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Old 03-05-10, 06:40 PM   #1
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Cadance on the trainer vs. the "real world".

I've been on my trainer a lot over the last few weeks and I am at the point that I can keep up +/- 100 RPM for about forty minuets. How the heck can this be kept up all day for long rides or even for days on end. I know that my fitness level is pretty low right now but do people really keep a 100rpm pace up in the real world for 40, 50 or even a hundred miles?
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Old 03-05-10, 07:27 PM   #2
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I was skimming through pubmed a while back looking for articles on helmet safety, and came across one comparing measured rider exertion on trainers vs. a track. The conclusion of the study was that trainers do not adequately simulate rider exertion compared to actually real world riding. Are you shocked? I wasn't.

Anyway, your trainer doesn't reflect the effort of your upper body in propelling the bike, was what the study said. Worry less about the numbers and just ride. You'll make, even at less than 100 RPM.
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Old 03-05-10, 07:39 PM   #3
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.....The conclusion of the study was that trainers do not adequately simulate rider exertion compared to actually real world riding. Are you shocked? I wasn't......
No, actually. Not at all. Unfortunately, this means that I can do even LESS than 40 minuets of "effective" riding in the real world......
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Old 03-05-10, 08:03 PM   #4
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Read the rest of my post. You're exerting more effort on your trainer to keep the same cadence that you would on the road, because on the trainer your upper body cannot transfer as much power into the bike as it can on the road.
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Old 03-07-10, 06:08 PM   #5
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In terms of perceived effort, 13mph on my Kreitler Rollers with the headwind unit attached seems equivalent to going 16-18 mph on flat, level road with no wind.
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Old 03-08-10, 12:58 PM   #6
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People can keep up a high cadence for long periods of time. I remember reading that Eddie Merckx averaged something like 115 rpm when he broke the hour record. I have read that Lance Armstrong generally spins along at something like 100+ rpm. When I had a computer measuring cadence, I generally did over 100 rpm. But this seems to be rider specific. Gregg Lemond ran an rpm of around 80 and pushed big gears. I am not going to say that the three time tour de france winner does not know what he is doing.

So can a rider maintain a high rpm for a century? Certainly. It is a matter of what you are comfortable with. Also it takes awhile to work up to doing a high cadence. It probably took me over a year of riding quite a bit before I could maintain a high cadence for a long period of time.
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Old 03-08-10, 03:52 PM   #7
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In terms of perceived effort, 13mph on my Kreitler Rollers with the headwind unit attached seems equivalent to going 16-18 mph on flat, level road with no wind.
Headwind attachment? What's that, a fan? Do you perceive that a headwind increases pedaling effort?
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Old 03-08-10, 06:14 PM   #8
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I've been on my trainer a lot over the last few weeks and I am at the point that I can keep up +/- 100 RPM for about forty minuets. How the heck can this be kept up all day for long rides or even for days on end. I know that my fitness level is pretty low right now but do people really keep a 100rpm pace up in the real world for 40, 50 or even a hundred miles?
What makes you think a high cadence necessarily correlates to a high effort? Your bike has gears, right?
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Old 03-09-10, 01:16 AM   #9
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Cadence is very individualistic and people shouldn't try to say what works for them works for everyone else.

Lance's high cadence time trialing to Jan Ulrich's lower cadence. Either can be successful. Its a personal thing.

Usually, I find low cadence/low gearing puts a lot more strain on high muscular endurance and less strain on the cardio, and a high cadence/high gear puts less strain on high muscular endurance and a little more strain on the cardio.

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Old 03-09-10, 06:13 AM   #10
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Headwind attachment? What's that, a fan? Do you perceive that a headwind increases pedaling effort?
The Headwind unit increases resistance on the rollers. It is a blower driven by a belt from the front roller.

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Old 03-09-10, 03:35 PM   #11
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Oh, I see. I didn't realize the blower was actually driven by the roller. Thanks for a civil and informative answer to a rudely phrased question.
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Old 03-09-10, 04:06 PM   #12
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I've been on my trainer a lot over the last few weeks and I am at the point that I can keep up +/- 100 RPM for about forty minuets. How the heck can this be kept up all day for long rides or even for days on end. I know that my fitness level is pretty low right now but do people really keep a 100rpm pace up in the real world for 40, 50 or even a hundred miles?
Yup. For me about 90-95 RPM... my legs actually ache if I try to hold something lower than that for any length of time.

After you get more fit it is almost as if you are just spinning to throw the weight of your legs around, and looking for the gear that will move the bike well with that "motor" speed.
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Old 03-09-10, 06:21 PM   #13
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What makes you think a high cadence necessarily correlates to a high effort? Your bike has gears, right?
Speed! I need to be going "fast" to feel like I'm getting any where.

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Usually, I find low cadence/low gearing puts a lot more strain on high muscular endurance and less strain on the cardio, and a high cadence/high gear puts less strain on high muscular endurance and a little more strain on the cardio.
Right! That's exactly what I am trying to do: build cardio endurance and loose weight. My legs are pretty strong already and will be proportionately stronger, so to speak, as I loose weight. I will be able to cycle faster and father as my cardio fitness increases. I REALLY want to try a MTB race this season!
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Old 03-09-10, 06:23 PM   #14
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Speed! I need to be going "fast" to feel like I'm getting any where.
You obviously missed the key word "necessarily" in my post.
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