Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Bit More About Cadence

I recently wrote about the subject of cadence, that is the rate at which you spin your pedals.

In a nutshell, when applying a driving force through the pedals, be set in a gear where you are rotating the cranks as quickly as is comfortable, without feeling your legs are about to fly off the pedals or rocking your hips side to side, usually between 80-100rpm.

There are exceptions to this; fast downhills where you might want to be in a big gear and a low cadence just to micro-manage your speed/acceleration. Similarly, a long smooth straight with the wind behind you will give your legs a change of pace in a big gear.

On hills, it may be you need to stand on the pedals, either because there is no alternative, or because you need a change of position. In this case, your cadence will almost certainly drop.

Finally, a small tip for those moments, either speeding on the flat, or just below the crest of a long climb when you feel your legs have had it, but you need a final acceleration or just some relief, use a beat of three on your pedal strokes;
  • ONE : PRESS HARD on your RH pedal
  • TWO : normal stroke on LH pedal
  • THREE : normal stroke on RH pedal
  • ONE : PRESS HARD on your LH pedal
  • TWO : normal stroke on RH pedal
  • THREE : normal stroke on LH pedal
  • REPEAT ...
After a few revolutions you should find your speed increasing despite your tired legs.

Once again, this article is illustrated by riders displaying excellent pedalling style ...