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The Powermeter Thread

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Apr 21, 2009
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FrankDay said:
Well, I guess that is true as as PMs do measure work and HRM's measure something completely different. However, you say that is an advantage. An advantage towards what end?
Anyone looking to be able to perform more work.

I guess if one is interested in measuring changes in power over time a PM (or ergometer) is a necessity. But, to what end would someone be interested in knowing that information?
Anyone looking to perform more work.
 
Apr 21, 2009
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FrankDay said:
Are you trying to imply that cyclists were unaware of the advantages of drafting before the advent of the power meter? I mean that is interesting information but, again, to what end? Is the advantage any more or less to a rider who doesn't have a PM on his bike?
Like a rider is not more powerful for having a PM and rider is no more aerodynamic for having a PM either. The PM can be used to measure for a difference in aerodynamics.
 
May 13, 2011
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FrankDay said:
Are you trying to imply that cyclists were unaware of the advantages of drafting before the advent of the power meter? I mean that is interesting information but, again, to what end? Is the advantage any more or less to a rider who doesn't have a PM on his bike?
Yes Frank people have know about drafting probably since the first two bicycles rode closely in single file. What's interesting about this test was that previously it had been thought that there was virtually no draft at a distance of 12 meters between two cyclists. This had been studied in a wind tunnel where they saw virtually no draft at that distance. Well gosh here's a place where a power meter was a way better tool than the expensive wind tunnel. A near 30 watt reduction in power required when drafting a much smaller person with a good position at 12 meters is very significant.

OK now you ask how this information could be any more use to someone riding with a power meter than one without. You're a pro triathlete sitting in at 12 meters from the rider ahead of you. You're riding along holding a pretty constant 78% of FTP power. You wonder if you should pass and ride away from the person ahead. Knowing that it will require 30 more watts to ride with your face in the wind and this will put you at 87% of your FTP to do this is useful info. If from previous rides you know you can only maintain at more 79% of FTP for the duration of an IronMan you will probably decide to sit in at 12 meters and save you legs for the run.

Now a guy without a power meter having the same level of fitness isn't going to be in such an informed situation. His level of perceived exertion especially early on may tell him "this is too easy, I can ride away from this guy no sweat". If he makes this choice it's very likely to come back and bite him in the ****.

So go ahead and shoot down this scenario . I'm sure you can rationalize view against it.

Hugh
 
Apr 21, 2009
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Another ride with both the PT and SRM. Again showing the drive chain losses between the two meters, assuming both are properly calibrated (tomorrows experiment). Will do the PT with both a Cervo and Garmin CPU and the SRM with the PCV.

 
Mar 18, 2009
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FrankDay said:
Well, I guess that is true as as PMs do measure work and HRM's measure something completely different. However, you say that is an advantage. An advantage towards what end? I guess if one is interested in measuring changes in power over time a PM (or ergometer) is a necessity. But, to what end would someone be interested in knowing that information?
OK Frank, Fergie is being very good and helping me out with some relevant questions which I really appreciate. You, not so much. Are you kidding me with the question why would someone be interested in knowing if FTP has improved over time for a given course? I know you just like arguing for the sake of arguing, but that is ridiculous even for you. As athletes, we always want to improve. Why do you think you're peddling your cranks and sites like Strava our so popular? The only true way I know of measuring whether my training is heading in the right direction and I am getting stronger and fitter is a PM. Power output is not affected by variables which affect speed and HR - you either put out more watts or you don't. So simple that even you should be able to appreciate the concept, Frank.
 
Sep 23, 2010
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elapid said:
OK Frank, Fergie is being very good and helping me out with some relevant questions which I really appreciate. You, not so much. Are you kidding me with the question why would someone be interested in knowing if FTP has improved over time for a given course? I know you just like arguing for the sake of arguing, but that is ridiculous even for you. As athletes, we always want to improve. Why do you think you're peddling your cranks and sites like Strava our so popular? The only true way I know of measuring whether my training is heading in the right direction and I am getting stronger and fitter is a PM. Power output is not affected by variables which affect speed and HR - you either put out more watts or you don't. So simple that even you should be able to appreciate the concept, Frank.
But, your FTP has improved whether it is measured or not. The question really is, where is the advantage in knowing that the number now is X when, before, it was Y? Fergie has seemed to admit that having a PM offers no advantage to the cyclist. If you want to know what that number is fine, but if there is no demonstrable advantage to me, why should I spend $1-5,000 dollars for a device that does nothing for me other than make me feel good because it gives me a number to confirm the result of my hard work. Why should anyone else? You said there were advantages (I presume you meant racing advantages) over a HRM. What are they, exactly, for the competitive cyclist?
 
