Cadence Conundrum

When we purchased our bikes last year, I researched on optimal cadence while riding to be anywhere from 80-100 rpm, depending on the person.  We did a few rides last spring without any tracking devices, and I just rode at the pace and cadence that felt comfortable to me.  I had no idea what 90 rpm felt like or how to achieve it, so I did my best to keep my cadence consistent, regardless of what it was.  I only have two rides with my Garmin speed/cadence bike sensor from earlier in 2014.  My cadence was low, averaging 60 rpm on both rides.  These were both street rides with stops, so my moving cadence was approximately 65-70 rpm.

My first ride on the trainer I rode at a normal effort to give me a baseline on how much I needed to improve pace and cadence.  My average cadence for that ride was 69 rpm.  When I began pedaling that’s how fast my legs wanted to go, that was my comfort zone.

I’ve since focused strictly on cadence when I ride, regardless of the speed or distance of the ride.  I keep my pedaling between 80-85 rpm and have done so far about a month now.

I did a little test the other day to see if I’ve truly improved my cadence.  I got on the bike and rode at a comfortable pace for several minutes (without looking at the stats on my Fenix 2).  When I looked down, I was expecting for me to fall back into my slower habit, but to my surprise my cadence was between 85-87 rpm.  I had indeed improved!

Garmin Connect Bike Cadence

Average Bike Cadence

 

Now that I am consistently riding at a more ideal cadence, I started incorporating a few 1-minute sprints into my rides to continue improving cadence as well as begin increasing my speed.