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I'm struggling between purchasing a GPS with a cadence feature (Edge 305) and one with a more useful mapping feature that isn't capable of doing cadence (Vista Cx). My question, is how important in training is it to know exactly what your cadence is??? Is it OK to roughly estimate? I have a heart rate monitior, so will always know what that figure is. I'm just not sure on the "vital" importance of knowing exactly what ones cadence is.

Thanks in advance for your advice and comments!

P.S. - Weather stunk in denver over the weekend and was forced to go running! Ugh! :eek:
 

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Cadence, while training, is a very valuable tool. GPS isn't. It's an expensive toy.
 

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Yeah but ...

MR_GRUMPY said:
Cadence, while training, is a very valuable tool. GPS isn't. It's an expensive toy.
After you've been riding for hours and hours, eyes transfixed on your cadence meter, hypnotized by the numbers on the screen representing leg rpms, and then suddenly look up and realize you haven't a clue where you are, the GPS can help you find your way back home!
 

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Agree with Grumpy

Cadence is a great tool for your workouts. GPS is unnecessary, but admittedly cool! So, if your goal is to train specifically and effectively and incorporate workouts that require specific cadences, well, no brainer. If you just wnat to have fun, have cool stuff, and bang around on your bike (aint nutin' wrong with that!) and if you get more fit then great then yeah, go with the GPS, it'll be fun.

I guess that no one makes a unit with both?
 

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on the trainer

I just had a wired computer with a rear wheel sensor put on my backup bike that I use on my trainer. I do some workouts where I put the bike in a specific gear and ride at 95rpm. then I shift in a harder gear, and maintain the same cadence and get a new speed reading, then I ride the same speed for 5mins, shift again, and so on. the cadence is crucial to telling me how much faster I should be going in the new gear. all do 5 step downs like this, and its gets tough toward the end. and yes, I do stare at the speed/cadence/time and get transfixed.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
MR_GRUMPY said:
Cadence, while training, is a very valuable tool. GPS isn't. It's an expensive toy.
So aren't my road and mountain bikes.

The question wasn't whether these are necessary or not, it is how important is the cadence feature on a cycling computer? I'm not very good at pegging my RPE so the HRM makes a lot of sense for me. I'm pretty decent at estimating my cadence, but if I'm off 10% or so, does that make much of a difference?
 

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Knowledge

bill said:
knowing your cadence is more important, imho, is more important than knowing your speed.
Definitely cadence, speed is a rather useless number. Cadence display is particularly important if you are trying to change your current cadence. For instance if you normally ride at 85rpm and have the goal of changing your normal cadence to 100rpm then the cadence display is important. You can gradually work your way up to 100rpm over a few weeks. After you have spent a number of weeks at your desired cadence then the display is not all that important as long as you dont find yourself drifting backwards.

I would evaluate the GPS functions based on where you plan to ride. If you travel a lot to umfamiliar places that may influence your decision.
 

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Cadence is fine and well until you get dropped. Your cadence should be whatever produces enough power to keep your ass in the group.

Some people can spin 120 rpm comfortably and some can't, period. Spinning a bit while just putting in miles is great, but when push comes to shove, sometimes you must put it in a big gear and push down hard.
 

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Remember as well GPS on a unit like the Garmin Edge 305 isn't like the GPS you find in a rental car that also comes with mapping features that help get you home, sure they give you some limited waypoint functionality but they aren't going to be that useful for finding your way, they would just give you a point of reference more than anything. Although having said that I still want one!

Cadence for me being a mountain bike rider getting into road cycling is pretty important as I've never had to think about it before, I think though if you have to ask which is more important than cadence is more important as if cadence really wasn't important for you then you wouldn't be asking the question here in the first place.
 

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magnolialover said:
Take off all the electronic doo dads off of your bike.

Set your watch to the stopwatch function.

Press start when you leave the house.

Press stop when you get back.

That's all you need.

It's funny to me when people talk about cadence sensors, power measuring equipment, and heart rate monitors when the vast majority of folks on here probably don't race their bikes, or train for anything specific, and probably don't know how to use the tools and toys that they bought in the first place. Can't you just ride?
That's an extremely naive statement. Not only can you NOT make that statement, but there are many more benefits than just "racing" out of cadence and HR monitors. There's this thing called fitness--something important that promotes healthy living for a lifetime. I'll spare you by summing up the next 10 minutes of my argument on your general idiocy: grow up.
 

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No doubt, the Vista will do you better in the where-am-I world. If you want mapping, a gps is a great thing. Just shove it in your jersey pocket and go. As I see it, the Edge series are a solution in search of a problem. They don't have the mapping capabilities that make a gps reciever useful, and despite the perception of gps as some perfectly accurate whiz-bang gizmo, it can't measure speed over distance anywhere near as well as a wheel in ground contact. No, it's not a great difference, but why pay all the extra money for something that is less accurate? I don't see a significant advantage for the $250 that can't be had for a tenth of that with a traditional cyclometer.

My advice: Get a cheap cycle computer to keep track of the speed, cadence, and the other things they are good at. Get a Vista (or an etrex or explorist) and tuck it in your jersey pocket for the things GPS is good at, like telling you where you are and how you got there. You'll get better features from both, save money, and be able to leave the GPS home on the days you don't want/need to carry it.

Not that you asked or care, but I don't like the idea of mapping gps on the dash, either in cars or on bikes. Too easily distracting - better idea to watch the road than a dotted line that represents the road, but not the potholes, sewer grates, cars, trash, etc. But then, I'm a Luddite who thinks cell phones while driving should be illegal.
 

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My two cents:

If you feel you need to know your cadence, you are probably right. I know I do not need it, because I am confident of my cadence, from endless trainer work, where counting my cadence is sometimes all I can do to keep my mind off the 20 minute interval. Spinning class also ingrained 100 rpm into my legs, despite the instructors suggestion to go 60 rpm and simulate a "hill". Like threshold HR, a monitor is essential for beginners, but after a few years, I know what threshold feels like, it gives me flashbacks to slipping off the back!
 

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magnolialover said:
Take off all the doo dads and just ride. It's all good. And cheaper.
+1

I love all of the Cat4 guys I see with PowerTaps and GPS computers. It's quite funny.

I have a computer, that's it...and it's only for ride time. When your HR is high, the ringing in your ears will let you know...
 

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new tools

I was pretty much ok with the debate so far, until the comment about how funny it is to see people with powertaps. from my perspective, the ability to measure power is probably the single best new tool out there for smart training. with 2 kids and a full time job, my training time is severely limited. because I want to be as good a racer as I can be, I am looking to be able to train in the smartest way possible. I think that a powertap is an extremely efficient training/analysis tool, and I intend to buy one. On the other hand, powertap is not magic, and there are other ways to achieve the same goals.
 

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merckx56 said:
+1

I love all of the Cat4 guys I see with PowerTaps and GPS computers. It's quite funny.

I have a computer, that's it...and it's only for ride time. When your HR is high, the ringing in your ears will let you know...
What about Cat 5's!? :rolleyes:
 

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I love all of the Cat4 guys I see with PowerTaps and GPS computers. It's quite funny.
The tools can be very effective help for people who are entering the sport and don't know their bodies as well as those with more experience. Arguably, more help than for those who do know their bodies much better. If the numbers get in the way of . . . everything else, that's one thing, and it certainly happens, but it's a rather bald assumption in a given case.
 
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