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I received a bicycle trainer for Christmas this year and am starting to read Friels book to set up a training plan. I have a HR monitor and am planning to use it to make sure my workouts are on track.

Is there a benefit to getting and using a cyclocomputer w/cadence sensor to use on my trainer bike? Will it be more difficult to properly perform workouts without that information?
 

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I have a high cadance, 95 - 100 and find that when I'm at the end of a training block my
legs get sluggish and without the cadance sensor I pedal to slow and don't get efficient workouts in. I also like to track my mileage for the year and use it as a guide to measure similar workouts against each other and gauge fitness.
 

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Cadence monitor is really not that important because u can pretty much feel how fast you are going most of the time. As long as you have the HRM, your training will benefit. Although the best way to enhance training is to get a power meter.
 

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In my experience in training with heart rate (which Friel mostly uses), tracking cadence can be important in getting accurate training zones.

When performing Lactate Threshold tests, the cadence should be close to expected cadence during workouts. I target 90 rpm for testing, and will vary for certain workouts, depending if I want to work on strength or leg speed.

Some people will wonder, “why can’t I reach 170bpm during my intervals?”. It could be because threshold tests were done at 105 rpm while threshold intervals are being performed at 80 rpm.


Also, speed on the rear wheel can be used to get an indication of the power you’re putting out. Another words, power= f ( speed). That way you can track speed vs. heart rate, and see your improvement, for given heart rates (as the season progresses). You can also see how cadence affects your heart rate at a given speed.

Rear wheel bike computer with cadence on the bike trainer. Nice toy for sure!!
 

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Cadence is a great way to track your progression, within the context of a single interval, and over the course of a season.

Essentially, if you're doing a flat TT sort of effort, a drop in cadence can be an indicator that power is falling.

However, cadence can also be used to modulate heart rate. On a climb, you can drive up your HR and give your legs a "breather" by increasing cadence. If HR goes too high, you can give your lungs and heart a break by standing, dropping the chain down the cassette a gear or two, and lowering your cadence.
 

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I think you need both HR and cadence to train successfully indoors. I rode the trainer a ton, but never really made big improvements until I understood the link between cadence, HR and level of effort. A training session at low cadence provides one type of benift, but may do little to improve your HR capabilities. The opposite is also true.

You can take this and focus on training the areas you are specifically week in, instead of just spinnning on your bike.
 
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