Bike Tires & Pressure

This is reference info for me:

  • Pavement Reference: 700c, 28mm @ 120psi for 300 LB ride weight, 60% rear
  • Cruiser Reference: 32er, 55mm @ 60psi for 310 LB ride weight, 70% rear
  • Off-Road Reference: 700c, 40mm @ 40psi for 180 LB ride weight, 60% rear

Slower speed, butt off the seat, you can go lower psi. You’d be risking pinch flats on longer rides, or unseating the bead in harder turns, etc

Tread pattern is coarse for rough terrain, fine for sand & hardpack, and smooth for pavement.

Higher pressure prevents tire flex, and is better on pavement. – Less shock absorption, grippy on soft, loose surface.

Lower pressure increases tire flex, which grips obstacles better. – Increased risk of pinch flats, or rolling off the rim.

General width preferences:

  • Hardpack or pavement – narrow to prevent drag
  • Sand, pea gravel, mud – wide to prevent sinking
  • loose, large gravel – wide to prevent pinch flats, throwing gravel, etc

Weight Distribution

  • Cruiser ~ 70% rear.
  • Mountain ~ 60% rear.
  • Race Road ~ 55% rear.

Proportional adjustments:

  • Narrower tire for larger diameter
  • Lower pressure for lower weight
  • Lower pressure for wider tire

Rim sizes:

  • 559mm = 26er
  • 584mm = 650b / 27.5″
  • 622mm = 700c / 29er
  • 686mm = 32er
  • 787mm = 36er

Digestion Time of Various Foods

I am still looking for the raw source of this information, or the methods used to obtain it.

It matches my observations, but without scientific backing, this must be considered anecdotal at best.

Date: 2004/02/09, 01:55 PM
Source: https://www.freetrainers.com/forums/topic/eating-before-workout-17839/
Author: https://www.freetrainers.com/community/p/bb1fit/

DIGESTION TIME OF VARIOUS FOODS

  • approx. time spent in stomach before emptying

Water

  • When stomach is empty, leaves immediately and goes into intestines

Juices

  • Fruit vegetables, vegetable broth – 15 to 20 minutes.

Semi-liquid

  • Blended salad, vegetables or fruits – 20 to 30 min.

Fruits

  • Watermelon – 20 min.
  • Other melons – Canteloupe, Cranshaw, Honeydew etc. – 30 min.
  • Oranges, grapefruit, grapes – 30 min.
  • Apples, pears, peaches, cherries etc. – 40 min.

Vegetables

  • Raw tossed salad vegetables – tomato, lettuces, cucumber, celery, red or green pepper, other succulent vegetables – 30 to 40 min.

Steamed or cooked vegetables

  • Leafy vegetables – escarole, spinach, kale, collards etc. – 40 min.
  • Zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, string beans, yellow squash, corn on cob – 45 min.
  • Root vegetables – carrots, beets, parsnips, turnips etc. – 50 min.

Semi-Concentrated Carbohydrates – Starches

  • Jerusalem artichokes & leafy, acorn & butternut squashes, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yam, chestnuts – 60 min.

Concentrated Carbohydrates – Grains

  • Brown rice, millet, buckwheat, cornmeal, oats (first 3 vegetables best) – 90 min.

Legumes & Beans – (Concentrated Carbohydrate & Protein)

  • Lentils, limas, chick peas, peas, pigeon peas, kidney beans, etc. – 90 min.
  • soy beans -120 min.

Seeds & Nuts

  • Seeds – Sunflower, pumpkin, pepita, sesame – approx. 2 hours.
  • Nuts – Almonds, filberts, peanuts (raw), cashews, brazil, walnuts, pecans etc. – 2.5 to 3 hours

Dairy

  • Skim milk, cottage or low fat pot cheese or ricotta – approx. 90 min.
  • whole milk cottage cheese – 120 min.
  • whole milk hard cheese – 4 to 5 hours

Animal proteins

  • Egg yolk – 30 min.
  • Whole egg – 45 min.
  • Fish – cod, scrod, flounder, sole seafood – 30 min.
  • Fish – salmon, salmon trout, herring, (more fatty fish) – 45 to 60 min.
  • Chicken (without skin) – 11/2 to 2 hours digestion time
  • Turkey (without skin) – 2 to 2 1/4 hours
  • Beef, lamb – 3 to 4 hours
  • Pork – 41/2 to 5 hours

END OF QUOTED ARTICLE

Info about gastric emptying rates:

  • http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/digestion/basics/transit.html
  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/digestive-system/expert-answers/faq-20058340
  • https://www.physiology.org/doi/10.1152/ajpgi.1989.257.2.G284

The case against dietary extremism

This write-up is in response to some claims that humans were not built to eat meat.


