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  1. #1
    Senior Member donrhummy's Avatar
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    Training with powercranks: insane improvements!

    This guy started working with them at 38 after years of cycling and made HUGE improvements. Anyone here used them? Any cheaper ways of achieving the same thing?

    http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=4906

    His improvements:
    * 17% increase in VO2 max
    * 20% increase in VO2 max/kg
    * 11% increase in max power
    * 39% increase in his FTP (1 hour) power
    * 23% increase in long term sustainable power.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Snicklefritz's Avatar
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    The PowerCrank guys live within a 20 min drive from me so I had a chance to test ride them. In fact, they were nice enough to give me a set on loan for about 2 weeks. Here are a couple of observations:

    (1) It takes a lot of time to get used to these. In fact, I think it took about a week for me to be able to do even minimal workouts with them and I wasn't even pedaling the "proper" way the entire time either. I've heard other people say it can take a couple of months before you can do your normal workouts with them and pedal properly all the time.

    (2) It really works your hip flexors!! These muscles will scream at you for quite a while until you get used to the PC's. However, when you get back on your regular bike, you will feel more confidant about being able to generate power around the entire pedaling circle. You'll also notice improvements in dead spots (if they existed beforehand).

    (3) It forces you to stop being lazy and generate power throughout the entire pedal circle. If you don't do this (or if there is an imbalance between legs) then you will feel a huge force pulling the pedals down to the 6 o'clock position. At that point, the bike will just be coasting until you get the pedaling right again.

    If they weren't so expensive, I'd buy a set because I felt after 2 weeks it was beginning to improve upon some of my bad habits. However, I'd say that by doing one-legged drills and riding on a fixed gear you could probably get some similar effects. The one leg drills could help correct weaknesses between legs. The fixed gear could help with pedaling mechanics. If you stop pedaling, I guess you just get bucked off the bike. The only thing I wonder about with fixed gears is what happens if you just let the bike spin your legs around without actually trying to generate power. Does that work?
    I'm speculating that with a fixed gear you still can't be lazy, but you can be slightly less lazy with PC, where you really can't be lazy at all.


    By far the best thing about PowerCranks is the way you can freak people out with them!! I made a point of riding with them during my lunch break when lots of people were out running or on walks. I would deliberately ride past the cafeteria at work, or the most crowded places and then pedal "dolphin style". This is where you pedal with both legs in phase. This never failed to freak people out every time!!!
    Some people even screamed "there is something wrong with your bike", others would laugh, but most would just stare and then have to pick their jaw up off the ground.

    They could also be useful in races, particularly in crits. Imagine being able to pedal at high speed through a corner without ever worrying about scraping a pedal on the ground! You could keep the inside pedal up and then pedal only with the outside leg. To bad I suck too much at crits for this to be effective.

  3. #3
    Senior Member donrhummy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snicklefritz
    The PowerCrank guys live within a 20 min drive from me so I had a chance to test ride them. In fact, they were nice enough to give me a set on loan for about 2 weeks. Here are a couple of observations:

    (1) It takes a lot of time to get used to these.
    (2) It really works your hip flexors!!
    (3) It forces you to stop being lazy

    If they weren't so expensive,
    Thanks for the post! Yeah, I'd buy them too if they weren't so expensive. I wish there was a way they could do it like Shimano's crank lines, with a cheap pair, intermediate, etc. If they were $150 I'd have a pair!

    I did do one-legged hills for about 3 weeks (1 time a week) and I noticed a difference but somehow got sidetracked. I have to add those back in.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Snicklefritz's Avatar
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    One more thing...given the amount of time it takes to really get used to these, it's best to start with them in the off season if you're a racer. The 2-3 month adaptation period I think would take too much out of races or race training. However, it perfect for the winter when people have a lot more flexibility in their programs.

  5. #5
    Theodore Roosevelt's idol TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
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    sweet, that gives me like 6 months to save up.

    This + Q rings = unstoppable
    Is trick from science!

