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What Sort of Gearing Works Best for your Needs?

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What Sort of Gearing Works Best for your Needs?

Old 10-23-21, 05:21 AM
  #251  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
This tracks.

I really think it's a genetic thing. I'm an outlier in being able to apply high torque repeatedly over long rides, so I play to my strength, literally.

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Old 10-23-21, 05:25 AM
  #252  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
For pavement riding on flat and rolling terrain I use fixed gear with 44 x 16 gear ratio and 700 x 32 mm tires
For gravel riding I use singlespeed with 42 x 18 gear ratio and 700 x 45 mm tires
For mountain biking on technical and hilly singletrack I use a singlespeed MTB with 36 x 18 gear ratio and 26 x 2.35 tires.

I think a lot of my habits come from growing up primarily on single speed. I never think in terms of ideal cadence.
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Old 10-23-21, 07:12 AM
  #253  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I ride in lower gears, especially in a headwind, and I'll actually spin a low gear going uphill. I'm just fastest in the 53x11 on the flat. Mostly, though, I just find spinning a lower gear tedious. There's a certain sense of power I experience pushing a high gear that I just can't duplicate in lower gears. The great distance covered with a single turn almost feels like a super power. Also, I can accelerate like crazy a few gears below and shift up rapidly.

I've measured it a lot, I'm 1 mph or better faster in the highest gear than I am in any other.
That sense of power is actually your sense of torque. Power = Torque x Cadence so for any given power you will feel more force/torque at the pedals at a lower cadence.
But if you are 1 mph faster in your highest gear than any other then it means that you can't spin your legs any faster at a slightly lower torque to make up the same power. What makes you unique is that most people can comfortably generate more power at say 80-90 rpm vs 50-60 rpm.
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Old 10-24-21, 05:19 AM
  #254  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
That sense of power is actually your sense of torque. Power = Torque x Cadence so for any given power you will feel more force/torque at the pedals at a lower cadence.
But if you are 1 mph faster in your highest gear than any other then it means that you can't spin your legs any faster at a slightly lower torque to make up the same power. What makes you unique is that most people can comfortably generate more power at say 80-90 rpm vs 50-60 rpm.

From my perspective, you have this backwards. Most people spin a lower gear because they can't push the big one. Most people also don't have anywhere near the endurance I have and I believe I'm about as fast as I can expect to be at my age and weight. I'm cruising in the flat between 20 and 24 mph. RPMs are costly from a CV standpoint, and that represents wasted energy. I don't know why I'd want to pedal more to produce the same result, but I'm sure it would adversely affect my endurance.

That sense of power is my emotional response to my ability to apply a lot of torque. In essence, you asked me what happens when I try to ride without applying so much torque. I lose that sense of power and riding seems dull, mechanical, and uninspiring. I'm not sure I can convey why this occurs except to say being able to get a really big burst of speed by just pedaling 1-2 rpm faster in the high gear is instantly exhilarating and I'm not close to being able to duplicate that by rapidly drastically increasing my rpms in a lower gear. I know there are people who do, I'm never going to be one of them.

I'm going to bow out of any more discussion of this on this thread. Suffice it to say that my general strategy is to apply maximum torque on each rpm and obviously, that strategy is less effective in lower gears. You are so immersed in a strategy of maintaining a cadence that that seems weird, where I care so little about my cadence that I've never measured it.
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Old 10-24-21, 07:40 AM
  #255  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
From my perspective, you have this backwards. Most people spin a lower gear because they can't push the big one. Most people also don't have anywhere near the endurance I have and I believe I'm about as fast as I can expect to be at my age and weight. I'm cruising in the flat between 20 and 24 mph. RPMs are costly from a CV standpoint, and that represents wasted energy. I don't know why I'd want to pedal more to produce the same result, but I'm sure it would adversely affect my endurance.

That sense of power is my emotional response to my ability to apply a lot of torque. In essence, you asked me what happens when I try to ride without applying so much torque. I lose that sense of power and riding seems dull, mechanical, and uninspiring. I'm not sure I can convey why this occurs except to say being able to get a really big burst of speed by just pedaling 1-2 rpm faster in the high gear is instantly exhilarating and I'm not close to being able to duplicate that by rapidly drastically increasing my rpms in a lower gear. I know there are people who do, I'm never going to be one of them.

