Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Ftp or cadence

Notices
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

Ftp or cadence

Old 01-07-15, 06:47 PM
  #1  
NASOTANG
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ftp or cadence

I am just getting back into cycling and training with Wahoo Kickr and Trainer road. I just want to get in shape and do my first century in August 2015 with my Pastor who runs 5 miles each day but is fairly new to cycling but in good aerobic shape. I am 51 and do not want to set the bike world on fire but would like to complete a century in a decent time frame and not be dropping out because I cant keep up.
I am following the Trainer Road flow chart and will be training right up till the century ride and have devoted 8 to 10 hours a week for this.
I am on my third week of training currently and feel good so far but definitely lack power but aerobic is improving a lot already.
Is it more important for me to maintain a 85 to 95 cadence while training or shift into a different gear to maintain my target FTP in the Trainer Road?
Is there a FTP number that is approximate for riding 20 mph on a flat road with no wind or a minimum FTP that I should be shooting for to ride a century in 5 to 6 hours?
Thanks for your help!!
NASOTANG is offline  
Old 01-07-15, 07:09 PM
  #2  
achoo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,700
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
Why do you think you need to drop your cadence to maintain your power output?
achoo is offline  
Old 01-07-15, 07:18 PM
  #3  
NASOTANG
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Have a hard time maintaining the FTP at higher cadence because my legs get tired but seem to be able to maintain FTP if I peddle slower in a bigger gear.
Not sure which is more important or maybe it doesnt matter and just follow Trainer Road program and it will get me where I need to be?
Really just looking for a benchmark to complete a century in 5 to 6 hours.
NASOTANG is offline  
Old 01-07-15, 07:21 PM
  #4  
caloso
Senior Member
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Posts: 40,816

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac, Canyon Exceed, Specialized Transition, Ellsworth Roots, Ridley Excalibur

Mentioned: 68 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2934 Post(s)
Liked 3,028 Times in 1,384 Posts
Not sure I understand the question. A specified cadence and a specified power are not mutually exclusive on a geared bike.
caloso is offline  
Old 01-07-15, 07:32 PM
  #5  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 11,756

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team SL, '19 Tern Rally, ‘21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, ‘19 T-Lab X3

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2212 Post(s)
Liked 1,280 Times in 786 Posts
If the goal is to get stronger and faster, hit your power goal.
chaadster is offline  
Old 01-07-15, 08:30 PM
  #6  
achoo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,700
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
If the goal is to get stronger and faster, hit your power goal.
OPs goal is to complete a century.

Best to work on base training - endurance.
achoo is offline  
Old 01-07-15, 08:32 PM
  #7  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 11,756

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team SL, '19 Tern Rally, ‘21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, ‘19 T-Lab X3

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2212 Post(s)
Liked 1,280 Times in 786 Posts
Originally Posted by achoo View Post
OPs goal is to complete a century.

Best to work on base training - endurance.
Yes, I know exactly the goal, which is why I said to hit the power goal.
chaadster is offline  
Old 01-07-15, 08:32 PM
  #8  
achoo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,700
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by NASOTANG View Post
Have a hard time maintaining the FTP at higher cadence because my legs get tired but seem to be able to maintain FTP if I peddle slower in a bigger gear.
Not sure which is more important or maybe it doesnt matter and just follow Trainer Road program and it will get me where I need to be?
Really just looking for a benchmark to complete a century in 5 to 6 hours.
Ride more. Build endurance.

You're trying to build up to riding 6+ hours if not longer (lotsa luck finishing your first century in under 5 hours...)

How long are you riding for now before you're unable to maintain power at 85-95 rpm?
achoo is offline  
Old 01-07-15, 08:35 PM
  #9  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 11,756

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team SL, '19 Tern Rally, ‘21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, ‘19 T-Lab X3

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2212 Post(s)
Liked 1,280 Times in 786 Posts
@NASOTANG it's probably good that speak more precisely, namely stop using "FTP" when "power" is the appropriate term.
chaadster is offline  
Old 01-07-15, 08:35 PM
  #10  
achoo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,700
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Yes, I know exactly the goal, which is why I said to hit the power goal.
If he's unable to maintain the proper cadence, his threshold power is likely overestimated, depending on how long his rides are. Dropping cadence to keep power up will not extend muscular endurance to the point needed to ride 100 miles.

Do the first 40 miles at 90 rpm, then drop off to 70 rpm because of fatigue, and by 80 miles you're gonna be dead.
achoo is offline  
Old 01-07-15, 08:51 PM
  #11  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 11,756

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team SL, '19 Tern Rally, ‘21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, ‘19 T-Lab X3

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2212 Post(s)
Liked 1,280 Times in 786 Posts
Originally Posted by achoo View Post
If he's unable to maintain the proper cadence, his threshold power is likely overestimated, depending on how long his rides are. Dropping cadence to keep power up will not extend muscular endurance to the point needed to ride 100 miles.

Do the first 40 miles at 90 rpm, then drop off to 70 rpm because of fatigue, and by 80 miles you're gonna be dead.
Nothing wrong with 85rpm for endurance pace.
chaadster is offline  
Old 01-07-15, 08:58 PM
  #12  
trevorderuise
Junior Member
 
trevorderuise's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Reno-Tahoe
Posts: 22
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I would recommend keeping your cadence, as the fitness you gain with this higher cadence will be more valuable down the road. Especially on long rides, low cadence will wear you out and is hard on joints. Also, if you can keep a certain amount of power at low cadence, you can definitely do it at high cadence too, you just need to get more comfortable with the faster pedal speed and let your body adapt to it. By training your body to be efficient and powerful at high cadence, you'll be a much happier and healthier century rider

-Trevor from TrainerRoad
trevorderuise is offline  
Old 01-07-15, 08:58 PM
  #13  
colnago62
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 2,430
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 739 Post(s)
Liked 410 Times in 229 Posts
Hard work is more effective once you have built a good aerobic base. A high aerobic base will allow for better recovery between efforts.
colnago62 is offline  
Old 01-07-15, 09:04 PM
  #14  
NASOTANG
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
8 minute test put me at 253 ftp and at 2 hours my legs feel good but my body says slow down on cadence, hope that helps.
NASOTANG is offline  
Old 01-07-15, 09:07 PM
  #15  
derf36
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 127
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
cadence, cadence, cadence for the win
derf36 is offline  
Old 01-07-15, 09:53 PM
  #16  
achoo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,700
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by NASOTANG View Post
8 minute test put me at 253 ftp and at 2 hours my legs feel good but my body says slow down on cadence, hope that helps.
At what power are you riding 2 hours?

And if you have a higher than normal anaerobic capacity, an 8 minute test can overestimate your FTP.
achoo is offline  
Old 01-07-15, 09:57 PM
  #17  
Homebrew01
Super Moderator
 
Homebrew01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Ffld Cnty Connecticut
Posts: 21,761

Bikes: Old Steelies I made, Old Cannondales

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1139 Post(s)
Liked 738 Times in 495 Posts
Ride at 85 - 95. Low intensity & high intensity can be done at the same cadence. Mine only drops when climbing, or simulating climbing.
__________________
Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike.

FYI: https://www.bikeforums.net/forum-sugg...ad-please.html
Homebrew01 is offline  
Old 01-07-15, 10:06 PM
  #18  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 11,756

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team SL, '19 Tern Rally, ‘21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, ‘19 T-Lab X3

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2212 Post(s)
Liked 1,280 Times in 786 Posts
Look up the studies on cadence and cycling, and you'll see 85rpm is really right in the sweet range for performance and economy, two key features of completing a fast century.

Cadence itself, however, is not important, and in a training regimen will tell you nothing about your development or power output.

Hit your power targets.
chaadster is offline  
Old 01-07-15, 10:09 PM
  #19  
RollCNY
Speechless
 
RollCNY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Central NY
Posts: 8,802

Bikes: Felt Brougham, Lotus Prestige, Cinelli Xperience,

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 107 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by NASOTANG View Post
I am just getting back into cycling and training with Wahoo Kickr and Trainer road. I just want to get in shape and do my first century in August 2015 ... I am 51 and do not want to set the bike world on fire but would like to complete a century in a decent time frame and not be dropping out...
Is there a FTP number that is approximate for riding 20 mph on a flat road with no wind or a minimum FTP that I should be shooting for to ride a century in 5 to 6 hours?
Thanks for your help!!
I just excerpted, because honestly wanting to do your first century in 5-6 hours is setting the world on fire.

Anyone can do a century. Most of it is in your head. It is a much smaller % that does a 5-6 hour one. Spend the next few months on saddle time, being comfortable, and establishing base. Ride with your pastor friend to know what you are riding with. If he is a runner, odds are very good that he can sustain a consistent pace over the course of a day, but there is little predicting what it will be.

Once your base is solid, do what interval work you choose to do in the three to four months before your 100 mile ride. Your goal is to not get shelled, so understand the nut you are with before the big day.
RollCNY is offline  
Old 01-07-15, 10:16 PM
  #20  
StanSeven
Administrator
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Delaware shore
Posts: 13,505

Bikes: Cervelo C5, Guru Photon, Waterford, Specialized CX

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 997 Post(s)
Liked 1,553 Times in 1,077 Posts
Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Look up the studies on cadence and cycling, and you'll see 85rpm is really right in the sweet range for performance and economy, two key features of completing a fast century.

