To me Wiggins looks seriously muscular, I don't claim that it's a matter of volume, and he has some serious muscle definition so why did you post that as an example?
Because Mr Wiggins is practically skin and bone, very little muscle there and puts out M.A.S.S.I.V.E amounts of power. Muscle definition is utterly meaningless, all that shows is low body fat. That, and it's a cool pic.
And I'm not talking about what you can do at maximum effort, as you seem to take it. "I can lift this and that at maximum effort", what's that got to do with anything? And by your logic, anybody could do 300w, 400w or even 500w for an hour, or whatever arbitrary wattnumber as long as It's well below your maximum achievable effort if they just have the stamina, muscles have nothing to do with that? Ofcourse this isn't true, and the reason I don't buy the logic...
Fortunately you don't have to "buy it", it exists with or without your preconceived ideas. Muscle size, and relative strength is largely irrelevant. As mentioned above if you have enough strength to walk up stairs then you have enough strength to pedal a bike at high power. The ability to hold that power, as I was talking about above, comes down to a whole host of things none of which revolves around "strength" so when you post things like:-
Are you seriously telling me, that putting on more muscle won't allow you to ride higher gear ratios for the same perceived effort? No, REALLY?! I'm not talking about riding a higher cadence, that would ofcourse require better endurance.
I reply with the above. Because, no, you don't need to put on more muscle to turn a higher gear ratio. Better mitochondiral density, neovascularization, cardiovascular ability (gas exchange) etcetc, this is what will make you improve.
Here's a good summation about mitochondria:- http://www.biketechreview.com/performance/supply/48-mitochondria-the-aerobic-engineshttp://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/0129.htm
Here's a study looking at strength work and how it related to mitochondria (please note, there are some which suggest the opposite, but read it anyway):- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10541929
An overview of strength training in cycling and other cool stuff:- http://cyclingresearchnews.com/News_And_Events.php?cid=3&iid=80http://ftp.cyclingnews.com/fitness/?id=strengthstern
But seriously, what you are saying is that overall strength has nothing to do with speed (as in speed has nothing to do with watts, or higher watts doesn't become easier if you are stronger), and a guy putting out low watts wouldn't benefit from becoming stronger?
Yes, this is what I am saying. (On the proviso that the person doesn't lack the basic intrinsic strength to be of "good health" [highly subjective].)
And another thing, you do realize that what you are talking about is a very fictional, theoretical, besides-TT/Tri's-and-indoor-trainers-non existing cycling scenario... This cruising along at a constant watt, that's just not what an actual group ride really looks like, now is it? ...if it was, I'd never ride that group again.
I have no idea what you are talking about here. This is not fiction, this is not theory. This is proven. Do you argue from a position of knowledge, or a position of assumed knowledge?
But ofcourse I'm biased here, I am myself from the generation of oldschool, power house, low cadence, high gear mashers, who will gain speed from brute force. I know this has gone "out of style" in training lately. But hey listen, you do it your way then and I'll do it my way.
There's a reason it's "old school". Not all old school stays old school, but there's a lot of BS which has been jettisoned for good reason. Don't accept what has been done in the past, research, review, rinse, repeat and form your own opinion.