Cadence....discuss

The foundations for successful riding

Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby mikesbytes » Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:41 pm

I see considerable variation in the definition of high and low cadences
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby brentono » Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:41 pm

Retrogrouch say, most don't know how to pedal.
Even pressure through 360degrees, maintained at high cadence (120+) with ease.
Only one way as C.O.N.I and Keirin School have taught InPerpetua.
Begin correctly, small gears fixed, and do a lot of revolutions, for a lot of km's.
To learn to pedal correctly from the beginning is an Art.
Once you have learnt to pedal correctly you can maintain high cadence with ease.
It's as simple or as hard as that.
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby mikesbytes » Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:12 pm

While I have learnt much, there is much more to learn
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby Ross » Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:40 am

Only just found this thread, took me a couple of days to read it all!

So to summarise...fast cadence (100 rpm plus) isn't neccessarily good/better, the ideal cadence is whatever you are comfortable with, some like 100+, some like 70, some like 80?

The slow twitch/fast twitch muscle discussion was intertesting too. So, the summary of that was you can train to have more of one type than another, your body will adapt, it's not just "how you are"?
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:06 am

Ross wrote:So to summarise...fast cadence (100 rpm plus) isn't neccessarily good/better, the ideal cadence is whatever you are comfortable with, some like 100+, some like 70, some like 80?

Yes, and train in a way that is specific to the demands of your goal events.

Ross wrote:The slow twitch/fast twitch muscle discussion was intertesting too. So, the summary of that was you can train to have more of one type than another, your body will adapt, it's not just "how you are"?

Not quite. You are born with your mix of FT/ST, you can't create FT fibres if you don't already have them naturally (e.g. sprinters are born that way, you can't create a sprinter from a ST dominant animal). You can however gradually "teach" FT fibres (if you have them) to take on some ST properties with sufficient volume of training over a long time.
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby PawPaw » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:27 pm

50 yo riders don't have 20 year old knees, lean tissue, or cardiovascular systems.
We have a 72 yo racing vet who trains with us, and I've seen him sit on 45kph for at least a minute, and sprint over 50. I've never seen him spin more than ~100rpm, despite his room full of national and state wins.
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby ft_critical » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:00 pm

Bernard Hinault, Marc Gomez and Eddy Merckx are all personal acquaintances of the author's wife, so unless Alex's Mum is a friend of Lance, then it looks like the below is a win for the cadence camp:

http://www.flammerouge.je/content/3_factsheets/constant/cadence.htm

Noting that it is a 'fact'sheet too please....
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby brentono » Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:53 pm

Retrogrouch- repeat Ad Infinitum. :roll:
Lot of 20 yo riders with 50 year old knees (whining about it, and can't work it out) on this site,
from slogging big gears.
Ft_critcal a lot of familiar points made in that linked article. +1
Seems it's back to basics for many, and start learning how to pedal correctly. Just a thought.
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby Nobody » Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:01 pm

ft_critical wrote:Bernard Hinault, Marc Gomez and Eddy Merckx are all personal acquaintances of the author's wife, so unless Alex's Mum is a friend of Lance, then it looks like the below is a win for the cadence camp:

http://www.flammerouge.je/content/3_factsheets/constant/cadence.htm

Noting that it is a 'fact'sheet too please....
Thanks for posting. Interesting read. I may give it a go to see. Have you measured any gain in following it?
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby ft_critical » Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:52 pm

I haven't measured it directly. I say that because I am never just doing one thing as training. But being able to spin high rpm (110 plus) gives you the ability to:

Change pace quickly in the bunch, not let gaps open, go round slower riders - with ease.
I find that I can spin up hills more easiliy, the more I practice. (to be honest I am interested to see how this will net out with the big gear/low cadence hill efforts I am going to begin next week)
I can't say if it helps my sprint

This is embarassing. But I am haunted by this Paul Sherwin expression, 'as long as they stay supple [on the climb, at the end of the race etc]) I didn't really know what that meant, but I do now. It is about staying relaxed during the pedaling cycle and never over utilising one muscle group. My tendancy is to drive down too far on the front stroke. But practicing high cadence forces you to have better balance in the whole cycle. You can't overutilise because then you bounce or just tire out a muscle.

One of the great things about cadence is you can do it as a recovery ride on the trainer. I have two one hour sessions that I do pretty regularly. Obviously I am blasting away on the 39/23.
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:04 pm

ft_critical wrote:Bernard Hinault, Marc Gomez and Eddy Merckx are all personal acquaintances of the author's wife, so unless Alex's Mum is a friend of Lance, then it looks like the below is a win for the cadence camp:

http://www.flammerouge.je/content/3_factsheets/constant/cadence.htm

Noting that it is a 'fact'sheet too please....

Shame it doesn't have much in the way of facts then. Plenty of factual errors, myths and logical fallacies though.

And leave my Mum out of this. I find such a reference offensive.
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby ft_critical » Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:12 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:And leave my Mum out of this. I find such a reference offensive.


