What Is Spinning
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  1. #1
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    What Is Spinning

    What is this concept people are talking about. I don't really understand. Is it a racing concept? Is it more than just trying to keep a certain cadence. Is there a relationship between cadence and how hard you are pushing on the pedals, the level of pressure on the pedals. If you are spinning are you allowed to stand and really mash the pedals. Did it used to be called something else and now is called spinning. Is spinning a recent discovery or have been been always doing it?

    To try to better understand the difference between spinning and not spinning can someone describe how it is done. Who in the pro pelaton is a spinner? Who is not? Does everyone spin.

    If I am riding at 90 rpm am I spinning, or is it related to how fast I am going at 90 rpm (what gear I am in)? Can I spin at a lower rpm? Higher rpm?

    Thanks for any help anyone can give me to understand. I would like to improve my cycling knowledge.
    Fred

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  2. #2
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    90-110 rpm...

    A rider who spins maintains a 90-110 rpm cadence, regardless of speed. Mashers might only pedal 70-90. I consider myself a spinner and probably average close to 100 rpm, but I can hit 130-140 briefly. Pedaled up to 47.5 mph just today in a 53/12 (downhill of course). The calculated cadence is about 136.

    Most folks pedal slower during lengthy climbs. I like 80-90 rpm myself. Mashers can pedal incredibly slow. I've seen guys cranking what looks like 40-50 rpm. My low limit is about 70.

    Standing is something entirely different. I usually stand at 60-70 rpm on a long mountain climb, but I'll ramp up the cadence to over 100 on a standing hill sprint. Max hear rate is usually the limiting factor when standing. Too much cadence will put you in the red zone quickly.

  3. #3
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    Spinning is to cyclists as fad diets are to fat people.

  4. #4
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    Tell that to Eddy Merckx

    Or any other great cyclist. They all spin. Every hour record has been set at 100-110 rpm. Even Jan Ulrich, who is described as "turning massive gears" is doing 90+ rpm in a TT. Or is this whole thread just a troll?

  5. #5
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    Or is he talking about spandexed Bally types on stationaries?

  6. #6
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    ??

    Something tells me that his question has not been answered yet...... I'd like to know too, how do you your cadance's anyway, do you guys have cycling computers that tell you this info??

  7. #7
    Bickety bam!
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    Fer' cryin' out loud...

    Quote Originally Posted by rubendc19
    Something tells me that his question has not been answered yet...... I'd like to know too, how do you your cadance's anyway, do you guys have cycling computers that tell you this info??
    Just pedal your bike where you're comfortable doing it. Don't worry about your darn cadence so much. If you're comfortable pedaling at 60 RPM, do it. If you're comfortable pedaling at over 100 RPM do it. Although most regular folks don't have the conditioning or fitness to be able to pedal a high cadence at a high rate of speed for long periods of time. Lance made this whole spinning thing go crazy, because now all of the local Freds want to be like him, so they're pedaling like whirling dervishes while going really slow and getting dropped.

  8. #8
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    personal thing

    i think it's a personal thing. i find that i like to push a big gear (53xsomething) on flats but that i like to "spin" (39x21/23/25) on climbs.

    a higher cadence will increase your heartrate, but reduce stress on your muscles. a lower cadence will not have as high of a heartrate, but will strain your muscles more. if you're stocky and have some strength in your legs but aren't in great shape cardio-wise, grind out a big gear. if you're light and sinewy and not especially powerful but are in good shape cardio-wise, spin a smaller gear. it's all about knowing how to maximize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses.

    if you ride every day, you should probably learn to keep a high cadence whenever possible. as mentioned before, this reduces strain on your muscles. this means that there is less tissue damage, and therefore less repair/recovery for your body to do at night while you sleep. if you don't strain your muscles too much today, your legs will feel fresh to ride again tomorrow. then again, it IS cool to feel like Jan Ullrich, grinding along like some sort of machine at 2rpm....lol

  9. #9
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    Hey, Kerry, suck it, because we've all seen Ullrich climb...and that ain't no 90+ RPMs. I think you've got some serious prions in the beef you're eating.

