Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg)
Reload this Page >

Tips for increasing cadence?

Notices
Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

Tips for increasing cadence?

Old 07-03-17, 08:03 AM
  #1  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 24
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Tips for increasing cadence?

Hoping to get some advice -- I keep reading that I should 'spin' the pedals and a typical cadence is 80 rpm. I bought a cycling computer and have been trying to focus more on cadence this summer (hoping speed will magically follow) and thought I had finally figured it out yesterday (average was 78 on a bike route with lots of stop signs / road crossings at either end, so I think it was actually higher for regular riding)

However - my heart rate was very high for the majority of the trip (Fitbit says 99 of 122 minutes were at peak) -- and I was feeling pretty nauseous by the end and my legs were ready to be done with the bike about 2 miles from my car (ride was 26 miles - a distance I've done before w/ much less fatigue at same speed but lower cadence).

I'm sure some of it could have been heat (it was 86 degrees -- i drank lots of water), but thought I'd see if this is normal as I have to train my legs and cardio for the different style of riding.

I'm training for a 50 mile charity ride the first weekend in August, so want to make sure I can train to go the whole distance! Thanks for any help!
peggyd73 is offline  
Old 07-03-17, 08:27 AM
  #2  
Non omnino gravis
 
DrIsotope's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: SoCal, USA!
Posts: 8,553

Bikes: Nekobasu, Pandicorn, Lakitu

Liked 1,731 Times in 958 Posts
Yes, it's normal. Riding with a cadence higher than your "natural cadence," particularly early on, will result in elevated heart rate. Also, don't worry too much about the cadence at all-- when I started 2 years ago my average cadence would be between 65-70 on most rides. Now, it's exceptionally rare to see it below 80, and most rides average 87-92. Your cadence will increase with fitness.
__________________
DrIsotope is offline  
Old 07-03-17, 09:03 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 208
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Gear down(up?) one rear cog... Makes it easier to spin with the same effort. Your heart rate should go down as you acclimate to the new spin rate. When it does, go back to the "starting rear cog".
dual650c is offline  
Old 07-03-17, 11:08 AM
  #4  
Lover of Old Chrome Moly
 
Myosmith's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: NW Minnesota
Posts: 2,949
Likes: 0
Liked 23 Times in 17 Posts
Don't put too much stock in the "ideal" cadence. Everyone is different and you will find your natural cadence. Even among the pros there is a fairly wide range. Blame it on body mechanics, slow twitch vs. fast twitch fiber ratio, whatever. If you're on a group ride and your average cadence is 78 and your buddy's is 92 it doesn't mean you're doing something wrong. Listen to your body.

It is beneficial to condition yourself to be efficient at a range of cadences. About once a week I'll do wind or hill repeats where I pick a gear where my cadence is 70 or so headed up a moderate slope or into a headwind. After a couple of miles I turn around and, without shifting, spin back to the starting point at 100. My natural cadence is in the low 80s.
Myosmith is offline  
Old 07-03-17, 11:12 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
brianmcg123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: TN
Posts: 1,286

Bikes: 2013 Trek Madone; 2008 Surly Long Haul Trucker

Liked 59 Times in 35 Posts
80 is fine. That's a good cruising cadence. The only time you want it higher is if your exerting a lot of power, i.e. up a long climb or during a time trial.
brianmcg123 is offline  
Old 07-03-17, 12:39 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,688
Liked 295 Times in 222 Posts
Functionally, I CAN ride at "low" cadences.
I may even be a tad faster at lower cadences.
But my knees really don't like it. Its painkillers post-ride, throbbing at night, and a stubborn feeling of fatigue some days after.
Keeping the average at/above 85 avoids that.
Shorter cranks and one-legged pedalling exercises helped me get into higher averages.
If you don't have any issues, and aren't too far from an 80 average, I don't know how much benefit you'll get from retraining to a higher cadence.
dabac is offline  
Old 07-03-17, 12:55 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Yendor72's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Minnesnowta
Posts: 890

