High (130) cadence fail

orraloon Posts: 13,008
Searched for this subject but found nothing.

This winter been following the BC training programmes (got a big sportive booked for June) rather than just doing time and distance on the TT. All good bar one aspect.

I cannot hit and maintain the 130rpm cadence sections. Can do the short Max type bursts, showing up to 150rpm level, but when it comes to the prolonged 120+/130 bits, e.g. in the Spin Out or the 20 min Warm Up, either cannot get to cadence or if I do I'm rocking so badly that have to back off.

I'm not overly fussed by this, but intrigued as to why. Any advice, either for how to achieve or alt does it really matter that much?

i've tended to back off, put in a bigger gear, hold at about 110, and put the effort in that way. Maybe is just the way I'm built.


  • You're training for a sportive and the training plan says you need to do long sections at 130rpm?

    Suggest finding a plan that makes sense for you and what you are training for because this ain't it.
  • orraloon
    orraloon Posts: 13,008
    Not long sections at 130. Reps of 1 minute in the midst of other lower cadence sections.

    Might have answered my own question above in querying whether it really matters. Rest of the BC programme is fine for me, happy with progress so far. Certainly seeing benefit of a structured programme over a simple sit and crank it out.

    130rpm would seem to be too much for me / my body type.
  • cycleclinic
    cycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    Why do you need to spin for 1 min at 130 rpm for a ride? Even when racing that is not necessary. Being able to come out of a corner in a race at 70 rpm and accelerate in gear to 130 rpm very quickly is useful but in a sportive really when would you do that.

    Just go ride your bike that all you need to do. you can do hill reps as intervals and a variety of other things. Riding can be good training.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • twotoebenny
    twotoebenny Posts: 1,508
    From what I remember of the BC warm up routine there are no prolonged periods of such high cadence... they are just bursts... and I'm sure only 6 secs at most

    Edit 30 seconds according to link

    https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/zuvvi ... ARM_UP.pdf
  • A warm up routine and 130 rpm drills for a sportive. Cutting edge this BC stuff. :roll:
  • Sarcasm aside, and I think you've worked out that this sort of training in neither necessary nor specific to your needs, the issues of why people may not be able to sustain higher cadences for all that long are multifactoral.

    It does take some training to be able to pedal fluidly at such higher pedalling rates and it's the sort of thing you gradually work on and improve if it matters, and bike fit also plays a part. Poor bike fit, saddle height in particular, can impact on one's ability to pedal quickly. Of course crank length plays a part as well, since really it's pedal velocity that matters as much if not more than crank rotational velocity. 120rpm on 180mm cranks = 131rpm on 165s. There are other factors as well.

    In general very high pedalling rates are the sort of thing that matters for shorter high power events, especially those ridden on fixed / single gear such as track endurance races, pursuit team pursuit, track TT, track sprinting, BMX etc. But the important distinction is the high power bit. High rpm at low power isn't particularly useful nor will it really do much for improving your riding. As part of a warm up drill, maybe it'll help wake you up neurally but not for the sort of riding involved in sportives.
  • orraloon
    orraloon Posts: 13,008
    Yes, this may be me just thinking aloud, so apologies for that. Confirming to myself is ok to adapt training routines to fit my specifics.

    When I'm out on the bike, I just ride my bike, don't use HR or cadence monitors; but not being a Steve Abraham out in all conditions, plus in mid fettle of my summer bike - new wheels ordered (cheers Malcolm :D ), plus in recovery from a bad dose of 'flu in December, so far this year I've been using the turbo to improve my fitness ahead of better weather.

    I found the 130rpm exercise first off in the BC Spin Out exercise, certainly shakes the legs out:
    https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/zuvvi ... in_Out.pdf
    which is where I first started wondering why couldn't hit that mark. But, no worries, each to their own strengths. And roll on spring and better conditions for us fair weather weaklings. 8)