Navigate Your New MYX II Bike With This Openfit Cycling GlossaryNov 29, 2021
When you’re getting started with indoor cycling, taking time to become familiar with the movement isn’t the only necessary adjustment. There can be a learning curve in terms of the terminology, like all sports and activities.
Fortunately, Openfit Content Manager, Melanie Melillo, is here to give you a cheat sheet for your next Openfit cycling class. She shares some of the most common terms for indoor cycling so you can feel like an insider in no time.
1. Fore and Aft
A way to indicate how to adjust your seat, Melillo says this will bring the seat closer to the handlebars or farther apart:
- Fore means forward.
- Aft means back.
It can be tricky to figure out this distance if you’re a beginner, so take some time to adjust fore and aft before doing a ride, so you’re ready.
This is how fast your legs are pedaling at any given time, and is measured in RPMs, says Melillo. Everyone’s natural cadence is a little different, especially given different experience levels. Most recreational cyclists have a cadence of about 60 to 80 RPM, and elite cyclists might be around 90 to 100 RPM.
4. Resistance and Gear
The higher you set your resistance, the more strength you’ll need to pedal. That’s similar to gears on a road bike, where lower gears make pedaling much easier, and higher gears take more effort to pedal through. On the MYX bike, there is a knob that controls the resistance.
The crank is the arm that holds the pedals. This is a shortened version of the term for a road bike, which would have a crankset.
Located at the front of your MYX bike, the flywheel is a weighted disc that connects to the pedals and simulates the feel of an outdoor bike. They also help create a smoother ride and help build momentum for more efficiency and speed. The MYX bike has a 41-pound flywheel.
Also known as the seat. A good rule of thumb for adjusting the seat height is that the saddle should be at your hip when you’re standing next to it.
This is a unit of measurement for power or the rate at which energy is used over time. The more oomph applied to the pedals, the greater the wattage. You can easily increase your wattage by going up in speed or resistance, says Melillo, and if you want a big wattage change, increase both.
Cycling shoes that snap into the pedals have an accessory on the bottom called clips. Melillo says using these offers a more efficient pedal stroke because you’re not only pushing the pedal but also pulling it back up.
On a traditional bike without clips, the majority of your effort is on the pushing motion, and you can lose efficiency as the pedal comes back up. Some indoor bikes require clips, but not all of them. For example, on an MYX bike, you can choose to clip in, but you can also wear regular shoes if you prefer.
10. Toe Cage
If you don’t have shoes that clip in or you just want to wear your regular shoes, there’s a pedal option with a toe cage, which means you slide your shoe in and secure it. This can provide many of the same benefits as clipping in and keeps your shoes in place as well.
If you were cycling outside, going up a hill would add a natural amount of resistance in order to retain your pace. On an indoor bike, that feeling is replicated by adding extra resistance to the gear. Depending on the workout or instructor, you may be off the saddle for some or most of the climb.
“Training your body and mind to take on climbs while staying in the saddle is an amazing challenge,” says Melillo. “Usually, in a climb, you add resistance and slow your legs down to mimic that outdoor climb feeling.”
Similar to going for a run and doing sprint intervals where you run as fast as possible, sprinting on an indoor bike involves a short-term, all-out effort that lasts 30 seconds max, Melillo says, and takes your heart rate up to 92 percent or your max heart rate. You may also hear trainers use the term “push,” which is always an increase in speed, but you can hold it longer than 30 seconds, and it isn’t always max effort, Melillo says.
13. Run It Out
This is a cue to rise out of the saddle to position 2, which somewhat simulates running in place. This tends to be used during high-intensity intervals. Melillo adds that it can also refer to the speed of your legs, similar to running rather than jogging.
“This is great to do at 75 to 85 RPMs,” she says. “Sometimes, we say ‘jog out of the saddle,’ which is like running but a little slower paced.”
“Understanding these terms helps you set up your bike correctly and take advantage of all that indoor cycling has to offer,” says Melillo.
Take some time to play around with all of the variables mentioned above to figure out what feels most comfortable for you. This will help you get the most out of your Openfit workout.