Sightseeing Cyclists Should Pedal Slower

Anything you can do to strengthen your legs will make you more efficient when you ride. Research from Norway shows that the stronger you are, the slower and more efficiently you pedal when you are going at a relaxed pace. Fourteen healthy subjects performed supervised heavy lifting (two sets of the heaviest weight that they could lift 12 times in a row) for 12 weeks, including two days per week of squats and leg curls. They improved by 20 percent in the squats and 12 percent in their leg curls. At the end of the study, their increased strength caused them to use a pedal rate that was about 10 revolutions per minute slower during cycling at half their maximal power output. They used three percent less energy to do this. Journal reference

When you are trying to go as fast as you can, use a fast cadence between 80 and 100 revolutions per minute. However, when you are sightseeing, pedal at 60 to 70 revolutions and you will use less energy to go the same distance. More on the best cadence for all types of cycling


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