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  1. #1
    jur
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    My comfortable cadence is slowish, i guestimate 60-70rpm. In response to all the high cadence recommendations that I have read here and there, I gradually began spinning faster while commuting. But I did not see any real difference in my time, in fact it was up if anything. Then one day I geared up a bit, spun slower and whoosh! knocked quite some time off my commute. It was then I remembered that slower pedalling did allow me to concentrate more on a smooth stroke rather than spinning just for the sake of it.

    Since then due to wear and tear issues I built a singlespeed for commuting which forced my cadence down a lot (on the uphills mainly). My leg power has increased tremendously since then, fitness is still good and I am enjoying it.

    Also, I have been setting times for riding up a popular training hill, and with high cadence, have posted poorer times than with lower cadence. It seems to me I simply wore myself out with all that spinning rather than generating lifting power.

    So how about it? Is higher necessarily better?
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    sch
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    Some people can spin and some can't. There are a few types 2-3 standard deviations from the norm who can spin at cadences of 150 or so for awhile. Most of us have a hard time going above 100-110. Whatever works for you. You are describing a fairly standard training regimen (fixie riding and it forces both high and low cadences) however, and it obviously works for you. Blow off the high cadence types if you want or ask to see their granite tablets, no sandstone or shale
    is acceptable.
    Steve

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    Senior Member garysol1's Avatar
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    The most compelling reason that made me learn to spin was my knees. As I got older my knees would ache just that much more. The more I rode at a faster cadence with less stress on my knees the better they felt. With that said......I am not sure you can make a hammer into an efficient spinner or vice versa.

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    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur
    So how about it? Is higher necessarily better?
    Only in terms of high average-speeds, maximum top-speed and muscle-fatigue. If you're not riding in a way that hits the limit of either of those, then high cadence is not necessary. However, if you have a need to ride at 28mph continuously, or hit 40mph+ sprints or to ride 100-miles+ without getting too sore and cramping, then you'd want to use higher RPMs.

    Spinning is not an instant transition, it takes time and training, sometimes years. To make the comparisons, you can't compare it between people, but rather the same person before and after learning to spin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    Only in terms of high average-speeds, maximum top-speed and muscle-fatigue. If you're not riding in a way that hits the limit of either of those, then high cadence is not necessary. However, if you have a need to ride at 28mph continuously, or hit 40mph+ sprints or to ride 100-miles+ without getting too sore and cramping, then you'd want to use higher RPMs.
    This isn't right. In fact, the tone is insulting. You're implying if someone wants to coast along and not go fast or doesn't want to exert themself to fatigue, there's no need for to spin.

    Wide variations exist among people and the concept that everyone must spin to be fast and efficient isn't valid. I read a study a couple years ago disproving that spinning is applicable to everyone. It found that many people are most efficient at 70-80 rpm.

    I know that I am most efficient in terms of power output and the ability to sustain it for long terms at 80-90 rpm. I lose a lot when I go over 110.

  6. #6
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanSeven
    I read a study a couple years ago disproving that spinning is applicable to everyone. It found that many people are most efficient at 70-80 rpm.
    was that for experienced cyclists or the general population? i see many examples of newer riders riding a very slow cadence, and in fact i did when i started out. it felt right at the time. however, as my body adapted to riding and i pushed the length\intensity of my rides, my cadence naturally sped up. but not by a whole lot - maybe 5-10 rpm.

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    oh no! LBmtb's Avatar
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    Everything I've read has proved that a higher cadence is almost always more efficient. However some people feel more comfortable at lower cadences - wether this is because they're just used to it and havent tried to learn to spin or because it's more efficient for them is anyone's guess.

    I would say just do what's more comfortable for you, but try to mix in some spinning training every once in awhile and see how you like it.

  8. #8
    jur
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    I also started out very slow, am quite a bit faster now in cadence, but seem to have hit a ceiling. OTOH, I don't ride competitively so why worry? But it is nice to be on a curve of improvement rather than stagnating. OTOOH, I am contemplating joining an audax club, so improvement would be a Good Thing. I guess that a specific training regime may be at hand.
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    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanSeven
    This isn't right. In fact, the tone is insulting. You're implying if someone wants to coast along and not go fast or doesn't want to exert themself to fatigue, there's no need for to spin.

