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70 yo and starting over

Old 09-16-22, 03:32 PM
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don compton
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70 yo and starting over

I am 70yo (71 in November). I have been an avid cyclist since 1984 ( 7000+ miles per year). In 2017 I had a pretty severe leg injury but have recovered , but I haven't ridden much in the last five years. I have always suffered from back problems. I recently had a bike fit and started to ride again with a goal of enjoying 40-60 mile rides. I currently am riding very short rides to get my butt and joints used to riding again. I have noticed that I am no longer spinning at 90+ rpm. Should I accept that maybe 75-85 rpm is acceptable?
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Old 09-16-22, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by don compton View Post
I am 70yo (71 in November)... I currently am riding very short rides to get my butt and joints used to riding again. I have noticed that I am no longer spinning at 90+ rpm. Should I accept that maybe 75-85 rpm is acceptable?
Don, I'm your age, and I too prefer a 90 rpm cadence, but you are coming back from an injury. Find the cadence that works for you today, then adapt/improve as you feel it. Please take your time, don't rush it. Start with an hour's ride, increase distance/time as you feel your fitness returning. Play a long game! Good luck.
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Old 09-16-22, 06:19 PM
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don compton
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70y0

Originally Posted by BCDrums View Post
Don, I'm your age, and I too prefer a 90 rpm cadence, but you are coming back from an injury. Find the cadence that works for you today, then adapt/improve as you feel it. Please take your time, don't rush it. Start with an hour's ride, increase distance/time as you feel your fitness returning. Play a long game! Good luck.
Thanks for your reply. I rode an easy 8.8 flat easy miles Thursday and Friday. The only thing that hurts is my ass. But, I get what you're saying. Thank you
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Old 09-16-22, 07:36 PM
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Congratulations on getting back on the bike!!!

Wear a helmet and stay safe...

Personally I don't worry too much about cadence.
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Old 09-16-22, 07:39 PM
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Dont worry too much about high cadence. I would just remember to gear down so that you are not pushing too hard over the top of the pedal stroke, that might cause some knee issues. I've heavy legs, my cadence is usually 75-80.
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Old 09-16-22, 09:17 PM
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At 72 I have learned to listen to what my body is telling me. Example is osteoarthritis tell me the days we are on a recumbent trike, I know that if I do 20+ every other day with a walk/rest day spacer I can handle a rest day 20+ ride with the kids/grandkids when they visit and they love it. Another example is higher bars, less time in the drops, lower cadence, etc. Remembering you are investing in a better future in all you do.
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Old 09-17-22, 04:13 AM
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I just turned to 70 last week, and I have chronic back issues. I have averaged 5000 miles per year for the past 10 years. This past spring I had a bout of acute prostatitis and was off the bikes for awhile, and limited miles for 4 months. When returning to riding in May, I realized I needed to start off relatively slow and easy. Even when I considered myself totally recovered, I still had lost some stamina and strength. Now, mid September, and I know I have less stamina, but I believe my leg strength is back. I need 800 more miles to get my 5000 for '22, then, I think I will start doing some intervals to work on stamina. Those I do indoors, easier to control the time, cadence and intensity without the need to steer and pay attention to the surroundings
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Old 09-17-22, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by don compton View Post
I am 70yo (71 in November). I have been an avid cyclist since 1984 ( 7000+ miles per year). In 2017 I had a pretty severe leg injury but have recovered , but I haven't ridden much in the last five years. I have always suffered from back problems. I recently had a bike fit and started to ride again with a goal of enjoying 40-60 mile rides. I currently am riding very short rides to get my butt and joints used to riding again. I have noticed that I am no longer spinning at 90+ rpm. Should I accept that maybe 75-85 rpm is acceptable?
I don't think you necessarily need to spin at 90+ rpm. I can spin up to 130 rpm but like to stay at 80-90 rpm in general riding. A lot depends on your physical body/capability. I am 76 and have always had more than my share of fast twitch. Just be patient and enjoy your rides. You're on the right track.
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Old 09-17-22, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by don compton View Post
90+ rpm. Should I accept that maybe 75-85 rpm is acceptable?
High cadence is nice for being efficient and rapid changes in speed... but it's also saying that low cadence is bad for your knees because you're pushing too hard with too few muscle groups. So when you're spinning slower, just keep your knees in mind and even down to 60 rpm is fine.
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Old 09-17-22, 09:13 PM
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I've always been an advocate of faster cadence, (spin to win) but I have found in my increasing decrepitude I can mash sometimes without issue. I've always had to grind steep climbs but lately I've been turning slow rpm on the flats. I still force a good spin sometimes, too, but I don't feel like I have to.
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Old 09-17-22, 10:11 PM
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First, congratulations for getting back in the saddle. It must feel wonderful to be out again.

Second, at 67; if I have an average cadence of 82, I am happy. That includes lots of climbing. I try to stay above 80 and it works just fine. Below that I feel like I am mashing. Don’t worry about not going 90+, you will be just fine at 80+.
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Old 09-19-22, 12:20 PM
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don compton
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Thanks for all the responses.
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Old 09-20-22, 08:56 AM
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All the best Don. I would focus primarily on safety. Slow down, be extra careful and good luck!
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Old 09-20-22, 10:10 AM
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My experience is Cadence is a learned skill. Like you, I generally try and ride at a 90 rpm cadence on flat to rolling terrain. For hills I’ll drop down to 75-80. For me, spinning faster allows me to do the longer rides without wearing out my legs. When I’ve been off the bike for a bit, I’ve found I have to retrain myself to spin 90 rpm. Without concentrating on it, I’d probably be in the 75-85 range. Do you have a computer where you can see your cadence while your riding?

