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Hi, my name is John and i'm a masher..(18 posts)

Hi, my name is John and i'm a masher..Made in Taiwan
Jul 16, 2001 10:50 PM
just overhauled my bike (horn bar, bar end shifer w/ ultegra brake levers) and put on a CatEye Astrale w/ cadence function, and i've been noticing that i'm comfy at 75-88 rpm, am i a masher? i can spin up to 95-100 rpm, sort of comfy, but can't do it for long. am i spinning too low? how do i get my rpm up (i know i have to do it by spinning faster, but is there a "program")? thanks
I'm a masher, not sure you are ...Humma Hah
Jul 17, 2001 6:09 AM
I know I'm a masher because I use BMX platform pedals, not clipless or toe clips.

It is possible to be a masher using clipless or toe clips: put me on a track bike with toe clips and I still don't lift with my feet when pedaling (four decades of mashing does lead to a few bad habits). I suspect the majority of people with clipless pedals are closet mashers. It takes conscious effort to learn to truely "pedal circles", and serious racers do it.

RPM does not necessarily have much to do with it. Most people are most comfortable spinning in the 80 RPM range or a little higher. Usually, they used their gears to keep the spin in that range. Only the crazy fixies and singlespeeders push their spins over the 20-170 RPM range.
re: Hi, my name is John and i'm a masher..rtolle
Jul 17, 2001 6:12 AM
I was a masher and still am at times. I have really been working on circle pedeling (push and pull). It really saves on endurance and as your endurance increases you should be able to increase your cadence w/no problem. This is no "program" but it takes a bit of work to get used to and really seemed to help me become more effiecient.
I'm confused... <again> :-)Kristin
Jul 17, 2001 6:19 AM
I had read that mashing was the act of pedaling slowly (pushing in bigger gear) and that spinning was the act of pedaling faster (rotating faster in smaller gear). Did I misunderstand again?
Nope... you've got it.MrCelloBoy
Jul 17, 2001 7:40 AM
And some mashers don't WANT to learn to spin...My sweetie is a masher and I'm a spinner. Makes it interesting on the tandem! This is where the cadence function comes in handy!
Waitaminnit ...Humma Hah
Jul 17, 2001 3:51 PM
... I apologize if I've caused any confusion. However, I do believe "mashing" refers to using downward-only force on the pedals, regardless of RPM. It is possible to do this at very high speeds -- I've clocked my mashing at 160+.

"Slogging" would refer to very slow pedaling, which might well be using a full circular pedaling sytle.

"Spinning" would tend to indicate a healthy RPM, but 80 RPM is generally cited as a "normal" cruise spin.
You learn to spin by spinning........Len J
Jul 17, 2001 6:35 AM
But remember, it takes different types of muscles to spin vs. mash. You will be developing "fast-twitch" muscles. The way I changed from a Masher to a spinner was by consciously trying to increase my cadence week after week. My goal was to select gears that allowed me to keep my cadence 5 rpm faster than the previous week. Remember. you are working on form at the same time. I found that incrementing it by 10 caused me to bounce around and loose form. I also found that increased RPM's taxed my cardio system more. (There's an old adage "rest your legs by spinning faster, rest your lungs by spinning slower").

All in all I am a much stronger rider as a spinner than I ever was as a masher. I currently spin normally at 105 to 110 rpm & can sustain 110 to 115 for extended periods of time.

My .02.
and not by spinning........Dirk
Jul 17, 2001 7:46 AM
the schwinn, reebok BS, that is
not so sureColnagoFE
Jul 17, 2001 9:15 AM
the Schwinn Spinner simulates a fixed gear pretty well. It has helped my spin.
to learn to spinDog
Jul 17, 2001 7:53 AM
I've found two good ways to learn to spin. First, on rollers. They naturally require a smooth high cadence. Second, on long downhills, but not so steep that you must coast. Try spinning at 110-120 rpms for a 1/2 mile or so at a time.

