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cadence (again)

if you always train at a high or low cadence will this cause problems?

I always spin a lower gear. always.

some people ive started to ride with push terribly huge gears all the tme. constantly.

am i missing out on something (physiological adaptations) by the cadence I use??? would it be better to grind the 54/11 (ive only got a tt bike/gearing) every now and again to mix it up a bit?

according to what I have read on here: the power output determines how your legs adapt and cadence is irrelevant.

some people on other forums say low cadence builds more muscle because its almost teh same as lifting weights. so if you want to climb well, they say to use high cadence more so you have less muscle mass.

can someone clear up the facts/nonsense for me please?

Posts

  • A high cadence does this person no harm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ha26GN_R ... tube_gdata
  • hopper1hopper1 Posts: 4,389
    I generally spin the cranks at around 90rpm. But it is not cast in stone.
    Once per week I do an interval set of 5 x 5's:
    Warm up, then:
    5 mins hard at approx 55-60rpm, 5 mins easy spin (repeat 5 times).
    Cool down.
    I think it's good to practice at varying cadence, otherwise you'll become a 'one trick pony!'
    Start with a budget, finish with a mortgage!
  • - cancellara doesnt just train at one cadence even though hes going bananas in that vid.

    - if I do all my intervals and all riding ever at a high cadence of about 100, I may be a one trick pony but if my power is increasing from the intervals then does it actually matter? are you arguing that i will be at a disadvantage to a 'grinder' when we both hit a 30% climb even if we have the same p/w ratio???
  • JimmyKJimmyK Posts: 712
    i was on my bike for 2 hrs 15 mins this afternoon and was spinning at around 90 rpm the whole time............my thighs are feeling it.
  • andy162andy162 Posts: 634
    Cadence is a personal thing. Ride at a rpm you feel comforable at. (Not name dropping here but...) last Sunday I was training with a Rapha Condor rider & a 11 times BBAR winner. The differences were huge. One was spinning much (much) faster than I could manage whilst the other was pushing a far bigger gear than I would turn.

    Those boys are both vastly experienced yet choose a completely different approach.
  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,257
    I find the higher the cadence for me the slower I go and anything over 90 my power starts to go down, when I go up climbs I'm around 60-75 and that's where I climb best, on the flat around 75-85.

    I try higher cadence but it feels uncomfy.
  • freehub

    on any gear you choose going above 90 your power goes up not down as long as you stay on that gear.

    can anyone offer answers with some science and not anecdotes?
  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,257
    When I spin fast I see my power go down.
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    freehub

    on any gear you choose going above 90 your power goes up not down as long as you stay on that gear.

    can anyone offer answers with some science and not anecdotes?

    Thats the problem though, there's plenty of 'science' to support both camps. I hold the view that both forms of riding are valid, I think too many people become fixated by cadence and try to ride right on the button. You here them on club rides clicking up and down every few seconds trying to keep to 90rpm, it drives me crazy. I just grind or spin away on my single speed according to conditions.
  • freehub you go faster by spinning the same gear faster on the same terrain so you have found a way of going faster by using less power. amazing. shhh. dont tell anyone though or the govmt. physics guys will be on to you. :wink:
    markos1963 wrote:
    I hold the view that both forms of riding are valid,

    ok. but Im not asking if they are valid im asking if they are both an absolute 100% necesssity.

    im just trying to increase power with my training at the moment. AFAIK this is done at riding at %s of ftp strategicially and the cadence should notmatter.

    i will continue riding at 100 rpms for my intervals but will this have a different physcal affect on my legs and power to doing them at 70?
  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,257
    freehub you go faster by spinning the same gear faster on the same terrain so you have found a way of going faster by using less power. amazing. shhh. dont tell anyone though or the govmt. physics guys will be on to you. :wink:
    markos1963 wrote:
    I hold the view that both forms of riding are valid,

    ok. but Im not asking if they are valid im asking if they are both an absolute 100% necesssity.

    im just trying to increase power with my training at the moment. AFAIK this is done at riding at %s of ftp strategicially and the cadence should notmatter.

    i will continue riding at 100 rpms for my intervals but will this have a different physcal affect on my legs and power to doing them at 70?

