Ergometer Training

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by MarkinSoCal, Feb 11, 2004.

  1. MarkinSoCal

    MarkinSoCal New Member

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    I've been doing a cycling training course at my LBS that involves a rotation between rollers, trainer and an ergometer. I really feel like the ergometer (Monarch - older version of 828E) gives the best workout. My wife and I are planning on having our second child next year and it will be more difficult to get out riding during the week. I was considering purchasing an ergometer vs. a trainer as I feel like I'm getting a better workout on the erg. Does anybody have any experience or opinions on this subject?
     
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  2. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

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    What do you mean by a 'good workout'?

    Turbo/indoor trainers use your own bike so means that it is very specific to your possition. There are also lots of types of trainers that you should try before making a decision. I use a fluid trainer; very stable, quiet and 'realistic' resistance.

    I'd avoid rollers due to lack of resistance. I also don't think that the monarch would be good for training on either given that they are not designed for this.
     
  3. MarkinSoCal

    MarkinSoCal New Member

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    With the monarch you can set a specific load of resistance (i.e. 4 kg. load) unlike most spin bikes that I've seen that you can increase the resistance but it is not a specific amount. At the cycling clinic where we've been using these ergometers you can simulate climbs or do intervals and then gradually increase your load/resistance as your fitness improves using it in conjuction with your heart rate monitor. This makes for some intense indoor training sessions in which your performance and improvement under various loads can be tracked very accurately. My (limited) experience with trainers is that this is not as easy to do and/or not as specific.

    Also, I worry that I'm abusing my bike frame when I'm hammering away on a trainer.

    I agree your position will not be as exact as on your own bike but that's why I spend time on the rollers. I guess I feel like I'm most interested in improving my strength and condition vs. being on my own bike and being in proper position.

    Does this make any sense or should I just ride a trainer like everybody else? Am I not using the Monarch as it was intended? What exactly is it intended for?
     
  4. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

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    We use them in the lab for this very reason, but no one likes riding them as they are so different from a 'real bike'. So far I have yet to find anyone that enjoys riding them for more than a few minutes (although we do ask people to ride them for hours). For training, I don't think the way the power is controled is very flexible as you need to change cadence or weights to change power. You almost certainly will need an assistant!
    You can do this on a turbo trainer too, but obviously can't take into account power unless you have a power meter on your bike. On a trainer most people change the resistance by changing gear or using the variable resistance on the trainer if it has variable resistance. Get some big fans so that you don't overheat and use a HR to limit/guide exercise intensity.
    For the cost of a monarch, you might be able to get a second bike and turbo trainer. That would be better value for money!!! I think there was a discussion on this (i.e. effect of trainer on your bike) in the equipment section a long time ago.
    Remember that training is specific, that means specific joint angles and velocities as well as exercise mode. With a turbo trainer you will be able to develop condition and be in your position all at the same time! (You're unlikely to develop strength on a bike; read the strength training thread about this).
    (1) If I were you I'd test a few trainers and buy the one I liked.
    (2) No
    (3) Its mean't for use in exercise labs and clinical settings where people need specific power outputs and the bikes need to be calibrated with a degree of accuarcy. Other training aids would be more versatile. Have you looked at a computrainer or similar? These can simulate rides from track races to stages of the tour de france!!!
     
  5. MarkinSoCal

    MarkinSoCal New Member

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    Thanks for your response.

    We use them in the lab for this very reason, but no one likes riding them as they are so different from a 'real bike'. So far I have yet to find anyone that enjoys riding them for more than a few minutes (although we do ask people to ride them for hours). For training, I don't think the way the power is controled is very flexible as you need to change cadence or weights to change power. You almost certainly will need an assistant!


    I agree I can't say that I really enjoy riding the monarch but, hey, this is cycling and I was willing to suffer if I thought it made me faster. You do sort of need an assistant to check the resistance level every so often.


    For the cost of a monarch, you might be able to get a second bike and turbo trainer. That would be better value for money!!! I think there was a discussion on this (i.e. effect of trainer on your bike) in the equipment section a long time ago.

    That's a really good point. Those things are pretty expensive!

    Remember that training is specific, that means specific joint angles and velocities as well as exercise mode. With a turbo trainer you will be able to develop condition and be in your position all at the same time!

    Another good point!

    Its mean't for use in exercise labs and clinical settings where people need specific power outputs and the bikes need to be calibrated with a degree of accuarcy. Other training aids would be more versatile.

    So what would you say about the guy running the bike shop who uses all these monarchs in his cycling training program? He was a cat 1 racer years ago. Based on what you've written it seems like this is not the best way to go.

    Can you recommend some good trainers to look at? Should they have variable resistance?
     
  6. nhorscro

    nhorscro New Member

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    Just curious: Torture Clinic?
     
  7. MarkinSoCal

    MarkinSoCal New Member

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    Yes, it's the Torture Clinic. You tried it??
     
  8. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

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    No Probs.

    I say good luck to the guy with the bike shop, he has obviously found a good use for the monarchs. Do you think he would have been better investing in power meters or computrainers that can be linked to gether for races on computer, etc? At the end of the day, its down to personal choice and you might still choose to buy a Monarch!

    I use an elite fluid opps (I think thats what it is called). I prefer fluid to both fan and magnetic resistance. I also wouldn't bother with a variable resistance unit either as your road bike will have gears.
     
  9. beerco

    beerco New Member

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  10. MarkinSoCal

    MarkinSoCal New Member

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    Thanks for your post. The CG looks like a pretty good piece of equipment. I briefly read your review but will have to take more time to study it in greater detail later. A lot of the reasons you said you went with CG are the same issue/concerns that I have (i.e. wearing out tires, cassettes, switching the bike for my wife, etc.) I wonder if they have made any improvements to the software since you purchased the machine as it sounds like there were some issues with it. Given your experience with the machine would you buy it again if you had the choice to do it over?
     
  11. MarkinSoCal

    MarkinSoCal New Member

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    Also, are you happy with the "Pro" version that you bought? From CG's website, it looks like you get everything except a couple of the tests that appear to only be offered on the higher models but for significantly more money. Oh, and the rpm's are limited to 180 - do people really need to spin over 180 rpm's?
     
  12. nhorscro

    nhorscro New Member

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    Mark: No, never done it but I know others who have. Most are happy just using a trainer or rollers at home.
     
  13. beerco

    beerco New Member

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    Yea, I think I would. Luckily I don't have to make that choice: I just had my first kid and we're down to one salary!

    The pro version is definitely the way to go. The $$ for the next model up simply unlocks software features and just doesn't seem worth it.

    With the training I do, I don't use ramp tests or anything like that anyway. When I do run one (for a friend or whatever) I just run the steps manually using the computer keyboard.

    Last time I checked, the same old software is still on there. Luckily, I think that cycling peaks is working on a Cardgirus import.

    Oh and I've spun the CG past 180, but I don't remember what happened - obviously wasn't very exciting.
     
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