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View Poll Results: Do you know your cadence?

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  • Yes, I use a computer with a cadence feature

    68 58.12%
  • Yes, but I keep my cadence up by subjective judgement

    32 27.35%
  • I know I'm a masher and don't care

    9 7.69%
  • What's cadence?

    8 6.84%
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  1. #1
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Do you consider your cadence?

    I was surprised to discover that I was a masher, with a cadence of about 60 to 80 rpm .

    I'm finding that I'm faster with less stress on the knees with a faster cadence.

    Do you keep track of your cadence?
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 03-25-09 at 06:53 PM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Opinions will vary, but I don't think you are a masher at 80RPM. That is a far cry from anything a professional cyclist would brag about, but anything above 60RPM or so and you are not pushing hard and slow on the pedals and straining your knees.

    Obviously faster is still better.

  3. #3
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    I don't keep track of it, but I do keep an eye on it. Just some handy info to have.
    -------

    Some sort of pithy irrelevant one-liner should go here.

  4. #4
    Senior Member snowman40's Avatar
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    I don't like knee pain, so I am usually going up or down a gear to stop the pain.


  5. #5
    Thread Killer evblazer's Avatar
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    My average cadence on my commute home today was 109. I found it odd at times to think I needed to down shift and my cadence was at 103? I may have overdone all that spin practice

    I may be completely off my rocker but I think you can push too hard even if you are in a higher gear. At least I can feel alot of resistance like I did today even spinning off at 103. Just like I can spin very slowly but not have alot of resistance depending on all the variables of incline, wind, terrain type and???

  6. #6
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    I am most comfortable in the mid-90s.

  7. #7
    Senior Member BikeArkansas's Avatar
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    It is odd this came up tonight, as my evening ride of 24 miles consisted of a lot of experimenting with cadence. I use a cadence counter. I started this last August and I must say my endurance and speed have gone up quickly since I started paying attention to cadence.
    This evening I decided to play with the cadence during the ride. On my road bike I was in the little ring (50/34 compact) while the other guys were in their big ring. I hit a high of 132 during the ride, but mostly rode in the 110 range. Normally my favorite cadence is 92. This high cadence actually felt good, but I am not sure how long I could sustain.
    It does not seem possible, but higher cadence saves your legs. I am sure there is a "point of diminishing return", but I do not know where it is.
    As a reference, when I started using the cadence counter on a normal ride my cadence was 65 to 70. I have made a major change in my riding since installing the cadence counter last August.
    I started riding my bike to get healthy. Now I try to stay healthy so I can ride my bike.

  8. #8
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    Absolutely positively.

    Two things led to this:

    1. During the late 80s, I rode the bike portion of some corporate team triathlons in Philly. I was an avid MTB'er at the time, so I had to borrow a road bike from a roadie racer. He had a cadence meter on it, and told me to keep the cadence between 90 and 100 for the whole race. I did that, paying little attention to speed or gear. It worked like a charm. I rode hard (enough) the whole way, didn't mangle my knees and I placed well for an MTB'er in a road race.


    2. At age 52, two years ago, I developed a chronic pain in the IBTL of my left knee. I had read numerous articles about keeping cadence steady and use gears to keep load in a constant range, like I had done 20-some years ago. I started out counting my revs per minute, but I finally broke down and bought a cadence meter. I use that over all other readings. MPH and gear is secondary to cadence, 90-100, and load on my legs/knees.


    I'm a big believer in cadence.

  9. #9
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    I had a cadence feature but after a week, it was useless. I knwo I'm about 95. If I pedal at 96, so what!

    As long as I know I'm doing high revs, that's all that matters. Ridng a flat rtrail, I might be doing 21 mph and in the small chainring (39). Lots of other rides notice it cause they say,"wow, you're in the small ring?". Uhhh yeah!

  10. #10
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    I am such a tourist, I don't pay enough attention to what gear my front derailleur is in. I hate to find my chain cross stretched.. I know spinning , a precursor to cadence is more energy efficient; but,when your taking in the sights cycling become too automatic..
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  11. #11
    Bikezilla Mazama's Avatar
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    No. I ripped the cadence cord off of my computer shortly after I bought it. I'd rather look around than stare at my computer.
    14,000 miles and rolling...

