I see lots of cadence-related questions on here where people cite fairly specific cadence rates. How do you calculate your cadence exactly? Do you just set a one-minute timer on your bike computer and count them manually?

2 Answers 2


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.

  • Exactly - a cycle computer with cadence capability makes things easy, some will let you set alarms (for too high or too low) too. The actual mechanism is simply another magnet and sensor similar to that used for speed.
    – Murph
    Sep 13, 2010 at 14:54
  • Yeah most people would use a cycling computer. When I first heard about cadence I just counted for a set amount of time then multiplied. It gives you an average point to start from. Sep 13, 2010 at 14:59
  • Trying to count them yourself will probably alter your cadence. A bike computer function is the best bet. Some models may accept an add-on cadence sensor.
    – darkcanuck
    Sep 14, 2010 at 4:44

If you don't have a cycling computer to do this for you, you can just count the top (or bottom) pedal strokes on one side for 15 secs and multiply the strokes by 4. That'll be your cadence. It's close enough for the casual cyclist.

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