    Wide variations exist among people and the concept that everyone must spin to be fast and efficient isn't valid. I read a study a couple years ago disproving that spinning is applicable to everyone. It found that many people are most efficient at 70-80 rpm.

    I know that I am most efficient in terms of power output and the ability to sustain it for long terms at 80-90 rpm. I lose a lot when I go over 110.
    That's what I'm saying, not implying. Unless you're a racer or interested in very fast commutes or enthusiast rides, spinning will not make a big difference. The OP himself verified that with his own testing showing spinning slowed down him down and lengthened his travel time.

    Again, I'm going to assert the difference between instant snapshots at one moment in time, versus long-term development. If you compare your current abilities in whatever field you're a specialist in, be it law, real-estate, medical doctor, and compare it to your abilities 20-30 years ago, you will find a difference. However, if we took a snapshot 20-30 years ago and asked what is your proficiency in law, real-estate or medicine, we might not find you worthy of employment at that very moment. Your abilities would be best suited for the current job of burger-flipper, shelf-stocker, or manual-labor that you're currently doing at the time. But that does not preclude future training and improvement over years of training.

    So again, spinning 90-100rpm will only be of benefit if you are seeking one of the following:

    - higher max top-speed
    - higher average-speed in a TT (with proper training)
    - more muscle-efficiency to do longer rides without fatigue

    This requires training and your actual cadence in use should only be about 75% of your max anyway. If you can't spin 120rpms, there's really no benefit to spinning 100-110rpms at all.

    Spinning fast-RPMs is a result/side-effect of a round pedal-stroke, not the cause of it. A lot of people get the cause & effect relationship reversed. They just try to jam it into a lower gear and try to mash at high-speed, it does not work. You cannot grow tall by playing basketball well! In order to spin faster, you have to work on the cause of fast-RPMs, or basically learn to spin in circles (forget about high-RPMs for now). This is best done by mental concentration with feedback in order to develop the neural-muscular connections (nerves actually grow), the timing of the coordinated muscle-firings must be sequenced in the right order at the right time, and the entire process must be imprinted into the autonamous areas of the cerebellum. Once you learn the actual motions and timing, then spinning fast-RPMs will be the result or side-effect.

    Efficiency is also a vague definition and can be set up differnet ways. One way is volume-O2 consumed per watt-output, or glucose-molecules consumed per watt-output, or muscle-force per unit time, muscle-effort % of max, muscle-effort % of LT, or volume-O2 consumed per ATP per glucose-molecule per muscle-contraction. Generally, RPMs are used to balance the aerobic vs. muscular systems. If your legs and muscles hit their limits first, you can spin faster and tax your aerobic system more. If your lungs are hurting and at their limit, but your legs don't feel a thing, then you can push bigger gears slower to balance the lungs.

    In many cases, such as maximum sprint-speed, you've hit the physiological limit of the muscles, ALL of them are contracting 100% effort, you simply CANNOT push on the pedals any harder. The only way to improve power-output at this stage is to generate more muscle-contractions per second, or spin faster lower gears, basic physics. Two riders of equal strength can be in a sprint, and they both push on their pedals just as hard. The one that spins lower-gears faster (with the same muscle-force) will generate more power and will win the sprint with a higher top-speed, physics in motion.
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 12-14-05 at 03:04 AM.

  10. #10
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    I generally find I'm around 85ish.
    This has crept up over the last 2 years as I've gained fitness and skill on the bike.
    Technique is my limit right now - as I can feel my body moving all over the place when I creep above 90.

    I'm working this winter (on the trainer) for a 90-100 range. Some days its hard to do, other days it seems to work. One leg pedal drills seem to help... focusing on bringing that leg around REALLY makes you notice how little you are doing on the "up" stroke.

    I find that the higher the RPM, the less sore I am, and the longer I can ride. But, I do sometimes go out and grind through hills, because the legs feel better than the lungs on those days.

    I've heard an argument that your cardio system is much more effective and efficient than your muscular-skeletal system - so pedalling at higher RPM's seems to make sense over the long term. Muscle recovery would seem to be slower than cardio - and I imagine all the variables of how each individual burns energy would also play a role...

  11. #11
    jur
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    Danno, as usual your post is extremely well-informed and useful - thanks!

    The pearls:

    So again, spinning 90-100rpm will only be of benefit if you are seeking one of the following:

    - higher max top-speed
    - higher average-speed in a TT (with proper training)
    - more muscle-efficiency to do longer rides without fatigue
    I am interested in #3.

