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Cadence and Efficiency

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Cadence and Efficiency

Old 08-30-04, 06:28 PM
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VosBike
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While I was riding with a friend the other day who has recently become obbsesed with cadence (new cyclocomp) he remarked that I ride at an unusualy slow cadence, at this point we were on roads heading to the trails but I have since noticed that I almost always ride at a lower cadence(and concordently higher gear) than my riding partners.

The reason this seems so odd to me is that all of my riding parners have far stronger legs than me. I was a runner before a biker and my body shows it, I have a high level of arobic fitness but relatively weak legs. This style of fitness would (I think) lead to a higher-than-average cadence and a lower-than-average gear, but as I already stated I run at a very low cadence.

I was wondering if anyone has any possible explanations for this(minor and uninteresting) Phenomenon, and also was wondering if this is an inefficient thing to be doing and i should try to run at a higher cadence?
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Old 08-31-04, 12:40 PM
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You know, I feel better at a slightly lower cadence as well (about 50 RPM), although I incease my rpms a little on really steep hills. I think for me, though, I have an unconcious tendency to maintain the same amount of force on the pedals, regardless of my pedaling speed, so I just wear myself out sooner by spinning faster. I'll have to play around more in the future and see what I decide.
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Old 08-31-04, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by VosBike
I was wondering if anyone has any possible explanations for this(minor and uninteresting) Phenomenon, and also was wondering if this is an inefficient thing to be doing and i should try to run at a higher cadence?
Uh, huh. I'm going to guess that you are down stroke dominant ...most people are and it's a difficult habit to break. A smooth circular stroke is much more efficient. If you want to last longer and ride faster then, you could work on your spin. There are lots of tips and tricks to form a better spin. Try a search here and see what you find.
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Old 08-31-04, 11:21 PM
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Spend some days riding to build endurance...some days riding short intense climbs...and then spend some days doing high cadence speed drills. Imagine your biking energy is divided up into three zones before you start. zone 1 is all the energy you can spend on endurance (helps with longer rides). zone 2 is all the energy you spend on intensity or power (your strength). and zone 3 which is speed which enhances efficiency. Chances are you're buddies are doing a better job at varying gears throughout the ride and utilizing energy in all 3 zones. You meanwhile, spin at one speed, expend your muscle's zone 2 ability and don't utilize your muscles zone 1 and 3 capabilities. or not.
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Old 08-31-04, 11:28 PM
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another point I just thought of 'cause I too was a runner. mountain biking, for the most part is unlike running in that if you enter a marathon your pace and intensity is going to stay even, right? If your a sprinter, your intensity will always be high and so you can train accordingly, ok? Well, mountain biking requires one to use high intensity, endurance, speed all in one session at random times. What equivalent is there to that in running? none? Only thing I think that comes close is training using fartleks. slow then fast then slow, etc. think of m.biking as the equivalent of running fartleks all the time.
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Old 09-08-04, 10:07 PM
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JasBike
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I'd say you just need to practice spinning and get used to the feeling of pedaling "too fast."
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Old 09-08-04, 10:50 PM
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Higher cadence just takes getting used to...it's more tiring at first, but after you get your body used to it, you really can go faster longer... as far as an average speed goes. Just use 1 or 2 gears lower than your using and spin faster, when you shift to higher gear, keep the same cadence and you'll be going faster with improved fitness. Try not to drop below 60, shoot for around 90, but more than 120 is overdoing it.
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