I usually spin way above the recommended 85-95 rpm - is that bad?

The instructions within the workouts ask me to spin quickly for hard intervals - 95 RPM or above.

To me, 95 doesn’t really feel that fast, I usually spin between 102 - 110 for anything above Sweet Spot.

Is there any downside to this?

My legs are quite thin and genetically they aren’t very muscular, so I have always compensated muscular strength by spinning quicker.
My goal is to be able to climb faster and hold those SST/Thresshhold wattages on longer climbs - but on these climbs I usually spin between 75-85 RPM, no way I’d be able to spin above 90 on the climbs in my area.

I think the only way it would be detrimental is if you don’t think that cadence is usable for you outside. If it’s in your usable range it’s probably good to train!

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more specific, if you need to lower your cadence on steep climbs because you ran out of gears, it might be worth it to make sure you are at least somewhat capable of some slow mashing. (or change your gearing accordingly)

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I spin at 102 also

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echoing @nvalphen if your events dictate a specific cadence, hill climbs, mountain biking, etc… then it’s good to practice at that cadence. Otherwise being able to ride at a varied cadence is useful, being a well rounded cyclist is generally preferable, but not going to end your ‘career’ so to say.

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+1 here.

I’m a fast spinner too. I’ll always be above 95 and closer to 102 when i’m pushing.

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Hitting your power target is more important than the cadence target, so if you cant hit the power target at lower cadence then stick with your self selected cadence.

Train the way you plan to race

You aren’t recruiting as much muscle at higher cadences. One could argue that it would be a good thing to learn, especially if it doesn’t come naturally to you.

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I’m simlialr, although I do think the trainer makes spinning easier.

I’ve started to do some intervals (or segments) of intervals at a lower cadence (in the 80’s) to encourage some muscle endurance and prepare me if have to climb at the cadence outside for some reason.

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Training with a lower cadence makes sense then if that more realistically reflects my outdoors riding (I don’t race and am not planning to do so, btw ;-)).
It’s just that I find most of the workouts already very very hard as they are - having to think about consciously spinning slower AND slowing my muscles even more sounds like a nightmare.

When an interval gets really tough, it just comes naturally to me to spin really quick - even though that’s not something I can really do on the climbs around in my area (Bavarian alps)

When I say “race”, I just mean “target/goal/main event” etc.

No doubt, but it’s the same for a lot of other people and maybe even harder for those who are actively trying to RAISE their cadence.

You’ll naturally return to old comfortable habits as you fatigue but that’s no excuse for not training new/better/additional skills to maximise your arsenal, especially at the beginning of a workout when you’re fresher.

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Do you run as well as ride?

My running cadence is inherently lower than my cycling one. I suspect things are more complicated for those that do multiple sports.

If you don’t why not change your Cassette/Chainrings to mean you can spin up those local hills? My target this year involves as much down hill as down up hill so there’s no possible combination of gears & I need to be able to vary cadence outside comfort zone. You might not need to.

Here is my compiled list:

No, I don’t run.

Good thinking - but I already have an 11-30 cassette and my Ultegra R8000 won’t accomodate a bigger one.

There’s a point where I should focus more on my legs instead of buying bigger cassettes…I’ve reached that point :wink:

I know chainrings are expensive but are you due a new set anyway? You might be able to shrink the smaller one significantly. My crank PM is 130bcd & I think I can only go a bit smaller, but you might be lucky?

Incidentally, when I got some oval chainrings (Rotor Q/QXL) cheap second hand for experimenting with my cadence dropped by ~5. I was actually expecting the opposite and it might just be me…

for mountainbiking your should check if you are able to be flexible with your cadence, I had a race this weekend, which was not very technical and mostly flat (only a few “bumps”). But the terrain and corners will also dicate a wide cadacence range, when I check my ride data, it varies continually between 50 and 110, averaging at 88, for a very steady pacing (3 rounds withing seconds of each other).
Race, unfortunately no power outdoors

On the trainer, I tend to use higher cadance on the high power stuff and lower on the recovery parts, but the cadance will drop when fatique kicks in… that could either be overall fatique from previous workouts or from that interval.

In general a high base cadance is a good thing, but not being able to grind once in a while is not :slight_smile:

I am pretty much the same. I did come across a study (cannot find it now) that pointed out there was a disproportionate physiological cost to high cadence. It basically came down to the fact that high cadence during low load, the rest intervals, was counterproductive. So I started to actively drop my cadence down to 70 during rest intervals. Felt really bizarre at first but normalized it quickly enough. Bonus is it really drives the heart rate down during the rests.

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Amen to that :slight_smile: I was never a fast spinner anyway (unless I’m doing vo2 stuff or sprints, in which case my cadence tops out at around 180-190).

When doing SS or threshold I always settle into my natural cadence of 75-85 as opposed to the prescribed target. It’s easier for me and it helps with staying in line with the power target for each particular interval.

If I had to choose I would always put cadence second, hitting your power target comes first.

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I’m the same way. Lately indoors I’ll just pick one gear after the warm up and use that for the whole workout. End up with a cadence during the rest intervals that is ~half of the sweet spot interval cadence.

Outdoors I make more of an effort to stay towards the middle of my range so that I can react to whatever the terrain and/or race throws out.

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