Apr 21, 2009
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FrankDay said:
But, your FTP has improved whether it is measured or not. The question really is, where is the advantage in knowing that the number now is X when, before, it was Y?
Trolling.

Fergie has seemed to admit that having a PM offers no advantage to the cyclist.
Trolling.

Measurement yes.

Improves performance no.

If you want to know what that number is fine, but if there is no demonstrable advantage to me, why should I spend $1-5,000 dollars for a device that does nothing for me other than make me feel good because it gives me a number to confirm the result of my hard work. Why should anyone else? You said there were advantages (I presume you meant racing advantages) over a HRM. What are they, exactly, for the competitive cyclist?
Trolling

Why measure anything? In fact why have numbers at all?
 
Mar 18, 2009
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FrankDay said:
But, your FTP has improved whether it is measured or not. The question really is, where is the advantage in knowing that the number now is X when, before, it was Y? Fergie has seemed to admit that having a PM offers no advantage to the cyclist. If you want to know what that number is fine, but if there is no demonstrable advantage to me, why should I spend $1-5,000 dollars for a device that does nothing for me other than make me feel good because it gives me a number to confirm the result of my hard work. Why should anyone else? You said there were advantages (I presume you meant racing advantages) over a HRM. What are they, exactly, for the competitive cyclist?
Because I don't know if my FTP has improved or not, and I do not know by how much it has improved. A HRM will not tell me if my FTP has improved, but a PM will. Based on whether I have improved and the magnitude of my improvement, I can then tailor the next segment of my training program.

I was being coached a few years ago and after three years of steady, well structured training my FTP improved to 275W. After divorce and a couple of bad years on the bike, my weight increased and my FTP was 219W at the end of last year. After some intense indoor training (I live in Ottawa), my FTP has now increased to 230W after a 4 week training period. Nothing to brag about by any means, but just an example that my HRM could not have told me any of this. It would not have told me how well I was improving when I was being coached and how badly I sucked after two years of little time on the bike.

Remember, the study you're so fixated on is based on power. The cyclists in the HR group had their target HR for interval training determined by their HR at 80% of peak power output, not 80% of their maximum HR or any other measurement. Their improvements were also measured by power assessments, not HR or any other measurement. So despite there being no difference in improvements between cyclists using a PM or HRM, the baseline measurements and the improvements were all determined by power measurements. A PM was required for this, not a HRM.
 
FrankDay said:
But, your FTP has improved whether it is measured or not. The question really is, where is the advantage in knowing that the number now is X when, before, it was Y? Fergie has seemed to admit that having a PM offers no advantage to the cyclist. If you want to know what that number is fine, but if there is no demonstrable advantage to me, why should I spend $1-5,000 dollars for a device that does nothing for me other than make me feel good because it gives me a number to confirm the result of my hard work. Why should anyone else? You said there were advantages (I presume you meant racing advantages) over a HRM. What are they, exactly, for the competitive cyclist?
The advantage isn't knowing that power figure. It's knkowing how that power figure fits in with your training and preparation. You know this. Stop trolling.
 
CoachFergie said:
Andy or Alex may be able to confirm but someone with a power meter found a discernible difference between two riders riding an indoor track at a given pace and one rider riding alone. Potentially a drafting effect 125m behind. May be important if there is an uneven field in a pursuit or Kilo competition and you are the first rider and start alone.
I have seen this many times, you can spot in the data when another rider enters the track and begins to circulate, even if not near the rider in question, they still create sufficient air movement to be seen in the data.

You can pick quite a few things out with the data, e.g. position on bike changing with fatigue and reducing W/m^2, which is something I consider to be actionable intelligence. I did that with a track world champion, was able to spot issues with his position that only occurred when riding maximally for the duration of his event.
 
Apr 21, 2009
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Nice, who wouldn't want that sort of information in the pursuit of better performance!!! Great to be able to support what we (even the experienced or trained we) think we see. For those of who can't do so teach it's a boon to be able to say more than "trust me, I'm a coach you're going faster"!
 
Apr 21, 2009
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Alex Simmons/RST said:
I have seen this many times, you can spot in the data when another rider enters the track and begins to circulate, even if not near the rider in question, they still create sufficient air movement to be seen in the data.
I found that doing 2000m efforts on the Southland indoor velodrome. At 320 watts my time was 2:55 with a free track and when I did my last effort the masses were rolling round and I did 2:45 at the same 320 watts. So much for relying on the stopwatch.
 
FrankDay said:
Are you trying to imply that cyclists were unaware of the advantages of drafting before the advent of the power meter? I mean that is interesting information but, again, to what end? Is the advantage any more or less to a rider who doesn't have a PM on his bike?
Given that the different in power requirement is of the order of 10% (that's a lot and is the difference between running and walking a fair chunk of marathon), I would say that a smart rider could use the data to make sensible decisions about when a pass is worth the energy cost, and when it isn't, as well as other things, such as whether the energy required to get into the legal draft zone of a slightly faster rider is worthwhile or not.

