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Cadence for large cyclists

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Cadence for large cyclists

Old 12-07-21, 11:09 PM
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LarrySellerz
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Cadence for large cyclists

Hey guys, today on the group ride I had 2 people tell me that I should be in a higher gear. I'm a very large guy (240-250 lbs) and they say im powerful enough to push a higher gear. Ive heard spin to win, and my question is should larger people push a lower gear than lighter people? I don't feel like I was spinning THAT fast, only like 120 rpm (im guessing don't have a cadence meter)
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Old 12-07-21, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by LarrySellerz View Post
.
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Old 12-08-21, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by LarrySellerz View Post
Hey guys, today on the group ride I had 2 people tell me that I should be in a higher gear. I'm a very large guy (240-250 lbs) and they say im powerful enough to push a higher gear. Ive heard spin to win, and my question is should larger people push a lower gear than lighter people? I don't feel like I was spinning THAT fast, only like 120 rpm (im guessing don't have a cadence meter)
Spin what feels comfortable to you.
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Old 12-08-21, 12:54 AM
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Impossible to know cadence without measuring.

Anyway, available research suggests self selected cadence is the optimum between metabolic efficiency and muscular strain... in other words, no sense in trying to deliberately manipulate it.
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Old 12-08-21, 01:00 AM
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hmm multiple people have said my cadence is too high, wonder what thats about
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Old 12-08-21, 02:37 AM
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120rpm is too fast for normal cycling.
But check what it actually is. Easy to check with a watch and a bit of counting.
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Old 12-08-21, 05:27 AM
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Lots of good data saying self selected cadence is usually going to be the most efficient, do what feels right. But, 120 seems high and 60 would seem low - measure what you are really doing.

I'm 220 lbs and I used to be a big chain ring. 60 RPM grinder. On group rides everyone was at higher RPM, so on one ride I consciously rode in lower gears and got my average RPM in the flats up to 70 (still lower than most others) and it actually felt better, as in less fatigued at the end. I've worked to push up my natural cadence up to around 75 average but it doesn't want to go much above that - and I'm fine with that.

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Old 12-08-21, 07:11 AM
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"Everyone who sees how I ride and wants to help me ride better told me something, but I don't like it. Can you guys tell me something else?"
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Old 12-08-21, 07:32 AM
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That about self-chosen cadence is a so-so thing.
I am consistently slightly faster at my ”natural” cadence, at around 75.
However, for any ride longer than 30-45 minutes, it will leave me with aching knees the day after.
”Forcing” myself to a cadence of 85+ will leave me fit to ride the next day too.
Otherwise, ”ain’t broke, don’t fix”.
Sometimes there is no appreciable difference between ”good enough” and ”better”.
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Old 12-08-21, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by tempocyclist View Post
Buckle up, looks like it's going to be a good one!
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Old 12-08-21, 08:15 AM
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Sup Larry! Don't let those poseurs tell you how to ride. They're just jealous of your pro cadence.
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Old 12-08-21, 08:18 AM
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Old 12-08-21, 08:41 AM
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1/2 your weight is the correct cadence. You're GTG
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Old 12-08-21, 08:57 AM
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I thought it was your annual income divided by 3 plus your age.

Seriously though, this is all moot (some of it should be mute) until you're able to accurately measure your cadence. Yes - natural, comfortable is good. But, new cyclists are often uncomfortable with, or at least unaccustomed to higher cadences. 75-95 seems to be normal range. 120 is high... also likely not accurate.

I've heard big guys (assuming big legs) shouldn't spin a high cadence... something about all that rotating mass, etc. I've also heard the Democrats colluded with the Jews to start forest fires with space lasers... so, not sure how valid the source was.
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Old 12-08-21, 08:58 AM
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Whatever is comfortable. I would be interested what your actual cadence is, though - 120rpm is so fast that I am a little dubious, but not so fast that it is impossible, especially if casual observers are telling you to slow down. 120rpm would be two full revolutions per second, so one pedal will hit the top of the stroke twice for each steamboat you count.