Short Summary

Human biology is built for endurance hunting. We are not structured to eat meat with every meal, but some of our essential vitamins are only naturally available from meat.

Plant carbohydrate is the only fuel which causes multiple metabolic dysfunctions when consumed in excess of immediate needs. The US shift from fat to carbs in 1977 for bulk energy recommendation coincides with the sharp beginning of the US obesity epidemic.

Grains, pulses, roots, etc are not naturally a primary food source. They require substantial technology to prepare. The vegetable foods we can eat are not available year round without major technological advancements.

Some of our survival does absolutely rely on plants as well, including non-digestible plant matter, and other vitamins.

It’s not that we “can” eat both. It’s that we truly are adapted to require eating both. Technology allows us to get around this requirement, but it is not in any way “natural”.

We’re also not adapted for having food instantly available all the time, and we are not adapted to using carbohydrate as a primary source of energy.


Long rambly supporting info:

We, and our ancestors back to previous species, have a biology designed to follow prey around to the point of the prey’s exhaustion. While many animals can move faster than us in the short term, very few can travel as far as we can in a few hours, or even in a day, without becoming incapacitated by fatigue. At that point, we simply walk up to the prey and run it through with a stick.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persistence_hunting

We are upright, which gives us a reduced thermal load from spending a long time moving in the sun.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/004724849190003E?via%3Dihub

It also supports both wooded foraging and coastal hunting.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2819487/

Compared to our ancestors, we devolved upper body strength and evolved lower body strength to support hunting, at the expense of being able to harvest and climb trees to the same level as other primates. We lost our opposable big toes, and our knees angled towards the middle a bit. This is an adaptation to extended running or walking, and use of tools instead of brute strength.
https://www.jstor.org/stable/1373587
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2840520/

Our digestive tract is designed for meat occasionally, but not constantly. The gallbladder stores and concentrates bile, and our bile is hydrophobic (eg, is used to digest fats).
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0375090613000323

Some of our vitamins only come from meat, or bioengineered foods. The most critical is Vitamin B12.
https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-HealthProfessional/

The canine argument is non-scientific. Canines, and pointed teeth, and claws, are for killing rapidly, both for territorial purposes and for hunting. Many species of primates have huge canines, even the ones that don’t eat much meat.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080626145058.htm

Humans don’t kill with our teeth and claws. Not a factor for what we should eat. Whales don’t have canines either, and they eat tons of small shrimp and fish every year.

True herbivore teeth generally continue to grow throughout life, because it’s extra hard on teeth. We have two sets of teeth, one to fit our small head, and one set to fit our grown up heads. Birth size and brain growth come into play there. We live twice as long as we would in the wild, and we’re still dealing with people who, despite dental precautions, still have to have dental appliances.
https://www.miamicosmeticdentalcare.com/teeth-herbivores-carnivores-omnivores/

Our front teeth have fairly sharp corners, and a chisel edge, designed for biting out big chunks at a time. Basically, once we get food, we need to be able to eat a bunch of it fast, because more dangerous predators would come along soon.
https://www.nku.edu/~whitsonma/Bio120LSite/Bio120LReviews/Bio120LAnimalRev.html

Note that what society considers meat is very limited. In the wild, primates would eat birds, lizards, insects, crustaceans, worms, and anything else available. Some primates eat other primate species on a monthly basis.

Also compare our digestive tracts past the teeth. Our stomach is designed to help break down meat, and liberate protein. Our duodenum is designed to begin the breakdown of fats. Our jejunum is designed to absorb carbs, fats, and proteins that have been liberated above. Our ileum is designed to absorb trace nutrients, excess bile, vitamins, and whatever wasn’t absorbed above. Our colons are designed for residual fermentation and moisture absorption.
https://www.quora.com/Are-apes-herbivores-And-if-so-why-do-they-have-such-huge-canines

Our colons are half the size of our more vegetarian cousins among primates. We also have a very small appendix. These are related to having a lower capacity to break down cellulose. In other words, we can eat some vegetation, but not the same variety as some other species.
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/human-ancestors-were-nearly-all-vegetarians/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appendix_(anatomy)

