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Souke Sports - Where Cycling Gear Meets Fashion
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have been cycling for a while, around 300km total, and getting to know more about road cycling from time to time.
The speed question is always the questions, after some times riding, I found to shift the gears, do really influence the speed. For example, when we are riding down, your speed can be fast, and you can adjust the right inside gear to get even faster speed, and while we climb, we can adjust the right outside gear to get easier pedaling, but the speed will be slower.
However, what about at the flat road? When I cycling with the team members, even at the flat road, my data shows my speed is around 30km/h, I can bearly catch up with them, their speed might be over 40km/h or even over 50km/h. How can they be that fast (of course their experience is long and their leg is stronger, but except for this). Maybe there are some adjustment I didn't know, and didn't use.

For example, I never tried my left side shift. What's their function? Will adjust any of them influenced my speed?

Sorry for the stupid question, but I didn't find any answers online. they only talk about how to adjust them, and how adjusting one of the shift would change the chain place.
 

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You never tried the left shifter (front gears)? So then I am assuming you are in the lower gear in front (left shifter) and therefore will never be able to pedal to achieve a speed over 30kmph. We call that "spinning out" where you just can't pedal any faster for the gear you are in. Going into the higher gear in front will gain you quite a bit.

You should definitely learn to use the left shifter. Not sure what type of gearing you have, but if it's compact gearing, one left shift is equivalent to 3-4 right shifts. These are very useful in hillier terrain. When getting to the peak of a hill, shift the left shifter up when starting to go down rather than doing multiple clicks on the right. If you are in the higher front gear and are approaching a hill, shift the left shifter down for instant "relief" rather than doing multiple clicks on the right.

Hope this helps!
 

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How can they be that fast (of course their experience is long and their leg is stronger, but except for this). Maybe there are some adjustment I didn't know, and didn't use.
It's not any adjustments or problems with your gears. They are that fast!
One of the most humbling things about cycling is, there is always somebody MUCH faster that you. Faster than you even thought ever possible. And they don't even look like they are working hard.


For example, I never tried my left side shift. What's their function? Will adjust any of them influenced my speed?
The left side shifter will shift your front derailleur moving the chain to the small chainring. It is generally used to make it easier to climb hills.

Sorry for the stupid question, but I didn't find any answers online. they only talk about how to adjust them, and how adjusting one of the shift would change the chain place.
Gears don't make you go faster. Only you make you go faster. You are the engine.
Gears simply make it easier or harder for you to pedal. Most humans are comfortable pedaling at a cadence of 80-95rpm. The gears allow you to maintain that comfortable pedaling cadence.

Remember that your team members have the same gears you do. There's nothing special about their gears. They will be using the exact same gear as you, but will be going faster because they are a bigger engine.
You are a small female correct? You will always be at a huge disadvantage. Some of the male team members will weigh 20-30kg more than you. They will be able to generate much more power.
My wife has the same problem. She weighs 40kg.

In cycling, the size of your 'engine' is measured in watts per kg (w/kg). That means how many watts (power) you can generate for every kg you weigh.
Generally, for beginner riders 2.0 W/kg for men and 1.5 W/kg for women
Professional racers are capable of sustaining more than 6.0 W/kg for men and 5.5 for women.
The majority of avid athletes have between 2.25 W/kg and 3.5 W/kg

If you weigh 45kg and you generate 2w/kg you will produce 90watts power.
If your team members weighs 70kg and generates 2w/kg they will produce 140watts power.
That means their speed will be over 4kph faster than you. While using the same gears and same effort.
For you to match their speed, you have to generate over 3w/kg. (That's a LOT for a beginner)

You said before some of your team members also race. They are likely producing 2.5 W/kg to 5 W/kg.
You would have to produce 5 W/kg to match their speed. That's the power of a professional racer.
 

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Another way to look at it is via effort. When your riding and pedalling along, you go up a slight hill, the work of the hill will load up your legs and you will rotate your legs slower, at some point you will want to drop a gear to get your leg rotation faster. When you go down a slight hill, the work load on your legs will decrease and the rotation of your legs will be faster, at that point you will want to add a gear to get your leg rotation slower. Everyone pedals at their own rotational speed, some like to go really fast rotation, others somewhat slower. You being small will want to try and keep your rotation as fast as possible when you want to go fast, but you will want some load on the legs to move the bike forward and pass those idiots.
edit: For most casual riders, 60 rpm on the cranks is a good target for starting, then moving from there as you realize your preference. If you really need a lot of power you spin up and pedal fast, but it's not going to last very long.
 

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Tina, are you using a cycling computer of some kind? IME good RPMs aren’t intuitive.
 
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You are a small female correct? You will always be at a huge disadvantage.
This is true, but only to a degree. There is a woman I used to ride with who is 5' 0". While I easily toast her on hills, she leaves me in the dust on the flats! Smaller means less aero drag, not to mention my lack of flexibility prevents me from getting down low anyway. I have wide shoulders which just adds to drag as well. And I'm sure she's at least 50 lbs lighter too.
 
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This is true, but only to a degree. There is a woman I used to ride with who is 5' 0".
Small wasn't referring to height, but power to weight ratio.
Simply being 5'0" doesn't say much. You could be 5' and 80lbs. Or you could be 5' and 110lbs with thick powerful legs.

