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  1. #1
    Videre non videri
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    High cadence bad in the long run?

    I attended my first ever spinning class today.
    (It will also be my last, since it didn't appeal to me at all, but that's another story... )

    However, sitting on a spinning bike in front of 19 other people for two hours, people tend to notice the pedalling styles others have.

    I've found that I feel most comfortable at relatively high cadences. Above 90 is almost always the case, and usually, I'm well over 100 as well. On an exercise bike, I tend to average about 115-120.
    That was the case today, as well, and I probably reached 130-140 during a few of the "sprints", although I had no cadence meter or anything like that, so I'm not sure about the exact cadence.

    Anyway, both during and after the class, several different people approached me and told me to slow down my cadence. They said that it might feel all right now, but in a few years, my joints will deteriorate due to the high-speed repetitive stress they're subjected to when using higher cadences.
    Presumably, they're thinking of arthrosis and arthritis, as well as micro-tearing of ligaments.

    Is there any truth to this?

    If you claim there is, can you also provide a link to a reputable source to back that up?

    If it's nonsense, I'd be equally grateful for facts supporting that view as well!

  2. #2
    Senior Member FXjohn's Avatar
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    I've always heard low cadences were the worst for your joints.
    Ignore them.

    90 is a pretty standard cadence

  3. #3
    Oldbie bike racer
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdCf
    I attended my first ever spinning class today.
    (It will also be my last, since it didn't appeal to me at all, but that's another story... )

    However, sitting on a spinning bike in front of 19 other people for two hours, people tend to notice the pedalling styles others have.

    I've found that I feel most comfortable at relatively high cadences. Above 90 is almost always the case, and usually, I'm well over 100 as well. On an exercise bike, I tend to average about 115-120.
    That was the case today, as well, and I probably reached 130-140 during a few of the "sprints", although I had no cadence meter or anything like that, so I'm not sure about the exact cadence.

    Anyway, both during and after the class, several different people approached me and told me to slow down my cadence. They said that it might feel all right now, but in a few years, my joints will deteriorate due to the high-speed repetitive stress they're subjected to when using higher cadences.
    Presumably, they're thinking of arthrosis and arthritis, as well as micro-tearing of ligaments.

    Is there any truth to this?

    If you claim there is, can you also provide a link to a reputable source to back that up?

    If it's nonsense, I'd be equally grateful for facts supporting that view as well!
    The forces are lower at higher cadences so that could make it better for you than lower cadences. Knee problems are relatively rare for cyclists, and when they do occur it's usually a result of not covering their knees when it's below 65 degrees, too much riding at low cadences in big gears, and ignoring strains and injuries related to the items above.

    Be very cautious about anything you hear in a spin class. Many of those instructors know far too little about what they're saying.

  4. #4
    Videre non videri
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    No, this was not a regular spinning class. My bike club regularly books a spinning class room, and only club members take part. Even the instructor is a regular club member, a different member each time.
    So, this was, in essence, advice from fellow bike club members.

  5. #5
    Senior Member FXjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdCf
    No, this was not a regular spinning class. My bike club regularly books a spinning class room, and only club members take part. Even the instructor is a regular club member, a different member each time.
    So, this was, in essence, advice from fellow bike club members.

    They are wrong. I'd like to know exactly what cadences you regularly cycle at.
    The whole idea of "spinning" is high cadence at not pedal mashing.

    Continue to spin at high cadences. You said you only went up really high during some sprints on the spin bike.

    How slow were these "pros" spinning at?

  6. #6
    Videre non videri
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    Never said they were pros. My club is a recreational one. While there are a few very experienced cyclists in it, most are like me, just regular folk out riding their bikes.

    I regularly pedal at 90+. Very rarely below that. If I'm down to 70 or so, I feel like I'm mashing...
    On the flats, I'd say I'm at around 100-110, and downhill a bit higher still.

    But it wasn't my regular riding they commented, only my cadence during the spinning class.

    Most of the rest were at 60-90, depending on what they were trying to simulate at the time (hills, flats, sprints and so on...). A few were at around my cadence, but not all the time.

    I only went very high (around 140 and over - very easy on a non-freewheeling bike with SPD pedals!) during a few simulated sprints, yes. However, that's not what they commented. Three different people, telling me the same thing...
    Felt a bit silly, I have to say...

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