Faster Time Trials, Fixed Gear Bikes & Healthy Weight Loss | Ask GCN Anything

Faster Time Trials, Fixed Gear Bikes & Healthy Weight Loss | Ask GCN Anything


– Welcome to Ask GC Anything. – Coming up this week. How you can improve your time trialing. How high-intensity intervals
will improve your performance, and I know that only too well myself. – Yes you do.
– With recent experiences. And also, the best upgrade
to make your bike lighter. – Yes, and if you wanna get
involved on next week’s show, then remember to use
the hashtag torqueback and put them in the comment section below. And if you wanna win three
months of free subscription from our mates over at Zwift, then to use the hashtag askGCNtraining for all your training-specific questions. – Right, let’s crack on
with the first question from this week which comes in from 247MS1. “Hi guys, inspired by today’s
awesome Rad Race video.” And that was a cracking
video I have to admit. “And looking at the different
bikes used on GCN Tech. “I’ve been looking to
get a fixed wheel bike. “However, I was wondering what
makes one fixed wheel bike “better than another and
where should I put my money?” – Well the beauty of fixed gear bikes is there’s really not much to them. So looking at your frame
and putting money there is probably your best bet. If you’re really serious then
you can go for a carbon frame but alloy is also just fine and I race the alloy, the
Schindelhauer, in the Rad Race and it did me, well, pretty good. – Yeah, I think you enjoyed riding both. – I did yeah. – As Hank points out, the beauty
of them is their simplicity and therefore you really
don’t need to spend much money to get a decent fixed wheel bike. The main things to look
out for then are the fit, make sure you’re in the right position, and also the gearing, I mean
you can select different gears and have them back at
your garage to put on for whatever event you want. Only beyond that when
you’re getting more serious might you want to start
thinking about upgrading to aero wheels or aero frames but they’re really not necessary. – And if others of you out there who are looking at fixed gear bikes, then why don’t you
check out the tech video I did at the Rad Race and
you can see a wide variety of different bikes out there. I managed to get my hands on one of the Canyon Rad Pack team bikes. This is actually the
test bike of the V-Rad. And he’s got some mountain
bike bars, they’re 700 width. He’s got a Shimano SPD
mountain bike pedals. 165 cranks, a 48 gear, Vittoria 25 width tires on DT Swiss rims. And it’s aluminum. – Looking at the video
briefly again, Hank, I think possibly the biggest upgrade you could make to a fixed gear bike is spending some money
on an amazing paint job. Those are the coolest things, are they? – Ah, mate, you have never
seen so many custom paint jobs than on a fixed gear race. – It’s all about being cool,
isn’t it, fixed gear stuff, which is probably why I’ve
never done very much of it. All right, what’s next? – Next up, we’ve got a question
from The Gaming Entity. “Is 14:30 a good time for
a 10 kilometer time trial? “I’m 16 and the other times are usually “from 13 minutes to 20 minutes “and I–” – Is.
– “And is–” – There is a gap between
the I and the S there. – “And is there a way
I could improve my TT?” Well there is, but that is a great time and remember, you are only 16, you’ve got a long way to go
to improve on your fitness and on loads of other things
that Dan’s gonna explain now. – Well, I mean, the biggest
thing about time training is of course aerodynamics, and that doesn’t need to
be anything about equipment because the biggest
different the aerodynamics is your own position on the bike. So you could seek advice from local riders or your local bike shop on
how to make that better. I always say to people of your age, you shouldn’t be worrying too much about what those around you are doing because, at 16 especially, there’s all sorts of different
levels of development and other people might
be towards their ceiling and you might only just
be getting started. So concentrate just on
your own performance and you’ll get better
of the years, I’m sure. Also, hard to say whether
14:30 is a good time for a 10 K time trial when we don’t know whether it was flat, how windy it is, et cetera.
