Constant effort/cadence & overtaking

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by MrHappyCyclist, 31 Jul 2012.

  1. MrHappyCyclist

    MrHappyCyclist Riding the Devil's HIghway

    Bolton, England
    I see a few posts on here where people complain that someone overtakes them and then doesn't keep up the speed, which got me thinking about my own experiences. I tend to use the gears so that I am at a constant effort and cadence whether I'm going up hill, on the flat or down dale, varying my speed accordingly. I sometimes encounter cyclists whom I overtake on the downhill when they are often free-wheeling, and then they overtake me on the uphill, out of the saddle grinding away. I'm sure each of us thinks the other is being a pain. What are others' experiences on this?
  2. Markymark

    Markymark Guest

    I sometimes speed up to overtake, the reason being is that if I'm only going a bit faster, the safest thing for all converned is to speed up to make the manouver as quick as possible, then revert to my cruising speed. Hopefully, my cruisng speed is faster than the person I've overtaken, but somtimes they'd be quicker up hills than me.

    My biggest frustration is overtaking someone for them to barge their way to the front of the queue at the next lights and then hold everyone up again.
  3. BSRU

    BSRU A Human Being

    I think some cyclists, including myself, see another cyclist ahead and automatically think about catching them up. Personally I normally resist the urge to chase down someone, I prefer to catch them at the pace I normally ride at. Often the chaser will expend so much effort, having underestimated how hard it can be to catch someone, and then run out of steam once they get past.

    I often ride at different pace's throughout the ride, taking it easy, too often sometimes, now and then having a quick spurt up a drag/climb or on a nice flat piece of road or sprinting away from junctions/lights.
  4. Sittingduck

    Sittingduck Guru

    I think that some people think too much :biggrin:

    Folks are faster downhill than some and slower uphill than others... we all have different shapes / sizes / strengths? I would not let it worry you too much but I know what you mean, to a certain extent. It can feel awkward when you encounter somebody who is moving at a similar avg speed to yourself and neither of you really want to 'drop' the other or make some kind of race out of it. I don't like the ones who drop in really close behind me, if I don't know them. That's just rude. If I find myself behind somebody but not really inclined to push on and past, I will tend to hang back a reasonable distance of at least a few yards.

    If I do decide to go past and think they 'look the type', I will generally give it a bit of extra to make sure they don't even think about trying to suck my wheel. If I can pass somebody doing 14mph into a headwind or up a drag at 18mph, it's usually enough to discourage them.
    The Brewer likes this.
  5. Kiwiavenger

    Kiwiavenger im a little tea pot

    i always try and catch people up and overtake them! i also keep on going as if there is someone else infront of them! although this very rarely happens on my commute!!!

    with me i try and stay above 80 RPM (can go to 75 on long hills) and can reach 120 max at the moment, before i was struggling to maintain 65 RPM and was lucky to hit 95!!!
  6. snorri

    snorri Legendary Member

    I don't see many other cyclists on the road, but have often had fun with young lads, they are always young lads, who fail to maintain their speed after overtaking. It's fun to slowly wind them in as they glance worryingly over their shoulder. I always give them a cheery word of encouragement when I eventually overtake, unless of course they have dived down a side street to avoid me.:biggrin:
    BrumJim and Uncle Mort like this.
  7. Twizit

    Twizit CS8 lead out specialist

  8. Kiwiavenger

    Kiwiavenger im a little tea pot

    i dont have that problem! no traffic lights on my commute (the normal way) along with minimal people clogging up my road space on bikes (only nutters like me would cycle the cornish country lanes daily!! lol)
  9. Moodyman

    Moodyman Guru

    I don't make a conscious effort to catch and overtake.

    I ride as I would normally ride and if I overtake someone so be it. If they overtake me I don't self-flagellate.

    Had a guy who flew past me last night then ran out of steam. So rather than overtake him, I spent a couple of mins having a chat about where he rode from and was heading to.
  10. Maylian

    Maylian Senior Member

    As people may know if I see someone in front of me I will do my best to catch them up and over take them. I don't kill myself doing it and try and make sure it sticks, so far not been re-overtaken after passing apart from RLJ.

    A few times I've recognised the people and it's been close to my work so I don't bother and just coast behind them by a few yards making sure not to bother them and just enjoy the rest. I only have a short commute at the moment though so it may change when / if I move.
  11. My speed going uphill depends on how much effort I put in. My speed going downhill depends on road conditions, the likelihood of someone pulling out of a side street, changing lanes in front of me, pedestrians stepping on to the road, a pothole to swerve, lights turning red etc etc. My speed on the flat is a combination, but probably more dependent on the former. As I have a nearly flat route across London, this doesn't factor heavily, but when I go round richmond park (rolling hills), I'm also concerned about what's around the next bend - which could be a deer - so brakes are more of a factor than pedals on the downhill. In fact, I can't see how I would ever use constant effort on hills: you'd soon reach speeds that I would not regard as safe, and anyway, I'd be freewheeling at that point.
  12. Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    Penarth, Wales
    Here in Ho Chi Minh City all the land is very flat but there are many rivers and also many humpback bridges. The bridges vary in length from 100 metres to 1 Kilometer and I always 'attack' these as a form of training. The result is that I quite often pass riders going over the bridges but many of them pass me going down the other side unless I'm in race mode!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Pat "5mph" likes this.
  13. OP

    MrHappyCyclist Riding the Devil's HIghway

    Bolton, England
    Ah, there's the difference. At my age, I don't have a race mode. :sad:
    CopperBrompton likes this.
  14. biking_fox

    biking_fox Veteran

    Yep I do this too. Although there ain't many hills on my S Manchester commute. Most of the other riders I meet ride similarly, I don't think it's that practical to try and keep a constant speed for an urban commute - but there are a few who will speed up and (try) stay with you when you've passed them. If I do put an effort in to overtake someone, this then becomes my effort level for the rest of the commute, turning a gentle ride into a more full on session. It's the RLJ who annoy me - overtake-jump-overtake -jump. etc etc
  15. PpPete

    PpPete Guru

    Chandler's Ford
    My dearly beloved often has the opposite experience to the OP..
    Female, of a "certain age", commuting on an old steel tourer with DT shifters, 1 pannier..... of course you can overtake her? And if you "push on" on the flat or down hill you probably will...... but she gets right ticked off by muppets who work hard to overtake and then can't maintain what she considers a "decent speed" on the uphills. Especially as it is difficult to overtake back again due to cars also trying to overtake and, on the steepest hill, its a narrow cyclepath.
    And no - she doesn't "grind" up the hills at all. She is never, ever out of the saddle; never looks as if she is working hard enough to get out of breath, just has the leg strength and power/weight ratio that means she keep her cadence high in a middling gear. Blows me away every time !
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