Cadence itself, however, is not important, and in a training regimen will tell you nothing about your development or power output.

Hit your power targets.
Good advice!
StanSeven is offline  
Old 01-07-15, 10:31 PM
  #21  
NASOTANG
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Good information all, I have 8 months to train for the century and will follow the flow chart and training regimen on trainer road. I work from home so the 8 to 10 hours a week to train will not be a problem. With that being said what would you all say a realistic time to complete my first century? And is there a good speed to maintain on first one? Sounds like a 85 cadence and try and continue to hit my ftp set in trainer road at this point.
NASOTANG is offline  
Old 01-08-15, 12:09 AM
  #22  
kingfishr
Senior Member
 
kingfishr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Lund, Sweden
Posts: 323

Bikes: Ridley Noah, Trek Emonda, Colnago C59, Colnago Master, 1980 Colnago Super, Wilier Blade

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I am 56 and have been riding for 30+ years, I am also using TrainerRoad and while my natural cadence is closer to 75 I am also following the regimen to raise my cadence to 85, but it takes months to retrain old muscles in order to have the same power and endurance at the higher cadence. Nonetheless it's the right way to go and your knees will thank you.
I have done three double centuries in the last 3 years a group and finished in 9:30, 9:05 and 8:55 and my ftp is about 230 (weight 155bs), so a 5 hour century with your ftp should be a piece of cake, of course it depends on the terrain and how you do the ride, solo versus in a group...

I would not worry so much about your ftp in relation to the century, it is good to know for training purposes, but far more relevant is to know what power you can hold for 5 hours, for my double centuries that was about 180 watts, and in a group ride put us over 20.7mph (33,3kph). Even more important in a century is to replace calories and electrolytes. Make sure you know exactly what your body will tolerate during a five hour ride. I don't like eating solid foods during my rides and have only found one energy drink that works for me. Without being in control of your energy intake you risk bonking.

Originally Posted by NASOTANG View Post
Good information all, I have 8 months to train for the century and will follow the flow chart and training regimen on trainer road. I work from home so the 8 to 10 hours a week to train will not be a problem. With that being said what would you all say a realistic time to complete my first century? And is there a good speed to maintain on first one? Sounds like a 85 cadence and try and continue to hit my ftp set in trainer road at this point.

Last edited by kingfishr; 01-08-15 at 12:21 AM.
kingfishr is offline  
Old 01-08-15, 06:23 AM
  #23  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 11,756

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team SL, '19 Tern Rally, ‘21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, ‘19 T-Lab X3

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2212 Post(s)
Liked 1,280 Times in 786 Posts
Originally Posted by NASOTANG View Post
Good information all, I have 8 months to train for the century and will follow the flow chart and training regimen on trainer road. I work from home so the 8 to 10 hours a week to train will not be a problem. With that being said what would you all say a realistic time to complete my first century? And is there a good speed to maintain on first one? Sounds like a 85 cadence and try and continue to hit my ftp set in trainer road at this point.
Just to be clear, I'm not suggesting you train at 85rpm, but rather that in following your training plan, when you can't maintain the prescribed cadence and power, it's more important to hit the power target than it is to hit the cadence target,particularly if you only need to drop to 85rpm to do it. Ideally you want to do both, but my position is that 85rpm is a fine cadence, particularly for your goal. If you were needing to drop significantly lower, I'd suggest reevaluating the training plan, targeting leg speed drills.

But, when you're fatiguing during a training session, if a small drop in rpm keeps you on power target, that's fine.
chaadster is offline  
Old 01-08-15, 06:44 AM
  #24  
rpenmanparker 
Senior Member
 
rpenmanparker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 28,682

Bikes: 1990 Romic Reynolds 531 custom build, Merlin Works CR Ti custom build, super light Workswell 066 custom build

Mentioned: 106 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6556 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 58 Times in 36 Posts
What is peculiar about the OP's story is that higher cadence usually stresses the CV system not the legs. At least that is what many people say on the "41". OP is saying the opposite. I wonder why.
__________________
Robert

Originally Posted by LAJ View Post
No matter where I go, here I am...
rpenmanparker is offline  
Old 01-08-15, 06:56 AM
  #25  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 11,756

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team SL, '19 Tern Rally, ‘21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, ‘19 T-Lab X3

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2212 Post(s)
Liked 1,280 Times in 786 Posts
Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
What is peculiar about the OP's story is that higher cadence usually stresses the CV system not the legs. At least that is what many people say on the "41". OP is saying the opposite. I wonder why.
When training at sufficient intensities, the exact purpose is to stress both system, so the aoP is experiencing precisely what he should, but that does not conflict with the general truism you describe.
chaadster is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.