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  1. #26
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    I pootle when driving , too ..
    High cadence?
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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  2. #27
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I havent had a car since 91, my '68 Saab 96 V4 sounded good at 3000 RPM.
    so I often drove at that tach reading .

    It's about 55 in 4th .. down hill I coast, at an Idle , then open the throttle again to get over the next hill ..
    Saab Transmission of that era, has a freewheel bearing to do that easily .



    I miss cars with rain-gutters on the roof edges ..

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    '68 Saab 96 V4 [...] Saab Transmission of that era, has a freewheel bearing to do that easily .
    Ah, yes. I remember that car. That freewheel transmission was a vestigial remnant of the transmission needed for the previous generation two-stroke "Shrike" engine. That is, for the two-stroke it was a bug; for the four-stroke it wasn't a bug, it was a feature. Except when you were descending a hill and wanted to use the engine to brake the car. Then it was a bug.

  4. #29
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    Actually, this isn't bad information - as everyone is not the same.

    Cadence has to be comfortable for each individual.

    I ride at about 80-85 RPM, because that is what is comfortable for me. I used to ride at 50, and it took a while to get it up to the 85 I ride at now. Yes, I can spin at 90, or even 100, but it's just not comfortable. And, I can maintain it, but it's just not comfortable. Above 110, and I'm bouncing all over the place, while below 70 feels like too much work.

    I can maintain it for 40 miles of daily ride without problems, and usually average between 13-15 MPH over that run. Usually non-stop.

    You have to ride comfortable, if you want to enjoy the ride.

    p.. s.. Now that I got my heart fixed, maybe I can go faster.......................................... LOL
    Concur, everyone is different.

    Everyone's different even from ourselves over time.
    Early in the season, my max sustainable cadence is low, as the miles pile up my sustainable cadence goes up as does my speed. If I feel unwell, cadence drops, same with dehydration, fatigue and fueling issues.

    You can train for higher cadence, just as you get used to pedaling harder.

    I would argue, that as long as you're happy, then you're right for you.

    If you're trying to do something different then what you normally do, you should consider doing things differently.

    Low cadence / high torque stresses primarily muscle. Muscle tires. Muscles can be developed to a pretty amazing degree, but only so far.
    High cadence / low torque stresses your cardio vascular system (and lungs). CV can be improved to a pretty amazing degree, but again only so far.

    Just ensure what you do matches what you're trying to do.

    traditionally the answer was something like this,
    If you wish to go fast, you're likely best off developing higher cadences... 85->100
    If you want to go far, you're likely best off developing moderate cadences... 70->85

    But there are those that do amazing things with low cadences <60. Watch video from anywhere that the bicycle is the standard means of transport or utility vehicle and you'll see mostly low cadence...

  5. #30
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Null66 View Post
    traditionally the answer was something like this:
    "If your legs are tired, use a gear that makes you pedal faster."
    "If you're out of breath, use a gear that makes you pedal more slowly."
    My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.

  6. #31
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    I noticed the last couple years that I can actually go faster spinning an easier gear faster than mashing a harder gear slower. When I first starting riding that wasn't the case. I'm not a strong climber but I feel like I have a lot of fast twitch muscles and can spin like crazy.
    Ride your Ride!!

  7. #32
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe View Post
    I noticed the last couple years that I can actually go faster spinning an easier gear faster than mashing a harder gear slower. When I first starting riding that wasn't the case. I'm not a strong climber but I feel like I have a lot of fast twitch muscles and can spin like crazy.
    Hold it now. I thought spinning recruited slow twitch fibers, not fast twitch. Back to the books...

  8. #33
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
    Hold it now. I thought spinning recruited slow twitch fibers, not fast twitch. Back to the books...
    I believe you are correct.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

    '85 Trek 460 road racer

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  9. #34
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe View Post
    I noticed the last couple years that I can actually go faster spinning an easier gear faster than mashing a harder gear slower. When I first starting riding that wasn't the case. I'm not a strong climber but I feel like I have a lot of fast twitch muscles and can spin like crazy.
    Yes, this is true for me also.

    Something that hasn't been highlighted in this discussion is that it's not just fast vs. slow, it's also that pedaling technique is affected by cadence. I find, for example, that it's easier to approach pedaling good circles at a higher cadence. So when I think about it and remind myself to pedal circles, I usually also go to the next-largest cog if I am going to maintain the same speed.

    I know - people will now weigh in and say that they prefer to mash because it works better for them. Whatever works for you is good, but I definitely have better performance when I concentrate on good pedaling form.

  10. #35
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    If you study the history of the sport in detail you will note that beliefs about rpm are cyclic. Over the past hundred years or so there have been times when the popular cycling press suggested 90+ rpm as the only reasonable approach, and also times when 80 rpm or even lower has been the gold standard. You will also note that these cycles correspond strongly with the pedaling style of whoever is winning pro races at the time.

