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2011-10-16 2:48 PM
in reply to: #3725711

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Subject: RE: MASHing vs Spinning
agarose2000 - 2011-10-16 4:36 PM

Sounds like we're exactly on the same page, then. 80-110 is exactly what I'd expect. 60s is low, and even 70s seems pretty low for an typical overall cadence in a tri bike leg. I also agree training can acclimate you to higher cadences. 


Except it seems you believe in raising cadences for everyone where I don't believe in chasing a cadence or that 70 is a bad cadence.

I don't think Carmicheal's idea of higher cadence is just marketing fluff - it's in pretty much every cycling book he's written, regardless of what Lance is involved with. Whether you buy into his philosophies is a different story, and he's definitely not the be-all-end-all, but I'm not coming up with this out of the blue, and he's definitely one of the most respected cycling coaches on the planet.



I don't think his claims of cadence are marketing; his claims of coaching Lance are marketing.

As to your final line, he may be one of the best known cycling coaches but I wouldn't consider him one of the most respected cycling coaches.

Shane


2011-10-16 3:00 PM
in reply to: #3725717

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Subject: RE: MASHing vs Spinning

My last response here as we actually agree, but you're still intent on proving me wrong somehow.

- It's all about power, but I can definitely hit a higher power average with a higher cadence for my own personal 60 minute TT testing. Again, I suspect it's mostly likely due to better overall pacing, but it became apparent after doing these 60 min TT tests on my trainer. My old method of racing on the bike like I run, ended up with me mashing with higher overall speed for the first 15-20 mins, but a definite dropoff on the backend. I'm pretty sure this effect becomes more pronounced the longer I ride, but I don't have PowerTap numbers outdoors to prove it for myself.

 

- I can definitely put up slightly higher average power numbers on the trainer for 15-20 minutes with a mashlike low cadence of near 75, as compared to a high cadence of 95. At 105-110 cadence, my average power drops even more during those short intervals. However, as said, I can't sustain this for longer than that - it certainly feels like the limiting factor is my leg musculature for this type of workout, which gets fatigued after this type of effort.  For sprint tris though, I find myself closer to this lower cadence than the faster one above. I can speculate to no end about why this is true for me, but I do have big legs genetically (I leg press 1000+ pounds with no leg weightlifting and just have a basketball background) that may suggest why I can go faster mashing for short periods of time, but it's just speculative.

 

- I know there's a variety of opinions on this - I've seen wars waged on bike forums about this same issue, so it'll depend whose camp you're in. At least for me, I'm seeing real differences with cadence and race distance - even if you say 'it's all in my head', it's what's reliably coming up for me, and I think it wouldn't be wise for me to just ignore it.

2011-10-16 3:56 PM
in reply to: #3725732

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Subject: RE: MASHing vs Spinning
agarose2000 - 2011-10-16 5:00 PM

My last response here as we actually agree, but you're still intent on proving me wrong somehow.



I'm not intent on proving anyone wrong; you posted several things that were either gross generalizations or factually incorrect. I was simply trying to point those out to you or others who may be following the thread.

Shane
2011-10-16 6:54 PM
in reply to: #3725162

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Subject: RE: MASHing vs Spinning
I will keep it simple. As I ride more my cadnce seems to increase along with my fitness. I can definitely put down more power at lower cadence for short efforts and more power over long efforts at higher cadence. My legs feel better (less fatigue and chance of cramping) at higher cadence for anything over 1.2-2hrs. Of late I have been trying to increase my cadence to see what if anything I feel like over the ride. Jury is still out on this. Good luck with your testing as it is the only way you will find out what works for you
2011-10-16 7:32 PM
in reply to: #3725162

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Subject: RE: MASHing vs Spinning

For me, a higher cadence during the ride allows for a "fresher" feel to my legs when I run off the bike.

- Your results may vary.

2011-10-16 8:16 PM
in reply to: #3725732

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Subject: RE: MASHing vs Spinning
agarose2000 - 2011-10-16 3:00 PM 

- I can definitely put up slightly higher average power numbers on the trainer for 15-20 minutes with a mashlike low cadence of near 75, as compared to a high cadence of 95. At 105-110 cadence, my average power drops even more during those short intervals. However, as said, I can't sustain this for longer than that - it certainly feels like the limiting factor is my leg musculature for this type of workout, which gets fatigued after this type of effort.  For sprint tris though, I find myself closer to this lower cadence than the faster one above. I can speculate to no end about why this is true for me, but I do have big legs genetically (I leg press 1000+ pounds with no leg weightlifting and just have a basketball background) that may suggest why I can go faster mashing for short periods of time, but it's just speculative.

My leg strength has also shown to be rather strong for how I'm built and all it's been good for is short bursts.  Be it blast offs from the line, sprinting away from a pack (or after someone), or short hills.  It hasn't helped in anything that lasts more than a few minutes.  Aerobic ability begins to dominate from there on.  You gave an example of how you went up a hill pretty fast against some Cat 1 guys, matching or beating them.  Yet you also posted that you would have been off the back if it had lasted more than 45 seconds.

On my trainer (a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine), I also put out better power near 80 than at 95-100 rpm. This is due to the style of the resistance, it's like going against a mild hill.  This holds true for hill-climbing for me.  I do better on hills when I'm in the 80's, so that's what I do.  On the flats I do better up in the 90's, so that's what I do.  On rollers, however, I do better up in the 90's than in the 80's.  Different resistance.



2011-10-16 11:48 PM
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Subject: RE: MASHing vs Spinning
Oh geez, what a headache that was to try and understand.

So what I have learned from this thread is: Ride often and you will find your sweet spot, regardless of how big your legs are or what anyone says is the perfect number.

Thanks
2011-10-17 8:20 AM
in reply to: #3725162

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Subject: RE: MASHing vs Spinning

If you consider "mashing" to be averaging in the high 75-85 rpm area, mash away.  If it is lower than that, you are losing speed.

I am a recovering potato masher.  I now average in mid 80's.

The longer the distances that you bike, the more evident that your mashing ways are not effective.

2011-10-17 9:17 AM
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Subject: RE: MASHing vs Spinning
I would sugggest getting on a staionary bike (or ride a bike with a power meter) that displays wattage.  Try riding at various cadences until you find the one where you can maintain the highest wattage for a sustained effort, like 20 minutes, without your heart rate blowing up.  I think this can help you find your natural optimal cadence.  Ride your bike at that cadence and see how it feels and what mph rates you can hit for the same course under similar conditions.  Worked for me.
2011-10-17 10:23 AM
in reply to: #3726166

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Subject: RE: MASHing vs Spinning

RGonzalez - 2011-10-16 11:48 PM Oh geez, what a headache that was to try and understand. So what I have learned from this thread is: Ride often and you will find your sweet spot, regardless of how big your legs are or what anyone says is the perfect number. Thanks

I think you nailed it on this one.

Over time, if you pay attention to your power output/hr/whatever and your cadence, you will see that there is most likely a trend.

Think of it this way-For the same overall power output, you can mash or spin. Depending on your fitness  , training, etc, the sweet spot between mash and spin will be in a different place. If you have the type of muscles that can mash and survive, then mash!

I like to do intervals occasionally where I will switch between higher and lower cadence on different intervals to see how it feels. This can help give you some perspective I think.

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