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  1. #1
    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Okay, what cadence do you usually try to achieve on a flat ride on a road bike?

    I know this varies a lot with wind and other circumstances.

    But, your best estimate of desired cadence is:

    Mine is 90-100

  2. #2
    cut my gas use in half Jessica's Avatar
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    I gear down to a cadence of 60 minimum, and when I am thinking about it closer to 80, because I get better speed and endurance from that rate. I am still slow, if I am doing 10 miles an hour, I figure I am doing good, but when I remember, I am up to about 14 mph on the flat at the higher cadence.
    And I am sure there are other choices I haven't thought of, yet...

  3. #3
    'Bent Brian
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    For me it all depends. I've putzed along at a leisurely 60RPM. Most of the time I run mid 80's cruising and during commute mode. It seems to feel good at that rate. Climbing a hill or accelerating I run up into the 90's and have been in the low 100's for a fast quick climb, or just after a launch.

    'bent Brian

  4. #4
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessica
    I gear down to a cadence of 60 minimum, and when I am thinking about it closer to 80, because I get better speed and endurance from that rate. I am still slow, if I am doing 10 miles an hour, I figure I am doing good, but when I remember, I am up to about 14 mph on the flat at the higher cadence.
    Every body is different but you generaly find that the more experienced rider will have a higher cadence of around 100/ 110 on the road, or if offroad this may drop by around 20. There is a good reason for this, that may not seem obvious at first, but by spinning faster, less strain is being put on the legs. Initially this means that your breathing is harder, but with practice, this can improve.
    The advantage of spinning faster does mean that hills, and in particular the short sharp rises that occur on the ride, can be taken easier. You may still have to change down, to keep the cadence up, but it is easier.
    I am an offroader, and my cadence is lower than the road boys, but just to give an example, Ride along a trail and there is a big muddy puddle in front. If your cadence is too low, say around 60, when you hit the mud, the bike slows down and one of two things can happen. With the slowing down, your cadence drops(Just like going up a couple of gears on the Bike) and you either have to strain to turn the pedals, or you can't turn the pedals and you fall off. If your cadence was higher at say 80, you would have a chance of getting through the mud.
    If you are experienced enough, you will speed up a bit to 90, then change down two gears and keep the speed up by pedalling faster, and sail through the mud without too much dropoff in speed. You can then look round and dodge the mudpies being thrown at you by your mates who are sitting in the goo that you sailed through.

    Problem is that initially, a higher cadence is not natural, you have to train yourself to it, so ride at your normal speed on the road, and change down one or two gears. Then pedal faster to keep the same speed. You may not be able to do this for too long, but keep trying it. I actually go the other way on the Tandem for winter training, by putting higher gearing on the bike. I then keep up my normal cadence up the hills, but basically one gear higher than normal. Not to be recommended for too long a ride, or too steep a hill, but does improve my leg muscle strength

    Incidentally, I try to keep the cadence as a minimum of 80 on the solo, but on the tandem this drops to 70 on the steepest hills. Normal flat riding is around 100 on the solo and 110 on the tandem
    Last edited by stapfam; 11-03-04 at 02:46 PM.

  5. #5
    Sophomoric Member UncaStuart's Avatar
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    I seem to be most comfortable at 90-100, as well.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Wow, I just have no idea. I know I'm a "spinner", but I don't have a cadence feature on my 'puter. Normally without wind, I'm thinking about like DenverFox.

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    i also twiddle at 100 to 110, occasionally going to 120. i think i may have developed this when i rode a fixed wheel with a gear of 54 inches for about 25 years.

  8. #8
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    90-110 rpm
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
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  9. #9
    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dchiefransom
    Wow, I just have no idea. I know I'm a "spinner", but I don't have a cadence feature on my 'puter. Normally without wind, I'm thinking about like DenverFox.
    I don't have a cadence function, either. I just count for 20 seconds every now and then and multiply by 3! Gives a pretty good estimate, and, after awhile, I know pretty close without even counting.

  10. #10
    LeMond Lives! Dusk's Avatar
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    I'm 47 I spin at 90-120. Don't use speed on the computer, just us RPMs.

    Cheers,
    Dusk

  11. #11
    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusk
    I'm 47 I spin at 90-120. Don't use speed on the computer, just us RPMs.

    Cheers,
    Dusk
    Youngster!

  12. #12
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    I don't have a cadence function, either. I just count for 20 seconds every now and then and multiply by 3! Gives a pretty good estimate, and, after awhile, I know pretty close without even counting.
    I tried counting to 20 seconds once, but it got hard to ride on the clipless pedals without my riding shoes and socks on.

