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Tricks for keeping cadence?



 
 
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  #11  
Old October 20th 04, 02:29 AM
Hunrobe
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wrote in part:

I haven't learned the 'quiet upper body' phase yet, but it seems
like that's next.


That's called the "nothing moves but my legs" syndrome, a fetish among
beginners and only on short grades. I have ridden many long climbs in
the Alps and never seen anyone ride like that near the top although
some riders start out that way.


As it relates to climbing, I'll bow to your much greater experience but when
you call it a "fetish" it seems like you are saying that it's a mistake to
consciously work toward a "quiet upper body" on the flats. Do you mean that?

Regards,
Bob Hunt

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  #12  
Old October 20th 04, 02:45 AM
Terry Morse
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Badger_South wrote:

Have the experts pretty much decided that higher cadence is the way to go?


Well, most of the experts seem to be leaning that way. Here's a
brief summary of why spinning is beneficial:

"Why is it better to spin (80 - 100 rpm), rather than grind ( 80
rpm)? Spinning requires less force per revolution, builds up less
lactate, requires less oxygen consumption, and reduces neuromuscular
fatigue. This is why it is beneficial in racing, however grinding
does have its place in training when you want to specifically target
improving muscle force production."
http://www.cyclingnz.com/science.phtml?n=44

--
terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://bike.terrymorse.com/
  #13  
Old October 20th 04, 03:04 AM
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Bob Hubt writes:

I haven't learned the 'quiet upper body' phase yet, but it seems
like that's next.


That's called the "nothing moves but my legs" syndrome, a fetish
among beginners and only on short grades. I have ridden many long
climbs in the Alps and never seen anyone ride like that near the
top although some riders start out that way.


As it relates to climbing, I'll bow to your much greater experience
but when you call it a "fetish" it seems like you are saying that
it's a mistake to consciously work toward a "quiet upper body" on
the flats. Do you mean that?


The "quiet upper body" riding is a development in the pursuit of
excessive spinning, where saddle bounce becomes a problem. If you
observe anyone racing you'll notice that riders lunge onto the
downward stroke if working anywhere near top performance. This is not
an option but a necessity. Riding with no upper body motion is
possible only when riding at a less than maximum effort where an
optional style is drawn from extra effort, something riders cannot do
for long when working hard. That goes for flats or on hills sitting
or standing where the equivalent is not leaning the bicycle, an even
more contrived style that is possible when riding lower gears than
optimal.

I sense that we are getting close to discussing "ankling", forbid.

Jobst Brandt

  #14  
Old October 20th 04, 03:22 AM
[email protected]
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Terry Morse writes:

Have the experts pretty much decided that higher cadence is the way
to go?


Well, most of the experts seem to be leaning that way. Here's a
brief summary of why spinning is beneficial:


"Why is it better to spin (80 - 100 rpm), rather than grind ( 80
rpm)? Spinning requires less force per revolution, builds up less
lactate, requires less oxygen consumption, and reduces neuromuscular
fatigue. This is why it is beneficial in racing, however grinding
does have its place in training when you want to specifically target
improving muscle force production."


http://www.cyclingnz.com/science.phtml?n=44


I see no scientific data or proof of this hypothesis and have watches
many great bicycle professionals from the 1960's to present win races
using a wide range of cadences for their successes. I spent many
years riding the low cadences that more recent riders denigrate as
"painful grinding" and sure to ruin my knees. How soon should I
expect that and why do they care? Unfortunately with advancing years
I can no longer outrun these comments on climbs as I formerly did,
leaving those giving me advice behind in their favorite cadence in the
flats as well as on long climbs.

I watched Roger Millar and Andy Hampsten ride low cadences (60's) in
the TdS on hill climbs and watched Charley Gaul, Massignan, Pambianco,
and Rik van Looy on the Stelvio. None were turnng more than 60rpm.

http://www.cyclinghalloffame.com/rid...sp?rider_id=45

If you believe this is to your advantage, I don't want to dissuade
you, but advising new riders to do so is folly. They should ride hill
climbs and optimize their ET. In that process the ideal cadence will
arrive naturally.

