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Importance of knowing cadence and heart rate

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Importance of knowing cadence and heart rate

Old 08-19-10, 07:00 PM
  #1  
mestizoracer310
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Importance of knowing cadence and heart rate

Is one more important than the other? I'm debating on picking up a Cat-eye Astrale 8 (for cadence) and a heart rate monitoring watch as well...since anything under $1,000 won't be accurate in terms of giving me calorie burn information...

Any suggestions for a really affordable but still accurate heart rate monitor watch?
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Old 08-19-10, 08:47 PM
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The relatively inexpensive Polar HRMs are good. Very reliable. All you need is the one big number and the bigger the better. All the rest of it is just for fun. But if you really get involved seriously with training, eventually you'll want some sort of HRM that records information and downloads it to your computer. But this may not be that time.

I also use an Astrale. Great value. Cut a 4" square of plastic wrap and rubber band it over the head when you ride in the rain. Otherwise the water will get into the mount and stop the thing from working.

I only watch cadence and HR. If you've ever piloted an airplane, you know that to change altitude, you move the throttle. To change speed, you move the elevator. HR and cadence is kind of that way.
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Old 08-19-10, 09:10 PM
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I think you have those backwards
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Old 08-19-10, 09:12 PM
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As an aside, has anyone else noticed that there have been a ton of calorie-related posts lately?
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Old 08-19-10, 09:20 PM
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The calorie burn information is way over-stated in just about any computer. I have Garmin on one bike and Polar on another and both show at least 50% more than what I think is actual.
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Old 08-19-10, 09:25 PM
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So essentially I don't need to get a $1,000 power meter? Just take whatever figure I get and divide in half?
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Old 08-19-10, 09:30 PM
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Knowing your cadence on the bike is, at least in my opinion, significantly more important then knowing your heart rate. I don't use a HRM for any of my training [other then gym machines] but I have a relative idea of my effort by a complex mental calculation that factors in my sweat output, the pain I'm enduring and how long it takes for me to cramp and/or vomit. Ok, well that isn't entirely true but you get my point. You are able to at least be able to gauge your effort compared to what you know you can do. But it is a lot more difficult to judge your cadence without ever riding with a computer that measures it.
The calorie readings on any computer that doesn't have a power meter are not even worth reading.
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Old 08-19-10, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mestizoracer310 View Post
So essentially I don't need to get a $1,000 power meter? Just take whatever figure I get and divide in half?
I'm sure everyone on bikeforums knows how much I love power meters, but even I would say it's way overkill if you just want to know how many calories are burning. In my opinion, you can get a good idea of how many calories you burn per hour with the power calculator sites. Figure out about how fast you go on flat ground at different levels of perceived intensity, then enter them in here with that speed and your stats. That gives you a rough approximation of your burn rate for each level of intensity, which you can then apply to your rides based on that perception.

