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Metronome for Cadence?

Old 08-10-21, 01:41 PM
  #1  
Elbeinlaw
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Metronome for Cadence?

I'm trying to push my cadence incrementally upward, and it occured to me that a metronome would help. But after trying it, it's pretty clear that a 90 bpm setting on the metronome does not equate to 90 rpm. I can't quite figure out what the conversion would be, though.

FYI, my son pointed out to me the speed-rated playlists on Spotify. Those don't seem to offer a clear answer to this conundrum, either.

I'm sure someone else out there has experimented with this and would appreciate the help
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Old 08-10-21, 01:52 PM
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Synch one knee to the metronome.
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Old 08-10-21, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Elbeinlaw View Post
I'm trying to push my cadence incrementally upward, and it occured to me that a metronome would help. But after trying it, it's pretty clear that a 90 bpm setting on the metronome does not equate to 90 rpm.
You sure about that?

Many cyclists use a cadence sensor.

Your actual cadence is not going to be exactly 90 RPM for very long.

It might work better to target a somewhat higher cadence and then settle to 90 RPM once you are used to a high cadence.
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Old 08-10-21, 03:45 PM
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If you're shooting for 90 rpm and you sent the metronome for 90 bpm it's exactly the same thing.
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Old 08-10-21, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Elbeinlaw View Post
I'm trying to push my cadence incrementally upward, and it occured to me that a metronome would help. But after trying it, it's pretty clear that a 90 bpm setting on the metronome does not equate to 90 rpm. I can't quite figure out what the conversion would be, though.

It should be. 90bpm = 90rpm. Either your metronome is out or your cadence sensor is out. Are you getting a consistent difference between the two?
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Old 08-10-21, 06:07 PM
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Or, if you don't want to go insane, you could find good music with the target BPM (or 2x BPM). Your left or right foot should hit every time the bass drum hits. Or, find a song at 2X BPM and then each foot hits at the same time as the drum. (Yes, I learned this from SoulCycle) Try one of these: https://getsongbpm.com https://tunebat.com https://songbpm.com

Last edited by mattcalifornia; 08-10-21 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 08-10-21, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
If you're shooting for 90 rpm and you sent the metronome for 90 bpm it's exactly the same thing.
But one's beer per minute and the other is rum per minute. The rum will surely get you drunker?

Last edited by veganbikes; 08-10-21 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 08-10-21, 08:54 PM
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There's no barf emoji...
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Old 08-10-21, 09:55 PM
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Check for 180 bpm music. There are playlists created for runners -- 180 bpm is sort of the grail for runners, the equivalent to the magical 90 rpm cycling cadence. I have a few playlists and songs for that cadence, which works for my tempo running sessions or bike rides or indoor trainer sessions. Mostly it's generic techno and dance music, but it's less grating on the nerves than a click track or metronome.

But, for me, those are only for specific types of training sessions. I don't deliberately try to run or ride at a fixed cadence for every session. With age my natural cadence has slowed from 90 rpm to around 75, slower on climbs unless I consciously choose to watch my cadence on the bike computer for some training sessions.

With running my main concern is preventing injury. I use an app that provides vocal coaching prompts (at intervals I choose), keyed to data transmitted by my shoe, to remind me to keep my cadence and pace within a range that minimizes risk of injury and keeps my training on target. Otherwise I tend to turn everything into a tempo or interval session, rather than doing enough easy workout sessions to build up base fitness and avoid injury.

Keep in mind that cadence is only one part of the whole training puzzle. It's usually intended to reduce injuries caused by over-striding in running, or in cycling to shift the workload from the legs to the lungs. We might get gassed out more easily at higher cycling cadence, but the respiratory system recovers quickly while lower cadence grinding in big gears takes longer for the legs to recover. I try to consciously remind myself that I don't need to run hard or ride hard while maintaining a faster cadence; or, vice versa, to mash harder gears while using a slower cadence.

Last edited by canklecat; 08-10-21 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 08-10-21, 11:24 PM
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I wonder if the OP’s disconnect is as simple as 90rpm=180bpm

A long time ago there was a podcast called Podrunner by one DJ Steve Boy (Boyette?) that had a large collection of techno music mixes at any BPM you want. It was a podcast, then an app. They had an intervals version too, that had a 5k, 8k, and 10k program that would build tempo and length of intervals week to week until flat running. I lost track of it and the app stopped working. I wonder…

Its still active, now in Apple Podcasts. Yes! I need this. 300+ mixes with some recovery and interval mixes. Really needs an index!
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Old 08-10-21, 11:36 PM
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There’s little value in training to ride at a particular cadence so I don’t see how a metronome would be helpful. If you want to increase your cadence you could either get an inexpensive cadence meter or just count pedal strokes for a minute until you learn what 90rpm feels like and then go faster.

