When to tuck?

PostieJohn Posts: 1,105
edited April 2010 in Road beginners
Ok first and foremost I do understand that with a 1000 and 1 variables to take into consideration, there is no definitive answer.

But is there a general speed threshold, rule of thumb, that dictates it's probably quicker to tuck in tight, than peddle?.


  • seanoconn
    seanoconn Posts: 11,515
    In my case on my compact, i start spinning too fast to generate any more speed from the pedals at about 35-40 mph. So basically any long, straight, steep decent would be better to tuck and would only really need to get on pedals again after breaking into a corner. Anything less than 40mph and i'd keep peddling.
    Pinno, מלך אידיוט וחרא מכונאי
  • Tuck as often as you can, as soon as you can, and for as long as you can, without hyperventilating from the in-excess of 3% bodyfat you have gestating around your middle.

    'swhat I do...!!
  • oldwelshman
    oldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    Once you feel your spinning out and putting too much effort for no return in speed. Then if someone passes you, get in behind them and you wont have topedal until a few metres after them for sure.
  • PostieJohn
    PostieJohn Posts: 1,105
    Once you feel your spinning out and putting too much effort for no return in speed.
    That's the thing, I have an hour of light, an evening, so have started doing speed work.
    A 16 mile loop with a hefty climb in the middle.
    But as I'm getting used to using smaller rings I'm not really spinning out, hence the question.

    I guess It does feel less productive at 35+ (coming down the climb!).
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Funnily enough, spinning-out is only a term you generally find on beginners forums - with experience and fitness, it's when the heart and lungs can't give any more! Getting aero gives you more speed for the same effort, but you may need to work on your flexibility and core body strength to sustain it for longer periods. The other alternative is to find someone bigger and stronger to shelter behind!
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • ColinJ
    ColinJ Posts: 2,218
    I have a low top gear (52/14) and don't like spinning at more than 120 rpm so I pedal up to 35 mph and then get my head down and freewheel. Even doing that I sometimes hit 50 mph on descents so I don't really miss the higher gears.