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What Gears Does Lance Use to Hill Climb in France?(14 posts)

What Gears Does Lance Use to Hill Climb in France?jose_Tex_mex
Jun 17, 2002 12:45 PM
Does Anyone know for sure what combination of chainring and casette lance uses when he spins his way up the Pyrennes?

I am just curious to know.
re: What Gears Does Lance Use to Hill Climb in France?cyclopathic
Jun 17, 2002 12:50 PM
I beleive he used custom 12-23 which had 22t in it.
I think you're rightDougSloan
Jun 17, 2002 12:57 PM
...with a 39 tooth chainring.

I think typically he uses an 11-21 or 23 and a 53/39 on the regular bike. Keep in mind that they might change these for any particular route.

21 sounds a bit severejose_Tex_mex
Jun 17, 2002 1:02 PM
True - he's Lance Armstrong, but a 21 or 23 in to the Armorican Fold Mountains of Southern France sounds really extreme. Also, he's spinning. I just cannot imagine him spinning at 90 rpm's up the steepest hills in a 21 or 23.
is it that steep?cyclopathic
Jun 17, 2002 1:18 PM
the profiles I've seen don't indicate extreme grades. I believe the steepest is ~16% and it is not sustained. Sustained steepest grade is ~10.5%, usually 7-9%.

to climb 10% in 39/23 @80RPM you need ~380wt, and Lance can surely put out more.

I think the lowest Giro riders used was 25.
Jun 17, 2002 1:34 PM
I meant for the non-mountains stages.

Keeping in mind, though, that Lance makes over 500 watts for long periods of time. He's probably climbing around 15 mph where most of us would be at half that. What gear would we use for 15 mph?

LA's power output and cadenceTig
Jun 17, 2002 3:14 PM
From chapter 5, "High-Cadence Pedaling", of Fred Matheny's new eBook, "Supercharge Your Training". He warns you NOT to copy the fast-spinning technique popularized by Lance Armstrong -- unless you determine that it's your most efficient style.


For perspective on this issue, I talked with Allen Lim, the
doctoral candidate at the University of Colorado who has
been studying power output in cyclists. As a result of his
studies, he has formulated what might be termed Lim's Law:

"A fast spin isn't a technique for producing power. It's a
result of having power."

In other words, Lance doesn't spin fast in order to increase
his wattage at a given heart rate. Instead, he spins fast
because he has so much power that he can afford to ride at a
faster cadence, thus sparing his leg muscles and
transferring the strain to his cardiovascular system. It's
an important distinction.

The heart muscle doesn't fatigue like leg muscles do.
Spinning fast on early climbs in a long race means that
Lance has plenty of leg power left when it's needed near the

To restate Lim's Law, fast pedaling isn't a training
technique to help you gain power, it's a byproduct of being

Jonathan Vaughters agrees. As a former teammate of
Armstrong's and now a Tour de France competitor, he has
watched the Texan's pedal stroke up close and personal.

Says Vaughters, "Lance doesn't pedal any faster than other
riders when he's in the pack. He only pedals a very high rpm
when he's going hard. He does it because he produces more
power than anyone else."
In interview last year...biknben
Jun 17, 2002 1:00 PM
He said he had a 23t but wished he had a 22t.

I guess he wanted a cadence of 120 instead of 125 RPM.
he wished for it on Alpe d’Huezcyclopathic
Jun 17, 2002 1:22 PM
and he got it for next stage, I remember reading the interview with Postal mechanic.
Jun 17, 2002 12:55 PM
I heard Phil Leggett comment about the "extremely low gears" the posties were using during last years TDF...
That sounds about right. 39 up front I supposejose_Tex_mex
Jun 17, 2002 12:58 PM
I guess he's using 39 up front.
Gonna Do Some Mathjose_Tex_mex
Jun 17, 2002 1:06 PM
So let's do some Math and guesstimate. If we consider his average speed to be 17mph in the hills - is that safe?
I am going to check my flight deck to see what gear ranges would result in a cadence of 90 - 120 given a speed of 17mph.

Sound right?
From LA's web siteDCP
Jun 17, 2002 1:45 PM
"His usual rear gearing is 11-21 but sometimes he'll go 11-23 depending upon the difficulty - in training it's 12-25 and it's always a 53/39 up front."

God! What a monster!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! nmspyderman
Jun 17, 2002 10:56 PM