General Cycling Discussion - Spinning without toe clips/clipless pedals?
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08-15-02, 10:48 PM
I was wondering if it's possible to train for higher cadence using just regular platform pedals. I've been trying to "spin" but my legs don't really seem to be "learning" anything
In order to spin properly you need to apply force to the pedal through a complete 360 degrees on both the left and right side. With platform pedals, this is extremely difficult. Clipless pedals work best, but toe-clips will also get the job done.
08-16-02, 01:33 AM
You CAN spin with ANY pedal, just be patient. It takes a while to learn the technique and for your muscles to get used to it.
I have a friend who could spin over 200 rpm on his old one speed Schwinn cruiser.
Ride to Spin
08-16-02, 05:12 AM
I find it easier to practice spinning on a stationary bike. On a business trip to your area I went to a Gym just off Atrum Blvd that had a lot of good cyclests working out - might be helpful to you.
08-16-02, 05:16 AM
But you can just sit on a stationary bike.
Spinning on a real bike requires you to practice balance as well.
Fast cadence does show up inappropriate saddle height. You cant spin if your hips are rocking, or if you are too low. It is also hard if your cranks are on the large size for your legs.
be patient. It takes a while. I raised my cadence this spring from around 90 rpms to about 110. It took well over a month for the pace to become natural. When your legs are tired, they will naturally want to slow. But, that's just where you have to be even more disciplined.
As I wrote up recently for a different thread (here slightly edited):
In order to raise your cadence, you could try "cadence intervals". For these, you spin higher than your goal for just 10 seconds. So, if your goal is 95, then try spinning at 120 or more for just 8-10 seconds. Then recover at a lower cadence for 10-20 seconds or more. Repeat for a total of 3-4 intervals. Do this routine 2-3 times per ride. But, emphasize leg speed not power or going much faster--just spin faster in a lower gear. If you are already at a good fitness level, I would even say that you should try to spin as high as you can during the intervals. You will probably start to bounce in the saddle at about 120. When I did it, I know that I hit well over 150. I still do these speed intervals from time to time.
Personally, I very much like my 110 cadence. And I would recommend something over 90 for just about any rider. I am working on bringing my hills cadence up to the same level--but since I can't get lower gearing for my bike (without paying too much), I am stuck until I just get stronger.
I am currently spinning my platform pedals at about 85-90 comfortably. I have found that it is easier (for me) to reach a higher cadence on slight inclines and in gentle head winds, and have therefore used such conditions to increase my cadence. Sometimes I can get a 20-25% higher cadence than normal if conditions are right, and maintain it for a minute or more.
On steeper climbs my cadence drop quite a lot (it is hard to keep the feet on the pedals while standing with a high cadence, and that is one of the main reasons why I plan to get some kind of clipless pedals soon).
08-16-02, 02:44 PM
Are you really "Spinning" if you cant pull through the stroke?
08-17-02, 10:34 AM
You can spin on flats. It is the same movement just by lifting you foot in the up motion. Same way you would if you wanted a huge bunny hop without clips. My RPMs are way up there. Don't know the exact number because it isn't a requirement on my style of riding :)
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