Our stomachs are elastic, and can hold quite a lot of food. Human gastric juice is specifically designed to break down proteins.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gastric_acid

When food is low in animal protein, food passes fairly quickly through the stomach. When it’s very meaty, it hangs out in the stomach for multiple hours.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3428803

Info about gastric emptying rates:
http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/digestion/basics/transit.html
https://www.mayoclinic.org/digestive-system/expert-answers/faq-20058340`
https://www.physiology.org/doi/10.1152/ajpgi.1989.257.2.G284
https://www.freetrainers.com/forums/topic/eating-before-workout-17839/
* local copy at http://omnitech.net/health/2018/06/06/digestion-time-of-various-foods/
* Sorry this last one is not better quality. I have not been able to find research, nor older references.

This delay is so that we can absorb all of it, not because we’re having a problem. Problem foods either come up, or pass through rapidly.
https://www.foodsafety.gov/poisoning/symptoms/symptoms.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gastrocolic_reflex

Herbivores, such as cattle, use extended duration fermentation to break down plant matter.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29053599
http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/digestion/largegut/ferment.html

Basically, our structure is specifically adapted to handle different types and amounts of foods, depending on whatever is available at the time.
https://www.mainstreetsmiles.com/dental-and-skull-anatomy-of-carnivores-herbivores-and-omnivores/

A major exception is that we’re structured to not eat large amounts of carbohydrates except when we are recovering from, or in the middle of endurance exercise. We’re better at it than our distant ancestors, because we’ve been doing agriculture for a LONG time, way longer than written language.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2377015/

If we have been out hunting all day, then eating the equivalent of 10 refined peaches in 5 minutes is not so bad. It goes into the muscles and the liver to replenish glycogen, repair damage, and keep feeding ATP systemwide.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3248697/

When we are recovered, this is not the case.

Our insulin has a half-life of about 10 minutes naturally, Natural insulin levels oscillate by a factor of 8 over 3-6 minute periods. When our livers and muscles are replete with glycogen (locally stored carbohydrate), those tissues refuse to absorb more glucose.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulin#Oscillations
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17822199
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17822201/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulin_oscillation

In response, blood glucose levels go up, and the body releases even more insulin. The loop happens until our fat cells kick into overdrive, and our livers kick into overdrive, and all of the glucose gets stored as fat.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulin

During this process, our muscle cells down-regulate their sensitivity to insulin, because obviously, something is wrong. Muscles are already full, so why are you trying to feed them? Literally, GLUT4 receptor production rate is related to the energy needs of the cell. If the needs are low, then the levels can be reduced enough to induce insulin resistance.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22403297

Also, insulin is transported into a cell along with the transport protein. Endocytosis of the GLUT4 receptor is faster than regeneration and exocytosis.
Sherwood, Lauralee; Klandorf, Hillar; Yancey, Paul (2012-01-01). Animal Physiology: From Genes to Organisms. Cengage Learning. ISBN 1133709516

Muscle cells have secondary functions to absorb glucose when needed anyway, so it’s just a courtesy that they listen for insulin at all.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3899806
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27411383

Along the same lines, the pancreas down-regulates the number of islet (beta) cells, because obviously, such high levels of insulin must mean we have too many cells. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15655713

Unfortunately, in its panic, the liver has to pack it into very low density lipoprotein myceles (VLDL), which is particularly difficult for our body to deal with. This gets stuffed into the walls of our arteries just to keep it from killing us on the spot. This leads to necrosis, clots, hardened arteries, etc.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/expert-answers/vldl-cholesterol/faq-20058275
https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/how-its-made-cholesterol-production-in-your-body

None of this cascade of metabolic hormone dysfunction happens from eating excess meat, though excess of any food can lead to obesity and long-term insulin resistance. Protein takes longer to convert to glucose, but does have a nitrogen load on the kidneys. There are limits to how much can be acquired “in the wild”, and this tends to be much better self-regulated due to the longer gastric clearance times.
* more sources needed here, but I’m tired.

