Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 130
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Bristol, R. I.
    My Bikes
    Specialized Secteur, old Peugeot
    Posts
    1,595
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    All about cadence

    When I began to ride a bike again four years ago I read about maintaining pedaling cadence at 90 RPM or more for efficiency. There was no explanation why high cadence would be more efficient than a lower cadence but I took it on faith that people who had been riding professionally for years knew what they were talking about. Just yesterday I came across an article that explained all. The basic idea has to do with the fact that muscles work like a rocket motor in that individual muscle bundles are either on or off. To generate a greater force, more muscle bundles are recruited. During a long ride, only a portion of the available muscle bundles are needed. Towards the end of such a ride, as muscles begin to tire, more muscle bundles are needed and recruited just to maintain the same speed and power output. This results in a higher heart rate which is known as cardiac drift. The cyclist is working harder for no more speed. 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.

  2. #2
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Minneapolis
    My Bikes
    2011 Felt F3 Ltd, 2010 Trek 2.1, 2009 KHS Flite 220, 1991 Bianchi Osprey
    Posts
    1,648
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A very interesting article.

    I still have a tendency to turn bigger gears than I should. I am normally at about 80 RPM. I think with further training I could spin faster at the same effort, but there are times when turning a bigger gear slower seems less tiring than keeping the legs moving that fast.

    But I'm not exactly a model of proper technique and conditioning, so I can try to improve...

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    3,129
    Mentioned
    45 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    there is such a thing as just riding the bike as transportation , or sight seeing/touring,

    then a lot of race focused coaching is unimportant.

    stay on top of the gear you select is a really basic concept
    pick a gear ratio that feels right at the pace you ride over the terrain you confront.

    if it's flattish there is no requirement to mash a big gear and try to hit 30 mph.
    just enjoy the ride.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 03-07-14 at 01:39 PM.

  4. #4
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Los Angeles
    My Bikes
    2014 BMC GF01 & 2013 Trek Madone
    Posts
    3,247
    Mentioned
    339 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by berner View Post
    When I began to ride a bike again four years ago I read about maintaining pedaling cadence at 90 RPM or more for efficiency. There was no explanation why high cadence would be more efficient than a lower cadence but I took it on faith that people who had been riding professionally for years knew what they were talking about. Just yesterday I came across an article that explained all. The basic idea has to do with the fact that muscles work like a rocket motor in that individual muscle bundles are either on or off. To generate a greater force, more muscle bundles are recruited. During a long ride, only a portion of the available muscle bundles are needed. Towards the end of such a ride, as muscles begin to tire, more muscle bundles are needed and recruited just to maintain the same speed and power output. This results in a higher heart rate which is known as cardiac drift. The cyclist is working harder for no more speed. 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.
    Hmm, I don't really know the answer to this, I am a newby cyclist. But I thought the most important factor causing cardiac drift was the need to maintain cardiac output at higher body temps. Keeping in mind that cardiac output = stroke volume x heart rate, with cardiac output being the amt of blood you push around to deliver oxygen to your muscles, stroke volume being the amount of blood your heart ejects per beat and heart rate being, well, heart rate.

    You exercise for awhile, become a little dehydrated but more importantly increase your core temp. To dissipate heat, your body dilates your peripheral blood vessels. These two factors mean that your blood volume is slightly decreased (ie you're a little dehyrated) while the amount of blood veesel space you are delivering blood to is increased (ie you're vasodilated as a cooling mechanism), therefore your heart rate must increase in order to maintain cardiac output.

    Obviously there could be more than one factor operating simultaneously to account for cardiac drift. Does anone here know the relative importance of the heat dissipation component vs the greater muscle recruitment argument in the article? The main reason it is matters is that if it's just a heat dissipation thing, I'm not sure how significant the increased heart rate is. If its a training thing, then it matters quite a bit.

    H

  5. #5
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Minneapolis
    My Bikes
    2011 Felt F3 Ltd, 2010 Trek 2.1, 2009 KHS Flite 220, 1991 Bianchi Osprey
    Posts
    1,648
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    there is such a thing as just riding the bike as transportation , or sight seeing/touring,

    then a lot of race focused coaching is unimportant.

    stay on top of the gear you select is a really basic concept
    pick a gear ratio that feels right at the pace you ride over the terrain you confront.

    if it's flattish there is no requirement to mash a big gear and try to hit 30 mph.
    just enjoy the ride.
    Thanks for the advice. I guess it's pretty clear to you that I'm not capable of determining what I want to accomplish on the bike and that I'm not qualified to judge how far/fast/hard I want to ride?

    Just because some of us are old and slow doesn't mean we don't want to ride as hard as our bodies will let us. It's not a race, but yet there are rewards for improving our abilities.

