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Old 10-24-12, 08:11 AM   #1
ctpres 
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Unexpected power loss

Just learning how to use and understand results from my new Edge 500. So far the biggest surprise is the cadence graph.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/236118351

It has more holes than swiss cheese. So the last couple of rides were spent paying close attention to reasons for the big dips in cadence. Seems I have lots of bad habits to correct. 1. taking a drink - virtually every time I reached for the mouthpiece/hose or bottle I would stop. 2. moving hands to new positions - more cadence dips. 3. rounding corners = dips. 4. frequently I just quit cranking and coasted. 5. shifting gears often resulted in cadence dips. In one fifteen minute/five mile period there were 16 cadence dips of twenty or more rpm.
Now, if I can just fix em all I should see an improvement in my average speed and endurance due to less time and energy spent getting back up to speed.
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Old 10-24-12, 08:18 AM   #2
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Yes, it can make a difference. I had a similar experience when first using my Edge 500. It helped me pay attention to consistency in cadence. I must say, however, that not racing meant that it was more of a mental exercise than effort aimed at improving times. Now days, I tend to just look at average cadence.

Edit: Don't know why I didn't think of this earlier. Riding a fixed gear as part of your training might be helpful.
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Old 10-24-12, 10:57 PM   #3
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Are you over thinking this? I don't think you are losing much speed to those cadence breaks. Other than the two stops, your velocity is not dropping much so you aren't really having to accelerate back up to speed. Also the cadence breaks don't seem all that numerous for a two hour ride to me.
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Old 10-25-12, 06:32 AM   #4
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Are you over thinking this?
OP Here - probably, but retirement left me with to much frivilous think time. I am sure it was more than steady cadence , but my next ride with a lot of concentration on steady cadence over the same route, was about .5 mph faster. Nearing the end of that ride I could see the frequency of gaps increasing. I suspect being tired had a lot to do with that, I just lost ability to concentrate. Agree lost momentum is minimal but at my age I'll take every improvement I can find - without spend a lot of money. My sub. six century summer 2014 is looking more doable but I still have a LONG way to go.
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Old 10-25-12, 06:43 AM   #5
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ctpres,
I wouldn't sweat the short/few pauses you have in that ride. Other than your concerns about the pedaling, or lack of it, while drinking on the ride this doesn't seem excessive. As you ride more you will get the balance necessary to keep pedaling while taking a sip from the bottle or hydration system. To me it does seem like kind of over thinking your data. If you are keeping a good, even, steady cadence while riding and your speed isn't overly low just go for better cadence numbers and let the continuation of your pedaling come naturally. Maybe the racers here can give you some pointers on this, they seem better able to continually pedal longer than I ever will.

Bill
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Old 10-25-12, 10:13 AM   #6
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Nothing wrong with having fun overthinking a bit, IMO. Just don't get too obsessive... ride, ride, ride.

It would be interesting to look at the data output from some pros on long rides. Aside from a high average cadence, I suspect you will see that they stop pedaling for "micro rests" more often than you think. Over a long ride, producing power must be kept in balance with conserving energy, no?

Oh, I assume you know that if you have your Garmin settings "right", the zero cadence time is not averaged in.
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Old 10-25-12, 10:28 AM   #7
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I have to chuckle...

Admittedly I don't track or measure cadence -- or even pay a lot of attention to it...

But my 1992 Cannondale R500 has downtube shifters -- you can forget about keeping your cadence as you take your hand off the bars and reach down between your legs to get to the shifters... And, then when you have shift both front and rear -- and then refeather the front....

It's a good thing that bike is (compared to my Trek DS) pretty light. You just stomp down on the pedals and you're back up to speed...

... Cadence? We don't need no stinkin' cadence!
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Old 10-25-12, 10:45 AM   #8
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ctpres,
I wouldn't sweat the short/few pauses you have in that ride. Other than your concerns about the pedaling, or lack of it, while drinking on the ride this doesn't seem excessive. As you ride more you will get the balance necessary to keep pedaling while taking a sip from the bottle or hydration system. To me it does seem like kind of over thinking your data. If you are keeping a good, even, steady cadence while riding and your speed isn't overly low just go for better cadence numbers and let the continuation of your pedaling come naturally. Maybe the racers here can give you some pointers on this, they seem better able to continually pedal longer than I ever will.

Bill
Bill: it's taken me four years to learn to drink and keep pedaling and I still stop to blow my nose. If I get in a paceline that's a little faster than I usually go I'm afraid to drink without pulling out.

I've not yet done a sub 6 hour century but I'm now under 3 for 50 miles so maybe eventually
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Old 10-26-12, 05:51 AM   #9
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Red,
One point of order here I cannot even chew bubble gum and walk a straight line, much less keep pedaling and do other things I let my nose run until I am at a stopping place, keeps the others away from me so I can wobble around on the road.

Bill
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Old 10-26-12, 09:41 PM   #10
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If I remember from Cycling Over 50, to ride longer distances faster, you need to build power to spin at the higher cadence in a big gear. That means that you need some high intensity intervals in your rides, striving over time to increase the length/intensity/number of the intervals. I know this is an oversimplification.... oh - check with your Dr. First.
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