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SUBLIM8er
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm curious about the benefits, disadvantages to overgearing. This winter I'm doing my bike miles on a fixed gear 53/17 and plan to do all my road miles this season on the fixed. Not very hilly here in minneapolis but we do have some shortish climbs. I realize that riding fixed was a recommended off season training aproach along with xc skiing back in the day. Works for me. Anything I'm missing here? Anyone else using this approach?
 

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That is a huge gear, way bigger than I'd ever ride. With as cold as it gets up here you're not doing your knees any favors pushing that through the winter IMO. With a standard road tire you're looking at 82.9 gear inches; the standard gearing I see used for fixies during the off season is somewhere between 65 and 70 gear inches.

This time of year it should be about spinning and leg speed drills. To do speed drills at 120+ rpm you're looking at needing to go over 29 mph.
 

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SUBLIM8er
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My knees are solid. I've been pushing big gears for years. I find that pushing this gear forces me to perfect my pedal stroke. I'm not interested in cadence speed, just building up power for SS MTB racing this coming season.
 

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I'm a fan of over-gearing. My best performance gains during racing have come from pushing big gears @ low cadence during winter training. Then again, nothing prepares you for racing like racing does. I always start the season pretty strong, but then get a lot stronger after the first month of racing.

Honestly, I believe that my cardio fitness exceeds my leg strength. Unfortunately, I've got a large frame (6' 2", 180 lbs). It takes a lot of power to push my big ass up those steep hills. I've got strong legs, but they've got to be even stronger to compare to the power / weight ratio of the little guys I race against. I think the high power / low cadence drills help train that leg strength for the high tension climbs. Assuming you have the cardio to match it...

- Jeremy -
 

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SUBLIM8er
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
- Jeremy - said:
I'm a fan of over-gearing. My best performance gains during racing have come from pushing big gears @ low cadence during winter training. Then again, nothing prepares you for racing like racing does. I always start the season pretty strong, but then get a lot stronger after the first month of racing.

Honestly, I believe that my cardio fitness exceeds my leg strength. Unfortunately, I've got a large frame (6' 2", 180 lbs). It takes a lot of power to push my big ass up those steep hills. I've got strong legs, but they've got to be even stronger to compare to the power / weight ratio of the little guys I race against. I think the high power / low cadence drills help train that leg strength for the high tension climbs. Assuming you have the cardio to match it...

- Jeremy -
At 6'2" 180 I wouldn't put you in the big ass category. That's a very reasonable weight for your height. My exerience has been the same with pushing big gears especially when racing SS where you gotta have the guns to power up the climbs. This year I plan to do all my road miles on the fixed to build power. I finding that once I get the power the cardio fitness comes along as a nice side effect. Seems like a logical approach to training for SS flavor.
 

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Topeak-Ergon Racing
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708 Posts
I start my season doing 4-6 weeks of overgearing or on the bike strength training at a HR below 85% of max. It's a good way to build up bike specific strength without while getting in base miles. I'll do many short burst type efforts during my week day rides and then multiple 15 min sessions at 40-50 rpms on long weekend rides.

The key for me is transitioning that into race power. After the overgearing period I begin working on long tempo rides which are 65-75 rpms at 85-87% of max heart rate. The tempo is done with a large gear, but the main focus is on taxing the aerobic system continuously.


Don't forget to do some easier recovery rides or you may end up with an overuse injury.

Eddie O
 
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