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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 09-16-09, 01:30 PM   #1
jross
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first question. on cadence

I'm a big feller! I guess this is the best place to post my first of many questions. (btw if there is a better place then someone point it out for me.) I'm a literally the workhorse of the family. I have to pull my two boys, 5 and 19mo, in a trailer. my wife and I plan on riding in a 30 mile ride in Oct. what "rpm" should I be pumping my legs? Is there a good way to tell what is best? We try to avg 10mph. Is that helpful information? good average? thanks.
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Old 09-16-09, 01:33 PM   #2
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Find a comfortable gear then shift down one more to make it real easy, then just keep spinning.
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Old 09-16-09, 01:41 PM   #3
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A good average speed is the one that gets you out on your bike and riding. I don't measure cadence, when I update my Cateye, I will probably get one to start doing this.

I have noticed that with more riding, I can maintain a higher speed in each gear than I could before, so my cadence is increasing. I started out riding using too big of gear, meaning I should have been using a bigger cog on the back wheel.

I would think with all the weight you are pulling, you would want to spin like crazy. Does your bike fit you well? That makes a big difference for us big guys in being able to spin.
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Old 09-16-09, 02:02 PM   #4
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I agree w/ 10Wheels and MrClyde. If you're comfortable with it during, and after riding then you're doing OK.

I ride a pretty decent amount of miles and don't even have a cadence monitor. I just go by what's making my legs feel good for the terrain I'm pedalling over.
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Old 09-16-09, 05:11 PM   #5
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I have always tried to maintain a cadence over 75. It's easier on your knees. My cadence, too, is increasing. I now tend to maintain a cadence between 90 and 100. Find a cadence you can maintain and use that.
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Old 09-16-09, 07:22 PM   #6
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Cadence...reminds me of my military days. /me shudders. I have a Cateye /w cadence. I started out around 57, then somewhere in the last 4 months I found I like 84. I primarily wanted to see the numbers to see what felt good, but what I'm finding is what feels good really depends on your level of fitness and how well you can spin.

When I first came here and read people spinning at 80-100 I was like omg, I don't think so. The reality is the more you do it the better you get at it. So what ever you do when starting out will quickly fade the better you get at it. Last nights ride at a couple points I was spinning at 92 and feeling pretty good about it.

So just follow what the others have said. Find a gear(s) where you are comfortable, cadence doesn't really matter as long as it feels easy.
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Old 09-16-09, 08:27 PM   #7
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Cadence...When I first came here and read people spinning at 80-100 I was like omg, I don't think so. The reality is the more you do it the better you get at it. So what ever you do when starting out will quickly fade the better you get at it. Last nights ride at a couple points I was spinning at 92 and feeling pretty good about it.
This isn't necessarily true for everyone. It's possible that your "natural" cadence is actually up around 90. You just had to work yourself up to it. I've been riding for a long time and have been a masher for years. I have tried several times to increase my cadence. I can get my cadence up and keep it there for short rides (around 100 miles+/-) but as soon as I do an ultra race or long brevet I revert back to my slower more natural cadence. Some people spin fast and others spin slower just like some people are fast runners and others are slower.
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Old 09-16-09, 08:33 PM   #8
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Some people spin fast and others spin slower just like some people are fast runners and others are slower.
You can find the clip of LA passing Jan Ulrich during one of the TdF time trials on YouTube and see this evidenced. Jan is a pretty good rider by most accounts and he is maintaining a pretty slow cadence over the course of the time trial while driving a high gear. Sure he is passed up but the point is that cadence does vary even amongst accomplished riders.
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Old 09-16-09, 10:27 PM   #9
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http://www.trifuel.com/training/bike...daling-economy

Great article on cadence and how it changes from one person to the next. I won't try to give a synopsis, it would just not be right.

I have found that my natural cadence right now is somewhere in the high 70s, too fast and I get worn out quickly, this article explained why.
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Old 09-17-09, 04:59 AM   #10
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very informative article above
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Old 09-17-09, 05:23 AM   #11
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In my experience with the trailer when I dont spin, the trailer influence is more noticable on the bike. Heavier the trailer is, more you feel it. When I pull heavy loads - 160 pounds - I go all the way down to the third, smallest ring gear and keep the cadence over 70 if I can.
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Old 09-17-09, 06:23 AM   #12
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thanks...and, um, now...I got to figure out a way to measure cadence! did 14 mi. last night averaging 10.2 and the only thing really hurting is my butt!
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Old 09-17-09, 09:26 AM   #13
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Most people use a computer with a cadence function but since you don't have one, I suggest you just ride and not worry about it. If you rode only 14 miles and your butt hurt it might be better to invest your time/money on getting a seat that fits you better.
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Old 09-17-09, 12:30 PM   #14
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I would find cadence useful ONLY as a measure of what you have done vs. what you are now doing. Or in keeping your own stats about cadence vs. gears. Over time. I'd not pay any attention to what others claim they are doing, it should only be a measure of you to yourself.

Example, I have to take meds that restrict my HR to under 140. Little chance I'll be able to do some of the quoted cadence (over time of course).
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Old 09-19-09, 05:30 PM   #15
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The way I measure cadence is with the time function on my computer. I pick a starting number on the timer (5, 10, 15, etc...) while it is timing my ride and then start counting everytime my right foot is down. You can count for 30 seconds and then double it, for 15 and then times 4 or a whole minute.