    What?

    When I spin faster, my power goes down and I also get tired quicker, much much quicker and my HR shoots up.
  • ravey1981ravey1981 Posts: 1,111
    Try to think about this as if you were lifting weights...If you do lots and lots of repetitions of small weights your body adapts to this and you're endurance improves. If you do a few repetitions of a heavy weight it overloads your muscle and with time the muscle becomes stronger. So if we take this into a cycling situation....If you do some sessions in a higher gear (i.e. more load on the muscles) and hence at a lower cadence your legs will become stronger. This means that when you come to ride at a normal cadence say 90 for example your legs are now stronger so you can hold 90 in a higher gear than you used to be able to... Then your going faster...

    Power is just a measure of work done over time... It takes the same "average power" to ride the same hill in the same time whether you do it at 100rpm or 70rpm

    you will see the greatest benefit by doing sessions at both lower cadence/high load and high cadence/low load
  • CrimmeyCrimmey Posts: 207
    I know what freehub means, sounds like we have identical riding styles, right down to the exact cadence. Are you quite good on hills but struggle on TT's by any chance too ( I have only done 1 so cant say that I struggle too badly)?
  • hopper1hopper1 Posts: 4,389
    One trick pony means that you get used to cycling all the time at one cadence, if for any reason you have to change cadence (long hills, etc) your body/legs will be unacustomed to this and it will be allien to you.
    That's why I do the majority of training at my 'happy' cadence and one session at a low cadence.
    It's not rocket science...
    Start with a budget, finish with a mortgage!
  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,257
    Crimmey wrote:
    I know what freehub means, sounds like we have identical riding styles, right down to the exact cadence. Are you quite good on hills but struggle on TT's by any chance too ( I have only done 1 so cant say that I struggle too badly)?

    Yeah I'm not that good at TT's, my best is like 25:46 for a 10. I seem to be quite good at the hills. On the trainer I do try to work at keeping my cadence at 90, but when I get to a hill I just go at it around 75rpm, sometimes it can be as low as 60.
  • Slow1972Slow1972 Posts: 362
    hopper1 wrote:
    That's why I do the majority of training at my 'happy' cadence and one session at a low cadence.

    +1, although I can offer no scientific explanation that it actually leads to the intended improvement. What I feel with big gear intervals is that the upper leg muscles are being worked harder than when I'm in my "happy" cadence. The hope is that the increased strength/force capability the muscles develops by doing this is then delivered at the "happy" cadence, leading to increased power overall. But then I do plenty of happy cadence training too, so its probably that which is the overriding factor in any overall improvement.
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    If you go to post 15 written by Jamie Pringle here;-

    http://www.timetriallingforum.co.uk/ind ... 41866&st=0

    You'll get some very good insights on cadence.

    I think his explanation is excellent. So much so that I'm probably going to stop doing my 2x20s on a hill where my cadence goes really low with a high torque or on the turbo where my cadence goes into the 80's and torque goes low but instead do them on a flat road which matches exactly how I will race.

    Specific training is king. Train at race pace at race power which will mean race cadence and torque preferably on the race bike.
  • hopper1hopper1 Posts: 4,389
    chrisw12 wrote:
    If you go to post 15 written by Jamie Pringle here;-

    http://www.timetriallingforum.co.uk/ind ... 41866&st=0

    You'll get some very good insights on cadence.

    I think his explanation is excellent. So much so that I'm probably going to stop doing my 2x20s on a hill where my cadence goes really low with a high torque or on the turbo where my cadence goes into the 80's and torque goes low but instead do them on a flat road which matches exactly how I will race.

    Specific training is king. Train at race pace at race power which will mean race cadence and torque preferably on the race bike.

