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2013-07-02 6:35 AM


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Subject: cadence question
Hey All,

I know this type of question has been posted here many times, but I can't seem to find it when searching back a few pages on here.

What would be an ideal cadence target?
Should I try to keep it close to my steps / min when running?


2013-07-02 8:15 AM
in reply to: btrenter

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Subject: RE: cadence question
Ideally the one where you are most comfortable given the effort level (i.e., your ideal cadence could differ in an IM and a sprint). Try to establish some level of comfort over a wide range of cadences (i.e., enough comfort that you could ride for a couple minutes at that cadence if you "had" to do so). Then ride a lot and include a good bit at your intended race effort. Your "ideal" cadence should be self-selected. Most people will land themselves in the 80-100 range, but don't worry if you land somewhat outside of it as long as you have done the above.
2013-07-02 10:35 AM
in reply to: btrenter

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Subject: RE: cadence question
90 is usually a good point to aim at, but a little above or below, as already pointed out, isn't a big worry. Personally, I've found that my run and bike cadence tend to be close to each other, though I wouldn't try to force them to match.

Ken
2013-07-02 12:24 PM
in reply to: btrenter

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Subject: RE: cadence question

Cadence is a red herring in cycling.  Ride at whatever cadence comes naturally.  There's no textbook cadence number.  Anyone who tells you that you should ride at xx cadence (the usual advice is to spin at 90 rpm or higher) doesn't know what they're talking about (and this includes the Mark Allen article someone is bound to quote and link).  Likewise with advice from someone like Brett Sutton who preaches lower cadence/power riding.  They're both right and both wrong.  That's my long way of saying it's highly individual.  What works for me (low 80's) may not work for you or Mark Allen or Chrissie Wellington, etc.

That's not to say there aren't pros and cons to each.  In general... a higher cadence is going to be more taxing on your cardio than a lower cadence, and a lower cadence is going to be more taxing on your leg muscles than a higher cadence.  The "theory" that you should spin at the same rpm's as you run is a bunch of crap.  Your legs will figure it out once you start running.

I'd suggest experimenting with different cadences to see what works best.  Try a week at 80, then 90, then 100.  Coupling that with a power meter and/or HR monitor will give you some great data to make an informed decision on what works best for you.

2013-07-02 12:47 PM
in reply to: btrenter

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Subject: RE: cadence question
I think the bike cadence can very on fitness and race length, might want to spin a bit more on a longer race and use more power on a shorter race. Running ,,, I had problems with calf pain and strains and went to a PT that specialized in endurance training and triathlons. He had me run on a treadmill at a pace I felt comfortable which was somewhere in the 70 - 80 cadence window, I was heel striking a lot and they had me try to get my cadence up to close to 90 which shortened my stride and made me land more mid foot. Reducing my risk for calf injury,,, I have found a higher cadence on the run is a positive. On the Bike I think its more to feel.
2013-07-02 4:35 PM
in reply to: PESawyer

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Subject: RE: cadence question

Originally posted by PESawyer I have found a higher cadence on the run is a positive. On the Bike I think its more to feel.

I would 100% agree with that.



2013-07-02 6:44 PM
in reply to: GMAN 19030

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Subject: RE: cadence question
I was just reading an article on this very subject.

http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/article-detail.asp?articleid=...

2013-07-03 6:35 AM
in reply to: GMAN 19030

Subject: ...
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2013-07-03 6:48 AM
in reply to: JohnnyKay

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Subject: RE: cadence question

Originally posted by JohnnyKay Ideally the one where you are most comfortable given the effort level (i.e., your ideal cadence could differ in an IM and a sprint). Try to establish some level of comfort over a wide range of cadences (i.e., enough comfort that you could ride for a couple minutes at that cadence if you "had" to do so). Then ride a lot and include a good bit at your intended race effort. Your "ideal" cadence should be self-selected. Most people will land themselves in the 80-100 range, but don't worry if you land somewhat outside of it as long as you have done the above.

This ^^^^

For *me* I ride at lower cadences and run reasonably well off of them.

Low cadence is what I've self-selected.

For those that have used a power meter you will often find that at lower cadences for the exact same watts your HR will be significantly lower.

FWIW most top ironman pros ride at lower cadences, but I'm not suggesting anyone copy them. More of a comment.

2013-07-03 6:58 AM
in reply to: Fred D

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Subject: RE: cadence question
Originally posted by Fred D

Originally posted by JohnnyKay Ideally the one where you are most comfortable given the effort level (i.e., your ideal cadence could differ in an IM and a sprint). Try to establish some level of comfort over a wide range of cadences (i.e., enough comfort that you could ride for a couple minutes at that cadence if you "had" to do so). Then ride a lot and include a good bit at your intended race effort. Your "ideal" cadence should be self-selected. Most people will land themselves in the 80-100 range, but don't worry if you land somewhat outside of it as long as you have done the above.

