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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well after 3 months of trying to be a self taught cyclist, I figured out that the key to a good ride(for me) is constant rpm not speed. Went out today with the express intent to try to maintain a steady cadence. Rode 13 miles, used whatever gear it took to maintain, paid no attention to speed and at the end of it my average speed was the same as when I was fretting over speed. I think I was trying to spin too fast. I felt a lot better too, didn't kill myself. Think Ill spend the next 30 days riding 13-15 miles at a constant rpm!!

Comments?
 

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What cadence were you using before, and what did you reduce it to?

For long rides, a higher cadence can be a good thing, as it reduces the workload of your leg muscles and keeps them from fatiguing as quickly.
 

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Eocyclist
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The thing that works best for me is to keep the effort approximately constant, shifting to maintain a cadence that just happens to be in the high 70s to low 80s. But then, my personal interest is in riding long rather than riding fast.

Some racers hit cadences of 120+, but places like League of American Bicyclists and Sheldon Brown's site suggest a good easy-on-the-knee cadence range for most cyclists is 70 to 95. It takes a while to build aerobic capacity to be comfortable in that range. And, of course, one doesn't generally maintain those cadences on really steep climbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What cadence were you using before, and what did you reduce it to?

For long rides, a higher cadence can be a good thing, as it reduces the workload of your leg muscles and keeps them from fatiguing as quickly.
Was trying to maintain 65-70 but found I was focusing too much on MPH and using too tall a gear, especially up hills. Back the gears down to maintain RPM instead of MPH and feel better!
 

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Was trying to maintain 65-70 but found I was focusing too much on MPH and using too tall a gear, especially up hills. Back the gears down to maintain RPM instead of MPH and feel better!
You need to raise your RPM ups just a little because you're real close. The average cyclist ranges between 60 and 80...so you're darn close; racers will range between 80 and 100. I would say that as a beginner rider your average consistent range should be from 70 to 75, most cadence cycle computers are set for that range too. This should be good news for you, because you really are close. Once you get use to this higher rpm pedaling your speed will naturally increase, because you'll find yourself not getting tired in your normal gear and will then up the gear by one and keep your rpm between 70 and 75 and now your going faster with less leg effort.

If you ever decide to become a faster rider after practicing this average rider stuff then up your rpm another 5 so your consistent range will be 75 to 80. Then once you get use to that up it again another 5. This won't happen overnight so don't rush headlong into it or you'll burn yourself out.

It's like Mr Hack said: "Spinning uses your lungs, mashing uses your leg muscles. You'll wear your legs out long before you run out of air."
 

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Yesterday tired old man, Today retired old man
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I don't seam to be getting faster as I age I do keep my cadence up 75-83 most of my rides but my mph is only about 10.5 avg, some days I catch myself dwadling and lose all track of speed and cadence, I am just enjoying where I am in time and space. or it could be that old age thing, 67.
 

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I too tend to be a masher, but I know its better to spin. Some days the asthma just makes me back off the cadence.
Until I do the full allergy testing, I have to deal with my nose and throat swelling closed on an almost daily basis. But a quick spray in each nostril, and a hit off the inhaler, and I'm good to go. My ENT specialist actually told me I should move back to the beach.
 

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I don't seam to be getting faster as I age I do keep my cadence up 75-83 most of my rides but my mph is only about 10.5 avg, some days I catch myself dwadling and lose all track of speed and cadence, I am just enjoying where I am in time and space. or it could be that old age thing, 67.
I use to race but that was 30 years ago! If you want your speed to increase you need to study the internet and find out how to that, such as interval training. Interval training will make you a better faster rider and there are web sites you can find to get that info, just search by asking: bicycle interval training workouts and study the sites then put the stuff into practice. Also join a local riding club, riding with others forces you to ride faster and most clubs have senior members, and it's a great place to meet people that share your hobby.

Don't let your age fool you, most older people lie to themselves saying they can't do this or that due to age, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy!! If you practice the interval training routine your speed will increase if you do this stuff, I guarantee it! You won't become a Lance Armstrong obviously, but you could, if you wanted to, compete in racing events against other seniors, maybe you won't win any races but your speed will increase and you'll have fun doing it.
 

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I guess we're all getting older if Froze and I start agreeing with each other, but I'm ok with that. When I was in my mid 30's I raced BMX in Australia - that's a great way to find your max RPM. But there were other guys in the Masters class that were older than me, even one in his 50's. And he kicked my ass. You can certainly be competitive at that age.

One thing to keep in mind for anyone that's over 30 or so is not to get discouraged just because someone your age seems to be a much stronger rider than you. Rebecca Rusch, Tinker Juarez, and Ned Overend are all over 40, and absolutely kill it on their mountain bikes. But they each have a base of at least 20-30+ years of riding behind them. There is no amount of training that can make up for that. That's why riders in their 20's can't beat Rebecca when it comes to the 24 hour XC races. That's also why I suggest that everyone ride their own ride. Unless your goal is racing, it's best to only compete against yourself - every bit of improvement is a win that way.
 

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curly
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I don't seam to be getting faster as I age I do keep my cadence up 75-83 most of my rides but my mph is only about 10.5 avg, some days I catch myself dwadling and lose all track of speed and cadence, I am just enjoying where I am in time and space. or it could be that old age thing, 67.
I'm with you, I just enjoy being out there riding, don't really care how fast I'm going.
 
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