- 80rpm of less
- 95rpm or more
Our perception of the workload (power output) is reduced at higher cadences due to the smaller forces needed to get the pedals over. At lower cadences you need a higher force to maintain a given power output compared to a lower force at higher cadence. It’s like lifting a smaller weight more times than lifting a bigger weight fewer times. "
Beneke and Alkhatib showed that higher cadences reduce carbohydrate oxidation. This means that a reliance on carbohydrates is reduced, sparing those all-important carbs for when they’re really needed – smacking it to the top of a hill, beating your mates, or accelerating and ragging it to the finish line over the last couple kilometres of a road race.
Indeed, in road racing or a smash fest with your mates, you might find that the pace (on the same terrain) changes rapidly. If you’re riding in a big gear at low cadence in order to maintain a high efficiency, you just can’t react to those accelerations and you’re quite possibly going to be booted out the back of the peloton while you try to wind up the gear you’re in. Even if you change down and try to bring your cadence up, there’s a good chance you’ll struggle