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The pedaling technique thread

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Sep 23, 2010
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JayKosta said:
FrankDay said:
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I theorized, if this were the case, it would be better muscle balance, the weakest muscle being closer to the capability of the fittest muscle.
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My guess is that most people train to improve the 'weakest muscle' that they are using - since the fatigue/exhaustion of that muscle is what limits their performance.
When was the last time you heard someone say: "my weakest muscle is my X muscle, I think I will go out and work on that today." My guess is NEVER!!! People don't have a clue what their weakest muscle is nor even which muscles they are using. They just ride their bike. And, they never think about pedaling technique (with the exception of Noel, perhaps). Even PowerCrankers don't think about pedaling technique after the first few days or so. Our fittest muscles tend to be our pushers because they are the anti-gravity muscles and are used all day long. But, as shown earlier we all do work all around the circle, just a lot less of it on the portions of the stroke that isn't going down. Therefore, these other muscles we are using when pedaling are probably a lot less fit than those anti-gravity muscles, unless you are spending an awful lot of time on the bike which pros tend to do more than amateurs. Can we do more fitness balancing? Perhaps. At least that is what the Sam Gyde data suggests.
 
The Sam Gyde data suggest he didn't set his FTP correctly. Does this matter, not really. Should he invest time in doing so, again not really. Knowing his IF in a race isn't going to help him that much and certainly not to compare between riders as that assumes the other guy set his FTP correctly.

Those of us who race, train and coach riders with a power meter as a measurement tool know that others are likely to use several different methods to determine FTP, as people use several different methods to determine power at VO2, so comparison is risky.
 
Re:

FrankDay said:
I see only three ways to increase FTP.
1. Use more muscles when pedaling (this is what happens when we improve with regular training, using more of the same muscles. PowerCranks simply add more muscles to the mix)
2. Pedal more efficiently, get more power out of each oxygen molecule consumed (several things can change efficiency from changing the muscle fiber mix to pedaling technique)
3. riding closer to ones limits (why training peaks states amateurs can usually ride an Ironman at an IF of 0.75 while pros can do so at an IF of 0.80. Did Sam ride at an IF of 0.86? Who knows, it doesn't matter what the number was, it was what it was.). I see this improvement (between the amateurs and pros) coming from better muscle balance, the weakest muscle being used being closer to the capability of the fittest muscle. Failure occurs when the first muscle fails, not the last.

Hmmmmm, so they obviously don't teach much exercise physiology when learning medicine.

"TrainingPeaks states"! Is TrainingPeaks a legitimate source of information about the science of cycling or Ironman?
 
Sep 23, 2010
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CoachFergie said:
FrankDay said:
I see only three ways to increase FTP.
1. Use more muscles when pedaling (this is what happens when we improve with regular training, using more of the same muscles. PowerCranks simply add more muscles to the mix)
2. Pedal more efficiently, get more power out of each oxygen molecule consumed (several things can change efficiency from changing the muscle fiber mix to pedaling technique)
3. riding closer to ones limits (why training peaks states amateurs can usually ride an Ironman at an IF of 0.75 while pros can do so at an IF of 0.80. Did Sam ride at an IF of 0.86? Who knows, it doesn't matter what the number was, it was what it was.). I see this improvement (between the amateurs and pros) coming from better muscle balance, the weakest muscle being used being closer to the capability of the fittest muscle. Failure occurs when the first muscle fails, not the last.

Hmmmmm, so they obviously don't teach much exercise physiology when learning medicine.

"TrainingPeaks states"! Is TrainingPeaks a legitimate source of information about the science of cycling or Ironman?
I think training peaks is a legitimate source of information about FTP and IF since they or their founders essentially invented the terms. One will never hear the term FTP or IF taught in medical school. LOL
 
No Frank, talking about the fundamentals of exercise science that have led to convenient concepts like FTP or IF. There is not general agreement about either concept and how FTP should be determined. IF is simply the % of FTP that one rides at. Publication on the TPeaks blog in no way validates any of the current power meter metrics or anything really. Although there is a really good article about using track cycling training methods to boost performance in road cycling coming up.
 
