Anyone using CyclingPeaks software?



germanboxers

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Nov 13, 2003
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If you have used both the Powertap software and the CyclingPeaks software, what do you like/dislike about both? Is CyclingPeaks the way (only way?) to go for viewing/analyzing your power data?

I've been using a Powertap Pro since March and am getting to the point where I want to view my data in some different ways. Powertap software is actually pretty nice for quickly getting info and looking at specific parts of the ride via the window zoom; however, there aren't many other options other than the bar graph of power.

I briefly tried the trial version of CyclingPeaks about a month or more ago. It gave much more of what i wanted, but it seemed really hard to do the things that the Powertap software does easily (zoom into a specific part of a ride and pull summary info on that window). Maybe I didn't give it enough time, before ditching the trial version?? Also, the trial version of CyclingPeaks made it such that I could not upload my data via Powertap software and thus couldn't have access to the .csv raw data files. Or at least I wouldn't know where they were stored?

I could always pull up the .csv file in Excel and do the calculations (normalized power, etc) and charts myself, but that's a pain in the ****.

Thanks for the help!
 

acoggan

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Jul 4, 2003
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Disclaimer: I am basically an unpaid (by choice) consultant to the CyclingPeaks effort, so my opinions are far from unbiased.

To 'zoom in' on a particular part of a ride in CyclingPeaks, all you have to do is click-and-drag the cursor over the part of the file you want to select. This will result in a new line appearing in the 'Ranges' window, called 'Selection' by default, with all the summary data for it (including normalized power, etc.) appearing at the bottom of the list. If you want to make that selection permanent, hit control-R (for R_anges), and name will be highlighted to change to whatever you want (e.g., "climb up Smuggler's Notch'). Or, just click anywhere else on your screen, and the temporary selection you've made will go away.

The easiest (although not only) way of importing your old .csv files into CyclingPeaks is to simply select all of them from Windows Explorer and simply drag-and-drop them onto the CyclingPeaks window. They will be imported en masse and new (separate) .wko files created almost instantly - all you have to do at the end of the process is tell CyclingPeaks what athlete to associate these files with. They will then be stored in a new subdirectory with that athlete's first and last names under the CyclingPeaks Data directory. Since people sometimes deviate from the standard file-naming conventions used by PowerTap (or SRM, Polar, etc.), the batch import filter includes quite a bit of error-trapping as well.

If you go to the support forums at www.cyclingpeakssoftware.com, you can get answers to this and other question there. The bottom line, though, is the design philosophy behind CyclingPeaks has been to make it as easy yet as powerful as it could possibly be. To that end, replication of functions of other programs as well bulk import of older files have been very high priorities, and I'd say that Kevin Williams (who wrote the program) hit the ball of the park in this regard.
 

J-Law

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Oct 21, 2003
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Originally posted by germanboxers
If you have used both the Powertap software and the CyclingPeaks software, what do you like/dislike about both? Is CyclingPeaks the way (only way?) to go for viewing/analyzing your power data?

I've been using a Powertap Pro since March and am getting to the point where I want to view my data in some different ways. Powertap software is actually pretty nice for quickly getting info and looking at specific parts of the ride via the window zoom; however, there aren't many other options other than the bar graph of power.

I briefly tried the trial version of CyclingPeaks about a month or more ago. It gave much more of what i wanted, but it seemed really hard to do the things that the Powertap software does easily (zoom into a specific part of a ride and pull summary info on that window). Maybe I didn't give it enough time, before ditching the trial version?? Also, the trial version of CyclingPeaks made it such that I could not upload my data via Powertap software and thus couldn't have access to the .csv raw data files. Or at least I wouldn't know where they were stored?

I could always pull up the .csv file in Excel and do the calculations (normalized power, etc) and charts myself, but that's a pain in the ****.

Thanks for the help!

I have never been happier with a product. Not only is it top notch but they listen to suggestions and make the improvements almost immediately. As Andy pointed out it can do the things you asked about. You can also have the files in any format you want from SRM to Polar to CSV (although why you would want to is beside me). It is the best $75 I have ever spent.
 

germanboxers

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Nov 13, 2003
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Dr. Coggan: Thanks for the help. I bit the bullet and purchased the CyclingPeaks software. Within an hour of playing with it, all of my concerns were allayed. It is a wonderful product, thank you for helping create such a great tool!

I have one question about Normalized Power: I've created a "Mean Maximal Normalized Power Graph" for the last 28 days. I'm curious what can be derived from this?

If I read your article on this correctly, Normalized Power basically better reflects the metabolic demand when power is highly variable than does average watts? If so, is it correct to also say that Normalized Power would be a better estimate of the average power an athlete could sustain over a given time period if the power was held nearly constant (or much less variable), excluding exceedingly short periods? In other words, would it be possible to select a starting sustainable power output for an interval based on the Mean Maximal Normalized Power for a similar duration even if a sustained effort for specifically that duration was not undertaken in the dataset?

