If you can increase your cycling cadence then this can increase your power, reduce the risk of injury and improve your efficiency on the bike.
What is cycling cadence?
Cadence is basically how fast you spin the pedals while you ride. This is measured in Revolutions Per Minute (RPM). Now although this is very individual, there is no right or wrong. You need to find out what works for you. To monitor this you will need a cadence sensor although once you are well trained you will be able to do this off feel.
There are two ways to increase speed on the bike. Either increase force to the pedals or velocity (cadence).
When people start riding they generally have a low cadence until then “learn” to cycle efficiently. As a rule the lower the cadence the more fatiguing it will be on your muscles and the higher the cadence the more demanding it will be on your cardiovascular system. What tends to happen is that riders heart rate increases so they drop down a gear and the heart rate drops. They then get in a rut of reducing the cadence further with the perception of it being “easier”. This however puts great strain on the lower back and knee causing injury.
What should my cadence be?
As I have already mentioned earlier this is very individual however I would aim for 80 rpm as a minimun. Ideally I would try to increase it to 85 – 95 rpm.
My Top Tips to increase your cycling cadence
- Have cadence as a data field on your Garmin so it is visible.
- Don’t be afraid to go into the small ring at the front.
- Anticipate the climbs and change down accordingly.
- Listen to music with a higher BPM, check out my drum and bass playlist here
Do you want to pedal like a pro?
Everything you need is included in The Ride Harder Plan