I have 3 chain rings (48,36,26) and an 11-32 9 speed cassette on my Trek Fitness 7.4. I like to keep my cadence between 80 - 90 rpm (my desired cadence is 85), when I get under 80 rpm or over 90 rpm I usually shift the next gear (more so when I am under 80 than when I am over 90) on the cassette to keep my cadence where I like it. I am most happy keeping using the middle chain ring almost exclusively. I have never (to date) needed to shift into the smaller chain ring to keep my cadence where I need it further, I have had my bike up to 25 mph and maxed out on the cassette and wanting more only a few times. So, am I missing something in the way I shift and should I be using the other two chain rings more?
FYI - I run up and down the cassette freely to keep my desired cadence
One more bike speak question:
When I shift into an easier gear is that called shifting to lower or higher gear?