    Spinning fast-RPMs is a result/side-effect of a round pedal-stroke, not the cause of it. A lot of people get the cause & effect relationship reversed. They just try to jam it into a lower gear and try to mash at high-speed, it does not work.
    I had the relationship the wrong way around.

    Generally, RPMs are used to balance the aerobic vs. muscular systems. If your legs and muscles hit their limits first, you can spin faster and tax your aerobic system more. If your lungs are hurting and at their limit, but your legs don't feel a thing, then you can push bigger gears slower to balance the lungs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    That's what I'm saying, not implying. Unless you're a racer or interested in very fast commutes or enthusiast rides, spinning will not make a big difference. The OP himself verified that with his own testing showing spinning slowed down him down and lengthened his travel time.
    You're asserting your own beliefs and not being open to what the OP asked. His question is "does each person have an optimum cadence?" My answer is yes. Here's a link that supports my answer.

    http://www.trifuel.com/triathlon/bik...omy-001048.php

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    It seems to me, as a somewhat older cyclist, that spinning is a lot easier on the knees. This is something everybody might want to start thinking about when they hit 30 or so.

    When I first started cycling about 3 1/2 years ago, my average cadence was 74 rpm. Mow it's 96 and my legs don't hurt so bad.
    Last edited by Roody; 12-13-05 at 09:55 PM.


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    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    If one keeps the bike speed the same and changes to a lower gear, the gear ratio has changed. One needs to pedal faster as each revolution of the pedals does not send the bike as far. Each revolution does not do as much work. This reduces the force needed to rotate the pedals.
    This can be great for your knees and for more power. Or for long rides and not wearing out your legs. But you can take it too far also and spin too much. If you can't spin comfortably in a certain situation a higher gear may be better for that situation for you. There are all sorts of reasons to spin, or not spin.
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    jur
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    Here's something about spinning that has bothered me: The upper leg at least, has to decelerate to zero angular momentum at the bottom and top of its stroke and then reverse direction. This is like the pistons in an engine: The amount of reciprocating mass has to be as small as possible, and this limits an engines top RPM, right? Isn't the same true for legs - that you will reach an RPM where the power input equals the power required to pump the mass up and down with zero throughput to the pedals?
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    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur
    Here's something about spinning that has bothered me: The upper leg at least, has to decelerate to zero angular momentum at the bottom and top of its stroke and then reverse direction. This is like the pistons in an engine: The amount of reciprocating mass has to be as small as possible, and this limits an engines top RPM, right? Isn't the same true for legs - that you will reach an RPM where the power input equals the power required to pump the mass up and down with zero throughput to the pedals?
    I don't think the rpm range in humans will aproach the speed where it's a problem.

    I'll let you know if I throw a connecting rod.
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    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    What creates the upper-limit RPM for an engine is usually one of two things. The inertia of the valves increases with RPM to the point where the valve-spring tension cannot close them in perfect sync with the cam-lobe. They float at the maximum-opening amount because their inertia is too strong for the springs to push back. Too high of RPMs, too much valve-float and you end up banging the piston into the valve that should've closed earlier.

    The other factor is the pumping efficiency of the moving air-column. Due to the air's viscosity and velocity, the cam-timing, duration and lift, with higher RPMs above the torque-peak, the more difficult it is to fill the cylinders. The optimization of the intake-manifold volume, runner-lengths & diameters, the valve-sizes, the cam-specs, exhaust-header lengths, volumes and exhaust system, is such that there's a single RPM where the system is most efficient, usually in the mid-range 3000-4500rpms where the torque-peak occurs. Above this range, you end up stretching out the air-column (more vacuum) such that only 65-80% of the theoretical amount actually makes it into the cylinders.

    An older concern is the connecting rods. Due to the mass of the pistons, higher-RPMs creates such inertia on the rods, that they actually break. However, modern metallurgy for the con-rods along with lighter forged or hypereutectic pistons renders the bottom-end pretty much bulletproof to RPMs. Many stock Hondas can rev up to 12,000rpms with the stock bottom-end. The challenge in creating the hot-rod engine is to develop the head and top-end for more flow at high-RPMs.
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 12-14-05 at 03:01 AM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member plin's Avatar
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    A 'recent' article on cadence (dates from 1992), Ferrari-Brunel-Carmichael-Lance's pedalling technique is far from being revolutionary...

