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single sped bikes

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Steve Neal 5 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #988

    kristian
    Member

    This might be a subject that MarcH might be able to shed some light on. Is anyone using a single speed road bike out there for CFE bike or tri training? If so what type of gearing have you found to work out for you? I have been using 52/17, but changed to 52/15 today for a 20mi TT. I wanted to rid some of the bounce I had in the saddle at 20+mph, but found that the 15 on the rear required more effort at the same speed??

    #993

    Steve Neal
    Member

    Hello Krisitan,

    If you don’t mind before I share my view…

    Are you training for a single speed event?

    Do you have a geared bike also?

    What RPM were you finding above 20+ mph with your 17?

    Thanks,

    Steve Neal

    #994

    kristian
    Member

    Steve,

    I am not training for any specific event that would entail using my SS bike. I bought the bike with the idea of using it for all around training, and perhaps a tri event. I do not have a geared bike, as I thought they might be dangerous for any type of riding outside of a velodrome. I found that when I was using my 17 cog I was able to attain 95-110 cadence with 19-23mph, but at the high end I was not as comfortable in the saddle and bouncing around quite a bit. I went on a 20mi TT yesterday and decided to change out the cog to a 15 to see the difference before any racing or longer distance rides. I found the work output to be more difficult to attain the same speeds with the larger cog? I changed with the idea of gaining power and speed, but maybe I just need to ride it more to acclimate? Thanks, Kristian

    #995

    Steve Neal
    Member

    Kristian…

    Thanks for the information…

    Sorry I forgot one question…

    Is it single speed just ? or fixed gear ?

    #997

    kristian
    Member

    Steve,

    My bike is a single speed, but the person I bought it through gave me the whole rear cog, so that I can adjust the ratio. What is your feeling on this type of application for CFE, and what do you see being a advantage or disadvantage to riding single speed bikes?

    #998

    Steve Neal
    Member

    Almost ready to discuss this Kristian…

    Just to confirm…if you coast does it freewheel??? or does your bike pedal itself?

    S

    #999

    Steve Neal
    Member

    I think that the single speed (or better yet fixed gear) is a great TOOL for training cycling.

    I often use fixed gear bikes with athletes to work on cadence…if I have an athlete who I think rides at too low of a cadence I will recommend a fixed gear that forces them closer to the range I want by picking gearing and terrain to get this desired cadence for the ride.

    Regarding CFE training…I think that if you can find the right terrain to match our gearing to get the effort required from the WOD then you are going to be just fine…

    The only problem I see is maybe not being able to go hard enough in a prescribed WOD because your gearing is too easy…say you are trying a tabata…don’t have a hill…and you run out of gears before you run out of fitness…then the tabata will be sub-par as far as a session goes.

    If you can find varieties of terrain to accomplish workouts as planned then you will be fine…if you feel you aren’t achieving max workloads then a geared bike would allow you to decide on the workload no matter what terrain you are on.

    Steve

    #1000

    Steve Neal
    Member

    If you are finding the RPM over 110 a challenge….but the bigger gear too muscular…

    Then training at RPM higher than where you want to be comfortable is the answer…

    So if you are challenged during a TT at 110…then I would recommend trying to strive for comfort at 120/130…then 110 will seem much more manageable.

    You could try something like this a few times a week:

    30 sec max sustainable RPM from 115/125…complete about 10 min 30 sec intervals to start — recover as you feel you need to achieve the high RPM goal…

    Once you start to feel smooth at 115/125 then lengthen the time to what you feel you can handle…45 sec to 60 sec and still get in 10 min of work…

    The max time I go for is about 15 to 18 min of high RPM work…which could be 3 x 5 min or 2 x 9 on the high side…but you are really striving to be in the 120/130 range at least for that duration…if you can’t maintain…just be patient and slowly lengthen the time as you get smoother in that range.

    raise the RPM…stretch the time…raise the RPM…stretch the time…bit by bit

    These drills can be a great warmup..you want to try and do these with minimal power…the less power you can handle a higher RPM the better your coordination will become…

    Hope this helps…if not let me know…Steve

    #1001

    kristian
    Member

    Steve,

    The bike has a freewheel. So this would make it a single speed, correct?

    #1002

    Steve Neal
    Member

    You are correct..just confirming.

    The high RPM training is slightly more difficult on the single speed as you are able to pull the plug when feeling uncomfortable whereas on a fixed gear you are required to be a little more honest…and focused at the high rpm

    Regardless….not having bigger gears to turn towards will force you to learn how to spin fast…

    I still recommend some drills to get the max sustainable rpm above the RPM you think you will need for your TT and your race.

    Steve

    #1003

    kristian
    Member

    Steve,

    So you are encouraging me to stay with the 15 tooth on the back to build strength? And incorporate the drills into my warm-up for the CFE bike days? Kristian.

    #1004

    Steve Neal
    Member

    Well…

    based on your comment of finding it difficult at 110 rpm during your effort…I would recommend leaving the 17 on and working on RPM drills above 110…likely 120/130

    But a combination of both types of training will help you…then you just need to decide what the course will ask more of you…and try and gear accordingly

    Steve

    #1005

    kristian
    Member

    steve,

    Thanks for all the help. I think for more strength building wods I will change out to the 15 (tabata, intervals) and then maybe try the 17 for TT and others. Thanks, Kristian.

    #1006

    Steve Neal
    Member

    that should work really well…

    and just try and do some high rpm drills to get comfy around 120/130

    Take care and good luck

    S

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