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 Post subject: Improving my speed
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 10:33 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 3:11 pm
Posts: 2508
Location: Oxford - UK
I've spent 10 months commuting 11 miles into work. This is from a standing start of NO EXERCISE. 5 days a week ALL WEATHERS.

I'm 29 years old. 30 in November. I weigh 75 to 80 kg.

I've now moved further from work 15.6 miles.
My route is 50% country lanes and 50% dual carriageway.
Traffic is a nightmare. Cars travel at 5 to 40 miles an hour. Averaging 15mph. I average 15.6 miles in 46 minutes at 20.0mph.

I'm still eating pizza and drinking 10 to 15 pints of lager a week.

Getting my average speed up will be held back by the fact I'm riding a mountain bike. My gearing is 44T (front) x 11T (rear).
My bike is light however at 8.8kg (light for a MTB anyway!).
I'm running road tyres - Conti GP 26 x 1.

Any suggestions as to how I can impove on my speed / fitness?


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 Post subject: Improving my speed
Posted: Thu May 06, 2004 10:33 am 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 10:44 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2002 1:59 am
Posts: 1386
Location: Sydney, Australia
I race both MTB and Road and there isn't a huge difference in speed if you're set up for road.

The main difference for your setup will be your position, it will be very unaerodynamic, look for some tri bars or practice a time trial position.

You have made the move to slicks, what pressure do you put them at?

Your ratio is 104 which is reasonable. Most road bikes have a top ratio of 119. Alterations to gain a higher ratio would be:

Larger chainrings, usually come with longer cranks for more power,
an 11 tooth at the rear,
making the move to larger (27") wheels.

You should be able to improve your cardio and endurance doing road on a MTB. I made the shift across with no problem and was amazed at the fitness my tractor had given me.

Good Luck

Brian


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 Post subject: Re: Improving my speed
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 11:16 am 
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Joined: Tue May 04, 2004 12:40 pm
Posts: 14
Tippster wrote:
Any suggestions as to how I can impove on my speed / fitness?


Buy a road bike! I used to train with road riders on my moutain bike, complete with suspension, and very heavy 1.5 Michellin City tyres and managed fairly well - nine times out of ten I was in the big gear however. When I got my road bike it felt a whole lot quicker!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 11:33 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2002 1:59 am
Posts: 1386
Location: Sydney, Australia
A road bike is much faster (Stiffer frame, lighter wheels, better road gearing, better position) but if your budget doesn't allow then the MTB will do for road training. Basically any workout a roadie can do could be used to improve your fitness on a MTB.

Brian


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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 5:04 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2004 6:21 pm
Posts: 97
Location: West Sussex, UK
Are you doing the correct type of training?
5 days commuting Mon-Fri is tough especially travelling into London... I should know I work there twice a week!
If you are doing the same routine there and back 5 days a week you will probably reach a plataue where you feel your fitness isn't really improving.
Try mixing it up a little. For instance hers a simple 7 day programme for you to mull over.

Mon: 15.6 miles to work recovery ride 50-60% MHR (80-100 rpm).
pm: Ride back to work as this morning.

Tue: 15.6 miles Strength work. 70-80% MHR. Big gear work (52x15 approx.) at 70-75 rpm throughout.
pm: Ride back as Mon.

Wed: 15.6 miles Endurance. 70-80% MHR at 90-105 rpm. Hold heart rate between 5 beats if possible.
pm: Ride back as Mon.

Thur: 15.6 miles Intervals (High endurance/Anaerobic). 65-90% efforts for 1-5 mins. Recover for a work rest ration of 1:4 (ie: 1min v.hard 4mins easy).
pm: Ride back as Mon.

Fri. As Monday!

Sat: Fartlek work for 1-2 hrs.

Sun: Long easy/steady ride 60-80% mhr. 2-4 hrs.

Variety is the key and plenty of recovery! Remember your body recovers quicker during active recovery (v.easy rides) not passive recovery (massage, stretching, hot/cold bath etc...).

Hope this helps.
Mark


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 10:26 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 3:11 pm
Posts: 2508
Location: Oxford - UK
@ Bruiser

I have been running 26 x 1.25 Panaracer Passella tyres at 80psi. They suggest 65psi to 80psi.

