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2014-04-14 9:22 AM

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Subject: What's Your Cadence?
I just installed a cadence sensor on my Tri bike. What do most of you shoot for?


2014-04-14 9:28 AM
in reply to: tripilotclt

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Subject: RE: What's Your Cadence?
Cadence is a very personal thing… Some people are more efficient at high cadence, others at lower. In general, stay between 85-100rpm.

Personally, I'm around 90-95 in a tri/duathlon, and about 100 in a TT. The reason why I'm slightly lower in duathlons is because of my running cadence which is between 90-95. Matching that on the bike just feels natural.
2014-04-14 9:34 AM
in reply to: #4981233

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Subject: RE: What's Your Cadence?
Awesome, thanks! I'm holding about 85 now, but I'm still figuring it out. I'm doing an Olympic 5/4 and I'm trying to dial it in.
2014-04-14 9:38 AM
in reply to: tripilotclt

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Subject: RE: What's Your Cadence?
A good trick to find your natural cadence is to tape over the cadence screen on your computer, go out and ride at a cadence that feels comfortable and then either download the data and do an analysis, or if you can't download, rip the tape off mid ride and keep the same cadence as you have so far.
2014-04-14 9:58 AM
in reply to: tripilotclt

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Subject: RE: What's Your Cadence?

Originally posted by tripilotclt I just installed a cadence sensor on my Tri bike. What do most of you shoot for?

I'm all over the map and don't think about it when I ride.  Post ride analysis indicates my statistical mode around 87-89 RPM, however as I get fatigued, it tends to inch up.  But, at any given point it can be anywhere between 65 and 125.

Unlike running- I don't think there's a perfect cadence for cycling.  

For endurance running... it's right around 180 steps/min

2014-04-14 10:50 AM
in reply to: tripilotclt

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Subject: RE: What's Your Cadence?
My natural cadence is right around 80-85. It seems like a lot of pure cyclists recommend pushing a higher cadence, and claim it is more efficient and less fatiguing over time. I struggle with anything past 90 for a prolonged period of time.


2014-04-14 12:03 PM
in reply to: AV842

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Subject: RE: What's Your Cadence?

Originally posted by AV842 My natural cadence is right around 80-85. It seems like a lot of pure cyclists recommend pushing a higher cadence, and claim it is more efficient and less fatiguing over time. I struggle with anything past 90 for a prolonged period of time.

What is prolonged for you? Mine is normally in the mid to high 80's, but I can go along alright for at least a few minutes above 110, or much higher for shorter. It's not as effective for me to stay there, but I'm capable of it for periods. On the cadence going higher, I think along the lines of one should be capable of a wider range for at least some period of time, but still go with what seems more natural for much of the riding. The "natural" part may change over time.

2014-04-14 1:46 PM
in reply to: tripilotclt

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Subject: RE: What's Your Cadence?
Used to be low 80's. Made modifications to my cadence now ride 90-96 in races and my run times have been far better. Correlation or causation? Evidence suggests optimal range is 88-92.

Lower cadence you use more of your large muscle groups, higher cadence you work more of your small muscles.

I worked under an Ex Phys for awhile (Carl Foster) who did some research and found that really the only athletes that can hold above 100+ are highly trained athletes, Amateurs are in the 86-96 bracket I believe. I will try to dig this up if I can find it.
2014-04-14 7:10 PM
in reply to: bcagle25


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Subject: RE: What's Your Cadence?
The older I get seems the higher my cadence gets
2014-04-14 7:20 PM
in reply to: #4981241


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Subject: RE: What's Your Cadence?
you will fall over at a 0 cadence
2014-04-14 7:36 PM
in reply to: #4981675

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Subject: RE: What's Your Cadence?
Thanks bcagle, that's seems to makes sense for me so far. I'm pretty new at all this so I'll see how it goes.


2014-04-14 8:55 PM
in reply to: Jimmycolorado

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Subject: RE: What's Your Cadence?

Originally posted by Jimmycolorado you will fall over at a 0 cadence
I disagree, happens a lot on my rides, even at stop signs and some lights!

OP, when I started out I was a MTB masher.  Didn't translate well over to road riding.  BT'ers told me I should increase my cadence and I did so.  I was racing sprints at 95-105, training 80-100.  Over that past few years I've been doing a lot of trainer work and my cadence has fallen a bit, mostly 70-90. While outdoors I'll spin 75-95 but sustained efforts are mid 80's.  You'll find your niche soon enough.

2014-04-14 9:24 PM
in reply to: tripilotclt


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Subject: RE: What's Your Cadence?
Originally posted by tripilotclt

Awesome, thanks! I'm holding about 85 now, but I'm still figuring it out. I'm doing an Olympic 5/4 and I'm trying to dial it in.