    Why fast pedaling makes cyclists more efficient :

    RECENTLY we reported that cyclists are usually more efficient on both hills and flat terrain when they pedal quickly (at about 80-85 rpm) rather than at slower cadences. Now, a new study suggests that the greater efficiency may be related to the rapid rate at which glycogen is depleted in fast-twitch muscle fibres during slow, high-force pedaling.

    To determine the actual effects of slow and fast pedaling on leg-muscle cells, scientists at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Wyoming asked eight experienced cyclists to cycle at an intensity of 85% V02max for 30 minutes under two different conditions. In one case the cyclists pedaled their bikes at 50 revolutions per minute (rpm) while using a high gear. In the second case, the athletes pedaled in a low gear at 100 rpm. The athletes were traveling at identical speeds in the two instances, so their leg-muscle contractions were quite forceful at 50 rpm and moderate - but more frequent - at 100 rpm.

    As it turned out, the athletes' oxygen consumption rates were nearly identical in the two cases, and heart and breathing rates, total rate of power production, and blood lactate levels were also similar. However, athletes broke down the carbohydrate in their muscles at a greater rate when the 50 rpm strategy was used, while the 100 rpm cadence produced a greater reliance on fat. The greater glycogen depletion at 50 rpm occurred only in fast-twitch muscle cells. Slow-twitch muscle cells lost comparable amounts of their glycogen at 50 and 100 rpm, but fast-twitch cells lost almost 50 per cent of their glycogen at 50 rpm and only 33 per cent at 100 rpm, even though the exercise bouts lasted for 30 minutes in each case.

    This rapid loss of carbohydrate in the fast-twitch cells during slow, high-force pedaling probably explains why slow pedaling is less efficient than faster cadences of 80-85 rpm. Basically, as the fast fibres quickly deplete their glycogen during slow, high-strength pedaling, their contractions become less forceful, so more muscle cells must be activated to maintain a particular speed. This activation of a larger number of muscle cells then leads to higher oxygen consumption rates and reduced economy.

    This scenario, in which slow pedaling pulls the glycogen out of fast-twitch muscle cells, may sound paradoxical but it isn't; after all, slow pedaling rates are linked with high gears and elevated muscle forces, while fast cadences are associated with low gears and easy muscle contractions. Since fast-twitch fibres are more powerful than slow-twitch cells, the fast twitchers swing into action at slow cadences, when high muscular forces are needed to move the bicycle along rapidly. On the other hand, 'fast' pedaling rates of 80-100 rpm are not too hot for the slow-twitch cells to handle. Slow-twitch cells can contract 80-100 times per minute and can easily cope with the forces required to pedal in low gear.

    Another possible paradox in the Wisconsin Wyoming research was that fast pedaling led to greater fat oxidation even though maximal fat burning is usually linked with slow-paced efforts. Basically, the higher fat degradation at 100 rpm occurred because the slow-twitch cells handled the fast-paced, low-force contractions. Slow-twitch fibres are much better fat-burners than their fast-twitch neighbours.

    Fortunately, there's a bottom line to all this: during training and competition, cyclists should attempt to use fast pedalling rates of 80-85 rpm, both on the flat and on inclines. Compared to slower cadences, the higher pedalling speeds are more economical and burn more fat during exercise. Ultimately, the high pedalling rates also preserve greater amounts of glycogen in fast-twitch muscle fibres, leading to more explosive 'kicks' to the finish line in closing moments of races. (European Journal of Applied Physiology, 1992)

  19. #19
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanSeven
    You're asserting your own beliefs and not being open to what the OP asked. His question is "does each person have an optimum cadence?" My answer is yes. Here's a link that supports my answer.

    http://www.trifuel.com/triathlon/bik...omy-001048.php
    When analyzing ideas from studies, one should also validate the source and numbers of sources. However, the overall realm of knowledge has to do with the degree those ideas are accepted by everyone else. That typically requires more in-depth studies with quantitative numbers and testing (shows shades of grey). First, one should examine the process by which one accepts research studies: Harvard - Research and the Mass Media--An Introduction. The part I want to emphasize from that article is this:

    "The research process is like placing stones on an old-fashioned balance scale. When enough weight accumulates on one side, the scale tips in favor of a particular recommendation. And the more weight there is on one side, the stronger the recommendation is and the more evidence it would take to change it."