Jun 1, 2014
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CoachFergie said:
No Frank, talking about the fundamentals of exercise science that have led to convenient concepts like FTP or IF. There is not general agreement about either concept and how FTP should be determined. IF is simply the % of FTP that one rides at. Publication on the TPeaks blog in no way validates any of the current power meter metrics or anything really. Although there is a really good article about using track cycling training methods to boost performance in road cycling coming up.


I believe the info about IF and ironman pacing is from Joe Friel, not directly from training peaks.

Don't know if frank has ever been to the TP website. He is really caught in a loop of lies and BS now. Comparing bogus numbers from a Spanish dude and claiming that his FTP as a percentage of max is somehow similar to Sam's IF in an ironman is such deception or incompetence. A=B and C=D does not mean A=D.
 
Re:

FrankDay said:
I see only three ways to increase FTP.
1. Use more muscles when pedaling (this is what happens when we improve with regular training, using more of the same muscles. PowerCranks simply add more muscles to the mix)
2. Pedal more efficiently, get more power out of each oxygen molecule consumed (several things can change efficiency from changing the muscle fiber mix to pedaling technique)
3. riding closer to ones limits (why training peaks states amateurs can usually ride an Ironman at an IF of 0.75 while pros can do so at an IF of 0.80.
Then you need to see some more, because there are other far more important physiological improvement factors that determine one's improvement in FTP.

FrankDay said:
VO2max is simply a measure of the maximum muscle mass being exercised aerobically.
VO2 max is a measure of O2 utilisation, and is not a measure of muscle mass.
 
Sep 23, 2010
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Alex Simmons/RST said:
FrankDay said:
I see only three ways to increase FTP.
1. Use more muscles when pedaling (this is what happens when we improve with regular training, using more of the same muscles. PowerCranks simply add more muscles to the mix)
2. Pedal more efficiently, get more power out of each oxygen molecule consumed (several things can change efficiency from changing the muscle fiber mix to pedaling technique)
3. riding closer to ones limits (why training peaks states amateurs can usually ride an Ironman at an IF of 0.75 while pros can do so at an IF of 0.80.
Then you need to see some more, because there are other far more important physiological improvement factors that determine one's improvement in FTP.
LOL. Then perhaps you could educate everyone as to what those other important improvement factors are.
FrankDay said:
VO2max is simply a measure of the maximum muscle mass being exercised aerobically.
VO2 max is a measure of O2 utilisation, and is not a measure of muscle mass.
LOL again. Where the heck did you get the idea I said VO2 max is a measure of muscle mass. At or near VO2 max about the only O2 utilization is the basal rate (probably less the gut) and the muscle mass being exercised. VO2 max is an indicator of the amount of muscle mass being exercised when one can exercise no more. It is why XC skiers and rowers tend to test higher than runners who tend to test higher than cyclists. Anyhow, I am looking forward to your educating us (me especially) all the important ways cyclists can increase FTP that I missed.
 
Re: Re:

FrankDay said:
JayKosta said:
My guess is that most people train to improve the 'weakest muscle' that they are using - since the fatigue/exhaustion of that muscle is what limits their performance.
When was the last time you heard someone say: "my weakest muscle is my X muscle, I think I will go out and work on that today." My guess is NEVER!!! People don't have a clue what their weakest muscle is nor even which muscles they are using. They just ride their bike. And, they never think about pedaling technique (with the exception of Noel, perhaps). Even PowerCrankers don't think about pedaling technique after the first few days or so. ...
----------------------------------------
I agree that there usually isn't a conscious effort to train a particular muscle. The training is usually to improve a type of riding (e.g. sprint, hill, tempo, etc.). For whatever pedaling technique is being used, of the muscles that are being used to produce power, it's the weakest that limit the performance. So during training it's the weak muscles that are getting the greatest 'training effect'.