Another way to train high cadence is pedalling down steep hills. I have one on the way to work that forces me to pedal 135+ rpm. I try and do this as smoothly as possible with as low power as possible. It’s easier to be smooth with higher power and I have to concentrate not to bounce when at lower power. Not sure it’s useful but after pedalling at 135rpm 90 seems slow.
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Old 08-11-21, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by mattcalifornia View Post
Or, if you don't want to go insane, you could find good music with the target BPM (or 2x BPM). Your left or right foot should hit every time the bass drum hits. Or, find a song at 2X BPM and then each foot hits at the same time as the drum. (Yes, I learned this from SoulCycle) Try one of these: https://getsongbpm.com https://tunebat.com https://songbpm.com
Good luck with death metal and similar genres where the bass drums usually play 1/16 or 1/32 notes 😄
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Old 08-11-21, 05:46 AM
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Seems like a lot of work to remove all the fun out of cycling to me.
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Old 08-11-21, 06:46 AM
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We had a lady in our running group using a metronome app on her phone for cadence. As soon as she turned it on the group would splinter getting away from her and her partner as quickly as possible. It might have helped her cadence, but she drove her running group away.
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Old 08-11-21, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
There’s little value in training to ride at a particular cadence so I don’t see how a metronome would be helpful.
The OP didn’t say they were training to ride at a particular cadence, but rather trying to push their cadence incrementally upward. Being able to pedal comfortably at a range of speeds is essential to high performance cycling.
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Old 08-11-21, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
We had a lady in our running group using a metronome app on her phone for cadence. As soon as she turned it on the group would splinter getting away from her and her partner as quickly as possible. It might have helped her cadence, but she drove her running group away.
Maybe she wanted that. I mean, certainly headphones would have been an easy fix, so failing to use them points to some other motivation.
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Old 08-11-21, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
There’s little value in training to ride at a particular cadence so I don’t see how a metronome would be helpful. If you want to increase your cadence you could either get an inexpensive cadence meter or just count pedal strokes for a minute until you learn what 90rpm feels like and then go faster.

Another way to train high cadence is pedalling down steep hills. I have one on the way to work that forces me to pedal 135+ rpm. I try and do this as smoothly as possible with as low power as possible. It’s easier to be smooth with higher power and I have to concentrate not to bounce when at lower power. Not sure it’s useful but after pedalling at 135rpm 90 seems slow.
This.

Proper cadence drills will help much more than simply pedaling along at a steady 90 rpm.
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Old 08-11-21, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Maybe she wanted that. I mean, certainly headphones would have been an easy fix, so failing to use them points to some other motivation.
Headphones are not allowed in that running group. Only one earbud allowed in also for safety reasons. People had to get away from the annoying noise. Similar to a buzzy hub.
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Old 08-11-21, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
Headphones are not allowed in that running group. Only one earbud allowed in also for safety reasons. People had to get away from the annoying noise. Similar to a buzzy hub.
One earphone works for metronome clicks, so I’m still thinking maybe she didn’t like you people.
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Old 08-11-21, 09:07 AM
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A metronome would drive me nuts.

A cadence sensor on the crank is probably the best way to monitor your overall cadence.

The cheapest way to develop a higher cadence is by calculating the cadence at a certain speed in a specific gear that is highly used. Figure out what the crank rpm’s using a lower gear that gets you close to 90rpm at that speed. Maintain that speed in a lower gear.

Basically, if you normally ride a section at 15mph and that calculates at 75rpm, shift to a lower gear and keep riding at 15mph. Depending on your cassette gapping, you might get there in increments. Of course if your fitness is improving speed will increase.

Keep in mind there is equal value in developing lower cadence power for climbing so you do not try to spin up a hill at 120rpm and 5mph.

John
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Old 08-11-21, 11:20 AM
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I just hire a guy to hit my head with a board 90 times a minute. Works great, but now I smell toast 24/7.
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Old 08-11-21, 06:04 PM
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IMHO the best way to radically increase cadence is to do various cadence-oriented workouts on bike trainer: it is just so much easier to follow the prompts and see your power output and cadence on the screen right in front of you without worrying about traffic. I know that for me it was *very* efficient and very noticeable improvements came fast - in less then a month. I know that on a trainer if workout asks me for something like 125 RPM at 125% FTP I can do it, it is just a matter of pedaling. Doing the same on the road will mean that I'll ride *real fast* and carefully monitoring cadence while still paying attention to the road will be IMHO much more difficult.
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Old 08-11-21, 09:34 PM
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metronome?? way too much time on your hands, buddy
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Old 08-11-21, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Synch one knee to the metronome.
This. One revolution of the cranks means 2 pedal strokes (one right and one left)

I'm a musician, so I tend to think of tunes which I know to be about 90 or 180 BPM if I'm shooting for a cadence of 90. I don't use a metronome or actual audio of anything because you simply can't be that consistent on a bike because of slight changes in elevation, slowing for corners, stop signs, etc.
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Old 08-12-21, 02:51 PM
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jerome, jerome, the metronome
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