    When you have overwhelming evidence from numerous sources pointing towards a certain idea, like the "round-earth" theory, it becomes the prevalent model that's commonly accepted by the majority of people as accurate. So here's some more studies and research from numerous sources (top-level athletes, research facilities, MDs/PhDs) with quantitative numbers:

    SlowTwitch - Intro to cadence
    SlowTwitch - Intro to training with power
    PoseTech - Just What the Doctor Ordered
    InsideTriathlon - Five Tweaks for Speed
    TriadTriTeam-EdBurkePhD - How to become a triathlete Whatever you are now
    SpokePost - High Cadence Training?
    ColoradoDOT - Efficiency on the Bike
    Bike.com - Rotor Cranks
    University of Ferrara (Italy).pdf
    University of Valladolid.pdf
    Senkirol Sports Medicine Clinic
    Ultra Cycling - Winter Bike Training
    JournalAppliedPhysiology - Effect of pedaling rate on submaximal exercise responses of competitive cyclists
    JournalPhysiology - Conflict Between Minimizing Effort & Energy Expenditure (993.pdf)

    With the background info presented, I'll address the contention:
    Quote Originally Posted by StanSeven
    You're asserting your own beliefs and not being open to what the OP asked. His question is "does each person have an optimum cadence?" My answer is yes. Here's a link that supports my answer.

    http://www.trifuel.com/triathlon/bik...omy-001048.php
    I am addressing his original question "Does each person have an optimum cadence?" as well as answering the implicit underlying question of: "How can I improve?"

    The question of "optimum cadence" has many qualifiers. For any given person, the optimum cadence also depends upon speed and terrain. The OP may have been simplistic in his assumption of a single optimum cadence for all conditions. His spinning faster on hills may be criss-crossing functions resulting in achieving the opposite of the desired effect, thus leading to an incorrect conclusion. For any person, their optimum cadence on hills will be 10-20% slower than on the flats at a steady speed at their LT. And at speeds faster than their LT, higher cadences will allow higher speeds for longer durations before stopping due to muscle fatigue and lactic-acid build-up. However, this is but a single snapshot in time... Your article also mentions the exact same thing others and I posted:

    "Each cyclist brings a unique set of genetics and training to the sport. The basic rules are, if your legs hurt more than your lungs, increase cadence. If your lungs hurt more than your legs, use a lower cadence." and...

    "Analyze whether force and burning legs or ventilatory distress is most likely to limit you at critical points in races. If your legs limit performance, higher cadence may improve your results once you have adapted."

    I'm willing to bet that the OP's upper limit on his speed is muscle-fatigue and soreness. His lungs and heart are probably not maxing out when he's at his fastest TT speeds on the bike.

    What I also addressed and confirmed by his follow-up post #11, is that he wants to improve his current conditioning. I pointed that process out in my 2nd post #9 because I had correctly anticipated his desires. No one is static in their lives, most people strive to improve their current status in career, health and relationships. Even those at the very top of their game have gone through stages of improvement: JournalAppliedPhysiology - Improved muscular efficiency displayed as Tour de France champion matures.

    At any given point in our long path of fitness-improvement on the bike, yes, there is an optimum cadence for flats, hills, sprints, etc. (hint: they're not all the same RPM either). I'm not contesting that there exists such an optimum cadence for each of those conditions. I'm asserting that performance can be improved beyond most people's current state. That typically encompasses developing a more efficient pedal-stroke, the side-effect of which is the smoothness that results in higher-RPMs automatically. For example:



    Spinning that same peanut-shaped pedal-stroke (white) faster won't be more efficient, if anything, it gets even more lobsided and less efficient.Working on developing a rounder pedal-stroke (red) will yield increased efficiency (higher power-output for same muscle-effort). Going from the peanut-shaped force-profile to a more even rounder stroke will provide more area inside the curve (more work done). Part of this is reducing the amount of energy wasted in pushing up the opposite leg on the upstroke, automatically yielding more net force on the crank at the same muscle-effort. Even at the same RPM, this rounder profile with the same amount of muscle force will yield more power (more work done in same amount of time). Or... to generate the same amount of power, lower muscle-effort needs to be expended.