  10. #10
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    And by the way...Ullrich has 2 ( two) l's in it. Spell check, anyone?

  11. #11
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    What a great contribution!

    Two excellent additions to the content of the thread! Good on ya!

  12. #12
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    Kindly revisit Kerry's initial reply to the thread....

    [QUOTE=2Fast2Furryious]Hey, Kerry, suck it, because we've all seen Ullrich climb...and that ain't no 90+ RPMs. I think you've got some serious prions in the beef you're eating

    He said TT (not climbing) when referring to Ullich's cadence.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2Fast2Furryious
    And by the way...Ullrich has 2 ( two) l's in it. Spell check, anyone?
    What a fantastic contribution.

    By the way, "Ullrich" is a proper noun, very doubtful any spell check tool would understand the entry.

    However, "Furryious" would be caught by a spell check tool.

    Anybody with a high school education knows one does not begin a sentence with the word "And". "Are you stupider than a Monkey?" -Phoney McRingring

    "Spell check, anyone?" Try using complete sentences before you slag others for their grammatical foibles.

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  14. #14
    A wheelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredstaple
    What is this concept people are talking about.

    Trendy indoor exercise bike group sessions.
    .

  15. #15
    Call me a Fred
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    This seems to have degenerated into a name calling/belittling thread.


    At a higher cadence, each revolution requires less force for the same forward speed. This reduces the maximun stress on the leg muscles, but requires more cardiovascular fitness. At too high a cadence, the legs are unable to smoothly follow the required circular path, and become more jerky, this increases the energy required and excessively tires the rider.
    Mike

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  16. #16
    Strained coccyx etc etc
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    your a idiot

    "Hey, Kerry, suck it..." LOL, just what we'd expect from our esteemed 2fast2furryone. LOL!

    wanted to drop you a note and say your (speedmetal) post set me on the uncontrollable laughter thing this morning. coworkers are checking my health every 30 seconds.

    "Are you stupider than a monkey". ROTFLMAO!

    A really crappy day immediately turned pretty ok.

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  17. #17
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    cadence computer not necessary...

    A cadence equipped computer is nice for beginners who haven't a clue about their pedaling speed. I calculate a few benchmarks that can be monitored on any computer.

    A pretty simple formula for calculating cadence is : (speed/.079) x (cog/chainring). For instance, when I was pedalling like mad yesterday on a downhill with a tailwind, I bumped my speed up from 46 to 47.5 mph. (47.5/.079) x (12/53) = 136.

    I've also calculated typical climbing cadences, like 10/.079 x 21/30 = 88.

  18. #18
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    cadence

    An even simpler way to calculate cadence is to count how many revolutions you spin over 15 seconds and multiply that number by 4. (Or 30 X 2, 10 x 6, etc.)

    Spinning is not just a faddish concept popularized by Lance. It's been around for decades. Many cyclists find that they pedal more efficiently with more endurance if they spin at a relatively high cadence. Others prefer to mash. I know some excellent climbers who are confirmed mashers. I'm a mediocre climber at best and I spin. But I know from experience that I am even a worse climber when I try to mash.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by C-40
    A cadence equipped computer is nice for beginners who haven't a clue about their pedaling speed. I calculate a few benchmarks that can be monitored on any computer.

    A pretty simple formula for calculating cadence is : (speed/.079) x (cog/chainring). For instance, when I was pedalling like mad yesterday on a downhill with a tailwind, I bumped my speed up from 46 to 47.5 mph. (47.5/.079) x (12/53) = 136.

    I've also calculated typical climbing cadences, like 10/.079 x 21/30 = 88.
    As a relative beginner (to road) I can second that remark. It is nice.

    It is also nice for folks who want immediate biofeedback. For me it is easy to look down and see "84" and know I need to pick it up a little, or to see "96 and to know I am at the top end of my target cadence range (for me). I think it was on another thread, but one person even suggested taping a chart to your toptube for your most common gear configurations....

    For me, a Cateye Astral is only $20, it gives me Cadence and whatever stat I want at a glance, and that works for me.


