just another gosling
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
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Gradually increase your cadence, aiming for 85 or more on the flats, 70-85 climbing. A bike computer with a cadence feature (like a Cateye Astrale) is a huge help. At first it will feel like the strength is rapidly going out of your legs when you ride and especially climb at these cadences, but you'll gradually improve. Most people I ride with tend to do 90-100 on the flat and 75-85 climbing. Of course when you run out of gears climbing steeper hills, your cadence will have to drop to suit whatever speed you can sustain.
It's no different for a beginner. The sooner you get used to higher cadences, the faster your riding will improve. You might also think about a heart rate monitor (HRM). Beginners especially benefit from using a HRM. Many people I ride with started with one, and then discarded it when they got used to what it's supposed to feel like.