– Loads of variables. Yeah, I think as you get older you do start to change your position as you change your body shape so, yeah. You will keep getting
better so just, yeah, keep in there, hang in there. – And pacing, make sure that you’re doing even power as much as possible throughout. – I was terrible at the pacing. – Are you ready to find out who’s won three free months subscription to Zwift? – Yes, he winner is Ash
Thomas so well done to you. You’ve got a three
months free subscription winging its way right to
you for this question. – Yes, the questions is, “I am looking for some training advice. “There’s a climb that is 1.2 miles long “with an average gradient
of 10.9% locally to me “and I would like to get up it faster. “Any tips?” – Well it sounds like
an effort we just did. – It does, yeah! We had a 2.2 K KOM challenge,
which is just the 1.4 miles. Unfortunately, I started
a minute in front of Hank and then finished about
30 seconds behind him. Um, anyway. – But you are getting stronger,
mate, so hang in there. Actually, this session would help you. – Fake praise that is, isn’t it? I might have caught you and dropped you but you’re getting better, mate, keep it going, you’ll get there one day. – But what you would
wanna do is repeat effort of around four to eight minutes long. And you’re looking for a workload
of around 20 to 25 minutes and this will really help
you target that VO2 session, which is the component of training that you’re trying to improve. – Yeah, make sure you have
an equal amount of rest between each of those intervals so that you’re reasonable rested for the start of the next one. You could try doing that
once per week for a few weeks and you’ll see some improvements there. Also, within each of those weeks you could have an even
more intense session where you’re doing 30
second flat out intervals but, again, a longer recovery between them of around five minutes because they’re going
to take it out of you. It’s a really interesting one, this, because you need to push
your ceiling up to get better at an effort that’s about
five or six minutes long but at the same time you can also try pushing it up from the bottom. As in, if you can raise your
FTP from the point it is now to the point where the power
you’ve got at five minutes is now what you for an hour, then of course what
you do for five minutes is also going to go up so it’s a catch 22 but if you’ve not got loads of time, work on the top end and you should see those times getting better. – Yes, and as always we send
this question off the Zwift and they come back with a
session that will help you so check out this session on screen now. (cheerful music) Question in from Jaamn. “I know you’re often
recommending interval training.” Well yes, that’s very true, we are. “As most efficient way to
get stronger and fitter. “However, I most like to do longer rides, “three hours plus with
a bit of everything, “mountains, flats, and without
paying particular attention “regarding what would be the
most beneficial training-wise. “I just enjoy that type of riding. “My question is, what
am I missing out on?” – Well, in terms of what
intervals can do for you, that is sat right here, really. I did 10 weeks of just four hours a week, almost exclusively doing
intervals with Suffer Fest, I ended up getting a lot stronger. Some people said that was down to the fact that it’s muscle memory
because I was stronger before, when I was a full-time athlete. But lot’s of the people
doing Plow With Dan also experienced gains of 10 to 20% over the course of that 10 weeks. So there’s absolutely no doubt
that even doing short rides with intervals in is going to make you fitter, stronger and faster. That said, the thing I’m
gonna focus on your questions is I mostly do three hour rides or longer, I just enjoy that type of riding. So, in doing intervals, you
might end up missing out on what you most enjoy about
riding a bikes at the moment, and also the fact that you currently do mountains, flats, and other terrain might mean you’re kind of doing intervals without even realizing
it out on your rides. So, unless you really,
really want to get fitter, I wouldn’t worry too much. Next up, we have this from Benjamin Aspin. “I’m just starting to ramp up my training “for the start of the race season” and compute, commute, should
I said, by bike everyday. “However, every time I ride my bike, “my commuter or road bike, “I get cramp in my lower inside
quad just above the knee, “but definitely not the knee. “It also gets worse when
I climb out the saddle. “Is there a bike issue
or a muscular imbalance “or is it both? “Any help much appreciated.” – Great question. And I think we get loads
in on knee problems because they are quite a common problem when you’re on a bike. I personally have had a knee issue and it’s all stemmed from
where my cleat position, my stack under my pedal, so it can be a whole
load of different things. It sounds like it’s your vastus lateralis, do you like my pronunciation on that? But yeah, so it sounds
like that’s the muscle that is gonna cause you pain. And that’s actually the muscle that is holding your kneecap in place so it’s basically stabilizing your knee and it also helps for the
extension of your knee, also. So, something like stretching and looking at all the
different components like your shoe, from your cleat, and your body position on
the bike should really help. – Stretching and the strengthening in all areas of your body really, because even though you might
have the pain in your knee or somebody else in the achilles or somebody else in their back, it might not necessarily stem from exactly where you’re
experiencing the pain, it could be from somewhere
