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Thoughts on cadence sensor?

Old 06-24-19, 06:19 AM
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Lrdchaos
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Thoughts on cadence sensor?

Whatís the general consensus on a cadence sensor? My tcr has a spot for one and Iím thinking about picking it up. I know itís not as useful as a power meter, but I donít know if I can justify a meter at this time. Iím a casual rider looking to increase speed and endurance. Iím currently a 18.5 mph solo rider and 20-21mph group rider.

Thanks
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Old 06-24-19, 06:29 AM
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bruce19
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I've had cadence in the past. I've come to the point where I know my legs and where they want to be at any given time. So no cadence sensor needed.
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Old 06-24-19, 06:47 AM
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eja_ bottecchia
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I use a cadence sensor. I always know where my legs are, usually attached to my hips at one end and to my feet at the other end.

I use the cadence sensor, however, as a reference point, especially when doing the local climbs. It is sort of like a tachometer in a manual transmission car.

The sensors are rather inexpensive and very reliable.

Ride safely.
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Old 06-24-19, 06:53 AM
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shelbyfv
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Is there a way to objectively establish your proper cadence w/o power measurement?
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Old 06-24-19, 06:56 AM
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eja_ bottecchia
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Is there a way to objectively establish your proper cadence w/o power measurement?
I suppose professional cyclists know the answer to your question.
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Old 06-24-19, 07:02 AM
  #6  
WhyFi
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Unless your cadence is way out of range, I'd say that they're nice to calibrate your feel, but that doesn't take too long and after that it's not something that you'll look at too much. It's up to you to decide whether or not that's worth 25-50 bucks.
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Old 06-24-19, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Is there a way to objectively establish your proper cadence w/o power measurement?
I think with experience you will be able to quantify effort by feel, from 30 - 90% and corollate it to you cadence range. I have calculated my base cadence range using my speedometer and noting the sprocket selection to be about 60 - 90 rpm. At 40% effort 60 - 65 rpm is good, 60% about 70 -75 rpm, and at 80% effort perhaps 80-85 rpm.

Even as a recreational rider, I still like to monitor my effort by feel and cadence sometimes when fighting strong wind or climbing steep hills. Experiment with the gears. I used to use only very low gears on a hill in my neighbourhood, But found it much more efficient using taller ones for much of the ride.

Actually now that I think about it, A cadence sensor makes sense.

Last edited by xroadcharlie; 06-24-19 at 07:26 AM.
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Old 06-24-19, 08:05 AM
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Robert A
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I find it valuable in combination with a heart sensor. I learned my natural cadence was around 90 and could increase leg strength by dropping to around 80. I also learned that If I'm peddling fast and my heart rate is below my normal zone (150-160) to upshift.
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Old 06-24-19, 08:15 AM
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noimagination
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I like having a cycle computer with cadence.

Like you, I'm a casual rider, not really training for anything. However, I have a bad habit of pushing gears that are too big for me at a cadence of 80 rpm or lower if I don't pay attention. I don't care about the number per se, but I find that if I push too big a gear (a) my quads tire and I tend to get cramps and (b) I can't ride as far/as hard the next day.

Yes, I could just count rpms for 6 sec and multiply by 10 to get cadence, but in the moment it is easier to just glance down to see the number. I normally have cadence displayed, with time (Avocet Astrale cycle computer). I'm not big into the data on my rides, I know how much time I have, and with the cadence to help me keep discipline regarding my level of effort I'm all set. I don't really care about speed or distance, I just look at them at the end of my ride.
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Old 06-24-19, 08:40 AM
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rm -rf
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You can count the right side pedal revolutions for 15 seconds (multiply by 4) or 20 seconds (x3)

But that's just to give you a general idea of your cadence. This flat road steady cadence is often a lot different than climbing or going all-out.

I still use my cadence sensor after 12 years. I have a pretty good idea of a good cadence for me, but it does remind me to shift at least a couple times on every ride.
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Old 06-24-19, 08:52 AM
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RChung
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The focus on cadence has caused more harm than good.
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Old 06-24-19, 08:56 AM
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Iride01
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Do you parse through your data after a ride and look at what you were doing on different segments of what you rode? If so, then I'd think you'd want to know cadence as well as any other number.

