How To Use High Cadence For Cycling

How To Use High Cadence For Cycling

Yo!  Get off that cadence hamster wheel!

Many riders are riding around burning up energy and losing potential speed as they are using a high cadence without applying it to the right situation.

So how do you use high cadence?  Well in general, just like you use high rpm’s in your car… to build more speed.

Think of the pushing on the gas pedal in your car.  If you are in too hard of a gear, you push the gas pedal down and the car does not move.  If you shift to an easier gear, and then push the gas pedal the car rapidly accelerates. 

This is how I would like you to think about cadence while riding.  Every time you need to speed up, or “use the gas pedal,” I would like you to shift and use a higher cadence.

 Most people think high power is the most critical component of an acceleration or an attack.  That is normal as I did too during my racing career.  But the truth is, high cadence is the key to making an acceleration effective.

The best ways to use high cadence are:

  1. To increase speed
  2. To close a gap to another rider
  3. To pull in a breakaway or pace line
  4. To attack
  5. To go all out on a climb, TT, or solo effort

So what cadence is “high cadence?”  Well it changes depending on your terrain and or body position.  Below are some examples:

Suggested High Cadences:

Climbing, Standing - 80+ rpm

Climbing, Seated - 90+ rpm

Flats, Standing - 85+ rpm

Flats, Seated - 95+ rpm

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