improving top cadance question

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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rustychain
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by rustychain

I have been riding a fixed gear this winter and I have improved my max cadance from 120 to 140 but now I'm stuck. Any advise on how to improve my spin for sprints to the 160 range? I know track guy's can do it and I sprint with good power and speed but I want to improve my top end. I have been doing sprints up hill, down hill, on flats but I just seem stuck. Any advise? Thanks

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Cyco
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by Cyco

RustyChain, most speed is available with how you think - your legs can already do it.

Think of these (start with one, then add the other)

1. Lift your knees - over the top of the pedal stroke, think of lifting your knee a bit higher (50mm).

2 Spin smaller circles - think of your feet spinning smaller and smaller circles.

Most of all DON'T look at your computer while you are working on this.
Success is how far you you bounce back up after being knocked down

by Weenie


JK
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by JK

To add a tip to Cyco's:

Try one leg intervals. They are very good for efficient and fluent pedaling. You are not going to reach 140 rpm's with one leg, but the key is to build 'muscle memory', so your legs know what to do when they spin faster :wink: . You are also going to recruit parts of muscle you never used before :lol: . Once you trained them to benefit the pedaling motion, your legs have a much more constant power output throughout the pedal stoken. Your current lack of this fluent, balanced pedaling technique causes you to 'bounce', limiting your top RPM's. Think technique first, leg speed later!

If you are going to try them:

When doing one leg intervals, start with a light gear, but one that provides at least some resistance. Try to focus on technique and an even motion, not speed or force. Do not just focus on pushing down and pulling up: The most difficult motions are pushing your foot forward at the top of the pedaling stroke and backwards at the bottom. You will need them to attain a fluent motion.

Once you start to build up even a bit of lactate in your leg - stop, give the other leg a workout. Chances are that after some workouts to each leg they both are a bit tired. Just spin lightly for a few minutes to clear them up and start again. There is no point doing this with lactic acid filled legs.

Oh, and ehh... never mind the people looking at you :wink:

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Bruiser
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by Bruiser

For the perfect pedal technique, try riding offroad hills.

Find a slipery hill on which you strugle for traction. If you pedal in squares you will lose traction, on really slipery hills, only ther perfect technique can maintain traction.

MTB is also good lower end spin training (assuming you have to ride to the hill).

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Cyco
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by Cyco

I remembered another one, take your track bike (everyone should have one) out on a slightly hilly ride with about 63 gear inches. Just relax on the downhill sections and let the pedals push your legs around.
Success is how far you you bounce back up after being knocked down

rustychain
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by rustychain

I have been riding a fixed gear and yes it has helped. I also have been riding a mountain bike for years. I am talking about a very fast cadance. I can spin 140 without bouncing. I also have done one leg intervals for strength training but it does not seem to improve my leg speed. I will go back and try these things again. Thanks for your input

keithster
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by keithster

I have a couple of other suggestions for intervals,
one of them is spinning using the granny gear, find a flat road or better yet use a trainer and put the bike into the lowest gear and sprint for about 20 to 30 seconds. I can get a cadence as high as 200 rpm, the key is to try not to have your hips rock.

I'm trying to develop a drill that helps cyclists to pedal circles while standing, you'll need a trainer for this one
my idea was to put a sturdy box next to the bike and stand besides the bike with one shoe clipped into the pedal. the idea is essentially to do one legged intervals while standing up. I haven't tried this as I don't have a box that is sturdy enough to stand on.

personally I find that it helps to use low gearing for any of the intervals mentioned.
Jack of all trades, master of none.

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Cyco
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by Cyco

keithster wrote:I'm trying to develop a drill that helps cyclists to pedal circles while standing, you'll need a trainer for this one
my idea was to put a sturdy box next to the bike and stand besides the bike with one shoe clipped into the pedal. the idea is essentially to do one legged intervals while standing up. I haven't tried this as I don't have a box that is sturdy enough to stand on.


I have done these on the rollers next to a multi runged handrail
Success is how far you you bounce back up after being knocked down

rustychain
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by rustychain

keithster wrote:I have a couple of other suggestions for intervals,
one of them is spinning using the granny gear, find a flat road or better yet use a trainer and put the bike into the lowest gear and sprint for about 20 to 30 seconds. I can get a cadence as high as 200 rpm, the key is to try not to have your hips rock.

I'm trying to develop a drill that helps cyclists to pedal circles while standing, you'll need a trainer for this one
my idea was to put a sturdy box next to the bike and stand besides the bike with one shoe clipped into the pedal. the idea is essentially to do one legged intervals while standing up. I haven't tried this as I don't have a box that is sturdy enough to stand on.

personally I find that it helps to use low gearing for any of the intervals mentioned.

200rpm! Very cool, thanks for the advise. I have just started using rollers and I seem to be able to up my cadence a bit (just before I loose it :roll: ) I'll dig out my trainer and try the one leg drills. Do you suggest this interval be at max rpm for say 20 seconds?

keithster
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by keithster

200 rpm is real tough to hold for 20 seconds (it also feels kinda hard on the bike), you might only be able to do it for 5 or less, but I would say that you should try for about 10 seconds for max RPM, you can try holding it longer and longer each time you do it, here you are essentially trying to develop your sprinting abilities,

I would suggest that you do the one legged intervals at a moderate cadence, about 85 to 100 RPM. I like the low gear for them cause if you pedal wrong the bike gets ahead of you and you lose resistance. this exercise is exactly the same as the one JK mentioned but standing so you may be looking at 30 seconds per leg

I agree Cyco, the stairs appear to be the best place to do it. it is a pain to turn around the bike and trainer just to do the other leg but well worth it.
Jack of all trades, master of none.

Racing Aardvark
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by Racing Aardvark

All good tips on this. Also, you should look at how flexible you are. Highly under-rated, but having nice flexible muscles definitely helps trackies. At that kind of spin rate, you need to be really damn smooth and suppleness and elasticity sure help!

BTW, another way to work on that cadence is to get out on the track and race. Pretty certain I hit my cadence high marks in full-bore sprints.

BTW, most cyclists are woefully inflexible. Unlike our buddy Colby here :shock:
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rustychain
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by rustychain

You just might be right. I will start working on it. I got up to approx 165 yesterday but my legs just start to feel bound up, yep flexability, good point. Thanks

Hugo
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by Hugo

i am also trying to increase my spinrate...a good possibility seems to be "spinning" but i have a question....when i am riding at about 110-130 i am bouncing, as soon as i go faster i can sit much more relaxed and go up to 160 and on good days even to 180....anyone an idea where this comes from?

rustychain
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by rustychain

Hugo wrote:i am also trying to increase my spinrate...a good possibility seems to be "spinning" but i have a question....when i am riding at about 110-130 i am bouncing, as soon as i go faster i can sit much more relaxed and go up to 160 and on good days even to 180....anyone an idea where this comes from?

I think that flexability is the issue for me. After reading this thread I have started working on my hamstrings and it helps. I also have started regular massage. Saddle position has been a factor for me as well. I am using 175 cranks so that slows my cadance a bit but for now I will stick with them. On a good day with warm up I can now do 170rpm without the bounce! I am working on my RPM out of the saddle now, anyone have any tips?

smallfish101
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by smallfish101

Just a technical issue - tried shortening the cranks? The track guys use shorter cranks for more revs.
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by Weenie


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