Typically I ride by cadence and heart rate. I have other metrics on my cycling computer like distance, speed, time etc. but have always ridden by cadence and HR.
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Old 09-20-22, 08:49 PM
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don compton
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That's what I did in the past. But it seems like that 80 is the new 90.
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Old 09-25-22, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by don compton View Post
I am 70yo (71 in November). I have been an avid cyclist since 1984 ( 7000+ miles per year). In 2017 I had a pretty severe leg injury but have recovered , but I haven't ridden much in the last five years. I have always suffered from back problems. I recently had a bike fit and started to ride again with a goal of enjoying 40-60 mile rides. I currently am riding very short rides to get my butt and joints used to riding again. I have noticed that I am no longer spinning at 90+ rpm. Should I accept that maybe 75-85 rpm is acceptable?
Enjoying any ride regardless of the distance is key. As long as your comfortable at 75-85 rpm life is good. Have fun, and take care!
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Old 09-26-22, 12:04 PM
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71 here. While getting fit I aimed for consistent low 90s and was able to maintain that pretty well except for some steep hills. That was fine. Then I started longer rides with nav input. That screen had speed and distance. I pedaled at a comfortable rate and found, in post ride review, that I seemed to be in low to the mid 80s range. I still keep in the 90s when I want a slightly more agressive work out, but I am fine with what appears my body’s preference for a lower cadence.

Mike
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Old 09-26-22, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by don compton View Post
...I am no longer spinning at 90+ rpm...
I fondly remember the days I could spin. I still do but its only down hill and barring cramps... Ha

Bravo that you are back in the saddle. Just remember that things have changed. Embrace the new you and its limitations knowing that the old you is still inside.

You are RIDDING! Happy, HAPPY, Joy, JOY...
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Old 09-26-22, 01:10 PM
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I'm 67 and my cadence is generally between 75-85 which a comfortable range for me now. I do try to stay in the mid 80's but headwinds really slow me down these days, lol.

Getting a bike fit is a very good idea. I switched from a flat bar to a road bike because sitting straight up with the flat bar was really bothering my lower back. I got an "endurance" type road bike (Domane) and it really helped eliminate the sore back.

Also finally got a pair of cycling shorts which helps with the sore butt I used to get after 30 kilometers or so.

I think you just need to take the time to get back into your groove with cycling and accept that you may not be as strong or as fast as you once were. No biggie IMO, long as you're still riding, it's all good.
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Old 09-26-22, 02:26 PM
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From the old spin-Nazi himself--at 70, you won't be trying to crank 400 watts, so why the hell not?
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Old 09-28-22, 10:13 PM
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don compton
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Originally Posted by Mtl01 View Post
I'm 67 and my cadence is generally between 75-85 which a comfortable range for me now. I do try to stay in the mid 80's but headwinds really slow me down these days, lol.

Getting a bike fit is a very good idea. I switched from a flat bar to a road bike because sitting straight up with the flat bar was really bothering my lower back. I got an "endurance" type road bike (Domane) and it really helped eliminate the sore back.

Also finally got a pair of cycling shorts which helps with the sore butt I used to get after 30 kilometers or so.

I think you just need to take the time to get back into your groove with cycling and accept that you may not be as strong or as fast as you once were. No biggie IMO, long as you're still riding, it's all good.
I also have a Trek Domane. I was a hardcore steel guy, but I bought the Domane in Dec '17 before the Covid crap. Ultegra equipped. I was a hardcore steel, Campy before. I wish I had bought a Domane years before. It's an incredible bike.
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Old 09-29-22, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by don compton View Post
I also have a Trek Domane. I was a hardcore steel guy, but I bought the Domane in Dec '17 before the Covid crap. Ultegra equipped. I was a hardcore steel, Campy before. I wish I had bought a Domane years before. It's an incredible bike.
It really is a solid and comfortable ride. Having a bike you enjoy riding so much, keeps you motivated. Especially on the days you think about blowing off the ride cause you're in lazy mode, lol.
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Old 09-29-22, 11:36 AM
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don compton
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Starting over at 70

I just advanced to 15 miles. I hit 20mph in 3 short stretches. I cruised the rest of the time 14-16 mph. I sure feels good to be back on the bike.
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Old 09-30-22, 10:21 AM
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Nice progress, Don. Well done.

Mike
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Old 09-30-22, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by don compton View Post
I just advanced to 15 miles. I hit 20mph in 3 short stretches. I cruised the rest of the time 14-16 mph. I sure feels good to be back on the bike.
Good work! As others said, keep riding and listen to your body. It's rarely wrong. (Knees, hips, etc. I feel them far more often now that when I was younger. (I'm about 18 months behind you.) For me, bike fit is critical (and something of a moving target). I frequently carry the wrenches for HB, brake levers and seat. Most of my bikes have cloth tape wrapped from the bottom that can be unwrapped, levers moved and rewrapped on the road. A piece of tape on the seatpost. I change a mm or so up and down fairly frequently. Never used to. A change was a big deal.
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