High cadence – it is something that a few cyclists took away from Lance Armstrong. You watched him pedal his little heart out to win, and for many that translated to pedaling fast makes you go faster. However, what trips up many recreational cyclists is you don’t need to pedal like a maniac to go faster.
If you are purposely trying to get in a high intensity workout while cycling, then by all means, pedal as fast as you can. However, a new study by the International Journal of Sports Medicine shows that there is no benefit to high cadence pedaling. It doesn’t make you go faster, it does, however, make you less efficient and work to tire you out faster.
It was discovered that while the power decreased with each pedal, which was to be expected, it pushed the body higher towards the maximum more quickly and more quickly tired out the muscles, making them less efficient. As for what actually produces the best speed for cycling, that comes unique to each rider. It is suggested that reaching top speeds is all about finding what is comfortable for each person as well as what is sustainable for their bodies.
If your legs are struggling, go to a lower gear and increase the cadence. However, if you are left gasping for air, you will want to bring the gear up and slow down that cadence. Often the key is about being in tune with what is giving out and then adjusting your bicycle accordingly. It is not about just riding in one gear forever. If you want speed and peak efficiency, you need to know when to switch it up.
Unfortunately, with top speeds comes a risk for accidents. If you have been injured in a cycling accident, contact us today to see what we can do to get you compensation.