  6. #6
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Minneapolis
    My Bikes
    2011 Felt F3 Ltd, 2010 Trek 2.1, 2009 KHS Flite 220, 1991 Bianchi Osprey
    Posts
    1,648
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
    Hmm, I don't really know the answer to this, I am a newby cyclist. But I thought the most important factor causing cardiac drift was the need to maintain cardiac output at higher body temps. Keeping in mind that cardiac output = stroke volume x heart rate, with cardiac output being the amt of blood you push around to deliver oxygen to your muscles, stroke volume being the amount of blood your heart ejects per beat and heart rate being, well, heart rate.

    You exercise for awhile, become a little dehydrated but more importantly increase your core temp. To dissipate heat, your body dilates your peripheral blood vessels. These two factors mean that your blood volume is slightly decreased (ie you're a little dehyrated) while the amount of blood veesel space you are delivering blood to is increased (ie you're vasodilated as a cooling mechanism), therefore your heart rate must increase in order to maintain cardiac output.

    Obviously there could be more than one factor operating simultaneously to account for cardiac drift. Does anone here know the relative importance of the heat dissipation component vs the greater muscle recruitment argument in the article? The main reason it is matters is that if it's just a heat dissipation thing, I'm not sure how significant the increased heart rate is. If its a training thing, then it matters quite a bit.

    H
    This is also an interesting point. I wonder if this is one of the components of why it's so hard to sustain high output on the trainer (apart from the boredom factor, of course)? God knows we all get ridiculously hot on the trainer, where there's so much less ventilation to evaporate the sweat.

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    3,129
    Mentioned
    45 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    30+ years ago I realize going was OK to not win races ..

    with enough time in the saddle a loop
    from The amsterdam airport thru Belgium UK Norway DK PL CZ, Austria Germany France
    back into belgium. and back to the AMS airport was a reasonable thing to do ..
    its all good

    had a few pints, with people, along the way ..

  8. #8
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Boston-ish, MA
    My Bikes
    '73 Raleigh Carlton Gran Sport, '72 Peugeot UO-8, '82 Peugeot TH8, '87 Bianchi Brava, '76? Masi Grand Criterium, '72 Bertin C32, '87 Centurion Ironman Expert, '74 Motobecane Champion Team, and lots of uncertainty on some
    Posts
    7,662
    Mentioned
    49 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Hmm. That's an interesting article in that it seems to "explain" observations. The same could be said of the proposed of planetary circles of motion before Copernicus. Is there any medical evidence to support those claims? I dunno', maybe.

    Simple physics says work is force times distance. Your feet have to do a certain amount of work to move yourself through the air at any particular speed for any given distance. How you accomplish that work is your choice. Push hard for less distance (fewer pedal revolutions) or push easier for greater distance (more pedal revolutions). Muscle physiology says your total strength is limited - I just can't push but so hard. Also pushing harder puts higher maximum stress on the joints and ligaments, a property independent of the total work done. The body reacts to stress as you ride along. Blah blah blah. But likewise the body can't move but so fast. Covering more distance with the pedals in the same amount of time means spinning faster, and I just can't spin but so fast. Somewhere between the force-limited high-gear and the speed-limited low gear there will be an ideal pedal speed, or a range of ideal pedal speed.

    What would that ideal speed be, and what makes it so? I guess that explanation is as good as any.
    Real cyclists use toe clips.
    jimmuller

  9. #9
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Loovul
    My Bikes
    Bacchetta Giro ATT 26; Lemond Buenos Aires
    Posts
    6,291
    Mentioned
    15 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    there is such a thing as just riding the bike as transportation , or sight seeing/touring,

    then a lot of race focused coaching is unimportant.

    stay on top of the gear you select is a really basic concept
    pick a gear ratio that feels right at the pace you ride over the terrain you confront.

    if it's flattish there is no requirement to mash a big gear and try to hit 30 mph.
    just enjoy the ride.
    Thank you for your very valuable contribution to this discussion. I guess we can all go home now.

  10. #10
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Loovul
    My Bikes
    Bacchetta Giro ATT 26; Lemond Buenos Aires
    Posts
    6,291
    Mentioned
    15 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    From The Time Crunched Training Program, Carmichael and Rutberg:

    “I have been a proponent of high-cadence cycling for a long time because it improves your ability to maintain high-power efforts longer by pedaling faster in a lighter gear. You can produce 250 watts at 80 rpm or 100 rpm, but your leg muscles will fatigue faster riding a bigger gear at 80 rpm than a lower gear at 100 rpm, even though the power output (wattage) is the same. Power is a measure of how rapidly you can do work. Think in terms of moving a pile of 250 bricks in a minute. When you divide the work into smaller portions but get it done in the same amount of time, each load is lighter and you can move faster. If you double the number of bricks you carry in each load, you’ll move the pile in half as many loads, but you’ll have to work harder to move each load, and each trip will take longer”

    Excerpt From: Chris Carmichael & Jim Rutberg. “The Time-Crunched Cyclist, 2nd Ed.” VeloPress. iBooks.
    This material may be protected by copyright.


