Cadence....discuss

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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby mikesbytes » Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:52 pm

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by BNA » Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:12 pm

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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby Wayfarer » Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:12 pm

As it turned out, the athletes' oxygen consumption rates were nearly identical in the two cases, and heart and breathing rates, total rate of power production, and blood lactate levels were also similar.

What a load of rubbish. Everybody knows that pedalling lower RPM gives you a lower breathing rate for the same output. It also doesn't once take into account the fact that, if you're spinning fast and redlining already then get to a big hill, you're not going to get up it without changing to a harder gear. Using 8 'experienced' cyclists, ie ones who already pedal a good 90RPM is a crap way to justify faster pedalling cadences is better. They already spin fast on the road, so their bodies aren't accustomed to mashing the pedals. By comparison, an Ironman or Ironwoman, like Chrissie Wellington or Mirinda Carfrae both use 60RPM cadence, more efficiently than 90RPM. Simply because they train that way. Great article from 1992 though.
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Oct 24, 2011 4:39 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
As it turned out, the athletes' oxygen consumption rates were nearly identical in the two cases, and heart and breathing rates, total rate of power production, and blood lactate levels were also similar.

What a load of rubbish. Everybody knows that pedalling lower RPM gives you a lower breathing rate for the same output. It also doesn't once take into account the fact that, if you're spinning fast and redlining already then get to a big hill, you're not going to get up it without changing to a harder gear. Using 8 'experienced' cyclists, ie ones who already pedal a good 90RPM is a crap way to justify faster pedalling cadences is better. They already spin fast on the road, so their bodies aren't accustomed to mashing the pedals. By comparison, an Ironman or Ironwoman, like Chrissie Wellington or Mirinda Carfrae both use 60RPM cadence, more efficiently than 90RPM. Simply because they train that way. Great article from 1992 though.

To be fair though, the study was using riders doing a 30-min effort at 85% of VO2max (which is quite hard riding), far harder than an IM athlete would ride.

The lower cadences don't have the same impact when riding at the much lower relative intensities that an IM athlete would use.

Pointing out one or two IM riders doesn't prove anything much. I think you will find a fair spread of cadences in successful IM athletes.
The faster athletes simply pace better, fuel better and have a higher power to aero drag ratio. Their cadence is a red herring.
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby mikesbytes » Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:17 pm

is 90rpm high cadence?
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby Apple » Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:55 pm

mikesbytes wrote:Article on Cadence

Why fast pedaling makes cyclists more efficient

Thats a great article Mike, thanks. I tend to use low cadence on the big gear but I am now training myself to increase the cadence when climbing.
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby human909 » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:58 pm

mikesbytes wrote:Article on Cadence

Why fast pedaling makes cyclists more efficient


A good article. And points out what I was arguing at the start of this thread that higher cadences are not about fast twitch muscles, in fact it normally is the opposite. This was despite some people's stubborn refusal to believe otherwise. :wink: :wink:

brentono wrote:
So to sum up, have talked about pedalers, those who have high ratios of fast-twitch fibers, who can more
easily attain higher cadence levels. Then there are those that have higher ratios of slow-twitch fibers and
are more comfortable with lower cadence, higher gears, and endurance events (sluggers as we used to call them)
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby brentono » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:49 am

Ignoring H909, as it seems, whatever knowledge he has?
it's limited regarding actual competative cycling.
And it would seem, he resents someone who does have actual experience. (by constant personal attack) :roll:

Great point
Slow-twitch muscle cells lost comparable amounts of their glycogen at 50 and 100 rpm, but fast-twitch cells lost almost 50 percent of their glycogen at 50 rpm and only 33 percent at 100 rpm, even though the exercise bouts lasted for 30 minutes in each case.


Exactly what I had been saying ALL along.
A Track rider (with higher F/T muscle ratio to S/T) who is a good pedaler,
and maintains higher cadence, in competiton (by using lower gears) conserves energy,
thereby having reserves, at the business end of any competition.
Thanks mikesbytes = Article on Cadence
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby twizzle » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:58 am

brentono wrote:in competiton (by using lower gears) conserves energy


The caveat there is that you have to be using low force, ie. not recruiting fast-twitch muscles, at low cadence. When 'cruising' in a race, I will drop to a cadence of around 60 for energy conservation - although it can be a big disadvantage when there is a sudden attack. But I have stuff-all fast twitch anyway, and if I maintain 'high' cadence (ie. 90 - 100), my heart rate increases.
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby brentono » Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:28 pm

Ultimately, the high pedaling rates also preserve greater amounts of glycogen
in fast-twitch muscle fibers, leading to more explosive "kicks" to the finish line
in closing moments of races.


Having been a Track sprinter, I personally found in longer more endurance events on the track,
and in Road Events up to even 160Km, if I maintained higher cadence, I did conserve "energy"
and even survived (didn't blow up, in road events)... to then be able muster a victorius sprint
with an explosive "kick" to the finish line in closing moments of races.
We all have both types of muscle fibres, in different ratios (due to heredity or training methods)
How you develop these types of muscle fibres, will determine what type of rider you become. FME.
And if anone wishes to go over the training methods that I have explained to achieve this,
then I wish them success, they will find the results are well worth the training effort.
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby mikesbytes » Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:40 pm

I'm a bit puzzled by the definition of high cadence, some of the figures quoted as high is what I see as low.

