Ways to use a heart rate monitor you might not have thought of.

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Rock Creek Rider, Jan 19, 2019.

  1. Rock Creek Rider

    Rock Creek Rider New Member

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    Or maybe you have. We'll find out right now.
    I believe that for every person there is a cadence where their body works most efficiently. I don't rule out the possibility that it changes with gradient, though I can see no logical reason why it should. Anyway, if you have a good indoor trainer, the kind you put your bike on, a heart rate monitor and a way of monitoring both your speed and cadence, you can figure out what cadence your body likes. After warming up, pick a speed where your heart rate stabilizes around 83% of your maximum heart rate. Now, while maintaining that speed, change gears and see how your heart rate changes, being sure with each gear change to let your heart rate stabilize again. When you find the gear where your heart rate is lowest, note what your cadence is. This is the cadence your body likes.
    You can also use a heart rate monitor to see if you are in the most efficient gear, outdoors. Say you are on a long climb, Left Hand Canyon, for instance, if you live in my area. While trying to maintain a steady speed, play with gearing to see which gear gives you the lowest heart rate. This will be your most efficient gear choice. You might think that you don't need a heart rate monitor to be able to tell which is the best gear, and you could be right, but I can tell you from experience that you might be surprised. The gear that you think you feel most comfortable in isn't necessarily the one that gives you the lowest heart rate. Something you can play around with, anyway.
     
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  2. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom Member

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    After 45+ years of riding, I've found that my most efficient cadence varies with the gear ratio. My average cadence is right around 90 rpm. Lower gears work best for me with with a lower cadence. When I'm in a big gear, I find that a higher cadence is necessary to "stay on top or it". On a typical ride with some hills in it, my cadence will vary between 70 and 110, though I sometimes go lower (climbing out of the saddle) or higher (bombing descents).

    This is my personal experience and as the saying goes, "your mileage may vary".
     
  3. Rock Creek Rider

    Rock Creek Rider New Member

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    My 60- years of seat-of-the-pants cycling experience agrees with you, but seat of the pants isn't always correct and I still think there is cadence or cadence range where you are most efficient. When I'm completely healed and the weather turns more consistently nice, I'll do a some experimenting on my own and see if there is any truth to my theory or I'm full of crap.
     
  4. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom Member

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    There's no right or wrong here, which is why I emphasized that this is my experience. Perhaps your body works better in a narrower cadence band. If you watch the pros, you'll see a fair amount of variation and these are the best riders on the planet.
     
  5. BRITANY

    BRITANY New Member

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    On a typical ride with some hills in it, my cadence will vary between 70 and 110, though I sometimes go lower (climbing out of the saddle) or higher (bombing descents).
     
  6. BRITANY

    BRITANY New Member

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    There's no right or wrong here, which is why I emphasized that this is my experience. Perhaps your body works better in a narrower cadence band. If you watch the pros, you'll see a fair amount of variation and these are the best riders on the planet.
     
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