How Important Is Cadence When Pedaling A Mountain Bike
While mountain biking can be extremely enjoyable, it is essential to ensure that you are pedaling correctly. Oftentimes, beginners will overcompensate with power while forgetting about cadence altogether.
The cadence of your pedaling is the number of times your foot goes around per minute.
Many mountain bikers don't realize the importance of having a good cadence, but there are many benefits to doing so! In this blog post, we will discuss the top 9 benefits and methods of having proper cadence while mountain biking!
#1 - Defining the role cadence plays
When you're cycling on a trail, it's crucial to know how fast your feet are pedaling per minute. Here's why: the right cadence can make you more powerful, efficient and balanced; help with climbing performance; reduce by increasing speed and improving endurance; decrease risk of injury; and mountain biking more fun overall. In other words, mastering cadence assures that every time you bike, ride or pedal--you always get the most out of it!
While road riding has a set and specific rpm range that is most efficient, mountain bike racing requires riders to switch up their speeds more frequently. When you're cycling on trails, for example, you might need to spin quickly during steep climbs when shifting gears is no longer an option. There are also times when mashing slowly is the best approach so as not exceed other cyclists or hit objects in corners.
You'll want to stay at a moderate or low pedaling speed so you can better navigate around in loose dirt or stones. If you're trying to go through a rock garden, keep one gear going and use your pedal power accordingly. More often than not, the corners, whoops and obstacles will come up quickly without much time for shifting gears."
If you want to be a better off-road racer, learn to change speeds comfortably. You'll also have an advantage over other racers if you're used to changing pace mid-race; it can help prevent leg fatigue.
#2 - Why is cadence important?
In conclusion, there are two main reasons you should focus on nailing cadence. Firstly, it makes the sport more fun, and gives you better control over your bike; and secondly, it leads to improved climbing performance since you don't have to work as hard to reach the top. Plus, as an added bonus, you won’t be feeling too tired afterward!
If you pedal with a lower frequency, your muscles have to work beyond their capacity. On the other hand, if you go too fast, it puts more pressure on your cardiovascular system.
On the other hand, if your pedaling cadence is too high, it can make your pelvis rock and reduce efficiency. This makes for an ineffective ride, so finding a cadence that works best with both your fitness level and the terrain will help you enjoy your mountain bike ride more.
#3- How do you measure cadence?
Use a cadence sensor for the most accurate reading, or attach a pedometer to your mountain bike if you don't mind sacrificing some accuracy. A cadence sensor tracks how often your wheel spins and provides an exact number. Alternatively, a pedometer counts every time your foot hits the ground to give you a general idea of your approximate cadence.
Crank-arm power meters are also available for purchase, but they can be expensive. By definition, crank arm power meters measure the cadence and torque of each pedal stroke - data which is useful for mountain bikers who want to monitor their performance. With this information, you can adjust your own personal cadence and power output accordingly to become more efficient on the trails.
Although it varies depending on your fitness and the terrain, every mountain biker can benefit from understanding cadence more fully. By taking the time to learn about how important cadence is for biking and how you can train your body to be more efficient in different conditions, you'll make the most of every ride. With performance-measuring tools, you'll be able to optimize both efficiency and effectiveness during each mountain bike trip.
To measure your cadence (the number of times your leg pushes down per minute), you can use a stopwatch. For accuracy, count for 30 seconds and multiply by 2. If that's too difficult to do while riding, just count for 10 seconds and then multiply by 6 instead.
Note: It's important to remember that cadence isn't everything
#4 - What is the ideal mountain biking cadence?
The best RPM for you is different than what works best for somebody else, and it also changes based on the ground you're riding on. In general, a good range to aim for an 80-110 revolutions per minute (RPM). However, sometimes going slower at 70-90 feels better - especially if the terrain is tough or you're getting tired. The most important thing is to find a speed that feels comfortable but still gives enough power and momentum. That way, you can go your fastest without being in danger of hurting yourself. Remember: each person's ideal cadence will be slightly different because of things like fitness level and preferred style of riding
While there are many things that affect mountain biking performance, cadence is an important foundation to start with. It will provide a strong base for successful rides.
#5 - Improved Efficiency
Riding at an optimal cadence can lead to significant improvements in your mountain biking performance, including increased efficiency, reduced fatigue and faster times. Additionally, cadence can also help improve balance and control on the bike which will further assist in maximizing your power output.
#6 - Improved Control
If you want to improve your control over your bike, you need to understand cadence and how it works. By using cadence measurement tools and incorporating cadence-specific drills into your mountain biking workouts, you can make sure that each pedal stroke is as efficient as possible. This will help you navigate technical trails and tight corners with ease.
#7 - Increased Speed & Endurance
Maintaining a consistent pedaling speed throughout each ride allows you to increase your overall speed. This is because cadence helps to optimize the power output of each pedal stroke and increase your efficiency on the bike.
It may seem counterintuitive at first, but consistency is what wins long games, and mountain biking is not about sprinting. Cadence improves efficiency, efficiency promotes stamina, and stamina equals better speed across long distance. Give it a chance and you’ll be amazed at the results good cadence management will yield.
#8 - Five training drills to improve your cadence
- Big Gear Tempo Climb: For approximately 10 minutes, pick a gear that is challenging to pedal then ride it. Instead of worrying about power output, direct your attention towards cadence and aim to keep it steady throughout the entirety of the duration.
- Cadence Intervals: Begin your sprints by pedaling at a high rate (120 rpm or more) while maintaining low resistance levels. Progressively increase your cadence as you move further into the workout.
- High force accelerations: By shifting gears quickly and smoothly, you can keep up your cadence as you speed up. This practiced technique will help you pedal at a constant pace while also going faster. You'll especially notice the benefits of this when inclining or racing.
- Strength endurance sessions: Sustaining a high cadence is important for climbing and sprinting. By incorporating cadence-specific drills into your strength endurance session, you can help increase your cadence, power output, and overall performance. Try doing these drills with high resistance levels in order to build the muscles necessary for sustaining cadence while climbing or sprinting. By doing this, you will be able to increase your cadence on command and lock in good form when pedaling.
- Spin-Ups: Drills focusing on cadence with low resistance help increase your speed and build up muscle endurance. Stay focused on pedaling quickly but smoothly while keeping a consistent pace. This will improve your efficiency when starting up again after slowing down and make sure you're using your cadence to its fullest potential. Having an understanding of how to use cadence is key for becoming the best rider possible, no matter the race or ride type. That way, each pedal stroke can be powerful yet still efficient enough for the terrain and conditions ahead.
#9 - More Enjoyable Riding
In the end, cadence makes mountain biking more enjoyable overall by being in tune with your body's natural rhythm. You'll be happiest and find the most success when you let go of striving for perfection and simply flow through each part of your ride. We're so confident in this that we guarantee it will make you smile.
If you have questions or comments after reading this article on cadence and how it can be used to improve mountain bike performance, please contact us at promountainbike.com. Best of luck with your next biking adventure!