What's your favorite cadence in cycling?

  • 80rpm of less
  • 85-95rpm
  • 95rpm or more

0 voters

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


I feel like you’re asking what my favorite color is. :wink: The whole range has a purpose and can be used as a tool at some point or another. My “favorite” changes depending on what the current demand is and if comfort vs efficiency vs race survival etc, etc is the focus. Cruising a group ride, a TT, a road race or a sprint finish are probably all different favorites for me.

BTW, Ric used to be my coach about a decade ago… great guy and knows his stuff.


It’s not uncommon for me to look at my cadence and be North of 100. I’ve been conciously working to Target 90 and do think I benefit immensely from the low cadence work in the Lab.

Agree with Eric about needing to be able to utilize a broad range of cadence’s depending on the situation.


By the title, I thought you were asking about your favorite running cadences. I’m pretty sure that none of us call cadence while we run by ourselves. That’d just be silly.


I adjusted the title @Coach_Ian :wink:

My cadence is also very variable depending on the effort and the terrain.

Interesting article, although I would be curious to know how neuromuscular training affects his conclusions and the conclusions of the studies he cites. It is well known in research that neuromuscular training can provide big gains without requiring increase in fitness (from added efficiency). As it turns out, there are even pro-cyclists who do not have the same efficiency for lack of focus in neuromuscular training.


I find the high cadence workouts more challenging for me. I really have to focus and my heart rate increases quickly with them. The lower cadence work is more “comfortable”.


me too; it feels physiologically awkward i think i must have tight hips