However there's the case of what's relevant to you
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby human909 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:19 pm

mikesbytes wrote:I'm a bit puzzled by the definition of high cadence, some of the figures quoted as high is what I see as low.

High/low cadence is relative and can vary from person to person. Furthermore cadence is actually not the most relevant metric. The most relevant metric the leg force as that is the determining factor on whether the muscle contraction is dominated by fast twitch or slow twitch muscles. However cadence is used as the easily measurable proxy as for a give power level it is inversely proportional to leg force.

The to sustained performance is using your slow twitch muscles. At lower power levels a low cadence can suffice. That is why most utility and recreational cyclists cruise at lower cadences. At higher power levels you really need to up your cadence to avoid needing too much of your fast twitch. Thus at higher sustained power levels you need a higher cadence. At peak power you can go into oxygen debt and produce power aerobically, so bring on those fast twitch!


brentono wrote:Ignoring H909, as it seems, whatever knowledge he has?
it's limited regarding actual competative cycling.
And it would seem, he resents someone who does have actual experience. (by constant personal attack) :roll:


Yet the article totally contradicts what you previously said? Or have you now changed your stance?

Re personal attacks, I think you should read your own posts. And suggesting I resent you is the height of conceitedness. I ride for pleasure and transport and I have done since I was a child. Not every cyclist aspires to compete, in the same way no every drive aspires to drive in the F1.

If you want to know the intricate details the thermodynamics of an F1 car you ask an race engineer rather than the driver. In the same way if I wanted to understand the biomechanics of cycling I would rather consult a bio-mechanist rather than a competitive cyclist. :D
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:50 pm

Muscle fibre recruitment is a function of power.

Henneman's Size Principle: As demand increases, the number and size of motor units recruited increases. Slow twitch fibres are smaller than fast twitch fibres and will be preferentially activated at lower power demand.

Fibres are recruited in sequence depending on the intensity of the work performed. I > IIa > IIx.

Individual theories about saving legs by spinning faster or slowing down cadence etc is all very nice but reality is, it's the power /exertion level that determines motor unit recruitment and how well one saves their legs. In a group ride scenario (to conserve energy) you simply have to learn how to draft effectively and avoid surging as much as possible.

Increased cadence reduces forces a little but comes at a slightly higher metabolic cost (slightly reduced efficiency). End of the day, it's swings and roundabouts at the typical band of cadences one rides in road racing, so riding however you find makes you feel good is all that matters, provided you draft well and avoid surging.
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby ft_critical » Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:59 pm

I have been doing one cadence session every two weeks for a few months now. A cadence session is a pyramid of 10min steps up by 10 rpm each step, from 80 to 110. From there I do 3 x 5min at over 120rpm with 5min at 85rpm recovery.
Some on the forum say cadence is the wrong metric, it is a red herring blah, blah. I am not training a metric I am training a perceived weakness.
I think that people who can spin faster are more efficient. This is my positive hypothesis.

Some of my results are that I can now spin at about 125-127rpm for 5min, where before I could do only one set at 118rpm. The effect of this is, I can climb faster. I can hold the spin pace (some refer to it as staying on top of the gear) on a hill much longer. I can spin a higher rpm at a lower HR (this was a big surprise and is what Brentono is referring to I think.) I can do those little in race sprints you do a million times to close gaps, change position etc with much greater ease. I perceive that I am conserving more at higher cadence than when I drive a higher gear at lower RPM. And there is no getting around it I am a masher. On the flats I can spin a circle. But when I got to a hill I reverted to a more up and down motion (stomping.) I would be isolating my quads. The more I can spin on a hill the more I can keep the distribution of effort even through my muscles, particularly my hamstrings.

So I am firmly in the cadence camp. Concentrating on higher cadence for a masher like me has significant benefits. I think a lot of people brought up on the track discount this because they achieve it naturally. As someone who picked up road riding later in life I don’t have the benefit of having ridden at high cadence week in week out. So I need some specific training to compensate for that and the relatively inefficient technique that resulted from not riding the track.

I have no belief that what I have written will help anyone nor be believed by anyone in this thread.
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby foo on patrol » Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:12 pm

Of course you're going to deplete things more quickly, if you're going to grind a gear below optimal revs Human909! :roll:

If you had noticed on any of the Tour commentary made by the likes of Phil Liggett he remarks on the riders freshness, by how fast
they are spinning.The more fatigued they get the smaller gear they ride so that means, if you want to ride a big gear, then you need to lift
the rpm level to a point so that you're not taxing yourself! Give me a rider that can spin all day long and up the anti at the end, to someone that sits
and grinds away and can't lift to a higher level when it counts.

