Pedaling Fast or Slow – Which is Better When Cycling?

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

Among cyclists, there is both the fast and the slow pedal camp. Both are of course convinced that their driving style is better. But which variant is really more economical and healthier?

In cycling, for a long time it was the duel between Jan Ullrich and Lance Armstrong: while Ullrich pedaled more “thump”, Lance Armstrong pedaled at a faster rate and sometimes eluded Ullrich with a quick start on the mountain stages of the Tour de France.

But how is it on a comfortable city bike or Dutch bike: is fast pedaling the trump card here? Because pedaling more slowly and therefore in a higher gear definitely looks more casual than kicking.

Achim Schmidt from the German Sport University in Cologne advocates a high pedaling frequency. “When cycling, it’s important to pedal continuously instead of letting yourself roll all the time,” said Schmidt in an interview with the Hamburger Morgenpost. A high cadence in an easier gear not only has a better training effect but also protects the joints.

Professional cyclists often cycle at a high cadence of up to 100 revolutions per minute, while untrained cyclists often only do 50 revolutions. However, this not only impedes the optimal blood flow in the leg but also puts more strain on tendons and joints than necessary. Even amateur cyclists should pedal at a frequency of at least 70 revolutions per minute. The cardiovascular system is also positively influenced by the high pedaling frequency.

The easiest way to measure the cadence is with a bike computer that has a crank sensor.

Adjust the bike correctly

In order to achieve a higher cadence, the saddle must not be set too high. First, having to stretch your legs too much isn’t comfortable, and second, over-stretching puts stress on your muscles and joints.

You can easily determine the correct saddle height: Sit on your bike and place your heel on the lower vertical pedal crank. The saddle is at the right height when the heel with the leg pushed through is just touching the pedal.

Cycling makes you fit and happy

Regardless of whether you want to adapt your riding style or continue to be one of the slow movers: Cycling is good for your body and your mind. Just cycling a quarter of an hour to work is enough to prevent cardiovascular diseases.

Even now, when the days are getting shorter, try to cycle as much as possible: because the daylight that your body absorbs while cycling is good for the psyche and can help to escape the winter blues.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x