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69

"Optimal" cadence varies with what you're trying to optimze, so your question doesn't have a simple answer. Freely-chosen Cadence vs. a Targeted Cadence A recent review by Hansen et al. summarizes what is currently known about factors affecting choice of cadence. In particular, they conclude "[d]uring high-intensity cycling, close to the maximal aerobic ...


24

Always "riding your hardest" is called "junk miles" because it is not possible to always ride your hardest. The biggest performance gains come from more targeted and disciplined riding (as suggested by mattnz). To climb your steep hills (I assume these are relatively short, steep climbs, not a mountain pass) you need to work on developing high power over ...


23

For any given speed, you can either spin at a higher cadence in a lower gear, or a lower cadence in a higher gear. The high cadence + low gear combination should reduce the strain on your joints since you don't have to push as hard. You just have to do it more often. I like to ride around 90rpm and sometimes drift up to 100-110 especially if I'm trying to ...


20

Left to their own devices many will cycle at a cadence (a measure of how fast you spin) that approximates cadence of walking, an RPM of about 50-60. So the fact you prefer a slower leg speed is not unusual. Trained cyclists will often have a cadence between 80-110 and up to 200 for sprints (track). Is there something bad about a cycling style in ...


12

First off, unless you aspire to be a professional racer (or at least a highly competitive amateur) ignore the advice that you "must turn at least 90 rpm" or whatever. Secondly, even if you DO have such aspirations, you're not going to do well by trying to achieve a high cadence right from the start -- it's something that you must develop slowly. With ...


12

I get the impression when you hit the road its full out 110% effort for the length of the ride. I would suggest from the "lungs burning" description that you are over training and exercising above your anaerobic threshold. You don;t say how often or how far you ride. First up - your cadence is way too low and you risk damaging you knees. Go for a series ...


11

As I became more experienced I noticed that I began to spin at a higher cadence. I typically stay between 85-95 now, while when I started I spun at around 70. But cadence is a very individual thing, and bike fit can play a large part in how comfortable you are at a particular cadence. If you find that you want to pedal faster, but have difficulty ...


11

http://www.landriderbikes.com They were very heavily advertised several years ago but currently they seem to show up more on craigslist than on TV.


11

The only way to be sure is to measure. You can use an app such as Strava during the ride, then look at it's analysis later. It will show you how fast you were going at each point, and also gives an approximation of your power output. We don't know what algorithm or assumptions it uses to calculate the power, but since it uses just one algorithm you can ...


10

This is really a pretty complex question. Without knowing where you read about "steady cadence being a good thing" or what the author meant it is hard to evaluate this statement, but this SE.bicycles answer presents data showing that riders don't ride at a steady cadence. Rather, they alter their cadence according to conditions of the ride, the level of ...


9

Trek had a bicycle a few years ago named "Lime" which had 3 speed automatic gearing. I don't think it sold well. It used a gearing system called "Coasting" that was created by Shimano and actually controlled by a computer chip from signals from the front hub. "A dynamo is fitted on the front hub that gauges the revolutions of the wheel. It sends this ...


9

Time for some Pee You need to consider PACING yourself. Use something like strava to log your rides and see your improvements over time, because it never feels like you're getting faster at the time. I did a hill last weekend in 8 minutes that used to take me 15 minutes, 9 months ago. Didn't feel like it at the time. PEERS - riding alone is nice and quiet ...


8

You don't quite supply enough information in your specific question (that is, "50RPM for 10 minutes with 39x23 with 10% hill") to provide a full answer in absolute terms but, if we assume you're riding a standard sized 700c bike there's enough information to make a good estimate in relative terms. First I'll give a short answer, then a rule of thumb that's ...


8

I have ridden one - it used weights thrown out by centrifugal force and springs to move the derailleur in and out. Horrible is all I can say. Maybe it was me not being used to it, but things like not being in the gear you left it in, and less than smooth changes - which you have not idea when they are going to happen, especially under power. The only ...


