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Old 06-06-09, 12:12 PM   #1
fatallightning
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anyone else more comfortable at higher cadences?

As I get more races and fast group rides in, the more it's becoming apparent my legs seem to be happier at 110 or so instead of the 95 range. For the same given speed, at that lower cadence, my legs seem to get lactic much faster. Are there any detrimental effects I might want to be aware of, or is this just my natual happy place? I'm kind of suprised that I seem to be happier spinning then mashing since I'm of the bigger and burlier inclination.
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Old 06-06-09, 12:53 PM   #2
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Higher cadence=more cardio.

My cadence is usually around 70-80 when I'm JRA. When I'm racing, it's about 110-120. No issues.
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Old 06-06-09, 01:54 PM   #3
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I find myself shifting down a gear or 2 several times during a crit to let my heart rate settle down. Then the legs will get fatigued somewhat and it's time to shift up. 105-110 down to 85-90 and back.
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Old 06-06-09, 01:56 PM   #4
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My average cadence during the crit today was 95. Max 150.
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Old 06-06-09, 03:01 PM   #5
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A spinner is a winner.

Especially in a crit, if you keep a higher cadence, you can stay in the saddle and spin up to accelerate and not have to get out of the saddle. More aero, less drama.

This is especially important in a corner exit. Most guys will coast way out of the corner, wai for the bike to stand up and then get out of the saddle and crunch a big gear. If you can stay in the saddle and get 3-5 revolutions of the pedals before the rest of the group starts to pedal, you really have an advantage.
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Old 06-06-09, 03:12 PM   #6
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A spinner is a winner.

Especially in a crit, if you keep a higher cadence, you can stay in the saddle and spin up to accelerate and not have to get out of the saddle. More aero, less drama.

This is especially important in a corner exit. Most guys will coast way out of the corner, wai for the bike to stand up and then get out of the saddle and crunch a big gear. If you can stay in the saddle and get 3-5 revolutions of the pedals before the rest of the group starts to pedal, you really have an advantage.
I think is the exact reason I did so much better last crit, too many inside line to sprint repeats blew me out the back door. Next time I took the outside line, pedaled through and fared much better.
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Old 06-06-09, 03:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
A spinner is a winner.

Especially in a crit, if you keep a higher cadence, you can stay in the saddle and spin up to accelerate and not have to get out of the saddle. More aero, less drama.

This is especially important in a corner exit. Most guys will coast way out of the corner, wai for the bike to stand up and then get out of the saddle and crunch a big gear. If you can stay in the saddle and get 3-5 revolutions of the pedals before the rest of the group starts to pedal, you really have an advantage.
Truth.
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Old 06-06-09, 05:16 PM   #8
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my cadence goes up with speed. At 15mph i am comfortable at like 80rpm. 20mph at like 95rpm but when cranking at 30+mph i like to be around 110 - 120rpm
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Old 06-06-09, 05:34 PM   #9
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my cadence goes up with speed. At 15mph i am comfortable at like 80rpm. 20mph at like 95rpm but when cranking at 30+mph i like to be around 110 - 120rpm
Me too. It's all about torque.
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Old 06-06-09, 08:37 PM   #10
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It's also relative to your leg-strength as well. To generate any given amount of power, if you're not built like a sprinter, you'd be better off saving your leg-strength for the finish by spinning more. On those fast rides, it's easy to burn through your matches in just a couple of high-speed intervals chasing down a break or whatever and your legs are jello for the rest of the ride.

Ditto on the cadence-to-speed ratio as well. Look at anyone doing 40mph+ and they're 100rpms+. Over 45mph in a sprint and you bet their legs are over 120rpms. It's just impossible to generate more power by pushing harder when you're already pushing at 100%. Only way to increase power at that point is to spin faster.
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Old 06-06-09, 08:39 PM   #11
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I think is the exact reason I did so much better last crit, too many inside line to sprint repeats blew me out the back door. Next time I took the outside line, pedaled through and fared much better.
Well.. it's possible to take the inside line AND pedal at the same time to maintain speed... a certain technique is involved...
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Old 06-07-09, 09:23 AM   #12
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Well.. it's possible to take the inside line AND pedal at the same time to maintain speed... a certain technique is involved...
hey ! careful, don't give away all of our secrets !

j/k.

Bike handling is also a big factor - pedaling or not through a corner - ...

