Faster Still? Blimey! - Bike Magic

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**How To

Faster Still? Blimey!

Faster Still? Try pedalling. This will be one of those things that you probably do already, so I’ll try not to dwell on it for too long.

Comments like “choose a nice smooth cadence” are way open to differences in individual interpretation. I’ve seen people pedalling at their own “nice smooth cadence” with their legs going round so fast their arse jumps about all over the saddle. Very elegant I’m sure.

Keep it smooth!

Smooooth is the name of the game. Pedal circles, that is the way the cranks turn after all, stamping up and down is fine when you’re standing up giving your gusset some ventilation, but you’ll be much more efficient sitting down, spinning circles roadie style.

Numbers time

What is a good cadence then? The pro roadies can get up to 100-120rpm, but if you’ve got meat on your legs that’ll be difficult to achieve. A more sensible off road cadence would be over 65-70rpm, but don’t go so fast that you can’t keep your arse comfortably and firmly planted on your saddle.

Spin baby!

Spinning your legs helps loads with climbing. It makes you more efficient up long smooth climbs, and is often the only way to get up a steep technical rooty gnarly thing (with fangs). Get your weight forward on the saddle, and spin smoothly.

The aim is to get your power into the ground as smoothly as possible. Stamping on the pedals means your tires only push you forward for less than half the pedal stroke, but by spinning your tires can propel you forward through most of the stroke, and you’ll be less likely to spit traction away over that slippery rooty bit.


Oh, and by the way, to all those kids that go everywhere at over 200rpm, this only helps if you’re trying to go fast. If you only want to go 5mph along the pavement then take it easy, please.

Did I mention that you’ve got to do this smoothly?


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