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So I got a cadence sensor...

Old 05-31-12, 09:12 AM
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So I got a cadence sensor...

So after a couple of years of riding, focusing in on speed and avg mph's, I decided to spend the $39 bucks on ebay for a sensor for my garmin. I don't know much about cadence/hr training, other than keep it between 80-95, I had a pretty interesting commute home yesterday. I did not go as fast, but really not much slower than I've been averaging lately on this ride. I think for 20 mile ride I could possibly continue to use this method of the hardest gear I can push at > 85 RPM's. For longer rides, I'll have to figure HR, and what % I would need to maintain at a higher RPM.

- My leg muscles felt different. More of a burn you get when doing higher reps while lifting weights.
- I sweated like pig
- I liked that it helped me go faster on downhills as I was still focused on descents vs. coasting.
- I also liked that it kept me going while I crested hills and got me back to speed faster
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Old 05-31-12, 09:15 AM
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Also, any helpful resources you guys can point me regarding cadence/hr training would be appreciated
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Old 05-31-12, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Genaro
Also, any helpful resources you guys can point me regarding cadence/hr training would be appreciated
I would be interested in this also. For now, when riding, I try to stay in whatever zone my pre-determined goal for the ride is. For example, zone 4 for "fat-burn" or zone 3 for "aerobic training". Since I'm only guessing at my max heart rate, my zones are probably bogus. I have a little chart taped to my top tube that shows the heart ranges for the five zones. Just serves as a quick reminder if I'm being lazy and need to step it up a bit or if I'm pushing a little too hard at the moment.

Congrats on the cadence sensor. I really like the rubber Bontrager magnetic sensors better than the Garmin zip-tie ones. They are not too expensive either. You have to remove your pedal, then it just slips over your crank arm. Being a thick rubber band, it holds fast and can be easily removed if you change cranks or want to move to a different bike.

--- edited to add ---

After reading Trojan's response, I wanted to add that I also use the CatEye spoke magnets instead of the Garmin ones. They are only about $3.50 each. They too have a flat or round spoke "side".

Last edited by volosong; 05-31-12 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 05-31-12, 10:53 AM
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I had plenty of issues with my garmin speed sensor (GSC-10) although the second one I bought seems to be solid. Hopefully your first one is. I did have to add extra magnets to BOTH sensors (cadence & wheel) partly because of the way my chainstay curves, and partly because the stock magnets suck.

If you find yourself needing the same thing, this is what I got: and they're crazy strong. Very effective.

Make sure you put the wheel magnet on the correct side (one is for bladed spokes, one for round)

The wheel speed sensor gives me much more consistent speed results, which is a good thing. I'm not sure how it ties into the distance traveled calculation or whether it affects anything you see on garmin connect. As for training with cadence, I don't really do anything planned - I generally try to keep over 80 any time I'm not on a steep hill, and I'll intentionally try to ride at 95 or 100 for a period of time to train my legs to handle it.

I'm clueless on HR training - I usually use it as an indicator of how hard I'm working and the suffer score on Strava really clues me into how hard I went independant of how I "feel" that I worked. I'm terrible at recovery rides but I think monitoring your HR would be extremely useful if you're trying to limit your effort on any given ride.
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Old 06-03-12, 07:57 PM
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(Too lazy to look up relevant links, so here's my take...)

re: Cadence Training
General consensus is to "find your most efficient cadence", then spend most of your time there. This is not overly easy to do. The simplest, but most costly way to find your most efficient cadence, is to get a metabolic efficiency test (VO2 max) done by some local group or university. The cheapest, but least reliable, is to test yourself utilizing a variety of cadences and to log their impact on distance, HR, speed, and other variables.

Regardless, over time you'll want to train in a variety of cadences (low and high) to improve your cycling enjoyment.

re: HR Training
You'll need to find out your HR Threshold. Find a 30+ minute climb somewhere that you can do a time-trial. Record your HR as you go. Ride at a consistent pace, do not go fast, then slow, etc..., but ride at your limit. Absolutely kill yourself the last 2-300 meters. When done, take your average HR of the final 20-minutes. This is your "HR Threshold", or the anaerobic threshold (lactate threshold would be a bit below this).

This HR Threshold becomes the entry point of Zone 4 on a 5-zone system (some riders use a 6-zone system) and will allow you to estimate zones 1, 2 & 3. Zone 5 is your HRmax (either theoretical or actual, if you've conducted such a test). Most of your training time should be spent in z1-z2. z4 & z5 training is specific for limited amount of time. (z3 is almost useless except as an approach to z4.)

Once you have you zones "dialed in", you can research your own workouts using them. There are plenty even here on BF. However, HR is a notoriously inaccurate barometer for training. Watts are better, but if you cannot afford a power meter, HR is better than nothing. Just make sure to keep a ride journal after every training session. If you're sick, or tired, this should be noted as it will effect your HR and therefore the quality of your training.

Hope this helps.
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