completely different. So it’s hard for us to
sit here as non-medics and obviously not seeing you, to say exactly what’s going on there so I’d firstly, before
you go to a bike fitter, recommend going to see
a good physio or chiro and try and find out where
the issue’s coming from in the first place. – Yes, and actually Dan did a
video a couple of years back– – Couple?! Blimey, about five. As you just pointed out,
before we started filming this. – On how to avoid knee pain. So why don’t you check out that video now? – Hank says it’s due an update but you might still find
some points in there. Knee pain is something which you should take very seriously indeed. In fact, if you’re
experiencing a lot of pain, then we recommend going to see somebody for some professional help, particularly if you’re starting to feel it off the bike as well as on it. The first place you should start is by looking at your
saddle hight and position. Now, get it too high or too low and you’ll be putting considerable extra strain on your knees. Now, talk to a fellow cyclist, and with one look they
should be able to tell you if there are any glaring
errors in your position. But you can of course,
do it yourself as well. Next up, this one from
Jorge Garcia Ibanez. “I’m going to the Pyrenees next July “to see the Tour de France with a friend “and we’re gonna take our
bikes to climb some mountains. “The thing is that my
friend is quite strong “because he trains for amateur races “but I’m quite an average rider. “Any tips on how to complete those climbs “and not die in the attempt?” – Right. Pacing is your ultimate tool. – Don’t try to keep up
with him to start with. – Do not blow too early,
so ride within yourself and keep yourself at a constant pace that you know you can sustain for the longevity of that climb. So yeah, not going into
the red, basically. – I know you said that you’re
taking your own bikes out but the alternative is that, if you want to ride
with your better friend, you could go and hire a e-bike and I’m being serious here, like that is what e-bikes
are good for, in my opinion, it allows you to ride with people that are at a higher level than you or if you’re at a higher level, someone else having an e-bike
allows you to ride with them even thought they’re at
a lower level than you. – Is that why you ride with
me when you’re on an e-bike? – All right, stop putting
the knife in here. Blimey, not gonna do
another RT training thing. Anyway, there’s no harm in that. But on the other side of things, I’m sure you want to accomplish and get to the top off your own impetus. In which case, as Hank says, it’s just about pacing it on the way up, not trying to stick with your
friend from the gun at all, and just getting to the
top off your own back. – It’s actually what
Opie was really good at. When we were on training camps, he used to stick to a certain power that he knew he could sustain and me, on the other hand,
went full gas from the go and he ended up passing
me half way on the climb. – Pacing is everything. – We got a question in
from AndreasCarlsson10. “I’m trying to get down to my race weight, “but I’ve noticed a
significant drop in power “over the last few weeks. “Since January I’ve gone from 70 kilograms to 63 kilograms,” wow that is a lot. “Now I want to lose another
2.4 kilograms of fat. “My resting heart rate has also dropped “from 58bpm to 48bpm and
now I really struggle “to even reach my threshold heart rate. “Is there anything I
can do to prevent this? “I eat around 200 grams
plus of protein a day “and 60 grams of carbs on the
two meals before my workout.” Wow
– Seven kilograms of bodyweight in the space
of 10 weeks is a huge amount and that kind of weight loss
is just not sustainable. So firstly I would say
just be very careful what you’re doing, especially given the symptoms
that you’ve just said about not being able to
get your heart rate up and losing power. You want to do this slowly
so that it stays off and so that you don’t
reduce how much power you’re able to put out so
go very careful on this one. – Yeah, crash dieting
can be quite dangerous so I would, yeah, like Dan said, just go careful with it
and monitor with a doctor or someone who actually knows– – Definitely firstly
concentrate on making sure that you start to feel better on the current weight that you’ve got to before you start thinking about losing another 2.4 kilos of fat. Otherwise, things are going
to go belly-up fairly quickly. I mean, your resting heart rate though. That can be a good indicator
that you’re getting fitter. Generally my resting heart rate comes down the fitter I’ve got as
long as I’m measuring it on a day that I’m not
particularly fatigued. But, again, it’s different
for different people. And to reiterate, I’d just go
very careful at the moment. – Yeah and on the 60 to
80 grams of carbohydrates, that is not a lot so maybe increasing that and then increasing your
workload, maybe balance that out. But yeah, looking at how much food you eat and the types of food you eat is also gonna really be important. – At the end of the day, power
to weight is hugely important at the very top end of the sport but power is also always
key, really, isn’t it? You don’t want to lose that, so you need to go back
to the drawing board, I would suggest, and get
the power back that you had even if it means putting a
little bit of weight back on before you start to steadily
try to lose weight again. Right, next up, this from… That was definitely not a
quick-fire round that one was it? – No, sorry. – Rurry Verial Harris. “Hi GCN, sorry for my bad English. “I like cycling very much “and I am a complete newbie about cycling. “Here’s the issue. “Can I use GCN cycling tips
