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  1. #1
    Senior Member bidaci's Avatar
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    Time Trials and cadence

    I have read different views regarding a fast cadence and a slow cadence for optimal efficiency over time. But for a short TT (15KM) where optimum power output for a short period of time is desired is it better to have a slower cadence pushing a higher gear than a high cadence?

    What cadence do you usually find using in your TT position and how does it compare to your road position?

    Wondering if during the off season, I should spin harder or faster on the trainer.
    Bill

    - Serotta Columbus III - Aegis Trident SS TT - Trek 8000zx -

  2. #2
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    I'm about the same cadence in both positions and race types. I don't modify my cadence for event duration, although it does seem like dropping 5-10 rpm for a short TT might make some sense.

    Nothing beats testing -- everything else is speculation. If I were you, I would go out for like 4x 7-minute intervals, alternating between, say 92rpm and 100rpm. See what happens to your average speed, and report back. If you have a power meter, all the better...

  3. #3
    Cat WTF
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    Lower cadence on the TT bike. That's just the way it works out for me.

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    A Member kukusz's Avatar
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    You might want to check this out:

    http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=4011

    There is a couple studies in there on cadence.

  5. #5
    Race to train jrennie's Avatar
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    97 seems to be my magic average. I jump around 90-100+ but it always seems to be a 97 average no matter the distance.

  6. #6
    Senior Member curiouskid55's Avatar
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    I try to keep my cadence between 105 and 110, But also constantly monitor my HR to make sure I am working hard enough.

  7. #7
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    See if you can't do a test on something which allows you to vary power regardless of rpms. I think the Tacx power trainer does this, I know there's some exercise bike thing that does it also - know anyone or a gym that has one? When I tested on such a device I found my rpms rose until I was doing a steady 111 rpms for about 150 watts worth of incremental increases. I didn't keep an eye on cadence, just tried to keep going, so I wasn't trying to "adjust" my cadence consciously. Then I blew sky high.

    Such a test will help you find your optimal cadence at that moment using that equipment (particularly crank length). Change something you'll have to repeat the test to see how you changed.

    hope this helps,
    cdr

  8. #8
    Slow'n'Aero DrWJODonnell's Avatar
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    Personally, I always TT at an average of 100+ for cadence. My best power output (per HR) is at around 80. My problem is twofold. At a low cadence I don't adapt to slight changes in resistance (Grade and wind) and I am much more likely to cross teh redline and need to recover for a loss of a few seconds. The other thing is that Lower cadence wears me down quickly and I find once I drop cadence I cannot raise it efficiently.

    So, being the non TT guru I am, I have found that what works the best for me over all TTs is to start at a higher cadence and slowly 'bog down' over the course of the TT. I typically start at 105+, but for the last few miles I will be around 90.

    However, this is what works for me. You have to find what words for you though experience. Good luck.

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    For what its worth, the ultimate TT, the hour record, was set at a cadence of around 104.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

    1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
    1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
    1988 Ducati 750 F1

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    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
    For what its worth, the ultimate TT, the hour record, was set at a cadence of around 104.
    That brings up a question I've had recently: what's the aerodynamic impact of a higher cadence? The top foot is going proportionally faster through the wind in the pedal stroke, as cadence increases.

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    Quote Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
    That brings up a question I've had recently: what's the aerodynamic impact of a higher cadence? The top foot is going proportionally faster through the wind in the pedal stroke, as cadence increases.
    http://biketechreview.com/phpBB2/vie...hlight=cadence

    Cliff notes seems to be that pedal movement isn't fast/big enough compared to the rest of the system to really matter.

  12. #12
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tfro View Post
    http://biketechreview.com/phpBB2/vie...hlight=cadence

    Cliff notes seems to be that pedal movement isn't fast/big enough compared to the rest of the system to really matter.
    Yeah, I guess that with 175mm cranks at 100rpm, your foot is moving at 4.1mph. So, at 26mph, your foot is doing 30mph on top and 22mph on the bottom. Adding 5% to that cadence isn't going to amount to much.

    I guess there's also no lack of results for time trialists winning w/out shoe covers in major TTs.

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    Honestly, for me low cadence vs fast doesnt make a difference especially in TTs. Theres only a certain amount of power you can put out whether it is at 110rpms or 90. and as far as I am concerned aerobic power vs anarobic, its all aerobic for a TT.

    Basically its preferance.
    Cat 1 o-meter 33%

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by recneps View Post
    Honestly, for me low cadence vs fast doesnt make a difference especially in TTs. Theres only a certain amount of power you can put out whether it is at 110rpms or 90. and as far as I am concerned aerobic power vs anarobic, its all aerobic for a TT.

    Basically its preferance.
    I really don't consider 90 to be a low cadence or 110 to be a high cadence, just the upper and lower limits of normal cadence. To me, low cadence is around 70 and high cadence is 120+
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

    1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
    1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
    1988 Ducati 750 F1

  15. #15
    Cat3.*....Cat2 asmallsol's Avatar
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    Training, racing, TT, whatever, I always feel comfortable at a high cadence around 105-118, so therefore I keep it there.

  16. #16
    Not obese just overweight ratebeer's Avatar
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    * Generally, the higher your LT, the higher your optimal cadence
    * Higher than "normal" cadence relies aerobic power
    * Lower than "normal" cadence relies more on muscular power
    * Lower cadences can have more of a detrimental effect at the beginning of a race than at the end
    Joe

    Veho difficilis, ago facilis

  17. #17
    seppomadness
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWJODonnell View Post
    Personally, I always TT at an average of 100+ for cadence. My best power output (per HR) is at around 80. My problem is twofold. At a low cadence I don't adapt to slight changes in resistance (Grade and wind) and I am much more likely to cross teh redline and need to recover for a loss of a few seconds. The other thing is that Lower cadence wears me down quickly and I find once I drop cadence I cannot raise it efficiently.

    So, being the non TT guru I am, I have found that what works the best for me over all TTs is to start at a higher cadence and slowly 'bog down' over the course of the TT. I typically start at 105+, but for the last few miles I will be around 90.

    However, this is what works for me. You have to find what words for you though experience. Good luck.
    God that is scary I could of written that myself word for word. I seem to rev up around 115-120rpm fairly comfortably for some reason. I suck bad though.

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