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What's you climbing cadence!

endurojcbendurojcb Posts: 167
edited March 2010 in XC and Enduro
Simple as that!

What sort of cadence do you peeps try to keep to when climbing? And I mean proper climbing, like at Cwmcarn or Whites Level (well that's proper climbing to me anyway).

I have no idea what my cadence is when I'm climbing. I just tend to try and keep my speed at 6+kmph on the above trails, but i have a feeling I'm in too high a gear. Middel cog at the front whenever possible with 2 or 3 big rings spare at the back! I guess that must put my cadence at around 60 rpm!?

I've seen riders (faster ones that me) mashing the pedals like crazy uphill, but only going a bit faster than me, but then I've seen them mashing like mad and totally annihilating me!

p.s My speedo doesn't have a cadence measurement, so it would be a case of me counting as I go, which I find makes the climbs a little easier!
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  • I try to keep my cadence the same as when I'm riding until I run out of gears then it's knee popping grunt time.
    Neil
    Help I'm Being Oppressed
  • I just try to pedal fast & never use the granny ring unless it's absolutely vital!
    No one can tell you what gear to use, as it's down to fitness as much as gradient.
  • whatever works for you...

    cadence is a bit weird as your ideal is effected by a huge number of physiological factors.

    For me it varies by bike, three singlespeeds all have different hill climbing cadences based on the gearing and hills.

    On geared bike, fairly fast, but not quite as high as my flat speed. But obviously the singlespeed have conditioned me to be comfy at a wide range of cadences!
  • El CapitanoEl Capitano Posts: 13,671
    Bearing in mind I come from a roadie background, my cadence used to be quite slow, around the 60rpm range (56X12 tends to make you pedal slowly and have huuuuuge thigh muscles). Since converting to the MTB side, I've had to increase my cadence, to improve my climbing - I can't stand up out of the saddle and stomp in the pedals all the way up White's level... I'm now at around 80-85, but train, on an exercise bike at over a 100 for an hour or so to specifically increase my cadence. I find spinning a lower gear a much more efficient way of climbing on an MTB.

    That said, I bought a TT bike in the summer, and my cadence has definitely fallen off again since then (only a 53X11...).
  • apparently lance armstrong can hit a cadence of 120 and hold it for several hours.
    my average is about 85.
  • spinning on a mtb is good for traction as it tends to be smoother.
  • Spinning is good, but on an MTB you can only spin when in the saddle - if it gets really steep/technical, then you might need to get out of the saddle, not necessarily for power, but for weight distribution. Out of the saddle lets you adjust your weight instantly to keep the front planted on the one hand but also keep the rear from spinning on the other. Sat down you have much less you can do about this. But, yes, if it's possible to be seated, spinning is the way to go. As a rough guide, depending on how fast you're spinning, standing up needs a quick shift to about 2 or 3 gears harder.

    Sorry if that's all obvious, just thought it might be useful.
  • boneyjoeboneyjoe Posts: 369
    Personal choice, but I've found about 70rpm works for me, pushing to 80/90 if I need a bit more speed to overtake or get through the technical stuff.
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  • er
    75rpm minimum seated for a long climb, 85rpm for a short one. Bum on nose of saddle if it is steep.
    Anything under 80rpm average and you're gonna pay for it after the first few hours.
    The problem with standing is traction - no way you can prevent your back tyre unloading if it is steep and v loose or wet or muddy.
    Whichever, yes, smoothness is adviseable or, again, its easy to break traction. Again, tis harder to be smooth stood up unless u can pedal in circles as smooth as Lance.
    Have fun.
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  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
  • Aim for about 100 but hills aren't long enough to practice for several hours the higher cadence the more efficient the movement providing you don't hit any major obstacles. So 100-110 is about max on mtb, 100-130 on the road but your body will find it's own natural and efficient pace depending on muscle fibre.

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  • christkchristk Posts: 122
    I hear a lot of people talk as if using the 'granny' ring is for whimps only. For the last year or so, I've fitted a 24t granny ring and tend to spin a little faster than what I did when I first started mountain biking. I've noticed that this tends to pay off after riding for 2-3hrs when I can seem to keep going at the same pace.

    I also sometimes look at my mates (who always use the middle ring), to see how fast they are spinning. Quite often I find we are very simular speeds, but the advantage I'll have is when it comes to a steeper or more technical section my gear changing or options is a lot smoother, quicker and less impact on the balance of the bike?

    The other BIG plus for me is that the chain and other parts definately lasts longer.

    On the down side, I tend to get left behind on the first few metres of down section until I change to a bigger chain ring.
  • stubsstubs Posts: 5,001
    I have always found a cadence of 87.75 is the best though if Its a feeling particulary steep climb I might drop it to 87.72

    I once climbed a hill at a cadence of 88

    whooh I still talk about that day
    Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap
  • endurojcb wrote:
    Simple as that!

