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I think I've finally got it...(4 posts)

I think I've finally got it...joekm
Jan 20, 2003 11:07 AM
I may have finally make a breakthrough regarding getting my cadence up. I just tried gearing down as suggested to me in this forum and discovered that I really struggle to balance the bike on the rollers in 53/21 at 16 mph. Most likely a problem with my pedal smoothness but, nonetheless, I was wasting too much energy manhandling the bike at that setting.

Today, I tried something different. I started in 53/17 at 16 mph and every mile I ramped up by 1 mph. A little ways into 21 mph I crossed my pre-determined shut-off point of 180 bpm (I'm nearly 38 so I figured this was a safe cut-off). I then spun 16-17 mph for a little over a mile, got off the bike, and waited for my HR to fall into zone II.

I then got back on the bike and just spun a comfortable speed without looking at the computer. I focused only on getting a smooth pedal stroke.

...then it happened...

I found a "sweet spot" where the pedal force seemed to get very light. If I went much slower or faster, I could feel the pressure on my shoes increase. It also became apparant that, up till now, I was depending on that pressure to help me feel stable on the bike. Now, it just felt like I was gliding.

I looked at the bike computer and discovered that I was running a speed and HR comparable to what I would be running if I were mashing 53/11.

I spent the remainder of the session playing around with it, trying to "dial-in" my best cadence. For me, this seems to be hovering around the low to mid 80's but there were periods where I was spinning with relative comfort in the low 90's (which was nearly 23 mph).

It will take a few more sessions to really get it nailed, but I'd call this a breakthrough, or at least encouraging.
What kind of roller setup do you have? nm.amflyer
Jan 20, 2003 11:14 AM
What kind of roller setup do you have? nm.joekm
Jan 20, 2003 11:27 AM
Older set of folding CycleOps I got from eBay. Probably 4" diameter PVC if that is what you mean.
learning to really spin on the rollers is harder than youd thinkcollinsc
Jan 20, 2003 12:04 PM
you do need to gear down, but if you are on the low end of the cadence charts, gearing down slows you down too. on rollers you need the wheel speed to help keep you up. but that means you need to push a higher gear, which is exactly what you dont want to do.

spinning smoothly with little to no resistance is not easy. it takes a lot of practice and finesse. I think youve discovered the right approach though. good luck.