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Thread: Sprint VS. Surge

  1. #1

    Default Sprint VS. Surge

    With Schwinn's recommendations of not going over 100RPM how do you decipher between the two? Obvioulsy a Surge using high resistance at a higher RPM and a sprint at a lower resistance (supporting your body weight) going as fast as you can. Any help in appreciated!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Laryn41 View Post
    With Schwinn's recommendations of not going over 100RPM how do you decipher between the two? Obvioulsy a Surge using high resistance at a higher RPM and a sprint at a lower resistance (supporting your body weight) going as fast as you can. Any help in appreciated!
    I suggest you try whatever you're wondering about for yourself. The answer will be very obvious.

    If you're using a trad. *SPIN* bike, any RPM that's greater than, say, the 85-95 range and with appropriate resistance to control the flywheel will very definitely educate you about the difference between a surge and a sprint.

    SPRINT = whatever Usain Bolt could hack over 100 and 200 meters (under 20 seconds MAX)

    SURGE = whatever could be held for approx. 400 meters or a bit more.(but still not used for more than about 20 seconds)

    SPIN bikes have a habit of insulating even educated instructors from this reality.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vivienne View Post
    I suggest you try whatever you're wondering about for yourself. The answer will be very obvious.

    If you're using a trad. *SPIN* bike, any RPM that's greater than, say, the 85-95 range and with appropriate resistance to control the flywheel will very definitely educate you about the difference between a surge and a sprint.

    SPRINT = whatever Usain Bolt could hack over 100 and 200 meters (under 20 seconds MAX)


    SURGE = whatever could be held for approx. 400 meters or a bit more.(but still not used for more than about 20 seconds)

    SPIN bikes have a habit of insulating even educated instructors from this reality.
    These are Keiser bikes with measurements. Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Laryn41 View Post
    These are Keiser bikes with measurements. Thanks
    Keisers behave a bit differently but the principles are the same.

    A "sprint" is a truly explosive move....heavy resistance, higher cadence and enough power to the pedal that you really can't sustain the move for longer than about 20-30 seconds (and even that might be a push) Usain can do his 100m in under 10 sec., 200 in under 20.....but the 400 m record still stands at > 40 secs (and Usain Bolt doesn't hold it) I fancy that if there was a 300m distance, he'd be clocking over 30 seconds so obviously fading. Not only that, it'd wipe you out to the extend that you couldn't come back and put in a similar performance in much under 5 minutes or more. Physiology.....it's a science for a reason.

    What I call a "surge" is a similar time frame, slightly lower cadence and resistance than the sprint so as to give you a bit more power than your steady state but without wiping you out so you need complete recovery (cadence pick up on a hill, resistance add-on on the flat usually works for me) Don't quite know how to quantify it......maybe about 20% increase in power output over a moderately challenging flat or hill??? I'd have to try it myself to be sure this specific description matches the actual effort I'm suggesting.

    Try giving it a shot and get back to us. I'd be interested to know

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vivienne View Post
    Keisers behave a bit differently but the principles are the same.

    A "sprint" is a truly explosive move....heavy resistance, higher cadence and enough power to the pedal that you really can't sustain the move for longer than about 20-30 seconds (and even that might be a push) Usain can do his 100m in under 10 sec., 200 in under 20.....but the 400 m record still stands at > 40 secs (and Usain Bolt doesn't hold it) I fancy that if there was a 300m distance, he'd be clocking over 30 seconds so obviously fading. Not only that, it'd wipe you out to the extend that you couldn't come back and put in a similar performance in much under 5 minutes or more. Physiology.....it's a science for a reason.

    What I call a "surge" is a similar time frame, slightly lower cadence and resistance than the sprint so as to give you a bit more power than your steady state but without wiping you out so you need complete recovery (cadence pick up on a hill, resistance add-on on the flat usually works for me) Don't quite know how to quantify it......maybe about 20% increase in power output over a moderately challenging flat or hill??? I'd have to try it myself to be sure this specific description matches the actual effort I'm suggesting.

    Try giving it a shot and get back to us. I'd be interested to know

    I appreciate the advice. I just imagined the surge would be a higher resistance with a slower cadence. Sprint a lower resistance with a higher cadence. NO? Both being an "explosive" move.

  6. #6

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    While sprints are necessary in developing a good routine, I try to limit them to short duration and try to get the class to add enough resistance so they are not "bouncing" in their seats. Hard to do with beginners, but with a little coaching and when they get in better condition - it does come along fine.

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    No, as Vivienne points out it's about duration. Her explanation is right on the money.

    A surge is not a sprint but an increase in revolutions. You can be in a surge (think when overtaking 5 or 6 cars in a row) but a sustained time but not at full power. A sprint is just that, short, sharp and powerful.
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by EuroD View Post
    No, as Vivienne points out it's about duration. Her explanation is right on the money.

    A surge is not a sprint but an increase in revolutions. You can be in a surge (think when overtaking 5 or 6 cars in a row) but a sustained time but not at full power. A sprint is just that, short, sharp and powerful.
    Thank you. That makes much more sense.

  9. #9

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    Yet, at surge is at a higher resistance correct?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Laryn41 View Post
    Yet, at surge is at a higher resistance correct?
    ok, maybe a little controversial, having read the comments above, but...

    ...for me, a sprint is all about focusing on the ATP energy system. This usually only lasts about 12 or 13 seconds. Therefore I would only do a sprint when I'm well into the session (maybe one of the last 2-3 tracks). The resistance should be very high and whilst it can be started from a seated climb, I prefer to start from a steep standing climb. The sprint is only ~15 seconds long and I tell the (advanced) class that if they make the whole 15 seconds, they need to set the resistance higher. It's certainly not about high cadence, but the cadence will be higher than the baseline climb. It's the indoor cycling equivalent of a 100m sprint. HRs should be ~90% at the end. I usually do 2 or 3 with ~1 min back on the hill between - using a track with an intense chorus to encourage the class.

    In contrast, a surge (or a run) is not about this energy system - it's about anaerobic. The rider is still on a hill - the resistance, whilst still high, is not as high as the sprint. And the cadence is raised from the baseline (or "ahead of the beat"). And, finally the duration is at least 20 seconds.

  11. Default

    When I think of a Sprint vs a Surge I relay it back to outdoor cycling. A surge is an increase in power created by either an increase in resistance and/or speed. It's higher level intensity makes it impossible to hold for a long duration of time. I would say a minute max depending on the intensity of the surge. For example, a rider could be seated on a light hill and then surge out of the saddle for 15-30s to get over the peak. Conversely, a rider could be riding on a road with a gradual incline and trying to maintain his/her speed. Each change in incline, might cause the rider to increase power in order to maintain speed. This could be done over over a longer or shorter stretch of road. A sprint is simply an all out effort due to an attempt to reach maximum output. As a result, it is very limited in time. In my opinion, this can be done through an increase in resistance and/or speed. All sprints must be done under enough of a resistance load to promote a safe pedal stroke and speed when applying such a high level of effort, but I don't think it has to be a steep hill to be a sprint. It's all about the high level of output and the recovery needed as a result. I've been experimenting with utilizing the power meter in classes to help riders measure their max output during surges and sprints. I'm very interested in learning more about this.

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