8

100 RPM minus your age. (Only half kidding.) 80-90 RPM is a good target for younger, fairly serious bikers. When I was in my 20s-30s I could do that for several hours. As I get older (I'm 63) I find it harder -- 70 RPM is probably closer to my "optimal" speed now, and I drift down toward 60 if I don't keep at it. One rule I tell folks that I think is ...


8

This subject is about the performance on a bicycle Cycling is aerobic exercise in nature. 1) Fast twitch vs. Slow twitch muscle In high gear (low cadence and higher force per pedal stroke for the same output, in comparison to higher cadence) you recruit more of your fast-twitch muscle, and thus you are doing more anaerobic (not aerobic) exercise. It's OK ...


7

From experience and from what little I've read cadence beats power (and cadence with power is the winner) - in general you want to be turning the pedals more often with less effort in a smooth motion not stomping down each time. To which end you probably want your cadence to be in the 90+ region as consistently as possible (including when climbing) I'm not ...


7

If you want to change your cadence, just change it. Take your cruising gear on your bike and calculate what your current cruising cadence is. Let's say you usually cruise at 16mph and your typical cadence is 75. If you want to be at 90, go into a lower gear and try to keep the same speed. This will increase your cadence. The benefit of a high cadence is ...


7

Out on the road its a mixture. But first, are you able to measure your cadence? I use this as my guide (i.e. I try and keep my cadence within a certain range no matter what the gradient) - if I am able to pedal comfortably at over 80rpm, then its time to change to a bigger gear. If I'm unable to pedal comfortably at 65rpm, its time to go to a smaller gear. ...


7

Mountain bikers regularly run these low cadences for very short periods, often at much higher power output. The issue with causing damage to knees is more about the duration of the climb and how strong your stabiliser muscles are. (Too much time mushing causes chronic overuse problems, while weak stabiliser muscles can allow injury to happen), however they ...


6

Short answer: It sounds pretty unbelievable to me, but you could try pedalling with easier gears and spinning legs faster instead of applying lots of power.


6

The power you transfer to the bike is proportional to the force on the pedals multiplied by the cadence. There's some upper limit to how much force you can apply, but you can spin more quickly. Sometimes if I'm overtaken by another bike (travelling faster than I am) I've found that I can keep up with that bike, if I change down into a lower gear and then ...


5

There's a lot of theories about correct ways to pedal and different ways to do it, and different equipment setups that can either help you do it right or help you learn to do it right. But unless you're worried about small differences (like for competitive riding), it can be kept relatively simple. I'm sure we have some users who can talk more about specific ...


5

In general I would recommend starting low. Your legs will go through an adjustment period and you may find that your knees get sore from a larger gear. After you've ridden for a few weeks pay attention to how you're riding. If you're in a hilly area are you struggling to get up the hills? Do you find that your cadence is regularly high enough that your hips ...


5

From my understanding, cycle computers can calculate this for you. For example, Specialized has accessories for adding cadence sensors to some of their computers. This seems to me to be the simplest way. There are also plenty of listings for them on Google.


5

There have been attempts over the years, but never particularly successful. One I recall used a 5-speed rear hub that was shifted by weights on the spokes, similar to a centrifugal governor. I expect that, with the new electric shifters, there will be some new attempts at it in the next year or two. With a computer it should be possible to be reasonably "...


5

There's the Nuvinci Harmony http://www.fallbrooktech.com/cycling/harmony It uses the Nuvinci N360 CVP hub, which is a continuously variable transmission, meaning there are no shift points. The Harmony controller changes the ratio based on cadence, or it can be adjusted manually. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NuVinci_Continuously_Variable_Transmission


5

I also think the answer is "it depends", but for slightly different reasons to Daniel. I think it depends on why you're cycling. If you are training, then measuring cadence can definitely be useful. In fact, there are training programmes that are based around cadence. (You're basically looking for a high value, and a steady value.) Otherwise, the ...



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