The calories per mile IMO are too variable for terrain and too difficult to calibrate for your own riding. People will say "just use 30" or something but there are too many different "just use x" with no actual basis for knowing which one to pick.
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Old 08-19-10, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
I think you have those backwards
Then you've never piloted an aircraft! Think about it for a moment, as it does relate to HR and cadence, sort of.
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Old 08-19-10, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
As an aside, has anyone else noticed that there have been a ton of calorie-related posts lately?
Yes. I tell you we are witnessing the end of our civilization. Some people are beginning to notice and are getting worried about it. Ever notice how many "balloon people" there are on the streets? Kind of like pod people.
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Old 08-19-10, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Then you've never piloted an aircraft! Think about it for a moment, as it does relate to HR and cadence, sort of.
I have actually, briefly. And model airplanes. My mom was a flight instructor and I grew up all around airplanes. Are you seriously saying that you use the elevators to control speed and not pitch?
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Old 08-20-10, 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
As an aside, has anyone else noticed that there have been a ton of calorie-related posts lately?
From a sociological standpoint this would make sense as it is summer time and people are more conscious about their body appearance.
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Old 08-20-10, 12:31 AM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
I have actually, briefly. And model airplanes. My mom was a flight instructor and I grew up all around airplanes. Are you seriously saying that you use the elevators to control speed and not pitch?
And you never noticed that pitching down is a very effective way to increase speed?
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Old 08-20-10, 02:44 AM
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If you pitch down your speed would also increase as you lose altitude, but that's not the same as saying that you use the elevators to control speed. That's like saying that you have to go downhill on a bike to go faster. But I think that this is getting a little off topic for the thread so I will concede that changing pitch will also affect speed and that changing speed will also affect pitch.
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Old 08-20-10, 06:25 AM
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Out of curiosity, does everyone buy this fancy training equipment here race, or are they "training" to get in better shape?
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Old 08-20-10, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Zan View Post
Out of curiosity, does everyone buy this fancy training equipment here race, or are they "training" to get in better shape?
LOL. There are varying degrees of fredness. Some actually race. Some merely can't resist the latest, lightest, and most complicated. A few try to take the advice of a senior member here - "ride more, buy less". Fewer succeed.
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Old 08-20-10, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Zan View Post
Out of curiosity, does everyone buy this fancy training equipment here race, or are they "training" to get in better shape?
Depends on what you mean, "race." I train so I don't get dropped too badly on the Sunday hammerfest. OTOH, I do the group ride so I'm forced to train. It's a form of denial. I use fancy equipment because it does make a difference, especially over the years as you develop a sense of the knife edge of your limits.
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Old 08-20-10, 05:35 PM
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My HRM is a Sigma PC-15. I picked it over the other brands because it has enough bells & whistles, I can change the battery in both the watch and the chest strap myself (some of the models I looked at needed to be sent to the manufacturer & a new battery ended up costing as much as the whole unit did new), it comes with an adapter so I can attach it to my handlebars when I use it while biking, and it was more affordable than the other brands/models I looked at. (Although It's been a few years since I got it, so there might be better options available nowadays.)
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Old 08-21-10, 07:56 PM
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Over the last year and a half, I've gone from a cateye strada wireless to a V2c (with cadence) and now a Garmin Edge 500.
I use the cadence and speed almost exclusively. I ride with racers, so you could say I train too race. And I've tried my legs at racing a few times too.
I don't really pay attention to my HR, though I do like to analyze that data post ride.
And since I've lost 40+ lbs during this time, I'm not concerned about calories beyond a curiosity.
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Old 08-22-10, 10:00 AM
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Well, cyclists did get in good shape before either heart rate monitors or cadence.

You can get a cheap fix on cadence. You figure out your target cadence. Then you figure out the chain inches of one of your favorite gears. You can caluculate your MPH for your target cadence in that gear. Say you want to run at 100 rpm and you find that a 70 chain inch gear will be 21 mph. So you go out and put your bike in that gear and see how fast you are going. If you are doing 19, your cadence is a bit low for your target.

Generally, I don't use either. I do use a heart rate monitor for stationary training. The heart rate monitor gives me decent feed back on my intensity. I seem to have more trouble gauging it in a stationary setting then when I am moving.

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Old 08-22-10, 11:41 AM
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In my experience HR is much more valuable than cadence.

Cadence can be easily calculated. Just count the number of times your right foot is at the top of the peddle stroke in 15 seconds and multiply by 4. Use the timer on the computer for the clock. Once you are used to a certain cadence range you will know immediately if you are higher are lower.

Determining your heartrate while riding is not so easy. Some people can have trouble doing it even while sitting. I have at times been surprised at how high or low my HR has been, for the same perceived effort.

I have a cateye V3 and it is great. The HR measure is always good. My polar would regularly give outrageous readings or just not work for a few minutes.

BTW, my wife does not even use her cadence function. I took it off because it interferred with the car roof rack. I don't think she even knows.
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Old 08-22-10, 01:15 PM
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My bike meter is always set on "Cadence" but I seldom hook-up my heart-rate monitor.
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