    FWIW, Cadence is something that is learned. I can smoothly spin into the low 90's, but then I get a bit choppy, so I'm working on smoothing out my stroke a little faster now. To me it would be great to learn to spin and to mash, and to be able to use whichever skill I need at a given time.

  20. #20
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    Spinning/Cadence

    I put an article on another website which outlined how I trained my base level of fitness. The core principle was "spinning" on an indoor bike (not much fun I agree, but good for getting me fit).

    All of the workouts show a "suggested cadence" for which I used a large range. I guess it simply illustrates that there's no single value for everyone. We pedal at whatever cadence suits us best in the light of all sorts of limiting factors (usually fitness/terrain etc..). "Spinning", perhaps it means: "Pedalling at a higher rate that what is considered normal for the terrain" - but then does that open a can of worms? What's considered normal cadence for a flat or hilly section?

    I was at the Alpe d'Huez TT and it was cool to see the different climbing styles unfold as the day went on. When it came to Lance, he went past us and his legs were, it seemed, a blur!

    Anyway, if anyone would like a read, it's at:

    http://www.adrenalintrip.net/xml/Mou...:96,COMMENTS:1

    BTW - Sorry if my post is considered off-topic in that it is a training article rather than a definition of "spinning".

  21. #21
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    spinning means having a high cadence. that's not too hard to understand is it?

    of course it's also relative to you/others/whatever you're comparing with. if you're a pro, spinning means going at 110rpm+, like lance. if you're a normal guy, spinning might mean going at 90rpm. etc. the point is, the higher your cadence, the more you tax your endurance/aerobic/breathing system rather than your muscles, and that is considered a Good Thing for various reasons such as faster recovery.

    i like spinning cause it gives me a good workout.

    sd

  22. #22
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    Spinning=power & endurance.

    Spinning happens all by itself above the cadence that the quad muscles in the legs can contract and deliberately push down on the crank. For almost everyone, that's around 90 rpm. Above 90 rpm the legs can no longer "push" the cranks. Momentum carries the legs around, and all the muscular contractions are synchronized to enhance the movement.

    The first sensation of spin is felt when the rider is fit enough to "feel the pedals." His legs are strong. He feels good on the bike. At this point, having mainly pushed to learn how to pedal and build up strength, the fast twitch muscle fibers are well developed. They're the ones that use glycogen stored nearby for energy and provide explosive power. They grow big from weight lifting, and climbing hills so steep they can be handled only at lower cadences. They are quickest to develope and show gains in strength. So now the rider feels strong and can do high speed efforts, but only to a point. After minutes, his muscles fill with lactic acid and have to back off to recover.

    To be able to keep it up, the slow twitch muscle fibers have to be called into service. They're long and narrow compared to fast twitch, don't like to contract explosively like the fast twitch, but use oxygen as fuel supplied by the heart and lungs, and can go for extended periods of time at intensity levels (measured by heartrate) as high as with fast twitch, but much longer. These oxygen using fibers are ideal for power and endurance, which is what cycling is all about. Once they are trained, by spinning above 90 rpm, they can deliver awesome power in a sprint or hill climb, working the heart at high cadence, while the muscles don't build up lactic acid.

    All the pundits say start spinning with an easy gear, like 39-19. After your legs get the feel of it, try to spin larger and larger gears and do some hill work to increase power, trying to at least "stay on top of the gear," that is, don't allow speed to drop so your legs can only push. Eddy Merckx and many other champions have said, "If you want to go fast, pedal fast." If you want to go faster, don't upshift and mash a harder gear, pedal a gear your legs can handle above 90 rpm.

    It's counter-intuitive, but pedaling fast is the best way to get strong enough to handle those big gears everyone looks forward to being able to handle. Everyone assumes they'll get stronger mashing big gears, which they do, and then wonder why they still have no speed or endurance.

  23. #23
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    Also, fwiw, from a triathlete's point of view, spinning is important because it saves your legs for the subsequent run. Mash, and your legs are dead when you transition to the run. Spin, and your legs are relatively fresh.

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