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rotations per minute with the legs...(7 posts)

rotations per minute with the legs...kylebike
Sep 14, 2002 6:39 AM
How many rotations per minute do the top riders have on the highest gear (hardest one) over a flat road for a fairly good distance??

Sep 14, 2002 7:51 AM

RPM is more commonly reffered to as cadence in the cycling world. But to answer your question a cadence of around 90-100 is normal. However, in the peleton most people are not in their hardest gear. Its interesting to note some people who get dropped though will go into their hardest gear slowing down their cadence which also slows down your heart rate as well in order to claw their way back up to the peleton where they resume a normal cadence.

Sep 14, 2002 9:47 AM
Thanks for answering my question

What gear do the top racers mainly stay on?? What is their cadence if they were to use the highest gear?

I am asking so I know what to aim for....

Aim pointKerry
Sep 14, 2002 1:02 PM
For your reference, the world hour record is about 55km, and this was done at about 100 rpm. This means a gear of about 115 inches, or a development of 9.2 meters. While this is something to shoot for, it is not something you will attain. Most people would consider doing 40 km in an hour to be excellent for "the rest of us" and I believe the US national (road) TT record is around 50 minutes for 40 km. At 100 rpm, the 40 km/hr means a gear of 85 inches, and the 40 km/50 minutes (48 kph) means about a 100 inch gear. Again, these are top level performances on dedicated time trial bikes (full aero equipment and rider position). "Recreational" time trialists might be thinking in the range of just breaking the hour for 40 km, or maybe more like 70 minutes. The gear to do a 70 minute, 40 km time trial at 100 rpm = about 73 inches. You can ratio everything off the 100 rpm basis to figure the gears needed if you were at 90 rpm.
Sep 14, 2002 1:11 PM
I'd like to point out the world hour record was done on a track bike which has less resistance when pedalling than a road bike with no gears and on a smooth track... then the absolute record of 56 had aero wheels, aero frame, etc with the official record being on a regular track bike.

Sep 14, 2002 1:08 PM

Top racers will switch gears constantly just like you to maintain their speed with whatever cadence feels best at time time.

Its great to have goals but one such as keeping your cadence in a certain gear to obtain a certain speed is unrealistic for a number of reasons. 1) Most of the time the pro's are in a pack... 2) Altitude, wind, hills, all vary both the gear they use and the gear you use... 3) Finally pro's do 20,000+ km/year which is almost impossible for any average ride to do. It doesn't mean you couldn't keep the speed of pros for a little while but most likely you'd blow up pretty quickly.

Instead do group rides in your area and just learn from the riders there. If theres anymore races try to get in on them. The faster you get the more and more competitive you'll get in these races which will lead you up the ladder of categories to cat 1&2... to area championships... to national championships and so on. All the time just remember to have fun on the bike... once you lose this theres no point in riding anymore. If you would like some coaching contact me @

Sep 14, 2002 2:18 PM
Match your cadence and effort to the road, the wind and your body. Try to stay below your anaerobic threshold. This will greatly improve your stamina, recovery and distance compared to attempting to grind out an arthmetic formula.

Ride a comfortable bike and ride with riders who enjoy being on the bike. If you want to be a top racer you need to put in a lot of miles. To do that you need to love riding. Don't become too focused on inputs and outputs.