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Newbie Computer Question(12 posts)

Newbie Computer Questionjschwarz
Jun 5, 2003 8:11 AM
I'm new to road biking and have decided I want to get a computer for my bike. I am most interested in the distance I've ridden and my speed. However while looking at the bike computer reviews everyone kept talking about wanting one with a Cadence sensor. Can someone tell me what cadence is and why it's important?
I dont think you need thisColnagoFE
Jun 5, 2003 8:18 AM
After a while you get to know what the correct cadence is just by feel. I've never felt the need to know my exact cadence. My opinion of course. Plus you have to have that extra wire to the cadence sensor.
Jun 5, 2003 8:21 AM
It's the RPMs of your pedals. I wouldn't bother with it at this point.

Cadence can be important for those trying to maximize their efficiency. Riding at too high or low a cadence can lead to early fatigue among other things. Typically a cadence between 90-100 is good for most. Although it can vary from rider to rider.
It's your pedaling rate in rpm--not necessary, IMOretro
Jun 5, 2003 8:22 AM
Cadence is the rate at which you're pedaling in revolutions per minute. Most experts say you should keep it between about 80 and 100 rpm, though it's common for it to fall lower on steep hills with typical gearing.
Others will disagree, but I've never seen a reason for it on a cycling computer. You can tell how fast you're turning the pedals just by paying attention to how fast you're turning the pedals. If you want to check until you get a feel for it, count the number of times your left foot goes down in 10 seconds, then multiply by six.
dissentDrone 5200
Jun 5, 2003 8:40 AM
I'm pretty new to this and I've found it helpful to know my cadence. I can certainly feel the difference between mashing and spinning at 110+, but I would have no idea whether my mashing was 40, 60 or 70 unless I saw the read out.

I got the cateye astrale 8 for 39.95. It's wired, inexpensive, and I'm glad I picked up the cadence feature. My computer displays speed in big numbers and cadence on small numbers below the speed. It also records all the standard stuff: distance, ave. speed, max speed (that's a fun one), etc.
dissent, as wellmainframe
Jun 5, 2003 8:46 AM
I find mine very useful.
I like cadence as welllaffeaux
Jun 5, 2003 10:14 AM
I use the cadence setting on my computer (Cateye Astrale) all the time. The computer allows two numbers to be displayed. I generally ride with my current speed (large display) and my cadence (smaller dsplay) on the screen.

I think it's very useful. On flat sections I try various gear combinations to see what RPMs yeild the highest speeds. Knowing my cadence has been very helpful. Very minor changes effect me a lot. I can hold higher speeds for longer periods of time from above 95 rpm to about 105-7 rpm. If I drop below 95 (even in the low 90s) my speed begins to taper off.

I think it's a nice training tool, and certainly more useful then displaying the distance traveled on your screen, which I find to be disheartening on long climbs (there's few things tougher on me than knowing I have 5 miles of climbing to do, and watching the odometer roll over at a snails pace).
re: Newbie Computer QuestionMy Dog Wally
Jun 5, 2003 9:15 AM
The issue isn't so much whether or not cyclists need to know their cadence. The issue is whether a new cyclist needs to know it. And the answer is probably no. Computers without a cadence feature probably outsell those that have it by a ratio of 5:1. Even most experienced cyclists don't need to know their cadence.
re: Newbie Computer Questionmja
Jun 5, 2003 9:54 AM
Knowing your speed, wheel circumference and gear, you can calculate your cadence. Well, probably not in real-time! However you can note the speed/gear combination and work it out later; or work some combinations out in advance, record them on a card, and carry it along on your rides.
re: Newbie Computer QuestionDCP
Jun 5, 2003 12:49 PM
I used a computer with cadence as a new cyclist (couple of years ago) and found it quite useful. I probably focused on mainting 90-95 a little too much, but at least I knew where I was. Also it helps a new cyclist with gear selection (e.g. hey, I am turning 105 - perhaps I should shift).

Also, Flightdeck's vitual cadence allows you to determine gear selection and when to start pedaling coming to the bottom of a descent. Not true of actual cadence computer, however.

I think a computer with cadence is escpecially useful for a new rider.

Besides, it gives you a toy to play with on those long rides.
re: Newbie Computer Questional0
Jun 6, 2003 4:10 AM
I would suggest Sigma Sport 1400 (or 1600) with cadence otion they are inexpecive (I have bought my under $30) and quite good. CatEye Astrale is a good choice as well.
Jun 6, 2003 4:30 AM
A cadence sensor can be useful because many new cyclists (and veterans) pedal at too low a cadence. Like everything else, the ideal cadence varies among individuals, but generally it's best to learn to pedal at a fairly high RPM -- say 90 to 100. Watch the pros on TV or tapes, most of them pedal at fairly high cadences. A high cadence helps build up your aerobic capacity and maintain your stamina. Pushing overly large gears tires your leg muscles, particularly on long rides, and can cause knee injury.

That said, you don't really need a cadence sensor on your computer. It's simple to calculate by counting your pedal revolutions in 15 seconds and multiplying by 4, or 10 seconds and multiplying by 6, etc. Just check it now and then to see how you're doing.