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Cycling induced anoesis
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Lawfarm said:
I live in the Fox River Valley in Illinois, so the hills here aren't huge by any means...but in climbing them, I have 2 basic options as a newer rider: 1) drop a few gears and keep up my cadence; or, 2) hold a gear and slow down my cadence.

Is there a general rule as to which is a better practice?
Here are your real choices:
1. When climbing, drop to the appropriate gear(s) (based on fitness/ terrain) to maintain a cadence of around 70 or better, sparing your knees from undue stress so you can continue to ride pain free.

2. Hold the gear, slow down cadence and possibly cause undue stress (bettering the odds of injury) to your knees.

There are varying opinions on 'best practice', but IME our knees don't pay much attention to opinions, and you'll gain fitness/ strength with saddle time and climbing, not mashing up hills.
 
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