I post in both the 50+ and Clydesdale forums, because I unfortunately meet both criteria. I think this question is best posted here.
I think that the "experts" say that the most efficient cadence is 80-90 rpm. My question is, "is this true for all body types and cycling objectives?"
First, body type. I am just under 6', weigh 225-230 and have a body fat of just under 25%. I would call myself in reasonable shape for 67, but certainly have room for improvement. I have huge muscular legs. I don't know names of muscle types, but I don't have the long leg muscles built for speed. I have very large, short muscles built for pushing heavy objects. I have always been the strongest AND the slowest in my group. I find moving my legs at 80-90 rpm to be a real challenge and one that I have a hard time sustaining. On the other hand, I can put my bike in a higher gear and the weight of my legs alone seems to keep me moving at an easy pace.
Second, cycling objectives. I have no need for speed. I am not trying to determine how quickly I can go from point a to point b, but how much I can enjoy the trip. I like to observe what is growing in the fields, watch the surfers and see if any dolphins are jumping today. Oh yeah, and watch out for drivers doing the same thing. My typical ride is 30 - 50 miles and I just did my first Century.
Should I be concerned about cadence? Have any studies been done on cadence for our type of rider?