What is the evidence that training with power is superior to . . .



Fday

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RChung said:
First, I think a more accurate description of the theory was about duty cycle, not dead spots. Second, it's pretty interesting what a well-designed study can show.
Perhaps you might be right about the "duty cycle" thing. However, I don't believe I have ever heard an advocate (even the company) use those terms. Isn't the part of the "duty cycle" that is being "emphasized is the "pushing part"? Doesn't slowing the pedal speed on the downstroke allow for a stronger "push"?

Also, wouldn't it be nice if there were some studies, let alone well designed studies, looking at training methods?
 

swampy1970

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Feb 3, 2008
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FDay said:
Isn't the theory behind the Rotor system to maximize the "pushing" muscle contribution and "minimize" those pesky dead spots? Either, it would seem, the product doesn't do those things, or "just pushing harder" isn't quite what a lot of people make it out to be.
Yup.

So, how does the RS4X work?
Simply put, the RS4X increase your bicycle's gearing, slowing the power/downstroke while reducing the gearing and speeding the recovery/upstroke. The action is very brief, and hardly noticeable in your first 20 minutes of pedaling, fading into a normal feel within the first 30 minutes of riding. This gearing change allows for the removal of the dead point, increasing the time that you are "pushing" down on the pedals

Metabolic Efficiency of the Rotor System compared to a Conventional Bicycle in
Professional Athletes

A. Córdova, F. Navas, P. Carrasco*.
Dpto. Fisiología. E.U. Fisioterapia-SORIA.

During the execution of any exercise, as long as the work-load and time practiced is increased, lactic acid
concentration in the blood increases, which reduces the athlete's ability to perform, and also promotes muscular
fatigue. Various factors, such as the crank system or the frequency or intensity of the exercise, determine the biomechanical
and metabolic efficiency of the cyclist. The Rotor system, a crank system for bicycles, is a mechanism
made up of independent cranks that optimize kinematics through the pedal, so that each crank moves slower during
the lowering of the pedal, creating a situation where both cranks never coincide at the dead point of the pedal cycle.
As a result of this kinematics, the pair (force) that the system requires from the knees during the lowering of the
pedal (extension of the knee) is greater than during the climb (flexing of the knee), which corresponds to the knees
muscles abilities to push. In this study we propose to analyze the metabolic efficiency of the Rotor system in
comparison to the conventional crank system in professional athletes.

Eight professional athletes participated in the study (Kelme Cycling Team), each of whom gave their consent to
participate in the study after a detailed explanation of the work protocol. A maximum, incremental test was
completed with the same bicycle (placed in a cycle-simulator Cateye GS-1000), but with different crank systems
(Conventional in comparison to the Rotor). The tests were completed in two consecutive days, realizing each day
half of the racers with one system and the other half with the other system. The cyclists were monitored with a
Polar Pulse Monitor, and in different moments of the test (32, 40, 48, 54 y 62 Km/h) blood samples were obtained
via the ear lobe to measure lactic acids (YSI model 1500 Sport). The results obtained show that at the same speed,
the heart rate (3.5%) as well as the lactic acid (13.5% at the end of the test) were lower when the Rotor system was
used, with greatest differences at levels where the force applied was nearest to the anaerobic threshold of the
cyclist.
In conclusion, we believe that the Rotor system is a mechanism that improves the metabolic efficiency of the
cyclist and produces less physical wear for the same amount of work.
 

giannip

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swampy1970 said:
Is itwhat happens when you ignore the heart rate and press on regardless staring at the power meter thinking that 390watts is just fine.... minutes later the EMT's show up in the ambulance and see that you hit the floor with a final HR of 237bpm... then they stick you in the morgue.:eek:
If you body is tired / sick and you're overdoing things as you are suggesting, you won't be able to push the 390w.
 

RChung

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swampy1970 said:
A. Córdova, F. Navas, P. Carrasco
Here's what a preliminary study of the Rotor system found in 2002. Note that a change was observed in delta efficiency which is similar to the Cordova, Navas, and Carrasco study you cited. In fact, if you squint your eyes and look sideways it's sorta like what Luttrell and Potteiger found for PCs.

