## How the speed at which you spin your pedals affects your performance

Hang around bicyclists long enough and you'll hear the term cadence crop up. You'll hear debates about lower cadence versus higher cadence, and which is likely to be more efficient.

In cycling terms, cadence refers to the speed at which a person spins their pedals when they ride. More technically, it's the number of revolutions of the crank per minute or the rate at which a cyclist turns the pedals.

### Pedaling Physics

Take two competitive cyclists who weigh the same, have identical bikes and identical aerodynamics, and are riding next to each other at the same speed on a flat road. However, rider No. 1 is mashing the pedals at 70 rpm while Rider No. 2 spins the pedals at 110 rpm. Rider No. 1's pedaling style dictates that he presses hard on the pedals with each stroke. But he does so less frequently than Rider No. 2, who is pushing lightly on the pedals but doing so much more frequently. So while they are riding at the same speed, they are not exerting the same amount of energy to do so.