Another Cadence question

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by tracto, Aug 27, 2006.

  1. tracto

    tracto New Member

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    I see big gear, low cadence training has been discussed a lot recently and has given rise some interesting debates. My question is whether HIGH cadence workouts are worthwhile or not? A lot of the more experienced riders in my club say they can hold 120 rpm for extended periods of time yet i struggle to hold it for anything over a minute. Is this simply because i dont have the same aerobic capacity as them or do they have a better pedalling technique, coordination etc than me? And if it is the latter should i bother to work on high cadence spinning in training or is it something that will just come over time?

    I have read elsewhere that you should use easy gears and high cadence (not sure what they mean by high, 110rpm maybe?) during the winter and then move back to normal spinning before and during the season. But does this go against the whole "want to be good at X so train at X" principle?
     
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  2. Geoff2010

    Geoff2010 New Member

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    I think to be a well rounded cyclist you need to be strong and smooth in a fairly wide range of cadence. For example, when I am time trialing (or solo break) I generally try to keep my cadence around 105-110. When I am riding in the peloton or in a strung out line I try to keep around 120. When I am climbing my optimal cadence is closer to 90... basically what I am saying is that both high cadence/low resistance and low cadence/high resistance workouts should be included in your schedule.

    If you are having trouble holding a spin at 120 RPM, you probably just need to spend more time in that range. To spin in that range you really have to be smooth, and any "glitches" in your rotation will cause you to bounce around your saddle and waste energy.
     
  3. Alex Simmons

    Alex Simmons Member

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    Specificity. If you expect to sprint in your races or need to react fast to attacks/surges, then I suggest you learn to turn the cranks at higher cadences (>120 rpm). Leg speed is important in sprinting and especially so when riding a fixed gear on the track. If you are doing lots of steep climbs, then you'll probably need to be effective at lower cadences.

    In a flat TT - go with what will get you to the other end in the shortest time!

    While cadence has been described as a "red herring", I kind of figure that naturally fast pedallers can always spin a lower cadence if they want/need to but it's not so easy for slow pedallers to increase cadence with ease if the situation demands.
     
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