Watching Tour de France

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
A year or two ago Greg Lemond said on TV that the introduction of lower gears has made it possible to include more of the crazy steep stages we see nowadays which would have been impossible in earlier years.

(Possibly during the Dauphine, speaking of the col de something or other that also cropped up in that years Tour de France)

Edit: Mont du Chat 2017 I think

Edit edit. Although the 1974 TdF went over that, so it clearly wasn't impossible. Maybe my memory is at fault. As usual.
 
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l'angliru and the Zoncolan

Included but not without controversy

During stage 15 in 2002, riders climbed the Angliru in rain. Team cars stalled on the steepest part, some unable to restart because their tires slipped on messages painted by fans.[2] Riders were caught behind them and others had to ride with flat tires because mechanics could not reach them. David Millar crashed three times[3] and protested by handing in his race number a metre from the line. The judges ruled he had not finished the stage and he left the race.[4][5] He regretted his temper - he had been ninth - and apologised to his team.
[2]

The manager of the Kelme team, Vicente Belda, said: "What do they want? Blood? They ask us to stay clean and avoid doping and then they make the riders tackle this kind of barbarity."

because on the Angliru the guys go too pitifully for the climb to have any sporting interest. Even the winner goes up in slow motion. There's no attacking. From front to rear, everyone just gets up as best he can.

Good stuff eh.
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
I think gearing machismo has pretty much disappeared from cycling. Or at least it's on the way out. It used to be driven by wannabes looking at the monster gears ridden by the pros, and making fun of losers with granny gears. Now the likes of Froome have demonstrated the power of the twiddly attack the wannabes may be changing their view a bit. Gearing machismo may well be going the way of oddities like not drinking unless absolutely necessary ... and taking strychnine.

That's why people who make posts here apologising for wanting to lower their ratios tend not to receive the mockery that they fear will follow.
 

Smokin Joe

Legendary Member
What is the advantage of a low resting heart rate? Or is it just indicative of a large/efficient heart?
As I understand it in a crude non scientific way, if you can do 20mph at 30bpm your power will increase all the way up to your maximum (180bpm for example). Whereas if you start from 50bpm you'll run out of power a lot sooner.

Or something like that. Or maybe not. Someone will know (Or pretend to know anyway).
 

Adam4868

Guru
As I understand it in a crude non scientific way, if you can do 20mph at 30bpm your power will increase all the way up to your maximum (180bpm for example). Whereas if you start from 50bpm you'll run out of power a lot sooner.

Or something like that. Or maybe not. Someone will know (Or pretend to know anyway).
Put simply....spinners are winners.
 

johnblack

Senior Member
Still running a standard on number 1, but think I might go to a mid-compact next year. Managed Alpe D'Huez on a standard last year but my cadence was below 50, which is just no good for my knees.

If you've got the cardio, spinning is always the way to go, but it's not elegant.
 
I've never quite understood this spin faster thing. You still produce the same power that you're physically capable of. So if you're only physically capable of going up a 15% at 5mph, it doesn't actually feckin matter which gear you choose so long as you've got one you can still turn. I daresay someone will be along who gives a shoot about this stuff to explain it, while I breathlessly gasp, feck orf, as I attempt to cycle up my 15% in good form.
 

KneesUp

Veteran
I've never quite understood this spin faster thing. You still produce the same power that you're physically capable of. So if you're only physically capable of going up a 15% at 5mph, it doesn't actually feckin matter which gear you choose so long as you've got one you can still turn. I daresay someone will be along who gives a shoot about this stuff to explain it, while I breathlessly gasp, feck orf, as I attempt to cycle up my 15% in good form.
As I understand it, keeping a higher cadence shifts the load from your leg muscles to your cardiovascular system (and as I'm typing that it doesn't sound scientifically right) - so the theory I've got in my head is that if you are fitter than another cyclist, you do not need to be as strong, which means you can have smaller muscles, which means you are lighter, which means going up is easier. As I recall, it started in earnest with LA when he came back from his cancer treatment with significant muscle wastage, so Dr Ferrari (was it him then?) started with, I suppose, pretty much a blank slate in terms of fitness.

I guess it's like the difference between power and torque in a car - an F1 car has a lot of power and relatively little torque, so you need to rev it to edge of insanity to get best performance, whereas a diesel tractor has a shed load of torque and relatively little power, so it revs slowly.
 

Milzy

Veteran
I think gearing machismo has pretty much disappeared from cycling. Or at least it's on the way out. It used to be driven by wannabes looking at the monster gears ridden by the pros, and making fun of losers with granny gears. Now the likes of Froome have demonstrated the power of the twiddly attack the wannabes may be changing their view a bit. Gearing machismo may well be going the way of oddities like not drinking unless absolutely necessary ... and taking strychnine.

That's why people who make posts here apologising for wanting to lower their ratios tend not to receive the mockery that they fear will follow.
Spin to win, don’t knacker your knees & cause excess premature muscle fatigue.
 

nickAKA

Senior Member
Location
Manchester
I've never quite understood this spin faster thing. You still produce the same power that you're physically capable of. So if you're only physically capable of going up a 15% at 5mph, it doesn't actually feckin matter which gear you choose so long as you've got one you can still turn. I daresay someone will be along who gives a shoot about this stuff to explain it, while I breathlessly gasp, feck orf, as I attempt to cycle up my 15% in good form.
I guess it's all about what's most efficient for the individual. Spinning (my hunch based on no scientific evidence whatsoever) seems to be mainly a cardio process; grinding depends more on brute strength - the relative power output may be identical. Just a hunch. All I know is I personally find spinning up less taxing, I'm destroyed in no time grinding up slopes I can spin up.
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
As long as you remain within a zone where the gearing isn't stupid, I doubt whether adjusting cadence up or down will make a darn bit of difference. I did once do a bit of a search for scientific research on this but it's pretty much all inconclusive.
 
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