on my hard tail mountain bike “because it’s the only bike I have “and I want to enjoy my
cycling more around the city?” Short answer, absolutely. Here at GCN, we’re all about
having fun on the bike. We do try not to be elitist even though we’re very privileged to have an amazing kit sponsor, helmet, shoes, glasses, bikes, et cetera. I know we kind of look elitist sometimes but we’re all about getting people out on bikes and having fun. And we had a massive
array of fitness levels and experience levels over in Mallorca but I think, and I hope, everybody enjoyed riding their bike over there. – Yeah, absolutely. And second that, actually, because you’ve all gotta start somewhere. So, I mean, Dan and I, we both started on old
mountain bikes, hard tails, and that’s where you just
go out and enjoy your bike and when you get better, and hopefully, if you earn a bit more money and you can invest in a
better bike and better kit. But ultimately, our how-tos of what we do, it does cross over for all levels and all different types of cycling. – All the training advice, you can go and do the same intervals and, as you said, you might
want to upgrade to road. But what I did, was got some
slick ties for my mountain bike when I wanted get out road riding more, so yeah, don’t worry about
the bike that you’ve got. Kathy Williams. “Got a question for ask GNC training. “I’ve been doing a nice
variety of workouts “on Zwift throughout the winter “and every time I’m about to get started, “I have to decide whether to
do the work in ERG mode or not. “I almost always do
well hitting my targets “regardless of whether
I’m in ERG mode or not, “but for some reason in that
mode, it feels much harder. “My question is does that? “Why is that the case?” – Right. On ERG mode, it does feel a little strange when you get on it, but what you can do is
anticipate the effort. So maybe raising your cadence and getting ready before
the turbo kicks in, that should help smooth the transition from going at, say,
230 watts to 260 watts. – Yeah, well we should probably
explain what ERG mode is to those of you that haven’t got a smart– – That’s probably wise. – If your training program
from Zwift says to you that you need to stick at
250 watts for five minutes, whatever gear you’re in when
you start that interval, it will ensure that
you are doing 250 watts no matter what your cadence. So if you start at 70 and
decide you want to be 90, it will reduce the resistance
so the power remains the same even if the force that’s going through the pedals changes slightly. So many people do find it easy, because it kind of takes
the thinking out of– – You definitely don’t need to think, you just pedal, don’t you? – You do. But on the other hand, if
you’re having a bad day, it makes it very hard doesn’t it? Because on level mode,
which is the alternative where you choose the gear and your cadence stays fairly level and you just have to choose the gear to get the right power, you can drop things down
if you’re not on a good day and still get a decent interval done. But it can be depressing
if the Turbo Trainer’s trying to make you do the
power that you can’t do on a particular day. It’s our final question
on Ask GC Anything. – Sad times.
– This week. Comes in from Den I Am. “I’d like to know why the pros “don’t ride aero-bikes in pro races. “I ride a trek SL6 Pro and their bike “looks similar in style to my bike.” – Right, good question, but some pros do and some pros don’t. It’s basically down to rider preference. If the sponsor who’s sponsoring the team and the supplier of the bikes has an aero-bike in their roster, then they do have to option to use them. But if they’re kind of used to the more traditional geometry style, then yeah, it’s basically what the
rider is comfortable with. Like Valverde, for example, he likes a traditional style bike and that’s why he rides the Ultimate instead of the Canyon Aero. – Well it’s a traditional sport, isn’t it? And I know that lots of
aerodynamics gurus and engineers that work for the manufacturers
that supply teams, come up against a lot of resistance when trying to persuade the
older generation of riders to use aerodynamic gear. In general, in almost every situation, it is better to be aero
than lose a few grams. But to give you a personal example, Carl Sasjay, for example, back in the day, I won’t mention it. He refused to use
anything deeper than a 202 which is the shallowest rim
from zip on a climbing stage, and it wasn’t because of the aero-side or the lightweight-side, he preferred the way it
handled down descents, it was a bit more nimble, whereas on the 303s or 404s, he would find it a little bit harder to turn and not be quite so confident. So that comes into it as well. But I think what you will see
as the generations progress and as more knowledge would appear from the internet, et cetera, is that almost every rider will go for the most aero component
on every part of the bike. – Yep, that’s it. And that’s a great question to end on. And I’m afraid, it is the end of this week’s Ask GC Anything. If you would like to get
involved on next week’s show, then to use the hashtag.
– Torqueback. – And if you would like to win three months free subscription from Zwift, what is the hashtag use? – Ask GC Anything. – Yeah and put them in the
comments section below. – Or, if you think of a question whilst you’re out and about, then use the hashtag torqueback on social media and we’ll
look through those too. Right, I’m now going to hand back over to Hank’s video from the Rad Race because if you haven’t already seen it, it is rad in more ways than one. – I surprised myself. – Oh, sorry, it’s down here. – Somewhere.