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  1. #1
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    What process would you recommend for increasing cadence?

    Currently my cadence is in the 72..78 range. I want to be able to ride steadily without noticing pain, extra effort in the 95..105 range. My normal rides are 3 days of 5 mile one way commuting.

    Earlier this week I tried just bumping up to about 85 for the entire ride. It was a good workout but had lactic acid problems afterwards. So what would you recommend.

    1. gut thru it, and continue 10 rpm stepping goals
    2. don't give up, but reduce stepping up goals to 5 rpm
    3. other?

    Thanks
    Hi 'o Silver away

  2. #2
    Positio, ergo sum! Bécane's Avatar
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    lower your gear ...

    to do 90 to 100 rpm without tiring, get used to it by pedaling in the 42-17 range.

  3. #3
    MaNiC! NZLcyclist's Avatar
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    instead of increasing your cadence in the same gear, drop down a chainring. When warming up for a race I'll keep in the small ring with high cadence for example, before i move to high load in the big ring for a warmup........

    so if riding in the big ring for your commute, just drop it down one the whole way - see how that goes
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  4. #4
    sundy hopeful berny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
    Currently my cadence is in the 72..78 range. I want to be able to ride steadily without noticing pain, extra effort in the 95..105 range. My normal rides are 3 days of 5 mile one way commuting.

    Earlier this week I tried just bumping up to about 85 for the entire ride. It was a good workout but had lactic acid problems afterwards. So what would you recommend.

    1. gut thru it, and continue 10 rpm stepping goals
    2. don't give up, but reduce stepping up goals to 5 rpm
    3. other?

    Thanks
    You've got the right idea. Whichever of the above you're capable of.
    The consumption of alcohol may create the illusion that you are tougher, smarter, faster and better looking than most people.

  5. #5
    Just riding andygates's Avatar
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    Buy a fixed gear hack bike. Ride up and down hills. On the downs, you have to pedal fast, so you learn. This has increased both my max cadence and my max useful, power-producing cadence significantly over the winter and spring.

  6. #6
    H23
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    When riding, periodic high cadence intervals with concentraton on form (no bouncing), helps a lot. I also found it useful to visualize smooth circular pedal motion in my head.

    A properly geared fixie will _really_ enforce good pedalling habits, but it can be done with a regular bike too.

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    I second H23's reccommendation. Intervals will do wonders, and help you progress very quickly.
    Good mentor= success

  8. #8
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    Whatever gear you're riding, just drop to the next lowest and tick up the cadence 5 or 7 rpm. When that starts feeling natural, repeat. Don't fixate on it, just make it part of the ride. Your body will like it and come around, you won't have to think about it. Don't expect it to become natural overnight.

  9. #9
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    dumb smart mice..... Button under left mouse navigates back one page and you lose your comments. bummer.....


    amazing some of you thought I was staying in one gear.

    I think I figured it out, see if this makes sense. Treat biking as track conditioning: combine both wind sprint training with distance training. So instead of looking at the step of increase, go at it the track way.

    Wind sprints
    1. 1 minutes of 100 rpm, repeat 3 times one ride, for initial muscle development
    2. 1 minute on, 2 minutes off, once a week, for muscle recovery development

    Endurance training
    1. set base line by monitoring lowest cadence
    2. try to increase lowest cadence
    3. keep records of lowest, so you can see improvement.

    I think a combo of both will be the best approach. At least, this is the plan I now have. But I'm open to suggestions for improvement.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  10. #10
    Senior Member iowarose's Avatar
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    I'm also working on improving my cadence, and have increased my average to 90 or so (was used to riding at ca. 80rpm).

    Here's what has helped me:
    1. Lower gears in general
    2. One-leg drills (easier on a trainer) for 30 seconds/leg, 5 or 6 reps/leg. Use a low gear!
    3. High cadence drills, switching through various gear combinations
    4. Consciously monitoring cadence with a cyclometer with cadence. It sounds like you already have one. I've heard people say that they get a feel for 90 rpm or so, but I'm just developing this.

    The Spinervals DVD 8.0 Recovery and Technique helped me out a lot here - I did it every week during the winter. If you can't bear to train inside now, maybe you could do it next winter. I found the inside training good for this because I didn't have to worry about the variables of outside riding.

    BTW, I started working on this last summer, and it's taken this long with fairly constant work to improve.

    The cadence work also helped me fine-tune my riding position.

  11. #11
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    A set of rollers did wonders for my cadence...damn near beat me to death in the process, but I lived.

  12. #12
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    The cadence cyclometer I have, axiom, is a pain. The two sensors don't stay matched up and fall out of alignment all the time. I'll get it working and then either the crank sensor or the frame sensor will slip and no cadence until I adjust it. I'm thinking of covering both with shipping tape to lock them into position, but did not have time for that this weekend.

    Back to form, I remember reading some time ago the best form was to use a mental 3 point goal for pedaling.

    1. push from 12:00 oclock to 4:00 oclock
    2. pull backwards from 4:00 oclock to 7:00 oclock
    3. lift from 7:00 oclock to 12:00 oclock

    Is this still the best advise? I couldn't practice it using regular tennies.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  13. #13
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    Ugh, good news and bad news. The good news-- got cadence up a tad so 82 feels normal. The bad news-- this change is big. I'm winded again, like I was first riding a bike. The quads, top of the legs burn when I get revs about 95. I can't hold 100 for more than a second or two. I have to stop pedaling for a tad to get some muscle strength back.

    Is this normal? Or, is there a better approach? Anyone gone thru this learning curve with some advice?
    Hi 'o Silver away

  14. #14
    Junior Member cdo4's Avatar
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    High cadence swaps cardio work for leg work, so you should feel winded again. I'm not sure about the muscles, but I think what you feel in your legs is not so much strength related as speed related. That is, the muscles need to adjust to moving so rapidly and then your legs will feel better.

    I just started working cadence this year on a MTB, mostly on regular moderate paved hills. At the tops I was panting like a dog and my legs burned a bit, but nothing like if I climbed using a lower gear, when my legs would be screaming. I like to work cadence on hills and try to keep the power to the pedals about the same, gradually moving down thru the gears as the hill continues (1-2 km+ climbs). As I'm climbing, when I feel the pressure increasing on my feet (meaning, more leg power per stroke), I downshift and try to maintain the cadence and *decrease* the power. This means a lot of lung work but my legs recover very quickly once I'm over the top.

    It has done wonders for my climbing, both on road and mountain bikes. Also, be sure you're not bouncing or wobbling in the seat. It has taken me about 3 months of regular practice in the mountains of Japan, but I think I'm pretty comfortable in the 100-120 range now (don't have cadence meter, so just random checks w/counting and a watch).

    It really has done wonders for my climbing, and also helped me really enjoy hills instead of fearing them. I toasted a lot of people on the hills in the last MTB endurance race I entered. Good luck!

    (btw, I work cadence off hills too, but it has been especially rewarding for me here on hills because there are so many in Japan)

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