One-Hour Workout: Big Gear Bike Reps

Build bike-specific strength and power with this interval session—and all in under an hour.

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Strength workouts in the gym have their place and importance, of course, but one of the most simple ways to build bike strength and power is on two wheels. This workout involves some straightforward one-minute efforts where you ride the biggest gear you can handle—then rest and repeat!

Begin with an easy 10-minute warm-up (think nothing more than 5/10 RPE, rate of perceived exertion). For the next five minutes after that, build your effort to 6-7/10 RPE. You should feel your breathing rate and heart rate increasing. Spin easy for five minutes and then it’s time to hit the big gear work.

Select a gear that allows you to ride moderately hard at a cadence of 50-60 RPM (revolutions per minute), such as 53 x 11. You’ll do five sets of one-minute efforts with one-minute easy in between each. Build through the minute interval, aiming to keep your pedaling smooth and strong and your effort consistent.

After this first round, spin easy for five minutes, and then repeat the five sets of one-minute intervals with the same rest interval. This is quality work that really helps build strength and power—think of it as weight training on your bike. It will sting, but it’ll be worth it!

Pedal easy with a high cadence for 10 minutes to cool down. Expect some muscle soreness the next day.

Big Gear Bike Reps


10 minutes smooth pedaling, 5/10 RPE

5 minutes building to 6-7/10 RPE

5 minutes easy

Main Set

5 x 1 minute heavy gear effort, 50-60 RPM, followed by 1 minute easy

5 minutes easy

5 x 1 minute heavy gear effort, 50-60 RPM, followed by 1 minute easy


10 minutes relaxed easy spinning at a higher cadence.

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