Ayesha wrote:I rode a TT yesterday at approx 88 - 90 cadence average. If I increase the gear, I slow down. If I lower the gear, I slow down. Don't take any notice of this, it won't be correct for you It simply demonstrates I have a 'Power band'. Your's won't agree with mine.
Well, no. If you change up a gear and do the same 90 cadence you must go faster Similarly, if your cadence lowers you can do the same speed in that higher gear, or you could increase your cadence and do the same speed in the lower gear too.
This is back in a circle where you realise the cadence figure doesn't really tell you enough, or anything much. I do 90-100 cadence now, the same as many pro cyclists, but I don't go anywhere near as fast, because they push a big gear around quickly. Hence, we're back where we started with me saying clearly "spinning or mashing" is a question that makes no sense at all. If you want to be fast you have to spin a high gear fast, which is, from the point of view of a mere mortal, both spinning and mashing
Many pages on the web on cadence start like that "beginner cyclists often spin too slowly at 60 rpm or less in a higher gear...." without once mentioning that spinning at 90 in a lower gear is not what a pro cyclist does. He's now slow with spinning legs as opposed to slow with mashing ones.
They might have a question like "well, how do I get so I can spin a big gear. Do I spin a lower one, or do I mash the bigger one" ? I had that question and asked it here - but don't answer it now - the moment has gone, I've looked elsewhere for answers
So yeah, I find I can cycle a range of cadences with different speeds in different gears. But the question was really about what to do to get better.
To me that implies change, because the chances of me doing the right stuff already by chance are unlikely (and it's self evident that if I'm slow my power band or whatever has to change. I don't really want my future power band to agree with mine, let alone yours, do I? If you can't change it and adapt, then there'd be no point to training or need to do it)
I'm relatively convinced it isn't simply "go cycling a lot" - because I see people who do that every day that aren't fast, have never been fast and never will be fast and I have my own experiences too. Cooking every day might make you a meal but it doesn't make you a chef. It's certainly not "find something that's comfortable or relaxed" - again because pretty much every page and site and book on the topic says more or less the exact opposite. I'm expecting it to hurt. Get fast or cry trying, at the least.
Perhaps I'm as fast as I'll ever be, I'm getting long in the tooth.
But, I think the short answer is "cycle intervals" - in any case, this isn't the place to answer the further questions that lead on from that 2 word answer. I also think to do those intervals you're best measuring a bunch of data that includes power (and measure as in preferably measure rather than calculate, deduce, infer, estimate or guess ) As I said in another thread, I think I'd have been better buying an exercise bike instead. I'd have done 3 or 4 months of intervals now, rather than 3 or 4 months of cycling around at more or less the same speed I've cycled around for years with no change in my ability at all.
So, at the moment at least it's in limbo until I can get one because although I've tried some "poor man's intervals", I don't really find the road suited to doing them - the conditions changes, there's traffic, I've no idea of how much effort I'm really making with nothing to measure data except speed. So yeah, I pedalled up a hill 5 or 6 times and got out of breath. Was that hard enough? Too hard? Long enough? Or too long? It's a waste of time. Local club? They're all either 10mph trips along the canal or "road bikes only". So, if I want to get fast, I either need £2k to splash on road bikes and power meters - which I can't begin to afford. Or I might get somewhere with a much cheaper exercise bike and, ironically, many of the other downsides of cycling disappear.
Thanks for all of the replies to my question anyway.