Cadence when simulating hill climb

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indigo
Posts: 89
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 1:17 pm
Location: Geneva, Switzerland

by indigo

Hi,

Most of my training is limited to a gym-bike at lunchtime, and I get to ride a sportive say once every 3 weeks. These often involve a lot of climbing (2000 - 3500m).

When these climbs get near the 10% mark I find that I cannot maintain the cadence that I would like, so I drop to to ~70 RPM.

Does this mean that my training @FTP done on a stationary trainer should also be done at a cadence of around 70 RPM ?

Thanks.

bombertodd
Posts: 441
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:23 am
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by bombertodd

What gearing do you have on your bike and how much do you weigh?

by Weenie


indigo
Posts: 89
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 1:17 pm
Location: Geneva, Switzerland

by indigo

Hi,

bombertodd wrote:What gearing do you have on your bike and how much do you weigh?


34 X 27, 74kg.

Thanks.

dgran
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:04 pm

by dgran

indigo wrote:Hi,

Most of my training is limited to a gym-bike at lunchtime, and I get to ride a sportive say once every 3 weeks. These often involve a lot of climbing (2000 - 3500m).

When these climbs get near the 10% mark I find that I cannot maintain the cadence that I would like, so I drop to to ~70 RPM.

Does this mean that my training @FTP done on a stationary trainer should also be done at a cadence of around 70 RPM ?

Thanks.


I train for a mountain time trial with typical 12% gradients and parts that go up to 18% and even with compact gearing it can be hard to maintain high cadence. As part of my training I do some lower cadence intervals. You said below you run 34x27 so there isn't much option to improve the gearing.

eric
Posts: 2196
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 9:47 pm
Location: Santa Cruz, California, USA
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by eric

Most road derailleurs can handle a 30t cog and Shimano makes 12-30 cassettes.

Most people naturally climb at a lower rpm so you'd want to simulate that on the trainer.

HillRPete
Posts: 2292
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:08 am
Location: Pedal Square

by HillRPete

Approach the problem from both sides. Do train with lower cadence, but also look into lower gearing if the gradient is forcing you pedal at a suboptimal rate. Assuming you're on SRAM/Shimano, the (Tiagra?) 10sp 12-30 cassette is very cheap. I'm using it myself a lot in training, for steepest hillclimbs, and the longest days in the mountains.

Good luck for the hillclimb.

dunbar42
Posts: 191
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:20 am

by dunbar42

70rpm sounds low for a 34x27 granny gear. That works out to 7mph at 70rpm. I run the same gearing and I'm guessing 34x27 on a 10% gradient is more like 80-85rpm which still feels low to me after spinning 90-100rpm most of the way up the hill (the steep part is right at the top.) My knees would protest if I did my FTP intervals at 70rpm.

nickl
Posts: 139
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:37 am

by nickl

When you say "near the 10% mark" what do you mean, precisely?

A while ago I actually took some time to look at the average cadences for the fastest times on a few climbs around here. Up to 8% the traditional 80-90rpm cadence dominated, but as it gets steeper the cadence drops for everyone.

For example, on a 13% 1km climb most people are riding 50-60rpm. Surprisingly, on a 200m 19% climb the cadence goes back up again.

(Limited data though: It's surprising to me how many people don't record their cadence)

by Weenie


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