Wednesday 13 February 2013

Training using Cadence

Earlier today I decided to try and do some Cadence training. I used my normal commuting route to work as a test of sorts.

I basically ride to work in my lowest gear (1st) on The Legend (Standard 2009 M3L)

After the initial 5 mins or so I felt my legs get into a good rhythm and tried to keep my cadence around the 80 - 85 rpm mark. There are a few slight hills on my commute which I normally feel but this time I didn't feel it so much as I have in the past. Maybe cause I was wearing my proper cycling gear and no heavy O Bag at the front weighting me down but still it felt good. Normally I would be wearing my work uniform and my O Bag at the front with other work bits in. I thought for sure it would take me slighting longer to do my commute but when I looked at the time its roughly the same as my average commuting time.

Home >Work
Distance: 5.13miles
Time: 27:58
Avg Bike Cadence: 79 rpm
Max Bike Cadence: 96 rpm

Work > Home
Distance: 5.34miles
Time: 29:07
Avg Bike Cadence: 79 rpm
Max Bike Cadence: 106 rpm 

Not too bad I guess, in time I hope I will improve my cadence to around the 90rpm at a regular basis. One thing I have noticed when I was "spinning" is that kinda bounce up when I'm just about to go on the down stroke. This to me tells me that I'm starting to "push" down a little too early cause I'm pushing my body upwards and wasting energy instead of putting it though my legs, to the pedals, to the wheels & onto the road. I've been watching a few cycling videos of riders and I haven't seen this. 
Also notice that my shoulders rock from side to side more than anyone else as well which I'm thinking is also wasting energy. Now that I have seen my current riding style on video I got a better idea on what I need to work on to improve. I need to do alot more prolonged straight cycling on a track of some sort or maybe a cycling machine which I have been looking into. Then I don't have to worry about traffic and needing to stop. I'm thinking once I get my pedalling style down and second nature everything else will become easier and my overall cycling will improve. I'm going to be basically starting from  the begining and re training my body to be more energy efficient.
I'm excited as its like I've been blindfolded. Suddenly now I can see everything and see how it all falls into place.

While I was near my work place I went to my local bike shop and had a look at the Carradice Barley Saddlebag which is 7ltr which is 3.5 times bigger than my Carradice Zipped Roll Bag. As I've been reading on other blogs and my own experiences having a small bag when on day rides would be of great benefit instead of having my HUGE Brompton O Bag. Don't get me wrong I love my O Bag and very glad I purchased it but for the full on major rides I have planned for 2013 I can see it being more of a hindrance than a benefit. I love my Carradice Zipped Roll bag but its just not big enough to hold everything for a full day of riding.


  1. The Great Bag Question is a serious one. Huge bags are terrific for cargo-loading, but not so good for day trips when the wind-sail effect slows the ride.

    I made my B a smaller-than-an-S-bag, but even it is too big for long, non-cargo rides. Our Carridice-sized zip roll bag comes along on every ride, but I agree that it's not enough for full day rides. I've just finished making an even smaller bag (fits on a modified S frame), and will test ride it today to see how it serves.

    It's a Goldilocks problem, for sure. Too much, too little, and looking for just right.

  2. Interested in both issues here. I think I am also riding at too slow a cadence and need to figure out how to boost that. I find that I bounce when I start to spin and then upshift to settle down. I will have to think more about this... Did 50 miles two days ago and I wonder if I could have been more efficient. And yes... the bag question! I have the T bag which is huge.. and just bought a small roll bag for the saddle. 1.4 L. Wish I had something more in between that didn't cost an arm and a leg!

    1. Just don't change up gear to quick, when I was 3 speed I would do my commute to work in 1st gear all the way and I found I still got there in the same time as using all my gears.

      I'm lucky that I got a cadence sensor with my Garmin so it tells me in real time what it is, aim for 100 but once you hit cadence around the 80-90 mark you will definitely know it and I can do it now without looking at the display of my Garmin.

      It FEELS completely different and natural to me now. Now with me converting up to 6 gears I have to re learn it all again as my cadence has dropped cause the gearing is different.