from guys that probably know much more than I do.

My pennies worth are that 2 things to concentrate on are:
- free weights (careful with form if never done them before, get advice if so)
- concentrate on explosiveness when lifting, so squats for example are down slow and explode up (within reason )

Originally Posted by sarals
I just want to see sub 14....

I did a sprint session at Hellyer last night. The night before was a gym night, using the leg machines for two sets each. Remember, I'm new to track sprinting? Anyway, when I started using the machines last month, I went in easy, using light weights or no weights at all, just the carriage weight. After the first session, I almost couldn't walk for three days. Night before last I started adding weight, not a lot, but enough to where ten reps was hard to do. So, I thought last night's session would be a bust, because my legs would be cement.

Hardly.

On the menu were 125M "accelerations", simulating match sprint jumps. The format was two laps, make the jump, then three trips around the cool down circle to recover, back to the track and repeat. My legs felt great! No timing on anything, but I saw higher max power (from a rolling start) than I've ever seen, and my cadence is sitting comfortably at close to 130 RPM. Yes, I'm in a spinny gear right now, 86 inches, but wow, have I come a ways.

And my legs LIKE the weight work outs.

Before I got sidetracked by the story, I wanted to say that I find myself spun up and at max speed at Hellyer as I hit the sprinters lane in a flying 200, and I don't do a huge windup. At VSC, I was spun out before I even came off the banking. I know a bigger gear will help, but I'm thinking a longer windup and slower off the banking is a technique that may work for me, too.

Noobs...yes, I am!
07-28-17, 11:04 AM
#61
sarals
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Originally Posted by ruudlaff
Sounds like you're on the right track. There's a weight lifting thread that would likely help you get moving with advice from guys that probably know much more than I do.

My pennies worth are that 2 things to concentrate on are:
- free weights (careful with form if never done them before, get advice if so)
- concentrate on explosiveness when lifting, so squats for example are down slow and explode up (within reason )
Thanks for that!

I do have a couple of exercises in my routine that cover explosiveness. One is box jumps, and the other is single leg push off's on the leg press machine. The biggest shortcoming I have, and one that became very apparent in the mass start races I've done, is reflexes - sending the "go!" signal and then having my legs actually respond. It's not that i can't pop, but having thirty years on most of the field betrays the difference. I'm closing the gap, but physiology is physiology. No matter, I keep working and trying!
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07-28-17, 05:34 PM
#62
Baby Puke
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Ideally track the day after a heavy weights day is not optimal, unless you're in some kind of insane overload block. Best use of a track day (especially one where you are doing sprint efforts) is to come in fresh so as to get the maximum benefit from it. I try to keep my gym days spaced at least a day apart from a serious sprint effort day, unless I'm doing two sessions in a day, but in that case I'll try to do the bike work first, then the weights either immediately after (making it essentially one session) or at least three hours after the track.
08-21-17, 05:09 AM
#63
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Just did my first set of them yesterday. Lots to learn still. My best were 13.77 and 14.00 without anything aero (and my 42cm bars, which will be quickly replaced with Scattos). The thing I noticed most was I still have to work on sprinting hard on the launch all the way to the start. Not yet comfortable sprinting hard out of the saddle and transitioning to in the saddle under hard effort like that, since I think in road sprinting, if you drop cadence by a few doing that, no biggie. But on the track, that's a real issue.

Any tips other than practice, practice, practice?
08-21-17, 06:40 AM
#64
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Last edited by Divebrian; 08-21-17 at 06:45 AM.
08-21-17, 06:55 AM
#65
southernfox
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Originally Posted by Divebrian
Thanks. Apparently I have a decent line of approach. The issue is revving up to 120rpm out of the saddle then transitioning to in the saddle...on a fixed gear. I can do that on a road bike no problem, because it's more forgiving if there's a momentary drop in cadence. Tips on how to get better at that?
08-21-17, 07:12 AM
#66
Divebrian
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Do you have a long, straight road? If so, just start by spinning up to 100 rpm, then sit and spin it up. Repeat until comfortable. Increase the standing rpm to 110 rpm, then sit and spin it up. Repeat until comfortable. Keep adding in more standing rpm......just need to train your mind, legs, body, etc. You can do it on the track as well, but the straight road just lets you concentrate on standing/sitting without any turning, g forces, etc. Once you get it down, transition to the track.
08-21-17, 07:17 AM
#67
southernfox
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Originally Posted by Divebrian
Do you have a long, straight road? If so, just start by spinning up to 100 rpm, then sit and spin it up. Repeat until comfortable. Increase the standing rpm to 110 rpm, then sit and spin it up. Repeat until comfortable. Keep adding in more standing rpm......just need to train your mind, legs, body, etc. You can do it on the track as well, but the straight road just lets you concentrate on standing/sitting without any turning, g forces, etc. Once you get it down, transition to the track.
I do! Perfect
08-21-17, 11:26 AM
#68
carleton
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1) Coaching the flying 200m via internet posts is like coaching a tennis serve...via internet posts. There are a lot of things involved and it's difficult to ID them (via self-reports) or the fixes via text. It's a lot more efficient for someone to help you on-site (teammate, coach, etc...). The best way for beginners to get up to speed (pun intended) by following a better rider (teammate, coach, friend).

2) The transition in and out of the saddle on a fixed gear bike simply requires practice. Drills will certainly help. You can even do this with your track bike locked into a trainer at home.