  12. #12
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    I don't stare at it, but I know what my cadence is and know that when I drop to 80, I feel it in my knees. My comfort zone seems to be around 92, but I really just look at it from time to time. I look around, not much to see on the highways in Iowa, but I also check my speed, heart rate, miles ridden and cadence. There are days I only have a little over an hour to ride, so I do a 20 mile ride and work had at keeping my mph up and getting my heart rate over 130 and keeping it there for the entire hour.
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  13. #13
    On the road to health. Griffin2020's Avatar
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    In the '80sm when I was a hard core rider, I always used music to pace myself. When I finally got a cyclocomp my cadence averaged 95-105. Since I have picked cycling back up, I do not use music, but I do have a comp to keep an eye on my cadence. On the trainer I stay 85-95, on the road, 80-110, but generally closer to 80. I also try to keep the cadence up an and care less about speed (gear for cadence and not mashing). My bike is a triple, but I only use the large ring for flat, flat and downhill.

  14. #14
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    85 to 95 works best for me

  15. #15
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    My goal is to maintain a 90 rpm cadence. My speed in each gear would be as follows;

    Gear chart using MPH @ 90 RPM

    For 700 X 28 / 28-622 tire with 175 mm cranks and a single 44t chainring (1x10)

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  16. #16
    Senior Member atcfoody's Avatar
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    I finally have a computer with cadence on it, so I'm starting to pay more attention to it.

    D
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  17. #17
    Genetics have failed me Scummer's Avatar
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    I used to pay more attention to it last year to develop leg speed on the rollers. But for now it's just there so I can see what happens at the races and the rides I do. I normally stay between 90 and 100rpm.
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  18. #18
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    I stay in the 95-110 range or higher if training for it. Tomorrow I will be taking out a test bike and will be going computerless for the first time on a roadbike.
    Best thing about cycling is when I'm at work I'm thinking of cycling, when I'm cycling I'm thinking about cycling.

  19. #19
    Senior Member SmokedDeathDog's Avatar
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    I do not watch my cadence when I am riding outside much. It is nice to know where I am at, but that is about it. Now it is really helpful when I am indoors using the trainer. The Carmichael DVD's that I am doing say to do a certain cadence for each workout. Like the other day I was doing a steady state intervals for 6 minutes. The first 3 minutes was to be at 75 rpm and the last 3 minutes was at 90 rpm. The trick is that your heart rate needs to be the same thoughout (within a few). Then you get a 2 minute rest and then do the next one. The first 3 minutes is at 90 and then the last 3 minutes is 110+. The last one was whatever you are comfortable with but it should be over 90 rpm. Like I said before, the trick is to keep the cadenance the same for all three steady state intervals.

    Anyway, the DVD does other workouts with difference cadenance.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member cod.peace's Avatar
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    I just ordered a new cadence computer today, the cheap E3 F11c over at Bike Nashbar. I've gotten tired of my Cateye Strada bouncing loose in its holder.
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  21. #21
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    I ride a single-speed, so cadence is proportional to speed. Not a lot more to say about it.
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  22. #22
    Not safe for work cyclokitty's Avatar
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    I voted "what's cadence" because my little computer doesn't calculate it so I don't know what my cadence is.

    I'm not a masher because I'm somewhat lazy. Maybe I'm a mashy-spinny type of pedaler -- I don't want to mash (sounds like work), so I find a an easier spin, but I'm not spinning very fast (again, work).


  23. #23
    Senior Member Herbie53's Avatar
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    I've been working on spinning more through the winter and now am quite comfortable at 100. I go as high as 115 or so before I start moving around too much (bouncing).

    Spinning fast isn't the end all, just another thing you can do -- my experience is that when I spin more my heart rate climbs more and faster and when I mash more my HR goes up less, but my legs burn more and take longer to recover/get back up to speed. I recently got a Garmin 305 that records speed, HR, cadence, grade, elevation and more... very helpful in analyzing what's working and what isn't.

    ..been mixing the two and trying to be able to recover faster from either.
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  24. #24
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    I would like to know my cadence so I can improve. What type of device would you recommend?

  25. #25
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclokitty View Post
    I voted "what's cadence" because my little computer doesn't calculate it so I don't know what my cadence is.

    I'm not a masher because I'm somewhat lazy. Maybe I'm a mashy-spinny type of pedaler -- I don't want to mash (sounds like work), so I find a an easier spin, but I'm not spinning very fast (again, work).
    If your computer has a time feature it's easy to figure out, put the computer in time mode, with your knee at the top of the stroke, count for 10 seconds how many times your knee gets back to the top of the stroke. Multiply by 6 to get RPM, or cadence. Your count, for most people, should be somewhere between 13 (78 RPM) and 16 (96 RPM).

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