  6. #6
    base training heretic Squint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donrhummy
    This guy started working with them at 38 after years of cycling and made HUGE improvements. Anyone here used them? Any cheaper ways of achieving the same thing?

    http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=4906

    His improvements:
    * 17% increase in VO2 max
    * 20% increase in VO2 max/kg
    * 11% increase in max power
    * 39% increase in his FTP (1 hour) power
    * 23% increase in long term sustainable power.
    That story was discredited soon after it was published.

  7. #7
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    I plan on posting a thread claiming Optygen is 50% more potent than EPO soon.

    Stay tuned.

  8. #8
    Senior Member donrhummy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squint
    That story was discredited soon after it was published.
    Where? Please post a link.

  9. #9
    base training heretic Squint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donrhummy
    Where? Please post a link.
    There were long discussions on the wattage forum, Slowtwitch, and probably also Weight Weenies.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squint
    There were long discussions on the wattage forum, Slowtwitch, and probably also Weight Weenies.
    correct, they were long, and they were discussions, but I'm not sure that anyone has successfully "discredited" mr. power cranks claims. just as I'm not sure Mr. powercranks claims are valid. I do know folks who swear by these as being a very instrumental tool for their own individual improvement, although I'm not so sure the improvement wasnt related to the training they were already doing regardless of using the powercranks or not.

    Summary - powercranks are very spendy, their usefulness is debatable, spend your money on zipps.

  11. #11
    base training heretic Squint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDcatV
    correct, they were long, and they were discussions, but I'm not sure that anyone has successfully "discredited" mr. power cranks claims. just as I'm not sure Mr. powercranks claims are valid. I do know folks who swear by these as being a very instrumental tool for their own individual improvement, although I'm not so sure the improvement wasnt related to the training they were already doing regardless of using the powercranks or not.

    Summary - powercranks are very spendy, their usefulness is debatable, spend your money on zipps.
    It was actually very simple. All he had to do was get some results at upcoming races that matched his claims. Questionable numbers (which we see here from time to time) should be accompanied by results otherwise they will remain questionable numbers.

    Or as others have put it, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof."

    Lastly, the Powercranks inventor is well known for making ridiculous marketing claims. He always claims that Lance, whoever wins Ironman Hawaii, etc., is secretly using his product.

  12. #12
    Dirt-riding heretic DrPete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDcatV
    correct, they were long, and they were discussions, but I'm not sure that anyone has successfully "discredited" mr. power cranks claims. just as I'm not sure Mr. powercranks claims are valid. I do know folks who swear by these as being a very instrumental tool for their own individual improvement, although I'm not so sure the improvement wasnt related to the training they were already doing regardless of using the powercranks or not.

    Summary - powercranks are very spendy, their usefulness is debatable, spend your money on zipps.
    So if all the claims were true about the effect that various things have on FTP, VO2Max, and all that stuff, my FTP should've gone up by 93 watts this season. That's just based on the claims from Optygen and Sportlegs...

    Think about it. You're telling me that if I just bought some powercranks my FTP would go up from 310W to 431W? That's a 39% increase, after all...
    "Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."

  13. #13
    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDcatV
    correct, they were long, and they were discussions, but I'm not sure that anyone has successfully "discredited" mr. power cranks claims. just as I'm not sure Mr. powercranks claims are valid. I do know folks who swear by these as being a very instrumental tool for their own individual improvement, although I'm not so sure the improvement wasnt related to the training they were already doing regardless of using the powercranks or not.

    Summary - powercranks are very spendy, their usefulness is debatable, spend your money on zipps.
    this reminds me of all the diet commercials that say if you use this product AND exercise and eat better you will lose weight

  14. #14
    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snicklefritz
    By far the best thing about PowerCranks is the way you can freak people out with them!! I made a point of riding with them during my lunch break when lots of people were out running or on walks. I would deliberately ride past the cafeteria at work, or the most crowded places and then pedal "dolphin style". This is where you pedal with both legs in phase. This never failed to freak people out every time!!!
    Some people even screamed "there is something wrong with your bike", others would laugh, but most would just stare and then have to pick their jaw up off the ground.

    you crack me up so much

  15. #15
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    i've read somethings where guys had a lot of trouble using them properly. which, not only made them slower, but they lost training time with the steep learning curve.