    What sort of cadence do you peeps try to keep to when climbing? And I mean proper climbing, like at Cwmcarn or Whites Level (well that's proper climbing to me anyway).

    I have no idea what my cadence is when I'm climbing. I just tend to try and keep my speed at 6+kmph on the above trails, but i have a feeling I'm in too high a gear. Middel cog at the front whenever possible with 2 or 3 big rings spare at the back! I guess that must put my cadence at around 60 rpm!?

    I've seen riders (faster ones that me) mashing the pedals like crazy uphill, but only going a bit faster than me, but then I've seen them mashing like mad and totally annihilating me!

    p.s My speedo doesn't have a cadence measurement, so it would be a case of me counting as I go, which I find makes the climbs a little easier!

    Surely there is no answer to this question ? Does it not depend on the gradient, traction, tyres, obstacles, fitness, weather, beer/wine intake, rider and bike weight ?
    'nulla tenaci invia est via'
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  • seataltea wrote:
    Surely there is no answer to this question ? Does it not depend on the gradient, traction, tyres, obstacles, fitness, weather, beer/wine intake, rider and bike weight ?

    You're right, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, seems to have no effect on some, yes & yes
  • Paul 8vPaul 8v Posts: 5,458
    I need to improve my spinning, I'm very much a masher but I have had a knacered gear set where it's been stuck in the big ring for ages. When I do spin about 90 rpm it feels like a lot of effort to go the same distance, is this something that will improve or will I always be a masher? I'm thinking of changing to SPD's to help with smooth pedaling.
  • Paul 8v wrote:
    I need to improve my spinning, I'm very much a masher but I have had a knacered gear set where it's been stuck in the big ring for ages. When I do spin about 90 rpm it feels like a lot of effort to go the same distance, is this something that will improve or will I always be a masher? I'm thinking of changing to SPD's to help with smooth pedaling.

    Even though it feels like more effort to spin faster in a lower gear, it's actually more efficient right from the off. You'll notice at the end of a ride that you don't feel as wasted as usual. But 1st time you try it, yes it does feel like you're using more effort.
  • Paul 8vPaul 8v Posts: 5,458
    What sort of cadence should I be aiming for on the flat off road? My first "spinning" ride will be along the sea wall which is about as flat as flat can be!
  • just a speed that's fast but smooth. I never measure it, but it just wants to be controlled but fast.
  • Paul 8vPaul 8v Posts: 5,458
    I'll give it a go, don't think I'll be up to lance Armstrongs level for a while though! When he spins at 120rpm or whatever crazy speed he spins at, it that in a ratio like 52 x 12 or would it be something smaller? If it is a high gear like that, that's nuts but then how many times has he won the TDF?...
  • In the drug fuelled/good old [delete as apprpriate] days, I remember the TDF averaging 35mph one year!

    Yeah, Armstrong spins at a ridiculous speed - but that will be with a lot of practice as well. Road racers often train on imroving their cadence.
    On the trails, just concentrate on being in the right gear to get a sensible cadence, and after a while you wont have to think about it.
  • stubsstubs Posts: 5,001
    In the drug fuelled/good old [delete as apprpriate] days, I remember the TDF averaging 35mph one year!

    Are you sure you have that right, possibly you mean 35 kilometres per hour (which is still flipping quick to ride for 3 weeks) not miles per hour. I always understood the average was in the low to mid twenties depending how many mountain stages there were.
    Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap
  • Yes, that was definitely it. It may not have been for the whole lot, but it was after a good few stages. Probably before the mountain stages. Seem to remember by the end it hadn't dropped too much though. This would have been in the early 90's I guess. A google search might prove me wrong, but I wouldn't have got k's & miles confused.
  • stubsstubs Posts: 5,001
    The fastest ever Tour was the 2005 at an average speed of 41.65 Kilomoters per hour which is 25.88 miles per hour

    here are the race stats
    http://bikeraceinfo.com/tdf/tdfstats.html
    Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap
  • Paul 8vPaul 8v Posts: 5,458
    That's still bloomin quick! Tried spinning today, you were right I did feel less knackered, it does feel strange at the moment but I managed about 25 miles
  • stubs wrote:
    The fastest ever Tour was the 2005 at an average speed of 41.65 Kilomoters per hour which is 25.88 miles per hour

    here are the race stats
    http://bikeraceinfo.com/tdf/tdfstats.html

    Yeh, what I remember must have been before the mountain stages started.
  • I try for 80rpm but it will drop to 60rpm on the very steep stuff.

    Keith
  • sparky24sparky24 Posts: 195
    always at 85-90 rpm . flat , drags and climbs. you want to go to a pro trainer(bath uni) my local and they will do a real indepth training program. they will also tell if you pedal and rely on your stronger leg.
  • Paul 8vPaul 8v Posts: 5,458
    I tried pedaling on the excercise bike with one leg at a time, for some reason my left leg was much smoother than the other, which is strange as I'm right handed and when I do Karate my right leg is much stronger kicking wise etc
  • In the 80s
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