I was just thinking if there is an “80/20” approved way of finding the optimal cadence on the bike? I was thinking of sitting on 90 RPM and measuring the average heart rate/pace and then moving it up or down to find what is physiologically easier for my body to maintain? I was hoping there was some sort of set of guidelines I could follow?
Great question. There is no 80/20-approved method of determining optimal pedaling cadence. In fact, nobody knows the best way to determine optimal pedaling cadence, or even whether such a thing truly exists. There is pretty strong evidence that what is considered optimal in a testing environment might not be optimal for experienced cyclists in race conditions. I think the best approach is to play around with cadence a bit, gather data (including perceptual data), tease out lessons, and apply them. All of this can, and I believe should, be done somewhat informally. To be too structured about it would be to pretend we know more about optimal cycling cadence than we really do, and could drain some of the fun out of your training.