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Newbie Questions (lingo)(15 posts)

Newbie Questions (lingo)SilentBob
Apr 21, 2002 5:12 PM
I just picked up a road bike a few months ago. I mountain biked a bit a few years back but nothing serious. BUT, I am serious about getting my ass in shape now and am looking to train pretty much all this year and then maybe start racing next season. I've been reading a lot of articles on the web (and in books) as well as posts on this site. But I have a few easy questions about terms that everyone seems to throw around here.

TT = Time Trial. Great, I know that. But what exactly is a 'Time Trial'? What's a Crit? What's the difference?

What about:
Spin Ups?
Kilo Training?

And what's with the whacky tire measurements? 700-23(622-23)???

Any other jargon I need to know??? Try to not to rip on me too much.
Thanx everyone, in advance.
I'll try to help you out...Wayne
Apr 22, 2002 9:22 AM
So you probably are familiar with your standard road race (typically contested over a loop of a couple miles to 20+ miles here in the states, almost never point to point) if you've watched the tour de France, etc. A crit is a road race contested over a short course, typically around a city block of about a mile or less, for about an hour. So lots of cornering and accelerating. For crits and road-races your time doesn't really matter, it's the order over the finish line that everyone cares about. A time-trial is you riding by yourself over a given course as fast as possible, it's illegal to draft another rider. Your finishing order is based on your time.
In road racing drafting is what determines almost everything that you need to know. Because drafting is significant, riders rarely roll to the front and just go hard and get away from the other riders. Consequently if you want to get away you attack, that is, accelerate rapidly and try to get a gap (another bit of jargon), so that the riders behind you can no longer benefit from drafting you and essentially have to ride at the same or higher power output to catch you. A jump is a rapid acceleration, so an attack is usually initiated with a jump, or maybe you just have to jump because the pace in the pack accelerates quickly, typically in crits you will be sprinting or jumping out of every corner.
Spin ups are a training technique and I think just involve being in an easy gear and rapidly increasing your rpms until your spinning as fast as possible. Kilo training probably refers to specific training that riders who are specialist at the 1 kilometer track race do. In other words, very short, high power intervals designed to maximize your glycolytic capacity, so you can go really fast for around a minute. Not something most road racers focus on.
Your standard roadbike wheel is 700cm in circumference (pretty sure its the circumference) and the standard tire is 23mm wide. You can get wider or narrower tire 19mm, 21mm, 25mm, etc. Sometimes smaller road bikes will have 650c wheels, mtn bike wheels are 26 inches.

Yes, there is a ton of jargon you will learn if you start racing. Furthermore, if you want to race I'd start now. Bike racing isn't like running where it just takes fitness to do well, you need to know what you're doing or your fitness will go largely wasted. Reading is great, but experience is the best teacher and you should learn stuff every race you do for the first couple of years.
That's a start.SilentBob
Apr 22, 2002 5:15 PM
Thanx for the help. Between work, reading posts here, reading up on nutrition, running, climbing, riding, and trying to hit the gym; my brain is on overload trying to pick up all this stuff. I figured a "jump" and an "attack" were what you described, but I thought I'd ask anyway. Thanx for explaing everything else though (particularly Crits & TTs). I just figured out what a "Cat" was not to long ago as well as advancement though the levels. The tire thing, I assumed 23mm for the tire width. The 700 (622) part I'm still a little confused on. I don't think it's the circumference. 700mm = 70cm = 27.6in which sounds like a diameter. Not sure though.

As for racing this season, I'd have to put some serious thought into it. Like I said, besides hoping on my trainer at 5:30am before I go to work, I'm running on the off days, climbing on the weekend, and I plan on getting my skinny ass to the gym; with all that, I'm not sure how far I can advance my riding skills. Seriously, I'd probably finish last. (And I don't think it'd be close.)

Anyway, I appreciate your insight and you taking the time to post a response to my retarded questions.

Thanx again.
Silent Bobshirt
Apr 22, 2002 7:21 PM
Mr. Bob,

I am impressed with your self-deprecating demeanor. You must understand that we are all quite elite cyclists here, and generally scoff at questions from the uninitiated. "What's a Cat?" Aha! Oh! Indeed. Since you clearly understand your place in the world, I will deign to offer my closely-shaved advice: stay out of the gym and use that time on the road.

And: 700c is the theoretical diameter of a road wheel including an inflated tire. It is a French standard, which should explain why it is neither accurate nor sensical. The actual diameter (including tire) is usually much less than 70cm, although long ago when balloon tires were standard 70cm was in the ballpark. I don't know what the actual diameter of a 700c rim is, but I bet a few seconds with a tape measure could yield informational results.

Your Servant,

Lord Shirt
not to be confused with 700b or a (nm)lonefrontranger
Apr 22, 2002 7:36 PM
Silent BobSilentBob
Apr 23, 2002 4:12 AM
For a servant, you sure do have a forked tongue. As for My "self-deprecating" demeanor... hey... I am what I am. I'm not one to lie to myself. I see reality, and that's it. There's no karma, no reason for things happening. Basically, crap happens and you have to deal with it b/c that's life. And somewhere in between all those piles of sh... poop, are tiny seconds of happiness. I just do my best to find them. That, and if you're alway on the bottom, the only place to go is up. Ha Ha!

Anyway... enough babbling. Thanx for the info. Ahh... yes the French. I won't even go there (particularly since I'm quarter French). As for measuring, being that you can't lay a tape measure flat across that diameter of the tire, an exact measurement (or at least a somewhat accurate one), is out of the question. Just a guesstimate. And in all reality, it's not that big of a deal, I just wanted to know what the heck THEIR measurements were of.

The gym... sorry God, er... Lord, the gym is great. Can't stay away. Besides, I think it has it's place in all workouts. Granted, I probably would be a better cyclist if I just stayed on my bike the whole time, but that's not me.

Thanx again for the info. It's much appreciated.
Apr 22, 2002 8:52 PM
700C is 700mm in diameter including this tire at full pressure. 622 is the actual diameter of the wheel in mm. I'm guessing they used to use 39 mm tires.
Beside increasing your aerobic capacity, I don't think running doesn't anything for biking. I remember when I used to swim and run with the school team. I hop on a bike and feel like crap very soon. Now I neglect running and swimming. So when I run or swim, I feel slow.
The reason...SilentBob
Apr 23, 2002 3:49 AM
...why I'd like to keep running, is b/c I'm a better runner than cyclist. Of course, I find running kinda boring and cycling fun so... who knows. Not sure where it leaves me. I appeciate both sports and would like to still do both; I guess that's my point. Thanx for the wheel explanation, particularly the (622) part which no one had commented on.

Thanx again.
Definitely Hit the RoadRoadracer
Apr 23, 2002 5:59 AM
SB, I don't know where you live, but here in the midwest (WI) we have citizen races all summer. They attract all levels and are an excellent place to get your feet wet. There is nothing like doing to learn and no point in waiting a year. Just relax and enjoy. Also I should mention century rides. They usually aren't real competitive though there will undoubtably be many unoffical competitions in any one ride, but they are an excellent training tool and a lot of fun. Just get out and do it.

Definitely Hit the RoadSilentBob
Apr 29, 2002 7:10 PM
Maybe I will. Why not, a ride is a ride. As long as I'm getting better. I just need to get my ass in gear and try to find time. Thanx for the post.
Run Forrest Run!allervite
Apr 23, 2002 3:42 PM
Keep running Bob. A lot of very good cyclists incorporate running into certain phases of their training: Udo Bolts did the Iron Man Triathlon last year; Lance Armstrong cites trail running in the winter as one of the reasons for his success.

Oh! and when they jump and you miss the break, don't go au bloc and blow. Get in the drops and chase the gap down without getting too far into oxygen debt. Or find a fast wheel and stay in the slip until you've been towed up to the race, then counter.
Run Forrest Run!SilentBob
Apr 29, 2002 7:15 PM
I think I'm going to try to do it all, if it's possible. (gym, ride, and run)

Oh, by the way... the lingo... I know you're trying to be funny but atleast define half of it b4 the end of your email.

What are "drops"? And someone else had mentioned, "riding from the hoods".

Thanx again all.
Not too funny!allervite
Apr 30, 2002 8:30 AM
Drops- are the lower hand position on your handlebars, they drop down and so do you to get to them.

Hoods- are the rubber cover on your brake levers.

Slip stream- Nuf said.

Fast wheel- a guy accelerating past you, one of the faster guys in the group.

Au bloc- French for "all out"

Here is a good one: High Side- To crash by flipping over while in a turn instead of just sliding out, falling down and sliding across the pavement. You are leaning hard in the turn, you start to slide, overcorrect, the bike sits up straight and just slams you into the pavement on the outside angle of the turn. Rare, but painfull.
Apr 30, 2002 7:07 PM
Nice. Can't wait to get my first case of road rash. Mtb trails are much easier on the skin.

Thanks for the info.
One more question. This time about racing...SilentBob
Apr 30, 2002 7:11 PM
At what level should I be b4 I start competing. I know someone posted that in Cat 5, some people there are just weekend riders, but still, I don't want my pride to get crushed. I've been training for the past two months. Nothing extreme. Just hour to hour and half rides in Zones 1 & 2. I don't really feel like I could compete but who knows. Just curious on everyone's take. I'm really interested in racing in the future so I want to make sure I train correctly so I haven't made any attempts at Interval training just yet. Anyway, all honest feedback is appreciated.

Thanx in advance.