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Old 06-23-2008, 01:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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P&G for Bicycles?

So the FE benefits of pulse and glide for cars has been more or less proven, but it made me wonder why in bicycling this method of propulsion is not used. Does the increased aero drag limit the application? Any comments?

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Old 06-23-2008, 01:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would claim it works in cars because in the pulse part of the cycle the engine is at or near WOT, so engine pumping losses are low, engine efficiency is therefore high. I don't think humans work that way.
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Old 06-23-2008, 01:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Aero is an issue, but you'll prolly not be pulsing at too high of a speed. I'd say it's definitely easier, but on that count, I've never done it.
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Old 06-23-2008, 01:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I guess you could say that I tend to ride using what could be called some of the same techniques, more to just conserve my energy on long rides for the most part. I'll do an equivalent to EOC when I find a big hill. But in general, it's easier to keep spinning in a higher gear if you get tired just so your legs keep moving. It's sorta different then cars also, because if you think about it, to save "energy" or in this case fuel, a car stays in the highest gear possible to keep the RPMs low. However, riding a bike, you need to keep your cadence high (RPM of pedals) to keep the strain on your muscles to a minimum and reduce your fatigue.
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Old 06-23-2008, 01:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I use p & g all the time mountain biking. The catch is I ride a single speed and when I begin to spin out, I can run my cadence up to 132-134 rpm or so but can't maintain it for very long. So I end up spinning the bike up for 5-7 sec, then coast down for 5-7 sec, then power back on and repeat. Works well and I can maintain a higher average speed then if I put forth a sustained effort. I don't know if it's more efficient because at a high cadence you're running into the physiological and mechanical limitations of your body and all sorts of secondary movement begins happening (ie bouncing around on the seat).
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Old 06-23-2008, 01:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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No, your talking extreme cadences. On road bikes, you want to maintain somewhere between 70 and 100 RPMs, at least that's what I've heard, and I usually ride somewhere in the 80's, that's about as fast as I can go before I start to bounce a little, but I would love for someone to chime in who knows more on this subject. (not the hijack the thread, but since it came up, I'm curious to know more).
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Old 06-23-2008, 02:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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You are correct. I have heard that 80rpm is also ideal. That being said, when riding ss, you don't have much choice. If you want to go faster, pedal faster
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Old 06-23-2008, 02:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I P&G all the time on the bike. But I bike at a leisurely pace too, and to get from point A to point B, not for a workout.
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Old 06-23-2008, 02:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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80 is ideal? I'd been pushing 82 and am trying to get up in the 90s...I recently read a study with results showing that cyclists with a higher cadence at the same speed had greater endurance. *shrug*
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Old 06-23-2008, 03:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I always heard that higher cadence is better. As long as it is not so high that your hips start rocking.

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