    I suspect that the 90+ rpm fad right now has a lot to do with Lance Armstrong. I also suspect that if not for really good drugs, we'd actually be experiencing a low rpm fad right now: Lance's main competitor (Jan Ulrich) was a gear masher. So was Bernard Hinault and Eddy Merckx. I was not racing when Merckx was active, but I do remember the 175 cranks flying off the shelves when Hinault was a champion. But then, during the Anquetil years, if you did not have a smooth 100 rpm cadence you were considered some kind of clodhopper.

    Short version: You are probably best off doing what your body tells you to do and ignoring the folks who think you are better off doing what somebody else's body tells him to do.
    Last edited by Six jours; 03-08-14 at 10:43 PM.

  11. #36
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    FWIW, today was a just ride around kind of day. I thought a lot about the cadence issue, and I kept my cadence in the 80 range with low leg pressure while riding about. I set a PR on a pretty flat Strava segment.

    Now this is a segment I don't take seriously and I certainly wasn't out trying to set any PRs. It just happened.

    Just sayin'.

  12. #37
    Senior Member koolerb's Avatar
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    If you want to get faster, or increase your range, "pick the gear that feels right" is bad advice. Most people will settle in around 70 rpm if they're not thinking about it and just doing what feels right. The best advice I got from another bike forums member last spring was get a bike computer with cadence and kick it up. I started out shooting for 85, got faster, and had better endurance. By the end of the season I was riding flats at around 95, and continued to get faster and increase my endurance.

  13. #38
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koolerb View Post
    If you want to get faster, or increase your range, "pick the gear that feels right" is bad advice. Most people will settle in around 70 rpm if they're not thinking about it and just doing what feels right. The best advice I got from another bike forums member last spring was get a bike computer with cadence and kick it up. I started out shooting for 85, got faster, and had better endurance. By the end of the season I was riding flats at around 95, and continued to get faster and increase my endurance.
    +1

    But expect responses along the lines of "You're not riding in the Tour de France, just enjoy the ride".

  14. #39
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koolerb View Post
    If you want to get faster, or increase your range, "pick the gear that feels right" is bad advice. Most people will settle in around 70 rpm if they're not thinking about it and just doing what feels right. The best advice I got from another bike forums member last spring was get a bike computer with cadence and kick it up. I started out shooting for 85, got faster, and had better endurance. By the end of the season I was riding flats at around 95, and continued to get faster and increase my endurance.
    I agree, though I go about it from a different approach. I've used recorded times and avg's in personal TT courses. If you want to go faster you simply cant have comfort, you will have to harden up and go beyond the pain zone a little bit.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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  15. #40
    Trek 500 Kid Zinger's Avatar
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    I believe the better cardiovascular base would be built at the higher RPMs if that's what you're focusing on. At least I remember reading that somewhere when I started riding in the late '70s. Doesn't mean that I don't get dropped by low RPM mashers though.
    "I never lost a race because my bike was too heavy".......George Mount

  16. #41
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    I started riding in the 70's. I didn't know anyone else who rode then. In the late 70's or early 80's I started paying attention to the "cycling community". That was partly inspired by the fact that then I had associates who rode. I started reading cycling magazines, I talked bikes, I upgraded components. But I noticed one thing at that time that really turned me off to the concept of "being a cyclist". No one ever smiled. Not in ads, not in person, not at races I watched. No magazine article ever mentioned or showed anyone enjoying themselves. Well, my associates did when I had the chance to ride with them, which wasn't often.

    My point is this. If you want to endure pain or force you cadence to be whatever or go beyond or race against your own mythical best time, then be my guest. However I intend to enjoy myself. I'll get better if I get better. I'll stay in shape one way or another. But I will not not enjoy the ride. Life's too short to not enjoy the ride.

    YMMV.
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  17. #42
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    One mistake in evidence here is that folks are finding a thing that works well for them and then extrapolating to mean that it must work for everyone else too. If not everyone agrees, well, they must be stupid or something.

  18. #43
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
    I started riding in the 70's. I didn't know anyone else who rode then. In the late 70's or early 80's I started paying attention to the "cycling community". That was partly inspired by the fact that then I had associates who rode. I started reading cycling magazines, I talked bikes, I upgraded components. But I noticed one thing at that time that really turned me off to the concept of "being a cyclist". No one ever smiled. Not in ads, not in person, not at races I watched. No magazine article ever mentioned or showed anyone enjoying themselves. Well, my associates did when I had the chance to ride with them, which wasn't often.

