Cadence rules

They say that Lance’s (not so) secret weapon is cadence.  He could keep up 110 RPM for hours.  The average recreational cyclist is 60 – 80 RPM and the average roadie enthusiast is 80-100 RPM.

As a bonus offer, I received a cadence computer along with the new trainer that I ordered this winter.  Even though it’s not wireless and I had to swallow the indignity of wrapping wires onto that glorious Colnago frame, I’ve now begun to realize the benefits of cycling with cadence targets.  I tracked myself for awhile without changing anything about the way I cycle.  I discovered that I’m mostly a sub-80 RPM rider.  While there’s no panacea for the right cadence, depends on each ones individual physiology, I figured that I was probably in the sub-optimal zone for someone of my height, weight, and general fitness.  So I started cranking it up little by little.  It felt uncomfortable and even counter-productive (i.e. tiring) at first.  But gradually I realized that if I settled into it and trained myself to control my breathing and heart rate, a higher cadence (within reason) leaves me less tired at the end of a ride and less sore (knees in particular).  It takes some practice and training.  But try it.  If you have a computer, try running 5 RPM faster at first and then see if you can get to about 10 RPM above your usual average.  I’ve now been riding for a few weeks at 85 – 90 RPM.  I still have a tendency to drop down if I don’t concentrate on it, but I already find myself looking for a different gear if I hit below 80 RPM.  It’s becoming a new normal.  I guess you can teach an old (cycling) dog new tricks after all.

3 thoughts on “Cadence rules

  1. I like to average 90 RPM on rides, when you get comfortable with a high cadence its hard to ride any other way. If you have back pain or knee pain keep a high cadence . It will help.

    Can’t wait to get out with the group agin.

  2. Way to go Ron and welcome to the land of efficient rpm. I usually average from 90-95 and on races will for stretches of time hit 105+. For me it’s always been about less physical effort on the legs to leave some for the running. The higher cadence has helped that out and at the same time allowed for speed when the heart rate is high coming off a run. Maybe we can call us MITCH. MENNONITES IN TIGHTS CADENCE HIGH. lol

  3. I like it, but with the inevitable march of time, I fear that VOMIT (very-old-mennonites-in-tights) is the likely outcome.

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