This ^^^^

For *me* I ride at lower cadences and run reasonably well off of them.

Low cadence is what I've self-selected.

For those that have used a power meter you will often find that at lower cadences for the exact same watts your HR will be significantly lower.

FWIW most top ironman pros ride at lower cadences, but I'm not suggesting anyone copy them. More of a comment.

x3 to anything JohnnyKay and FredD say

Ride lots. Metrics/numbers or no, your legs will find the gearing and cadences that work best for you.

Also agree with having a range of cadences you CAN ride in ... this too will usually work itself out if you can ride varied terrain and conditions.

And after riding lots like that, and finding you can push the bigger gears even over a long distance, that's when being able to do so at a slightly higher cadence (say, downhill) works nicely too. You can comfortably change your cadence to the specific circumstances of what you are riding (sprint race, century ride, IM, whatever, hills, flats, crosswinds, etc.)

2013-07-03 9:42 AM
in reply to: TriAya

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Subject: RE: cadence question
Originally posted by TriAya
Originally posted by Fred D

Originally posted by JohnnyKay Ideally the one where you are most comfortable given the effort level (i.e., your ideal cadence could differ in an IM and a sprint). Try to establish some level of comfort over a wide range of cadences (i.e., enough comfort that you could ride for a couple minutes at that cadence if you "had" to do so). Then ride a lot and include a good bit at your intended race effort. Your "ideal" cadence should be self-selected. Most people will land themselves in the 80-100 range, but don't worry if you land somewhat outside of it as long as you have done the above.

This ^^^^

For *me* I ride at lower cadences and run reasonably well off of them.

Low cadence is what I've self-selected.

For those that have used a power meter you will often find that at lower cadences for the exact same watts your HR will be significantly lower.

FWIW most top ironman pros ride at lower cadences, but I'm not suggesting anyone copy them. More of a comment.

x3 to anything JohnnyKay and FredD say :)

Ride lots. Metrics/numbers or no, your legs will find the gearing and cadences that work best for you.

Also agree with having a range of cadences you CAN ride in ... this too will usually work itself out if you can ride varied terrain and conditions.

And after riding lots like that, and finding you can push the bigger gears even over a long distance, that's when being able to do so at a slightly higher cadence (say, downhill) works nicely too. You can comfortably change your cadence to the specific circumstances of what you are riding (sprint race, century ride, IM, whatever, hills, flats, crosswinds, etc.)

OK cadence gurus, I've been lurking here, hoping to learn.  I am so clueless on the bike.

I have found that the cadence that generally feels the "best" is ~95.  I can mash in the high 70s indefinitely, and can hold 100-105 for a few minutes, but 95 is where I can seem to get the best speed (don't have power on my bike) and the least leg fatigue.  So two questions:

1) My legs still limit me way before HR.  Does this ever go away?  Should I be actively working on it with some sort of specific cadence or other type of workout?

2) Yanti, is the flexibility in cadence helpful so you don't have to switch gears?  If so, why?  Do you always lose some power or momentum with a gear shift?  Is there a way to minimize that?

OK, two things is really like seven.  Sorry :/



2013-07-03 10:25 AM
in reply to: switch

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Subject: RE: cadence question
Your limiter is bike endurance. Just ride lots (more and hard) and that will improve.

The flexibility in cadence is to help you deal with terrain/situations where you might need to use a different cadence and to help allow you to self-select the "ideal" cadence for your given situation. Being able to switch gears to stay at/near that "ideal" is always nice, but sometimes (e.g., steep hill or very fast straight-away) you just don't have those extra gears.
2013-07-03 11:18 AM
in reply to: JohnnyKay

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Subject: RE: cadence question

Originally posted by JohnnyKay Your limiter is bike endurance. Just ride lots (more and hard) and that will improve. The flexibility in cadence is to help you deal with terrain/situations where you might need to use a different cadence and to help allow you to self-select the "ideal" cadence for your given situation. Being able to switch gears to stay at/near that "ideal" is always nice, but sometimes (e.g., steep hill or very fast straight-away) you just don't have those extra gears.

x2

2013-07-03 2:24 PM
in reply to: brigby1

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Subject: RE: cadence question
Originally posted by brigby1

Originally posted by JohnnyKay Your limiter is bike endurance. Just ride lots (more and hard) and that will improve. The flexibility in cadence is to help you deal with terrain/situations where you might need to use a different cadence and to help allow you to self-select the "ideal" cadence for your given situation. Being able to switch gears to stay at/near that "ideal" is always nice, but sometimes (e.g., steep hill or very fast straight-away) you just don't have those extra gears.

x2

What those guys said.

Mostly when I post in TT, it's just to follow JohnnyKay around and x2 what he said.

Unless we're talking aquajogging. Then it's on

2013-07-03 2:28 PM
in reply to: TriAya

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Subject: RE: cadence question
OK, thanks everyone, really appreciate the help.  I definitely just need to ride more.  Working on that:)
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