On Wed, 20 Oct 2004 12:18:53 GMT, "Peter Cole"
A few points:
Any advantages in cadence are very small, if not, they would be obvious,
and no one would be debating them.
Techniques for small performance improvements may be useful for racing, but
they don't automatically translate into techniques for raising fitness
Pro riders have trained to perfection (at least compared to us slobs) and
look to very small effects to get any kind of edge, some of which (many?)
There is a variation in individual physiology, even if you're just
interested in that slight competitive edge, you're better finding it for
your own body and/or level of fitness.
Higher cadence, as a rule, trades off aerobic demand against long-term
muscle fatigue, there's no single optimum cadence, it depends on the
duration of the ride and terrain. It's better to get good at listening to
your body. Cycling is a highly "self-optimizing" activity -- your body will
figure things out on its own.
Slavish cadence counting or adherence to rigid styles makes riding tedious.
Tedium makes riding less fun. Less fun means less riding. Less riding makes
for slower development.
Hill climbing is only one skill to be learned, it's not the be all, end
all, part of cycling, competitive or otherwise.
Pace is much more important than cadence in hill climbing. The trick is to
know just how hard to push before "blowing up". This is surprisingly
difficult to learn and is not a function of cadence.
A few points? Those are very good points, all!
The only thing I'd quibble with is the 'counting' thing. I do that b/c I
tell myself if I can get to fifty right foot pedal strokes I can make it to
the top of one of my toughest hills where it gets steeper in the last 100
yards, and thus my feeble mind won't start thinking about slaloming. Heh,
in fact on yesterday's ride I picked the steepest line to the top as an
exercise in self-flagellation! Being a former bodybuilder I love this kind
of stuff - mentally going through that seems to helps me. But on advice
here, I'm going to try the stomp every 6 strokes method and see if that
works better. I only do the tedious counting thing about once or twice on
my route, when I have to fall back to 38x25 at 50rpm. (Most climbs I'm
doing in 38x17 at 60rpm.)
I'm only focussing on this stuff as part of a phase I'm going through,
though. I keep seeking out and testing myself on harder and harder
sections, which are not hard to find where I ride (lots of 100-200 yd
steeps). So far I'm doing pretty well for a my condition with the hip
injury and everything, I believe.
If you don't mind my asking, what is the best way to learn the 'blowing up'
part? By that do you mean a completel loss of ability such that you have to
take the bus home? (I've had one sitch where I suddenly dropped off my
17-18mph pace and dropped off to 12mph for the last 20 minutes - puzzling
since this was in the flats. I didn't feel bad - just lost the 'oomph'.)
Should I attempt to push to the point of such 'blow up' to know what it