I'm planning on doing a 9min interval in a couple of days as a regular 5k+ test. I've tested some friends at this duration and noticed pacing was not so good. Being competitive in nature, I'd like to average a higher power than them and feel I would do a little better if I paced myself correctly.

Thanks!!!
 

acoggan

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Jul 4, 2003
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Briefly, the answer(s) to your question(s) is (are) a qualified yes. The reason that the answer has to be qualified are 1) the normalized power algorithm essentially ignores anaerobic capacity, and thus may overestimate the actual power you maintain at durations short enough for anaerobic capacity to play a significant role, and 2) even at longer durations, it is only a predictor or estimate, with an accuracy of roughly 5%.
 

germanboxers

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Nov 13, 2003
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Originally posted by acoggan
Briefly, the answer(s) to your question(s) is (are) a qualified yes. The reason that the answer has to be qualified are 1) the normalized power algorithm essentially ignores anaerobic capacity, and thus may overestimate the actual power you maintain at durations short enough for anaerobic capacity to play a significant role, and 2) even at longer durations, it is only a predictor or estimate, with an accuracy of roughly 5%.

Thanks Dr. Coggan!

Perhaps you could answer a more specific question related to this? Right now I have maybe 20 rides in the database, some harder than others, but no races and no longer serious group rides. My Mean Maximal Power for 1h is 210w, but this was a Tempo (z3 heart rate in middle of zone). My Mean Maximal Normalized Power for 1h is 274w. Is this a better estimate of TT or Threshold Power in your opinion? I'm not experienced in TT (never actually have done one yet), so my first reaction is that this is probably a little high estimate; however, I'm not sure how "settling into a high effort zone" actually feels past 10 min or so (yet to do even a serious set of LT intervals yet).

BTW, I noticed on the CyclingPeaks Forum that you are in St. Louis. Grew up ~30m east of StL and lived in Soulard and Clayton for 8 years before being shipped off to the superflatlands of Fort Wayne, IN. Will you be conducting any seminars in StL that are available to Riders/Racers? StL is home and would love to attend one of your seminars!!

Thanks!!

Jordan
 

acoggan

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Jul 4, 2003
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Originally posted by germanboxers
Right now I have maybe 20 rides in the database, some harder than others, but no races and no longer serious group rides. My Mean Maximal Power for 1h is 210w, but this was a Tempo (z3 heart rate in middle of zone). My Mean Maximal Normalized Power for 1h is 274w. Is this a better estimate of TT or Threshold Power in your opinion?

Will you be conducting any seminars in StL that are available to Riders/Racers? StL is home and would love to attend one of your seminars!!

Yes, from the sounds of things I would say that 274 W is probably a better estimate of what I call "functional threshold power" than the 210 W best straight average you've achieved to date. Over time you'll probably be able to refine that estimate simply as you accumulate more data. Alternatively, if you really want to nail it down you can do some formal testing, e.g., a ~1 h TT or via several shorter efforts to calculate your critical power.

There's a new women's team in St. Louis (Team Revolution), and I've told them that I would do a seminar on powermeter use, the proceeds from which would go to benefit their coffers (probably $25 registration fee, or something like that). If/when we get it organized, look for info to be posted here: www.stlbiking.com
 

steve

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Aug 12, 2001
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Does this software work with the polar HRM/power sensor? If so is it considered better than the sofware polar provide?

cheers
 

acoggan

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Jul 4, 2003
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Yes, CyclingPeaks will import your Polar powermeter (and HR monitor) files - it will even download the powermeter directly. Is it better than the Polar software? Since I'm clearly biased I won't attempt to answer that question, but will simply suggest that you download a trial copy, use it for 15 d, and then decide for yourself. If you continue to download through the Polar software (or export the .wko files created by CyclingPeaks in the Polar format - yes, it can do that), you can always revert to the Polar program if you wish.
 

tmctguer

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Sep 9, 2003
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i used the Polar software for 3 months, then heard about CyclingPeaks. i bought it, imported my data from my Polar file on my hard drive (drag & drop certain files), and i had the best of both worlds.

i still am using both -- i like Polar's training diary and graphical displays of cycling data, however power analysis is more of an afterthought to them. CyclingPeaks really allows you to drill down on wattage, cadence, workout intensity, and other items.

i am very happy with both products.
 

ianbirlem

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May 29, 2004
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I love the software also. My favorite feature is that it will automatically locate the highest poweroutput you sustained for given time periods and list them. If you do a hard group ride, workout or bike race you can see your "Critical Power" zones for those time periods and figure out your zones.