    This is how jur can achieve his goal of more muscle-efficiency to do longer rides without fatigue. By getting smoother and rounder with his pedal stroke, he can spin faster, exert lower muscle-effort for the same speed as he's going now... the lower muscle-fatigue will allow him to go further.
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 12-14-05 at 12:14 PM.

  20. #20
    無くなった HereNT's Avatar
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    Um, the last few posts here (and some before them) have way too many facts and citings and quotes for me...

    jur -

    You mentioned that you had built a single speed, but didn't say if it's fixed. If it's not, I'd suggest that converting it is a way to work on spin. Over the last few years riding fixed, I've found myself going from 48x14 being a comfortable gear to 44or46x16 being the best. My speed has gone up as well. I went with a fixed/fixed hub on the back, and a 14 and a 16 on each side. I'd work with the 14 most of the time, then switch to the 16 to ride with more spin. Flip flop until the the 14 was feeling too stiff, and the 16 felt too spinny. Drop a couple of teeth on the chainring, repeat the process.

    Another nice thing about the fixie is that it seems to kind of force you into paying more attention to where your legs are in the spin, as well as how your leg position is. If you're heading downhill, you have to be in the right position to push back on the pedals. Plus the spin is just right there, without your input. If you do nothing, the pedals still spin. That's a good thing on flat land as well. You feel the back pedal pushing against your foot as you go. I found that when I could just concentrate on balancing the pedal load on the up and down stroke, in a circle, my speed in the same gear could go up 3-4mph...

    Anyways, just saying that it could go a long way to helping you out. Getting on a bike and riding it probably can do a lot more for someone who's not racing than a bunch of studies about watt outputs...

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    Danno,

    I don't disagree with anything you have said. Initially I jumped to the wrong assumption. You provided two very well informed responses to the poster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jur
    So how about it? Is higher necessarily better?
    "plin's" post addresses the question very well. In the "old days", lab work indicated that around 70 was best based on aerobic considerations. Yet most pros spun faster in the real world because aerobics efficiency is not the correct criteria for fast plus long endurance. With proper training, you can develop the efficiency of your slow twitch muscles and will do better at high cadence unless you are "constructed" with a higher proportion fast twitch fibbers than usual. Jan Ullrich claims he needs to chug along at low RPM, though he's criticised for it and some blame his cadance for always losing to Armstrong.

    Ullrich's training regime is primitive compared to Discovery Channel and he's stubborn about it. He's never reached his potential. Too bad since with more disciplin (and a better team), he could possibly beat Armstrong.

    So if "better" is defined as fast + long endurance, the answer is yes. Even with out the "fast", you'll go farther with less energy expended IF your properly trained.

    Al

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    so heres my question. I ride both mountain and road, I particually like to keep my cadence at the upper 80's to low 90's, I'm just comfortable there. Now, if a person is not worried about spinning, as say on a mountain bike, I would assume there is no reason to have spd-type pedals, if having clipless pedals would only benefit the pulling aspect of the spin. So, Danno, would you say that you see no sigifigance in having clipless pedals on a mountain bike or another way to word it, are plats just as good as clipless for the average rider?
    I am Signature-less

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    When I'm cruising along near my limit, the only way to pick up the speed a little is to shift to a slightly easier gear and up the cadence. I don't know if this holds true for everyone, but for me it has to do with lessening the force required to pedal at a certain cadence at a certain speed, and avoiding muscle fatigue (as mentioned by Danno and others). You can effectively increase your power output while decreasing the force requirements, or at least maintain the same force required. You often figure it out by necessity, ie: How can I bridge this gap and avoid getting dropped?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeridinLoon
    so heres my question. I ride both mountain and road, I particually like to keep my cadence at the upper 80's to low 90's, I'm just comfortable there. Now, if a person is not worried about spinning, as say on a mountain bike, I would assume there is no reason to have spd-type pedals, if having clipless pedals would only benefit the pulling aspect of the spin
    Pro mountain bikers are supposedly better spinners (full circle pedaling) than roadies as it's absolutely necessary to spin perfectly to eliminate all bounce when climbing steep hills: anything less than perfect and you lose traction. I'm more careful about spinning when I ride ATB in the mountains than I am on the road. Additionally, you just go a lot faster and can accelerate better if you spin.

    Another reason for cleats is to keep your feet in the proper position on the pedals on rough trail. I can't imagine riding off-road with out cleats.

    Al

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