Does high-cadence pedalling only work if you are on drugs?

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  • Does high-cadence pedalling only work if you are on drugs?
  • ooOOoo
    Member

    Just wondering like. Lance did it so that puts me off.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    According to his books it was that Ferrari doc who put him up to it (pedalling technique).

    Personally I’m a masher, but then I’ve not tried EPO….

    😀

    It is funny how an individual programe became the (almost force fed) gospel of cycling and triathlon! Imagine if the German cheat had won instead, we would all be cranking it out in the big gears!!!! 😉

    mrlebowski
    Member

    I spin at about 85-90rpm, works for me. I have heard that higher cadence could possibly lead to knee problems if you rode a lot i.e semi or professionally. But then that amount of exercise would most likely lead to some kind of knee problem at some point…

    So make of it what you will.

    Personally i say go with whats comfortable, 85-90 works for me. Ill go slower on big hills but not probably by much maybe 80..

    richardk
    Member

    Seems to work for me, although I have ingested a considerable amount of IPA.

    Works better on indoors training compared to outdoors (real) riding though…

    mikey74
    Member

    Seems to work for Wiggins. Make of that what you will.

    This guy comes to mind when high cadence is mentioned, always spinning fastest on the hills!

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    This guy comes to mind when high cadence is mentioned, always spinning fastest on the hills! in the courts

    FTFY

    not on drugs here and i spin at 100 – 110 (having spent last year working on my max cadence), it now feels slow to spin at 90. Track riders spin even faster. I tried dropping off the back of the chaingang last weekend and spinning a bit faster to get back on rather than changing gears, worked a treat.

    Shred
    Member

    My average for a long ride is always in the low – mid 70s and if I get about 95 on the turbo, I start to bounce. On the road I can get higher, but that is about where my cadence sits.

    Premier Icon LeeW
    Subscriber

    I struggle to spin >80 comfortably on the turbo, I find it easier to do it out on the road but rarely average more than 85 or so.

    grahamg
    Member

    I find it better to reduce cadence if riding under the influence of drugs – too spinney and you can get a little dizzy and over exerted and it’ll only distract from the all important ‘traveling in a straight line’ bit. Depends on the drugs though I suppose.

    Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy
    Subscriber

    There’s no evidence a high cadence is better (as in more efficient), some studies reckon 80-90 is about right for most people. Where a high cadence can have benefit is helps develop a more fluid pedal stroke and may lead to less muscle tissue damage (preferable on stage race). Track riders are a bit of a red herring as they’re riding fixed, they’d never be able to get going on a gear they’d be at 80rpm using when flat out. I’d also not bother saying stuff like Wiggo does it so it must be good, he wears (or at least did) those balance wristbands for starters…

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    Used to ride with feet whirling like a spinning jenny.

    Then I started a daily 60 mins each way commute. Gradually I got more and more “lazy” and would wind up a big gear and grind that out. Got **** strong, but it used to be a bit of a challenge on group rides where the pace moved around a lot.

    atlaz
    Member

    About 80-90 typically for me. Can do over 100 but it feels bouncy

    roper
    Member

    I find pulling my elbows out, up and down, when spinning fast really helps. This flapping may encounter a little more wind residence but that is outdone by the extra lift gained. Who needs carbon when you can create lift?

    mikey74
    Member

    I’d also not bother saying stuff like Wiggo does it so it must be good, he wears (or at least did) those balance wristbands for starters…

    I don’t believe I said that at all, I just said it seems to work for him.

    Premier Icon flap_jack
    Subscriber

    I think the premise of the OP is bang on.

    druidh
    Member

    As someone who spends a lot of time walking up hills (and I mean without bike) a slower, more powerful stroke suits me better.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    It is funny how an individual programe became the (almost force fed) gospel of cycling and triathlon! Imagine if the German cheat had won instead, we would all be cranking it out in the big gears!!!!

    +1
    There’s an awful lot of total bollocks spouted about cycling, most of it “ingrained” into cycling folklore somehow. The classic “[insert name of famous cyclist] does it so we must too” syndrome.

    85-90 works fine for me but I can quite happily sit there at 120rpm on a track bike or on the rollers. Ride what works for you.

    High cadence will work for you if your naturally preferred cadence is high. If it isn’t it won’t.

    Wiggins spent the last year getting his cadence down.

    High cadence workouts are good for getting you spinning in smooth cicles but I don’t think there’s much if any proof that’s an advantage either.

    Edric 64
    Member

    For fast pedalling use 72 fixed !!!!1

    mikey74
    Member

    Wiggins spent the last year getting his cadence down.

    Well he didn’t do to well: Did you see his legs spinning away on that time trial on the Tour de Romandie?

    ooOOoo
    Member

    High cadence will work for you if your naturally preferred cadence is high. If it isn’t it won’t.

    That’s what I’ve tried to think, but consensus seemed to suggest I was wrong.

    Used to ride with feet whirling like a spinning jenny.

    When I try it it feels like this. Like I am making a meal of it. Pedalling slower seems to work for me. I’d just got to thinking about another part of lance’s legacy. The fine role model that he is.

    thomthumb
    Member

    Wiggins spent the last year getting his cadence down.

    Well he didn’t do to well: Did you see his legs spinning away on that time trial on the Tour de Romandie?

    i thought he spent the time between tdf & olympics reducing cadence, not the whole season.

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    I’d just got to thinking about another part of lance’s legacy. The fine role model that he is.

    Quite.

    There’s an awful lot of total bollocks spouted about cycling, most of it “ingrained” into cycling folklore somehow.

    And this.

    meehaja
    Member

    when i rode cycle speedway, I found the cadences too fast on the club bikes, however I felt that Id be able to push a much bigger gear. The good riders seemed to go at about 120 but very few strokes (maybe 2-3 upto first bend, maybe 5-6 on the straights etc. I preferred 2 to the bend and maybe 3-4 on the straights, with bigger chainring, given that my build is strong but slow.

    Premier Icon camerone
    Subscriber

    I do not know the science, but the following was in Tyler hamiltons book.
    Basically a higher cadence puts less strain on the muscles and more on the heart,blood,lungs ie cardio.
    EPO works by giving more red blood cells in the blood, so better ability to process oxygen, essentially it’s blood doping.

    So the theory is Armstrong increased his cadence to put the strain on his heart and blood as that’s what the EPO boosted.. Traditional steroids and growth hormone build muscle strength so bigger gear mashing benefitted.

    Any science or medical bods please don’t flame me!

    ooOOoo
    Member

    That’s interesting!
    Well Power = Torque x RPM, so if you can spin faster without increasing your strength, that’s more power.

    mrblobby
    Member

    Reckon if you have a good engine (which EPO helps) then high cadence is the way to go. If you look at someone like Wiggins, they have quite skinny legs so are probably a little limited in the amount of torque they can generate so they need to up the power through high cadence, which they manage as they have incredible aerobic engines. If you are super skinny then you’re probably not going to be a masher.

    Edit: having said that it is all relative, I seem to recall Wiggins spinning a massive dinner plate of a big ring in the ITTs. High cadence and big torque!

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