Jobst Brandt

  #16  
Old October 20th 04, 03:56 AM
Hunrobe
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wrote:


The "quiet upper body" riding is a development in the pursuit of
excessive spinning, where saddle bounce becomes a problem. If you
observe anyone racing you'll notice that riders lunge onto the
downward stroke if working anywhere near top performance. This is not
an option but a necessity. Riding with no upper body motion is
possible only when riding at a less than maximum effort where an
optional style is drawn from extra effort, something riders cannot do
for long when working hard. That goes for flats or on hills sitting
or standing where the equivalent is not leaning the bicycle, an even
more contrived style that is possible when riding lower gears than
optimal.

I sense that we are getting close to discussing "ankling", forbid.



You can relax Jobst, we aren't even approaching any "ankling" discussion. My
question was based, not on riding at or near maximum effort, on riding
comfortably in the 20 to 24 mph range. Personally, in those circumstances I've
found a "quiet upper body" approach works well in reducing fatigue. It felt
unnatural when I first started to consciously try to achieve that about 8 or 9
years ago but the longer I worked at it, the more relaxed it felt. I'd compare
it to the military posture of "standing attention". That is an extremely
uncomfortable body position at first but once one's muscles "learn" the pose it
actually seems easier on muscles, especially back muscles, than a casual
slouching posture.

Regards,
Bob Hunt
  #17  
Old October 20th 04, 04:31 AM
[email protected]
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Bob Hunt writes:

The "quiet upper body" riding is a development in the pursuit of
excessive spinning, where saddle bounce becomes a problem. If you
observe anyone racing you'll notice that riders lunge onto the
downward stroke if working anywhere near top performance. This is not
an option but a necessity. Riding with no upper body motion is
possible only when riding at a less than maximum effort where an
optional style is drawn from extra effort, something riders cannot do
for long when working hard. That goes for flats or on hills sitting
or standing where the equivalent is not leaning the bicycle, an even
more contrived style that is possible when riding lower gears than
optimal.


I sense that we are getting close to discussing "ankling", forbid.


You can relax Jobst, we aren't even approaching any "ankling"
discussion.


Whew!

My question was based, not on riding at or near maximum effort, on
riding comfortably in the 20 to 24 mph range. Personally, in those
circumstances I've found a "quiet upper body" approach works well in
reducing fatigue. It felt unnatural when I first started to
consciously try to achieve that about 8 or 9 years ago but the
longer I worked at it, the more relaxed it felt. I'd compare it to
the military posture of "standing attention". That is an extremely
uncomfortable body position at first but once one's muscles "learn"
the pose it actually seems easier on muscles, especially back
muscles, than a casual slouching posture.


What you say seems to support my contention, that to naturally do what
your body wants as you ride hard makes that riding form easier and
more natural. I suspect that you developed the muscles needed to keep
the upper body relatively motionless. I propose that that effort can
better be used to propel the bicycle. To call it a casual "slouching
posture" is begging the question. You cannot slouch when your hands
are on the drops or bar tops, but you can develop muscles that make
that natural.

I think you'll find that trained athletes sit up and ride no-hands in
rest areas (where there are food hand-ups or the field in a stage race
is just cruising. Riders do that and pedal standing occasionally as a
relaxing stretch position. Not moving the upper body is an unnatural
gait and requires effort.

Jobst Brandt

  #18  
Old October 20th 04, 06:35 AM
Terry Morse
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wrote:

The "quiet upper body" riding is a development in the pursuit of
excessive spinning, where saddle bounce becomes a problem. If you
observe anyone racing you'll notice that riders lunge onto the
downward stroke if working anywhere near top performance. This is not
an option but a necessity.


All out sprinting aside, a lunging upper body is a telltale sign of
trying to maintain speed in too high a gear. For an experienced
rider, dropping to a lower gear should make it go away. The notion
that one must lunge over each pedal to generate high power is old
school myth and lore. The limit to performance on climbs is the
heart, not the amount of force once can put into a pedal. Lowering
the gear ratio reduces the maximum pedal force, removing the need
for upper body gymnastics.