And she's talking about keeping up with experienced people who race. Likely they all have aero bikes and riding in a more aero position than her.
Wheel Bicycle Tire Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Bicycle tire


It's physics.
Again:
If a rider weighs 70kg and generates 2w/kg they will produce 140watts power. (~16mph)
A small 45kg rider would have to generate 131watts, over 3w/kg. to go the same speed.

Yes a smaller rider would have some aero benefit, but not that much at 16mph. But 3w/kg... that's quite a lot for a beginner rider.

She said some of them are doing 40-50kph (25-30mph) on the flat. She'd be looking at 350watt+ to do that. Over 7w/kg. That's a big task.
 

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She's not experienced enough to ride 25-30 on the flats in a group, DON'T DO IT. One has to work into such things with gaining experience, and they don't want her there either! She hasn't even shifted to the big ring, HELLO!
 

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She's not experienced enough to ride 25-30 on the flats in a group, DON'T DO IT. One has to work into such things with gaining experience, and they don't want her there either! She hasn't even shifted to the big ring, HELLO!
Not to mention her complete lack of Pitbull pedals and jet-engine-engineered hubs.
 

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She is a beginner, nothing wrong with that. She can't ride with them cause she can't keep up. It takes fitness. Most of those guys look ready to 'rock & roll'. A couple of the ladies might/should help her.
 

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In other words, don't do what the pros do just because the pros do it.
My personal cycling mantra, ever since I mastered two wheels without training wheels in 1960: Pros are Schmoes.

It has served me well, to this very day, Grasshoppers.

Except for the ceramic bearings thing-deal.

I invested my entire 401k in ceramic bearings for my BB. I'm now working as a greeter at walmart to fund my ceramic-bearings pulleys!
 

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She said some of them are doing 40-50kph (25-30mph) on the flat. She'd be looking at 350watt+ to do that. Over 7w/kg. That's a big task.
One doesn't need all that to stay with the fast group on the flats, in the draft it is only 1/2 that. If you can do 250w, they can't get rid of you until the hill unless they go flat out sprint.
Still she shouldn't be there, it would not be good. Let her ride for a while.
 

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Souke Sports - Where Cycling Gear Meets Fashion
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You never tried the left shifter (front gears)? So then I am assuming you are in the lower gear in front (left shifter) and therefore will never be able to pedal to achieve a speed over 30kmph. We call that "spinning out" where you just can't pedal any faster for the gear you are in. Going into the higher gear in front will gain you quite a bit.

You should definitely learn to use the left shifter. Not sure what type of gearing you have, but if it's compact gearing, one left shift is equivalent to 3-4 right shifts. These are very useful in hillier terrain. When getting to the peak of a hill, shift the left shifter up when starting to go down rather than doing multiple clicks on the right. If you are in the higher front gear and are approaching a hill, shift the left shifter down for instant "relief" rather than doing multiple clicks on the right.

Hope this helps!
Thank you a lot Lombard, from the bike owner, the right shift is enough for me right now, but I think at least I need to know the logic, so in future, I can try out and improve.
 

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Souke Sports - Where Cycling Gear Meets Fashion
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
It's not any adjustments or problems with your gears. They are that fast!
One of the most humbling things about cycling is, there is always somebody MUCH faster that you. Faster than you even thought ever possible. And they don't even look like they are working hard.


The left side shifter will shift your front derailleur moving the chain to the small chainring. It is generally used to make it easier to climb hills.

Gears don't make you go faster. Only you make you go faster. You are the engine.
Gears simply make it easier or harder for you to pedal. Most humans are comfortable pedaling at a cadence of 80-95rpm. The gears allow you to maintain that comfortable pedaling cadence.

Remember that your team members have the same gears you do. There's nothing special about their gears. They will be using the exact same gear as you, but will be going faster because they are a bigger engine.
You are a small female correct? You will always be at a huge disadvantage. Some of the male team members will weigh 20-30kg more than you. They will be able to generate much more power.
My wife has the same problem. She weighs 40kg.

In cycling, the size of your 'engine' is measured in watts per kg (w/kg). That means how many watts (power) you can generate for every kg you weigh.
Generally, for beginner riders 2.0 W/kg for men and 1.5 W/kg for women
Professional racers are capable of sustaining more than 6.0 W/kg for men and 5.5 for women.
The majority of avid athletes have between 2.25 W/kg and 3.5 W/kg

If you weigh 45kg and you generate 2w/kg you will produce 90watts power.
If your team members weighs 70kg and generates 2w/kg they will produce 140watts power.
That means their speed will be over 4kph faster than you. While using the same gears and same effort.
For you to match their speed, you have to generate over 3w/kg. (That's a LOT for a beginner)

You said before some of your team members also race. They are likely producing 2.5 W/kg to 5 W/kg.
You would have to produce 5 W/kg to match their speed. That's the power of a professional racer.
Wow, learnt something new here! Finally got to know about the wattage. Always confused on this. But I definitely don't want to increase too much weight just to catch up with them, haha! I will build my musle while still keep the figure right. :D
 
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