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CuddlesIcon...20-08-2015 @ 08:23 
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It always came naturally to me. Whenever I was ticking along id be 90-100 and when I put the pace down about 105. A lot of cycling coaches say I'm very lucky though and have all their trainees working on it. There are very few pros who turn a slow cadence.

I think it's very style specific, but also quite athlete specific. Turning a big gear over for long periods of time will make it very difficult to respond to any sudden changes in pace, common in all forms of racing. It can also make higher gradients real tough when you hit them.

Steady state stuff is of course different, but go and look at every good TTer in pro cycling and you'll see they spin fast, Cancellara will often hammer along at 120rpm. Even Martin, who everyone raves about him turning huge gears does it at a fast rpm. And let's not pretend theyre not the best cyclists on the planet.

My training partner worked hard to up his cadence and it revolutionised his cycling, and I think you'd need to be a pretty specific individual case to decide that a low cadence was optimal for you.

As always though, the exceptions stand out.
ChrisMcCarthyIcon...20-08-2015 @ 09:50 
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Turning a big gear is also likely to f**k up your knees over time as well if course.
I always thought Ullrich held himself back by turning too big a gear in the mountains.
SteveIcon...20-08-2015 @ 10:06 
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Cuddles said:It always came naturally to me. Whenever I was ticking along id be 90-100 and when I put the pace down about 105. A lot of cycling coaches say I'm very lucky though and have all their trainees working on it. There are very few pros who turn a slow cadence.

I think it's very style specific, but also quite athlete specific. Turning a big gear over for long periods of time will make it very difficult to respond to any sudden changes in pace, common in all forms of racing. It can also make higher gradients real tough when you hit them.

Steady state stuff is of course different, but go and look at every good TTer in pro cycling and you'll see they spin fast, Cancellara will often hammer along at 120rpm. Even Martin, who everyone raves about him turning huge gears does it at a fast rpm. And let's not pretend theyre not the best cyclists on the planet.

My training partner worked hard to up his cadence and it revolutionised his cycling, and I think you'd need to be a pretty specific individual case to decide that a low cadence was optimal for you.

As always though, the exceptions stand out.


It looks like I know what I need to concentrate on this winter thenHappy
CuddlesIcon...20-08-2015 @ 14:23 
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ChrisMcCarthy said:Turning a big gear is also likely to f**k up your knees over time as well if course.
I always thought Ullrich held himself back by turning too big a gear in the mountains.


Whereas I thought it was because he was 2 stone overweight Wink
ChrisMcCarthyIcon...20-08-2015 @ 15:13 
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That MAY have had something to do with it. Happy
CuddlesIcon...20-08-2015 @ 15:45 
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Steve said:
It looks like I know what I need to concentrate on this winter thenHappy


What was your average for that 100 mile ride you did?

I do know there are a number of triathletes that try and get it close to their running cadence for ease of transition, but I can't offer any insight there.
SteveIcon...20-08-2015 @ 16:07 
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Cuddles said:
What was your average for that 100 mile ride you did?
I do know there are a number of triathletes that try and get it close to their running cadence for ease of transition, but I can't offer any insight there.


I averaged 84 here on the 100miles, but the type of roads here probably inflates that to higher than I would naturally do out of choice. When I did the half Ironman I average just 74 over the 56miles - I could hardly run after that however and my running cadence was probably down to about 74 as well.

I am aiming on trying to keep it a bit higher and keep my power down at Ironman Wales trying to limit it to approx 200watts as much as possible - that's what i did for the 100miles here
CuddlesIcon...20-08-2015 @ 20:04 
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Well if I was coaching you, we'd be working on cadence. A lot.
SteveIcon...21-08-2015 @ 22:42 
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Cuddles said:
Steady state stuff is of course different, but go and look at every good TTer in pro cycling and you'll see they spin fast, Cancellara will often hammer along at 120rpm. Even Martin, who everyone raves about him turning huge gears does it at a fast rpm. And let's not pretend theyre not the best cyclists on the planet.



Surely it's all about specialisation? Would the pro cyclists be able to just turn up and win a top class 100 mile time trial? Lance Armstrong certainly didn't dominate when he switched to triathlon and was beaten on the bike leg a number of times and I'm sure the time trialists would be well ahead of the triathletes. With six months focused training it could be a different matter altogether.
CuddlesIcon...22-08-2015 @ 08:34 
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If I'm honest Steve I'm not sure I understand your point.

Do I think that the top pro cyclists could turn up and win a world class 100mile time trial? The top time trialiats, yes. Or at least with a short training block. I would go as far as to say Tony Martin would make the rest of the field look silly. (Just have a look at some of his solo breakaway average speeds on an non aero road bike, and then his TT speeds) He's the best time triallist of his generation, and IMO ever. I think there are plenty of others who could do the same. (And not always the usual TT names, some domestiques who spend hours on the front of the peloton early in the race would make fantastic 100 mile TTers)

To be honest thats not really the issue here anyway. The real question is 'If a top pro road cyclist wanted to transition to 100 mile time trials, would he reduce his cadence?'. Well maybe, but no where near 75rpm and I would wager for many, they wouldn't reduce it at all.
SteveIcon...22-08-2015 @ 14:02 
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Cuddles said:If I'm honest Steve I'm not sure I understand your point.


Sorry.

Try again. Take Tony Martin for example. He may well be the best at time trial, but he isn't totally specialised at it. He still has to be able to get around and over the mountains. Whilst I'm sure you're right and he wouldn't rush to change his cadence I wonder if that would be the same if he only did long time trials. Might perhaps cyclists who only time trial be a better place to look for ideas as how to maximise your TT performance? (I'm not looking for excuses not to work on cadence and will be doing as I'm told and putting some serious effort in yo improve it)

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