Bikes: 2016 Trek Emonda SL, 2016 Framed Wolftrax

Liked 10 Times in 9 Posts
It takes time. I was setting a goal of 85 this year. I find myself spinning at 90 most days now. Going up the hills this past week I was seeing anything from 95-110. It really helped me get up the hills. Just keep working at it. My wife still isn't comfortable at higher cadences, but her knees thank her.
Yendor72 is offline  
Old 07-03-17, 04:31 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
bigbiker1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Midwest
Posts: 334

Bikes: 2013 All City Mr. Pink, 2016 Jamis DXT Comp

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Showing my noobness here, I had no idea it was a good thing to have high cadence. I have no idea what mine is, but I always have a tendency to upshift when I start pedaling too fast. I guess I would have thought it would be easier on your knees to ride at a lower cadence, but I guess it make sense because lower cadence means you are having to push harder.
bigbiker1 is offline  
Old 07-03-17, 08:26 PM
  #9  
Lover of Old Chrome Moly
 
Myosmith's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: NW Minnesota
Posts: 2,949
Likes: 0
Liked 23 Times in 17 Posts
Originally Posted by bigbiker1
Showing my noobness here, I had no idea it was a good thing to have high cadence. I have no idea what mine is, but I always have a tendency to upshift when I start pedaling too fast. I guess I would have thought it would be easier on your knees to ride at a lower cadence, but I guess it make sense because lower cadence means you are having to push harder.
Remember that cadence is only part of the equation. Pushing hard in big gears for extended periods can be hard on the knees, but a cadence of 60 while cruising around the MUP at a leisurely pace won't cause you any problems. When I need a recovery ride, I typically use relatively low-cadence, low-intensity.
Myosmith is offline  
Old 07-03-17, 08:37 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
mrodgers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Western PA
Posts: 1,649

Bikes: 2014 Giant Escape 1

Liked 29 Times in 20 Posts
Originally Posted by dual650c
Gear down(up?) one rear cog... Makes it easier to spin with the same effort. Your heart rate should go down as you acclimate to the new spin rate. When it does, go back to the "starting rear cog".
This is what I did. Note, gear down 1 cog as he said but maintain the same speed. For example, if you ride 13 mph on flat terrain, gear down and maintain the same 13 mph. Heart rate will elevate a bit more than it was before. A few rides you will be use to that increase in cadence and do it again, another gear down and maintain 13 mph. Eventually after a few rides, a higher cadence will begin to feel more comfortable.

When you get use to the higher cadence, you will notice you will start to ride faster and you'll just adjust the gearing to accomodate the faster cadence to match.
mrodgers is offline  
Old 07-03-17, 09:09 PM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 1,923

Bikes: Giant Toughroad SLR1 and Motobecane Sturgis NX

Liked 231 Times in 168 Posts
Pedal faster and cadence will increase. If resistance increases too much, shift down in lighter gear.
HerrKaLeun is offline  
Old 07-04-17, 09:51 AM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,688
Liked 295 Times in 222 Posts
Originally Posted by bigbiker1
Showing my noobness here, I had no idea it was a good thing to have high cadence. I have no idea what mine is, but I always have a tendency to upshift when I start pedaling too fast. I guess I would have thought it would be easier on your knees to ride at a lower cadence, but I guess it make sense because lower cadence means you are having to push harder.
Knees - the actual joints - don't mind bending much.
The main driver of wear and ache is the combination of (deep) bends and high loads.

I'm sure SOMEONE has managed to, but high cadences is generally not seen as a cause of knee issues.

Likewise, deep bends and low loads is not a recognized risk factor.
dabac is offline  
Old 07-04-17, 09:11 PM
  #13  
Lover of Old Chrome Moly
 
Myosmith's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: NW Minnesota
Posts: 2,949
Likes: 0
Liked 23 Times in 17 Posts
Myosmith is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
bbeasley
Training & Nutrition
5
08-26-14 10:59 AM
KC8QVO
Touring
20
05-15-14 08:48 AM
WISCONS1N
Road Cycling
15
09-28-11 03:24 PM
buzp
Fifty Plus (50+)
44
09-21-11 10:06 PM
F15Todd
Road Cycling
10
01-31-11 06:43 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.