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Too high cadence?

desdeadlydesdeadly Posts: 48
Hiya

Is it possible to ride with a too high cadence?
I have been looking into mine recently and my cadence is normally around 150 rpm.
Is this inefficient?

Cheers
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Posts

  • InfamousInfamous Posts: 1,130
    How are you measuring it?

    It does sound high if that's your normal riding cadence, I think I've only been as high as that once before.

    Have you tried riding at 100 rpm (in a higher gear obviously) ? how does it compare, are you slower or faster?
  • term1teterm1te Posts: 1,462
    Wow, 150 is pretty fast. You're not counting each down stroke of a foot as one revolution? 75 sounds much more reasonable. As far as efficiency goes compare it to sticking your car (or preferably someone else’s) in first gear and leave it there on a journey down the M1. A lot of people recommend a cadence of around 90, I start to struggle once I get near 120.
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 7,960
    Wait for it....... WAIT FOR IT.........



    Bhima will be along any second with tales of 224RPM any second now.....
  • FCE2007FCE2007 Posts: 863
    ... going uphill in 53/12 :wink:
    Powered by Haribo.
  • bobtbuilderbobtbuilder Posts: 1,537
    I have been looking into mine recently and my cadence is normally around 150 rpm

    You do 2.5 full revolutions of the pedals per second? Is this an average figure including uphill sections?

    I can only go at that cadence if the chain comes off! :oops:
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    I average about 82, comfy on flat at 90.
    Varries more on track.
    I can be as low as 40 on a steep hill, and recently clocked 222 on a sprint downhill but felt like a mamster in a wheel :D
  • Pokerface wrote:
    Wait for it....... WAIT FOR IT.........



    Bhima will be along any second with tales of 224RPM any second now.....


    I'm glad I wasn't the only one who thought of that.

    His wide-eyed enthusiasm reminds me of my 16 year old self howver, maybe we're all just jaded and cynical?
    "In many ways, my story was that of a raging, Christ-like figure who hauled himself off the cross, looked up at the Romans with blood in his eyes and said 'My turn, sock cookers'"

    @gietvangent
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    edited April 2009
    desdeadly wrote:
    I have been looking into mine recently and my cadence is normally around 150 rpm.

    Nominally - so that's when you're sprinting, or spinning up hills?

    What's your average? I do 170 sometimes but my average is way down at about 120.

    Higher Cadence = Less Stress on Muscles, More Stress on Breathing/CV System
    Lower Cadence = Less Stress on Breathing/CV System, More Stress on Muscles

    So, to answer your question, it's only inefficient if your Breathing/CV System is in bad shape compared to your muscles.

    When at high-intensity, I tend to swap between high cadences and low cadences a bit. So, when I get out of breath, loweing the cadence will put more emphasis on muscle use while I get my breath back. Similarly, when the muscles are aching, spinning really fast will clear the lactic acid amazingly fast and allow them a bit of recovery. So, if you want to be efficient, you should try and work out a good rhythm to this - to work out how you can best prolong your energy by recovering different parts of your engine at the right rate.
  • Slow1972Slow1972 Posts: 362
    or, call me old fashioned, you could just find a cadence which means you are not overloading one (CV system) or the other (muscles) excessively but where both are being worked within a limit you can cope with over a prolonged period and ride along at that

    you dont need to necessarily increase your cadence to clear your legs from lactic acid, just drop the effort (usually by going into an easier gear) so you get back below threshold, that doesnt automatically equate to going to a higher cadence (i.e same cadence but in a easier gear and all other things being equal = less effort being put out)

    anyway OP - back to the question asked of you earlier - are you sure you're measuring full revs per min and please dont tell us you use a tape recorder or bits of yoghurt pot strapped to your bike to measure it.... ;)

    ... awaits the return of Bhima........!
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    Slow1972
    Sorry - I wasn't clear enough, as usual! :lol:

    As you know, I initially asked him if the 150RPM was when sprinting/spinning up hills - so my response was aimed at that kind of riding, not steady, long distance stuff. So, the method I described is only useful for high-intensity stuff! :) Edited the post now to make it more clear.
  • a_n_ta_n_t Posts: 2,011
    Bhima wrote:
    if the 150RPM was when sprinting/spinning up hills .

    I've never seen anyone spin up a hill at 150 rpm ever :shock:
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  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    You aint seen me! I usually do 110-130 on the hills below 6% / 7%.

    I've done it on a tripple on a 14%.

    It's why I want to get a MTB rear mech + 34t cassette for my 34/50 so I can do it on the 20% hills.

    My best time up the cat & fiddle was done with a combo of ridiculous spinning and pushing a massive gear out-of-the saddle.
  • Bhima wrote:
    So, to answer your question, it's only inefficient if your Breathing/CV System is in bad shape compared to your muscles.
    It's only (more) inefficient if the ratio of energy applied to the cranks (per unit time) to the body's total energy output falls.

