High-Cadence Cycling and Recreational Cyclists

Raising cycling rpm too high does not boost exercise benefits.

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA
Oct 15, 2019

A recent study supports indoor cycling instructors who urge students not to pedal at a cadence above 90 revolutions per minute. Researchers found that at 90 rpm and beyond, pedal forces exerted by recreational cyclists decreased, heart rate increased by 15%, and exercise efficiency and skeletal muscle oxygenation declined.

The study appeared in the International Journal of Sports Medicine (2019; 40 [5], 305–11).

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Shirley Archer, JD, MA

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