Q: What are the benefits of riding with a higher bike cadence?
A: It can be very difficult to get your bike cadence up over 90rpm on a consistent basis without lots of practice.
There is an edge towards the higher cadence riding. Your heart and lungs can take repeated punishment for long periods of time (and they recover quickly after hard efforts,) while your muscles will fatigue relatively quicker.
A high cadence also places less stress and torque on your knees. So if you have bad knees, you’re usually better off spinning faster, in a low gear.
There is also a tactical advantage to using a high cadence. Spinning fast in a low gear allows for faster accelerations, because you can bump up your cadence even more to increase your speed. If you need to shift gears, that’s also easier, since the drivetrain is under less stress.
If you’re pushing a big gear and the pace changes, you’re in trouble. You won’t be able to change cadence or shift gears quickly, so you may get dropped.
Here's a little cadence workout to add to your training schedule.
"10 Speed" Intervals
These lightning-fast efforts demand fluid, fast feet. Over time, that silky, high cadence will become second nature. Warm up 20-25 minutes. Using a gear you can push at 90-100rpm with effort, pedal as hard as you can for 10 seconds. Spin easy for 20 seconds. Repeat for 10 - 15 minutes. Rest 5 minutes. Do another set. Cool down.