    Totally agree Chris, and that suits TTers well, IMHO.
    I think in RR, whereby cadence is all over the place, then some training at varied cadences will serve well.
    I recently started doing the Charmicheal CTC training drill on my turbo, as per his DVD for hill training at various cadences, it really leaves an impression on your legs... :wink:
    Start with a budget, finish with a mortgage!
  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,257
    When I'm on the turbo I'm going to try and aim to get keep my cadence between 85 and 105.
  • rakerake Posts: 3,204
    60-80 is higher up the graph.
  • nobody has answered a single question. :(

    the article doesnt either.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    nobody has answered a single question. :(

    the article doesnt either.

    If you're talking about the article that I posted, I just threw it out there because I thought
    that it was a pretty good discussion of what is known about cadence. I'm in agreement with the author that by riding, racing, and training, you will come to a cadence that
    works best for you, and that you feel comfortable with, both mentally and physically.
    I liked his comment that there are really no coaches out there pushing riders to adhere to any specific cadence or to try and speed up or slow down their spin rate.
  • AirwaveAirwave Posts: 483
    After reading lots&lots on the subject it would appear that no one has the answer.People seem to pick a piece of research that backs up their own personal opinion on cadence.I suppose if you have to look somewhere for the answer it would be the people who make a living at cycling&the majority of them seem to favour a cadence in the 90-120 range.
    I've recently increase my cadence from the low 80's to the 90's.But it's to early to say what if any difference there is.I'm surprised how easily i have increase my rpm by 10/15% over a 6 week period.This includes some long rides & short training rides at TT pace.May be a power meter would give some clues over a few months of TTs.I have found it's given my training a bit of added focus rather than just the usual mile crunching at this time of year.
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    Ah, a good ol' cadence thread. It's been a while since I replied to one. :D

    Shame i'm not going to get involved in this one though... :lol:
  • ok.

    perhaps there are no answers.

    but some people argue certain things like 'low cadence beefs up your legs more'. etc.

    just to clear this thread up here's a summary of what i asked:

    if 2 identical twins (even better: clones) trained at identical powers for 20 years one at high cadence and one at low cadence would they still be identical? have identical ftp etc? would one be better suited to climbing/tts/sprints/blah blah?
  • AirwaveAirwave Posts: 483
    Come on Bhima-You know you want to :lol:
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    ok.



    just to clear this thread up here's a summary of what i asked:

    if 2 identical twins (even better: clones) trained at identical powers for 20 years one at high cadence and one at low cadence would they still be identical? have identical ftp etc? would one be better suited to climbing/tts/sprints/blah blah?

    I doubt anyone can answer that with any certainty. Even if they could the results would be pretty much meaningless to your situation. Like I said before, if you ride enough I think you will find your "natural" cadence without trying to focus on it or force yourself to try to atttain this or that number of RPM's. Let it go and you'll probably end up somewhere between 80 and 100(give or take a few). There is no evidence that this is wrong and lots of pro riders seem to gravitate to somewhere between those figures.
  • dennisn wrote:
    I doubt anyone can answer that with any certainty. Even if they could the results would be pretty much meaningless to your situation. Like I said before, if you ride enough I think you will find your "natural" cadence without trying to focus on it or force yourself to try to atttain this or that number of RPM's. Let it go and you'll probably end up somewhere between 80 and 100(give or take a few). There is no evidence that this is wrong and lots of pro riders seem to gravitate to somewhere between those figures.

    Dennis your link repeated below is a very interesting read.

    http://www2.bsn.de/Cycling/articles/cadence.html

    Difficult to read in this format so I copied and pasted it into a word document to make it easier. If you read it thoroughly It demonstrates pretty conclusively to me that for trained cyclists and trained (fit) non- cyclists a cadence of 95/100 rpm is the optimal cadence to use at higher levels of power output (i.e. elite racing).

    A more readable version of the effect on slow twitch and fast twitch muscle utilization at diffferent cadence levels is here :

    http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/0965.htm
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