How do you use the cadence function on a bike computer? You just try to keep it steady? To what rate?
There are a lot of articles on the web for cadence. Basically it is a number to look for a while, but once you get settled into your pedaling routine, you don't need to follow the numbers too closely on a ride. I've found a sweet spot around 90rpms. This gives enough room to pedal faster or slower as the terrain changes. That is, having a higher cadence seems to give you more reserve when there are quick changes in gradient that you can't adjust for with gears. Too low of a cadence (e.g., grinding out a long climb) does increase the force on your knees and it can cause some damage.
Now, if you are a single speed, cadence doesn't matter except to help you get the gearing tied into the terrain.
Here is the cadence profile from my (road bike) ride this morning. I had the garmin on the wrong bike setting, so it didn't detect the speed/cadence sensor. That shows how closely I watch the cadence on a ride
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