I think that is a bit of an over-reaction as it was clearly said in jest. However, sorry that you were offended as it was not my intention to offend you.
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby PawPaw » Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:22 pm

I had a retul bike fit a few weeks ago. My seat was brought down considerably, and my knee angle in extension is now 42 deg. The saddle feels too low, but I noticed immediately I could spin an extra 15rpm without bouncing. I can also cruise in the 90s much more comfortably now, and 100s for 10-15 minutes, and efforts in the 110s. I used to bounce around 110-115 but now it's 125-130. My top speed jumped 3kph within a week.
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby vander » Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:35 pm

PawPaw wrote:I had a retul bike fit a few weeks ago. My seat was brought down considerably, and my knee angle in extension is now 42 deg. The saddle feels too low, but I noticed immediately I could spin an extra 15rpm without bouncing. I can also cruise in the 90s much more comfortably now, and 100s for 10-15 minutes, and efforts in the 110s. I used to bounce around 110-115 but now it's 125-130. My top speed jumped 3kph within a week.

How much was the fit?
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby PawPaw » Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:57 pm

vander wrote:
PawPaw wrote:I had a retul bike fit a few weeks ago. My seat was brought down considerably, and my knee angle in extension is now 42 deg. The saddle feels too low, but I noticed immediately I could spin an extra 15rpm without bouncing. I can also cruise in the 90s much more comfortably now, and 100s for 10-15 minutes, and efforts in the 110s. I used to bounce around 110-115 but now it's 125-130. My top speed jumped 3kph within a week.

How much was the fit?


$300 for three hours, though it will be a business expense. :)
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby brentono » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:11 pm

Seems pretty factual in the muscle groups used in one correct pedal stroke :mrgreen:
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:43 pm

brentono wrote:Seems pretty factual in the muscle groups used in one correct pedal stroke :mrgreen:

It's not entirely correct though, "but a good effort - yeah".

I'll leave it to others to work it out. I'm done here.
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby brentono » Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:14 pm

Yes, "a pretty good effort" and a pretty extensively used graphic, on many cycling related sports sites.
Which should give those interested in trying, a better idea, of the motion, and muscles groups used,
while trying to achieve a perfect pedal stroke.
All the best, it may mean back to basics, and smaller (fixed?) gears, to achieve it, folks.
Up your Cadence. :)
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby mikesbytes » Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:28 pm

That diagram has been around for a long time. It would be interesting to see some equivalent diagrams
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby brentono » Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:26 am

Here's some I quickly found :mrgreen:
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby twizzle » Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:53 am

Hmmm... Far too much suspect information out there.

I've always wondered about the 'perfect circle', 'one legged drills' etc., but I think AS is correct in that it's all about pushing the pedal harder. Given that hip flexors pull on the lower spine (back pain) and have little endurance... probably better to not try and turn circles.

The biggest benefit I've found to my endurance is in making sure I'm not favoring one leg. A lot of people discovered when they do step-ups that one leg is weaker than the other, and I can now 'generally' tell when I'm not putting equal pressure on the pedals, but it took some time to learn how it should 'feel'.

I'm sure there are some benefits to be gained from having an efficient pedal stroke, but I no longer think that efficiency has anything to do with "perfect circles", "even pressure" etc., as it is impossible to do given the relative size differences of various muscle groups.

That being said, Steve Hogg pointed out to me that my pedal stroke gets very messy at 'high' cadence... which for me is anything higher than 100. So I need to do more high-cadence work to get my brain/muscles working together.
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby ft_critical » Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:18 pm

twizzle wrote:I've always wondered about the 'perfect circle', 'one legged drills' etc., but I think AS is correct in that it's all about pushing the pedal harder. Given that hip flexors pull on the lower spine (back pain) and have little endurance... probably better to not try and turn circles.


I don't think it's circles, maybe that is where some of the confusion is. It is migrating from stomping to peanuts to sausages. Not a circle. A guy at work was just telling me that Velofix (bike store who do spin classes etc.) have an application that shows you the picture of how you are pedalling. I think they use Wattbikes.
https://wattbike.com/us/guide/cycling_tests/pedalling_technique_test/what_the_polar_view_shapes_mean
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby brentono » Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:46 pm

For those interested.

What has come to light through this discussion, recent research, and my own experience
is that smooth consistent power maintained at higher cadence requires specific training
of mind and body.

As when you are competing in a cycle race, your brain controls your balance (subconsciously)
and in the same way, the brain subconsciously controls how the muscle groups work during your
pedal action. (earlier in this discussions, I pointed out how "bad habits" become ingrained subconciously)

This is why in "old-school" disciplines like C.O.N.I. and Keirin School, early development (novices) of
correct pedalling techniques are taught (by the use of smaller fixed gears and higher cadence training)
Once you learn to pedal "correctly" and it is ingrained in the subconcious (through constant repetition)
it becomes as natural as maintaining your balance during competition.

This is even more apparent to Track riders, whose bodies subconsciously adapt to balance control while
negotiating Velodromes. Same for subconscious muscle groups actions while pedalling under varied
centrifugal forces while on the Velodrome. The brain training is as important as the body training.

Hope that helps those who wish to be better informed.
:mrgreen:

P.S. Pedaling in a simple circle is a complex thing. Maintaining even power in both legs
during one pedal cycle and mastering it can save energy. Haven't even talked "proper ankling"
which is the raising and lowering of the heel, during each pedal cycle, mastering it can gain power. :shock:
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby foo on patrol » Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:33 pm

It takes a real conserted effort to train yourself to pedal like that diagram Brenton, but once you've got it right, then
it becomes second nature. :wink: :mrgreen:

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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby mikesbytes » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:29 pm

Raising and lowering of the heal is yet another topic in itself.
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