    My point is this. If you want to endure pain or force you cadence to be whatever or go beyond or race against your own mythical best time, then be my guest. However I intend to enjoy myself. I'll get better if I get better. I'll stay in shape one way or another. But I will not not enjoy the ride. Life's too short to not enjoy the ride.

    YMMV.
    It's posts like this that have me on the verge of giving up on this sub-forum. Nobody is telling you how to ride. There is not a single post in this discussion that says that those who pedal at slow cadence should change what they are doing if they are happy with the way they are. Why are you inferring that those of use who would like to discuss improving form/performance/ability are judging you?

    If you are happy with how you ride and uninterested in the topic of cadence, why are you reading this thread in the first place if it isn't simply to scold those of us who have priorities different from yours?

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
    If you are happy with how you ride and uninterested in the topic of cadence, why are you reading this thread in the first place if it isn't simply to scold those of us who have priorities different from yours?
    Possibly because there is a real undercurrent of "our way is better" here.

    Perhaps I am being oversensitive, but if I am, it appears that I have company...

  20. #45
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    Possibly because there is a real undercurrent of "our way is better" here.

    Perhaps I am being oversensitive, but if I am, it appears that I have company...
    I don't see that at all. I see the opposite.

    One set of posts says, "you can go faster, have less fatigue, etc. if you spin at higher cadence".

    Another set of posts says, "no, you can do all of those things with lower cadence" or "well, some find that they optimize performance at lower cadence"- and I have no problem with this second set - it's a constructive on-topic contribution to the discussion, though it doesn't conform with my personal experience. (Your post about cadence fashions being correlated to the success of prominent contemporary racers falls in this category)

    A third set of posts says, "those of you who are trying to go faster/do better through higher cadence or whatever don't have the right priorities because you should just "enjoy the ride". Or they disparage the desire to do better because, for example, we are "racing against our own mythical best time". These are the posts that I find insulting.

  21. #46
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by berner View Post
    ..... High cadence recruits fewer muscles burning up energy during the ride and the end result is a rider who has more energy left at the end. Read about it here: http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/...-racing_318783 As a certified card carrying old guy, I need to conserve as much energy as possible so this article is particularly useful to me.
    Thanks for the link. I am way too old (and too slow) to race. But I do like improving at cycling and knowing what's going on with my body. Being a 10 speed cyclist since the 1960's myself..... I spent an entire season a couple years ago trying to train the 60RPM habit out of myself. Some habits die hard.

    I no longer mash along in the big gear.... but I will likely never buzz along at a smooth effortless high-speed cadence ether. But I do think a little knowledge and a bit of training has made me a tiny little bit better... fitter and faster cyclist.

    Thanks again for sharing.

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
    I don't see that at all. I see the opposite.

    One set of posts says, "you can go faster, have less fatigue, etc. if you spin at higher cadence".

    Another set of posts says, "no, you can do all of those things with lower cadence" or "well, some find that they optimize performance at lower cadence"- and I have no problem with this second set - it's a constructive on-topic contribution to the discussion, though it doesn't conform with my personal experience. (Your post about cadence fashions being correlated to the success of prominent contemporary racers falls in this category)

    A third set of posts says, "those of you who are trying to go faster/do better through higher cadence or whatever don't have the right priorities because you should just "enjoy the ride". Or they disparage the desire to do better because, for example, we are "racing against our own mythical best time". These are the posts that I find insulting.
    I suspect we may both be insulted by things that weren't meant to be insulting.

    Or maybe I'm the only one here who really knows what he's talking about and the rest of you should shut up and do what I say.

    I haven't figured it out yet.

  23. #48
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    Possibly because there is a real undercurrent of "our way is better" here.

    Perhaps I am being oversensitive, but if I am, it appears that I have company...
    Maybe we should find other and less offensive words than "fast" or "slow"?

    Ride on.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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  24. #49
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Big OOOPS....I edited out the wrong quote. This is in response to Jimmuller's comments on cyclists that cant grin....



    "Bikeface"

    I pity those who cant laugh or smile when riding. It is certain they have let the cares of life pour over into a most enjoyable experience.

    One early spring a few years back I stumbled out the door with my quick and agile Trek. This was the ride I waited all winter for. Being the only biker on the streets of our small town I attracted many strange looks. The light turned red, there was one car in front of me.as the light turned green I had become glued to the car bumper as I upchained and shifted to high gear, out of the saddle. My first ride of the season, 30mph. Nothing in the world can match that. Was I smiling? Nope. I was laughing with pure joy and trying to catch my breath.
    Last edited by OldsCOOL; 03-10-14 at 07:19 AM.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

    '85 Trek 460 road racer

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  25. #50
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
    Hold it now. I thought spinning recruited slow twitch fibers, not fast twitch. Back to the books...
    Well, yes, but only if they can keep up.

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