Author Topic: Cadence Question  (Read 2703 times)

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Offline csykes

Cadence Question
« on: March 19, 2011, 07:01:12 pm »
I am a recreational Roadie who hopes to begin some light (credit card) touring reasonably soon.  I was wondering about cadence.  On the road bike I try to pedal 85 to 95 rpm which is comfortable for me.  I understand that it is different with a loaded bike and that touring bikes have wider and lower gears. Do cycle tourists typically pedal in this range?

Offline knolltop

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Re: Cadence Question
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2011, 07:16:44 pm »
I too use cadence of 85-105 when riding the go-fast bike.
Don't have cadence monitor on touring bike, but try to do same pedal rate. 

I'm prone to knee issues.  Maintaining 85+ is my way of assuring not using too high gear and, therefore, avoiding those knee issues.

Also, peddling @ 100+  (without bouncing on seat) during training rides is way of of developing smoother stroke which can then also be employed at lower cadences.  Smooth stroke reduces wasted effort/energy. 
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Offline Tourista829

Re: Cadence Question
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2011, 07:38:49 pm »
80 rpm flats 90-100 rpm up hills

Offline John Nelson

Re: Cadence Question
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2011, 09:09:55 pm »
Everybody has their natural cadence, some high, some low. It  can be modified somewhat with practice if you want to. I would guess that most people have a slightly different cadence on a loaded touring bike, but probably not a big difference.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Cadence Question
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2011, 09:34:30 pm »
I normally ride in the 80s when unloaded, but when you've loaded up and are climbing, sometimes you run out of gears.

I found I could drop down to a cadence of about 70 with a load before my knees started talking back.  If I couldn't keep that up, it was time for really low gear: get off the bike and push.

Offline csykes

Re: Cadence Question
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2011, 10:37:44 pm »
Thanks all; that confirms what I had assumed.  It took me a while to get comfortable with higher-cadence pedaling, but it certainly is easier an my aging body than hammering away in a big gear.  On long climbs my cadence slips to about 70, but currently my lowest gear combo is 34 x 27.  I will go to lower gearing before I do any touring.

Offline Tourista829

Re: Cadence Question
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2011, 02:03:15 am »
It will save your knees. Climb effortlessly, you can never have too low a gear. Although, rarely us it, have a 34 tooth gear in the rear cassette and 24"tooth gear in the front. With 700c wheel, believe a 19 inch low gear.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Cadence Question
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2011, 11:46:15 am »
I am a recreational Roadie who hopes to begin some light (credit card) touring reasonably soon.  I was wondering about cadence.  On the road bike I try to pedal 85 to 95 rpm which is comfortable for me.  I understand that it is different with a loaded bike and that touring bikes have wider and lower gears. Do cycle tourists typically pedal in this range?
My normal cadence is similar except I mix it up quite a bit.  On long rides I'll spend much of the day at 80-90, but might spend a bit of time at 55-65 or so and a bit at 95-100 for a change of pace.

Offline Stevenp

Re: Cadence Question
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2011, 03:25:53 pm »
So how important is it to keep track of cadence on a trip? Some have told me it is the most important thing to keep track of, but I just don't get it. Also, I have never been into cycling so it's something new to me, but help me understand.

Thanks

Offline Tourista829

Re: Cadence Question
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2011, 03:55:47 pm »
I do check it from time to time. I agree with others, it is a personal thing. You just want to find what works for you. As you progress through your day, keep your cadence up as you tire.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Cadence Question
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2011, 03:56:32 pm »
So how important is it to keep track of cadence on a trip? Some have told me it is the most important thing to keep track of, but I just don't get it. Also, I have never been into cycling so it's something new to me, but help me understand.

Thanks
My advice...  
If you are a big gear masher, work on spinning a bit faster while you are at home.  Ride at a comfortable cadence and don't worry about it while on tour.  Also if you find you like to ride at a low cadence some of the time, do it.  Just don't mash a huge gear at 50-60 rpm all the time.  If you do that, try to break the habit before your tour.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Cadence Question
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2011, 07:27:19 pm »
I don't think it's important to keep track. Do what comes naturally, but keep in the back of your mind that many people find higher cadences create fewer leg problems. So whenever you think about it, downshift and increase the cadence to see if you can do that comfortably. If you do give a higher cadence a reasonable try for a reasonable amount of time, and you find that it's not comfortable, and if you're not having any physical problems, then mash away guilt-free. Don't let the high-cadence crowd tell you that you have to do it their way or you'll die a horrible, painful death.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Cadence Question
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2011, 07:43:44 pm »
So how important is it to keep track of cadence on a trip?

After the first few days, about the time we hit the hills in western Virginia, I switched to displaying the cadence and mileage.  Part of that was to help make sure I down-shifted enough to keep my cadence up, and save my knees.  To be honest, though, the major reason was that watching the speed was depressing.  Mileage was useful to help locate the next turn.

Offline knolltop

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Re: Cadence Question
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2011, 07:57:58 pm »
So how important is it to keep track of cadence on a trip?
After the first few days, ... watching the speed was depressing.
;D
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Offline bogiesan

Re: Cadence Question
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2011, 08:29:49 pm »
I don't think it's important to keep track.

You track your cadence while training. After that it's natural.

David Boise I'd
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent