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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This was my first winter riding a singlespeed as offseason training. I cannot believe the difference it made in my riding. My climbing improved dramatically to the point where I was able to push through to the crests of hills on which I used to fade, passing better climbers than me. I have been able to spin at a fast (>100rpm) cadence consistently, which is a big change from my big gear grinding past. I think this spinning has improved my cardio fitness and I have lost ten pounds since Thanksgiving.

OK, so today it was a nice warm (45 degrees in MN) day so I dusted off my titanium Airborne 27 speed road rig and went for a ride with a friend. The same hills I was cruising up on the singlespeed cross bike, with knobbies, were tougher now and I was back to my old ways, fading near the tops of the hills. How could I have already fallen back into such bad habits of mashing bigger gears when a fast spin would be better? The temptation with gears is to mess around with them too much on rides, whereas on a singlespeed you just deal with what you've got.
 

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Check your crank length on both bikes.

Just spin. It is a conscious effort on a geared bike, you have nobody to blame but yourself. Get a computer with cadence and keep it above 100. Always.
 

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Practice-practice-practice. Multiple geared bikes allow riders to be lazy. Ride up the hill in the small ring, in a gear that allows you to spin at 110 rpm. When you get to the top, ride back down again. Repeat 5-10 times or until your legs fall off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
physiology?

What is it about spinning in a smaller gear that makes my climbing better than when I push a bigger gear? I have strong legs and am used to a bigger gear, using my weight and strength to turn over the pedals.

Is it that when I use a bigger gear and lower cadence I don't have the muscular endurance to push to the top of the climb? Fast spin/small gear uses the cardio system more than the leg muscles?
 

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You know the answer

Suddha said:
What is it about spinning in a smaller gear that makes my climbing better than when I push a bigger gear? Is it that when I use a bigger gear and lower cadence I don't have the muscular endurance to push to the top of the climb? Fast spin/small gear uses the cardio system more than the leg muscles?
You got it. Your cardio system can recover quickly, but your leg muscles require 24 hours or more to recover.
 
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