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Another question(9 posts)

Another questionRandyMH
Jul 9, 2001 10:07 PM
1. Is it better to change gears and stay at a steady cadence or should I push myself to maintain the same cadence in higher gears. I'm brand new so I'm trying to get the better way of training down.

2. After breaking my chain on Sat. I went out on Sunday and did my first 20 mile ride. I did it in 1:13.39 How is this time for a newbie? If it's not so good where should I be. The course I rode really had no hills.
Thanks in advance
re: Another answerAkirasho
Jul 10, 2001 12:33 AM
1. ... this would depend, but in general, you're more efficient with a steady cadence even if you have to shift to an easier gear (exception might be a very short climb)... a rough analogy would be staying in fifth gear in your car to climb a steep hill rather than downshifting to third or second... If you're new to cycling... work on maintaining a steady and high (90+ per min) cadence... later, you can vary your routine with specific goals in mind.

2. ... this would depend... 16.25 mph is certainly faster than I was when I returned to cycling a few years back... and in general, is a decent speed... Much would depend on your current physical condition... and future goals. You'll find that at a beginner's stage... even rolling terrain will probably slow you quite a bit. At this time, I wouldn't worry about speed per se... rather putting forth a level of exertion that is acceptable (and safe) for you over ever increasing time spans... that is... ride longer times (same level of exertion)... and you'll get quicker over the same distance... ride longer distances and you'll do them in faster times...

Good luck and...

Be the bike.
Not too bad!Dutchy
Jul 10, 2001 1:02 AM
The time you posted isn't too bad for a "newbie", however you will get faster. Don't be surprised if you get it down to under an hour. With enough miles on the road you will get much faster. It just takes time & patience. CHEERS.
I have to be in the 90'sRandyMH
Jul 10, 2001 7:25 AM
I'm doing all a can to stay in the 70's and 80's. Even then it seems like I'm pedaling really fast going nowhere. Is the idea to start in lower gears and maintain cadence, and after awhile your legs and lungs get stronger and you can move up in gears at the same cadence, which in turn would make you faster?
I have to be in the 90'sJim Burton
Jul 10, 2001 7:58 AM
A fast cadence takes a lot of getting used to. Do you have a computer with cadence? How do you know you are doing 70s-80s? The fast cadence will, at first, make you feel like a fool. You will be bouncing up and down and feel as if you are riding a baby's tricycle down a hill. Now, I feel strange when my cadence drops below 92, but I do remember when faster cadences were awkward.If you do "cadence drills" this will get better. Start out in an easy gear going at an easy cadence on a flat stretch of road. over the next five minutes, and every minute on the minute, increase your cadence by five or seven rpm until you are doing something like 120rpm or greater. This will feel really strange. Another drill is to go down hills without changing gears. You will spin faster as you get faster. This all is making your spin smoother and your lungs better so that you can ride at this 90-98rpm comfortably.
To learn how to spin faster......Len J
Jul 10, 2001 8:34 AM
Spin faster. Pick one ride a week and consciously get in a gear that you can ride 5rpm faster than what you normally ride. If you normally ride 80, do this entire ride at 85. Keep doing this over several weeks and you will see your Normal Cadence begin to rise. Remember that you are training and developing fast twitch muscles so it will take some time. Using this method I have gone from a cadence of 85 to 90 to 110 to 115. The Key is concentrate on staying smooth & relaxed. It will feel funny at first, but 5 rpm increments make it easier.
To learn how to spin faster......RandyMH
Jul 10, 2001 9:43 AM
Yeah I think that's the problem I feel very ackward spinning so fast. But if that's what it takes. So be it.
It will feel awkward...........Len J
Jul 10, 2001 12:30 PM
at first. Remember the first time you rode 10 miles? It felt pretty bad, & hard. Now I'll bet 10 miles is nothing more than a warmup. You didn't get to riding long distances by going out first time & riding them. You built up to it. The same is true of increasing your cadence. As somone above said, you'll bounce a little on the saddle, your heartrate will go up, etc. But the more you do it the easier it becomes. Again that's why I recommend 5 rpm increments. It is easier to acclimate. If you want experiment with 10 rpm increments, maybe you will settle on 7, find what is just a little uncomfortable & work your way up. In 6 weeks, you will be spinning at much higher rpm naturally & will try to remember what it felt like to Mash at 80 rpm.

Good luck & good riding.
It will feel awkward...........RandyMH
Jul 10, 2001 1:17 PM
I will definitely try your approach; I've only had my bike for a week and have only done a few 81/2 milers and a 20 mile ride. I think I am going to train however with 10 milers or so at first and save the 20+ for the weekends