Improving your cadence will let you cycle faster and more efficiently. It is easier said than done, especially if you are a beginner. Working on your pedaling speed is not a straightforward task. It requires extensive training, as well as a few tweaks on the set-up of your bike.
If you want to learn how to improve cycling cadence, keep on reading. We’ll talk about some of the most important things that you should do to boost your speed and performance.
Tips and Tricks to Improve Cycling Cadence
To successfully hit the ideal cycling cadence, take note of the tips that are briefly mentioned below.
1. Lower the Gear
Whether you are using a mountain bike, cyclocross bike, or any other bike, lowering the gear is one of the easiest ways to improve your cadence. This easy trick can let you increase your pedaling speed by as much as 5 RPM.
Shifting to the lowest gear can help you accelerate, even when you are on a steep hill. In cars, when you shift to the lowest gear and drive at a high speed, your fuel consumption will increase. The same principle applies to cycling. You will need to exert more energy, and hence, you will end up exhausted. So, before you lower your gear, make sure that you will have the energy required to go fast.
2. Use the Right Bike
Improving your cadence is possible when you have the right bike. Choose one that is built to be performance-driven, making sure that speed will be exceptional. Be familiar with different bike frame materials and see which one will be best for cycling speed and efficiency.
The set-up of the bike is another important consideration. It is best to see a qualified bike fitter to make sure that the bike is optimized to perform depending on your needs. From the saddle to the handlebars, all components will have an impact on your cadence. This is why it is best to have a bike built with your needs in mind.
3. Pump Up Your Tires
Speaking of bike set-up, it will also help if you will pump up the tires of your bike. Bike tire pressure has a direct impact on the speed of your bike. With the right pressure, your tires will roll faster.
Before you head out, take the time to check the tire pressure and make sure it is optimized for the ride. Look at the sidewall of the tire. This is where the manufacturer will state the recommended pressure. Do not go above the maximum that is stated. It is good to have a mini bike pump on the road so that you can correct tire pressure when needed.
4. Correct Your Riding Position
The right position will not only make you comfortable throughout your ride, but it will also help in improving your cadence. From your back to your elbows, see to it that you are following the right cycling stance. This way, you can pedal more efficiently while also lessening the risk of an injury. Plus, you can minimize wind resistance, and this will positively impact your speed.
One of the best things to do is to bend and tuck your elbows. You should also slightly lower your body position. Adjusting the saddle and the handlebars, among other parts, will also help in improving your posture.
5. Work on Your Core
To reach your ideal cycling cadence, you need to be physically capable. Your core muscles are among the most important. When you have a strong and stable core, you will have a good stance and efficient pedaling technique.
Every cyclist should find time for several core exercises. One of the simplest exercises you can incorporate in your routine is a front plank, which will help you generate more power when cycling in aerodynamic positions. Single leg crunches, scissor kicks, and sit-ups will also be effective exercises for improving your core.
6. Strengthen Your Legs
Aside from your core, your legs will also be crucial if you want to improve cycling cadence. While the core will be your foundation, your legs will be the source of power. The stronger your legs are, the faster you will be able to pedal while being comfortable. Having strong legs will also help minimize fatigue.
To get stronger legs for cycling, you can never go wrong with squats. While standing with your feet hip-width apart, slightly bend your knees until your thighs are almost parallel to the ground. Go back to the starting position and repeat. Aside from working on your lower body, this will also target your core. As mentioned above, core strength is crucial for your cadence.
7. Brake Less
The strategic use of your bike’s brakes is another effective way to reach your ideal cycling cadence or improve as you wish. Before you hit those brakes, think twice if it is indeed necessary. You should eliminate comfort braking, which refers to stopping the bike consciously once you are faster than the speed that you are used to.
Braking often will slow down the bike. The result is that you have to pedal with more power to achieve the same speed before hitting the brakes. Getting back up to speed will require more effort, and hence, can be physically exhausting. This can exhaust your leg muscles.
8. Keep Riding
This is perhaps the best way to improve your cadence. It all boils down to practice. The more you practice, the better you will be in pedaling, making it easier to optimize your performance. Take advantage of every opportunity that you have to practice. This will make it easier for your muscles to get used to pedaling.
Go out and bike as often as possible. If you cannot do it outdoors, it would be best to invest in a turbo trainer or an indoor bike so that you can work on your pedaling without leaving your home. It will also be good if you can ride in a group, along with other people who are also working on their cadence. This will make you more motivated while learning from other riders.
Q: What is the most efficient cadence for cycling?
The most efficient cadence for cycling is around 90 RPM. While there is no magic number, 90 RPM is a good goal if you want to cycle faster and longer. For beginners, their cadence will be about 60 RPM and about 100 RPM for experienced cyclists.
Q: How do I know my cadence when cycling?
To know your cadence when cycling, you can count the number of pedals you make in a full circle within one minute. You can also count the number of raises your knee makes within 30 seconds and multiply it by two. If you are looking for a more accurate way to know your cycling cadence, you should use a bike computer or cadence sensors.
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From lowering your gear to improving your riding position, the things mentioned above can help improve cycling cadence. You can pedal faster without wearing out your muscles. However, take note that you should not try to push your cadence to the limit, especially if you are a beginner.