    Check out this book on the iBooks Store: https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/...k?id=575763704

  11. #11
    Trek 500 Kid Zinger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Spokane WA
    My Bikes
    '83 Trek 970 road --- '86 Trek 500 road
    Posts
    2,465
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Some strong guys do well at the lower cadence. I've always been a higher cadence rider than some of my riding partners (but I don't actually have anything to time it with other than a watch and never use that). If I try to keep up with the Jones's on a higher gear, lower cadence, I won't last.....Some guys will. Some will pull right away from me at about 70 RPM or so and stay away. But I got to go about 90 and up.
    "I never lost a race because my bike was too heavy".......George Mount

  12. #12
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    northern michigan
    My Bikes
    '88 Cannondale Criterium, Trek Pro Series
    Posts
    5,772
    Mentioned
    17 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My body type excels at lower cadence, sprints and hillclimbs. In younger years I took advantage of this in other sports. I've biked with 10sp (now called vintage) back in the 70's where a cadence of 60rpm was the thing to do. I just dont adjust well to anything above 80. About 10yrs ago I rode alongside a guy from Phoenix, we just seemed to meet up on the highway. He was the slowest, most steady rider I'd seen cranking along at the oldschool 60rpm. He didnt have any of the GPS/powermeter stuff and smartphones didnt exist. He was one of those double-century and beyond riders. My Garmin Geko (which I still use) was showing his pace to be near 15mph.
    Last edited by OldsCOOL; 03-07-14 at 04:56 PM.
    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

    '89 Raleigh Technium PRE

    '79 Motobecane Super Mirage

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    My Bikes
    Trek Verve 3
    Posts
    224
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thank you for the informative article. It confirms some of what I understood intuitively. Also, when I ride with a heart rate monitor, I can see my heart rate rise over time.

  14. #14
    Junior Member telawrence's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Western suburbs of Chicago, IL
    My Bikes
    2012 Trek 1.5, 2013 Trek 7.2 hybrid
    Posts
    5
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for this interesting information that I have been too lazy to look up on my own. I know some people just like to go out there and ride for the enjoyment, but the competitor in me just wants to try and get fast as I can. When weather permits, I'll be out there spinning away.

  15. #15
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lincoln Ne
    My Bikes
    RANS Stratus TerraTrike Cruiser
    Posts
    4,148
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Or-----------------other cyclist could ride as I do. I ride for fun and exercise. I dont follow conventional racing "wisdom", nor do I try to over think every nuance of cycling while I ride. As far a cadence goes, I ride at a cadence that feels right at the time. Occasionally I do think about cadence. It usually occurs when am riding down hill. I shift up and slow my cadence down to probably 50 or so. I think my usual cadence on the flats is around 75 or 80. Sometimes when I seem to feel strong I will charge us a short hill with a cadence of maybe 100. All in all as I say my cadence varies with how I feel at the time. Bottom line, just ride and have fun, you are not in France on the Tour!!!

  16. #16
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Los Angeles
    My Bikes
    2014 BMC GF01 & 2013 Trek Madone
    Posts
    3,247
    Mentioned
    339 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
    This is also an interesting point. I wonder if this is one of the components of why it's so hard to sustain high output on the trainer (apart from the boredom factor, of course)? God knows we all get ridiculously hot on the trainer, where there's so much less ventilation to evaporate the sweat.
    That has always been my assumption. In fact, I thought it was the primary mechanism for cardiac drift.

    H

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    589
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
    Obviously there could be more than one factor operating simultaneously to account for cardiac drift. Does anone here know the relative importance of the heat dissipation component vs the greater muscle recruitment argument in the article? The main reason it is matters is that if it's just a heat dissipation thing, I'm not sure how significant the increased heart rate is. If its a training thing, then it matters quite a bit.
    Heat dissipation is clearly a part of the reason but it's not all of it, nor is it a fixed fraction. On a bike on the road, convective cooling dominates, so you will get differential amounts of cardiac drift depending on the weather, the wind, the relative humidity, and what you're wearing. Indoors on a trainer you can see this: at the same fixed wattage output, cardiac drift will vary with what you're wearing, the volume of air being moved past you with fans, and (a little less so) the temperature. Nonetheless, even riding outdoors on a cool day you will experience some cardiac drift over time.

