Cadence practice...

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pilch
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Cadence practice...

Postby pilch » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:04 pm

I ride mountain bikes most of the time, i'm making a concerted effort this season to target my training more effectively and improve my race performance next season.

With that in mind i'm doing road work and turbo sessions, got a powertap and a plan - so far so good...

One of the things I struggled with most and wanted to improve was cadence, I struggled to hit the right numbers at good cadence and stay there, I did some drills which helped a little, but the main thing that helped me was using a metronome!

Got a cheap app on the phone and some earphones, set it to 190 ish... and boom! 95-100+ no probs, not something you want to race with going forward and gets a little boring after a while but great for getting the rhythm right initially... onwards to prestissimo!
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trickydisco
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Re: Cadence practice...

Postby trickydisco » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:11 pm

Craig mclean has some mental cadence

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jgyq8Zkp10Y

average cadence of 237!

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Herbsman
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Re: Cadence practice...

Postby Herbsman » Fri Dec 07, 2012 13:09 pm

Srsly, music is essential to long training efforts for me. I don't know how I've been able to train without it all this time. Having drum & bass on the MP3 player with the sound turned up only just loud enough to be audible really helps me stick to a particular level of effort for 20mins - 2hrs.

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Re: Cadence practice...

Postby twotyred » Fri Dec 07, 2012 13:12 pm

One of the things I struggled with most and wanted to improve was cadence, I struggled to hit the right numbers at good cadence and stay there


Why do you think you need to improve your cadence? What's a good cadence is the cadence that works best for you and is not necessarily the high cadence you may have heard that pros ride with.

High cadence drills are more useful for increasing pedalling efficiency as they teach you to pedal in smoother circles- you can't mash the pedals at >100 rpm. If I were you I'd stop worrying about your cadence as it may or may not increase with high cadence workouts but your pedalling smoothness definitely will.

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pilch
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Re: Cadence practice...

Postby pilch » Fri Dec 07, 2012 13:35 pm

twotyred wrote:Why do you think you need to improve your cadence? What's a good cadence is the cadence that works best for you and is not necessarily the high cadence you may have heard that pros ride with.

High cadence drills are more useful for increasing pedalling efficiency as they teach you to pedal in smoother circles- you can't mash the pedals at >100 rpm. If I were you I'd stop worrying about your cadence as it may or may not increase with high cadence workouts but your pedalling smoothness definitely will.


I'm a mountain biker, you will have to forgive me if I don't fully understand the finer details of technique as I am riding a road bike as a means to an end, my cadence and power output were all over the place - as I saw from the saved info files from my workouts in Training peaks.

The perceived wisdom (not "what I heard the pros ride with") is that higher cadence or 'optimal cadence' is generally considered to be more efficient and as you rightly said will help with pedalling smoothness/technique.

I am not worrying about it - I am trying to improve it, as I believe that ultimately it will make me more efficient and I am already seeing the results in the numbers, smoother pedalling and less power spikes with more consistent power output.
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twotyred
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Re: Cadence practice...

Postby twotyred » Sat Dec 08, 2012 00:22 am

I started out MTBing as well so I know where you're coming from. Great if high cadence drills are working for you in terms of more efficient pedalling. Just don't get obsessed that you need a high cadence. Perceived wisdom is just that- perceived not proven. BTW Bradley Wiggins spent this year reducing his cadence not increasing it.

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Re: Cadence practice...

Postby edeverett » Sun Dec 09, 2012 23:12 pm

Probably the best way to improve your cadence is put a low gear on a fixed and go ride in the hills.

(Doesn't help if you don't have a fixed bike though)
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Re: Cadence practice...

Postby Bigpikle » Mon Dec 10, 2012 16:19 pm

if you're tracking your cadence with your Powertap then the numbers are garbage anyway. Make sure you base any analysis on cadence measured with a dedicated cadence sensor.

Personally I dont see the point but each to their own...
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pilch
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Re: Cadence practice...

Postby pilch » Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:37 am

Garmin Edge 750 with cadence sensor + power tap, I see the point... so that's all that matters I guess ;-)
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amaferanga
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Re: Cadence practice...

Postby amaferanga » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:18 am

Bigpikle wrote:if you're tracking your cadence with your Powertap then the numbers are garbage anyway. Make sure you base any analysis on cadence measured with a dedicated cadence sensor.

Personally I dont see the point but each to their own...


Not my experience. For me the only time they were erratic was while soft pedalling at <~150W. Max number was normally garbage, but average and realtime at normal wattages were fine.
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Re: Cadence practice...

Postby RChung » Wed Dec 12, 2012 01:35 am

Bigpikle wrote:if you're tracking your cadence with your Powertap then the numbers are garbage anyway. Make sure you base any analysis on cadence measured with a dedicated cadence sensor.


Really? I've done a middling amount of analysis using the PT's cadence data. What analysis are you doing where a dedicated cadence sensor is so critical (especially since cadence isn't very important anyway)?

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JGSI
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Re: Cadence practice...

Postby JGSI » Wed Dec 12, 2012 08:46 am

So is the general opinion of quadrant analysis is ...
overrated..?
don't bother?

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Re: Cadence practice...

Postby Trev The Rev » Wed Dec 12, 2012 09:00 am

Cadence is more important than some would have you believe.

You can average more power with 'variable cadence' alternating from lower force high cadence to higher force low cadence. The slight shift in emphasis of the systems in use allows an increase in FTP. The cadence range depends very much on the athlete. Those who have honed their ability to use their gears to hold a very narrow cadence band may not see the improvement at first but in time alternating approx 5rpm to 10 rpm over and under your normal most effective cadence increases average watts. Obviously I am not advocating varying cadence to unrealistic extremes though.

If you ride fixed you will be using variable cadence anyway. This widens the effective cadence band.

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Re: Cadence practice...

Postby danowat » Wed Dec 12, 2012 09:19 am

JGSI wrote:So is the general opinion of quadrant analysis is ...
overrated..?
don't bother?


Of your own sessions?, bit pointless IMO, I pretty much know what sort of session I did (was it high force, low velocity etc etc) without the aid of QA telling me.

I can see the value from a coaching POV though, for analysising other peoples sessions.

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Re: Cadence practice...

Postby amaferanga » Wed Dec 12, 2012 09:59 am

Trev The Rev wrote:Cadence is more important than some would have you believe.

You can average more power with 'variable cadence' alternating from lower force high cadence to higher force low cadence. The slight shift in emphasis of the systems in use allows an increase in FTP. The cadence range depends very much on the athlete. Those who have honed their ability to use their gears to hold a very narrow cadence band may not see the improvement at first but in time alternating approx 5rpm to 10 rpm over and under your normal most effective cadence increases average watts. Obviously I am not advocating varying cadence to unrealistic extremes though.

If you ride fixed you will be using variable cadence anyway. This widens the effective cadence band.


Bullsh!t.... unless you can present some evidence?
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Re: Cadence practice...

Postby Trev The Rev » Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:52 am

amaferanga wrote:
Trev The Rev wrote:Cadence is more important than some would have you believe.

You can average more power with 'variable cadence' alternating from lower force high cadence to higher force low cadence. The slight shift in emphasis of the systems in use allows an increase in FTP. The cadence range depends very much on the athlete. Those who have honed their ability to use their gears to hold a very narrow cadence band may not see the improvement at first but in time alternating approx 5rpm to 10 rpm over and under your normal most effective cadence increases average watts. Obviously I am not advocating varying cadence to unrealistic extremes though.

If you ride fixed you will be using variable cadence anyway. This widens the effective cadence band.


Bullsh!t.... unless you can present some evidence?


