Riding a bike is just like riding a bike, right? Only if you want to cruise around the neighborhood. If you are trying to get into shape on a bike, it’s a little bit more complicated. Good cardio means getting into and staying in an elevated heart rate. The best way to do this on a bike is to pedal fast and consistently. No coasting. Always pedal, but pedal at a comfortable level of resistance so that you aren’t pushing so hard that you can’t maintain your pedaling speed.
How fast you are turning the pedals is known as cadence. It’s best to have a cadence sensor on your bike computer to do cardio workouts. Most people will want to keep their cadence between 80 and 90 rpm while dropping into the 70’s during recovery after a sprint. Professional cyclists tend to pedal between 90 and 110 rpm. You don’t have to ride like a professional cyclist to get a good workout.
So how do you maintain this cadence uphill, in headwinds and when you start getting fatigued? Gears. Learning how to use gears effectively will take as much time as learning to balance on a bike. The more you ride, the more you will know to downshift when approaching a hill and how soon. You will learn to shift up when going downhill or catching a tailwind. Accelerating out of a corner after braking or even starting after a stoplight all have their own shifting skills that cyclists have to learn.
Come see us to talk about how to ride. We want to make sure your bike is taking you where you want to go.