Thread: Flying 200s
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Old 02-24-20, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Super D View Post
Reporting back, in case any of this is of interest to anyone other than myself.

I've been rehabbing a hip issue, and gearing down seemed like a good measure to take some pressure off, so I've been running a 56/16 the past two weekends in practice sessions. Feels great, much easier on my hip. Matter of fact, I'm not feeling any significant pain while riding the track bike now, only when walking...which is great, it only hurts when I walk. That's like when I've had broken ribs, and someone asked, "Does it hurt much?" and I'd say, "No, only when I breathe."

Anyway...The interesting thing is that I'm running 136-137 rpm (max) in the 200 training runs, higher than I thought I was able to. It feels like I'm maxed out on cadence in this gearing, but perhaps that's just because I'm in experienced and need to work on smoothness and what I would call foot speed. (I hear people talk about leg speed, but in my mind, I'm visualizing food speed.) I wonder when it makes sense to go one tooth smaller in the rear, are there any general guidelines? For example, if I can raise my max rpm in this gear up to 140, would that indicate an improvement in mechanics, at which time, moving to a smaller cog would be reasonable, because I'd bring better spinning technique to the table to get the most out of that next heavier gear?

I'm trying to apply some logic and goal-setting to working my way into heavier gearing little by little. I sort of rushed into it in the Fall, and that's certainly what contributed to firing up my injured hip. The combination of lack of diligent training, lack of strength to turn the heavier (56/14) gear set efficiently, and lack of spinning technique all culminated in imparting serious torque into my hip joint instead of distributing the workload over the muscle groups surrounding it. Good lesson learned. And it's now forced me to learn how to become a better spinner, so I feel fortunate; I'm taking a step back to learn important fundamentals which I wasn't necessarily putting enough time or focus into.

If I can establish a sensible goal for improving spinning technique, and reach it in some basic, recognizable way, I'll move from the 56/16 to the 56/15, and then 14, with the ultimate goal of trying the 13 without blasting my hip apart. The objective is to hit 120 rpm in the flying 200 in that gear sometime later this year. Not convinced that's possible, but I'm going to work toward it and we'll see what happens.
Hey SuperD,

The Internet bought me here randomly so I thought Id reply.

Essentially the training youre doing ie spinning a small gear is what juniors do (because they have restricted gearing), which is fantastic to build leg speed. Sprinters will always include this in their training at all levels. I dont know how it is where you train but European and Australian sprinters typically do what is know as a woosh flying 50m entry on something like 81 at the beginning of every sprint track session. Typically hitting a cadence of 160+rpm.

I think you should be able to hit a similar rpm, unless you feel you hip limits you from such a high rpm? Another great way to work on this is through rev outs on rollers which accelerate this development.

regarding increasing the gear.. as said above just go up 2 (one tooth in the front) each effort, you should get faster by 0.1/0.2 with each increase when you reach the point a gear doesnt make you increase your speed hold it there to work on your strength and power.

Additionally, I noted you were having trouble with your position. Sprinters normally have very large/long TT bikes to get the aero position required, which is possible because you only hold the position for at max 2 mins.. Im 60 and have a 61 BT with a 140mm stem and bars with a lot of reach.. about 3.75 more than my road bike.. excluding get a new bike, which I see other noted. new sprint bars will give you another 3cm 1.25, typically globally different countries favour different bars UK Alpina, Australia BT, which could be hard to find in the US.. 3T Scatto bars in 35 or 37cm are pretty common globally thats what I would recommend you look for.. they will also give you more drop. Additionally, on eBay you can find titanium stems from China which go from 150mm to 190mm for $100.. your bike wont be UCI legal ( front point of your handlebars will be further than 10cm past the centre of your front wheel) but your position will be much better like you have a bigger bike..

I hope that helps
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