  16. #16
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snicklefritz
    However, I'd say that by doing one-legged drills and riding on a fixed gear you could probably get some similar effects. The one leg drills could help correct weaknesses between legs. The fixed gear could help with pedaling mechanics.
    It would definitely seem that one legged drills would accomplish the same thing, at least to some degree.

    However, I think fixed gear is exactly the opposite. You don't have to pull up, or pedal through dead spots on a fixed gear because the bike's momentum just pushes the crank right through.

  17. #17
    Dirt-riding heretic DrPete's Avatar
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    Wow, I just checked out their website. Based on their marketing claims I would be a cat 2 by springtime.

    Agree with MDCatV--Zipps are a much better option.
    "Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."

  18. #18
    Quarq shill cslone's Avatar
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    Yep, Andrew Coggan had a field day with this guy on slowtwitch.com. He posted his files from the last year and AC as well as a few other power gurus pointed out that his net gain was like 4% or some low number like that. His reply was something along the lines of, "YOU DON'T KNOW ME!"
    FS: Fuji SL1 frameset, 55.5cm toptube, excellent condition.

  19. #19
    Giving you the business. Cypress's Avatar
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    (1 hour): 394 Watts at 169 bpm at 87% of VO2 Max




    BS?
    Quote Originally Posted by Moderator
    Dear Cypress,

    You have received an infraction at Bike Forums.

  20. #20
    Aluminium Crusader :-)
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    The Pwercrank guy's name is Frank Day, and he posts as 'Fday' on Cycling Forums. Coggan and the resident coach, Ric Stern, have had some funny arguments with him. Here's a few -- they go for many pages

    http://www.cyclingforums.com/t-233514-15-13.html
    http://www.cyclingforums.com/t-384304-20-2.html
    http://www.cyclingforums.com/showthread.php?t=385334

    here's a taste:


    Quote Originally Posted by Ric Stern
    You're talking trash. Simply, if typical cyclists (which you defined) increased their power output 40% there would be huge changes in cycle racing. You obviously have no idea whatsoever what an improvement of 40% means. Your typical 3rd category racing cyclist would, in a matter of months, find themself on a div1 or div 2 pro cycling team. Teams would be clamouring to sign (typical) PC users. The whole order of pro cycling would change.
    Just because only 3 in 1000 people send them back to you, doesn't mean you are not "grossly misrepresenting" what your cranks can do. As you pointed out above that "most" of your customers have neither a power meter or gas analysis equipment then perhaps they actually don't know what is happening and assume that the difficulty of using your cranks is doing them good.

  21. #21
    base training heretic Squint's Avatar
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    Frank Day has suggested that the reason we don't see all the top names in cycling and triathlon using them is because they want to keep the advantage to themselves. We joke about how all the pros are secretly riding Powercranks in their basements after riding outside for 4-6 hours.

    In fact, it's such a well-kept secret that even though their doping rings get broken up, the pros' secret of using Powercranks is still a secret.

  22. #22
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    ^^^^
    They store the EPO, steroids, and HGH in the hollow powercrank arms.

  23. #23
    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    On the PEZ article, note the pre-test was in February, at the low of most folks cycling fitness, and the two product tests were in August and the following April. Looks to me like the deck was stacked, as there would be some improvement between February and August. That article really reads like and infomercial to me. and a 400 watt 1hr functional threshold seems abit high to me for a 40 year old who claims to not have much time to train.
    Recycle, Reclaim, Reuse and Repair
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    "Toes"

  24. #24
    Giving you the business. Cypress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howsteepisit
    On the PEZ article, note the pre-test was in February, at the low of most folks cycling fitness, and the two product tests were in August and the following April. Looks to me like the deck was stacked, as there would be some improvement between February and August. That article really reads like and infomercial to me. and a 400 watt 1hr functional threshold seems abit high to me for a 40 year old who claims to not have much time to train.

    Bangtail. Monday. 6pm.

    BE THERE!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moderator
    Dear Cypress,

    You have received an infraction at Bike Forums.

  25. #25
    Dirt-riding heretic DrPete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress
    Bangtail. Monday. 6pm.

    BE THERE!

    [/monster truck voice]
    Four Hundred Watts of Functional Threshold PowPowPowPowPOWER!!!

    "Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."

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