Training & Nutrition - cadence counting?
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I want to cadence count. But what the hell does that mean? I always ride solo, and I just moved out to San Diego and I am 5 miles from the mountains where there is no traffic. So anyway, I have my hrm, I have a comp on the bike. Its got two chain rings.
So what do I do, I generally crank it out in the top ring around 18-24 in the flats and in the teens on the climbs.
But I don't know much about cadence counting. Should I be at the same cadence throughout or what?
Someone please, edumacate me.
06-01-01, 03:54 PM
I've really focused on cadence this season. As Badger says it really helps your spin and efficiency. I've noticed on my MTB climbs as well. Checking your cadence is best done with a cyclometer with a cadence pickup (attached to crank and frame). Though you can count it out.
A little bit of basic background: Cadence is how many revolutions per minute your crank turns, i.e. how many downstrokes per minute on one leg. Most roadies try and keep it between 90-110 give or take. Kind of a leading statement, opening myself up for debate….
alright thanks gents...i am actually heading out now for a quick 25miler...I will try and notice my count today.
It took me ahwile to get used to spinning at a high cadense. So(if you are not accustomed to spinning at high cadense) don't expect it to be a great and rewarding experience the first time, that comes after several rides and practice!!
06-02-01, 12:37 PM
Many moons ago, I was caught up in the whole rage of cadence. I was a slave to the beeping lump of plastic on my bar! But no more!
Anyway, I found that cadence was great if I was doing a ton of distance in a relatively flat area. When I rode hills or did interval training, the cadence alarm was annoying as hell and I never seemed to be getting any benifit from making sure that I was maintaining a particular cadence.
Of course, now I am a slave to the lump of plastic on my bar that tells me how fast my heart is pumping...
well i counted manually throughout my last ride and I wasn't able to keep that count 90-110rpm
although for the most part the ride is all mountains so I guess it is a bit much to expect.
I should probably focus more on my heart rate.
And that brings up another point. What HR do you guys train at? My max HR is 186bpm and I try to stay around 160-170 on my runs but that it really tough on a bike. Is it normal to have a lower HR on the bike even though you feel like your putting out?
06-13-01, 09:20 AM
Let me start out by saying that cadence is strictly pedal speed in RPM and has nothing to do with heart rate except that faster pedal speed will increase your heart rate. In fact, if your heart rate remains low even when pushing a big gear, using a smaller gear and spinning faster will push your HR up. Big gear/low cadence vs smaller gear/high cadence is one of those situations where perceived effort is not a reliable indicator of HR. It may fatigue your legs but not get your HR up.
Depending on what type of computer you have you may be able to add a cadence kit for very little money. Check the specs on it to see if it has cadence capability, ask the shop where you got it, or check the product into. If yours does not have a cadence option, the Sigma 1200 or its updated successor model 1400 is only $25-30 and the cadence pickup is about $7. Having the cadence displayed is way easier than trying to count it, and it is always right there for you to glance at along with current speed so it is easier to maintain your target cadence.
If you already routinely pedal 18-24 mph, working on increasing your cadence will make you at least more efficient and at best, even faster. It may be a breakthrough for you. At some point you run out of gears and the only way to go faster is to spin the cranks faster. Your legs get stronger almost naturally as you ride, but you have to train them to spin faster and build more fast twitch muscle fibers.
07-23-01, 12:54 AM
Try to learn to spin at 90 to 110 rpm, you only need to check it once in a while because you'll be able to feel when it's right. Watch Lance in the tour, he rarely goes below 100.
When you're trying to ride hard (after you learn how to spin) you'll be able to go faster on a lower gear spinnig at 100 to 110 rpm than when you're mashing at 80 or 90 in a higher gear.
I can hold thirty in my 15 for a mile or more, but have trouble doing 28 at all in my 13. I only use a 12 or 13 when I'm sprinting very fast, (that's pretty much history now) or decending.
If you spin fast and don't jam or push your gears you'll have far less injuries too.
One of the first things I learned my coach when I was racing was- Speed comes form being able to spin your pedals, not from mashing a big gear.
02-25-11, 03:02 PM
What kind of HR monitor do you have, as most will take a cadence kit.
02-25-11, 03:06 PM
Since this thread is almost 10 years old, I think the OP's question has been answered.
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