Cycling: mashing versus spinning
February 5, 2010 1:14 PM Subscribe
Finally realizing that competitive cycling (for me, triathlons), like swimming, is as much a matter of skill as it is of cardiovascular strength, i've been studying the science behind pedaling. To date I've come to the conclusion that there are "mashers", those who grind the downstroke, and there are "spinners," those who try to keep equal pressure on the pedal throughout it's revolution. I ask fellow cyclists (those who even think about these things) whether one style is preferable over the other. There's no general concensus. My question is this: to get into a spinning mode with a big gear, don't you at least have to mash to build up momentum, at which time the spinning takes over? In other words, is there a transition? I do all the drills (one leg pedaling, the push-your-toe-to-the-end-of-your-shoe at about 11 o'clock on the stroke, the 9-and-3 focus) and I can't get the hang of one (mashing) or the other (spinning). Anyone have a similar experience and, hopefully, a provisional answer? Thanks.