Cadence

tired cyclist
Over the many years that I’ve been involved in selling and fitting bicycles to my customers one thing stands out…. the greater majority of my customers aren’t aware of the importance of have a high cadence and what this means to becoming a better cyclist. It’s hard to make people aware especially if they’re in the habit of pushing a big gear at a low RPM of how inefficient that can be long-term. What I have found is that there is initial resistance to change this habit but when people actually put it in practice they are quite thankful they gave it a chance. The best way to think of this is to employ a more Eastern way of thinking. That means you do more with less. Unlike the American way where the habit is to go out and kill it and only the strong survive. That’s a valiant thought but generally nobody survives and thrives in that effort long term. If you’re in it for the long-haul, which most of us are, (and that means more than five minutes riding) then it’s important to employ this discipline.
Note that this technique is not just for avid road and mountain cyclists but also for recreational cyclists on hybrids, city bikes, and commuter bikes of all types.

The best way to monitor your cadence or spin is to have an electronic device that counts your RPM and gives you constant feedback on how and what you’re doing.
There are numerous both wired and wireless options to help you with this. Another method is to employ musical knowledge of metronome markings. Best example is the music from the movie “Breaking Away” Mendelsson’s fourth symphony the “Italian”. The last movement of that piece is marked presto which is more than 160 beats per minute. If you do one leg per beat you are spinning greater than 80 RPM which is in the ideal zone of 80 – 100 RPM. However you do it I urge you to give it a try and I think you’ll be surprised at the results.

As always we’re here to help and I hope that this information is helpful to many.
Hope to see you soon.
Eric

Eric is owner and founder of Bikeway Source. Since 1997