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  1. #1
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Is your spin rate slower on a bent than a DF?

    Just wondering if it's just me. On my bents, I've noticed my sweet spot for spinning is about 93 rpm. If I'm really putting a lot of leg in while climbing up hills, I'll let that drop into the low 80's. I tend to switch gears if I go over 100.

    On the other hand, on my DF, my preferred cadence is 100-105, and when I'm going over 21mph and some change, that rises to around 110. I usually drop a gear if my cadence dips below 95. The only time I'm slower on a DF is on a standing climb, but since you can't stand on a bent, that doesn't really count.

    Has anyone else noticed a slower spin rate when on a bent, or is there something strange about my riding habits?

  2. #2
    Ride more, eat less cat0020's Avatar
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    I tend to spin higher rpm when riding my recumbemt.

    On my road bike, DF frame, I ride 175mm crankarms, usually sping at 85-100 rpm cadence.

    On my recumbent I ride 165mm crankarms, spin at 90-110 rpm but I shift between gears a whole lot more on the recumbent.

    Shorter crank arms allow me to spin smoother at higher cadence.

  3. #3
    Recumbent Ninja
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    much faster on the bent, especially uphill.

  4. #4
    A1A cyclist
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    Faster on the bent, better for the knees.

  5. #5
    dam this is fun ! STEEKER's Avatar
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    I switched to Bents and completely lost my spinning for steep hills ?
    LOW RACER PILOT MASI fixed/singlespeed http://www.flickr.com/photos/steeker/

  6. #6
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    I'm about the same on both platforms. I run 170s on everything.

  7. #7
    Cycling Anarchist Trsnrtr's Avatar
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    Same here; 95 -105 average on either bent or DF.
    Dennis T

  8. #8
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    faster on my 'bent, out of necessity

  9. #9
    Approaching Nirvana megaman's Avatar
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    The thing I find about my trike is that I'll spin a lot slower on the level, but I spin a lot faster going up hills. Of course, I've never been much of a spinner. Fortunately, my knees don't bother me.
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
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  10. #10
    Senior Member geebee's Avatar
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    105 cold 120 warm, cruising either platform
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  11. #11
    bobkat
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    Much faster on a bent, partly due to the mechanics of the bent and partly because I have shortenend cranks on mine. I've had a stroke and my left leg is a bit weaker than the right, so geared down the front chain ring and went to shorter cranks (153's from the stock 175's) and for me it works beautifully. Heck, I even have a significantly higher cadence than the average bent driver, but it works for me OK.

  12. #12
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Reviving this old thread because I'm finding it difficult to spin as fast on my bent as I do on my upright. Only started riding bikes again in April, with 600+ miles on an upright and just topped 175 miles on my first bent. On my upright I've increased my cadence from 65-70 in April to around 85. On my bent, I'm having a hard time maintaining over 75 on flats. This is riding a LWB Sun with a lower bottom bracket. Cranks are 170 on both.

    When I'm doing 80-85 on my upright, it feels natural. On my bent the same cadence feels like it takes a lot more effort, and doesn't feel as smooth.

    A case of not having my "bent legs" as yet??
    Last edited by Tom Bombadil; 10-10-07 at 10:24 AM.

  13. #13
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    Reviving this old thread because I'm finding it difficult to spin as fast on my bent as I do on my upright. Only be riding anything more seriously since April, and just topped 175 miles on my first bent. On my upright I've increased my cadence from 65-70 in April to around 85. On my bent, I'm having a hard time maintaining over 75 on flats. This is riding a LWB Sun with a lower bottom bracket. Cranks are 170 on both.

    When I'm doing 80-85 on my upright, it feels natural. On my bent the same cadence feels like it takes a lot more effort, and doesn't feel as smooth.

    A case of not having my "bent legs" as yet??
    Shift down a gear or two. You should be able to achieve any RPM you want with the right gear selection.

    I tend to spin faster on my bent since I can't stand on the pedals to accelerate like I can on my DF bikes.
    safe riding - Vik
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  14. #14
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    I tried shifting down. As I said above, I found it difficult to keep a smooth spinning motion when I got it up to 85-90. I had to really work at it and it felt like I was spinning out. I read here that some are spinning at 110-120! I don't know how you do that and keep going, at least on flats.

    It wasn't that I couldn't force my cadence up to 85-90, it was that it was very uncomfortable to maintain that cadence. Which is unlike my experience on an upright, where that same cadence feels comfortable.

    It also felt like the 170mm crank arms on my bent were longer, and required more reach, than the 170mm crank arms on my upright. This contributed to my discomfort at higher cadences.

  15. #15
    lowracer ninja master lowracer1's Avatar
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    I spin slower compared to my upright mountain bike. Thats ok though, a slower spin on a recumbent aerodynamically yields a higher overall forward speed. If you apply the same amount of power say at 80 rpm vs 100 rpm, you will go a tad faster doing 80 rpm
    chris@promocycle.net

  16. #16
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    I tried shifting down. As I said above, I found it difficult to keep a smooth spinning motion when I got it up to 85-90. I had to really work at it and it felt like I was spinning out. I read here that some are spinning at 110-120! I don't know how you do that and keep going, at least on flats.

    It wasn't that I couldn't force my cadence up to 85-90, it was that it was very uncomfortable to maintain that cadence. Which is unlike my experience on an upright, where that same cadence feels comfortable.

    It also felt like the 170mm crank arms on my bent were longer, and required more reach, than the 170mm crank arms on my upright. This contributed to my discomfort at higher cadences.
    How's the saddle position? You could try nudging it a little closer to the pedals.