It also demonstrates to the administrators and officials of such events why they have a big problem with the draft and passing rules. People think they can pass, so go ahead, when the reality is they can't sustain it.
 
Sep 29, 2012
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This is slightly OT, but meh.

Full TT rig includes disc, tri-spoke, aero helmet, skinsuit.

Is there enough aerodynamic separation between these items in a Chung type test scenario to test them individually?

Say: test just position / handlebar height mods, without wearing all the paraphernalia + disc wheel, etc?
 
Sep 23, 2010
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elapid said:
Because I don't know if my FTP has improved or not, and I do not know by how much it has improved. A HRM will not tell me if my FTP has improved, but a PM will. Based on whether I have improved and the magnitude of my improvement, I can then tailor the next segment of my training program.
I accept that you beieve that having this information offers you an advantage. Can you quantitate that advantage over not having that information compared to how "equivalent" training is done by those without power meters? Further, do you seriously believe you would not be able to tell if you were improving or not if you didn't have power data? How did cyclists evaluate improvement in the days before PM's? How much better are cyclists today, who train with all that power meter data, than those in days of old than those of the olden days before PMs, like Merckx, Hinault, etc.
I was being coached a few years ago and after three years of steady, well structured training my FTP improved to 275W. After divorce and a couple of bad years on the bike, my weight increased and my FTP was 219W at the end of last year. After some intense indoor training (I live in Ottawa), my FTP has now increased to 230W after a 4 week training period. Nothing to brag about by any means, but just an example that my HRM could not have told me any of this. It would not have told me how well I was improving when I was being coached and how badly I sucked after two years of little time on the bike.
I am glad you have those numbers. It simply isn't clear to me that having those numbers makes a difference. Don't you find it a little strange the the fellow who wrote the book is unable to design a study to measure whether there is an advantage and, if there is an advantage, the size of the advantage?
Remember, the study you're so fixated on is based on power. The cyclists in the HR group had their target HR for interval training determined by their HR at 80% of peak power output, not 80% of their maximum HR or any other measurement. Their improvements were also measured by power assessments, not HR or any other measurement. So despite there being no difference in improvements between cyclists using a PM or HRM, the baseline measurements and the improvements were all determined by power measurements. A PM was required for this, not a HRM.
How much difference was their 80% peak power HR from their 80% peak HR? It really doesn't matter to me as either way, I would do the study looking at perceived exertion. It isn't clear to me that a HRM does much either. And, of course, their improvements were measured in power as the researchers need numbers to conduct the statistical analysis. But, the group that had no knowledge of their power when training improved just as well. You guys seem to think that people who know power meter data are somehow better capable of pushing themselves or make better decisions. That has never been shown.

All of you folks believe that your tool helps you. I can understand why one might believe there would be an advantage to this informatin in view of all the hype that surrounds the device. But, if there is an advantage, it has never been shown and, if there is an advantage, no one knows how large it is. Further, as I said above, the fellow who wrote the book most of you follow can't even tell us how he would design a study to demonstrate an advantage let alone quantitate it.
 
Sep 23, 2010
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42x16ss said:
You know this. Stop trolling.
No I don't. I know this is what you (and many others) believe but I don't know the basis for that belief nor do I know it to be true.
 
Sep 23, 2010
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Alex Simmons/RST said:
Given that the different in power requirement is of the order of 10% (that's a lot and is the difference between running and walking a fair chunk of marathon), I would say that a smart rider could use the data to make sensible decisions about when a pass is worth the energy cost, and when it isn't, as well as other things, such as whether the energy required to get into the legal draft zone of a slightly faster rider is worthwhile or not.

It also demonstrates to the administrators and officials of such events why they have a big problem with the draft and passing rules. People think they can pass, so go ahead, when the reality is they can't sustain it.
Hey, I don't deny that information couldn't be useful but it was gathered by someone doing a study and he made that data is available to anyone, whether they train with power or not. There is simply no scientific data that knowing the power number in that situation is any more useful than knowing how you feel.
 
Contador on yesterday's stage of Tirreno-Adriatico:

http://www.cyclingquotes.com/news/contador_it_is_important_to_see_the_working_system_of_team_sky/

“Regardless of the result this race is really good for me because I have seen the working system of Team Sky on TV, but never in reality," Contador told. "Now I have been able to see the numbers and the SRM. I think this will help me to plan the tactic in the Tour."

Now Contador knows what power he has to do to keep up with and possibly defeat Froome, he can plan his preparation for the Tour de France that bit better.