Eating high amounts of animal fat or cholesterol also does not cause a lipid problem for the blood. Dietary fats are packaged as High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) and carried to the liver for further processing, or to fat cells for storage. HDL has the benefit of also scavenging free fatty acids out of the blood, and off of the walls of blood vessels.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4265799/

80% of the body’s cholesterol is produced by the liver, and excess is excreted by being bound in non-digested plant matter in the intestines.
https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/how-its-made-cholesterol-production-in-your-body

Note that the epidemic of obesity in the US aligns closely with the low-fat claims. The recommendation for low-fat diets coincides with higher carbohydrate consumption (how else do you get energy?). This shift happened in 1977. You can see this coincides with a sharp uptick in obesity rates here:
https://stateofobesity.org/obesity-rates-trends-overview/
https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/03/28/295332576/why-we-got-fatter-during-the-fat-free-food-boom

In summary, we’re supposed to eat alternating meat and plant meals, but not so much in the way of carbohydrates. When we do eat carbohydrates, it would be perhaps one or two small pieces of fruit during a hunt, or as a special treat during the week that the small fruits were ripening on the tree, but not demolished by birds, or perhaps a handful of grass seeds or beans in passing.

A nice reference of all of the pieces of the digestive system:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_digestive_system

  • Further discussion could be had on the health, social, and environmental implications of using technology to bypass these physiological limitations.

Calories per Mile

This is a SWAG for calories burned cycling 12-15mph:

* Divide your feet climbed by 10.
* Divide again by your average MPH.
* Add that to your total miles.
* Multiply the new number by the weight in pounds of you, your bike, and everything you’re carrying.
* Multiply the new number by 0.105 (or divide by 9.5).
* (Use 0.115 or 8.7 if you only know your own naked wake-up weight.)
* That is pretty close to your calories burned for the ride.
* Baseline here is me, 6’5″, anywhere between 250 and 290 pounds plus bike weight (any bike).

BMR is not a part of this SWAG:

* BMR is how much you burn in 24 hours of sleeping.
* Most people are around 9kcal per pound per day.
* BMR and is not based on your activity level (see TDEE).
* BMR is based in your microcellular efficiency, and is influenced by hormones.
* If you are on severe caloric restriction, it goes down.
* Thyroid issues can affect this either way.
* Baseline here is me, at 285 pounds, and averaging 2550 kcal per day.

Faster speeds pick up exponentially more wind resistance.

* Twice the airspeed has four times the wind drag.
* Higher density altitude has proportionally less drag.
* Shorter and narrower shouldered people people have less wind drag.
* Fatter people are slightly more aerodynamic, so the increased wind profile is not THAT much of an issue.
* Cycling 10mph into a 5mph headwind has as much wind drag as cycling 20mph with a 5mph tailwind.
* 12-16mph is the 50% transition for wind vs other factors on flat ground. (13mph for me at 6 sqft)
* Baseline here is me, with about 6 square feet of frontal area, about 22 Watts at 10mph, and about 150 Watts at 20mph, just for wind.

Rolling resistance is a big part of drag.

* Increases linearly with speed (2x speed is 2x the rolling drag).
* Lower weight is better (because tiny bumps have to push you UP over them).
* Race tires can be half the CRR of average tires.
* Wider tires are better by around 1% per mm with 23mm as baseline.
* Baseline is me, at 310 total, 31W at 10mph, or 61W at 20mph on 1% grade.

Routes with less uphill than downhill will cost fewer calories.

* Increases linearly with speed (2x speed is 2x the gravity drag).
* 1% uphill is 2x the drag of rolling resistance. 2% is 4x.
* Lower weight people do way better on both gravity and CRR.
* Baseline is me, at 310 total, 62W at 10mph vs 124W at 20mph on 1% grade.

Good links:

* https://www.gribble.org/cycling/power_v_speed.html
* http://mccraw.co.uk/wind-resistance-cycling-speed/
* http://mccraw.co.uk/optimising-for-long-distance-speed/


Body Energy Usage

I ponder macro-nutrition needs a whole bunch. Here’s what I have handy, though my technical references are scattered and omitted.

There’s always a need for roughage, vitamins, and minerals, which come from foods with very low calories/kilojoules. Aside from that, the three main macros have specific needs.

A body needs 125 grams of carbs for your brain/nerves; just under 1 gram of protein per kilo of lean body mass to maintain tissues/muscles; and around 30g of fat for cellular and neurological structures. This is usually around 1200 kcal per day, but varies by person 10-20 percent.

Anything else you eat is either poop, or gets converted to sugar. Sugar is burned if it’s needed immediately for exercise (growing, standing, walking, cardio, whatever, anything other than sleeping). Any sugar that is not immediately needed is stored in muscles as glycogen, up to around 4% of your muscle mass. All sugar past that is turned into fat and stored in our fat cells.