I already have 44T on the front ring and 11T at the back. I'd be loath to step up any further than 46T front, as I still want a reasonable clearance for off-road.

700c wheels are an option. Rather than have 2 wheel sets that are ok, I would rather get one set that are fantastic. I'm keen on a set of Soul-Kozak MTB disc wheelset. Soul-Kozak disc hubs / 28 Ti spokes / 380g rims disc specific. £400 UK. I'd rather have one top end wheelset that will do road and off-road. I can however see the advantages of 700c - more tyre choice but would rather spend the cash elsewhere.


@ REgopsp22
I'd rather not get a road bike. My current set-up is
Spec M5 HT '04
Pace RC-31 ridgid carbon forks
XT disc wheelset - soon to upgrade (budget of £400)
Hope mini disc brakes
XT/XTR groupset
slicks - currently passella - ordered Conti GP's
total weight 8.5kg - light for a MTB


@ Marktickner
I have reached a plateau yes.
Will try your suggestion. Thanks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 12:10 am 
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Joined: Tue May 04, 2004 12:40 pm
Posts: 14
Tippster wrote:
@ REgopsp22
I'd rather not get a road bike. My current set-up is
Spec M5 HT '04
Pace RC-31 ridgid carbon forks
XT disc wheelset - soon to upgrade (budget of £400)
Hope mini disc brakes
XT/XTR groupset
slicks - currently passella - ordered Conti GP's
total weight 8.5kg - light for a MTB


Okay, that's a good enough set up as far as a road going MTB is concerned :) I didn't know about your clause for not changing your bike.

How tall are you? A weight without a height isn't too handy, but I imagine you'll know if you've got extra kilos of insulation that could be removed to improve your performance :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2004 9:39 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 3:11 pm
Posts: 2508
Location: Oxford - UK
my height is 5 feet 8 inches - my conversions are poor, I think that is 170cm???

I've already lost 2 stone in weight in the 12 months of cycling to work. Weight is now reached a plateau. I think I still need to lose maybe 1/2 a stone. For my weight, I do have lots of power.

Currently that power is short bursts of 5 to 10 minutes uphill. On the flat I can keep up 23 to 25mph (MTB with Slicks) for 30 minutes. My mph then drops to 21 to 23. Boredom, lack of focus, lack of endurance. I'm not sure.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2004 1:05 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2002 1:59 am
Posts: 1386
Location: Sydney, Australia
Are you using clipless pedals and stiff shoes?
You will find they have have a large impact on your ability to power on and sprint.

When you asked about making your MTB faster you reminded me of myself a few years ago so I assumed you didn't want to buy a road bike. It should be your long term goal.

Have you tried racing?

Brian

Dislexics of the wrold untie


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2004 2:12 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 3:11 pm
Posts: 2508
Location: Oxford - UK
I'm using the correct kit.

Enduro M500 shorts and Jersey
Scott Boulder shoes
959 pedals - just ordered some Xpedo Ti/Ti pedals $155!!!
I'll post some bike porn pics when they arrive.

Soul-Kozak MTB disc wheelset next month, or maybe month after. Approx 1,300g claimed weight - and thats for disc !!! Soul-Kozak hubs laced with Ti spokes and 380g disc specific asymetric rims.

I've got the equipment.
I'm 90% there in fitness - 7k road miles in under a year.
Howver this is my first year of commuting to work.
Previous to this I did little or no exercise.

My diet can improve - pizza and stella currently.
Gradually switching to grilled chicken and pasta.

My technique is lacking. Both road and off road.
I'm thinking technique is the area I must concentrate on most.

I am approaching the level where I'm considering competing in off road endurance stuff. A friend has done Polaris in the UK. 2 day 50 to 60k a day orienteering endurance event. That would be fun.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2004 11:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2002 1:59 am
Posts: 1386
Location: Sydney, Australia
Try intervals and Time Trial training.
Incorporate hill climbing occassionally for something different.

For pedaling technique, climb some off road hills, the need to pedal smoothly to maintain your grip will give you a pedaling action smoother than a roadie or trackie. I imagine XC riding when I'm time trialing.

Let us know how it's going.

Brian


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Posted: Mon May 10, 2004 11:23 pm 


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