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With my hands on the drops, do I:

1. Increase my cadence while seated... then get off the saddle and shift to a heavier gear as my speed increases

or

2. Increase my cadence while seated... the shift to my "sprinting gear" then get off the saddle and pedal like crazy

if 1 and 2 are wrong... what is the right sequence.
 

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Generally, you should be in the gear you want to sprint in while you're drafting off the riders in front of you. I don't think you'd want to shift while standing and sprinting. Sprinting is more about position within the peloton and timing. I was taught to back off the person in front of you slightly just before you anticipate your sprint and then accelerate while in his draft then passing him on one side. Depending on the speed and length of the sprint, you could be seated or standing. The longer the sprint, the more likely you'll be seated. Standing is for all out efforts and usually shorter distance.
 

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trangkista said:
With my hands on the drops, do I:

1. Increase my cadence while seated... then get off the saddle and shift to a heavier gear as my speed increases

or

2. Increase my cadence while seated... the shift to my "sprinting gear" then get off the saddle and pedal like crazy

if 1 and 2 are wrong... what is the right sequence.
I think the answer depends on the length of the sprint and if you are climbing/descending/pedaling on flat ground.

That said, you want to peak your heart rate and create max sustainable power for the duration of the sprint. I stand in pedals, grab bars at lowest point on drops, keep head low and spin up to 110-120rpm. Make sure to balance your weight between front and rear wheels so you do not get wheel lift in front or rear. Trial and error will be needed.

As another post stated, strategy is a big part of it. Knowing when to start the sprint is crucial.
 

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I think it depends on what kind of sprinter you are (and the speed of the sprint). some folks like to use a 53/11 and just pound it out, while others pick a lower gear and spin really fast(+110). I am the latter.
when i practicing my sprint by myself i do this;
I have a section of road that i love to do this on. there are two big oak trees about 125m apart. settle in at around 20mph and then at the first tree i start my sprint; drop three gears and stand up. i sit down and shift as needed. just spin the last 80m or so.

I haven't had my first race yet so no experience there. but i have learned a little about sprint tactics from riding with a group. some of the guys ride with have years of racing experience and have taught me some things. also, at the end of the ride, the "race" that often develops with the stronger guys is a good place to practice. just do it safely and do not do anything STUPID. you arent Thor.
 

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I am sure that people are going to get mad at me for saying but here is the truth:

If you can explain how to sprint, especially over the internet or email, then you don't know how to sprint.
 

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What Would Google Do.
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cadence should be fast before the actual kick of the sprint (still at head of field)
then either click to sprinting gear (not so hard that you cant wind it up very quickly) the whole point is acceleration not torque! .....get your gap, sit down and try and hold onto whatever toip end you have at that time to keep other from coming around...
all situations are different however (different slopes, head or tailwind, energy level, you match length and kick power list goes on...) bottom line is experience is king, learn what works in what situations and experiment OFTEN and save the critical tactics for when you are going for the worlds! :D - every race is a training race...use it wisely..
 

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Sherpa23 said:
I am sure that people are going to get mad at me for saying but here is the truth:

If you can explain how to sprint, especially over the internet or email, then you don't know how to sprint.
Sounds reasonable to me.
 

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Sherpa23 said:
I am sure that people are going to get mad at me for saying but here is the truth:

If you can explain how to sprint, especially over the internet or email, then you don't know how to sprint.
Or, as an alternative theory, maybe there is a rather large cross section of the "sprinter" population that can string a few words together to describe some of the aspects of their sprinting technique? Maybe some of these sprinter/communication experts have even used the techniques they've described to win races?!

I hear that trolls can't sprint :)
 

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G A /\/\ /\/\ A said:
Or, as an alternative theory, maybe there is a rather large cross section of the "sprinter" population that can string a few words together to describe some of the aspects of their sprinting technique? Maybe some of these sprinter/communication experts have even used the techniques they've described to win races?!

I hear that trolls can't sprint :)
Fine. Explain to me how to make my heart beat. How about explain to me how to sneeze. How about explain to me how to sing.

Someone can string together as many words as you want but it's not going to help you one bit and the more someone tries to explain, the more confusing it gets. If you are a good sprinter and actually know how to sprint, then you also know that there is no way to explain it or describe it. You just do it. You don't know when you learned how to do it, you don't know how you learned how to do it, and more than anything else, you don't know how you do it. It is part natural intuition as to what to do, part physical development based on your individual physiology and, mostly, lots of practice.

And, you're right, trolls can't sprint, which is why they sign up for a board and ask people to explain how.
 

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Harsh words. I'd hardly call the OP a troll for asking a question. I usually click down first and make a move in the drops, then stand up as soon as I feel I can sustain the effort until the line. On the other hand, this hasn't brought me the results I was looking for, often because I try to lead out the last lap and die. Figure out your own strategy. Group rides are the best for this kind of thing - town line sprints, attack your friends when they aren't paying attention, etc.
 

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lucer0 said:
Harsh words. I'd hardly call the OP a troll for asking a question.
He is absolutely not a troll for asking the question, only for his post #11. Still those are indeed harsh words and I am sorry. I don't mean to dissuade someone from trying to learn the ins and outs of the sport.

Nonetheless, I stand by my point, originally stated in my first post in this thread.
 

