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Confused cadence question....(6 posts)

Confused cadence question....Tim Field
Jul 16, 2002 3:12 AM
Hi All,

Hope you can help. I've just bought a Sigma BC1400 computer and I have a cadence function on it. Can anyone give me more info about the best way to use this facility. Should I be using the readout to change gear when I hit a certain speed or just trying to get my cadence smooth. Any info much appreciated.

Thanks, Tim
ConfusedLone Gunman
Jul 16, 2002 4:30 AM
Actually some riders feel cadence is a meaningless number. I like cadence feature, to me it is the tachometer of the bike. Reportedly/supposedly 90 rpm is the # that a majority of riders are most efficient. I think it is difficult to make a correlation between forward speed and cadence. I like to use cadence more as a "muscle memory" tool. This is what 90 or 100 rpm feels like. In fact I have stopped watching actual forward speed and pay more attention to HR or/and cadence. For me, those are better indicators of my ride performance than a speed or average speed for a given ride.

Most satisfying is to see a high cadence, a relatively fast forward speed and a lowering of HR, sometimes seen when recovering or in the rear of a pace line. This recover phase gives you a good idea that that your efforts of riding are paying off when you can work hard and still have some revs left in HR.
Yes.Len J
Jul 16, 2002 4:37 AM
Here is how I used/use it:
-First off, it will tell you what your cadence actually is. This may sound basic, but I for one, wasn't sure (I suspect most new riders aren't)

-Second, it lets you experiment (Using objective data) with different cadences. The "rule of thumb' is that the most efficient cadence is around 90 RPM. That being said, some people are natural mashers, 70-85 RPM, and some people are natural spinners, 95-110 RPM. I have found that there is a benefit at being able to do both. Old rule is "Rest your legs by spinning faster, rest your lungs by spinning slower". Faster cadence allows you to respond quicker in a race to accelerations and breaks. It takes more strength to mash, it takes better cardio fitness & form to spin. The first time you try to ride at a faster cadence it will feel weird, you may bounce on the seat, stay with it and you will smooth out. Both single leg drills and riding at 5-10 RPM faster (THen your base)for extended periods will allow you to gradually increase your base cadence. Cadence function allows you to maintain & manage this.

Good luck

Len
re: Confused cadence question....Tim Field
Jul 16, 2002 4:53 AM
Very very helpful guys. Thanks v. much.

I was natuarally around 90 today, I'll try out the spinning idea too. I don't actually race but I'm starting to do 34 miles a day.

Cheers, Tim
re: Confused cadence question....Chen2
Jul 16, 2002 6:07 AM
In addition to what the others have said, I rely on my cadence meter to help me when I become really tired on a long ride and my brain feels fried. At times like these I'll check the cadence, usually find that I've slipped into the lower 80's or even upper 70's. Depending on the topography ahead I'll then decide if I want to change a cog or two or if I should drop off the big ring and ride the 39. Those kind of decisions become automatic when I feel fresh but when I'm very tired I may need the cadence meter to tell me what's wrong.
~Al
Leg speedBreakfast
Jul 16, 2002 6:41 AM
Use your cadence feature to develop leg speed.

How fast can you pedal before you start to bounce?

See if you can learn to smooth out a fast spin and if your max cadence improves.

How long can you comfortably ride at 110 rpm and above?

Or, do a workout in a huge gear at 50-60 rpm.

It's a helpful gadget, especially if it makes you a fast spinner and sprinter (fast spin + leg strength)