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Ever do wattage intervals on a gym bike?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
As I was riding the Star Trac bike at 24 hr fitness, it seemed difficult to get my wattage up as high as I could when I had a Powertap. I would hate to do a FTP test on that stationary bike. I would die. Are the watts accurate on those gym bikes?
post #2 of 8

Re: Ever do wattage intervals on a gym bike?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jojoma
As I was riding the Star Trac bike at 24 hr fitness, it seemed difficult to get my wattage up as high as I could when I had a Powertap. I would hate to do a FTP test on that stationary bike. I would die. Are the watts accurate on those gym bikes?
I would suggest that the numbers displayed on many gym bikes are no more than some light comic relief.
post #3 of 8

Re: Ever do wattage intervals on a gym bike?

I have only used one when on trips in hotels and such but the readings seem to vary a lot in relation to what I know my normal output is. I imagine the use of a translator form the manufacturer is required to obtain a true reading.
post #4 of 8

Re: Ever do wattage intervals on a gym bike?

When I have to use one of these, I use a towel to cover up the readouts and just go on PE. Warm up, make sure you have enough water -- then set off at a pace you think you can hold for 40-minutes. If you wish you could stop @25 --- I reckon that's just about perfect. Keep it simple .
post #5 of 8

Re: Ever do wattage intervals on a gym bike?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jojoma
As I was riding the Star Trac bike at 24 hr fitness, it seemed difficult to get my wattage up as high as I could when I had a Powertap. I would hate to do a FTP test on that stationary bike. I would die. Are the watts accurate on those gym bikes?
I use these quite a bit as I honestly get bored riding outdoors and on the computrainer so it gives me a change up and allows me to do some weights if I feel the need.

The key is not to pay attention to the watts but simply the level and than always use the same machine. In the end a number is a number is a number as long as you feel it getting more difficult as you increase the number than it is working. You get the idea...

-js

When you travel unfortunately than just go by simple PE as was advised in this thread as when I go to 24 hour gyms in Vegas compared to lets say Dallas and my hometown NYC, they never are the same unfortunately.
post #6 of 8

Re: Ever do wattage intervals on a gym bike?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsirabella
I use these quite a bit as I honestly get bored riding outdoors
Outdoors really? is it because of scenery or traffic?
l can understand the indoor trainer but outdoors if you don't have to contend with maniac drivers and conjestion to me is euphoric, nothing better than getting home after a killer ride in the hills and all those endorphins running around in your body.
post #7 of 8

Re: Ever do wattage intervals on a gym bike?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bubsy
Outdoors really? is it because of scenery or traffic?
l can understand the indoor trainer but outdoors if you don't have to contend with maniac drivers and conjestion to me is euphoric, nothing better than getting home after a killer ride in the hills and all those endorphins running around in your body.
It is not so much the scenery but for me in NYC how many times can I go around the same loop and not go a bit insane. Other than the CP there really is no where you can really train in NYC and still get to work on time. I know of several guys who try to get to NYACK and back before work but honestly that is a bit hard for me and still take my daughter to school. The summers are a different story.

Otherwise the other places you can ride a bike around here, you just can not really open it up without something to slow you down.

-js
post #8 of 8

Re: Ever do wattage intervals on a gym bike?

I've used the Star Trak Pros at the local Y for a couple of years. The wattage readings appear to be very consistent from bike-to-bike, as well as over time. Haven't seen them taken apart, but believe they use a chain-driven alternator and load bank for resistance, which means power is just a matter of measuring the volts/amps.

Can't judge the absolute accuracy of the calibration of course, but as others have said, that really doesn't matter for training as long as the load is stable and repeatable. Don't know if they have any calibration adjustments, or if any periodic calibration checks are possible.

The power I see on the StarTraks does seem to correlate well with estimates from low-speed road climbing. For my weight (200 lbs body and bike), a 10% grade requires ~40 watts per each mph. So, to maintain 6 mph takes ~240 watts output, which is sadly about my max for 10 minutes....whether on the road or on the indoor trainer.

Believe it feels harder indoors on the Startrak due mostly to the lack of cooling air. As you know, the little 1 x 4 cm fan doesn't do a whole lot compared to the breeze on the whole body we generate while pedaling.
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