This is where “whole grains” comes into play. If it’s not ground up, it takes longer to break it down. However, if you take grains, and mill them into a powder, IT IS NOT WHOLE GRAINS. Just because there is fiber in the food does not mean it’s slow to absorb. The less processed the food, the longer time period over which it trickles energy into your body. If it’s super processed, it all absorbs very quickly, and your body may have trouble figuring out what to do with it unless you’re depleted already.

This is also where some insulin resistance comes from, and why diabetics have normal sugar metabolism in their muscles during exercise, even if they are short on insulin, or are resistant to it. Resistance is GLUT4 which causes glucose receptors to move to the cell membrane, but exercise does the same thing – muscle is hungry, it asks for more. Muscle is not hungry, it asks for less, even if you try to overfeed it. Where would it put this excess sugar? It can only store so much.

During exercise, your fat cells can liberate about 90% of your weight in pounds as usable calories per hour. For me, it’s about 260 calories. The gap is made up from glycogen in the muscles, which is good for just about 90 minutes. If you exercise hard, and stop at 60, and rest for 30, those 30 mins still use up that glycogen for delayed processes, cleanup, etc.

Eating carbs cannot provide as much energy as glycogen, but it’s the next best thing. Also, if you’re fasting, your glycogen reserves get burned up pretty quickly. Glycogen is 3:1 water to sugar, so this is why the first week of dieting is so awesome. No, that’s not fat. It’s muscle energy.

Any energy deficiency not covered by food will be covered by muscle damage. About the same number of calories can be broken down out of injured muscle cells. For me, this is a total of muscle and fat sourced calories of about 520 calories per hour. If I exercise for 3 hours with no food, then my power output drops to 130 watts, which is about 520 calories per hour.

The best option to limit muscle damage, limit recovery time, and optimize exercise benefits when going for more than your glycoge, is to eat as much every hour as you burn, minus the calories that can come from fat. Staying carb focussed can give more energy, and can be easier to absorb, though for some people, this slows the breakdown of body fat.

Staying fat focussed keeps the fat burn mechanisms running, but it takes twice as much oxygen, which means you’re hear-rate limited. It’s less about muscle conditioning then, and more about cardiovascular improvement.

Staying protein focussed is tougher on the kidneys. The aminos have to be converted for use as fuel, and that’s a lot of extra ammonia to pee out. That can be an issue when dehydration might already be at play.


Cycling Fuel

Max bodyfat you can burn in an hour is roughly 1 gram per 10 pounds, or in calories, 9 times your weight in pounds.

Anything else is food, muscle glycogen, or actual muscle tissue. Glycogen max is about 4% lean muscle mass, which usually is enough for 90 mins, plus or minus. Food is whatever is in your gut, though exercise slows digestion.

Bonk is when you have used up all food, and your glycogen stores, effectively exercising while fasted.

Bonk power is the max sustained energy ouput when you are fasted/bonked. This is fat burn, and muscle breakdown, combines.

Average watts is roughly 1/4 your calories per hour.

Me as an example
I’m 280 pounds, and bonk power for me is 133 watts, which is about 520 calories per hour. Doing that pretty much guarantees cramps from muscle breakdown.

Biking, I tend to burn 750-850 calories per hour, but I can peak at over 1000 in some instances (beginning, well fed, well rested, very driven).

That’s a big gap, because being big, I get more wind drag, which is 50% of your energy above 15mph. I also take more energy to climb a hill.

Downhill is faster, so less benefit (less time spent going downhill), and often waste the energy by riding brakes so as to not plow through others.

I do best consuming 600 calories per hour while riding more than 90 mins.

So, I have to eat the equivalent of a meal every hour to keep up, and reduce cramp risks. Most of that needs to be carbs that break down in less than an hour. Also, I don’t want to have a bathroom break every hour.

Ride Fuel
Sugary colas have phosphate, glucose, and fructose – all good for refueling. Cookies, sandwiches, etc usually are low roughage, good energy density, and include salt. M&Ms were actually designed to be endurance fuel for the army, and they hold up pretty well in a plastic bag.

Basically, all the things that are bad for you normally make great endurance fuel.

As to proper “race fuel”, honestly, it’s too low calorie for someone my size. Some people only need 200 calories an hour to stay fueled, so half banana, a 2″ square of granola, and a swig of gatorade is fine. For me, that would be a whole bunch bananas, and two quarts of gatorade. Just too much bulk.