I'm going to bow out of any more discussion of this on this thread. Suffice it to say that my general strategy is to apply maximum torque on each rpm and obviously, that strategy is less effective in lower gears. You are so immersed in a strategy of maintaining a cadence that that seems weird, where I care so little about my cadence that I've never measured it.
Luckily, your perspective is only yours and thats that. I'm sorry, but you are speaking such complete nonsense.

your ability not to spin fast is likely due to a wrong crank arm size and/or not a very smooth bottom bracket. Guaranteed you can make more torque at a higher cadence (ie. Generate much more power, more efficiently)
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Old 10-24-21, 08:10 AM
  #256  
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
Luckily, your perspective is only yours and thats that. I'm sorry, but you are speaking such complete nonsense.

your ability not to spin fast is likely due to a wrong crank arm size and/or not a very smooth bottom bracket. Guaranteed you can make more torque at a higher cadence (ie. Generate much more power, more efficiently)
Sorry, but you literally have no basis for that and like I said, I have absolutely no reason to respect your opinion. You clearly know nothing about physiology or distance riding. But thanks for pretending you know more about me than I do.

I believe I could train myself up to be a mediocre spinner if that's what I wanted to do. I'd rather be a very good masher. Mashing is more, not less, efficient than spinning. When you can do 168 miles in a day, get back to me. Nothing in your post history indicates you have anything to teach me.

Arguing with you is not worth my time, so post whatever nonsense assertion about crank arms you want. I'm not even going to read it.
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Old 10-24-21, 08:31 AM
  #257  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Sorry, but you literally have no basis for that and like I said, I have absolutely no reason to respect your opinion. You clearly know nothing about physiology or distance riding. But thanks for pretending you know more about me than I do.

I believe I could train myself up to be a mediocre spinner if that's what I wanted to do. I'd rather be a very good masher. Mashing is more, not less, efficient than spinning. When you can do 168 miles in a day, get back to me. Nothing in your post history indicates you have anything to teach me.

Arguing with you is not worth my time, so post whatever nonsense assertion about crank arms you want. I'm not even going to read it.
What is your average cadence?
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Old 10-24-21, 08:52 AM
  #258  
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My basis would be quite literally all of bike forums convincing me in a unified manner that spinning is more efficient until I tried it myself and adapted my cadence style. I tend to ride in a style that mixes between the two, but can spin close to 120rpm for short bursts. This is by far the most power I can produce (up to about 465 watts) ,

Baby spins at 60 rpm is either for old men or for warming up.
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Old 10-24-21, 08:58 AM
  #259  
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
Luckily, your perspective is only yours and thats that. I'm sorry, but you are speaking such complete nonsense.

your ability not to spin fast is likely due to a wrong crank arm size and/or not a very smooth bottom bracket. Guaranteed you can make more torque at a higher cadence (ie. Generate much more power, more efficiently)
I think you've got torque and power mixed up, there. Torque is a measure of force, Power is force over time (work, roughly). You can make the same amount of power by applying lots of torque at low rpm, or lower torque at high rpm.

Everybody's physiology is a little different, and as such, has different strengths and weaknesses.

Some of us. Like LDL, and myself are better suited/trained/adapted to applying higher torque at lower cadence. For most people, it seems to be easier to go the other way.
When you get someone who can do both big power and high speed, you get someone like Mercx, Boardman, or Indurain very few people fall into that category.

Spinning faster has nothing to do with crank size. If I rode the kind of cranks you think you need, I'd look like The Ministry of Silly Walks
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Old 10-24-21, 09:25 AM
  #260  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
From my perspective, you have this backwards. Most people spin a lower gear because they can't push the big one. Most people also don't have anywhere near the endurance I have and I believe I'm about as fast as I can expect to be at my age and weight. I'm cruising in the flat between 20 and 24 mph. RPMs are costly from a CV standpoint, and that represents wasted energy. I don't know why I'd want to pedal more to produce the same result, but I'm sure it would adversely affect my endurance.

That sense of power is my emotional response to my ability to apply a lot of torque. In essence, you asked me what happens when I try to ride without applying so much torque. I lose that sense of power and riding seems dull, mechanical, and uninspiring. I'm not sure I can convey why this occurs except to say being able to get a really big burst of speed by just pedaling 1-2 rpm faster in the high gear is instantly exhilarating and I'm not close to being able to duplicate that by rapidly drastically increasing my rpms in a lower gear. I know there are people who do, I'm never going to be one of them.

