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What is the difference between a masher/spinner(10 posts)

What is the difference between a masher/spinnerjw
Mar 5, 2002 7:49 PM
Going through post I see the term masher/spinner used often.
Could some one please enlighten to the what constitutes being one or the other. I get the impression that being a spinner is probably more favorable than being a masher. Is this true??? Thanks
Mar 5, 2002 7:53 PM
A "Masher" uses muscle force to push big gears at a cadence.

A "Spinner" cranks fast and in a lower gear.

Try both and be well rounded.


Mar 5, 2002 8:03 PM
Ahisma is right. Some people are just more comfortable with one pedalling style over the other. Like with Lance Armstrong and Jan Ullrich. Lance spins at a higher cadence than most everyone else. Jan tends to push a bigger gear with a slower cadence.

Typically, good climbers are spinners, and the riders who are faster in the flat and rolling sections tend to mash.

Keep in mind that this is not always the case though. Try both and see what works best for you.

Mar 5, 2002 8:15 PM
Just reread that post and my suspicions were correct...rather than posting a simple reply, I posted a simpletons reply.

Try again shall we?

Masher- Tending toward a strong muscular push of a tall gear like a 53/11. Realy cranking hard at that big gear. Using lots of leg.

Stereotype: Big strong guys will tow you for miles with this technique.

Spinner- Tending to "spin" a smaller gear at a relatively rapid cadence to produce a very efficient balance of cadence and heart rate. They say Lance is a "spinner".

Stereotype: Lighter folks will spin you to death when the climbs begin leaving you dropped and wondering how their legs could move so fast.

Not sure if this version is any better. I'll quit while I'm ahead.

A. (Who is burned out and should probably not post anymore today. So he won't. Good-bye.)
Mashers have buggered knees....DannyBoy
Mar 6, 2002 4:43 AM
The way these guys have described it is correct.

Having done both (I used to Mash big gears in TT's as a lad) I'd recommend spinning.

I'm just getting back into regular riding and realised I can go almost as fast as I used to, much much easier in an easier gear, but at a higher rpm.

Long term I think spinning takes less of a toll on the old joints etc etc. an't believe at 16 I used to push 52 x12 up and down the motorway on the regular saturday 25's. Probably has a lot to do with why I was at the physio and podiatrist today!!!
Hey, I thought this was a cycling forum?tarwheel
Mar 6, 2002 4:53 AM
A masher is used to cream potatoes.

A spinner is used to remove water from lettuce when making salads.

Now what does this have to do with cycling?
re: What is the difference between a masher/spinnermackgoo
Mar 6, 2002 10:00 AM
Jan Urlich VS Lance Armstrong.
re: What is the difference between a masher/spinnerDINOSAUR
Mar 6, 2002 10:59 AM
When the pros refer to a "Masher" they are talking about someone who spins the cranks around 90smp. Armstrong is considered a "Spinner" at 110spm. I think of myself as a spinner but I'm probably a masher compared to the way the pros ride....
re: What is the difference between a masher/spinnerguido
Mar 6, 2002 9:24 PM
It has always been my belief that at about 90 rpm one can no longer simply jab down on the pedals using the quad muscles only, the technique of the true masher. A true masher is lazy. He concentrates solely on the legs to keep him going, and pedals below 90 rpm most of the time. At about 90 rpm, the heart and lung start to get taxed, and the masher slows down, or upshifts. Inertial force of the crank going around starts to carry the legs, which at first have to keep up, at relatively low muscle contractions, the spinner's technique. Eventually, the spinner can use the muscles all over his legs and butt to power the crank around at 90 rpms or higher, in large gears at high speeds. An experienced masher may be able to do this at low rpms, but only after he's learned it by pedaling rapid cadences, "staying on top of the gear."

As Ahimsa said, its great to know how to do both. As all the gurus I've read have said, start with a good spin, then you will be able to power a large gear without "mashing," that is, putting all the pressure on the knees.
re: What is the difference between a masher/spinnerDINOSAUR
Mar 7, 2002 9:24 AM
I was watching an old tape from the '91 TDF. It had a clip showing Greg Lemond from behind. He rode with his saddle slammed all the way back, got down low and you could see the noticable pulling back at the bottom of the pedal stroke. I think you would consider Greg a "masher".

Funny, as I forgot who won that year. First time I had seen the tape since the actual race. It was Indurain, Greg came in 7th and later found out he was ill.