Hot answers tagged

96

"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 ...


62

There are (at least) two reasons. First, most (but not all) E-bikes use a control system that multiplies the amount of force or torque that you put into the pedals or cranks. Since power is the product of pedal speed and pedal force (or torque), increasing the torque allows the rider to reduce the pedal speed -- that is, the rider's cadence. Electric motors (...


50

In general studies have indicated that trained cyclists use pedaling frequencies higher than 90 rpm whereas untrained cyclists prefer frequencies around 60 rpm. I suspect the majority of e-bikers you encounter are not "trained" cyclists. Cycling co-opts a number of pathways we use for walking so people who are untrained typically cycle like they would walk, ...


36

Personally it's because I'm using my ebike to get to work, wearing work clothes (which restrict my pedalling) and not wanting to get too sweaty. If I were just out for a ride I'd pedal faster.


26

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 ...


25

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 ...


18

For me, as an occassional ebike rider, it feels I get kind of better connection to the bike when pedaling at lower cadence, but higher force. Because the electric assist otherwise reduces the needed force, it can feel like eternal downhill and it gets harder to sense your speed. But when I switch to higher gear so that I need to push harder on the pedals ...


17

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 ...


17

In terms of losing weight immediately, the obvious answer is to use whatever gear combo allows you to produce the greatest energy output. For most people this will likely be a hair lower than the "preferred" range of about 70-90 RPM -- maybe 50-60, and pedaling as hard as you can. However, if you want to KEEP losing weight by getting on the bike again ...


16

Speed is determined only by gearing, of which crank, cassette, wheel, and tire are components Any 2 bikes using, say, 42t cranks with a rear 32t cog and 25c tires on 700c wheels at 90rpm will be going the same speed. Bike type and size, rider/bike weight, and even front wheel/tire size and crank length don’t matter. These other factors only effect how much ...


15

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.


14

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 ...


14

It could be that all they are doing is rotating the pedals - not because they have to input any force to make the bike go but because the motor will not run with receiving a continuous signal from a hall-effect switch coupled to the pedals. Thus the motor is enough to move the rider alone, but unless the rider is also rotating the pedals a cadence sensor ...


12

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 ...


12

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 ...


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

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 ...


11

The mechanical factors which translate pedaling rate to overall speed are: Gear ratio Size of wheels The weight of the rider is not relevant for this question. The weight of the rider would be relevant if you were asking about the power needed to keep the bike going, especially up any kind of hill.


10

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 ...


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 ...


10

Honestly, as an amateur cyclist I would suggest focusing on learning how to pace a climb first over more finer details such as cadence. Many amateur typically go out too fast on a climb, go anaerobic, accumulate a lactate debt, then find themselves suffering terribly the remainder of the climb. This gives most the idea the climbs are harder than they could ...


9

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 ...


9

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 ...


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 ...


9

All things being equal, aerobic exercise is probably best for losing weight (after all, the only way to lose weight is to breathe CO2 out your nose). If you use too high a gear, you might be less aerobic and more resistance training, which builds muscle mass. Either way, at this point, it sounds like getting yourself moving in whatever way you like will be ...


8

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. ...


8

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 ...


8

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 ...


8

Through personal experience, I have found that the higher cadence method will always get me ahead of the group of commuters at the lights. I sometimes see the standing grinders but by the first downstroke of their crank arm, I am already gaining much more acceleration. The grinders are also wobbling all over the place because their centre of mass is much ...


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