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I think Sherpa was more referring to, you either have it or you don't. It's kind of like asking someone how to run a 4 minute mile.

His other good advice was of the ride lots variety, which other posters offered in their own ways.

It's clear that the more you are one with the bike, the better your riding is going to be in any aspect.

If you're thinking in a sprint, you're toast. More like reacting. Kind of like Yogi Berra's question, "who can think and hit?" And there aren't many people with the natural talent of Yogi.
 

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lookrider said:
I think Sherpa was more referring to, you either have it or you don't. It's kind of like asking someone how to run a 4 minute mile.
true, but there is technique. so you probably can't tell somebody how to run a 5 min mile, but you can tell them how to run better.

riding your bike more and attempting what works best for you is pretty much how it's going to work out. if you start in too big of a gear, you don't get the pedals spinning quick enough, start to easy, there is no resistance on the pedals when you go and stand.
 

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tomk96 said:
riding your bike more and attempting what works best for you is pretty much how it's going to work out.
That's kind of along the lines of what I was thinking of.

Depending on your category, your sprint may start out at different speeds. If you're a pro that might be 35 mph or faster and you're already spinning very fast with not too many cogs left.

A cat 5 may have to pay close attention to what gear he's in so he doesn't bog down or spin out.

I don't sprint, I might blow out a hammy or some other weak link.:)
 

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The sprint starts with 10k to go. Maybe 5k depending on the group and course. If you think the sprint starts when you start to sprint, you should probably focus on time trials.
 

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lookrider said:
I think Sherpa was more referring to, you either have it or you don't. It's kind of like asking someone how to run a 4 minute mile.

His other good advice was of the ride lots variety, which other posters offered in their own ways.

It's clear that the more you are one with the bike, the better your riding is going to be in any aspect.

If you're thinking in a sprint, you're toast. More like reacting. Kind of like Yogi Berra's question, "who can think and hit?" And there aren't many people with the natural talent of Yogi.
This is more or less what I am saying and all of the responses prove my point. Look at what you have; if you read all of the responses and put them together, all you get in the end is put your hands in the drops and pedal hard. How useful is that? It's not.

I know people think that I am being aloof but I'm not; I'm only being honest. At least three times a year someone comes up to me as asks me some variation on how can they sprint better/more like a pro/stronger/faster/more technically correct/not so awkwardly/whatever/etc. And always, when they are right in front of me, when I have my bike as a prop, when I can use my hands, I have no response. So, inevitably, the questions go something like this:

Well where are you putting your weight when you sprint?
Me: I'm not really sure.

Okay, what rpm are you going for?
Me: I have no idea.

When do you know when to get out of the saddle and when to sit back down?
Me: No clue.

What gear did you start in?
Me: Uh, 12? Maybe 11?

Anyways, I can guess all I want and make something up but they didn't ask me to guess and, really, I would not know what to say even if I did make something up. And these are usually asked by people who just watched me race. I guess it's kind of embarrassing but usually they have a better idea of how I did it than I do.

The only thing that I am conscious of in a sprint is other people: the person that I am beating to the line or the person that I am holding off.

By the way, the OP did not ask anything about sprint strategy, but specifically about sprint technique. Sprint strategy is something else entirely and is something that can be explained. Sort of.
 

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Sherpa23 said:
This is more or less what I am saying and all of the responses prove my point. Look at what you have; if you read all of the responses and put them together, all you get in the end is put your hands in the drops and pedal hard. How useful is that? It's not.

I know people think that I am being aloof but I'm not; I'm only being honest. At least three times a year someone comes up to me as asks me some variation on how can they sprint better/more like a pro/stronger/faster/more technically correct/not so awkwardly/whatever/etc. And always, when they are right in front of me, when I have my bike as a prop, when I can use my hands, I have no response. So, inevitably, the questions go something like this:

Well where are you putting your weight when you sprint?
Me: I'm not really sure.

Okay, what rpm are you going for?
Me: I have no idea.

When do you know when to get out of the saddle and when to sit back down?
Me: No clue.

What gear did you start in?
Me: Uh, 12? Maybe 11?

Anyways, I can guess all I want and make something up but they didn't ask me to guess and, really, I would not know what to say even if I did make something up. And these are usually asked by people who just watched me race. I guess it's kind of embarrassing but usually they have a better idea of how I did it than I do.

The only thing that I am conscious of in a sprint is other people: the person that I am beating to the line or the person that I am holding off.

By the way, the OP did not ask anything about sprint strategy, but specifically about sprint technique. Sprint strategy is something else entirely and is something that can be explained. Sort of.
I was watching a Jack Nicklaus golf video, I think it was called Golf My Way, with my cousin.

Nicklaus takes the club back, a driver, while he's talking saying, "you do it.......like this," and grunts a little as he completes his swing. Of course the ball flies about 280 yards when he does it.

My cousin and I looked at each other and laughed.

Maybe not a direct comparison, but these pro golfers generate a tremendous amount of force at impact and it's second nature.

If you don't have the horses here, it doesn't matter what "technique" you use.

Kinda like the last lap in a mile or the homestretch of 400 meters. If you don't have the strength to hold your form, while turning your legs over as quickly as possible, everyone will blow by you.
 
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