Obviously just a way to spot check, as you would probably drive yourself batty counting for the whole ride. I use to to check my cadence to see if the RPMs are what I think they are at the beginning of a ride. From there you can prety much feel if you are faster or slower.
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Old 09-19-09, 08:39 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
This isn't necessarily true for everyone. It's possible that your "natural" cadence is actually up around 90. You just had to work yourself up to it. I've been riding for a long time and have been a masher for years. I have tried several times to increase my cadence. I can get my cadence up and keep it there for short rides (around 100 miles+/-) but as soon as I do an ultra race or long brevet I revert back to my slower more natural cadence. Some people spin fast and others spin slower just like some people are fast runners and others are slower.
Are you effin kidding me!?! In what country or condition is 100 miles a short ride!?! If you can turn any cadence for a 100 mile ride you are doing a good job! 100 miles = short ride..... yeah and I'm typing with my toes while standing on my head and cooking a gourmet breakfast.

To the OP.... with the load you're towing, you have two jobs:
1)Get everyone there.
2)Get them there safely.

The cadence you use to do so will depend on the terrain, the wind, your performance level on that day. Take care of that precious cargo.
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Old 09-19-09, 11:58 PM   #17
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Are you effin kidding me!?! In what country or condition is 100 miles a short ride!?! If you can turn any cadence for a 100 mile ride you are doing a good job! 100 miles = short ride..... yeah and I'm typing with my toes while standing on my head and cooking a gourmet breakfast.
No, I'm not kidding. I compete in ultra-distance races. I've done three RAAM's and a boat load of other ultra races. 100 miles is a short 5-6hr ride depending on terrain and what kind of shape my shape is in. My point was (and the distance is relative) that you can adjust your cadence to one that is un-natural to your body but your body will at some point revert back to it's natural cadence. I think that article that was posted earlier backed that assertion up. I'm impressed that you can type with your toes, I can't do that!
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Old 09-20-09, 07:47 AM   #18
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A friend took time off from his group rides to give me pointers, he puts a different spin (sic pun) on the cadence, other than being easier on the knees, he says higher cadence puts more load on cardio-lungs, metabolic efficiency versus muscle from lower cadence. He also states its better for burning fat. Heart rate is higher for me spinning @ >90.

I was at 70-85 cadence, he recommends 85-100, it has been a bit of a strain on my knees, which he indicated was pedaling inefficiencies and to tweak my cleats/seat. I was bouncing at 90, after some adjustments, I now bounce at 98-105, still working on pedaling.

I have been spinning at >90 but going much slower than before (17/18 mph -> 14ish with higher cadence) at this time.

Last edited by Saltybeagle; 09-20-09 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 09-21-09, 06:18 AM   #19
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thanks to all who gave info....and as for homeyba saying 100 miles is a short ride....I did a double take! I get tired on a 100 mile car ride
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Old 09-21-09, 09:06 PM   #20
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thanks to all who gave info....and as for homeyba saying 100 miles is a short ride....I did a double take! I get tired on a 100 mile car ride
I should apologize for that. Sometimes I forget what forum I'm in. In the long distance forum nobody would have batted an eye at that.
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Old 09-22-09, 06:26 AM   #21
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I adjusted gearing and cadence on a spin bike this week to see what type of wattage I was putting out. Cadence seemed to have a bigger impact on power output than gearing. Higher gears and lower cadence just made me more tired and did not yield more wattage.
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Old 09-23-09, 10:15 PM   #22
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I've got a road bike I ride alone and average 80 to 100 rpm and can maintain about 15 mph. When I pull my 3 year old in her trailer with my hybrid I average around 11 mph. She weighs 47 lbs. We ride between 15 and 25 miles. When I ride the road bike solo I push as hard and as fast as I can. With the little one in the trailer I try to keep it steady. With the trailer I know I am going slower but can feel that I am getting a more intense work out. If your pushing too hard - mashing it you should be able to feel it in your quads. With spin you may feel it in your calfs. Anyhow, take care
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Old 09-24-09, 07:48 AM   #23
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Are you effin kidding me!?! In what country or condition is 100 miles a short ride!?! If you can turn any cadence for a 100 mile ride you are doing a good job! 100 miles = short ride..... yeah and I'm typing with my toes while standing on my head and cooking a gourmet breakfast.

To the OP.... with the load you're towing, you have two jobs:
1)Get everyone there.
2)Get them there safely.

The cadence you use to do so will depend on the terrain, the wind, your performance level on that day. Take care of that precious cargo.
With time and training it's doable for cadance. Recently did my longest ride ever at 210k with over 5500' avg speed 26.9 avg cadance 86.
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Old 09-24-09, 08:09 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Saltybeagle View Post
A friend took time off from his group rides to give me pointers, he puts a different spin (sic pun) on the cadence, other than being easier on the knees, he says higher cadence puts more load on cardio-lungs, metabolic efficiency versus muscle from lower cadence. He also states its better for burning fat. Heart rate is higher for me spinning @ >90.

I was at 70-85 cadence, he recommends 85-100, it has been a bit of a strain on my knees, which he indicated was pedaling inefficiencies and to tweak my cleats/seat. I was bouncing at 90, after some adjustments, I now bounce at 98-105, still working on pedaling.

I have been spinning at >90 but going much slower than before (17/18 mph -> 14ish with higher cadence) at this time.
Thank you.

+1
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