I don’t hate spinning, riding my bike on a trainer, as much as I hate running on a treadmill, but it’s not far behind. Riding a bike in my office, even if I do get to watch a movie while I’m doing it, I miss the breeze, the sun on my back, and the fresh air. But I’m more into outdoor running in the winter rather than cycling. The problem is that it works. I rode all last season on the back of my daily half-hour spin sessions… And this year I’m stronger.
Just for a fluke I decided to try to see what I could do and keep it in zone two(128-141 bpm) after reading Elisariva’s report on her testing… With a cadence of 88 rpm I could ride in my 52/13 gear and my heart rate was between 128 and 130 – as long as I stayed on the hoods (and I’ll get into why this is important later). I played around with cadence, gear, position, everything, to find out what was comfortable but keep my cadence as close to 90 as possible for actual riding next season. I can tell you this, it sure kept it interesting. My half hour flew by.
Last year, easy zone two riding (guessing of course, I was even more low tech last year) was accomplished in the neighborhood of 52/17 to 52/19, three to four gears higher. To keep this short, I’m excited to see what next season holds (only two months left).
So, back to position and heart rate. I checked my heart rate several times during the spin. In the drops, on the hoods and sitting up (bar top) with my cadence steady between 88 and 90 rpm… My heart rate dropped 11 bpm riding on the hoods, arms bent slightly – or in the proper riding position. The first time in the drops my rate jumped a bit too, but that has more to do with the fact that end up with a Batman complex in the drops – I speed up because pedaling is so much easier and I can remember cruising down the mountain roads in North Carolina, and at the front of the pack on the Tuesday night club ride. It’s a Pavlov’s dog kind of thing. There’s an interesting point in there though. My heart rate jumped, though cadence and gear stayed the same when I sat up…in the exact posture that I’d ride my mountain bike in – not only is riding a mountain bike less aerodynamic, not only do you have to work harder for the tires, but if there’s anything to what I realized in this little test, it’s just plain old harder to pedal in that position, period.
Oh well, I’m off to the sporting good’s store(s)… Gotta stock up on ammo before tomorrow. 😉
I haven’t written about maintenance for quite some time because bikes don’t get too dirty on the trainer. I am as meticulous about the care of my bikes as my own lack of knowledge allows, so my road bike was clean as a whistle when I brought it in to my office for the winter. That said, my favorite place to clean drivetrain is on my trainer. It’s not the easiest, of course. Easy is putting it on the stand, popping off the rear wheel and getting to it… However, on the trainer is where I can really concentrate on some detailing.
Instead of cleaning the cassette with a brush and soapy water, if I take the pressure off of the rear wheel, once I’ve degreased the chain with my degreasing tool I can simply shift through the gears to deposit some of the drippings onto the cassette. Once that’s done a shop towel, folded in two, fits perfectly between each sprocket – a simple up and down motion with the towel (from behind the bike) cleans the teeth and advances the cassette. Shining up the cassette in this manner takes about two minutes. From there, I’ll get into the pulleys (the two wheels on the rear derailleur – if the grease is too caked on, use a flat head screw driver to get the big chunks off, then wipe clean) and then the chain rings. For the chain rings I always use my cassette brush dipped in degreaser to work on the tough to get places, such as in between the big and small chain rings. Then I wipe the chain rings down and dry up any degreaser still left on the chain (DON’T try do clean the chain rings without shifting onto a different one, lest you deposit old grease back onto the chain). Then I’ll wipe own the derailleurs if need be. Spit-shining the drivetrain takes about five to ten minutes depending on how fast I want to get through the process.
The nicest thing about cleaning the drivetrain on the trainer is that you’ll have a hand free to advance the pedals and shift. While this isn’t as awkward on a bike stand, if you haven’t plunked down the $150, it can be tricky.
Finally, through the “trainer” season I clean my drive train once a month, whether it needs it or not. The cleaner and more well lubed my bike is, the longer all of the parts last, and when you’re running Ultegra components, replacing them is not cheap.
Now, just for those who might wonder, “How clean should my chain, cassette, pulleys and derailleurs be”?
This is what you should end up with when you’re done (keep in mind, my bike is 14 years old – the components have some serious miles on them):
Check this out, it’s pretty funny.
A father of five created a video of his awesome parenting