Just one application for a PM
 
Apr 21, 2009
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FrankDay said:
I accept that you beieve that having this information offers you an advantage.
A measurement advantage, not a performance advantage of course. I appreciate that some people believe a power meter will make them go faster but does a former Doctor and Engineer believe that?

Can you quantitate that advantage over not having that information compared to how "equivalent" training is done by those without power meters?
Again, why measure anything. People have been testing their performce since the 19th century. We just have better tests. We had a lecture from Dr Ed Coyle who said in the 70s they just fed cyclists CHO and they tested better, these days the tests are far better and you can see exactly how the glucose is transported into the cell but this hasn't changed the recommendations of CHO intake since the 70s.

Further, do you seriously believe you would not be able to tell if you were improving or not if you didn't have power data?
Yes seriously. Power meters been bursting bubbles for the last 20 years!

How did cyclists evaluate improvement in the days before PM's?
Badly.

How much better are cyclists today, who train with all that power meter data, than those in days of old than those of the olden days before PMs, like Merckx, Hinault, etc.
Merckx was tested after he broke the hour record. 450 watts for 60min in a Uni in Belgium.

Several World Records broken in London Olympics so better than previous.

I am glad you have those numbers. It simply isn't clear to me that having those numbers makes a difference.
Like any test. They confirm if the process used (training, recovery, nutrition etc) actually led to an improvement in cycling specific fitness.

Don't you find it a little strange the the fellow who wrote the book is unable to design a study to measure whether there is an advantage and, if there is an advantage, the size of the advantage?
All the Swart and Robinson papers confirmed was that training works and it doesn't matter if you look at a HR monitor or a PM (and I suspect The Simpson or Family Guy). Andy has moved on from doing training or performance studies but there is quite a bit of evidence out there from other good people showing that training does indeed make you better. To determine what training is most effective would require some type of comparison and a measure if cycling specific fitness had improved.

Hmmmmm, what could you use?

of course, their improvements were measured in power as the researchers need numbers to conduct the statistical analysis.
Ah so you admit there is no better metric to have measured the changes in fitness with. Knew you would catch up at some point.

But, the group that had no knowledge of their power when training improved just as well.
We have in fact known that training actually works for some time. Thanks to Jeroen for adding to the rather huge pile of papers confirming that:cool:

You guys seem to think that people who know power meter data are somehow better capable of pushing themselves or make better decisions. That has never been shown.
Yes of course, I feel a better citizen for having my power meter.

All of you folks believe that your tool helps you. I can understand why one might believe there would be an advantage to this informatin in view of all the hype that surrounds the device.
Only hype is coming from you Frank.

But, if there is an advantage, it has never been shown and, if there is an advantage, no one knows how large it is. Further, as I said above, the fellow who wrote the book most of you follow can't even tell us how he would design a study to demonstrate an advantage let alone quantitate it.
Yes bad Andy, why won't you design Frank his Strawman study (sorry Elapid, going to have to agree to disagree on that one).
 
Mar 18, 2009
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FrankDay said:
How much difference was their 80% peak power HR from their 80% peak HR?
Not enough, obviously, to have resulted in a different outcome between the two groups (at least over the limited duration of the study). That, however, could have easily been predicted a priori, which is why the study was testing a straw man argument.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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FrankDay said:
Are you trying to imply that cyclists were unaware of the advantages of drafting before the advent of the power meter? I mean that is interesting information but, again, to what end?
The Canadians used such data to help decide the order of the women's team pursuit squad. (Meanwhile, the US and Aussie teams were looking for wind tunnels big enough to allow them to answer the same question.)
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Dear Wiggo said:
This is slightly OT, but meh.

Full TT rig includes disc, tri-spoke, aero helmet, skinsuit.

Is there enough aerodynamic separation between these items in a Chung type test scenario to test them individually?

Say: test just position / handlebar height mods, without wearing all the paraphernalia + disc wheel, etc?
Depends on how good of an experimentalist you are:

http://www.trainingandracingwithapowermeter.com/2010/10/challenge-to-cycling-aerodynamicists.html
 
Mar 18, 2009
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CoachFergie said:
All the Swart and Robinson papers confirmed was that training works and it doesn't matter if you look at a HR monitor or a PM (and I suspect The Simpson or Family Guy). Andy has moved on from doing training or performance studies but there is quite a bit of evidence out there from other good people showing that training does indeed make you better. To determine what training is most effective would require some type of comparison and a measure if cycling specific fitness had improved.
Frank - this is it in a nutshell. Training will help you improve regardless of which measuring device you use. However, only a PM will confirm an improvement and only a PM will quantify that improvement. Moreover, only PM data can be used to tailor future training programs to maximize further gains. As 42x16SS pointed out, pros like Contador use their PM data to determine training and racing strategies.
 

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