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· Parked Car Magnet
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am kinda new to road biking, and I have heard of a technique called "spinning".
Can someone breakdown this terminology, and maybe add some information on proper pedalling techniques?
Thanks to all in advance.
 

· scruffy nerf herder
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ha.

well, its not really a technique, rather a style. Its the style of turning lighter gears at higher rpms vs putting out more effort pushing a heavier gear at lower rpms to maintain the same speed. This has been around forever, but Lance Armstrong made this quite popular, especially when compared to his main rival Jan Ullrich who was quite the masher.

Its really a question of why you would choose this as you riding type. Im going to suggest that you take a look at your terrain to justify whether or not this will be a very beneficial "style" for you to adapt. Spinning... is arguably more efficient when climbing as it "taxes" aerobic systems more than anaerobic. RPMs for spinning, I will estimate will turn average RPMS in excess of 90-100.

So... there are things you can do to improve your pedal technique overall... like by riding fixed, or by doing single leg drills on your trainer... but honestly... its really just using a lighter gear and pedaling faster... I would truly suggest that you validate your fit is correct because just as mashing too much with an improper setup could cause quite serious injuries, spinning with improper positions will very quickly exacerbate any issues you may have, especially with knees.

Hope this helps.
 

· Parked Car Magnet
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
funknuggets said:
...style of turning lighter gears at higher rpms vs putting out more effort pushing a heavier gear at lower rpms to maintain the same speed. RPMs for spinning, I will estimate will turn average RPMS in excess of 90-100.
Hope this helps.
I notice that I try to maintain a higher rpm cadence without thinking about it, especially when going up hills. This has been a practice I've been doing all along; I just didn't realize it was coined "spinning". The high rpm's just feel easier to me. Also, I will shift to a lower gear to maintain that RPM.
Thanks for the explanation.

One other thing, I remember reading about twenty years ago in a road bike magazine, a coach mentioned the right way to pedal. He said to make a "kicking motion as your foot is on the peak of it's upswing" (or near the twelve-o-clock position).
Can anyone validate this?
 

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Spinning is a useful technique (style) for climbing in mountain biking, particularly on full suspension bikes. As Funknuggets said, it involves using a lower gear and higher rpms. Be sure to pedal full circle. As a mountain biker transfering to the road, I am not finding spinning really necessary on the road bike. Granted, I don't have a granny gear on my Orbea, but I don't seem to need it on the climbs around here. I live and ride in the mountains of northern NM and have some pretty serious climbs on my rides.:thumbsup:
 

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Armonhammer said:
I notice that I try to maintain a higher rpm cadence without thinking about it, especially when going up hills. This has been a practice I've been doing all along; I just didn't realize it was coined "spinning". The high rpm's just feel easier to me. Also, I will shift to a lower gear to maintain that RPM.
Thanks for the explanation.

One other thing, I remember reading about twenty years ago in a road bike magazine, a coach mentioned the right way to pedal. He said to make a "kicking motion as your foot is on the peak of it's upswing" (or near the twelve-o-clock position).
Can anyone validate this?
Not sure i agree with the kicking motion analogy. The way I've heard other refer to it is like "wiping your feet on a doormat". Most of us are pretty efficient on the downstroke, it is the upstroke that tends to be choppy. By thinking about pulling the foot back and up you should be doing a more efficient circular stroke. Michael Barry's (High Roads, former USP/Disco) book has a nice illustration of the full pedal stroke that I refer back to from time to time when I feel I need some pointers.
 

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krisdrum said:
Not sure i agree with the kicking motion analogy. The way I've heard other refer to it is like "wiping your feet on a doormat". Most of us are pretty efficient on the downstroke, it is the upstroke that tends to be choppy. By thinking about pulling the foot back and up you should be doing a more efficient circular stroke. Michael Barry's (High Roads, former USP/Disco) book has a nice illustration of the full pedal stroke that I refer back to from time to time when I feel I need some pointers.
Right, "scraping mud off of your feet". I was told to think of moving your feet in ever smaller circles to maintain an efficient circular pedal stroke.
 

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Spin Tech

Spinning - It's an art form!

What you want to do is spin at 80-90rpm and try to keep your hips quite. You can rock your head and shoulders a bit as counter weights.

Your body needs to becomes accustomed to piston like motion in your legs. Your muscles probably aren't ready yet to be strong in this circular motion. You need to develop elasticity and fluidity in your pedal stroke. Once this motion becomes second nature to your legs then you can start to apply power to the pedals.

If you want to get on the fast track to becoming a spinning expert, buy a set of rollers. Spinning on rollers will show all the imperfections in your pedal stroke.


 

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From Ed Burke's (Editor) "Science of Cycling."

For maximum torque, pedal forces should be the same all the way around the crank circle and at 90 degrees to the crank, as shown by the ideal left circle. But the best anyone can do is the typical elite cyclist force clock diagram shown on the right. Length of arrow indicates amount of force, direction of arrow indicates force direction.
 

· scruffy nerf herder
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thats pretty funny

Creakyknees said:
Nice illustration. Ed Burke knew his stuff.

Here's my badly edited version of the "typical" cyclist's force vector.
and pretty damn correct.
 
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