I'm going to bow out of any more discussion of this on this thread. Suffice it to say that my general strategy is to apply maximum torque on each rpm and obviously, that strategy is less effective in lower gears. You are so immersed in a strategy of maintaining a cadence that that seems weird, where I care so little about my cadence that I've never measured it.
It's all good. You obviously like to push big torque at a very low cadence. You are riding for pleasure, so there's no reason to change. But I just find it interesting as you are so far away from even a conventional "masher". Most people (as in pretty much everyone else) would find your cadence painful. 24 mph in your 53/11 is just over 60 rpm and at 20 mph it is around 51 rpm!

As for people spinning a lower gear because they can't push a big one is not quite right either. What most people do (including you) is ride at a cadence that feels comfortable for them. The only difference is that most people prefer a cadence in the 70-90 rpm range and it's the faster guys who tend to ride at a higher cadence.
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Old 10-25-21, 04:44 AM
  #261  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
24 mph in your 53/11 is just over 60 rpm and at 20 mph it is around 51 rpm!

.
You're missing the point, that's a feature, not a bug.

I find the notion that a slow cadence is painful in and of itself ridiculous.
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Old 10-25-21, 06:41 AM
  #262  
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Just my pet theory: larger, heavier muscle bound cyclists would prefer a slower cadence?
While, slimmer, lighter cyclists prefer a higher cadence?

I'm 6'2" 200 lbs and 80 rpm seems to be my sweet spot.
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Old 10-25-21, 08:00 AM
  #263  
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR View Post
Just my pet theory: larger, heavier muscle bound cyclists would prefer a slower cadence?
While, slimmer, lighter cyclists prefer a higher cadence?

I'm 6'2" 200 lbs and 80 rpm seems to be my sweet spot.

Yup, my preferred slow cadence and my ability to generate big torque are both caused by the same source--big heavy leg muscles.
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Old 10-25-21, 08:39 AM
  #264  
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR View Post
Just my pet theory: larger, heavier muscle bound cyclists would prefer a slower cadence?
While, slimmer, lighter cyclists prefer a higher cadence?

I'm 6'2" 200 lbs and 80 rpm seems to be my sweet spot.
I read all this talk about 90 rpm being a good cadence for cyclist, Yet I see all the time road cyclist speeding along while riding my comfort bike at a cadence barely faster then my 70 rpm (in a lower gear) much closer to your preferred cadence of 80 rpm.

Also at 200 lbs at 6' 2" your bmi of 24.3 using the new bmi scale is by no means high. The new bmi scale more accurately represents a healthy weight for tall and shorter people. "They" suggest a bmi of 25 - 27 for seniors over 65, While to 25 is normal for other folks.

I worked with a middle aged man 6' 4" tall and 280 lbs, that's a bmi of 32. He road his bike to work 10 miles each way 6 days a week, even in the winter. When they checked his pulse and blood pressure they were going to call an ambulance both were that low. I don't know what his cadence was, but I'm sure he didn't need 90 rpm for good power.

I saw him riding in my neighborhood where he lived and thought to myself, My God these high school kids are big today, until I recognized him. Quite a sight seeing a 280 lb 6' 4" man on a skinny road bike, Which he pretty much destroyed in 1 year.
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Old 10-25-21, 09:38 AM
  #265  
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Originally Posted by xroadcharlie View Post
I read all this talk about 90 rpm being a good cadence for cyclist, Yet I see all the time road cyclist speeding along while riding my comfort bike at a cadence barely faster then my 70 rpm (in a lower gear) much closer to your preferred cadence of 80 rpm.

Also at 200 lbs at 6' 2" your bmi of 24.3 using the new bmi scale is by no means high. The new bmi scale more accurately represents a healthy weight for tall and shorter people. "They" suggest a bmi of 25 - 27 for seniors over 65, While to 25 is normal for other folks.

I worked with a middle aged man 6' 4" tall and 280 lbs, that's a bmi of 32. He road his bike to work 10 miles each way 6 days a week, even in the winter. When they checked his pulse and blood pressure they were going to call an ambulance both were that low. I don't know what his cadence was, but I'm sure he didn't need 90 rpm for good power.

I saw him riding in my neighborhood where he lived and thought to myself, My God these high school kids are big today, until I recognized him. Quite a sight seeing a 280 lb 6' 4" man on a skinny road bike, Which he pretty much destroyed in 1 year.
The new BMI scale appears to set a pretty low bar for fitness.
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Old 10-25-21, 09:41 AM
  #266  
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Originally Posted by xroadcharlie View Post
I read all this talk about 90 rpm being a good cadence for cyclist
The 90 rpm figure is a rough average of competitive cyclists preferred cadence. It doesn't really apply to people casually riding along. 70-80 rpm is more normal for average people JRA.
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Old 10-25-21, 09:48 AM
  #267  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
You're missing the point, that's a feature, not a bug.

