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Cadence as a Tachometer

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Cadence as a Tachometer

Old 07-06-05, 09:28 PM
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Mentor58
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Cadence as a Tachometer

Hey Gang,

Now that I've got a 'puter with Cadence, I've been making a concerted effort over the last month to up my cadence, and followed the tip in a few other threads. Now I've gone from a 75-85 cadence to a 95-105 pace, and have noticed that I can ride faster and farther with less effort. My legs AND lungs both feel better while riding, which surprised me.

My question is does anybody else use their cadence reading like a tach on a car? I have found that, at least while I'm getting used to the new feeling, the best thing I can do is check the cadence, if it's over 110, time to shift up, if it gets down around 90, time to shift down. Before, I tended not to shift until I was really spinning out, or until my legs were screaming at me "Your Killing Us Down Here!!" I'm sure that this will become reflexive after time, but until then I'm pretty happy with what I've learned.

Steve W
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Old 07-06-05, 09:47 PM
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While what you're describing is exactly what I find myself doing, sometimes I wonder if I'm developing the ability to ride only within a very narrow cadence band. Once my cadence drops below 85 or so, my legs start to burn, especially on hills. Fortunately, I have a triple, so it takes a pretty nasty hill to get the rpms too low.

All that being said, I had my best ride over 15 miles tonight (avg 19.8 mph - so close to 20, damn) while keeping the cadence around 100.
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Old 07-06-05, 10:21 PM
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I redline at 150 RPM.
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Old 07-07-05, 05:49 AM
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I agree completely. I use cadence primarily and rarely bother with MPH gauge. Once I know the gear I'm in and my cadence I know my speed. Also, I use cadence to tell me when to shift up/down, just as you describe.
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Old 07-07-05, 06:18 AM
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What gears do you usually stay in to get a high cadence.
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Old 07-07-05, 06:37 AM
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I do the same thing with cadence: on my Cateye I have the cadence number on the big display and relegate the speed number to the much smaller bottom display, because I don't care so much about the MPH, I care about the RPM.

I do think that riding this way does condition me to ride within a certain RPM range, so over this winter I was in a spinning class using the Carmicheal series and focused on riding above and below my 85-95 normal range.

I've drank the Cadence Coolaid, I think it's the way to go.
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Old 07-07-05, 06:43 AM
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I dropped my computer a few weeks ago. Got another one.
But I've been enjoying the riding. That is, riding without wondering how fast, how far, avg speed, yada yada yada.

My wife wants me to put it on. I offered to put it on her bike,
but she didn't want it either.
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Old 07-07-05, 07:58 AM
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Yeah, that's why I have not bothered to put mine back on. It's nice to know the speed and then after a while you're all like well dang these numbers arent getting better any time soon. And then it falls off or you crash the bike (for me its always crashing the bike or replacing a complete rim) and you realize what a relief it is that its not there aymore
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