Your logic might be fine for Joe Blow that only does 20Klm rides but sure as hell doesn't hold true for competive cyclists! :|

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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby human909 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:18 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Increased cadence reduces forces a little.

I agree with everything you said except I find this statement odd. Increased cadence reduces forces significantly (for a given power output). Infact the forces will drop exactly inversely proportionally to the cadence. This is an unavoidable physical fact.

foo on patrol wrote:Your logic might be fine for Joe Blow that only does 20Klm rides but sure as hell doesn't hold true for competive cyclists! :|


I don't know what you think you read, but it is quite clear to me that you seem to be thinking something different. I agree with what you are saying there (except for the eye roll bit).
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:41 am

human909 wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Increased cadence reduces forces a little.

I agree with everything you said except I find this statement odd. Increased cadence reduces forces significantly (for a given power output). Infact the forces will drop exactly inversely proportionally to the cadence. This is an unavoidable physical fact.

I'm not saying otherwise.

But we are talking about people who decide to ride at say 100rpm instead of 92-95rpm while riding along at very modest power outputs. So we have a grand change in cadence (and forces) of a handful of percent, which at sub-threshold power outputs is neither here nor there (i.e. riding below/left of the threshold force-pedal speed curve). IOW, it's the power output one should be concerned with if you want to save yourself, not the cadence.

Pithy Power Proverb: Maximise the power you can produce. Minimise the power you have to produce.
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby Nobody » Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:24 am

ft_critical wrote:On the flats I can spin a circle. But when I got to a hill I reverted to a more up and down motion (stomping.) I would be isolating my quads. The more I can spin on a hill the more I can keep the distribution of effort even through my muscles, particularly my hamstrings.
OT, but since you mention it here:

This may be of benefit to you (or not). Comparing the description in Steve's blog below about ideal saddle height with what you describe above on hills, your saddle may be too high. Just a thought.

http://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/blo ... can-it-be/
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby ft_critical » Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:21 am

Nobody wrote:Comparing the description in Steve's blog below about ideal saddle height with what you describe above on hills, your saddle may be too high. Just a thought.

http://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/blo ... can-it-be/


Thanks Nobody, been fitted by him in person.
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby brentono » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:33 am

Ft_critical
Since this is the Training for Racing section, it is good to see a positive response
regarding the discussion on Cadence, and it's functional implementation (in any part)
Any points that I may have made about good pedalers, and those who can more
easily attain higher cadence levels, during any of my discussions on training methods
have not waivered. It is a function of the individuals training methods. Do as I did. 8)
Ft_c it sounds like you may be at the beginning of a path, that,
with a lot of determined work, will make you a better pedaler, which will
make you a better cyclist, conserving "power" that in end, will help in any Sprint,
or finish of any cycling event... and will help you get to that end... if that's what your after.
Hills (hated them) were even overcome, by these methods, also! :D
All the best with your work.
Cheers
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby ft_critical » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:06 pm

brentono wrote:Ft_c it sounds like you may be at the beginning of a path, that,
with a lot of determined work, will make you a better pedaler, which will
make you a better cyclist, conserving "power" that in end, will help in any Sprint,
or finish of any cycling event... and will help you get to that end... if


Hallelujah Brentono

Also I haven't been 909ed yet, which is good.
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby mikesbytes » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:41 pm

FT, if you are interested in being less cadence sensitive, then I recommend you get a fixie to commute on. Also easier to clean and cost less to run
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby human909 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 3:28 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:I'm not saying otherwise.

But we are talking about people who decide to ride at say 100rpm instead of 92-95rpm while riding along at very modest power outputs. So we have a grand change in cadence (and forces) of a handful of percent, which at sub-threshold power outputs is neither here nor there (i.e. riding below/left of the threshold force-pedal speed curve). IOW, it's the power output one should be concerned with if you want to save yourself, not the cadence.

Pithy Power Proverb: Maximise the power you can produce. Minimise the power you have to produce.


Makes total sense. :D
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby vander » Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:54 pm

Please people listen to Alex he knows his showtime. However FT_C high cadence is a trained thing as with anything if you train it you become more efficient to a degree.

The different with everything between 60-100RPM is minimal optimum zone is large (as has been mentioned before) its when you get ridiculous cadences like 40 and 140 that you start to get large differences in performance as its more inefficient. Increasing your power will improve your riding a lot more then increasing you cadence.
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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby BarryTas » Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:07 am

geez this thread is still alive
when do we stop for coffee???

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Re: Cadence....discuss

Postby Marx » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:16 pm

Higher cadence is better for oldies, because the legs go frail & mashing monster torque at low cadence is bad for arthritic knees.

Which is the best looking cadence?
High cadence looks funny as the legs are a blur & some people bop on their saddles.
Low cadence comes across as 'try-hard' unless you're inching up on Mark Cavendish when he's out of the saddle coming to the end of his ride.
Spinning on rollers looks & sounds alot like the kind of actiivty that would normally get you arrested.

For a real insight, talk to a hipster who rides a fixie. Your ensuing rage will result in doing us all a favour...
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