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David Fiedler

Spinning vs. Mashing

By February 7, 2011

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Which kind of pedaler are you? Do you mash the pedals or spin them?  I'm a shameless masher and make no apologies about it, though I could probably go faster if had the mental discipline to focus on spinning at a faster pedal cadence.

Definition: Mashing the pedals
Definition: Spinning the pedals

When you hear about "spinning" the pedals it  might make you think of spin classes, the name of which is certainly inspired and related to spinning the cranks on a real bike.

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February 7, 2011 at 10:21 pm
(1) John says:

When I was very Young and as a Teenager I was a great Masher and I would happily put brute force into my Cycling until I realized I was getting tired out an awful lot doing this and I said there has to be a better way. As the years went by I began to Study how to lessen the Fatigue so that I could Cycle longer and yet not be tired out so much. I still liked to Force things along when the going got tough although less so,I realized I would have to used my Intelligence more and try to do things more efficiently.

So now after long Years in my middle age I am doing more long Cycles and trying to do more Touring. So it is more imperative to not tire myself out. I always try to be in the right Gear to get the maximum Speed for the journey. I have found lately that my next challenge is to do more Climbing efficiently. I am not great for going up steep Hill’s and will have to improve if I am going on Group rides more. It is OK when you are on your own but if in a group of other People with some who are extremely fit ,if you want to keep up you will have to improve your fitness for those Climbs.

So yes I still occasionally mash the Pedals but I always try not to.

February 17, 2011 at 1:24 pm
(2) L says:

By “mashing”, do you mean standing up on the pedals on hills (also known as “honking”), or just pedaling slower in a larger gear?

February 24, 2011 at 10:22 pm
(3) Dave - Bicycling says:

Mashing means pushing the pedals hard in a larger than normal gear for an extended period, rather than spinning them more quickly in an easier gear, thereby reducing strain and fatigue.

March 7, 2011 at 7:57 pm
(4) Bobby D Jones says:

Welp if I’m climbing on my single speed mountain bike, yuh might call that mashing. Single speed on the flats spinning like crazy. Out with the roadies, spinning it is, but in a big gear, so the roadies call it mashing. what was the question again?

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