What's a realistic process for goal setting for higher cadence target?
-- returning to biking after long absence
-- old habits were to ride with low spin rate
-- new techniques seem to favor cadences of 90..100
-- current cadences are between 60 and 75
-- daily commute is 5 miles
What is the best process for setting realistic goals of increasing cadence?
I would rather shoot a bit low and reach target, than to set high goal and miss targets.
just consciously do it during your next few rides and before you can saw cadence it'll become very natural if you have a cyclometer with a cadence function great - check it once in awhile but don't obsess. If you don't, just do the count pedal stroke count for 10, 12 or 15 seconds and do the multiplication in your head. Probably everyone has a different sweet spot but most find it between 85 and 100. I rarely see anyone looking efficient over 100 unless they're sprinting, making imaginary whipped cream or emulating LA
I read once that the hour record had a cadence average of 104 or 107.... Thats pretty impressive. Get on a fixed gear bike with 70" gearing and go for it. I find that after a couple weeks riding fixed I can easily and smoothly turn over 100 rpm. I even went as far as video taping myself on rollers to see how dumb I looked cranking 120rpm. It wasnt all that bad.
I'm not a fan of professional fitting since no one can "fit" the bike properly except the rider. The guy doing the fitting is likely going to fit you for his style of riding. There's plenty of fitting "rules" in the literature/on the Web to get you in the starting range.
Bouncing just means that one is not "spinning full circles" very well. It's a technique issue in IMO.
Concerning setting spinning goals, that might not be all that important. The key to my personal approach was to just keep the pressure on the pedals low, concentrate on spinning full circles (I.e. applying force to the pedal over 360 degrees, except on the upstroke where I prefer to just pull the knee towards the handlebars) and just spin to just below bouncing. Over time you'll find 110/120 is no problem. It's a mental or concentration exercise at first as is spinning full circles.
You'll also find the cadence where you feel best. For me it's cruising at 90 to 100. I spurt to 115+ on downhills. I have low gearing which helps spinning fast.
You really need a cyclometer with a cadence read-out if you're serious.
Back on fitting for spinning. If your "knee over spindle" measurement has the knee too far back from the pedal spindle, you'll make it very difficult to spin fast. I have to have mine less than 1 cm and preferably closer to the knee directly over the pedal spindle.
I move back and forth in the saddle a lot, so I have to have the saddle far enough forward to keep my knee 1 cm aft or less during my saddle excursions.
Fore and aft saddle position is very important. You'll find that in the literature and I've found it to be accurate for me at least.
I recomend getting a computer with cadence and set cadence as your main screen, then just glance down at various times and adjust your gearing to what your target is. I have a Cateye Astrale 8 that was in the mid $20's. When I got it my natural cadence was in the low - mid 80's. I concentrated on moving it up to the 90's and now settle naturally on a pace in the mid 90's.
I just think of spinning smooth circles. As the cadence gets higher (above 115 or so) I make a consious effort to not push down at all, just think in circles. I have a hilly daily commute so I always see what I spin out at downhill in top gear before tucking. Today was about as fast as ever ... 138. My goal is to hit 140
I've heard sprinters get over 150 on flat ground ... wow. (somebody even told me they even approach 200 ... I find that hard to believe)
edit: I used to get a bounce around 115-120 ... I wasn't being smooth enough. Typically too much force on the down stroke.
Cannondale SuperSix, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Jamis Sputnik, Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex
Or no computer and fear of low cadence.
That is my story. Before I got a Cateye Astrale 8 I was worried my cadence was too slow so I kept pushing and pushing it.
Then I got the computer and found I was riding at about 120 most of the time. I've actually worked it down lower so I am between 100-110, with short peaks at 120-130. My power at low cadences suffered a bit, hence the focus on lower cadences.
I still feel very wrong below 100 - I feel my best ability to accelerate is going between 100-120 for quick bursts of speed increase. I can ride up hills with power at 80 though (when there is no lower gear available)
I understand. No wind and I was at 70 going up a hill for the first time. It felt better, but being Friday, tired and wind was just too much today.
Thanks for the hint of not hitting cadence too high.
We get a lot of wind this time of year. All you have to do is to gear-down and keep your cadence/pedal pressure in the comfortable range and ignore your speed. It's just like climbing a long hill. A key component is to make sure yor comfortable on your bike so you're not in a hurry to end the ride. If your uncomfortable, that'll make you work too hard, which against wind doesn't have much of a pay-off.