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    I don't think determining your cadence without the aid of a bicycle computer with the built in cadence is worth a hoot. For years I used to determine my cadence by various counting schemes. When I finally got an Avocet computer with cacence and more recently a Cateye computer with cadence I found my estimates were way off no matter how I did it. How I got started at trying to determine my cadence was at a time many years ago when it was thought that there was an ideal cadence. There isn't!!!!!

  14. #14
    A cop selling bike parts
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    If you'd like a 'puter that has the cadence function just give me a shout at lightrj@plattsbrugh.edu I would love to offer you guys and gals a discount! Check this out!

    Sigma 1600 with optional cadence feature-

    LightClycles $32.00 (with the cadence option)
    Performance $29.00 cadence kit $5.99 total $34.99
    Nashbar $24.95 cadence kit $4.49 total $29.44

    Hmmm I'm not the lowest but if you spend 50.00 I'll give you free shipping! Need any Pearl Izumi Clothing? I'll give you 20% off of that too! Check www.pearlizumi.com Email me with any questions!
    Plus I'm a cyclist helping cyclists! So from one cyclist to another....email me!

    Pedal On,

    Bob Light
    LightCycles

  15. #15
    A cop selling bike parts
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    Oh...sorry all I'm only 42!

    Pedal On,

    Bob Light

  16. #16
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Gardner
    I don't think determining your cadence without the aid of a bicycle computer with the built in cadence is worth a hoot. For years I used to determine my cadence by various counting schemes. When I finally got an Avocet computer with cacence and more recently a Cateye computer with cadence I found my estimates were way off no matter how I did it. How I got started at trying to determine my cadence was at a time many years ago when it was thought that there was an ideal cadence. There isn't!!!!!

    Assuming one is not coasting, isn't computing one's cadence from the gear ratio and the ground speed reliable?
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
    Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
    Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069

  17. #17
    Cycling Anarchist Trsnrtr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witcomb
    i also twiddle at 100 to 110, occasionally going to 120. i think i may have developed this when i rode a fixed wheel with a gear of 54 inches for about 25 years.
    Ditto. I'm 53 and could have written your post. The only change was I primarily rode a fixed at 64". (I live in a flat part of the world)
    Dennis T

  18. #18
    Senior Member Lonestar1's Avatar
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    At age 50, I find it fairly easy to stay in the 90-100 range. Unless, of course, I hit some "big" hills. Which around my neck of the woods, there are only a couple. More accurately could be describe as short but steep. Sometimes actually achieve 110+ on the short ones.
    "...You ask me what I like about
    Texas? Well I'd tell ya', but we could
    be here...all night long."

  19. #19
    Senior Member Lost Coyote's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LightCycles
    Oh...sorry all I'm only 42!

    Pedal On,

    Bob Light

    Puppys!

    Constant 90 to 100. If I go over 100 I "spin out" after a short while. I drop into the 80's only when I runout of gear!
    Gravity kills.

  20. #20
    Senior Member (Retired) gmason's Avatar
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    I try for 100 on the flats and near-flats, and 80 climbing. I had strayed lower for a while, but this is easier on the body. However, I think I am sensing a loss of "strength" now that I have returned to the higher RPMs. I have to figure that one out. It almost seems to be a choice of one or the other at times.

    Cheers...Gary

  21. #21
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    Guys,

    What's wrong with me?

    I have UPPED my cadence to the mid-80's with concentrated effort. I thought that was good. You guys are all in the 90's to low 100's. What's up with that?

    I am fairly new to biking (actually returning after 25 years) but seem to run with the fairly fast pack. On my own on the flats, I run just under 20mph for an hour or more. Would I improve with more RPM?

    Tyson

  22. #22
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TysonB
    Guys,

    What's wrong with me?

    I have UPPED my cadence to the mid-80's with concentrated effort. I thought that was good. You guys are all in the 90's to low 100's. What's up with that?

    I am fairly new to biking (actually returning after 25 years) but seem to run with the fairly fast pack. On my own on the flats, I run just under 20mph for an hour or more. Would I improve with more RPM?

    Tyson
    It takes trainiing to get the cadence up, but for a "Novice" rider, 80 is not a bad start. If you have just upped your slower cadence to 80, then be happy with that. The big advantage of higher cadence, is less strain on the legs, but initially, your legs will get tired, and your breathing will get laboured if you try to up it. If you are comfortable at 80, then stay at it, but in a years time, when you check again, you will find you are nearer 90.

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