    That said, it's not clear-cut that the cardiac drift one encounters outdoors is that closely tied to cadence. It appears to be more closely related to power output (which is, of course, the product of cadence and pedal force). That is, low cadence - low pedal force produces low power, and cardiac drift can be small. High(er) cadence with low(er) pedal force can produce low power, and again cardiac drift can be small. Low(er) cadence with high(er) pedal force can produce low power, and yet again, cardiac drift can be small. Bored yet? However, high(er) cadence with medium pedal force, or low(er) cadence with very high pedal force, or (horrors) high cadence with high pedal force produce high power, and cardiac drift can be large as you fatigue.

    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    pick a gear ratio that feels right at the pace you ride over the terrain you confront.
    This.
    Last edited by RChung; 03-08-14 at 11:03 AM.

  18. #18
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    North Aurora, IL
    My Bikes
    08 Specialized Crosstrail Sport, 05 Sirrus Comp
    Posts
    5,855
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    there is such a thing as just riding the bike as transportation , or sight seeing/touring,

    then a lot of race focused coaching is unimportant.

    stay on top of the gear you select is a really basic concept
    pick a gear ratio that feels right at the pace you ride over the terrain you confront.

    if it's flattish there is no requirement to mash a big gear and try to hit 30 mph.
    just enjoy the ride.
    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

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


    Specialized Crosstrail Sport - '08
    Nishiki Sport - misappropriated from my youngest son (circa 1984)
    Marin Stinson - misappropriated by my youngest grandson - '01
    "The Beast" - 1990 Schwinn Airdyne (in the basement for winter torture)

  19. #19
    Speed is Life... UnfilteredDregs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    NYC, duh Bronx.
    My Bikes
    Salsa Ti Warbird- 2014/ HED Ardennes +
    Posts
    1,383
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post

    You exercise for awhile, become a little dehydrated but more importantly increase your core temp. To dissipate heat, your body dilates your peripheral blood vessels. These two factors mean that your blood volume is slightly decreased (ie you're a little dehyrated) while the amount of blood vessel space you are delivering blood to is increased (ie you're vasodilated as a cooling mechanism), therefore your heart rate must increase in order to maintain cardiac output.
    This alone really illustrates how important hydration is...amazing how mechanical it all is.
    http://www.pedalroom.com/members/UnfilteredDregs
    Poetically vacant... -U.D.

  20. #20
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    3,129
    Mentioned
    45 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Cadence has to be comfortable for each individual.
    I Agree , there so a decree that you have to turn a higher rpm, is an opinion ..
    it is instead, an individual choice .

    Comfortable is its own reward.


    just dont take a competitive racers bike magazine coaching recommendation as Gospel,
    Its OK not to race everywhere after 50.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 03-08-14 at 12:26 PM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Bristol, R. I.
    My Bikes
    Specialized Secteur, old Peugeot
    Posts
    1,595
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I would agree with all who have said that each cyclist has a comfortable cadence. It is also true that the comfortable zone can be trained to a wider range and I'm convinced that it is worthwhile doing so even for non-racers. I do leg exercises with leg weights to strengthen those muscles that lift the leg. These exercises were very useful in winter backpacking with snowshoes and heavy winter boots on my feet and continue to be useful riding my bike. I'm not able to get in as many miles during winter months but as weather warms up and road conditions improve, such as two days ago, I put the bike in a low gear and whirl away for a few hours. Think Wiley Coyote and the Roadrunner.

  22. #22
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Minneapolis
    My Bikes
    2011 Felt F3 Ltd, 2010 Trek 2.1, 2009 KHS Flite 220, 1991 Bianchi Osprey
    Posts
    1,648
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by berner View Post
    I would agree with all who have said that each cyclist has a comfortable cadence. It is also true that the comfortable zone can be trained to a wider range and I'm convinced that it is worthwhile doing so even for non-racers. I do leg exercises with leg weights to strengthen those muscles that lift the leg. These exercises were very useful in winter backpacking with snowshoes and heavy winter boots on my feet and continue to be useful riding my bike. I'm not able to get in as many miles during winter months but as weather warms up and road conditions improve, such as two days ago, I put the bike in a low gear and whirl away for a few hours. Think Wiley Coyote and the Roadrunner.
    "for a few hours" on the trainer? Good for you. After an hour I'm so bored I can't continue. Videos, music, nothing helps.

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Bristol, R. I.
    My Bikes
    Specialized Secteur, old Peugeot
    Posts
    1,595
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    No trainer for me. If I don't or can't ride the bike, I walk.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    St Peters, Missouri
    My Bikes
    Rans Enduro Sport, Hase Kettweisel Tandem, Merin Bear Valley beater bike
    Posts
    23,975
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Its OK not to race everywhere after 50.
    If, when you drive your car, you want to maximize your speed, the way to do that is to keep the RPM's close to the redline all the time. I don't do that.
    My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.

  25. #25
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    3,129
    Mentioned
    45 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I pootle when driving , too ..

Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •