Cadence question: Sweet Spot vs. Vo2

Question for @chad or anyone else knowledgeable about this:

In general, it seems like the recommended cadence for SS intervals is in the 85-95 RPM range. For Vo2 for, it seems like the recommendation is 100+ and as high as 110-120 RPM.

Why is this? Is there a detriment to doing your SS work higher than 95 RPM?

My default cadence is right on the line . . . I average 95-100 RPM, and feel completely natural up to 105. Is there a reason one is supposed to be really high and one is supposed to be 15-20 RPM lower?

Thanks for any input.

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You can read @chad’s comment from another thread:

My understanding(?) is that SS is done at lower cadence in order to work your muscular endurance; VO2 is done at higher cadence in order to work your cardio.

The in-ride recommendations are just that – general recommendations. Everyone is different so you have to adjust to what works for you, but just know that there are some things which are good for you that won’t necessarily feel natural or good, like different cadences; that’s why we train. :wink:


Awesome - super helpful. Thanks for re-posting.

@batwood14, definitely read the linked thread, but let me add that the SST cadence recommendations are more about getting riders into a comfortably sustainable spin since the interval durations are usually pretty long ones that only get longer. And with VO2max, the resistance is so high, relative to FTP, that a high cadence is necessary to keep most riders from bogging down and turning the latter minutes into a muscularly-draining wrestling match with your cranks.

As @Captain_Doughnutman stated, they’re recommendations and I base them on what is likely to work best for most. So if you want to spin outside of those recommendations, you’re more than welcome to do whatever suits you best as long as you complete the intervals with pretty on-Target power and you have your riding/racing requirements in mind; in other words, adherence & specificity.


Really appreciate the feedback. I train on a Kickr in ERG mode, so my power targets pretty much take care of themselves. It’s just a matter of cadence for me.

Thanks again.