Sounded pretty promising, huh? However, here's what several of the same authors found two years later in 2004 when they concluded, "indicators of endurance cycling performance do not seem to be improved with the Rotor in trained cyclists."
 

beerco

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Fday said:
training with any other effort/intensity feedback system such as HR, perceived exertion, stopwatch, etc.

Without a powemeter, how would you know if one's better than another?

(Forgive me if someone's already brought that up, I lost interest in reading this thread all the way through at about the 1/3rd point )
 

swampy1970

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RChung said:
Here's what a preliminary study of the Rotor system found in 2002. Note that a change was observed in delta efficiency which is similar to the Cordova, Navas, and Carrasco study you cited. In fact, if you squint your eyes and look sideways it's sorta like what Luttrell and Potteiger found for PCs.

Sounded pretty promising, huh? However, here's what several of the same authors found two years later in 2004 when they concluded, "indicators of endurance cycling performance do not seem to be improved with the Rotor in trained cyclists."
You may notice that if you hold your head sideways and look curiously onward like the "HMV" dog, you'll note that the first test implies no rpm restriction whereas the second one the riders are forced to ride at 75rpm.

That said, it doesn't say what rpm was using in the first test, nor does it say in the test that Kelme riders participated in.... Note, that from anecdotal information on the web, those who seem to write of the cranks "near magical abilities" are using them in time trials - very few seem to be claiming greatness while using them on the hills. Maybe the cranks, for whatever reason, work better at a higher rpm.... I couldn't tell ya.

Now, in this situation, do you say that one of the tests weren't properly thought out and conducted, one set of riders respond differently to different equipment and that the equipment may/may not provide some gains or that the authors are 1-1 on testing this so they might as well go for the tie breaker.

What I can tell ya is that their q-rings feel choppy above 95rpm. They also 'seem' to give about a 45 second advantage on a climb that takes ~40minutes based upon a mere 4 rides (2 with a round 30t and 2 with a 30t q-ring, same hill, same day and I recall the round rings were first) when ridden at an approximately the same heart rate. Scientific, not exactly but slightly better than "wow, I feel at least 2 mph better!!"
 

swampy1970

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giannip said:
If you body is tired / sick and you're overdoing things as you are suggesting, you won't be able to push the 390w.
Maybe your name in Jacques Lance-Mercnaultdurain and your FTP is 495watts. :p
 

Bruce Diesel

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I do apologise if this argument has been used already been used in the previous 24 pages of this thread, I haven't read all of them, but it is a question for Frank.


Frank, which measuring tool would you say is the best tool to measure improvements made in riders using power cranks?

A. RPE
B. HR
C. Power Meter

Why?
 

RChung

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swampy1970 said:
Now, in this situation, do you say that one of the tests weren't properly thought out and conducted, one set of riders respond differently to different equipment and that the equipment may/may not provide some gains or that the authors are 1-1 on testing this so they might as well go for the tie breaker.
None of those. I'd say that efficiency is not a particularly important determinant of overall cycling performance.
What I can tell ya is that their q-rings feel choppy above 95rpm.
You do understand that Rotor Q-rings aren't the same thing as their RS4X cranks? These studies are about the cranks, not the rings.
 

Steve_B

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Bruce Diesel said:
I do apologise if this argument has been used already been used in the previous 24 pages of this thread, I haven't read all of them…
Let me guess, you had something better to do with your time? :rolleyes: :)


Bruce Diesel said:
Frank, which measuring tool would you say is the best tool to measure improvements made in riders using power cranks?
Bruce Diesel said:
A. RPE
B. HR
C. Power Meter
Why?
He's a bit funny about this. For those of you too bored by this thread to not keep score at home:

He admits that power is the ultimate measure of effort and power is what propels you down the road/trail/track. However, he thinks it might not be the most necessary measure of training intensity or the most practical, convenient and usable training feedback device. (We got him to stop saying that a power meter implies a certain method or manner of training.) He thinks doing a loop around your neighborhood every few weeks is a good enough measure of how you are progressing. Finally, he wants a study to compare training feedback tools, as you suggest: RPE, HRM, PM, blood lactate, blah, blah, blah.

