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  1. #1
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    Do you mash or spin?

    I had a guy comment this morning that it looks like I'm running on the pedals? I guess it's a compliment b/c he said it looks smooth, but never really thought of myself as smooth. I do practice keeping the sound of my Cycleops as one constant 'hmmmmmmm' rather than a 'whump whump' kind of sound.

    What do you concentrate on while in the saddle if anything? Just a mashfest? I try and sit as 'heavy' as I can in the saddle so I stay 'light' on the pedals. Dunno if that makes sense, but we all got to talking about these things during our ride today.

    Just interested if anyone else focuses on the mechanics or hammers it til they can't hammer no mo! I find that when I tire I focus even harder on sitting heavy and it keeps me from getting heavy feet fighting the other foot on the upstroke.

  2. #2
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    Do I mash or spin? That depends on who you ask. My normal cadence is 85 - 90, almost never over that unless it's a sprint or a downhill. I know, I know, Lance's cadence is faster than that, and I don't give a crap. We all tend to do whatever feels natural on the bike, and we're all different. I can't climb at 85-90 cadence with my current gearing, so sometimes it slows to (I'm guessing here) as low as 40.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  3. #3
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    Yea maybe it's a cadence driven thing as I rarely drop below 90. When I check the power on the CompuTrainer it's a few more watts, but way more efficient on the SpinScan thankfully so that's how I roll....it comes naturally rather than mashin'.

  4. #4
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    Spin. Normal cadence on flats is 110-115. On hills, 90 or so.

  5. #5
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    Wow 110 is smoking! I find my pack riding at normal work to be 90 and about 105 when things get nasty.

  6. #6
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    Try to spin, generally, but I mix it up. I ride fixed gear a lot, so that means mashing on the way up and spinning like hell on the way down.

  7. #7
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    spin.spin.spin.spin.spin.spin.spin.spin.spin.spin. spin.spin.spin.spin.

    i know some guys who spin a good bit slower than me, but they are larger (~200) and can put down some bodyweight...

    I always assumed spining faster was more effecient. am i correct?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljfran2383
    spin.spin.spin.spin.spin.spin.spin.spin.spin.spin. spin.spin.spin.spin.

    i know some guys who spin a good bit slower than me, but they are larger (~200) and can put down some bodyweight...

    I always assumed spining faster was more effecient. am i correct?
    I think that will be a debate which will never end, but in general it's personal. One would think I would be a masher at my size 6'1" 180 in season.....190 out.....but I'm a spinner by natural feel.

  9. #9
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    I've found that you have to switch it up between the two. It enables me to keep speed a little longer.

  10. #10
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    I just gave up trying to spin so I'm perfecting the mash.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinluvr
    Wow 110 is smoking! I find my pack riding at normal work to be 90 and about 105 when things get nasty.
    I spun up to 185 once, but it wasn't even remotely comfortable. I think I was going something like 18 or 19mph in the 39/26.

    At 115 I feel like my legs are spinning in circles with no effort. It's a good cadence for me.

  12. #12
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    I'm a spinner. Generally around 100 rpm's in cruise mode. I've worked hard at developing "suplesse" and a smooth, fast spin feels great.

  13. #13
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    I want to spin, but I want to spin harder gears, so I guess I mash 'em until I can spin 'em. I like to feel a little bit of grab in the gear.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dajianshan
    I want to spin, but I want to spin harder gears, so I guess I mash 'em until I can spin 'em. I like to feel a little bit of grab in the gear.
    This. I tend to mash 'em early in the season, and spin further in to the season as my condition and technique improves.
    Ou et le flamme rouge?!!

  15. #15
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    Mix it up...what ever works.

  16. #16
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    I was a masher when I started road biking couple of years ago. Then I developed knee pains. After that, I started spinning. My regular cadence is around 90-100.
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  17. #17
    vexatious enigma
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    It really depends on the day. Some days I will mash hard and others I will spin. Some days I will mix it up.
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeDaddio
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  18. #18
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    I'm looking to re-introduce some high-cadence workouts mixed into the week. I'm 80-90rpm mostly due to my reliance on trainer workouts with higher resistance to keep my speed up on my tighter schedule - only exception being when I do shorter, high intensity intervals. Spinning on the trainer never translated to my weekend rides so well compared to using this "median" cadence. Figure I mix things up a bit this week for form's sake, although I'm pretty sure the whole concept is to eventually conquer the gears I'm using on the trainer and spin them.

  19. #19
    I ride in circles..
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    Right now I've had average cadences around 82-85 after a ride.. Normally I try to spin at around 85-95 or so. Mid summer I'm comfortable spinning 110 but only on flats.

    I only mash gears when I'm tired going uphill..
    ~ Long Live Long Rides~

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljfran2383
    I always assumed spining faster was more effecient. am i correct?
    Most people who have studied this agree that higher cadences are only "efficient" at higher power outputs. But you have to keep in mind that "efficiency" is not always what you're after. When trying not to get dropped, when bridging a gap or when climbing a hill as fast as you can, you want effectiveness, not "efficiency." For what it's worth, there are several kinds of "efficiencies," so a discussion on this can get very complex.

  21. #21
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    on the trainer I spin at 95 to 105 most of the time....but on the road, I haven't a clue...I don't ride with a cyclo-computer only a gps. Once I get out on the road.....the only thing that matters is riding....not numbers.
    Of course I'm sure...that doesn't mean I'm right......

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Touch0Gray
    on the trainer I spin at 95 to 105 most of the time....but on the road, I haven't a clue...I don't ride with a cyclo-computer only a gps. Once I get out on the road.....the only thing that matters is riding....not numbers.
    Yea no doubt, who cares if you are 'smoothing your way' right out the back of the pack getting dropped!

    I do find cadence to be huge for me on the road though. Weekends are my 4-5 hour rides and of the 40 or so who we start with only 5-7 of us go long. I don't like riding alone for that long so I like to make sure I have some people to ride with later. I find when I have been mashing earlier my legs are fried, but when I avoid the slower cadences I have more left in the tank at the latter stages.

  23. #23
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    When I pay attention to it and am warmed up, I'm usually spinning around 90-100. Spinning has always been important to me, but after I blew out a knee about 25 years ago, it became imperative.

  24. #24
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    I try (note I said try) to spin as much as possible. But, when going up a big or steep hill, or other times when a little extra grunt is needed I end up mashing.
    This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. (1 Timothy 1:15)

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  25. #25
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    A high cadence doesn't mean you are spinning, it just means a high cadence. I maintain around 90rpm (don't have a cadence comp anymore), and when I'm driving into a headwind, I feel myself mashing more than spinning. I've been trying to get my spinning more 'perfect' in that I'm not only pulling up, but also moving my leg forward and backward. So I can definitely say I do a lot of both.
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