An example is PowerCranks, which artificially introduce the need to use muscles in a manner that otherwise might not be done. So the new muscle usage becomes the 'weak point' which the PCs 'require' to be trained.
Even when PC users don't have to 'think about technique', for many more weeks/months they must still train to strengthen their new muscle usage to balance with the strength of their existing 'pushing muscles'.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
 
Jun 1, 2014
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Re: Re:

JayKosta said:
I agree that there usually isn't a conscious effort to train a particular muscle. The training is usually to improve a type of riding (e.g. sprint, hill, tempo, etc.). For whatever pedaling technique is being used, of the muscles that are being used to produce power, it's the weakest that limit the performance. So during training it's the weak muscles that are getting the greatest 'training effect'.

An example is PowerCranks, which artificially introduce the need to use muscles in a manner that otherwise might not be done. So the new muscle usage becomes the 'weak point' which the PCs 'require' to be trained.
Even when PC users don't have to 'think about technique', for many more weeks/months they must still train to strengthen their new muscle usage to balance with the strength of their existing 'pushing muscles'.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA

If the weak link was always getting the most training effect, we would never have weak links since they would always be self correcting.
 
Sep 23, 2010
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Re: Re:

JayKosta said:
FrankDay said:
JayKosta said:
My guess is that most people train to improve the 'weakest muscle' that they are using - since the fatigue/exhaustion of that muscle is what limits their performance.
When was the last time you heard someone say: "my weakest muscle is my X muscle, I think I will go out and work on that today." My guess is NEVER!!! People don't have a clue what their weakest muscle is nor even which muscles they are using. They just ride their bike. And, they never think about pedaling technique (with the exception of Noel, perhaps). Even PowerCrankers don't think about pedaling technique after the first few days or so. ...
----------------------------------------
I agree that there usually isn't a conscious effort to train a particular muscle. The training is usually to improve a type of riding (e.g. sprint, hill, tempo, etc.). For whatever pedaling technique is being used, of the muscles that are being used to produce power, it's the weakest that limit the performance. So during training it's the weak muscles that are getting the greatest 'training effect'.

An example is PowerCranks, which artificially introduce the need to use muscles in a manner that otherwise might not be done. So the new muscle usage becomes the 'weak point' which the PCs 'require' to be trained.
Even when PC users don't have to 'think about technique', for many more weeks/months they must still train to strengthen their new muscle usage to balance with the strength of their existing 'pushing muscles'.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
You are right that PowerCranks induce an "artificial" weakness. Of course, the purpose of this is to train up these weak muscles such that the rider can then pedal a new technique. Of course, one of the problems is getting enough reps that this new technique can be maintained for hours. (edit: the main reason I recommend immersion training.)

There are two kinds of weaknesses, a strength weakness and an endurance weakness. I am mostly referring to the endurance limit, which I referred to as "fitness" as cyclists never use the full strength of their cycling muscles. They are somewhat related though in that when one hits their endurance "limit" they lose the ability to contract at the force they have been doing. So, if you are riding along using 20 different muscles, when the first muscle hits its "limit" and has to now do less, what it cannot do now must be taken up by one or all of the other 19 muscles if one wants to maintain power. When that occurs the next weakest muscle is now going to reach its limit sooner because it is now working even harder. When it reaches its limit, the same thing occurs again such that this cascade and the next muscle will "fail" even faster. It is a cascade that is relentless and occurs quickly and forces the rider to slow down regardless of how hard the rider wants to keep going. The problem with these fatigue weaknesses in endurance athletes is they may not show up for 3, 4, 5 hours. Few training rides last that long but many races do. Training endurance fitness balance into the cycling muscles is a particularly difficult job since there is no way for the athlete to test or know. Is what they are doing improving the situation or making it worse? The Rodriguez data is the first data I have seen that even suggests better balance might be possible.
 
Jun 1, 2014
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Frank, we'd love more info on the 'Rodriquez' data. Can you share the files and the testing reports? Also the protocols used and definitions for the various terms used. For example, what does % of max mean, what max are they talking about and how was it determined. I'd assume you must have these details since you place a fair amount of weight on the results, and surely you wouldn't do that with limited knowledge of the situation (like the Dixon debacle).
 
