Moderator: Moderator Team
adapted from Rabelais
While it is true what russianbear says, that gear inches are gear inches no matter the gearing you have, the fact you have lower gearing leads you to use them and gradually lower your effort and go overall slower.
It's all on the head, not on the gearing....
And probably many will say they didn't experienced that, but well it was like that for me...
I did setup back the standard and my fitness went gradually back to "normal"
Then, I noticed that if I just don't take the low gears with me, the times and powers are actually better.
Higher cadence feels more efficient, but the data shows that bigger gears are faster.
But I still ride very low gears because I suffer from the delusion that I can train my spin until it is more powerfull at higher cadence.
It just hasn't happened yet.
I just grip the tops as hard as I can, to resist the temptation of downshifting. It works.
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
efeballi wrote:I just grip the tops as hard as I can
I read this every now and then, and don't get it. I never really pull on the handlebars, not even when doing uphill intervals, unless it's very steep, say over 12%.
Maybe you should tweak your position, being relaxed in the upper body lets you breathe easier, so you can go faster.
But at some point of steepness/cadance you are either pulling or you are pushing your ass off the seat, so you must pull. And it sems like, by comparison to other people going as fast or faster, the really fast people must be pulling too. It seems like a necessity of physics that to climb well and fast, even at "high cadance" you must pull on the bars a bit.
But I am open to conflicting opinions of technique.
Rick, that is about the pedalling forces pushing you behind the seat. You need to either lean further forward (what I do) or pull yourself toward the bars.
Or, you can climb at a high cadence and forget about all this.
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I see this a lot, mtbers decide that the best way to climb is with the lowest ratio available on the bike, rather than the lowest ratio it's possible to climb the gradient with. Just leads to going up hills really slowly, with virtually no training benefit.taina wrote:My conclusion is that when I'm riding the cross-country bike, I shouldn't overcompensate for the increased weight and rolling resistance with downshifts.
Then they wonder why they aren't getting fit, despite spending mammy hours in the saddle.
If you are stomping a big gear up a steep hill on a mtn bike it is very common to break traction. Spinning a low gear helps maintain constant traction. So it is really a slightly different thing.
Agreed that it's easier to recover from a slippage, though, when you're not running the highest gear possible, because obviously you slow down, and that might be too much to keep going with the hard gear.
Over the years, most of the "pro" tips I have seen concerning climbing traction support what kulivontot said. Basically, this can be summed up as "run a gear or 2 higher than normal when traction is bad, as the reduced torque will reduce the chance of breaking the tire loose". There is no denying that higher gears will lower peak torque, and this, in theory at least, will reduce your ability to break the tire free.
At the same time, wassertreter makes a very good point that if you do spin the tire, being in a higher gear will make it harder to recover and keep pedaling. If a higher gear manages to prevent the spin in the first place, then the point is somewhat moot, but higher gears, at best, reduce spins, so this is certainly worth considering.
wassertreter also makes a point about equivalent speed between two riders equaling equivalent force being transmitted through the tire contact patch, and this is certainly true when taken as an average.
The additional element that I think should be considered though, is that power is not delivered at a consistent average rate. it is delivered as a series of pulses, resulting from each pedal downstroke. A lower gear will result in a greater number of short duration pulses to get up a given hill, when compared to a higher gear, which will require fewer, and longer duration pulses.
This is where I think things get so puzzling, as individual rider technique comes into play. It is not so much the frequency and duration of pulses that would effect traction, as it is the peak force during each of those pulses. Specifically, minimizing the peaks, although if speed is to be maintained, that same power will need to be redistributed to other parts of the pedal stroke. So, in other words, the gear that allows you to deliver power most smoothly will be the one that delivers the most reliable traction, and that is where individual variation comes into play.
Rick mentioned an example above where "stomping" a big gear causes a loss of traction whereas "spinning" a low gear maintains traction. I would suggest that this is not purely an issue of gearing but of "stomping vs. spinning", and that some riders may find that a slightly higher gear actually smooths power delivers, vs. a low gear where instead of spinning they may in fact end up with a "choppy" pedal stroke, whereas others may find the reverse.
Additional factors are how body position is affected by gearing choice. Some riders might compromise upper body form more in order to push a bigger gear than others and, conversely, others may have trouble controlling their movements precisely at a high cadence. Also, it is worth considering the trail conditions. Everything above assumes consistently low traction, but some trails may be a series of slippery roots or bits of loose gravel, separated by areas of good traction. In those situations, the gear that best allows you to time your power pulses to hit the good traction will be best, regardless.
Without a peak torque analysis of a given rider, I think that it would be difficult to make individual prescriptions.
---at least I think its pretty obvious. If there are any mountain bikers with experience climbing steep dirt trails who disagree, they can weigh in.
I am talking about small-triple-ring-big cog steep.
Thinking about it some more: I can see that in theory, any combination of cadence would be possible.
One could use an extremely high gear and then control one's pedal force such that the torque at the rear wheel was always just sub-break-free".
But I think most people are able to produce less pedal force as pedal velocity (cadence) increases. So if you gear low enough, you are "self restricted" from breaking free. Whereas if you are just "consciously controlling your pedal force" then you have to sense the break-free and immediately back off a little, then increase the force again as traction is re-established; requiring more complex feedback control. Maybe some people are just much more neuromuscularly adept at that kind of control.
But we are getting off the original topic. My point was only that mountain bikes have an additional variable of "traction" that road bikers usually don't need to consider.
- Similar Topics
- Last post