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Legendary Member
I finally got around to fitting the cadence sensor on my bike. On my first run out of 12 miles, I managed an average of 59 rpm. According to that is fair for a "casual" cyclist. When I spin at the gym I manage a steady 90-100 on "hill" setting.
Should I expect to be slower on a bike and what can I do to get my average rpm up ?



New Member
Choose easier gears and aim for a target cadence at all times, unless you're climbing a real hill. From what I've read a cadence of about 90 rpm is most efficient.


Man or Moose!
Find your most comfortable cadence by switching gears until you feel you are spining most comfortably for your usual cruising speed, then try to select gears to maintain this at all times.

Forget aiming for a pre-determined number, aim for your comfortable cadence, everyone differs.

If you are spinning at like 120 and going 12mph, you have problems, if you are spinning at 40 and going 12mph you have problems. But if you find it most comfortable to cruise at 20mph at say 80 rpm this is fine, dont aim to be spining at 95 (or some other arbitrary number) for the same speed if its not comfortable.
My average is normaly 75 -80 but when i look at the graph I am normaly pedaling on the flat at 90ish - your average of 59 probably indicates a higher pedaling cadence


Über Member
I was thinking of getting one but on my rollers and counting for a minute (technical solution to no sensor) I seem to be naturally 85 ish so never bothered.

John the Monkey

Frivolous Cyclist
I do like the cadence function on my Sigma bike computer - it's a better indication of how knackered I am than average speeds seem to be.


The trouble with recording your cadence out on the road is, there are always segments where you have to slow down for junctions, stop and freewheeling and all these breaks from pedalling will lower your average cadence down over time, so that is why there will be a big difference from being in the gym and out on the road.


New Member
Another excuse to escape down to the gym.

Set the upright bike at a nominal power absorption of about 135 -140 Watts in 'Manual' mode.

Spin.... 90 - 100 rpm for at least ten minutes and note your heart rate.
Slow it down to 80 - 90 for ten minutes and note that HR.
Slow it down again for ten minutes and make a note of the HR.
Slow it again to 60 - 70 rpm and note the HR.

Keep going until the machine goes into 'pause' mode, usually at 30 rpm.

Draw a curve. At what cadence is your lowest HR? Bingo!


New Member
On the flat I normally try and keep the rpm on 100 especially early in the season as tendons still need to get used to hard labour. In the last Paris Roubaix Fabian Cancellara even managed to get to a max of 170 rpm. Since Lance Armstrong came into the picture and indoor spinning went along the rpm has gone up. The time where cyclists had to push as much watts as possible with 70 to 80 rpm seems to be a bit out of fashion. Although all is relative of course considering that I have never ridden up a proper hill or mountain and still be able to have a rpm above 80 more when really steep into the 55 to 60 rpm. Mind you, two thirds of Holland is below sea level so not a lot of hills. I am still trying to catch up with my climbing since living in the UK.


New Member
Cadence on the flat and cadence up a hill are two different things.

A 34 x 27 gear ( 33” ) means 82 rpm is 8.1 mph ( 13 kmh ). 13 kmh up an 8% hill needs 325ish Watts.

I challenge the readership to produce 325 consistant Watts for 10 minutes.

10 minutes being equal to a 2km ( horiz distance ) climb.

This is pro’ territory. OK, so some here can do it. Then go on and ride up another 8% for half an hour.

What you will find with casual cyclists like us is cadence will drop to 55 – 60 rpm along with a drop in speed and therefore a lower power requirement.
9 kmh. That’s more like it, and 100 Watts lower power demand.

225 Watts can be sustained by a reasonably fit person for half an hour.
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