Sep 23, 2010
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JamesCun said:
Frank, we'd love more info on the 'Rodriquez' data. Can you share the files and the testing reports? Also the protocols used and definitions for the various terms used. For example, what does % of max mean, what max are they talking about and how was it determined. I'd assume you must have these details since you place a fair amount of weight on the results, and surely you wouldn't do that with limited knowledge of the situation (like the Dixon debacle).
You have what I have ( I think I have copies of the results but I am not sure where they are and it is nothing more than the numbers, no explanation as I remember) Here is the best I can do right now. http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/toolbox/powercranks-more-proof-from-the-real-world-2/#.VVdveRc59eA The specific protocols are not known but most coaches/doctors do this testing in reasonably similar fashion and it isn't like he didn't know what he was doing.
"These changes were so large that my doctor performing this test, Doctor Durantez of the Spanish cycling federation, didn’t believe them at first so repeated the test."
I think we can assume that the protocol was the same for the 3 different tests such that the changes seen are not comparing apples to oranges.
 
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FrankDay said:
JamesCun said:
Frank, w
e'd love more info on the 'Rodriquez' data. Can you share the files and the testing reports? Also the protocols used and definitions for the various terms used. For example, what does % of max mean, what max are they talking about and how was it determined. I'd assume you must have these details since you place a fair amount of weight on the results, and surely you wouldn't do that with limited knowledge of the situation (like the Dixon debacle).
You have what I have ( I think I have copies of the results but I am not sure where they are and it is nothing more than the numbers, no explanation as I remember) Here is the best I can do right now. http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/toolbox/powercranks-more-proof-from-the-real-world-2/#.VVdveRc59eA The specific protocols are not known but most coaches/doctors do this testing in reasonably similar fashion and it isn't like he didn't know what he was doing.
"These changes were so large that my doctor performing this test, Doctor Durantez of the Spanish cycling federation, didn’t believe them at first so repeated the test."
I think we can assume that the protocol was the same for the 3 different tests such that the changes seen are not comparing apples to oranges.

Well, that is certainly rock solid data. A puff piece on a website with no verification.

How do you explain his small improvement in power at vo2 max? Seems like that huge a jump in vo2 should result in more improvement in power at vo2.

Do you think it's possible that the cyclist just wanted to pump his own tires and brag about some exaggerated data. Please prove that theory wrong.
 
Sep 23, 2010
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sciguy said:
Frank,


Are we back to the BS of 2007 again with Joaquнn of made up power file fame?????????????????????????


Please tell me it isn't so.


Hugh
I guess that is up to you. Of course, that "made up power file" has nothing to do with these results and the current discussion, or even with what was going on then. But, it is up to you (or Fergie, as I suspect he won't be able to let it go).
 
Sep 23, 2010
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Re: Re:

JamesCun said:
FrankDay said:
JamesCun said:
Frank, w
e'd love more info on the 'Rodriquez' data. Can you share the files and the testing reports? Also the protocols used and definitions for the various terms used. For example, what does % of max mean, what max are they talking about and how was it determined. I'd assume you must have these details since you place a fair amount of weight on the results, and surely you wouldn't do that with limited knowledge of the situation (like the Dixon debacle).
You have what I have ( I think I have copies of the results but I am not sure where they are and it is nothing more than the numbers, no explanation as I remember) Here is the best I can do right now. http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/toolbox/powercranks-more-proof-from-the-real-world-2/#.VVdveRc59eA The specific protocols are not known but most coaches/doctors do this testing in reasonably similar fashion and it isn't like he didn't know what he was doing.
"These changes were so large that my doctor performing this test, Doctor Durantez of the Spanish cycling federation, didn’t believe them at first so repeated the test."
I think we can assume that the protocol was the same for the 3 different tests such that the changes seen are not comparing apples to oranges.