I find the notion that a slow cadence is painful in and of itself ridiculous.
I know you find it ridiculous. But for most people that sort of cadence and torque, riding at those speeds (24 mph requires 350W for a 200 lb rider on the flat with no headwind) would likely lead to excessive joint stress. It clearly works for you, but what I'm saying is far from ridiculous. Riding at low cadence and low torque is a different matter. Obviously that is not painful - just slow!
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Old 10-25-21, 09:56 AM
  #268  
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR View Post
Just my pet theory: larger, heavier muscle bound cyclists would prefer a slower cadence?
While, slimmer, lighter cyclists prefer a higher cadence?
A lot of professional cyclists have big legs -- they don't seem to prefer a slower cadence.
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Old 10-25-21, 10:00 AM
  #269  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
The new BMI scale appears to set a pretty low bar for fitness.
I guess it all depends what you mean by fitness?

For example, an NFL running back at 5'10" 220 lbs BMI 31.4 with the NFL average for body fat % (RB'S) of 11.8 would be considered obese by the BMI.
Without looking at musculature and bone frame, BMI seems to compare apples to oranges. That is, BMI perhaps is OK to use for average people but does not accurately depict muscular athletes.
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Old 10-25-21, 10:09 AM
  #270  
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
A lot of professional cyclists have big legs -- they don't seem to prefer a slower cadence.
Thread is all over the place anyway, so just for fun: "Cadence much lower now, down to around 120-125rpm vs 150rpm in the 'old days'. Biomechanically more efficient." Sir Chris Hoy (who has 'big legs').

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Old 10-25-21, 10:15 AM
  #271  
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Originally Posted by badger1 View Post
Thread is all over the place anyway, so just for fun: "Cadence much lower now, down to around 120-125rpm vs 150rpm in the 'old days'. Biomechanically more efficient." Sir Chris Hoy (who has 'big legs').
125 RPM is "the new slow."
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Old 10-25-21, 10:33 AM
  #272  
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
125 RPM is "the new slow."
Indeed!
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Old 10-25-21, 10:57 AM
  #273  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
I know you find it ridiculous. But for most people that sort of cadence and torque, riding at those speeds (24 mph requires 350W for a 200 lb rider on the flat with no headwind) would likely lead to excessive joint stress. It clearly works for you, but what I'm saying is far from ridiculous. Riding at low cadence and low torque is a different matter. Obviously that is not painful - just slow!
Here's what I was responding to--"Most people (as in pretty much everyone else) would find your cadence painful". If all you're saying the real issue is most people can't apply torque like I do, I said that already. Whether it's because of pain or lack of leg strength really doesn't matter. I've made it very clear that I'm aware that I'm an outlier.

We're having a half empty. half full argument. You said, in essence, that it's my lack of ability to spin that's making me mash to go fast, and I said that from my perspective, it's other people's lack of ability to mash as hard as I do that makes them spin to go fast.

.
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Old 10-25-21, 12:28 PM
  #274  
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Originally Posted by badger1 View Post
Thread is all over the place anyway, so just for fun: "Cadence much lower now, down to around 120-125rpm vs 150rpm in the 'old days'. Biomechanically more efficient." Sir Chris Hoy (who has 'big legs').

Track cyclists are different.
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Old 10-25-21, 12:36 PM
  #275  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Here's what I was responding to--"Most people (as in pretty much everyone else) would find your cadence painful". If all you're saying the real issue is most people can't apply torque like I do, I said that already. Whether it's because of pain or lack of leg strength really doesn't matter. I've made it very clear that I'm aware that I'm an outlier.

We're having a half empty. half full argument. You said, in essence, that it's my lack of ability to spin that's making me mash to go fast, and I said that from my perspective, it's other people's lack of ability to mash as hard as I do that makes them spin to go fast.

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There are plenty of guys out there who can mash, but they simply produce more power at a higher cadence, so that's what they ride. Track cyclists would be the obvious example. All I meant about your inability to spin is that you said that for you it results in less power, so therefore your torque must drop off rapidly with cadence. If your joints are fine and you enjoy it then it's all good. It's like running an IC engine in a very high gear at a very low engine speed. The torque puts a lot of stress on the rods and bearings. Which reminds me of another thing with gearing - acceleration. A lower gear allows faster acceleration until you spin it out. Torque at the rear hub is proportionally higher in a lower gear for a given crank torque. Again as it is with cars. But you need a decent range of cadence to take advantage of it.
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