Another Cadence Question

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by kaikane, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. kaikane

    kaikane New Member

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    After 3 months of regular riding, (about 60+ miles/week), I find that I'm beginning to "outgrow" some of the lower gears. Question is: Should I shift up to increase the resistance or pedal faster? My daily rides are between 15-25 miles, 3-4 times a week. Terrain is mostly flat with some killer climbs inbetween (short but VERY steep)
    My long term goal is to do a century or at least a local club race sometime in the near future.
    Thanks all. This is a great site . I've learned so much from y'all in the short time I've been around. :)
     
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  2. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    If by 'outgrow' you mean that the resistance is too light and/or cadence is getting uncomfortably high, then upshift. That's what those other 20+ gears are for! :)

    There's no right cadence to pedal. If another gear is more comfortable and/or effective, then by all means use it.
     
  3. kaikane

    kaikane New Member

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    Oh yeah. Why didn't I think of that! Thanks.
     
  4. MPCRUSHER

    MPCRUSHER New Member

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    You should upshift. I see bike riding similar to doing weights. At first spinning a cadence of 85 in a granny gear might be difficult but after a few weeks it becomes easier. At this point shift up and struggle for a while until spinning at 85 is comfortable again continue this cycle until you find your ideal cadence and gear size. This might take a few years to achieve

    Good Luck
     
  5. kaikane

    kaikane New Member

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    Sounds good. Thanks MPC
     
  6. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Personally, I think it's good to learn to spin at a high cadence early in your cycling experience. For one thing, it will force you to smooth out your stroke. If you bring your cadence up to 100, you will immediately learn if your stroke is not smooth because you'll start hopping up and down on the saddle or your upper body will be wallowing around all over the place. Turning a low cadence can mask such problems. Initially, turning a high cadence is exhausting. But, after you've done it for awhile, you may find that it's easier to maintain a given power (speed) at a high cadence. I regularly find myself pedaling at 110-120 rpms because that seems to be less effort than maintaining the same power at a lower cadence.
     
  7. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    I read that smaller gears and fast cadence are best for fitness and that everyday riding in big gears is a bad habit amateurs tend to favour. But myself I now do a lot of work on the big chain ring, including some climbing. According to my bike computer I'm faster when I ride this way.
     
  8. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    I agree with both posts. A good endurance cadence tends to be somewhat faster than most beginners are used to, so there is certainly a need for beginners to smooth their stroke and learn to spin a little faster as their distances increase. After a couple years of adaptation, when the rider has developed the chiseled legs of a greek god, the preferred cadence may start to creep back down again. Mine has come down from 95+ rpm to 85-90 rpm in the last couple years, and it's more comfortable to feel a little weight to the pedals now.
     
  9. YMCA

    YMCA New Member

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    Train ineffieciently, race efficient.

    Sometimes I ride high rpm's, other times low. Mash up one hill, then spin ferociously up the next. Spin out gears down a steep hill, other times just roll. Mix it up constantly.

    There is no right rpm for any situation. You'll find what comes natural to you when it counts.
     
  10. RB95cj7

    RB95cj7 New Member

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    Just keep spinning. every thing your read says spin and spin fast.
     
  11. YMCA

    YMCA New Member

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    Only problem is, when your too tired to spin high rpm's, where will you be. OTB! You'll never tap into those hidden muscles without the low rpm stuff. Power climbs are not spun up, even by Lance. What about winds that are pushing you about or rough roads. You think it's spin time. No way, it's "man" time. Mix it up constantly. And this from a guy who spins little gears quite often.
     
  12. kaikane

    kaikane New Member

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    thanks for all the tips. i usually mix it up pretty well on my rides. so i guess i'll just keep doing what i'm doing. :)
     
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