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What is the typical RPM for a XC racer? I was watching the Pro's climb a hill at the NORBA National and it looked like a lot of them were cranking about 60 rpm in there big ring. I thought it was better to spin faster, like 90 rpm. Just to let you know the hill was about 1/6 mile and very steep, but hardpacked.
 

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For mostof us mortals a good spin 85 to 120 rpm is very efficient, but over the year I have been trying big gear slow rpm this has resulted in climbing strengh. Now I have a buddy that races for KONA and he said that his workout are lot of intervals and slow rpm seated climbing maybe it works power in building.
 

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That hill sounds like a "sprinter's climb". Short and steep and not worth shifting down for. Lose too much momentum if you do. So you hammer into the bottom, grunt your way to the top and accelerate over the crest.

On longer climbs a higher cadence would be better.

Generally I would say 75-110 is a good range for XC racing.

I am using 45-180 on my singlespeed. Slower than 45 rpm I am faster running.

The pros can use gears mere mortals can't. Last Sunday I watched Barry Wicks (Kona), Adam Craig and Carl Decker (both Giant) hammer up a 25% climb I was pushing. All were on singlespeeds with a much higher gear than I was using. They finished 1-2-3 overall.
 
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