Back to my real job and enough of this sports commentating gig...
 

acoggan

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RChung said:
I'd say that efficiency is not a particularly important determinant of overall cycling performance.

Or more precisely (and really more correctly), small intraindividual variations in efficiency resulting from differences in the way one is forced to pedal don't seem to be a particularly important determinant of overall cycling performance.
 

Fday

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beerco said:
Without a powemeter, how would you know if one's better than another?

(Forgive me if someone's already brought that up, I lost interest in reading this thread all the way through at about the 1/3rd point )
How did people know they were better before PM's were available?
 

swampy1970

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RChung said:
None of those. I'd say that efficiency is not a particularly important determinant of overall cycling performance. You do understand that Rotor Q-rings aren't the same thing as their RS4X cranks? These studies are about the cranks, not the rings.
Efficiency is not important... Hmmmm. Whatever you say....

The q-rings were devloped/designed to replicate the effects of the RS cranks during the "pushing" phase - but it should be noted that given a 34T chainring the RS cranks have an effective max and min of 38.8 and 29.6T whereas the q-rings of the "same" size have an effective max and min of 35.9 and 32.6. Where the two products significantly differ is between 180 and 360 degrees... but given the mantra on here about "it's all about the push" then that part shouldn't matter right?
 

Fday

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Bruce Diesel said:
I do apologise if this argument has been used already been used in the previous 24 pages of this thread, I haven't read all of them, but it is a question for Frank.


Frank, which measuring tool would you say is the best tool to measure improvements made in riders using power cranks?

A. RPE
B. HR
C. Power Meter

Why?
Well, the first two cannot measure improvement so the only choice is C from those you listed. But, there are many other ways of measuring improvement. How on earth do you think athletes measured improvement 10-20 years ago when PM's were not readily available?
 

swampy1970

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acoggan said:
Or more precisely (and really more correctly), small intraindividual variations in efficiency resulting from differences in the way one is forced to pedal don't seem to be a particularly important determinant of overall cycling performance.
So how does the explain how someone like Olano, who reportedly has a very low VO2max in comparison with his peers but apparently has a very efficient pedaling style, could time trial better than pretty much better than anyone.

Lucia, A., J. Hoyos, M. Perez, A. Santalla, and J.L. Chicharro. Inverse relationship between VO2max and economy/efficiency in world-class cyclists. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 34: 2079-2084, 2002.
 

Fday

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acoggan said:
Or more precisely (and really more correctly), small intraindividual variations in efficiency resulting from differences in the way one is forced to pedal don't seem to be a particularly important determinant of overall cycling performance.
I would guess that the key word in your answer is seem. Differences in efficiency don't seem to be particularly important because it was essentially impossible to study whether it is or not if one cannot easily and reliably change the efficiency and see the result. The only way to know would be to take two groups and change the efficiency of one and not the other as see if it makes a difference. Now, with PowerCranks and the Luttrell study results it would appear that such a study is possible. We will have to wait for the results. :)
 

Bruce Diesel

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Fday said:
Well, the first two cannot measure improvement so the only choice is C from those you listed. But, there are many other ways of measuring improvement. How on earth do you think athletes measured improvement 10-20 years ago when PM's were not readily available?
Okay, then let me rephrase.

When assessing the improvement that power-cranks have made to an athletes performance, which measuring tool would yeild the best results?
 

rmur17

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swampy1970 said:
So how does the explain how someone like Olano, who reportedly has a very low VO2max in comparison with his peers but apparently has a very efficient pedaling style, could time trial better than pretty much better than anyone.

Lucia, A., J. Hoyos, M. Perez, A. Santalla, and J.L. Chicharro. Inverse relationship between VO2max and economy/efficiency in world-class cyclists. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 34: 2079-2084, 2002.
ah you're assuming his efficiency has much (if anything) to do with his pedalling style vs. say ... his % of Type I fibers ...
 

Steve_B

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Fday said:
How on earth do you think athletes measured improvement 10-20 years ago when PM's were not readily available?
Yeah but Frank, the world has moved on, you know? You admit that only the PM can measure improvement. I have to ape Andy here and write, "training is testing and testing is training". You use the same instrument to train with that you would to test with, if you can at all.