    Irrespective of one's CV fitness, that ratio typically falls as cadence rises.
  • shogunsteveshogunsteve Posts: 209
    desdeadly wrote:
    Hiya

    Is it possible to ride with a too high cadence?
    I have been looking into mine recently and my cadence is normally around 150 rpm.
    Is this inefficient?

    Cheers

    I think it just depends on what suits YOU.

    Some riders with real strong legs ride with a low cadence and if you have real good lung/cardio you can step it up.

    Personally I'm somewhere inbetween. I'm not Lance Armstrong but neither am I Jan Ullrich!

    I guess I'm around 90 - 100rpm....150 (only imo) is way too fast, but if it suits you then keep going....at least you will be ultra fit!
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 7,960
    Here's a video of a guy doing 163rpm: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mH5t0lHUlRU

    Looks incredibly uncomfortable.
  • antflyantfly Posts: 3,276
    150 rpm is ridiculous. Average 95 for me, if it`s flat.
    Smarter than the average bear.
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    On a recent roller race, I sustained 213 for 21 seconds. Very uncomfortable indeed! :lol:
  • desdeadlydesdeadly Posts: 48
    Hiya
    Sorry I didn't supply enough details, I shouldn't really post when I am in a rush. I am fairly new to road bike riding, previously I have spent a long time on a fixed single speed which I rode in a low gear meaning I had to ride with high cadence

    I am measuring by counting the full revolutions for 15 seconds and multiplying by 4. I haven't got a sensor yet but I have one on order.

    On the flat, on long rides, I normally ride at around 120-130 rpm. I forgot to do it up hills but I know its still fast, definitely around 100. On shorter weekday rides when I am pushing I can sustain 140-150 on the flat and downs.

    The reason I asked was that I have joined a local club and my times are very good for the hill climb event (the winner normally wins in 12.5-13mins) they host (top 1-3 guys in the club) but my TT times (haven't done any races yet just what I have timed) are only just higher than average. Just trying to work out where I am going wrong.

    Sorry if I misled in my original post :oops:
    Thanks for all the comments
    Cheers
  • Whatever happened to the old fashioned method, i.e. when legs feel as if they are starting to spin out change to a higher gear. When legs start to struggle change to a lower gear. I'm not really bothered about how fast my legs spin, I'm more interested in speed. I know which gears I need to be in to maintain a certain speed and as for going up hill my first concern is keeping up with others in group, then if I get dropped my next concern is just getting up the hill.
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 7,960
    Posted this elsewhere also as there was a discussion on Lance Armstrong's 'fast' cadence:

    During flat time trials Lance maintains a cadence of 100-115 rpm. He is using a lower gear than most other cyclists, but is pedaling faster than them.

    Lance's climbing cadence is different however - around 80-85 RPM, but up to 100 RPM when attacking on a long solo breakaway when the gradient lessens during a climbing attack.
  • Slow1972Slow1972 Posts: 362
    Bhima wrote:
    You aint seen me! I usually do 110-130 on the hills below 6% / 7%.

    I've done it on a tripple on a 14%.

    It's why I want to get a MTB rear mech + 34t cassette for my 34/50 so I can do it on the 20% hills.

    My best time up the cat & fiddle was done with a combo of ridiculous spinning and pushing a massive gear out-of-the saddle.

    And how long was the 14% at 120 rpm for, because if you were doing 120 rpm even on a low geared 30/29 triple you were still managing 10 mph and if it was a 30/27 you were doing almost 11 mph, which sounds pretty impressive for a 14% climb

    We need Willhub to verify if he's seen Bhima climb at those speeds ;)
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    Slow1972 wrote:
    We need Willhub to verify if he's seen Bhima climb at those speeds ;)

    Willhub has verified that Bhima walks up hills
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  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    The 14% was in Wales. I did it around 115 RPM and lasted about 45 seconds. I think I was going around the 8/9mph mark. Can't remember though.

    But, yeah, I always go up hills faster when I spin fast.

    ...and if Willhub has actually said that I walk up every hill, he's talking bollocks. I think he's blowing out of proportion one time when I had to stop due to overheating/de-hydration. :|
  • InfamousInfamous Posts: 1,130
    I would pay good money to see bhima ride with willhub, It'd be like watching the chuckle brothers on a club run.
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    Bhima wrote:
    ...and if Willhub has actually said that I walk up every hill, he's talking bollocks. I think he's blowing out of proportion one time when I had to stop due to overheating/de-hydration. :|

    Nah, he only said you walked up the hard ones.

    Apparantly there was a flat out refusal for Swiss Hill though....
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  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    The only reason I don't like Swiss Hill is because it's cobbled! The gradient aint too harsh.
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    I love cobbles

    arenberg-middle.jpg

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  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    I'm going to Belgium soon, but i've been told that there's cobbles everywhere. :?
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    hincapie_arenberg_8.jpg

    Now that's proper cycling, non of these hills rubbish.
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