Seeing as most 'experts' maintain that cadence is a red herring or of little importance a variable cadence within reasonable limits can hardly be less effective than a more rigid narrow cadence range.

Most scientific research seems to be looking at 'which' cadence and there is little evidence to show any particular cadence is more effective.

Most riders do use a variable cadence anyway. Many will naturally start changing gear & cadence depending on fatigue or terrain anyway.

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amaferanga
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Re: Cadence practice...

Postby amaferanga » Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:59 am

Trev The Rev wrote:Seeing as most 'experts' maintain that cadence is a red herring or of little importance a variable cadence within reasonable limits can hardly be less effective than a more rigid narrow cadence range.

Most scientific research seems to be looking at 'which' cadence and there is little evidence to show any particular cadence is more effective.

Most riders do use a variable cadence anyway. Many will naturally start changing gear & cadence depending on fatigue or terrain anyway.


Ah I see, more trolling just for the hell of it. Now where's that evidence that shows varying cadence increases FTP?
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Trev The Rev
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Re: Cadence practice...

Postby Trev The Rev » Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:26 am

amaferanga wrote:
Trev The Rev wrote:Seeing as most 'experts' maintain that cadence is a red herring or of little importance a variable cadence within reasonable limits can hardly be less effective than a more rigid narrow cadence range.

Most scientific research seems to be looking at 'which' cadence and there is little evidence to show any particular cadence is more effective.

Most riders do use a variable cadence anyway. Many will naturally start changing gear & cadence depending on fatigue or terrain anyway.


Ah I see, more trolling just for the hell of it. Now where's that evidence that shows varying cadence increases FTP?


No one ever posts evidence when I ask for it. You post evidence to prove me wrong. I note how when people don't have the brains to argue their point they resort to the troll insult. You are now on my ignore list.

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Re: Cadence practice...

Postby GiantMike » Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:28 pm

Trev The Rev wrote:Cadence is more important than some would have you believe.

You can average more power with 'variable cadence' alternating from lower force high cadence to higher force low cadence. The slight shift in emphasis of the systems in use allows an increase in FTP. The cadence range depends very much on the athlete. Those who have honed their ability to use their gears to hold a very narrow cadence band may not see the improvement at first but in time alternating approx 5rpm to 10 rpm over and under your normal most effective cadence increases average watts.


I agree with the bit in red.

But the rest of it sounds like you have firm evidence that varying cadence around my normal most effective cadence by 5-10 rpm will improve my power. What is my normal most effective cadence and how would I find it? And surely, in real-world conditions, all riders vary cadence by +/- rpm around their norm anyway.

To the OP, I'd ignore what the pros say until you are good enough for it to really matter. Pros are pros because they are super fit and ride about 10 times as much as mere mortals, not because they pedal fast or slow. What kind of cadence do you set on a normal ride?
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Re: Cadence practice...

Postby Trev The Rev » Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:54 pm

GiantMike wrote:I agree with the bit in red.

But the rest of it sounds like you have firm evidence that varying cadence around my normal most effective cadence by 5-10 rpm will improve my power. What is my normal most effective cadence and how would I find it? And surely, in real-world conditions, all riders vary cadence by +/- rpm around their norm anyway.

To the OP, I'd ignore what the pros say until you are good enough for it to really matter. Pros are pros because they are super fit and ride about 10 times as much as mere mortals, not because they pedal fast or slow. What kind of cadence do you set on a normal ride?



Yes they do, so many riders are already using a variable cadence. After a few years most riders tend to settle on a preferred cadence which may or may not be optimal for them. Everyone varies, so you have to test. I watched some film of Merckx doing a time trial and was surprised by how much his cadence varied. This may be because he had less gears and was unable to change gear as often using the friction system they used back then, but his cadence varied by far more than modern riders. I was trying to see how his cadence compared to Armstrong Ullrich & Wiggins but his was so variable it is not possible to say what his preferred cadence was (on the road anyway).


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