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  1. #1
    GMF
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    Pedalling Cadence?

    I was watching a few of the euro races- especially the ones in super nasty conditions - feeling pretty good about living in California and not having to completely rebuild my bike after every ride, but i was noticing that most of the guys were chopping away at the pedals with a pretty low cadence (guessing about 60-70rpm?). Why is this? It seems like a smoother pedal stroke would be of benefit in the mud...

  2. #2
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    I think the euro cyclocross guys daylight as road racers, so they are used to the lower cadence on road bikes.

  3. #3
    GMF
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    ? I thought roadies were typically known for a higher cadence (80-100rpm), and the mountain bikers were the mash and grinders.

  4. #4
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    The style has more to do with traction. The technique of low rpm is to torque drive through mud as opposed to spin yourself through it. You can 'feel' for grip/drive through the pedal better. The narrow tyres with less grip area over a MTB sized tyre makes this seem 'odd'.

    Eric
    If I don't make an attempt, how will I know if it will work?

  5. #5
    GMF
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    Thanks. That totally makes sense. Obviously it has been a long time since I was mountain biking in Oregon, or I could have remembered that. It is interesting how different riding styles favor different courses/conditions...

    -Damon

  6. #6
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I feel like I need a smoothish ride to maintain a high cadence and low cadence is more forgiving of bouncing around a lot. Trying to keep a high cadence, I sometimes bog down in sections I can tough out in a little lower cadence. Next time I try to do a 'cross season seriously, I'm promising myself I'm going to do some low-cadence drilling in preparation.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
    GMF
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    Yeah, I was actually thinking about that during a road ride tonight and playing with lower cadence vs higher cadence. I think I tend to be more of a masher, but the cross courses are typically so dry and fast, it isn't really of any help... I'll learn more as I get more races under my belt.

  8. #8
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    The pro guys are very strong and can ride through stuff most people would struggle with traction - pushing right back in the saddle to get weight over the back wheel for grip and driving with the quads - second nature to Belgian riders used to negotiating wet, slippery cobbles.

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