(in reference to very tight, technical corners I would say that )
if you know your self, your bike, and the corner very well, you could almost always hit it fast enough to get by at least 1 rider.
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Old 06-07-09, 01:29 PM   #13
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I say go with what feels/works best...I happen to be better for the most part, at present, at lower cadence (once I get srm set, I'll know the approximate rpm)...high spinning runs me down in the long run in a race...
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Old 06-07-09, 02:26 PM   #14
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I race at higher rpm than I train, so I can deal with the accelerations easier. It seems most of the time my avg cadence is in the upper 90s. That's where I start my kilo jumps too (close to 100rpm), and I never upshift unless my acceleration rate is really starting to slow. Usually, jumping from 30mph to 38 or so will only take me from 95rpm to 120rpm anyway, and then I settle in, upshift a cog, and see what I can hold.

One good rule for beginners to consider, if you either brake, or coast/corner, you should downshift. In the pack, if it bunches up, and you touch your front brake, downshift the rear at the same time. Going into a corner almost always warrants at least a one-cog downshift, unless you're off the front in a fast crit and can really carry the speed.
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Old 06-09-09, 05:23 PM   #15
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my cadence goes up with speed. At 15mph i am comfortable at like 80rpm. 20mph at like 95rpm but when cranking at 30+mph i like to be around 110 - 120rpm
truthiness
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Old 06-09-09, 05:40 PM   #16
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With a 36 inch inseam my legs are more comfortable with a cadence in the 90s
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Old 06-09-09, 05:50 PM   #17
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I run a 11-26 on everything, yr around, at every race. Yeah, I know I am missing some good gears.

Since I have been training with power, I have noticed I don't watch my cadence nearly as much.
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Old 06-09-09, 07:08 PM   #18
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i spin a really high cadence, around 110, most of the time (training, racing, climbing [if i have the gears], flats, whatever). i'm actually trying to slow it down a little bit. i wonder if it is an indicator that strength is a limiter for me.
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Old 06-09-09, 07:16 PM   #19
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I just looked back at my crit data from my win on Thursday, and I averaged 104rpm. I don't think I've ever averaged that high for more than a couple minutes. I was always trying to be ready to respond to attacks, so I kept downshifting whenever I felt complacent. I think this contributed to an elevated feeling of stress (because the cardio system was working harder). It still left me with plenty in the tank when it came time to launch out of our break though. The legs were really really fresh, even though I'd been breathing hard.

Code:
Duration: 44:54
Work: 780 kJ
TSS: 69.4 (intensity factor 0.963)
Norm Power: 328
VI: 1.13
Distance: 20.365 mi
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 1461 290 watts
Cadence: 39 141 104 rpm
Speed: 8.8 35.9 27.2 mph
Hub Torque: 0 383 73 lb-in
Crank Torque: 0 1198 243 lb-in
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Old 06-09-09, 09:54 PM   #20
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One good rule for beginners to consider, if you either brake, or coast/corner, you should downshift. In the pack, if it bunches up, and you touch your front brake, downshift the rear at the same time. Going into a corner almost always warrants at least a one-cog downshift, unless you're off the front in a fast crit and can really carry the speed.
I used this technique at tonight's crit and it made the accelerations out of the corners much easier. It also allows me to stay in the saddle and give about 5 hard pedal strokes and keep up with the pack as oppose to standing and hammering. Although I am built like a sprinter, I much rather sit and push hard than get up and mash. I need to work at this for my sprint though.

Oh yeah, my average cadence for tonight's crit was 92rpm.
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Old 06-10-09, 08:10 AM   #21
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I think spinning works only if you're in shape aerobically (whether by training or because that's your body's inclination). It's also related a bit to (arg, I'm going to say it) crank length.

I tend not to spin when I'm unfit (last 9-10 years). When I'm fit I spin more. Before SRMs and such, the only long term cadence thing I could see was "Average cadence for the ride". I would be happy if I came back with 118-120+ rpms after 1-2 hours of riding. Races were more like 105-110 rpms.

I checked some recent race data. My last race, where I was twinging, my avg cadence was 89 rpm, and I intentionally reduce cadence significantly when twinging to avoid cramps. Before that my races were 88, 85, 84, 83 rpms. So maybe I'm getting in better shape.

I virtually never go above 130-ish rpms unless I'm sprinting down a hill. I either shift up or I coast. My sprints are usually in the 70-110 rpm range.

Basically if you see me spinning it means I feel good. If I'm pushing then I'm trading muscle for aerobics, i.e. burning matches.

cdr
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Old 06-10-09, 08:13 AM   #22
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I'm a grinder I guess.

I used to spin like a madman, but I slowed it down and have had way better results. I'd rather save my high heartrate stuff for climbing.
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Old 06-10-09, 08:34 AM   #23
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I virtually never go above 130-ish rpms unless I'm sprinting down a hill. I either shift up or I coast. My sprints are usually in the 70-110 rpm range.
cdr
CDR, I thought you were a crit sprinter? You know, fanning a 53x15.

Most "spurters" I know can be in terrible form, but still whip out some serious speed in the last 150 meters.
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