3) Comfort on the bike in and out of the saddle on the curves of the track are the foundation of everything. This comes with simply time- on-task. No amount of off-track training can shortcut this.

4) Times are not important right now. Don't put any stake in the numbers. They don't accurately reflect what you are capable of doing. Your same legs with the right gear, windup, jump, and bike handling will yield better results. Focus on those.
08-21-17, 11:41 AM
#69
carleton
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5) Crank length is a significant factor when it comes to cadence ranges available to the rider.
08-21-17, 04:12 PM
#70
Baby Puke
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Try some flying efforts on your warm-up gear (46x15/15 or so). A few of those will help you acclimate to the much higher cadences and the switch from standing to seated.
08-21-17, 07:15 PM
#71
taras0000
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Originally Posted by southernfox
Thanks. Apparently I have a decent line of approach. The issue is revving up to 120rpm out of the saddle then transitioning to in the saddle...on a fixed gear. I can do that on a road bike no problem, because it's more forgiving if there's a momentary drop in cadence. Tips on how to get better at that?
The problem that most riders have when it comes to the seated transition, is that they drop into the saddle too quickly. Most people coming from a road background are used to being out of the saddle at "full extension". In other words, their legs are about 95-98% at full extension the whole time they are out of the saddle. A freewheel allows you to do this because you can stomp up and down. On a fixed gear, you have to be able to pedal through the top and bottom as well. You can't do that at full extension. You have to be able to "run on the pedals" and this is done at 90-95% extension. With experience, you can extend more. It's all about being able to train the proper neural sequences, and just comes with practice. You can watch riders accelerating in match sprints to once they are up to top speed.

You can do this drill in a light gear, riding at 120-130 rpm seated, and raising yourself off the saddle an inch or so, without dropping leg speed. As you get better, you rise higher off the saddle, and drop back down, doing it slowly over the course of about 10-15 pedal strokes (5-8 seconds, 5 seconds should be enough). You can do this as a warm-up in a light gear before a workout, just doing a few reps or so. It's purely a technique thing at first, but you will need to up it to race gear at some point with the exercise after you've gotten smooth enough.

Try a slower drop into the saddle next time you're at the track and see if it helps.
08-22-17, 08:27 AM
#72
sarals
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It has taken me most of this season to learn how to "run on the pedals", @taras0000, and your description is apt. That's exactly what it is. Form is everything in track sprinting, and it takes an age to get it close to right. @southernfox, high 13's low 14's is EXCELLENT for just starting out. Once you get the hang of of it, you'll be way up there.

By the way, my cadence range in the 200 (and I spin a woefully small gear) is 123 - 128. My time is 14.6, nothing to brag about, but I'm not there yet. One of the issues I have is that spinning high is really hard on my lower back, and I have a bad lower back. I'm much better at standing starts, and I have a decent 500, so far. I'm working to get better at all of it.
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Last edited by sarals; 08-22-17 at 05:44 PM.
08-22-17, 08:58 AM
#73
queerpunk
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I HIGHLY recommend watching Jon Frahley's "The Form of Sprinting" videos. They are very helpful even for seasoned athletes - to really think about how to break down the form, mechanics, and drills.
08-22-17, 03:55 PM
#74
southernfox
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Originally Posted by taras0000
The problem that most riders have when it comes to the seated transition, is that they drop into the saddle too quickly. Most people coming from a road background are used to being out of the saddle at "full extension". In other words, their legs are about 95-98% at full extension the whole time they are out of the saddle. A freewheel allows you to do this because you can stomp up and down. On a fixed gear, you have to be able to pedal through the top and bottom as well. You can't do that at full extension. You have to be able to "run on the pedals" and this is done at 90-95% extension. With experience, you can extend more. It's all about being able to train the proper neural sequences, and just comes with practice. You can watch riders accelerating in match sprints to once they are up to top speed.

You can do this drill in a light gear, riding at 120-130 rpm seated, and raising yourself off the saddle an inch or so, without dropping leg speed. As you get better, you rise higher off the saddle, and drop back down, doing it slowly over the course of about 10-15 pedal strokes (5-8 seconds, 5 seconds should be enough). You can do this as a warm-up in a light gear before a workout, just doing a few reps or so. It's purely a technique thing at first, but you will need to up it to race gear at some point with the exercise after you've gotten smooth enough.

Try a slower drop into the saddle next time you're at the track and see if it helps.
11-05-17, 02:56 PM
#75
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This is interesting. I just returned after 35 years on the couch.

I'm thinking that perhaps one's approach to the F200 should complement the individual's power and fatigue profile? I'm one of these take-your-notebook to practice folks. And, pretty geeked up about the modern technology. At my first TT this year the final 200M split on my 500M was much faster than any of my flying 200s. I get home from the track and out on my deserted training flats and see the same thing. I practice flying 400s and I'm still accelerating in them at 300M.

Sure, my base strength is very weak, but that is my profile, this "ability" (aka, lack of ability to do anything else any better) to maintain acceleration for a while. So I figure start earlier and my times dropped.

I did find this chart/calculator, and after putting in my numbers, it seemed to explain some things.

http://pcgtools.com/FP.aspx?preview=...ookieSupport=1

Back in the dream time I felt best in 20- to 40-second range. It appears that after 35 years off, and only a few months of training that profile is still hard wired. So that is what I'm thinking. Figure out where your sweet spot is and do that.

Last edited by rickbuddy_72; 11-05-17 at 03:02 PM.