1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Explain Cadences...

    How do you know what your Cadence is?

    Im assuming Cadence is when your ghost pedaling into the granny gears on your way to a hill to keep the momentum going and samething going down a hill?
    I know i burn up so much energy making it up a hill by the time i make it to the top to go down i dont even pedal as much or hard as i should even though i change the gears.

  2. #2
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    cadence is like the rpms of a car engine. how many revolutions per min your legs are turning. Generally between 60 and 90 rpm is a good cadence.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrewQ1 View Post
    How do you know what your Cadence is?

    Im assuming Cadence is when your ghost pedaling into the granny gears on your way to a hill to keep the momentum going and samething going down a hill?
    I know i burn up so much energy making it up a hill by the time i make it to the top to go down i dont even pedal as much or hard as i should even though i change the gears.

    Cadence is the rpm at which the cranks spin...

    60 rpm is low typical of standing and hammering up a hill...

    Most experienced riders will ride normally from 80 to 90 rpm...

    120 rpm is very fast and close to the maximum for resonable power output.

  4. #4
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    but how would you know what yours is? would you actually count it in your head...probably not. but how can you guage it?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrewQ1 View Post
    but how would you know what yours is? would you actually count it in your head...probably not. but how can you guage it?
    look for a bike speedometer that displays cadence lots of them around.

    Actually quite useful, for learning how to ride correctly.

  6. #6
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    I do have a bike computer but never actually used it. Hopefully it does read cadence also....

    So what should be a good cadence for going up a hill or level ground? Ive only been riding for over a month now...so im still a newb.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrewQ1 View Post
    I do have a bike computer but never actually used it. Hopefully it does read cadence also....

    So what should be a good cadence for going up a hill or level ground? Ive only been riding for over a month now...so im still a newb.
    80 to 90 rpm...

    seems fast to most beginners, but it really does work...

    Shift up a couple of gears to stand and hammer.....60 rpm

  8. #8
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    look at your left (or right) knee while pedaling if it comes up once per second it's 60 rpm 1.5 times per second it's 90rpm and 2 times it's 120 rpm. The method isn't super accurate but it is close enough to get in the ballpark.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrewQ1 View Post
    I do have a bike computer but never actually used it. Hopefully it does read cadence also....

    So what should be a good cadence for going up a hill or level ground? Ive only been riding for over a month now...so im still a newb.
    If your computer doesn't measure cadence but you do have a watch with a seconds readout, count full revolutions (so two pedal strokes for each rev) in 10 seconds, and multiply by 6 (or 15 seconds and multiply by 4). Aim for 15 revolutions in 10 seconds; that will get you 90 rpm; a good efficient cadence for most people. It will feel fast, unnaturally fast, but spend some time working on spinning fast and smooth and I promise you'll be a better, faster rider for it.

    -Eric

  10. #10
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    Speed from rpm, or rpm from speed

    Bit of a thread mine, but if you have a bike computer that shows speed, but not cadence/rpm, you can use Sheldon Brown's gear caclulator* to work out what the speed is for each gear at a given rpm. Just select the relevent rpm you want from the Gear Units dropdown selection.

    I'm keen to become more of a spinner than a masher, so have punched in my crank, chainrings and cassette to show the km/h I should reach at 90rpm in each gear.

    hth

    *won't let me post links , so you know what to put before the below:
    sheldonbrown.com/gears/

  11. #11
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    Wallyworld has a Bell computer w/ cadence for about 20 dollars.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    Wallyworld has a Bell computer w/ cadence for about 20 dollars.
    Thanks for the heads up on that.

  13. #13
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    I can't really put it into technical terms, but lets just say if you're pedaling frenetically you need to shift to a higher gear, and if you're pedaling too slow because there is too much resistance you should switch to a lower gear.

    From what I've seen inexperienced riders tend to do one of the two, but most tend to pedal way too fast in a gear that is too low. You just have to find that sweet spot. As somebody mentioned it's like driving a manual on car, if the redline is 7k you don't want to be constantly driving at 5-6k, nor do you want to be bogging the car driving at 1k in 5th gear going 20mph. It's the same concept.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will Goes Boing View Post
    I can't really put it into technical terms, but lets just say if you're pedaling frenetically you need to shift to a higher gear, and if you're pedaling too slow because there is too much resistance you should switch to a lower gear.

    From what I've seen inexperienced riders tend to do one of the two, but most tend to pedal way too fast in a gear that is too low. You just have to find that sweet spot. As somebody mentioned it's like driving a manual on car, if the redline is 7k you don't want to be constantly driving at 5-6k, nor do you want to be bogging the car driving at 1k in 5th gear going 20mph. It's the same concept.
    Really? I've got to disagree with you on that. I've been helping newbies get started in cycling for 15 years now, and almost without fail they pedal too slowly. I commonly see new riders pedaling at 60-70 RPM, and a few below 50. Optimum is 90-100 for most folks, and 120 is great if you can do it smoothly.

    Runners tend to be the worst about this. They've got this huge aerobic engine, but they can't use it well because they're used to a much slower cadence from running. I almost hate helping them, because once they get into an efficient RPM range, I have to work a LOT harder to keep up. One guy in particular, was a Boston qualifier. I wiped the trail with him while he pedaled 60-70 RPM. Then he got a cadence computer and learned to use it. I had trouble keeping my tongue out of my front tire after that when I rode with him.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    Wallyworld has a Bell computer w/ cadence for about 20 dollars.
    can't find this deal ..need some help.

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