Legs vs. Cardio, Warming Up, Speed Wobbles and More – Ask a Cycling Coach 215

Thank you yes I have the same issue @mikethg I have had some close calls recently here in Australia, started doing TrainerRoad and loving it. Rather create a pool of sweat on the floor than a pool of blood on the road!


Have you ever thought about how your position affects your digestion? What about aero positioning compromising power output but still being an overall benefit? What percentage of FTP to pace at for a 4-5 hour session? Nutrition details to avoid gut rot? Squeezing a training schedule into an already tight schedule?

None of these are unique to Triathlon, but since it is a such a different aspect of cycling this sort of question arise more often. There’s a lot of non troathlon knowledge to be gained.

Plus triathlete’s are more type A and do more indoor training. I would venture a guess that a larger share of the Triathlon market uses TR than the equivalent percentage of the overall cycling market.

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I agree with your podcast that speed wobbles should be addressed because they are a safety hazard. But I disagree with your suggestion that the rider needs to relax and avoid dampening the wobble with increased force on the handlebars, stem, or top tube. I can tell you from experience that placing your leg firmly against the top tube is the best way to stop the wobble / shimmy effect, and of course it helps to slow down as well.

Leonard Zinn has written extensively on this topic in the past. The shimmy at high speed (aka, speed wobble) is due to (1) speed, (2) rider weight, and (3) lateral stiffness of the bicycle. High speed shimmy is far more common on larger frames. See discussion here, and here among many others.


I’m curious to hear about the AMP Human PR Lotion. However, I found one line around that short discussion rather ironic and funny. Jonathan said:

“We usually don’t talk a whole lot about… like, you know… specific products and that sort of stuff”…

I’d say that’s a bit off the mark considering the depth of various things from bikes (Yeti and Spesh a ton) to nutrition (Muarten, Skratch, and too many others to mention) and so many other equipment products (fans, remote controls, cycling kits, shoes, recovery aids and more).

I just found it odd and out of place to see what appears to be some special designation for the AMP product, when there are years worth of discussion of the pro’s (and con’s direct or implied) with so many areas and products covered.

What makes this worthy of a qualified mention compared to all the other stuff before now?


I tend to only get speed wobbles on a wide open road with some x-wind and only using lighter wheels that are 35mm or deeper.
Things get ever worse, when descends are steeper than 7%.

I’ve been battling it over the past 5 years or so and still don’t seem to find a cure.

All this has been happening on 4 different bikes.

@Nate_Pearson your through axle bit had me cracking up while driving to Xterra St Louis. Then again before the start when another racer had forgotten HIS through axle!

I’ve been using the amp human stuff. Only gets in 6.6g of sodium bicarb, and maybe not all of that gets in. The recommended dose is way larger than that. I’m 67kg and the recommended does is 26.8g.

The JISSN gave a dose recommendation of 0.4g/kg of body weight. Be aware that amount may give stomach upsets to some (but certainly not the majority). I was told to start with low dose and work up. I take it with water. The taste is very very salty on its own which is why I only take 20g, buts it’s one thing I have definitely felt a difference with when doing chain gangs. I used to take lower doses when running, or take citruline malate which is known to help in similar ways without GI distress. The science behind AMP is a good idea but won’t get enough into your muscles

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Btw at what point do you guys talk about AMP human. I can’t find it and want to listen again

Does anyone else have any experience with Amp Human?

A few if us commented in a different thread.

I have used it. I live in the UK and had to spend a fair bit in customs (£18) to get it, so at the moment if in the UK it’s not good value for money.

It’s definitely not a one size fits all thing. For me the paste is way too gloopy and remains very sticky the whole time. AMP have told me that it could be washed off after 15 mins as the bicarb has effectively soaked in by then.

My advice is to try the recommendation of orally consuming sodium bicarb (0.4g/kg, start on 0.2g/kg) in a drink of water as the paste does not soak in anywhere near the amount that is scientifically proven to have an affect. If you can stomach it then stick with that. The taste is very salty. If you are runner then it can be disruptive on the stomach when running as it sloshes around in there. As a rider it should be fine. If you can’t take it then try the pricey AMP human paste

@GrantOrmerod AMP has a new formula coming out in January. Rumored to be less messy.

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For me speed wobbles are from nerves. I do not get many opportunities to go down hill. Once I get out of my head and Ride the bike I am fine. If I let the bike take me for a Ride it gets ugly.

I have some experience with a competitor, but instead of being topical bicarb, it is topical carnosine. I participated in a double blinded study so I’m not sure which one was the actual product, but now that I’ve used the product I’m pretty sure the placebo was icy hot since the methol tingle didn’t go away from one of them and the consistency of the gel was different.

Study participants did 6 30s wingate sprints, in a double blind, crossover study (switching which ones used product vs placebo first). The week I suspect was the product, I did have a higher first sprint, and lower measured lactate (beta alanine has been previously shown to delay onset of blood lactate), but average power over the 6 was no different. I’m guessing that anaerobic work capacity does not change since that may be substrate limited instead of pain threshold/acid buffering limited. RPE on one of them was drastically different though. 2 of the three sessions (the first one was a practice) I felt like I was going to die after the last wingate, 1 of them, I really felt like I was willing to do one more. Peak lactate for all three sessions was about 18-19 mmol.

My n=1 on AMP, and i’ll start by saying i was not a believer given Lance was pushing it so hard.
Had absolute dead legs on day 4 of a stage race, lots of fatigue, borrowed some from a teammate and put some on thighs and glutes and after a warm up there was zero sign of any of the fatigue. Legs felt great during race.

Got a bottle myself, back in the gym and still hitting TR 5 days a week, lots of DOMS and fatigue in the legs as a result. Put some on, legs felt really good.

If it’s a placebo…fine. It seems to be working as intended.
I dont get the same results with icy/hot i know that much, and i havent changed anything else about my regular routine.

I too found the comment that TR didn’t want to do a review of the product interesting given the nutswinging that goes on with specialized and Yeti. If it’s simply a matter of there isn’t enough science to back up the product that’s one thing, but just say that.

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AMP…Been using it for a while. While I feel it definitely takes the sting out of tired legs power is always the same. So for me, it’s more a psych thing. If the legs feel less tired it’s not that I push harder but rather, longer. Or perhaps one more short effort that often times can be a game changer during competition.

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I’ve used it twice. First time I had a banger. Numbers way up. Second time was whatever. Numbers pretty standard. In hindsight, when I applied it, my bib was already on and I really didn’t put much above the knee where you probably need it most.

But those 2 days got me thinking. It’s meant to ‘buffer lactic acid’ whatever that means. But look, if you are tired… you are tired. It’s not going to make you untired or unfatigued. It’s not a steroid, it’s not going to aid in your recovery, it’s not going to make you stronger.


I don’t follow. sorry.

He was making a joke about the revised Amp HP PR lotion, and how it is “applied”.