You likely can make more horsepower, as opposed to torque, on a bike spinning. Also, it seems to have less impact on your legs. Does seem to require more oxygen, though (makes sense, as you're making more power).

and do it on a fixed gearxduffx
Jul 17, 2001 7:56 AM
Jul 17, 2001 8:00 AM
The hills are just too darn big around here. While I think that's a good idea for flat to rolling terrain, here one is challenged to not be geared out with an 11-21 cogset; vary from the main roads, and it requires even lower gears, with potential 55 mph descents. That would be some darn fast spinning. :-)

to learn to spincycleguy
Jul 17, 2001 6:49 PM
Another way is to ride a bike with a triple. Get in the granny and just spin and spin on a flat road. Spin as fast as you can till you begin to bounce around. Once a week at least. Also single leg drills are good. Someone once said, "float like a butterly, spin like a bee". Opps misquote. LOL But the principle still applies. Lite in the saddle and very fast revs!!
re: Hi, my name is John and i'm a masher..DINOSAUR
Jul 17, 2001 8:18 AM
Start by making sure that your KNOP is dialed in for a neutral position. A steep frame angle is better suited for cyclist such as our man Lane who pumps his legs up and down like pistions. This is where fit and geometry comes into play. I've found geometry is more important than your frame material or the name on the seat tube.
Translation Services Requested (nm)Kristin
Jul 17, 2001 8:33 AM
Translation Services Requested (nm)DINOSAUR
Jul 17, 2001 9:29 AM
Check out the new addition of Bicycling Magazine. I usually don't read it but they have a good article about dialing in your knee over pedal position (KNOP) on page 40. A couple of months ago a question popped up on the VeloNews forum regarding seat tube angles. A more forward position (like 74o on my Klein) is better suited for spinners and a neutral KNOP. A more relaxed angle is better suited for a 1-2cm back KNOP for low candence pedalers. Your seat tube angle should be considered in regards to your KNOP and your pedaling style. IMHO this is what I have discovered. I was riding with a neutral position and I changed to a 1cm back and it made a big difference.

Alas, I found out I favor a bike with a relaxed seat tube angle, and when I make my new bike purchase this will be the first consideration.

I.E. watch tapes of TDF today. Armstrong is a spinner Ulrich is a masher. Both ride with different geometry frames.

That's why when you see posts for riders considering a Klein or a LeMond, they are considering bikes with two different geometries. Klein's are more forward, LeMonds are more relaxed. They are two different animals. IMHO it's all about frame geometry, style, and your body geometry.

Hope this isn't overkill, I'm still learning also after not riding for about ten years.
Translation Services Requested (nm)Zag
Jul 18, 2001 5:45 AM
I have been wondering about the effect of seat tube angle for quite some time. It seems like you should be able to compensate for a steeper seat tube angle by moving the seat backwards a bit, or using a layed back seat post. That is assuming that the top tube is a bit shorter to compensate for the steeper seat tube, which seems to be the case most of the time. I am sure I am missing something here. What is it?
You can, but....DINOSAUR
Jul 18, 2001 9:07 AM
Yes, I've read that you can compensate for a steeper st angle by going to an offset seat post. You can also move the seat back but this is not recommended as it will change you knee over pedal setting.
I changed my KNOP to 1-2cm back and I moved away from the bars. I am more spread out now, I could go to a shorter stem, but it would mess up the balance of my bike. I guess the important thing is to get properly fitted when you make a purchase. I ride a 74 degree st angle, and have my seat set back, so things can work. However my next bike will have a more relaxed seat angle and I will be more comfortable. IMHO it took me about three years to discover what I liked as far as geometry. There was a big discussion on seat tube angles and pedaling styles on the VeloNews forum a couple of months ago. This is where I picked all this stuff up, it opened my eyes. This is why forums like this are godsends as you learn stuff from other cyclist and you can cut corners but learning from the experience of others. The Zinn book of Road Bike Maintenance has a chapter about fit, it's worth reading. When I got my bike finally dialed in, the difference was finishing a three hour ride feeling all beat up and tired, vs feeling like I could ride for another three hours (slow of course for a dinosaur).
Another thing I found is finding the right saddle that dials in with your bike. The length of the rails correspond to how you are positioned with the KNOP. I like saddles with long rails so I have a lot of room the play with. It makes all the difference in the world.
I never realized how a saddle could change your bike. Everything has to fit...