    I spin about the same on my bent as I did on my MTB - fairly slowly.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  17. #17
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allister View Post
    How's the saddle position? You could try nudging it a little closer to the pedals.

    I spin about the same on my bent as I did on my MTB - fairly slowly.
    Yeah, I've played around with that too. Up to about 3 weeks ago, the seat position was definitely off, but it is much better now. If I move it any closer, then the backstroke is too close. When it was too far away it was really hurting my cadence as it was too much of a reach.

    I think the main thing is just working hard on it. I'd love to try out a 165mm crank as I think that would help. Wish that were an easier thing to do.

  18. #18
    Senior Member geebee's Avatar
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    If you go to your LBS and ask if they have a set of cranks for a 24" kids MTB you may be able to try short cranks on the cheap.
    I got a set of 152 cranks with 24/32/44 rings for 25 ish Australian dollars.
    They are steel but work well, just be aware that if you have hills you will need to use lower gears to climb with and you must down shift as you slow down or you will have trouble winding up.
    It will take a while to get aerobically fit enough to sustain high rpms, but your legs will love you for it.
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  19. #19
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    Slower

    Slower on my bent. I have the same size crank on both: Bent & DF. My average cadence 90-110.

    Cadence- go to google look up the average cadence of guys like Armstrong. His cadence is higher then most. This information might be something to go by...

    Departamento de Ciencias Morfológicas y Fisiología, Universidad Europea de Madrid, Madrid, Spain. alejandro.lucia@mrfs.cisa.uem.es
    PURPOSE: The aim of this investigation was to evaluate the preferred cycling cadence of professional riders during competition. METHODS: We measured the cadence of seven professional cyclists (28 +/- 1 yr) during 3-wk road races (Giro d'Italia, Tour de France, and Vuelta a España) involving three main competition requirements: uphill cycling (high mountain passes of approximately 15 km, or HM); individual time trials of approximately 50 km on level ground (TT); and flat, long ( approximately 190 km) group stages (F). Heart rate (HR) data were also recorded as an indicator of exercise intensity during HM, TT, and F. RESULTS*: Mean cadence was significantly lower (P < 0.01) during HM (71.0 +/- 1.4 rpm) than either F and TT (89.3 +/- 1.0 and 92.4 +/- 1.3 rpm, respectively). HR was similar during HM and TT (157 +/- 4 and 158 +/- 3 bpm) and in both cases higher (P < 0.01) than during F (124 +/- 2 bpm). CONCLUSION: During both F and TT, professional riders spontaneously adopt higher cadences (around 90 rpm) than those previously reported in the majority of laboratory studies as being the most economical. In contrast, during HM they seem to adopt a more economical pedalling rate (approximately 70 rpm), possibly as a result of the specific demands of this competition phase.

    *TT (Time Trials), F (Flat Stages) and HM (High Mountain Passes).

  20. #20
    <>< SoonerBent's Avatar
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    Faster on the bent. I always turned 90 to 100 on an upright but I feel better at 100 to 110 on the bent. I have 172.5s on both.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Leigh_caines's Avatar
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    Even after 5 year still slower on the bent...
    I sometimes wonder if all you guys who say you do 100 to 150 cadence do have a cadence meater??
    I do and while sure I can get up to 130... it's not for long
    I can go all day at 80 but 100s are only short bursts.
    Your all better men then me

  22. #22
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    Relax

    Hey Leigh_caines relax, the guys aren't better then you, they just can't count or just because they can do 170 or more for 5 seconds it’s become a norm in their imagination.

    See the paragraph on my thread above and you'll see your doing just fine. Some pro riders will get up to 150's and 170's (I’ve read of rare cases a bit higher) and that's when they are sprinting. Most of us would bounce off our bikes at cadences that high. I actually think some guys count a half cadence as full. To do a 150+ for any period of time is not considered normal, not even for Lance Armstrong, who is around 120-130 and that's above most pro riders who do around 110.
    Last edited by HASH; 10-11-07 at 09:15 AM.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Leigh_caines's Avatar
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    Hash
    Relaxing so much I might fall off

  24. #24
    Senior Member geebee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HASH View Post
    Hey Leigh_caines relax, the guys aren't better then you, they just can't count or just because they can do 170 or more for 5 seconds it’s become a norm in their imagination.

    See the paragraph on my thread above and you'll see your doing just fine. Some pro riders will get up to 150's and 170's (I’ve read of rare cases a bit higher) and that's when they are sprinting. Most of us would bounce off our bikes at cadences that high. I actually think some guys count a half cadence as full. To do a 150+ for any period of time is not considered normal, not even for Lance Armstrong, who is around 120-130 and that's above most pro riders who do around 110.
    Actually there are people that can spin fast for extended sprints of a bit more than seconds.
    As stated earlier my cruise is 105 cold and 120 warm, I can sustain 180 rpm for more than 3 minutes in a sprint with 152 cranks, on 170's last time I checked about the mid 160's for the same time.
    And my spin at those speeds is as smooth as silk above that, yeah it gets messy.
    Checked on a cadence meter, calculated back by speed and gearing and the cruise rpm also counted.
    Contary to Hash's opinion these speeds are acheivable but I would not recommend them for all, I have a knee injury and as I got stronger I had to find a way to get the power to the road without damaging my knee further, my high cadence was the solution.
    And it's nothing to do with being better as shown by the TDF riders there are all different cadences in the top riders.
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  25. #25
    Ben totoroben's Avatar
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    I spin the same.... although accelerating from a stop is harder.

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