Well, that is certainly rock solid data. A puff piece on a website with no verification.
Does anyone ever get much more than this in the cycling magazines/websites?
How do you explain his small improvement in power at vo2 max? Seems like that huge a jump in vo2 should result in more improvement in power at vo2.
Huh? didn't I do that already? VO2 max is simply reflective of the amount of muscle fibers contracting at this time. An increase in VO2 max indicates more muscle fibers are active. Same explanation the Spanish doctor used.
Do you think it's possible that the cyclist just wanted to pump his own tires and brag about some exaggerated data. Please prove that theory wrong.
??? LOL. Physiological testing usually doesn't work that way. His pre-PowerCranks VO2/kg number is one many would be happy to have. Above 80ml/kg is rare. I guess because I can't "prove" your theory wrong you will feel free to hold onto it. Anyhow, awhile back someone on slowtwitch was in Spain and met up with him and went on a ride (up that mountain) and came back and posted that Joaquin "was the real deal." Of course, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks if it differs from your preconceived notion. LOL.
 
Sep 23, 2010
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JamesCun said:
Frank, my question was why did his power at vo2 go up so little compared to his vo2? If he is using more muscle mass, why wasn't his power increased?
I think I understand your question now, why did his max power increase less than his VO2max? Is that the question.
In short, I don't know. Not everything ties up in pretty little boxes with bows. In 13 months his VO2max increased 17% while his max power increased ONLY 12.5%. Perhaps this just represents collection variation or error. Perhaps this is due to his having converted some fast twitch fibers in the new muscles (because of the increased training) to slow twitch and ST fibers don't do as well in anaerobic conditions, so he doesn't last quite as long. Perhaps it is a ramp test artifact because of the fixed power changes in the test. If such a finding were confirmed in a large number of subjects a theory would have to be devised to explain it.

Edit: Look at the reported improvement of Phil Holman, a track rider who reported improving his max speed on the track from 35 to 38 mph in 7 months According to analyticalcycling.com that calculates to an increase in max power of 28% in 7 months. Now, what we don't know is what happened to his VO2max because he didn't measure that. But his more aerobic pursuit speed only increased 2 mph, from 30 to 32 mph, which calculates to only a 21% increase in power. Is the difference due to rounding error or something else? Either way, here is another instance of a very large, reasonably documentable, increase in cycling power in a relatively short period of time while training exclusively on PowerCranks.
 
Jun 1, 2014
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FrankDay said:
JamesCun said:
Frank, my question was why did his power at vo2 go up so little compared to his vo2? If he is using more muscle mass, why wasn't his power increased?
I think I understand your question now, why did his max power increase less than his VO2max? Is that the question.
In short, I don't know. Not everything ties up in pretty little boxes with bows. In 13 months his VO2max increased 17% while his max power increased ONLY 12.5%. Perhaps this just represents collection variation or error. Perhaps this is due to his having converted some fast twitch fibers in the new muscles (because of the increased training) to slow twitch and ST fibers don't do as well in anaerobic conditions, so he doesn't last quite as long. Perhaps it is a ramp test artifact because of the fixed power changes in the test. If such a finding were confirmed in a large number of subjects a theory would have to be devised to explain it.

Edit: Look at the reported improvement of Phil Holman, a track rider who reported improving his max speed on the track from 35 to 38 mph in 7 months According to analyticalcycling.com that calculates to an increase in max power of 28% in 7 months. Now, what we don't know is what happened to his VO2max because he din't measure that. But his more aerobic pursuit speed only increased 2 mph, from 30 to 32 mph, which calculates to only a 21% increase in power. Is the difference due to rounding error or something else. Either way, here is another instance of a very large, reasonably documentable, increase in cycling power in a relatively short period of time while training exclusively on PowerCranks.

I was looking at the 6 month numbers. Only a 5% increase in power. Either he was less efficient at converting oxygen to useable power or the numbers have too much variation to be useful.
 
Re:

JamesCun said:
Frank, my question was why did his power at vo2 go up so little compared to his vo2? If he is using more muscle mass, why wasn't his power increased?
----------------------------------------------------
Perhaps the increase in VO2 was being consumed by muscles that are inefficient at generating the power that was measured. This could occur if the overall muscle usage at/near VO2 max begins to employ muscles that are inefficient or not suitable.
The max VO2 is simply a measure of O2 being consumed, without regard to what effect the O2 consumption is producing. It would be interesting to examine the slope of a graph plotting VO2 on the x-axis and POWER on the y-axis.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
 
Re: Re:

