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Bouncing when at higher cadence

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Bouncing when at higher cadence

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Old 11-20-16, 02:46 PM
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morfeeis
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Bouncing when at higher cadence

Is it normal to bounce in the saddle when at higher cadence? Ive been trying to increase my cadence at lower speeds and anytime i get up to about 90 rpm or higher i start bouncing. My normal rpm is about 65 or so, what could this bounce be caused by and what can i do to stop it?

Thanks...
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Old 11-20-16, 02:53 PM
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TimothyH
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It is normal for most people to bounce at a certain point but there are techniques to minimize it. With time and practice one can get very good at pedaling smoothly at high RPM.

I'm sure there will many suggestions and opinions to follow. I ride fixed gear and it is very hilly where I live and so this is an important topic for me. One thing I do is try to keep my weight on the saddle and not on the pedals.


-Tim-
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Old 11-20-16, 03:32 PM
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Sometimes a sign of seat too high. Rocking pelvis.
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Old 11-20-16, 03:39 PM
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When you push down with one foot, pull up with the other. This balances vertical forces.
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Old 11-20-16, 03:54 PM
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Ride fixed gear. You either learn to pedal smoothly at high cadence or your butt gets pounded into hamburger.
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Old 11-20-16, 03:59 PM
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Easy gear one leg pedaling. Also practice riding at just below were you start to bounce and then increase your cadence a little bit. That's what worked for me.
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Old 11-20-16, 05:10 PM
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You're a masher. Learn to spin smoothly. As Greg LeMond once said, on the downstroke pretend you're scraping mud off the bottom of your shoe. It will also teach you to pedal heel down instead of toe down. Which of course helps take pressure off your toes.
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Old 11-20-16, 05:48 PM
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Practice spinning 100 RPM while riding flat terrain and pay attention to your pedaling. Think smooth and circles. Smooth pedaling is also more efficient. If you want to get smooth fast, practice on rollers. Terrifying, but you have to be smooth - or else!
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Old 11-20-16, 06:08 PM
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Get use to higher cadence like I did when I started. I too was probably a 55-65 rpm masher at first. We don't know what we don't know.

Where I rode normally at say 14 mph in gear X, I just moved up 1 gear and maintained the same speed. This got me use to pedaling a little faster. Then I went another gear, and another, in increments. After a bit of that I settled in to about 85-90 rpm being where I am most comfortable.
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Old 11-20-16, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Ride fixed gear. You either learn to pedal smoothly at high cadence or your butt gets pounded into hamburger.
This.

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Old 11-20-16, 06:43 PM
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I actually feel like I'm pedaling slow when my cadence is 90 rpm. It feels "right" about 95-100.
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Old 11-20-16, 06:52 PM
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The old adage, "Practice makes perfect" applies here. Yes a fixed gear bike will help but technique is really important as is bike set-up. All of the posts are correct in that so far. Try to push the boundary as far as you can and over time you should see the bouncing subside.
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Old 11-20-16, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by morfeeis View Post
Ive been trying to increase my cadence at lower speeds and anytime i get up to about 90 rpm or higher i start bouncing. My normal rpm is about 65 or so, what could this bounce be caused by and what can i do to stop it?

Thanks...
It's simple. Practice. Don't expect miracles. It takes time and incremental improvement to be smooth at higher rpms.
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Old 11-20-16, 08:25 PM
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morfeeis
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Thanks all!

My next ride is Tuesday so I'll try to take baby steps and see if i can keep moving the RPM up. I'll also try the smooth circle trick and pull up while pushing down.

Looks like i have a lot to learn...
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Old 11-20-16, 08:46 PM
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At a certain point, your legs are trying to coordinate faster than you've trained them and that causes you to start bouncing. The coordination comes with practice.
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Old 11-20-16, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by churnman View Post
Sometimes a sign of seat too high. Rocking pelvis.
Bouncing at high rpm can be seat too low, not too high.

Rocking pelvis can be seat too high (reaching for the pedals).

These are just starting places however, useful only in the absence of more information.

But for the OP, try raising the seat 5mm at a time until the bouncing calms down. if you get hips rocking, go back the other way.
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Old 11-20-16, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Ride fixed gear. You either learn to pedal smoothly at high cadence or your butt gets pounded into hamburger.
+1 (and my first thought) Or, ride rollers. Both will teach you ride smoothly. Both are far more fun to ride smoothly!

Ben
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Old 11-21-16, 05:39 AM
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I have found these drills from Trainerroad really helpful, especially the quadrant drills. They incorporate them into some of their workouts. They help pass the time and have really made a difference as far as the bouncing goes.

Good luck!
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Old 11-21-16, 05:40 AM
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Relax and think small circles.
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Old 11-21-16, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
+1 (and my first thought) Or, ride rollers. Both will teach you ride smoothly. Both are far more fun to ride smoothly!

Ben
Rollers. +1
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Old 11-21-16, 08:50 AM
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Bouncing happens more often on fixed gear bikes. The cranks and pedals are always turning whenever the wheel turns (there's no coasting). So, at a faster cadence, if the rider's timing is off, the pedal hits the bottom of the revolution and starts coming back up while the rider is still pushing down.

You can get a similar effect on a regular bike, still pushing down when the pedal hits the bottom of the circle.

If you start bouncing, slow your cadence a little, and work on a smooth pedal stroke. That's good for efficient riding, too. With practice, you can raise the cadence a little at a time. I don't pull up on the upstroke, except on hard sprints. At the most, I unweight the upstroke.


Rollers
The "rollers" advice: you have to be smooth on rollers, otherwise the bike won't stay on top! Any bad balance or awkward pedaling will affect the bike's location on the rollers.

First time on rollers youtube

Last edited by rm -rf; 11-21-16 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 11-21-16, 08:54 AM
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Look up "souplesse".
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Old 11-21-16, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by nycphotography View Post
Bouncing at high rpm can be seat too low, not too high.

Rocking pelvis can be seat too high (reaching for the pedals).

These are just starting places however, useful only in the absence of more information.

But for the OP, try raising the seat 5mm at a time until the bouncing calms down. if you get hips rocking, go back the other way.
I have noticed that rocking pelvis differs with body types. The tall lanky rider has less of that than the more stout types.
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Old 11-21-16, 01:10 PM
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How do you fix it? Same way you get to Carnegie Hall.

(And +1 for riding a fixed gear, especially down hill.)
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Old 11-21-16, 01:30 PM
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I don't think that preventing or eliminating bouncing should be a factor in determining saddle height.

It might be true that too low/high saddle exacerbates the issue but I don't think it is the underlying cause, nor do I think it should be much of a factor in determining correct saddle height.

Bouncing in the saddle can be addressed by increased flexibility and by practicing high cadence pedaling.


-Tim-
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