Hill Work — on the coast

Training Goal – Three (3) hour training ride, maintain 200- 220 watts on the flats- (Tempo wattage range 209-249 watts)

Work coastal rollers in my 53 x 11 seated as a muscle tension workout

I had a great ride today with incredibly nice weather as a bonus.  We are in Santa Ana conditions with clear blue skies and unseasonably warm weather.  The downside is the drier air which dehydrates you much sooner.  It was a stretch to do the 60 miles with only two bottles.

On the power chart you should be able to notice the Torque squiggly line greater than the yellow power line.  On the rollers with a 53 x 11 gear selected torque shoots up significantly.

5 thoughts on “Hill Work — on the coast

    • Milly,


      -The amount of work done or energy released in a measured time frame, normally expressed as a watt.
      -Work or Energy divided by Time
      -At the crank or rear hub, power is equal to the torque or force applied to the cranks or hub multiplied by the cadence, rotating velocity, or angular velocity of the pedal or hub (Power = Torque x Angular Velocity).
      -A product of how hard a cyclist pushes on the pedals and how fast they pedal.
      -For a moving bicycle, power is equal to the total resistance or forces impeding movement multiplied by the speed of the bicycle (Power = Total Resistance x Velocity).
      -A product of a cyclist’s speed and all the forces resisting that cyclists’ movement.
      -A direct measure of the exercise intensity.


      A force applied through a turning axis at a point some distance away from that axis.
      A turning or twisting force.
      Force x Distance.
      Power divided by angular velocity.

      More simple Torque is more of a twisting force at the bottom bracket while power actually propels the bike forward when taking that twisting force multiplied by the angular velocity. When I see cyclist climbing at 50rpm or below I cringe because they are creating a lot of twisting forces on the bike and could actually be going much faster up that same hill at 80rpm.

      My workout yesterday was designed to create a muscle tension situation. The 53 x 11 gearing took the place of a weight training workout at the gym. When lifting weights at the gym you have singular plane motions i.e. Leg Squat, Leg Curls, Leg extension etc. But if you perform muscle tension workouts on the bike your resistance is throughout the pedal stroke just as when you are cycling.


      • So, does that mean that you want *more* power with *less* torque? From what you’re saying–I think)–torque diffuses energy through the bicycle.

        • Milly,

          CORRECT! There are two ways to increase power output. 1. Pedal harder 2. Pedal faster. For most people pedaling harder is much more difficult than pedaling faster. I will post three power charts from the same steep climb I did this summer, Onion Valley Road in the Eastern Sierras. On these charts you will be able to see the differences between power and torque, and which produces a better result. In the meantime, just think about spinning at a higher cadence and you will produce more power which propels the bike and less torque which just creates twisting forces on the frame which prevent you for going faster 😉


          • Thanks! That makes a lot of sense. Right now I’m taking spin classes to train. I’m hoping to transfer my indoor cycling skills–especially higher pedal cadence and smooth circling– to road riding in two weeks. Let’s see if I can keep that torque down…

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