Q & A
I love when indoor cycling class participants as me questions!!!
Last week, a participant asked, "Why I do you have a top speed ceiling of 110?"
I shared that there is research showing that anything over 110 is just a waste of time. The wheel is basically spinning (pun not intended but convenient) and you are not gaining any conditioning or calorie burning benefits from it. You also risk injury going over 110 as you could lose control of your pedals and or you could be bouncing in your seat and get injured from the impact.
This was a fact shared by master instructor, Doris Thews at my Schwinn indoor cycling instructor certification training. Doris also shared a video of a finish of one of the stages of the Tour De France and these elite athletes do not even come close to 110 as they are sprinting to the finish line. They are using POWER, not momentum.
If you use an indoor cycling bike that has RPMs and Watts and you feel the need to go close to or over 110, take a look at the Watts readout. Get to or close to 110. Then, add 1 or 2 to your resistance and see the Watts number increase. At a basic level, watts equals the power you are putting out. As any fitness trainer will tell you, "wattage is king, even more so than heart rate."
So, the next time you want to unleash your inner Ricky Bobby and "go fast," be smart and safe about it.
If you want to read more, check out the articles linked below.
- The Science of Optimal Cycling Cadence (from the Spinning people)
- Tour De France Stage Cadence Averages
- Look at each of the graphs. You'll see a blue "C" in the legend. That is the RPM.
- You'll see none of the numbers are over 110.
- 'Merica, The Tour de France and Optimal Cadence
- How Watt-Based Training can Improve Your Cycling
- Meanings of Watt Cycling Power