Cadence. Why it's important.
by Daniel A. Grunberg -- Kensington, Maryland U.S.A
in a posting to rec.bicycles.tech
Garry Lee said:
> Cadence is a total waste of time. You are a fast spinner or
> you're not. I have cadence on one computer and I get nothing
> from it. Cadence is largely fashion. Compare Stephen Roche to
> Graeme Obree. Irish racing cyclists spin much faster than
> Belgians. Fashion.
As a less atheletically talented person, I disagree.
I'm a road rider (rather than a racer). If I only could have one
function on my bike computer, I'd probably go for cadence.
Monitoring my cadence is the best way I found to build up my
As a beginning cyclist, I picked a nominal cadence that I was
comfortable with, while riding on a level road, while in the
middle of my available gearing. I had read somewhere that I
should pick the cadence by imagining that I had a raw egg that I
didn't want to break, between my shoes and the pedals. Then, as
the terrain varied, I'd try to maintain that nominal cadence
+/- 5 RPM, without breaking the imaginary egg, shifting gears as
necessary to maintain the cadence and spare the egg. As I became
a stronger cyclist, I repeatedly increased my nominal cadence,
5 RPM at a time, until I reached the high cadence that I found
to be comfortable.
My legs were less likely to cramp at higher nominal cadences than
lower nominal cadences. You may prefer a lower cadence. In any
case, can't know your cadence if you don't measure it.
IMHO, the concept of an optimum cadence for maximum available
torque, seems as right for my legs and my pedal spindle, as it
does for my car's engine.
This article was last updated on 14 August 1997.
If you have any questions, feel free
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