Impediments
Add to all that the need for oxygen to build ATP (actual muscle energy chemical). It takes 35% more oxygen to burn blood glucose than intra-muscular glycogen. Fat takes twice as much oxygen as glucose. High heat, humidity, low pressure, altitude, carbonation, and alcohol all reduce oxygen availability. Transport of glucose into the cell takes ATP. Digestion of food takes ATP.

Diabetes, Insulin Resistance, and Metabolic Syndrome
The key there is to not eat much carbohydrate outside of the exercise times. When glycogen reserves are full (muscles recovered), and adipose cells are replete, then why would you need more fuel? That’s the practical wording of the physiology here, despite the perception of a faulty hunger mechanism for the obese, or lack of islets for type I, or the defective signalling in Type II without obesity triggers.

Exercise induced glucose uptake is normal in diabetic muscle cells:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4315445/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3899806
http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/438374

Exercise may increase glucose sensitivity:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3899806

While glycogen is being replenished, glucose uptake by muscles in normal. GLUT4 is transported to the membrane during exercise, even in absence of insulin.
http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/62/2/572
http://physiologyonline.physiology.org/content/20/4/260.full
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1550413107000678


Bicycle cross-chaining

Mark loves to prod me about cross-chaining, because it’s formally a naughty-no-no. I thought I’d give some observations, since I am a chronic cross-chainer.

Cross chaining wears the sides of the sprockets, which is never what wears out. I ride like I am a 1×9 unless I’m on hills. No problems. All major makers support 1×11 (single gear in front, all the way back and forth in the rear).

Cross chaining puts a side load on chain pins, so use a chain whose plates don’t pop off. Most are made by KMC, with a brand label on them. I found SRAM branded chains hold up better. SRAM was the first to offer 1×11 drivetrains. KMC branded, Shimano branded, etc would pop a link by 600 miles. Maybe better now, but I have no reason to change brands. Bell chains are just too heavy/slow/frictiony, but work fine. Whippermsn chains are super durable, but expensive. Chains with a dimple or flat pin edge are better than the ones that look like a wite cutter went after them.

Wear on the teeth, ramps, and pins of the cassette/chainrings is due to shifting. Side loads don’t matter much, but heavy loads do. Don’t shift under high load, and they will last longer. If you hear a crunch when shifting because you waited to downshift, that’s more damaging.

Wear on chains is mostly from higher wattage, incorrect lubrication, and grit abrasion. Clean and lube your chain any time you can hear it at all. Try different lubes and see what you like. You can even throw it in a jug of 50wt motor oil, or molten candle wax if you like, but make sure to wipe it off well. Oil only needs to be inside the rollers. Anywhere else attracts grit.

Wattage, well, whatever power you can put into a chain is part of the fun, but if you are 285 pounds like me, and stand to power up a hill, expect more wear.

Lastly, when your chain gets to 0.5% stretched, replace it. Letting it go longer causes additional wear on the sprockets.

The only other issue to bring up is practical, not wear related, and that’s dropped chains.

If you are all the way tiny in the back, and shift up to the big ring in the front, expect to drop the chain off the outside, onto the crank arm.

If you are all the way small in the back, and try to shift to the small ring up front, expect to drop your chain between the cranks and the frame.

If you are fast, you can soft pedal, shift 2-3x in the rear, then shift up front, before losing much momentum. Chain guards and idler arms are not super effective at preventing drops caused by cross chaining.


Bicycle Tire Pressure

Optimal tire size and pressure isn’t always known. Here is a great calculator I use when I set up bikes.

The “Bike + Rider” weight is usually about 10% over your out-of-the-shower weight, and includes your clothes, tool bag, bottles, bike, etc.

The middle calculator automatically shows front and rear tires separately. I recommend that.

For tire sizes, you can pick what you have installed, and see what’s the best pressure for front and rear.

I like to run 2 different sized tires so I can keep the same pressure front and back, but due to frame limits, my rear tire is still too narrow.

If ideal for a road bike is under 80psi, (light riders), then you might consider going with a thinner tire. You’ll find it easier to spin up.

If ideal is over 120psi, you might consider a wider tire, because higher pressures can be harder on rims, tire casings, etc.

If you’re riding dirt, then lower pressures are better, to a point. Under 30psi usually means rock crawling, low speeds, and a tubeless setup. Over 80psi usually means you’ll have traction issues on softer surfaces.

