Cadence and MTB


#1

Hi guys, my name is Nicola and I am an Italian mtb amateur, 40 year old (4000 km per year and 6.000 m elevation) and it is the first year I use TR (used with an Elite Direto and a road bike).

I structured my training program like this:

  1. Base Phase - Sweet Spot Base (Low volume I & II)
  2. Build Phase - Short Power Build (Low volume)
  3. Specialty Phase - Cross-Country Olympic (Low volume)

I started on October 8th with a FTP of 235w for 74kg of weight (3.13w / kg) and I would have to finish on May 1st (unfortunately I had a total interruption of 20 days due to an otitis that led me to a lowering of the FTP at 210w - (2.83w / kg).

Currently I’m in the first lessons of the second block of Sweet Spot Base, I feel good with TR and I feel good legs …

The thing I would like to ask the most experienced of TR is: up to now, in this phase of development of the resistance and improvement of FTP, I always worked with cadences above 85 rpm as requested by the coach.

With traditional training I was used to doing work of strength and resistance at rpm much lower: type 45/55 rpm, why this difference?

Moreover, being a MTB cyclist is it necessary for me to develop these skills to work at such high cadences? Considering that in mtb I rarely risk pedaling so agile?

Thanks for your answers.


#2

It is beneficial to have the ability to spin light, but be careful to not lose the other end of the spectrum.

A few years ago I did a lot of work to up my cadence during winter training. Training was spinning-classes and the occasional jogging and XC skiing.
I became much more comfortable with higher cadence and did feel that the possibility to “rest” the muscles a bit with light load did increase my average cycling speed. But… I completely lost the abbility to HNNNGhh myself over small bumps and hills in the terrain, and all technincal and loose surface climbing also did suffer . I did not feel like a good rounded mountainbiker until august.
I forgot to take care of my low cadence abilities which is important in mountainbiking. I simply just moved my available cadence-band upwards. After that year I always make sure I also do some lower cadence work during wintertime, and do find it works.


#3

My cadence has definitely gone up since being on TR for a year but I do not feel I’ve lost anything at the other end. I tend to ride MTB outdoors approx once a week for 2-4 hours and feel this is enough to keep the MTB specifics in check whilst improving my overall fitness with TR.


#4

Great! Glad to know your experience. But does the required cadence always remain so high even in the progress of the training plan? Or are there jobs that provide lower cadences?
Mine is a simple curiosity, actually I feel better with these agile jobs.


#5

[quote=“stefanf, post:2, topic:7773, full:true”]
I became much more comfortable with higher cadence and did feel that the possibility to “rest” the muscles a bit with light load did increase my average cycling speed. But… I completely lost the abbility to HNNNGhh myself over small bumps and hills in the terrain, and all technincal and loose surface climbing also did suffer . I did not feel like a good rounded mountainbiker until august.[/quote]

Precisely, this is my concern …


#6

I’ve been using TR for a quite a few years now and it definitely has shifted my cadence higher than what it used to be. Overall I do feel this has helped my efficiency and kept my leg fresher outdoors as well.

For mountain biking, I do tend to spin a little slowed than on the trainer, but generally I don’t feel this to be an issue. I do try to gear my mountain bikes fairly low as I tend to like to spin a little more on the long climbs.

That all being said, there is no reason to not do some workouts with TR using low cadence. I’ll periodically mix in either low cadence sets, or entire low cadence workouts. This works particularly well during Sweetspot work.


#7

Some related discussions.


#8

In the plan you can use whatever cadence you want, the cadence suggestions during the plan are merely that, suggestions. :slightly_smiling_face:


#9

Here I am again, still asking for info about low-speed workouts.

After doing: SS Low I & II and a week of Short Power Build Low, is it my impression that I feel low strength in my legs?
As if I could not push hard gear …

First: working at high cadence> 85 do you still work in strength? or you have to use lower rpm (up to 50rpm) (as I did the previous season)?

Second: if I wanted to insert a low cadence workout, could I do it at this time of plans (Short Power Build) simply using lower rpm, for the Watt required by the workouts (for example Lion Rock)?