Tuesday, December 28, 2021

KV - Cycling: Are you a masher or a spinner?

 I've cycled all my life, but other than my mates teaching me how to get it the hang of it, I've had no other training. When you you first cycle it's natural to just push down on the pedals, but years later I read about cadence and spinning. With this technique you go into a lower gear and pedal faster. Spinners tend to pull on the upstroke too, using their clipless padals, because as you are botted into the padal, you are able to pull up. All I can say is that I hated spinning and pulling on the up stroke, as it was just hard work and wore me out. Maybe I needed to get used to it, but I just gave up in the end. 

Eventually, I found three great articles on this topic which supported my point of view, and all said spinning and up pulling was nonsense. It's a minority view, though, but, from my experience, they are right, anyway, each to their own. Maybe my body is just more suited to mashing, or that I've done it for so long that it now suits me more, because my body may have adapted perfectly to it. So, why change anything, especially as I've never had an injury from cycling, like sore ligaments, or too muscle building up in one place, which can knock the knee cap out of place moving it to one side, which can happen to people when they do a lot of cycling. 

Many cyclists work hard to perfect their padal stroke, sometimes even sitting a boring stationary training bike to improve their technique, but is it all nonsense? I just go and cycle for the fun of it.

 The Cycling Myth That Won’t Die: Pedaling Circles

Here’s a cycling myth that just won’t die; if you want to be a great cyclist you need to perfect your spinning technique and pedal perfect circles. It seems every year we get bombarded with articles explaining the benefits of pedaling in circles. They all say the a stop mashing the pedals and start working on all parts of the pedal stroke. Usually, these articles include a call to try out some goofy one legged-pedaling drills or worse a pitch for some silly piece of equipment.

So, surely professional cyclists must pedal in perfectly round circles, right? Nope. Not at all. The reality is that the best cyclists out there absolutely mash on the pedals. Pedaling circles is a myth, and one that can do real harm to you.


Is High Cadence Cycling Actually Slowing You Down?




Peter Pan said...

I wear civilian clothes while riding my bike. That should tell you everything you need to know.

Chewitup said...

Case in point is Froomie's oval crankset. And he's a high cadence guy.

We did just convert a total masher into a bit of a spinner. We were on a multiday ride paralleling the Appaachian Trail from NC up to PA and one of the girls, who has been riding for 30 plus years was not keeping up on the hills. It took a couple of days but we convinced her to use her gears on the hills and not bull her way up in big gears. Her husband could never convince her but we all know how that goes. Epiphany- the student was ready.

Kaivey said...

A masher.

lastgreek said...

"The Montreal edition of the World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) is set to take place on Saturday, so if you see a large group of nude people cycling down the street, you'll know why ..."

That's how I like my cycling :)


OK, so Montreal may not be New York, but it sure is a fun city. And I recall reading somewhere that Montreal is the #1 destination port for American sailors. Enough said!

Andrew Anderson said...

I might consider a non-motorized bike but only if it has an automatic transmission. Otherwise, and probably anyways, I'll just walk.

Peter Pan said...


Peter Pan said...

Nudist club looking for a math teacher. Fluency in Greek required.

Kaivey said...

I was just laying here falling asleep when I realised I said a higher gear when I meant lower. I've corrected it n now.

It's the lower gears that you spin in. But going up hills I always go into the lower gears, but I always slow down until I'm mashing again.

Some people say that spinning is easier on your joints, but I started getting ligament pain when spinning. It's probably what you get used to.

I'm still looking for the other article in it, plus a video. I will post them when I find them.

Peter Pan said...

Climbing hills in lower gear saves wear on the chain and sprocket.

Kaivey said...

I wear no special clothing either. They say the cyclist clothing is aerodynamic, causing less wind resistance, but I'm happy with just wearing ordinary clothes.

Chewitup said...

You no MAMIL then? Middle aged men in lycra.

Peter Pan said...

In winter, cycling requires thermal underwear and a balaclava.

Chewitup said...

And a nice set of warm booties!

Peter Pan said...

Oh yes... mustn't forget the booties!