I've upped my cadence from around 60 per minute to 75-80

Discussion in 'General Cycling Discussions' started by Accy cyclist, 9 Aug 2012.

  1. I've always preferred a high gear for most climbs that'll take it. For the last 2 months i've experimented with lower gearing and i think i've improved my climbing. I've been counting my cadence on most climbs and i'm now turning the peddles at around 75 to 80 rpm compared to my old 60rpm. I've also noticed that the back of my thighs have become stronger and i seem to be able to tackle hills without having to stop sometimes.:heat:
    I remember when Lance Armstrong and Jan Ullrich were battling it out in the TdF about 10 years ago. The Tv commentators kept referring to Ullrich's powerful, but slow cadence in comparison to Armstrong's high one.Some stated that you have to turn the wheel very quickly to win the TdF, Armstrong was Ullrich wasn't so...
    Do you peddle high or low?
  2. defy-one

    defy-one Guest

    I peddle with a high cadence on climbs. Helps with my weaker right knee. I get a nicer burn in my thighs,and allows me to work harder and longer than if i peddle slower and grind out big gears. A higher cadence also means less gear changes on undulating roads
  3. Sorry, but that argument is total nonsense - Ullrich won the tour in 97 - with his 'low' cadence. Wiggins implied that he had worked on reducing his cadence before this year's tour.

    Cadence is largely irrelevant - work on your power output at whatever cadence you are comfortable with.
  4. OP
    Accy cyclist

    Accy cyclist Guru

    Perhaps he(Paul Sherwen) said that you have to turn the wheel very quickly.... to win it more than once maybe?;)
  5. gavroche

    gavroche Getting old but not past it

    North Wales
    When I go up a hill, I dont have time to count my cadence, too busy breathing in and out!
  6. whatever he may have said - a random comment from a cycling commentator should be seen as just that...
  7. PpPete

    PpPete Guru

    Chandler's Ford
    I think it all depends on the individual physiology...the very scientific approach that Sky use found that Wiggins would get very sightly more power at a very slightly lower cadence, one of many "marginal gains" that was needed so that he would be able to match Tony Martin and Fabien Cancellara at their best. As it turned out, neither were, so he blew the rest of the field away.

    There was a time when most road cyclists would have got more power by increasing their cadence (I did - and am still grateful to the CTC chap who pointed it out to me) , but now I see a lot of folks on the roads with MTBs (or MTB style gearing on hybrids) who are twiddling a stupidly low gear on the most gentle hills and barely going more than walking pace.

    Riding fixed occasionally is useful.... develops the ability to pedal effectively at a range of different cadences.
  8. the point is though, that those people would be no faster up the hill with a different cadence. Your speed is limited by your sustainable power output - not by cadence...
  9. tyred

    tyred Legendary Member

    I do tend to favour low gears these days. It's much easier (reformed big gear grinder!)
  10. PpPete

    PpPete Guru

    Chandler's Ford
    Yes but your sustainable power output varies with cadence. There is, for each of us, an optimum cadence.
    Ulrich's highest sustainable power seems to have been achieved at low cadence, Armstrong's at high cadence.

    I remain convinced some of the "twiddlers" I referred above could go faster up a 5% incline if they got out of their 18" gear and actually pushed on the pedals, or put another way, they are nowhere near their maximum sustainable power output.
  11. that's another way of saying 'they're not trying hard enough' - which is a different issue.. ;)
  12. Berties

    Berties Fast and careful!

    used to grind hills and flat in a higher gear,now choose a lower gear and 85+ cadence I seem to be able to do more miles with less effort maintaining a 17+mph average and a 70%ish work rate hr so ,high cadence suits my riding style and what i want to achieve
  13. Boris Bajic

    Boris Bajic Guest

    There are many and various opinions in this field. I have no training and no expertise, but you may rest assured that I am right and all who disagree with me are wrong. After all this is the Internet, which I own. I won it in a game of chance with Bill Gates.

    So... Cadence:

    1. Triple chainrings on road bikes are a disgrace, a monstrosity and a crime against humanity. Even compact chainsets are slightly wrong.

    2. On flat roads or gentle uphills, I ride at between 90 and 95. Slower is too slow and faster is too fast.

    3. On bad, bad climbs, I pedal as fast as I can using my 39-tooth chainring and my biggest sprocket. Cadence can drop to alarmingly low figures, but I am a man and I can cope.

    4. When stationary, my cadence is zero. Similarly when freewheeling. This figure is confirmed by my computer.

    5. On big, big descents in top (53/12) on 700c x23 tyres, I pedal up to 125rpm, which is around 45mph.

    6. For training purposes, it is OK to do sustained runs at 110, 120 or similar cadences, but it can get a bit hurty. Best stay at 95 like me.

    7. All this means nothing when writing about my fixed-gear bicycle, as I forgot to fit it with a freewheel or more than one gear. On that, I can pedal up to 170 rpm, but in a most alarming and out-of-control fashion. And I'm still only doing about 35mph....

    Now that I've answered, there is no need for any further discussion.
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