FrankDay said:
JamesCun said:
Frank, we'd love more info on the 'Rodriquez' data. Can you share the files and the testing reports? Also the protocols used and definitions for the various terms used. For example, what does % of max mean, what max are they talking about and how was it determined. I'd assume you must have these details since you place a fair amount of weight on the results, and surely you wouldn't do that with limited knowledge of the situation (like the Dixon debacle).
You have what I have ( I think I have copies of the results but I am not sure where they are and it is nothing more than the numbers, no explanation as I remember) Here is the best I can do right now. http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/toolbox/powercranks-more-proof-from-the-real-world-2/#.VVdveRc59eA The specific protocols are not known but most coaches/doctors do this testing in reasonably similar fashion and it isn't like he didn't know what he was doing.
"These changes were so large that my doctor performing this test, Doctor Durantez of the Spanish cycling federation, didn’t believe them at first so repeated the test."
I think we can assume that the protocol was the same for the 3 different tests such that the changes seen are not comparing apples to oranges.

Ah so it's Joaquin. Another Frank Day bullswaste dead end. When someone took a look at the files they showed sections of repeated power like a copy n paste. Absolute joke!!!
 
Re: Re:

[quote="JamesCun]
...
If the weak link was always getting the most training effect, we would never have weak links since they would always be self correcting.[/quote]
----------------------------------------
uh....
I think the goal of training is always to improve the 'link' that causes a limitation to performance - and that it what I mean by the 'weak muscle', or perhaps a better term is 'weak link' as you have mentioned.

If a pedaling technique is so well developed that it has no more 'weak links', then a reasonable option for improving performance is to find a better technique.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
 
Sep 23, 2010
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Re: Re:

JamesCun said:
FrankDay said:
JamesCun said:
Frank, my question was why did his power at vo2 go up so little compared to his vo2? If he is using more muscle mass, why wasn't his power increased?
I think I understand your question now, why did his max power increase less than his VO2max? Is that the question.
In short, I don't know. Not everything ties up in pretty little boxes with bows. In 13 months his VO2max increased 17% while his max power increased ONLY 12.5%. Perhaps this just represents collection variation or error. Perhaps this is due to his having converted some fast twitch fibers in the new muscles (because of the increased training) to slow twitch and ST fibers don't do as well in anaerobic conditions, so he doesn't last quite as long. Perhaps it is a ramp test artifact because of the fixed power changes in the test. If such a finding were confirmed in a large number of subjects a theory would have to be devised to explain it.

Edit: Look at the reported improvement of Phil Holman, a track rider who reported improving his max speed on the track from 35 to 38 mph in 7 months According to analyticalcycling.com that calculates to an increase in max power of 28% in 7 months. Now, what we don't know is what happened to his VO2max because he din't measure that. But his more aerobic pursuit speed only increased 2 mph, from 30 to 32 mph, which calculates to only a 21% increase in power. Is the difference due to rounding error or something else. Either way, here is another instance of a very large, reasonably documentable, increase in cycling power in a relatively short period of time while training exclusively on PowerCranks.

I was looking at the 6 month numbers. Only a 5% increase in power. Either he was less efficient at converting oxygen to useable power or the numbers have too much variation to be useful.
Your issue goes to the "so-called" studies looking at PowerCranks results that last only 5-6 weeks of part-time training. It takes time to see results with these things. The shorter the time the smaller the improvement (if any) will be and the more likely the improvement (or loss) might be due to random variation or study design in collecting the data. Further, most see a drop in power the first 6 weeks or so (at least when on PowerCranks) so a 6 month test is really only looking at 4-5 months real improvement, not 6. Luckily, in this instance, he did a second test 7 months later that demonstrated a further increase and the improvement seen at 6 months fits nicely with the improvements seen at 13 months.
 
Good thing there are training methods that lead to huge adaptations in as little as 12-16min of riding over a two week period. If one doesn't see an improvement in cycling performance in studies from 5-10 weeks then it goes to show how ineffective the product is. Frank has yet to show any evidence of an long or short term improvement from using the product. Nullifying his main premise that changing technique, or crank length, leads to a major improvement in power on the bike. Snake oil salesmanship at it's best!