Credit: Mike Landkroon

Want to be a speedier road racer? Train with leg pyramids

Leg speed makes a huge difference in your [road biking] performance—especially in a fast tail-wind section or a fierce sprint to the end,” says Jenny Trew, a 26-year-old cyclist with the B.C. Vanderkittens Racing team. And one of the best ways to build leg speed is by using rollers. Rollers (such as those from Minoura) let you ride your bike without going anywhere, but unlike a stationary bike, the bike moves back and forth across the drums and has to be balanced. “It might take a couple of days to get used to the feeling, especially the balance element, but once you do, you will find that your leg speed and your bike handling will improve,” Trew says. “I suggest doing exercises with high leg speed—over 100 RPMs. And I’d recommend doing leg pyramids.”

Pyramid power

What you need: Rollers, a bike, a bike computer that registers RPMs.
How to: Pick a gear you can comfortably spin at 100 RPMs. Pedal at 100 for a minute. Then add five RPMs of speed at one-minute intervals up to 125 RPMs (100, 105, 110). Now start working back down, at five RPM one-minute intervals, to 100 RPMs (125, 120, 115). Repeat two or three times.
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