Is you device just something to provide you a map and navigation with some gee whiz numbers to see while you are riding? Maybe you don't need cadence.
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Old 06-24-19, 09:03 AM
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To me cadence is helpful when I am able to reference my power and speed. When I'm going all out, what feels faster is not always the case. In certain instances (referencing speed and power) dropping a gear and increasing my cadence (even though it feels easier) has produced more power and resulted in more speed, especially with wind in your face.
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Old 06-24-19, 09:46 AM
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Before purchasing my power meter I liked having a cadence sensor on my bike. If I have the choice of riding with one or without, I'll pick to go with one. I just like knowing what my legs are doing on my rides. For me it gave me something else to think about besides speed.
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Old 06-24-19, 11:10 AM
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I like having cadence info, esp. on climbs and fighting big headwinds. That said, I put my cadence sensor on my shoe a couple of years ago and love it there. Now I can ride both my bikes with one sensor (each bike already has a computer mount).
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Old 06-24-19, 12:37 PM
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Cadence is good info to have. As a well rounded cyclist, you want to be able to efficiently spin circles in a wide range of cadences. 60 rpm on the low side for tough climbs, up to 90-95 for normal riding, and 120+ for all out efforts. (Everyone is different though). It takes awhile to train your body to spin these ranges efficiently (without bobbing at the higher RPMs). I find I spin a high cadence often - its easy to push an easy gear fast for me. Some folks like to "mash" and spin a harder gear slow. Find your natural cadence, and then expand upon it.
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Old 06-24-19, 05:43 PM
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I could live with our without my cadence sensor...NOW. I used one from day one and they are a great tool for learning how to control you self on climbs and such but after a number of years I feel most cyclist can live without it being they know how they can ride.

I would probably not purchase another one but I have one on two bikes and they seem to last forever.
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Old 06-24-19, 05:50 PM
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I really needed it when I was getting back into riding. I really use it when I am doing any sort of training, whether it is hill repeats or perhaps high cadence (115-120) intervals. Also on longer rides such as centuries I look at cadence and heart rate to pace myself, especially on climbs or even high speed flats. Today I don't need it to do a typical club ride (40-60 miles), but it's there and I use it.
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Old 06-24-19, 06:27 PM
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Power Tap hub gives cadence and speed as well as power. Less batteries and less drain on the Garmin checking two less sensors.
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Old 06-24-19, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Lrdchaos View Post
What’s the general consensus on a cadence sensor?
I'll offer my opinion, which is nothing even remotely close to consensus...a waste of money and potentially more downside than up. As some others have said, feel is more important. Two primary reasons:

(1) Grade. The optimal cadence to climb is different than descending is different than riding a flat (+/- 1%). I'm not a doctor, a kinesiologist, or a pro/coach, so I don't know why, but I do ride with a power meter and I can tell you that power output is the key, and you use different gear ratios and cadences for each of those three gradients (climb, flat, descent) to achieve the target power.
(2) Feel...like perceived exertion. Some humans can spin high cadence all day, some can't. How do you know what your optimal cadence is if you don't know your FTP, and then can use that to determine the optimal power, which is a function of cadence. Ride what feels right for each situation, and then experiment with it. Until I started riding with a power meter, I used a cadence sensor...in my experience, over many years and several hundred thousand kms, when I paid attention to my cadence, I was always chasing the number I thought I was supposed to be at, and miserable; when I wasn't being bothered, I was riding where I felt comfortable and I was faster and could go longer.

That's a really long way to say, I wouldn't recommend a cadence sensor. However, if "feeling" is not the route you want to go, I would recommend a power meter, for anyone who is interested in riding for anything more than family rides and putzing about the village. It's far more useful, and with a basic understanding of what it's measuring, and understanding the feedback it is offering, it will offer some significant and dramatic improvements and positive changes to your cycling experience, whether you have amateur racing dreams or just want to conquer epic rides.

My 2 cents...

Last edited by Badger6; 06-24-19 at 11:24 PM. Reason: Clarity
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Old 06-25-19, 12:10 AM
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I have cadence but rarely look at it.
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Old 06-25-19, 12:50 AM
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Like a previous poster said I use it as a tachometer. In long challenging climbs where I am trying to either push hard all the way or try to achieve the best time, or ditto for a seated max effort of up to ninety seconds the cadence number is my most valuable variable of several that allows me to achieve the best and most efficient effort/pace. I just make sure I'm in the best gear pedaling at a targeted heart rate. However, of those mentioned if I had just one thing to reference, for me, cadence is the most valuable input.
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Old 06-25-19, 01:13 AM
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I only have one because it's part of my power meter. Cadence by itself isn't useful information on a bike.
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Old 06-25-19, 01:30 AM
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+1 on the tach comment
its always good to know, especially if you have to fight wind or hills
i usually read out my mph or my cadence when passing other riders on the trail.... in case theirs is not working
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Old 06-25-19, 06:29 AM
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eja_ bottecchia
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Originally Posted by JasonD67 View Post
I like having cadence info, esp. on climbs and fighting big headwinds. That said, I put my cadence sensor on my shoe a couple of years ago and love it there. Now I can ride both my bikes with one sensor (each bike already has a computer mount).
I never thought about doing that. Sounds like a good idea.

can you post a picture of how you set it up?
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