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RPM 67 Review

RPM 67 is the 2015 Q3 release. You may also want to check out my comments on just the music.


Track-by-Track Breakdown

Pack Ride – I Lived

  • This is an excellent motivating, energetic, and uplifting track to begin the class.
  • I believe this Pack Ride has the longest period where we stay at 1/2 pace before the first sprint (about 45 seconds).
  • The second round is where we use Racing Resistance, so I’m surprised there was a gear reduction at the beginning of the round.
  • I get the idea of slowing the pace during the quiet phases, but the first one is at pace, which makes memorization a bit tricky.

Pace – Surrender

  • I don’t have too much to say about this track — it’s pretty standard: 3 rounds (short, long, long) where you can use each of the three layers of coaching.
  • It’s not a bad song, although I enjoyed Cash Cash’s Take Me Home from RPM 64 more.
  • Sarah cued this track very well in the masterclass — the key word is “intensity” and telling riders how to maximize it.

Hills – Bounce Attack (Back to the 90s) (RainDropz! Remix)

  • This is a solid Hills track that’s pretty easy to memorize; the only oddity is that the Standing Climb phase after the Power Climb is 30 seconds instead of 15.
  • The music is so catchy and that old school synth just makes you want to ride hard. I love the synth part during the Power Climb phases, and I totally use the lyric “progressive attack!”

Mixed Terrain – Shut Up and Dance

  • (This is the music featured in the sizzler.)
  • A point of difference for this track is the double sprints (35-second sprint, climb, 35-second sprint).
  • I love the softness of the music during the climbs, followed by the return of the driving chorus for the sprint; this is a great place to use voice modulation and really connect with the music.
  • One weird (minor) oddity in the choreography is that Aero Racing isn’t used consistently in the last two rounds.

Intervals – Changing

  • The structure of the rounds makes this track easy to memorize.
  • Both the short and long rounds have challenging finishes. Instead of having four jumps in the short round, there are two jumps and a Racing phase for 20 seconds. The longer round adds 20 seconds of Standing Attack.
  • Although sometimes Dan (McDonough) gets a bit chatty, he coaches very well. I totally stole many of his cues for my own classes.
  • Looking back at past releases, these interval phases seem to be a bit longer; it seems like an eternity when in the work phases and I find myself needing to coach a bit more to get riders through the long sections (as the music is a bit repetitive).

Speed Work – Alone (Extended Mix)

  • Again, the structure of the blocks is pretty simple — Standing Climb, Power Climb, Racing Forward. However, when the choreography is predictable, you have to put more thought into your coaching to keep people from getting bored.
  • When I coach this track, I use the reverse of the lyrics, talking about the benefits of working together, and tapping into the energy of those around you.
  • A point of difference in this track is the Standing Recovery at 1/8 pace with staggered legs, which is not something you see frequently in RPM.
  • Dan had some amazing cues in the masterclass — “life is about moments” is one I totally use in the last round. You have that room-filling music combined with exhaustion and endorphins; that’s why I teach this program.
  • RPM trivia: When Dan says, “Find a little climb underneath…the wheels,” he’s referring to the Head Coach (also on stage), Lee Smith whose nickname is “Wheels.”

Mountain Climb – Lethal Industry (3Bird Remix)

  • Although the track starts with a standard climb, the 1-minute and 2-minute rounds that follow are no joke; I’m exhausted every time I ride it.
  • The music is perfect for a tough, gritty ride; I love the 4-second drop-out in the music before the big standing climb. I sometimes shout along with the lyrics, “And it goes like…BOOM!”
  • A point of difference in this Mountain Climb is that there are more gear additions out of the saddle.
  • Full disclosure… I have an RPM crush on Lee Smith. That man is artist when it comes to coaching. My notes for the tracks he cues are usually 3-4 times longer than the other presenters, because his word choice is pure gold. My faves from this release are “amplify everything!” and “forget the numbers – just finish.”

Ride Home / Stretch – Oh Cecilia (Breaking My Heart)

  • This is a pretty standard closer track, although I will mention it was a missed opportunity for us not to do a hip flexor stretch during the lyrics “down on my knees.”
  • I came up with an organic joke during class about this cover: “Today’s RPM Ride Home is brought to you but the letters A and Y.”

General Thoughts

Not every release is solid all the way through, but RPM 67 really delivers. There are lots of ways to be challenged if you ride it as choreographed. I love the hidden gem for the outro (Classic by The Knocks feat. Powers) — it just makes me want to dance (which I admit I totally do) and has a great groove.

See you next time for RPM 68!

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