Also. this person’s domain is “Dorky Pants R US”, which is just really great fun.

http://www.dorkypantsr.us/bike-tire-pressure-calculator.html


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Gym Workout Routines

I was talking with a friend about my Gym routine, I thought I’d share some of that here. It’s kind of a wall of text, soI tried to organize it for easy skimming.

I keep a notepad on my phone to track what I did and what’s next. End of workout, I add the updated list to MyFitnessPal in the exercise notes. This keeps me from twiddling my thumbs during rests.

#### Warmup is cardio:
* About 10 mins or 200 calories warmup on the recumbent bike. I’ll start at about 50%, and crank it up to 100% a couple of times. I try to vary my RPM, but tend to hang out around 70. I have long legs, so momentum is a factor. I make sure I clear 160bpm, but I never get to max HR. Sometimes I try to draw pictures with the hill profile.

#### Safety warmup for exercises I’m not sure about:
* 10-20 reps at 50-60% just to make sure everything moves right, especially for heavier weight exercises.

#### I usually go for strength
* Target is 2-4 sets of 6-10 reps per exercise.
* If I make it to 16 reps, I bump up the weight on the next set.
* Sometimes I’ll do 8 reps, then drop 40% and do another 8.
* If anything pinches or doesn’t feel right, I’ll back off the weight.
* Not so worried about cardio since I average 75 miles per week on a road bike.

#### I do circuits for time efficiency:
* Whole Body Days: alternate upper/lower, front/back, with 30 second rests between circuits.
* Upper OR Lower Only: I’ll do 2-3 exercises with a 60-90 second rests.
* I average almost one working set for every 2 minutes. That includes the set, equipment setup, walking between machines, updating my notes, and any rest/cooldown time. That excludes the warmup time at the start. (eg, a 2 hour workout has 20 mins of warmup, and 40-45 working sets. A 1-hour workout will have 10 mins warmup, and 18-24 sets.)

#### With a workout buddy:
We could alternate on the same machine with 60-90 second rests. This is less overall workouts, but more social. We could also do the circuits, and just be one machine off from each other. Less social, but more efficient.

#### Workout Duration:
I prefer a longer, whole body workout every 4 days. I get better results, and less wasted time. My goal is to grow muscle mass, and I’m missing the sprinter gene, so recovery time is usually 3-5 days instead of 2-3 days for most people.

If I have only 1 hour, it’s best if I stick to only upper or only lower, because exercises always pull in a other muscles a little. I don’t feel I get quite as good of a workout this way.

#### Upper Body Exercises:
* Freeweight bench row (Low-Back sparing vs seated)
* Chest Press (like a bench press)
* Lat Pulldowns
* Seated dips (because I’m too heavy to do real dips yet)
* Chest fly & rear deltoid fly (same machine, diff settings)
* Biceps curls (cable or dumbell)
* Triceps extension (Slow to improve)
* Sometimes I do a shoulder press or a vertical row, but those are not so great on my shoulder sockets.
* Lateral dumbell arm raises.

#### Lower Body Exercises
* Freeweight seated calf extension (Soleus Muscle)
* Rotary Calf Extension (Gastroc Muscle)
* Inner/Outer thigh (adductor/abductor)
* Leg Curls (Hamstrings)
* Leg Extension (outer and inner quads, nearer the knee)
* Leg Press (because it doesn’t load my low-spine like squats & deadlifts do.)

###### Back Pain avoidance (Chronic and Acute)
* Nothing with a torso twist (wood choppers, obliques) – always causes days of increased pain.
* No abdominal crunches – Still hurting from 2 weeks ago when I let my form get sloppy.
* No back extensions – Same as with crunches, though a 45 degree bodyweight back extension bench would be fine if I could find that at my gym.
* Backed off of seated rows, just to be safe. I’ve moved to bench rows, though bent-over single-arm dumbell rows are okay too (off-arm is on the bench, so no low-back load).
* I should be doing planks and leg lifts at home, but I keep forgetting. This gets core without abusing low-spine.
* I should do more stretching on non-workout days, but I keep forgetting. This helps keep from putting too much strain on low-back when moving around.

#### Preferred Machines
I like the Hoist machines my Gym has best, but I’ve maxed out the leg press. Not sure I want to use the freeweight leg press without a big spotter. I like most of the Precor machines, and use them for things missing from the Hoist line-up. Last are the Life Fitness for a couple things, but they use bigger weight stacks for the same effort, and just seem to be on a different scale from all of the others.