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This is an interesting one that falls under the ‘certainly can’t hurt’ category AND it may well help.
You’ll need a PM+Cadence Sensor and a CIQ-enabled Garmin.
Download the BIOSHIFT from the CIQ store and you’ll get a data field something like the image on the right. Replace your normal cadence field with the Bioshift one and you are good to go.
What is YOUR correct pedalling cadence?
89rpm? 93rpm? 97rpm?
What is YOUR correct pedalling cadence at any given power level?
I suspect most of us mostly believe that we should generally pedal faster than we currently do at all power levels. Partly that helps technique and partly it makes life a little easier for the legs.
I had a year or so of training around 100rpm with mostly good results but it never quite felt right for me and I seem to have slipped back to the 87-93rpm range.
Anyway, once you’ve installed the data field you will get a screen something like the following one. I’ll probably use this in my next race:
So what you cleverly get is your good old cadence figure BUT ALONGSIDE THAT is a slider/gauge. The gauge slides up or down and changes colour depending on whether or not your cadence is the right one for the current power level.
Most of the time ‘at sensible levels’ it did indeed tell me what I probably thought I already knew ie low 90’s rpm was about right. HOWEVER at Z2 levels it was recommending a lower cadence say 87rpm but was also agreeing with my increased cadence >100rpm as I got up to Z4/Z5 levels.
How it works: Data is stored on the CIQ app on the device. It assumes a relationship between power and cadence and analyses power/cadence actual data. Apparently it can adapt to changes caused by fatigue. Apparently it’s main issue is what to do when you have run out of gears going up a hill – although at that point your options are clearly limited in any case.
I had half-heartedly once tried to look into correlating 30-sec lagged HR with power-duration PBs and cadence – searching for a single optimal cadence. I didn’t get very far before I realised that I left my maths skills back in school.
HOWEVER it DOES, to me, SEEM to be suggesting something that my body agrees with.
If it messes up my 50-odd miles of hilly racing this weekend, you’ll be the first to know on Monday. I’m confident enough in what I’ve seen so far to try the data field in the race profile. Even if I start to disbelieve it then I still have the good old cadence figure there to fall back on.
Baron Biosystems / BIOSHIFT / XERT – do a few other data fields that actually look useful. I report back on those later.