Powermeter usage among pros



SolarEnergy

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I have an other little question.

What do you guys think about all those articles that speculate about actual wattage being produced by these pro-riders?

For instance this (French, but comprehensive tables) article here Cyclismag, le cyclisme à visage humain : magazine du cyclisme

It seems to make table comparisons of wattage between riders, even between riders from different generation (e.g. comparing Lance with Miguel etc).

How reliable is this? Should it be considered as being reliable enough (of course, I realize that there's a margin of error) or not at all. Is it interesting literature or just journalist trash talk?
 

Alex Simmons

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Mar 12, 2006
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SolarEnergy said:
How reliable is this?
IMO, not very.

How on earth they can present a table purporting to class riders into 5W groupings? In order to do that they are claiming to be able to estimate a rider's power output based on various assumptions (presumably speed up a climb being one of them) with an accuracy better than a power meter could do it. :rolleyes:

When presenting estimates like this, they should show it as a range of possible power outputs, depending on the various assumptions that are used to come up with the numbers in the first place. Once you see how broad the estimated ranges are, then the discussion gets dull as most of the elite rider's power estimates will overlap considerably.

SolarEnergy said:
Is it interesting literature or just journalist trash talk?
Sometimes trash talk is interesting but I can't read French. :p
 

SolarEnergy

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Thanks Alex, it's what I thought.

One interest in their article though, is that they used the same methods for estimating power generated for both contemporary riders and older generation riders. This is the main benefit of using methods based on estimation. Creates a bridge between the past and the present.

The other interest, is that it brings more and more people to the world of power. In other words, even if the data isn't accurate, at least people start to describe these performances using power specific terminology, which is great news I find.

As a proof, this link got sent to me on a french discussion board, by someone that doesn't know a thing about power. After few private messages, he now seriously think about getting one.
 

fergie

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acoggan said:
They do that simply because the UCI won't let them put the computer on the handlebars.

Nope there is no rule against having a cycle computer visible on the track. Spanish pairing used them in the Madison at World Cups mounted on the bars and at Oceania Games numerous riders had wireless cycle computers mounted on the bars. We asked this when I sat the Commissaires Course at the start of the year.

Whether this is a wise thing (especially in a Madison) is up for debate.
 

Alex Simmons

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fergie said:
Nope there is no rule against having a cycle computer visible on the track. Spanish pairing used them in the Madison at World Cups mounted on the bars and at Oceania Games numerous riders had wireless cycle computers mounted on the bars. We asked this when I sat the Commissaires Course at the start of the year.

Whether this is a wise thing (especially in a Madison) is up for debate.
While the regulations don't specifically stipluate power meters or other such devices as being prohibited in mass start events, the rules have sufficient ambiguity (e.g. having nothing on your bike that might be construed by the commissaire as constituting a potential hazard) that in many competitions the Commissaire on the day rules that they cannot be on the bars. This happens in many track championships. Sometimes it is also missed by the Commissaires who only have so many pairs of eyes when 36 riders are lining up for a madison or other events.

Like many areas, it is open to interpretation by the comms on the day. Yours may not care (some don't) but others do and will enforce it. So be prepared for it to happen and set the bike up accordingly (e.g. mounted out of site).
 

fergie

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download-105961-480.jpg


This was Manchester World Cup last season.

Funny enough it was at Oceania Games with Aussie Commissaires last year that let everything go through. In NZ there is an unwritten rule about wearing wrist watches and the Kiwi Commissaires were reminded that it is not written when they tried to get the Aussies to take theirs off.

I don't see what the benefit is track racing with a visible head unit but just saying it can be done and any commissaires decision should be based on the rules.
 

Alex Simmons

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fergie said:
I don't see what the benefit is track racing with a visible head unit
There isn't. It's just a convenience thing since you set the bike up that way for training so the rider can use the unit, check it after efforts etc, and not have to go through the rigmarole of re-wiring the bike for an under seat mount.
fergie said:
but just saying it can be done and any commissaires decision should be based on the rules.
Yes, and a Commissaire at their sole discretion and opinion can readily invoke rule 3.2.005 to prevent any such device being mounted to a bicycle used in a track race.
 

fergie

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Alex Simmons said:
There isn't. It's just a convenience thing since you set the bike up that way for training so the rider can use the unit, check it after efforts etc, and not have to go through the rigmarole of re-wiring the bike for an under seat mount.

That is an opinion not a fact. Some people may benefit having the power right in front of them. I did my fastest 16km TT last season with a heavy power tap rear wheel instead of a disc. Michael Vink broke the NZ 3000m record with the SRM unit in view. I would be keen to find out if that Spanish pairing had a chance to look at the SRM or (I think) HR monitor in that World Cup Madison.
 

Alex Simmons

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fergie said:
That is an opinion not a fact. Some people may benefit having the power right in front of them. I did my fastest 16km TT last season with a heavy power tap rear wheel instead of a disc. Michael Vink broke the NZ 3000m record with the SRM unit in view. I would be keen to find out if that Spanish pairing had a chance to look at the SRM or (I think) HR monitor in that World Cup Madison.
we're talking mass start racing Hamish, not TTs where having some info can be of use.
 

fergie

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Riding to an average power strategy, keeping a check on HR. I don't think either well founded or safe but Im pointing out that they are doing it. One would also assume there is just as much chance for a SRM to come loose behind the saddle as mounted to the bars.
 

Alex Simmons

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fergie said:
Riding to an average power strategy, keeping a check on HR. I don't think either well founded or safe but Im pointing out that they are doing it.
Agree, that's just silly. It's a race FFS.

As for SRM coming off- absolutely - I remember watching Ryan Bayley's under saddle PCV come flying off in a Kieren WC race.
 

gixmi

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A power meter isn't going to tell you when you are going to blowup, but a heart rate meter will.
 

iliveonnitro

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gixmi said:
A power meter isn't going to tell you when you are going to blowup, but a heart rate meter will.

Since HR is a response from the body, it will be far too late to save you once the HR monitor knows that you blew up.
 

Meek One

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gixmi said:
A power meter isn't going to tell you when you are going to blowup, but a heart rate meter will.

My power meter certainly tells me when I am going to blow up. :cool:
 

Piotr

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Meek One said:
My power meter certainly tells me when I am going to blow up. :cool:
+1. Yeah, but that's only because we educated ourselves on it's use. It may not be true for those who rode with a PM on their friends bike once and decided that readings jumped around too much to be useful. :rolleyes:
 

Meek One

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Very true. :)

Piotr said:
+1. Yeah, but that's only because we educated ourselves on it's use. It may not be true for those who rode with a PM on their friends bike once and decided that readings jumped around too much to be useful. :rolleyes:
 

fergie

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My powermeter tells me when things are not going good. Can't do my normal watts. Not saying it is the best indicator, just an indicator.
 

SolarEnergy

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Piotr said:
+1. Yeah, but that's only because we educated ourselves on it's use.
agree here

As far as I am concerned, a rider that doesn't race with its power meter a) doesn't have a coach b) has a coach that doesn't care much about power c) is showing lack of respect for his coach. I think of it this way because the fact that a rider might not see the benefit in post race data analysis just tells me that he'd better rely on a coach to do so. That's why we should get paid for after all.

I initiated this thread because I am sure there's something wrong with my philosophy here. I particularly appreciated Hunter's take on technical and sponsoring. It's enlightening.