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

90-110 cadence help

Old 01-04-07, 09:46 AM
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LanceFanBoy
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90-110 cadence help

So I've been riding my trainer for about 2 months now and just recently got a cadence computer (Astrale 8) and I've read over the past few months and from talking to people that you should keep your cadence around 90-110 rpms.

So I have been on my trainer a few times since getting the computer and I've come to realize that i'm most comfortable around 83-85 rpms if I'm not concentrating on the number in front of me. This is at medium resistance on my fluid trainer.

Is this a sign I'm not fit enough or my endurance is bad? Or is my gear choice wrong? I feel like when I get into the 90s I'm doing a full sprint and I have to pull back after a few minutes.
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Old 01-04-07, 09:48 AM
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Find a spin class and get with their program. You will learn to spin. Just make sure you take a magnetic trainer.
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Old 01-04-07, 09:51 AM
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I have a gym that I go to with a class but the spin classes are during work or my commute and I smply don't have that option. I'm looking for DIY advice here, thanks tho.
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Old 01-04-07, 09:53 AM
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Spinerval DVDs


Is this a sign I'm not fit enough or my endurance is bad? Or is my gear choice wrong? I feel like when I get into the 90s I'm doing a full sprint and I have to pull back after a few minutes.

Your legs are not trained to spin. My wife is a masher, I'm a spinner. We ride tandem. It took a while but I brought her up into the mid 90's. She now spins at 100+ with ease in the spin class. It will come.
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Old 01-04-07, 10:01 AM
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You could always but a Spinervals DVD and ride your trainer to it.
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Old 01-04-07, 10:03 AM
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There have been numerous threads about this. What I took away from the conversations is that individuals develop a cadence that is natural for them. I would think that 80 might be at the upper limit of "mashing," but perhaps you'll never be comfortable at 100. I don't think of myself as a masher, but I rarely maintain a cadence of 100.
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Old 01-04-07, 10:04 AM
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If you want to raise the cadence at which your comfortable, do fast pedal intervals. 120rpm in a low gear. Start with 3 minute intervals. Concentrate on being smooth and not bouncing. Work up to 10 minutes. When you can do 5 reps of 10 minutes, 90 rpm will feel like loafing.
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Old 01-04-07, 10:05 AM
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I am completely satisfied with any cadence above 80.
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Old 01-04-07, 10:08 AM
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the more you ride you will slightly increase your cadence (depending on how long you have been riding). When I first started I was around 65-70 rpms, then a month later 75 - 80. Currently I feel most comfortable from 85 - 90.
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Old 01-04-07, 10:40 AM
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You can train to a higher cadence and your comfort zone will go up.

I am lucky as I have always felt comfy in a high cadence.
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Old 01-04-07, 10:43 AM
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Try and feel your legs moving in circles, rather than up/down. Applying force over the whole pedal stroke is what prevents you from bouncing when you spin.
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Old 01-04-07, 10:46 AM
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Shorter cranks....If indicated, will significantly help you spin....
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Old 01-04-07, 10:50 AM
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Move to an easier gear. Work on pedaling circles. It takes time to teach your body to do things differently.
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Old 01-04-07, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by webist
I am completely satisfied with any cadence above 80.
+1... nothing wrong with being more of a masher .. I'm happy with anything over 60, as long as I'm still upright on the bike, it's all good.

Learning how to spin is obviously a little trickier though because it requires a certain higher degree of control, but in time you'll get it. One legged drills are what helped me to fully understand the full pedal stroke and what I need to do to be able to spin better... they also give you a base of what to focus on.
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Old 01-04-07, 11:08 AM
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For one-footed spins is there a different cadence to aim for? I imagine 90 is near impossible with one foot.
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Old 01-04-07, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by LanceFanBoy
For one-footed spins is there a different cadence to aim for? I imagine 90 is near impossible with one foot.
Not really. If you're having difficulty just drop to an easier gear.

I do a trainer session each week which includes 5 sets of single leg drills. I try to maintain 90-94rpms during each of those drills (45-50 seconds a piece). It takes about 10 minutes of time out of the entire training session (the rest of the session is broken up with 5-10 higher cadence intervals @ 110+rpms and one or two heavy load intervals on the 53x12).
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Old 01-04-07, 12:56 PM
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Mashing has worked out pretty well for Jan Ullrich. If it wasn't for Lance....

Some of us get fatigued more readily by spinning, and others by pushing harder on the gears. I also have a low cadence and can seem to ride a long time with lots of pressure on the pedals, while I quickly build lactic acid if I spin too quick. Its probably a function of fast vs. slow twitch muscle masses.
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Old 01-04-07, 12:56 PM
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There are some good articles about cadence on PEZ that are definitely worth a read. Go to their "Toolbox" section and search for cadence. Here's an especially interesting one:

http://pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=4011
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Old 01-04-07, 01:01 PM
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it takes a long time to naturally increase your cadence. if this is a goal for you, just increase your cadence a little bit each time you ride. you don't need to jump from 80 to 100 right away. of course that's going to feel weird and unnatural. just add a few extra RPMs at a time. try for, say, upper 80's this week.
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Old 01-04-07, 01:05 PM
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To each his own. I can spin at 90 forever.......yet I am faster with more resistance at 83-85 rpm's. There is no magic bullet for everyone. Get a heart rate monitor or a power meter. They will help a lot.
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Old 01-04-07, 01:09 PM
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This is sort of a sub question then I guess...

Are trainers more for spinning than a base mileage replacement? And does that mean rollers are more of a simulation tool than trainers?

I bought my trainer, being a rook, and have been riding it more for the use of keeping mileage throughout the winter months and keeping my muscle memory solid.
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Old 01-04-07, 01:11 PM
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This entire thread seems to be predicated on the idea that higher is better.
Why?
Even that PEZ article seems to contrdict that idea from a number of sources.
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Old 01-04-07, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Talewinds
This entire thread seems to be predicated on the idea that higher is better.
Why?
lance armstrong.
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Old 01-04-07, 01:20 PM
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I'm most comfortable at about 78-82 rpm's. If I get into the 90's I just wear out.
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Old 01-04-07, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by PsySal
Try and feel your legs moving in circles, rather than up/down. Applying force over the whole pedal stroke is what prevents you from bouncing when you spin.
Try single leg pedal also to improve your pedal stroke thru the entire motion. Note you need to be clipped in.
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