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28-04-2022 | Fiets Magazine

What's your optimal RPM?

"I find it hard to ride with a high cadence. I feel it's a lot better to ride with a low cadence. Why do training schedules indicate that you should often train at 90 to 100 rpm?"

Stefan van Klink (trainer coach at TalentNED), replies:

Cadence is a skill that can be difficult to teach, but it is very relevant to the distribution of your energy. However, it is not easy to state what the perfect RPM is. This, like many things in sport, is very personal. On average, a good cadence is between 90 and 100. Sometimes it can be a little lower and sometimes a little higher.

When thinking about your cadence, there's an important question to ask yourself: what happens when you get tired? Is it your legs or your lungs that are holding you back from going harder? For many riders, it's the legs. Your muscles can no longer deliver the power needed to reach the desired speed. This is also the reason not to ride with a too low pedalling frequency. The lower the pedalling frequency, the more you ask of your muscles.

Although your muscles normally don't last as long as your endurance, you always want to find the right balance between the two in your cadence

An RPM that is too high is also possible, however. You'll notice that when you ride with a very high cadence, you'll mainly be physically challenged and won't be able to put your muscles to good use. To find the right cadence, you have to find a balance. Although your muscles normally do not last as long as your endurance, it's a good idea to try to find a balance between the two.

If you don't immediately succeed in doing the indicated 90 revolutions? Then practice slowly with increasing your RPM. Like many things, this doesn't have to be perfect in a day. Give yourself time to practice with this and don't expect it to go well immediately. Often with experience, riding with a good cadence becomes easier and easier.

This article was created in collaboration with Fiets Magazine.

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