What is Cycling Cadence?
If you ride a bike, whether it’s for competition or recreation, you’ve probably heard the term “cadence” used before. But what is cycling cadence, and why is it so important?
In short, cadence is the number of revolutions per minute (RPM) that a rider makes on the pedals. A higher cadence means more rotations and, generally speaking, more speed.
Here’s a more in-depth look at why cadence matters and how you can improve yours.
The Benefits of a High Cadence
There are several advantages to pedaling at a high cadence. First, it’s easier on your joints. When you are pedaling quickly, your leg muscles do most of the work, rather than your hips and knees.
Second, you can maintain a higher speed with less effort when you have a high cadence. And finally, pedaling at a high cadence can help you avoid lower-back pain.
All of these factors make cycling a low-impact workout that’s ideal for people of all ages and fitness levels.
How to Improve Your Cadence
If you’re new to biking or if you’re trying to increase your speed, start by gradually increasing your cadence by 5–10 RPM each week until you find a comfortable range. Once you find that sweet spot, focus on maintaining it during your rides.
You can also try interval training to help improve your overall cycling efficiency. For example, warm up for 10 minutes at an easy pace, then pedal as fast as you can for 30 seconds. Recover for 1–2 minutes and repeat 4–6 times.
Cool down with 10 minutes of easy pedaling to finish things off. Remember to listen to your body and let how you feel be your guide—if pedaling faster starts to feel forced or uncomfortable, back off and go at your own pace.
Whether you’re just getting into biking or you’re looking for ways to step up your riding game, paying attention to your cadence is a good place to start.
By improving your cycling cadence, you can enjoy all the benefits that come with pedaling faster—without putting unnecessary strain on your joints or risking lower-back pain.
Just remember to take things slow at first and listen to your body as you increase your RPMs. Before long, you’ll be churning out miles like a pro!