I'm new to cycling and I've got a borrowed, older, road bike. I believe it's a 10 speed, with 700 series tires. From what I've been told it was a very expensive bike in the 90's. I'm training for my first century ride in Tehachapi CA and I'm riding for a fundraiser. https://www.generosity.com/community-fundraising/riding4rett and need all the help I can get.

Anyway in my training, I've discovered that I do about a 75-80rpm cadence, but I can't seem to get over 16 mph, on flat land, plus hills kill me. Does anyone have any suggestions how I can get more speed and make the hills easier to climb? I've been told I need to change my cassette, but don't know what my cassette is. Is it the rear gears? Any help will be appreciated.

closed as too broad by mattnz, Móż, andy256, RoboKaren, Gary.Ray Aug 31 '16 at 20:12

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    Just keep riding until your strength improves – Kilisi Aug 28 '16 at 6:06
  • The cassette is the rear gears. If it's 10 speed bike you should have just 5 gears on the back and you can't easily change these. New cassettes are 10 or 11 gears now and not compatible. For hill climbing, you could get a boost by changing the small fron gear to a smaller one if you could find a spare. – Kim Ryan Aug 28 '16 at 6:09
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    Make sure your tires are pumped up properly. If they're super old it might be good to replace them. Otherwise your drive train is likely just fine if there isn't anything obviously broken. – whatsisname Aug 28 '16 at 7:35
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    @Daniel You've suggested that before. If you mean 2 turns for each in breath and 2 for each out breath, then I agree. If not then you're suggesting 45-50 breaths per minute, which is slightly over doing it! – andy256 Aug 28 '16 at 12:45
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    @Daniel Well that makes your meaning clear! It's not what I'd recommend :-) – andy256 Aug 28 '16 at 13:22

No magic solutions am afraid. Train. Try an get cadence to 90 as the norm. If you want to get better at hills do more of them. Make sure you take it easy at bottom and aim to be able to have enough left to ride away at top strongly. Also consider using heart rate zones to train

  • It's unlikely that cadence is the issue and I believe modern advice is that cycling at your natural cadence is the best way to go. – David Richerby Aug 30 '16 at 9:16

If the bike is older and not been used very much...get a full service done. You could be losing a huge amount of power simply overcoming gunked up bearings and binding pedals etc. Many people still ride old bikes very successfully, and an expensive bike then should still be very functional now.

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