Advantages/Disadvantages to heart rate/cadence training


Active Member
Nov 25, 2010
I am looking to take things to the next level from fast pace group rides this year and am looking to start racing.

I know a powermeter is hands down the way to go when it comes to training and even useful information when racing, but I am not ready to make that kind of an investment at this point. So I am thinking about picking up a Cateye V3 with heart rate/cadence. My only reservations are this:

I am truly a minimalist and if I don't really need cadence/heart rate I would be much happier spending $100 less on just a Strada wireless. That said, I think of myself as someone who rides with much more "feel" than most, and honestly think it allows me to perform well in many of the rides that I participate in. When I ride, I do what it takes to go as fast as I need to, when I need to, with little regard for what I think my heart rate or cadence is, I just do what I need to do. In these situations I don't think I would want to know my heart rate/cadence for fear of "information overload". I know the most common response to this will be, "well what about a break away or time trial?" and honestly in these situations I at least feel like I do fairly well pacing myself based purely off of feel.

I guess my question is, given that this has worked fairly well for me to this point should I just continue into racing using this method of riding? Or in not having ever participated in an actual race is there an important piece of information that I am missing, which would make it completely obvious that I need heart rate/cadence? Are the benefits of training with heart rate/cadence significant enough that it would make sense to train with it if I was not going to race with it?

Thanks in advance!!
You don't need power, heartrate, or cadence information during a race. In fact, you probably will find that you don't even think to look at it. Like you said, in race situations, you do what you gotta do. period.

The situation is a little different when it comes to training. I personally don't find heartrate or cadence readings all that useful when it comes to training. If not training with power, then I think your best best is going to be to train by RPE. This can be very difficult, take a lot of dicipline, and requires being able to read your body really well. But this can be, good, in a way, because you will learn what it feels like to pace an effort, so when you are racing, you will intuitively know how much you can give over a duration before failure.
Although heartrate/cadence can be usefull information after the race.
Assume you train regulary at say 95rpm, and you did a race were you didn't do well.
If you look at your cadence and find 80 rpm avg, then you know that there is something wrong.
You didn't change gears properly, or you train at to high rpm, ...

But for the race itself, I don't think you look at it regulary.

In training, I found heartrate/cadence indispensable (I don't have a PM)


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