I need help pinning the high rpm

Hey Lee

I need help pinning it. I don’t use a watt meter, just cadence. Can’t get above 200. Is it my bike set up, my position or what? My husband can get to 215 on my bike. What to do? I’m in week 10 of Pump up the Base, which I love by the way. It’s still snowing here, so hopefully I will be ready to rock.


Hey Julie,

Thanks for writing — and for rocking the Pump Up the Base base-training and pedaling-skills program. At Week 10 the workouts get longer, don’t they! This weekend I did my first trail rides in months, and I felt awesome (thanks to lots of trainer time).

So you can’t spin above 200 rpm? Here are some thoughts:

• 200 rpm is really good! Very few riders can spin that fast. Be proud of that.

• I can’t speak to your setup or position. How about sending a video?

Some tips for increasing your top cadence — and being smoother/better at lower cadences:

• Focus on the ankling drills in PUTB. Foot/pedal angle is the key to smoother/faster/better pedaling. Refine this at all cadences, in and out of the saddle.

• Engage your core. Don’t tighten it so it’s rigid. Engage it so it’s firm yet supple. This can be tricky, and it’s worth a whole book. Here’s one thing to practice: Make the front of your body as long as you can. Make the back of your body as long as you can. Make the sides of your body as long as you can. See how long you can keep that up!

• Use your glutes. That’s where the real power comes from.

• When you’re pedaling that fast, forget about trying to spin smoothly. Crush those pedals. As elite BMX coach Greg Romero says:


Spinning 200 on flat pedals back in November. Since then I’ve hit 210 on flats and 220 with clips, but I’m mostly focused on making more usable power lower down.

Pin it!


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