Ideal Cadence for Trike?

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Ideal Cadence for Trike?

Postby Downhill » Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:47 pm

Hi guys,

What's the "ideal" cadence for a recumbent trike on a flat course? Is the cadence for a trike the same as for a DF (circa 90 RPM)?

Thanks,
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by BNA » Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:14 pm

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Re: Ideal Cadence for Trike?

Postby sogood » Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:14 pm

Ideal cadence is what suits you best. It should be no different on whatever pedal machine you are on.
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Re: Ideal Cadence for Trike?

Postby John Lewis » Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:30 pm

The usual advice for recumbents is to spin. 80+ cadence is often mentioned.

The reason is, that unlike a DF bike, you are working against the seat back and it's possible to put a lot of
pressure on the knees and possibly do damage.

Spinning helps keep the pressure off the knees.

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Re: Ideal Cadence for Trike?

Postby Downhill » Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:27 pm

Ok, thanks! Both of these answers make sense.

My next question is - is a cadence of 90 RPM as applicable to recreational cruising as it might be to racing?

And just what is the"average' cadence? If 90 is the optimum then I imagine that the average would be lower, especially when climbing. Personally I find 90 tiring, but I can cruise all day at 70 to 80 without any joint pain. Is it purely a personal preference / physiology thing?
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Re: Ideal Cadence for Trike?

Postby Baalzamon » Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:23 pm

90 rpm is good
under 80 rpm can cause issues with you knees
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Re: Ideal Cadence for Trike?

Postby RonK » Sat Nov 09, 2013 10:40 am

Downhill wrote:And just what is the"average' cadence? If 90 is the optimum then I imagine that the average would be lower, especially when climbing. Personally I find 90 tiring, but I can cruise all day at 70 to 80 without any joint pain. Is it purely a personal preference / physiology thing?

No, an average cadence of 90rpm is generally considered the optimum and it's muscle fatigue that it aims to avoid.

Yes, you will find maintaining an average 90rpm tiring at first. You have to train your aerobic system to cope (that is what fixies are for), and this will take time.

As previously posted, the ride position and also the extra weight of a trike would seem to make it all the more important to maintain a high average cadence.

Regardless of the ideal cadence, some people will always be mashers and others will be spinners, so yes there is an element of personal preference and physiology involved.
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Re: Ideal Cadence for Trike?

Postby sogood » Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:02 am

John Lewis wrote:The usual advice for recumbents is to spin. 80+ cadence is often mentioned.
The reason is, that unlike a DF bike, you are working against the seat back and it's possible to put a lot of
pressure on the knees and possibly do damage.

I think the same advice is applicable to whatever type of riding activity.
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Re: Ideal Cadence for Trike?

Postby Bartek » Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:42 am

I have found that my average cadence has changed each time I have changed bike types, on a road bike my average was in the mid 70's with peaks in the high 80's and low 90's. when I changed to a mountain bike, after a few months my average was up in the low 80's with peaks into the high 90's and low 100's. Now with the recumbent trike and Velomobile my average is in the mid 90's with highs in the 115 to 125 range. My fitness and power may have dropped a little over recent years, but I don't know if that would explain the change.
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Re: Ideal Cadence for Trike?

Postby Duck! » Sat Nov 09, 2013 12:32 pm

RonK wrote:
Downhill wrote:And just what is the"average' cadence? If 90 is the optimum then I imagine that the average would be lower, especially when climbing. Personally I find 90 tiring, but I can cruise all day at 70 to 80 without any joint pain. Is it purely a personal preference / physiology thing?

No, an average cadence of 90rpm is generally considered the optimum and it's muscle fatigue that it aims to avoid.

Yes, you will find maintaining an average 90rpm tiring at first. You have to train your aerobic system to cope (that is what fixies are for), and this will take time.

As previously posted, the ride position and also the extra weight of a trike would seem to make it all the more important to maintain a high average cadence.

Regardless of the ideal cadence, some people will always be mashers and others will be spinners, so yes there is an element of personal preference and physiology involved.

This is all pretty well spot-on.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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Re: Ideal Cadence for Trike?

Postby Riggsbie » Sun Nov 10, 2013 7:18 pm

What Bartek said....l

My average is 95rpm and max out at 125rpm......on my trike, my velomobile, my two wheeler recumbent.......on my indoor trainer I spin at 110 average now......aerobic fitness is the key !


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Re: Ideal Cadence for Trike?

Postby John Lewis » Sun Nov 10, 2013 7:52 pm

I've noticed that as I've aged my cadence has gone down.
I used to spin quite happily at 90 and above but these days 60 to 70 is about it.
No danger of hurting the knees these days either as I no longer have much power.
I need to take it quietly anyway because of tachycardia but the slow down is noticeable.
I do recall reading that cadence does decrease with age. Perhaps sogood or RonK may know more there.

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Re: Ideal Cadence for Trike?

Postby RonK » Sun Nov 10, 2013 8:30 pm

John Lewis wrote:I do recall reading that cadence does decrease with age. Perhaps sogood or RonK may know more there.

What makes you think I would know about that John - are you implying something? :)

Actually my knees are not good after years of pack hauling, so keeping my cadence up is essential.
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Re: Ideal Cadence for Trike?

Postby John Lewis » Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:42 pm

Hi RonK,
Not implying anything. It was just you seemed pretty knowledgeable about what is being discussed and I thought you might be able to tell me whether I was correct in the statement that cadence decreases with age or not.

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