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Cadence...(7 posts)

Cadence...Ron B
Jul 27, 2001 11:38 AM
O.K. here is another topic of discussion I've been wondering about.

The last two years Lance has dominated the Tour de France with a high cadence that seems to work well for him. Knowing the way that people follow trends these days when it comes to winning, why have we not seen a major shift in the cadence of the rest of the peleton? Many of them seem to plod along trying to push a big gear when the going gets fast instead of spinning at a high cadence like lance.

I know for most of them it would require re-learning their pedal stroke or just concentrating on spinning faster and incorporating it into their daily training. I know it can be done after watching Lance and doing so to my own pedal stroke (went from a 75 rpm masher to a 90-100 rpm spinner).

When do you think we will see a switch to a higher cadence in the peleton, especially in time trials and climbing?
Physiology also plays a part...Cima Coppi
Jul 27, 2001 12:16 PM
For some riders, mashing big gears suits there type of muscle mass, where as for others they can spin relentlessly for long amounts of time. Its the fast twitch vs. slow twitch muscle domination in the body that dictates this. I think we will not too many pros changing there pedaling style simply because their physiology will prohibit them from doing so.

Spinning is not for everyone.

I agree and disagree...Ron B
Jul 27, 2001 12:53 PM
I do agree that physiology does play a part in pedaling style but it is not a limiting factor, nor the most important. If you look at me (not that I'm a good example) I probably should not spin like I do, but I'm a faster more effecint rider because of it. I am a very big (260 pounds) and strong rider (have squated over 650 pounds before) and probably should be pushing larger gears, but I am faster and more effecient spinning smaller gears.

Lance used to be a biger gear rider but through the counseling of former tour winners, his coach and his director he changed his style from mashing to spinning.

It's kind of like the misconseption that if you are a spinner you should run smaller crank arms in the 170mm to 172.5 range, and if you are a masher you should run 175mm + crank arms. Lance actually uses 175mm cranks and spins them at a very high cadence.

To me psychology plays a bigger part in pedaling style and physiology.

Also you have to look at what is winning and what isn't winning. If you are falling behind mashing big gears then you need to try something different. In this case pick up the temp for a year and see how it works. What do you have to loose? Not much if you are currently not winning.

In all reality it amazes me that Lance is the only one spinning such a high cadence on the hills at this point in time. In the pack you see most of them spinning along at fairly high cadences but when the hammer drops or they hit the mountains you see bigger gears and slower RPM's.

My guess is that you will see more spinners next year since Lance has proven it is a worthy technique to use, especially in multi-day races.
I agree and disagree...Just riding
Jul 27, 2001 1:46 PM
I would say that the European riders are stuck in their tradional ways from years ago. Even though there was a rider from way back that did win the tour by spinning. Spinning is definitely a higher aerobic fitness level. The real chief to talk to on this is Chris C. He should know.
I agree and disagree...AD14
Jul 27, 2001 5:01 PM
Spinning is a way to exploit a higher aerobic fitness level. Lance has always had a high vo2 max.
Still thinking about it... so conservative!Guillermo
Jul 27, 2001 6:05 PM
It's hard to get people get people in general to accept a new method (whether it be training or anything else) right away.

Maybe the racers should speed up their mental break-in to LA's new great method.
spinning lives!guido
Aug 9, 2001 7:05 PM
Pedaling fast with slow twich muscle fibers is not new. Look at the legs of Fausto Coppi and Eddy Merckx, and notice Lance's legs look leaner this year than before his bout with cancer. Slow twich are endurance fibers. They can keep going like the Eveready Bunny, while fast twich fibers, the ones that bulk up nicely and make the legs look awesome, produce a powerful sprint but have to recover before doing it again. Will a pit bull catch a greyhound? I doubt it.

The average untrained person has about equal fast and slow twich fibers. Weight lifting stimulates the fast twich fibers to grow. Cycling long distances in moderate gears, spinning, stimulates slow twich fibers. Great road racers have about 90 percent slow twich and 10 percent fast twich in their legs, sprinters have more fast twich and less slow twich, track specialists even more fast twich. The more you train fast twich, the less slow twich you have and vice versa. As speed (fast twich) goes up, endurance goes down (slow twich). That's old knowledge. Read Eddie B., Hinault-Genzling, Peter Konopka. They all say it.