If you get a chance to see the 2004 Tour de France DVD, watch
Armstrong as he climbs l'Alpe d'Huez. His upper body is relaxed and
virtually motionless -- all the way to the finish (except when he
sprints to the finish out of the saddle). His cadence appears to be
80-85, for a full 40 minutes of near maximum effort climbing.

Riding with no upper body motion is
possible only when riding at a less than maximum effort where an
optional style is drawn from extra effort, something riders cannot do
for long when working hard.


I don't understand your point. Riders can't maintain a maximum
effort for long, regardless of their form. I think it's confusing
the point to bring up maximum effort riding when discussing riding
style. It should be obvious that a quiet upper body is more
aerobically efficient than one that's moving "all over the machine",
as Phil Liggett would say. Throwing upper body weight around is an
attempt to shove a few more pounds of force into a pedal, which
should not be confused with power. A low-torque engine that runs at
high RPMs can put out as much power as a high-torque engine with low
RPMs.

Regarding maximum effort, consider the following: Time trial
specialists can ride for an hour well above their lactate
thresholds, yet many ride with rock-solid upper bodies. Jan Ullrich
is a good example.

--
terry morse Palo Alto, CA
http://bike.terrymorse.com/
  #19  
Old October 20th 04, 06:52 AM
Terry Morse
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wrote:

Terry Morse writes:

http://www.cyclingnz.com/science.phtml?n=44

I see no scientific data or proof of this hypothesis


You didn't read the footnotes:

Ahlquist, L. E., Bassett, D. R., Sufit, R., Nagle, F. J., & Thomas,
D. P. (1992). The effect of pedaling frequency on glycogen depletion
rates in type I and type II quadriceps muscle fibers during
submaximal cycling exercise. European journal of applied physiology
and occupational physiology, 65(4), 360-364.

"In conclusion, cycling at the same metabolic cost at 50 rather than
100 rev.min-1 results in greater type II fiber glycogen depletion.
This is attributed to the increased muscle force required to meet
the higher resistance per cycle at the lower pedal frequency."

In other words, high cadence spares muscle glycogen, increasing the
time to fatigue. If two equally fit riders enter a long race, and
one rider uses a high cadence while the other uses a low cadence,
the high cadence rider will have more left in the tank at the
finish, and that's where races are won.


I spent many
years riding the low cadences that more recent riders denigrate as
"painful grinding" and sure to ruin my knees.


While the effect of grinding on your knees is questionable, the
effect on muscle fatigue has been demonstrated.

I watched Roger Millar and Andy Hampsten ride low cadences (60's) in
the TdS on hill climbs and watched Charley Gaul, Massignan, Pambianco,
and Rik van Looy on the Stelvio. None were turnng more than 60rpm.


I've seen old photos of TdF riders stopping for smoke breaks and
drinking wine, too. Yet few pros today smoke or drink wine. Those
TdS and Stelvio riders could have ridden longer with less fatigue if
they had used a higher cadence. The science says so.

If you believe this is to your advantage, I don't want to dissuade
you, but advising new riders to do so is folly. They should ride hill
climbs and optimize their ET. In that process the ideal cadence will
arrive naturally.


It depends on the new rider's goals, I suppose. If he wants simply
to ride and have fun, he can pick whatever cadence or riding style
feels comfortable. But if he wants to optimize his performance, he'd
be well served by paying attention to the science.
--
terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://bike.terrymorse.com/
  #20  
Old October 20th 04, 01:18 PM
Peter Cole
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"Badger_South" wrote in message
...

I'm wondering if there are any good tips out there for keeping cadence

high
going up moderate hills. I find I really have to hum a tune, or count

reps
when the going gets tough and I start to sink below 65 or 70 (or lower).

I count to 50 and then try and take a deep sigh (more or less forceful
breathe out), and think 'sink/get centered', then do it again.

Have the experts pretty much decided that higher cadence is the way to

go?
I realize we just discussed this here, in relation to energy

conservation,
but we still see low cadence riding a lot in the pros during climbs. I'm
thinking maybe it's something that's just very hard to change once you've
developed your riding, and climbing style.

I haven't learned the 'quiet upper body' phase yet, but it seems like
that's next.


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
levels.

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?)
are psychological.

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.


 




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