Average Candance...

Today I went on a short Muni Ride with as part of the Pittsburgh Juggling Shindig, Muni ride.

I had no trouble keeping up with the guys one the 24x3" tires on my 20" monty with 125 cranks (bent).

A week ago I went riding with a biker and determined that on my 20" I ride at arround 7-9 mph

So I calculate that I ride at arround 117-151 rpm? is that right its sounds like alot for not really being that fast at all. This is only my cruising speed so if I’m sprinting I think I can probably hit 11-12mph(184-201rpm).

I know the shorter cranks help with being able to go that fast, with less displacement for your feet to move. So my big question for everyone else is if you know your candance what is your average?


I read the heading as, “Average can dance”. Thought it was a lonely hearts advert. :0)

The maths is fairly simple, so if I’ve got the figures wrong I’ll be deeply ashamed…

The following figures assume the size of the wheel is it’s true diameter. This is not always true if you fit a fat tyre.

Circumference is Pi x diameter.
(Pi = 3.14 approx.)

1760 yards (63,360 inches) = 1 mile

60 minutes in an hour.

63,360 / 60 = 1,056

So 1 mph = 1,056 inches a minute.

Wheel diameter Circumference 1 mph =
20 inches 62.8 inches 16.8 rpm
24 75.4 14.0 rpm
26 81.6 12.9 rpm
28 87.9 12.0 rpm
29 91.1 11.6 rpm
36 113 9.3 rpm

So, for any given speed and wheel size, take the number in the right hand column and multiply it by your speed in mph.

e.g., on a 20, doing 9 mph, you would be doing:
9 X 16.8 = 151.2 rpm. So yes, your calculation was right.

I have recorded top speeds around 14 - 15 mph on the 24, 28 and Coker (36).

On the 24, that would be 210 rpm, but only very briefly!

On a recent timed hour’s ride on the Coker, I did 11.1 miles. That was an average cadence of 103 rpm.

Yesterday, the Coker’s computer registered a top speed of 20mph. I am pretty sure this was a recording error, as I know for certain that at one stage, it took me 1/2 hour to ride 2 miles - it was a tough day.

Unicycles don’t have gears. Therefore “cadence” almost is not a relavent term for us.

Unless you were asking about people cruising around at speeds that are “average” for them. I ride mostly on trails these days, and my speed changes with the terrain, the slope, who I’m riding with, or where I am in relation to them. So no cadence.

However, if I were a road-riding Cokerhead, I’m sure I would know my average speed. Maybe when I get back into riding that thing to work… :slight_smile:

How vexing! When I posted all those numbers, they came out in neat columns. Now they don’t.:frowning:

John Foss wrote:

Unless you were asking about people cruising around at speeds that are “average” for them. I ride mostly on trails these days, and my speed changes with the terrain, the slope, who I’m riding with, or where I am in relation to them. So no cadence.

I think most of us at one stage or another in our ‘careers’ are interested in how fast we can go. I know I am. One aspect of this is how many ‘rpm’ we can hit. You appear to define ‘cadence’ in a more precise way, as sustained rpm over a substantial period of time. I don’t think that’s the definition which was assumed when the thread started.

I know that on the Coker, I can do 11 miles of horizontal but uneven terrain in an hour. That’s an average speed of 11mph (obviously!), although my top speed is around 14mph.

On level but very uneven terrain (e.g. muddy grassy riverbank) my average goes down to around 9 mph.

On severe (by my standards) mixed terrain, I did 8 miles in a timed hour on Saturday.

(At one stage, I know I did 2 miles in 1/2 an hour, but that was particularly 'orrible ground, with many inadvertent autopronations.)

So a sort of rule of thumb appears to emerge, that whatever speed you can sustain on the more or less flat, you will average about 2/3 of that speed on the fairly rough.

And all my ‘experiments’ have shown that I seem to have a maximum speed of around 14 mph, whether that’s on a Coker/125 or a 28/110, or a 24/102 or 24/89 combination. So I suspect it’s the fear factor which dominates. :o

I was just thinking how you don’t really need to use “cadence” when you’re on a unicycle, as rpms are the same number.

The top speeds you can reach, under various conditions and on various cycles, will probably vary with each. So with a 24" uni on flat ground, and race-legal 125mm cranks, I used to be able to hit 17.5 mph. That number would change significantly if I changed wheel size, crank length, or riding surface quality.

So to me, cadence = rpms = speed. It’s all a question of how fast you can go, and if you change elements of your system, that speed will change as well. Whereas on a bike with gears, you maintain roughly the same cadence in various gears, and even up and down hills.

That is absobloominglutely amazing. :astonished:

My computers record the ‘vmax’ or top speed for a given trip, to the nearest mile an hour. The highest I have ever seen on any of them at the end of a trip was 15mph. Somehow the Coker, 28 and 24 all have roughly the same top speeds - and that’s with 110s on the 28 and weeny little 89s on the 24. I take my hat off to you as a man of supreme rapidity.:slight_smile:

I have noticed that 89s, although more challenging, and a good ‘training tool’ actually allow a lower top speed than 102s (on the 24) and there is no significant difference in average speed. Could it be that after diminishing returns, further reduction in crank length is counterproductive?

If so, then a 24 with 125s sounds like a phenomenal machine, because if it will go as fast as that OR be happy off road then it will do almost anything. (Off roading on a 24/89 is possible, but you have to keep the momentum up!)

Certainly, depending on the goal of your riding. If it’s to make 100 meters as fast as possible (without falling off) it might be a little more useful than actually going somewhere. But even in a short 100m race, the amount of control would be more and more risky with less and less crank. For longer rides, I think there would be issues for your knees and other body parts as well, not only from trying to control the thing, but from impact with the ground on crashes.

I preferred 140mm cranks when I rode a 24" off road. And remember, that high speed number was a peak, not a sustainable thing, and was near the upper limits of 1980s human ability. My old Cateye Solar cyclecomputer only registered half-miles per hour. Though I never broke 18, I always wondered how close I got.

Re: Average Candance…

On Mon, 24 Mar 2003 17:29:42 -0600, Mikefule
<Mikefule.ktyia@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote:

>How vexing! When I posted all those numbers, they came out in neat
>columns. Now they don’t.:frowning:

I have set my news reader to use a proportional font when displaying
messages. Your columns appear to have been formatted using spaces
which is prone to incompatibilities, but on my screen they come out
neatly aligned!

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

"Canada is an Indian word meaning ““Big Village””. "

I agree with john on this one. Cadence is more used for biking more maximum efficiency ( ie. spin the pedals at 90rpm) not so much to mesure speed. also the cranks, as well as leg speed and weel size, and terrain determine your wheel speed, so it’s not fair to compare one person’s speed to another this way. arghhh, this is hard to explain. if anyone know’s what i’m trying to say, then, that’s what i mean! you got it! i really have to go to bed