I would suggest spending some time doing fast cadence drills in increase your comfort with pedaling faster. Generally, the slower you pedal, the more force you're going to need to put into the pedals, so you'll need better muscular endurance. As you pedal faster, you'll be decreasing the force you put into each revolution, but will tax your aerobic endurance more. Consensus would say that you should keep your cadence above 90 rpm's.
2014-04-15 12:12 AM
in reply to: ziggie204

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Subject: RE: What's Your Cadence?
I am still new to biking, only 6 months of experience. I started out trying to keep minimum 90rpm and noticed my legs would get quite tired and "jelly" from this over a couple of hours. Quite noticeable when I do brick training.
As I got closer to my first real race (70.3) I tried to find my "natural" cadence and found it was around 83-85rpm. So used this with success in the last couple of weeks before the race and during the race.
Uphill my cadence will be less though, low 70's feels most efficient for me there.

I am not a good cyclist by any means, so I expect all this to change as I get more training done.

Btw, in my race I was overtaken by the pro female winner up the longest hill of the track, and she was using extremely low cadence going up, but still passed all of us of course.
2014-04-15 6:26 AM
in reply to: knuta99

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Subject: RE: What's Your Cadence?
I think I'm an anomaly, but I find my most comfortable cadence around 72-75. I'm working to increase it though, given the rumored benefit to the post-bike run.
2014-04-15 6:33 AM
in reply to: VGT

Subject: ...
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2014-04-15 6:52 AM
in reply to: Fred D

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Subject: RE: What's Your Cadence?
85-95 most of the time outdoors. On the trainer, sometimes faster--I can hold 100-110 for a while, at least 20 minutes. I think it has to do with me being a lightweight, and having more cardio fitness than muscle strength. I used to ride a lower cadence. but after doing some rides with a woman who's a much faster cyclist than me, but close to my height and weight, I discovered that I could go a lot faster using less energy by matching her higher cadence.
2014-04-15 6:53 AM
in reply to: Fred D

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Subject: RE: What's Your Cadence?
Originally posted by Fred D

Originally posted by VGT I think I'm an anomaly, but I find my most comfortable cadence around 72-75. I'm working to increase it though, given the rumored benefit to the post-bike run.

Don't change a thing!

I ride the same cadence and run just fine off the bike.

Many pro triathletes also ride a lower cadence, IIRC, Chrissie Wellington rode the same cadence as you.

Ride the cadence that is comfortable for YOU. This might be higher or lower, depending, but do what feels natural for you.

PS: Chrissie ran 'ok' off the bike with that low cadence.




I think there is a benefit for riders to occasionally ride at a higher cadence than they normally would and to ride at a lower cadence than they normally would so that they will be comfortable delivering power to the pedals in a variety of situations.

However, if you've been riding for a while and find that you are most comfortable around 75, then there is no reason to raise it so that you are riding at the "right" cadence as the research would indicate that most experience riders will self select a cadence that is best for them in a given situation.

The trick to running well off the bike isn't about cadence but rather pacing the bike (and swim) appropriately based on your fitness to give yourself the best chance to run well. Ride too hard at any cadence and your run is going to suffer.

As a very wise man once said, "cadence is a red herring."

Shane
2014-04-15 6:54 AM
in reply to: Jimmycolorado

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Subject: RE: What's Your Cadence?
Originally posted by Jimmycolorado

you will fall over at a 0 cadence


Assuming you mean not pedalling and not moving - at which point, great time to practice track stands!

Shane
2014-04-15 7:11 AM
in reply to: ziggie204

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Subject: RE: What's Your Cadence?

Originally posted by ziggie204
Originally posted by tripilotclt Awesome, thanks! I'm holding about 85 now, but I'm still figuring it out. I'm doing an Olympic 5/4 and I'm trying to dial it in.
I would suggest spending some time doing fast cadence drills in increase your comfort with pedaling faster. Generally, the slower you pedal, the more force you're going to need to put into the pedals, so you'll need better muscular endurance. As you pedal faster, you'll be decreasing the force you put into each revolution, but will tax your aerobic endurance more. Consensus would say that you should keep your cadence above 90 rpm's.

its a good baseline to say ~90 or over.  the best way to dial in your cadence though is with a lot of HR and power data alongside your cadence.  i've been using power for almost a year now and before i thought that 95 was my ideal cadence, but the data suggests 87-91 for me.  with HR and power you can watch how adjustments in cadence while holding the same power output changes your HR. 

to the OP: for general riding just do what feels comfortable, and don't focus on your cadence the whole ride, but refer to it occasionally.  unless you are riding a constant grade the entire ride it doesn't do much good.  i'll glance at mine every few minutes and if i see a number i don't like i shift; usually below 85 or above 102.  

