You're right about the bigger gear being the harder gear. My assessment with what the article was saying was that she was referencing the chainrings up front.
The biggest cog on the rear cassette is typically what I would use when climbing on a steep, loose trail, easier to spin up a hill, but not a gear I would use to sprint.
I only recently tried a spin bike and found it quite a different experience. I'd think there is a metabolism boost if you're doing intervals, whether it's outdoors/on a stationary trainer/on a spin bike.
For the past few years, I've set a goal to ride a century by the end of the season. I have yet to make it, but that's because I've been derailed because of injuries (saddle sores (seat too low) and a tight IT band).
I commute by bike most days of the week. My commute round-trip commute is about 20 miles. As the season progresses, I take a longer route home a couple of days a week that adds about 5 miles and forces me to climb some short, steep hills. (Not my favorite, hence the user name.) I also try to go for a ride every Saturday. Sometimes, it's a mountain bike ride with the Hub. More often, it's a longer road ride.
I calendar in those rides. I set a goal date, and then work backwards. I only add 3-5 miles to each week's ride. I put plenty of flexibility in the schedule because real life often interrupts my well-thought-out plans. Each Saturday ride will have a proposed distance or the option of riding hills. (But I don't start with the hills until I'm riding at least 40 miles. I really need a good base.)
If I know I'm going for a long ride on Saturday, I stay off the bike of Friday. I generally don't ride on Sundays because Sundays are usually packed. Try to take at least two days a week off the bike. Your legs and crotch will thank you.
Since you set me to thinking about this, I just laid out this year's ride schedule. It's going to be a great year.
Edited by: HILLSLUG98239 at: 2/22/2013 (14:46)
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This was just the article I needed - especially the link to understanding gears. While losing weight is important to me, staying fit and enjoying activities is critical. I'm planning a long distance ride to celebrate my upcoming birthday. I'd love to hear from anyone who has tips on a training "program" for my personal challenge.
Good article indeed. I do understand about gearing - what confused me is the terminology. To me a "bigger" gear is a "harder" gear so I was confused why you would want to sprint in a harder gear... which is why I asked if by bigger they meant that the rear gear is bigger which would make it easier to spin and therefore to sprint. Which is what I think they meant.
One reason I find that interesting is that I teach spin classes on spin bikes (not regular bikes on trainers) and we do sprints in class from time to time. If there really is such a metabolism boost with sprinting on a bike on a trainer then there has to be a corresponding boost on a spin bike. Logical right? If so then I think this is information my class will find interesting and there are some students who hate sprints who may find a reason to like them!
If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results. Jack Dixon
If we all did the things we are capabale of doing we would literally astound ourselves. Thomas Edison
Awesome share on gears and shifting!! Hopefully not making me sound to ancient.. When I started biking.. No mountian bikes and 10 speed road bikes were freakin high-tek! Then my first mountian bike, ridged frame but 12 gears!!! OMG! Then, when I got back into biking in my 25-30's and I could pick casetts to suit my riding style.. Heaven. There is nothing that can make your life more miserable then bad,basic knowledge of your gears and when to shift! If your bike costs 20$ or 4000$ .. If you can't shift it doesn't make a difference!!!!
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