Power meters

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by cyclintom, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom Member

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    Yeah, it seems to be consistent enough to provide good comparative data.

    Good luck with your tooth; root canals and crowns get pretty pricey (been there).
     
    #21 BrianNystrom, Jan 18, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019


  2. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I cannot see any use for power meters except judging your progress. Particularly after a long winter rainy season.
     
  3. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    On one of the other threads someone was asking about power meters. I will say this - if you are a beginning racer or such ask yourself what you're trying to achieve.

    It probably makes no sense to get a power meter if you have a local area in which you can ride 10 km (6.2 miles) with no stops or interference. It is time over this distance which is a very good judge of your fitness whereas power meters are very hard to interpret. When I hit my peak near the end of summer I can hit sprint wattages almost as high as the pros. The only thing that's helpful for is if I am a sprinter. I'm not and I am not racing.

    Unfortunately all of my local areas do not allow a 10 km test ride without lights or cross traffic very often. So that means that rides in which I should be averaging a little less than Beanz, I am showing 11.5 mph averages. Also a short ride for me is 25 miles and the normal distance is 35 miles and one day a week a 50 mile ride. When you're old and retired you get to have fun. The wife is baby-sitting the grand-children getting them off to school and pickling them up and then minding the little devils until the daughter gets home from work.

    I attempted to teach the children about actually being choosy about how you marry but I don't suppose I had the right to do that after marrying their mother. Maybe some day she'll begin riding again.
     
  4. PoorInRichfield

    PoorInRichfield New Member

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    I didn't understand the benefit of a power meter until I started riding on Zwift with my Wahoo Kickr (smart trainer). Power (typically measured in watts) is the only way to accurately gauge your fitness regardless of environmental factors (wind, hills, etc.)

    On Zwift, you start by performing a "functional threshold power test" (FTP test). Basically, you ride as hard as you can for 1/2 hour and your average power output is considered your FTP. This establishes a baseline for the software algorithms to determine how much power you'll need to generate when you do training rides. It also helps you determine which race category you should join. If you're only putting out 2 watts/kg, you'd best avoid joining the "A" category of racers that put out 4-5 w/kg!

    If your FTP is 200 watts, when you do a training ride the software will adjust the resistance of the trainer accordingly to hopefully keep you in that range. If you're working on an endurance training ride, the software might require you to ride at 80% of your FTP for 10 minute intervals. The smart trainer will adjust the resistance to ensure that you keep at 80% FTP. If you don't, the software won't give you "points" for completing the training because you dropped below the required power.

    So how does this apply to the real world...

    For me, I don't race or care much if anyone else is faster than me, but I'd like to maintain a level of fitness and perhaps 'compete against myself'. Using Strava and a power meter, you can create a "Strava segments" on your favorite hill or sprint section and compare yourself against yourself each time you ride. Because you're using a power meter that feeds data to Strava, you won't have to worry about a head wind one day and not the other skewing your results... it'll be all about the power you put out in that segment.

    I personally don't own a power meter yet (other than the one embedded in my Wahoo Kickr). As stated by the OP, I just can't justify the cost as I don't race and it would just be for my own personal knowledge. I'm hoping that someday capitalism will do it's job and drive down the prices of power meters to a reasonable level... then I'll buy.
     
  5. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    I don't know how it is now, but when I started using Strava a long time ago they would post your times and suddenly a hundred people would be killing themselves to beat your time. It would be nice to be able to record your times over sections that Strava could give you accurate information about but I don't want to have everyone posting comments like "I'm better than you are."
     
  6. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    I should add that you really do have to have a program that will average the power over time and distance, speed and climbing percentage et al. Statistical analysis of such a thing isn't the easiest thing to do unless you have a computer and a very large number of samples to use. This is why I suggest the 10km ride on flat ground. Using any headwind and added to your speed and subtracted if you turn downwind you can add the various variables into the power calculators you can find on the internet such as http://www.bikecalculator.com/ to at least judge your progress. I happen to have a 10 km section I can go all out on but it has 5 stop lights on it. You can't really correct for those but I just don't worry that since I'm then putting out more power than I show on the calculator.
     
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