Please get a computer with a cadence meter to confirm and report back.
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Old 12-08-21, 09:43 AM
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I'm a big guy, though not as big as I used to be, and I generally spin in the 95-105 range, though I find it easier to put out higher power if I spin at 105-110 - like in structured workouts on the trainer for example. When I started riding about 25 years ago, I spent some time learning to spin at a higher cadence, because at first it doesn't come naturally. It only took a couple weeks, and after that I've never had to consciously think about it.
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Old 12-08-21, 10:01 AM
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I also got told my cadence was too high (which at the time was maybe 95-100 while accelerating, but about 90 sustained on the flats), at which point I responded that I thought theirs was too low
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Old 12-08-21, 10:02 AM
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Here's a guy with big legs who seems to think working on increasing his cadence is a good idea:

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Old 12-08-21, 10:04 AM
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The question for the OP is: Is the bike starting to buck like a bronco when you are spinning at that cadence? Are you bouncing around in the saddle and having to hold on?

On a related note, In the 41, if someone is spinning slower than agerage 41 poster, they are "doing it wrong" and need to increase their cadence. By contrast, if someone is spinning faster than average 41 poster, they also are "doing it wrong" and need to slow down their cadence. Amazing!
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Old 12-08-21, 10:06 AM
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Question for the bigger cyclists reading this thread who own a smart trainer: what cadence do you tend to maintain for most of your indoor riding?
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Old 12-08-21, 10:06 AM
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People are build differently and have different engines/drivetrains.

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Old 12-08-21, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by LarrySellerz View Post
hmm multiple people have said my cadence is too high, wonder what thats about
Just a WAG here but, maybe your cadence is too high.
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Old 12-08-21, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Question for the bigger cyclists reading this thread who own a smart trainer: what cadence do you tend to maintain for most of your indoor riding?
I weigh in at 245lbs and tend to maintain 85-90rpm range on the stationary bike, though workout segments can be designated by my coach to be ridden anywhere from 75rpm at the low end to “+100rpm”.

Perhaps predictably, my on-road cadence is usally in the 85-95rpm range when producing power, but overall (for a whole ride) is, of course, highly variable, so Strava usually shows ride average to be around 80rpm and max around 120rpm. I usually group ride as well, so that contributes to pedaling speed variability.

As my knees have been feeling better (less painful) over the last season, I’ve found myself dropping cadence and upping torque, because I can generate pretty good watts at lower RPM and keep my HR lower, saving the top end headroom for when I need to haul my tremendous mass uphill. When my cadence is high, HR runs higher, too, so even at moderate power levels, I’ll fatigue faster doing 98rpm than I will at 88rpm.
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Old 12-08-21, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Question for the bigger cyclists reading this thread who own a smart trainer: what cadence do you tend to maintain for most of your indoor riding?
91-100 generally. If it falls much below that I find myself reaching for a smaller gear. When it gets too high I reach for a bigger one. I find myself bothered by gaps in the cassette where two adjacent gears put me on either side of that range, though I can easily spin slower or faster than that.

EDIT: For some intervals, like VO2max intervals, I find spinning in the 105-110 range makes it easier to put out the power. I also find this on the road, that I can put out more power longer on things like 1/2 mile 2-3% climbs at higher cadence.
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Old 12-08-21, 10:49 AM
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thought I might say something humorous ... nothing comes to mind... LOL!
so
cadence, all up to you... dividing the work load into more chunks (rpm) is a good thing. Except in real world, as you rev up, there is increasingly greater power loss because the the muscles start counteracting each other. That's what 'training' helps broaden - the range where the power loss is minimized as much as possible.
Every one is a bit different, but not hugely different. Over the years, the common conception developed is a range of rpm which seems optimum for most riders... it's out there.
Only you can decide (without being hooked up to an ergometer& ventilometer) what is good for you...
If you can get to 140 without signficant 'bouncing', on the road, then 120 might still be comfortable. Unless you're using some cadence meter, the number you may believe you're doing may not actually 'be'.
Anyone else's numbers don;t matter... especially if you're 'pulling' and they're having a hard time staying on your wheel...
Ride On
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