2014-04-15 9:09 AM
in reply to: Clempson

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Subject: RE: What's Your Cadence?
Originally posted by Clempson

Originally posted by ziggie204
Originally posted by tripilotclt Awesome, thanks! I'm holding about 85 now, but I'm still figuring it out. I'm doing an Olympic 5/4 and I'm trying to dial it in.
I would suggest spending some time doing fast cadence drills in increase your comfort with pedaling faster. Generally, the slower you pedal, the more force you're going to need to put into the pedals, so you'll need better muscular endurance. As you pedal faster, you'll be decreasing the force you put into each revolution, but will tax your aerobic endurance more. Consensus would say that you should keep your cadence above 90 rpm's.

its a good baseline to say ~90 or over.  the best way to dial in your cadence though is with a lot of HR and power data alongside your cadence.  i've been using power for almost a year now and before i thought that 95 was my ideal cadence, but the data suggests 87-91 for me.  with HR and power you can watch how adjustments in cadence while holding the same power output changes your HR. 

to the OP: for general riding just do what feels comfortable, and don't focus on your cadence the whole ride, but refer to it occasionally.  unless you are riding a constant grade the entire ride it doesn't do much good.  i'll glance at mine every few minutes and if i see a number i don't like i shift; usually below 85 or above 102.  




I would agree with this: using HR and Power readings to figure out your optimum cadence. It would probably be best to do this on a consistant flat coarse that you can repeat over a couple of weeks time too.
Another factor to consider is crank length, With a shorter crank length you "tend" to spin faster. So if you use HR and Power to find you best cadence, changing the crank length may give you a different range and equal or more power. I know there is a lot of controversy on the whole crank length issue, just throwing it out there to think about for those really looking to optimize their bike.


2014-04-15 10:13 AM
in reply to: brigby1

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Subject: RE: What's Your Cadence?
Prolonged is over 30 minutes or so. I frequently ride for 90-95 for up to that long, but 95-105 I start to feel sloppy after a few minutes, and over 105 just doesn't feel good at all. I do pay a lot of attention to cadence when doing workouts on the trainer, but not as much when road riding.
2014-04-15 10:16 AM
in reply to: brigby1

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Subject: RE: What's Your Cadence?
Originally posted by brigby1

Originally posted by AV842 My natural cadence is right around 80-85. It seems like a lot of pure cyclists recommend pushing a higher cadence, and claim it is more efficient and less fatiguing over time. I struggle with anything past 90 for a prolonged period of time.

What is prolonged for you? Mine is normally in the mid to high 80's, but I can go along alright for at least a few minutes above 110, or much higher for shorter. It's not as effective for me to stay there, but I'm capable of it for periods. On the cadence going higher, I think along the lines of one should be capable of a wider range for at least some period of time, but still go with what seems more natural for much of the riding. The "natural" part may change over time.

Prolonged is over 30 minutes or so. I frequently ride for 90-95 for up to that long, but 95-105 I start to feel sloppy after a few minutes, and over 105 just doesn't feel good at all. I do pay a lot of attention to cadence when doing workouts on the trainer, but not as much when road riding.
2014-04-16 4:15 PM
in reply to: audiojan

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Subject: RE: What's Your Cadence?
I just wanted to revive this thread and add in some thoughts:

-Low vs high cadence is very subjective, usually can be derived from muscle fiber makeup and training
-Lower cadences can work, but you must have trained for them, same for higher cadences
-The hillier the course the lower the cadence, so does fatigue and going out too hard (look at your race files post race)
-Longer distances usually equate to lower cadence as well
-If you are a weaker athlete you will naturally select a lower cadence

Moving forward:
When fatigue sets in, its best to increase your cadence, I always have my cadence on my garmin so I know when I am slipping, cadence will drop before your watts as well, this is another tool, especially in LC racing to know where your body is at.

Train your cadence for the race distance: Personally if I am racing SC, in my specific prep I will have above 90 cadence in my KEY sessions, LC builds I all aim low to mid 80's in my KEY sessions

Train at both ends of cadences: low cadence training (over geared) is a great way to build strength

I personally made a huge gain in my biking last year when I trained more at a higher cadence, I also raced strictly SC.

2014-04-29 8:43 PM
in reply to: #4981683


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Subject: RE: What's Your Cadence?
Thanks for all the great info! After watching my cadence for the past few weeks I have drifted up from 85 to 90. I have noticed my legs feeling better in my runs at 90. I really think this has helped. I'm doing my first international Sunday. We'll see!
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