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View Poll Results: Where do you derive sprint wattage numbers?

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  • Peak wattage

    4 10.53%
  • Peak 5 seconds

    14 36.84%
  • Peak 10 seconds

    8 21.05%
  • Peak 20 seconds

    8 21.05%
  • Other

    4 10.53%
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  1. #1
    Slow'n'Aero DrWJODonnell's Avatar
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    Attn:Power Freaks. What is a sprint?

    To explain, when you look at your peak sprint data, what do you quote? Your Wattage peak? Your highest Average 5 seconds? Highest 10 seconds? Highest 20? If a person has a 1400 watt sprint, what does that mean to you? I have my own opinions, but I want to know what you guys think.

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    Burning Matches. ElJamoquio's Avatar
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    5 Seconds is what I would quote, if I ever quoted my 5 second power. I don't because it's too embarrassing.
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    this portrait of karma transplant's Avatar
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    i was going to say 20 second

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    Edificating dmotoguy's Avatar
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    I dunno, they all have their merrits, i'd say that 15seconds is roughly what most people sprint for (200 meters at 50kph (just over 30mph) )

    the max is good to see what kind of jump you have, but the 5 and 10 second are also valuable as is 20.
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    Isaias NoRacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWJODonnell View Post
    Can this be deleted? I wanted to add a poll. Sorry!
    You can delete your initial post yourself using 'Edit'. Deleting the initial post will delete the entire thread.
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    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWJODonnell View Post
    To explain, when you look at your peak sprint data, what do you quote? Your Wattage peak? Your highest Average 5 seconds? Highest 10 seconds? Highest 20? If a person has a 1400 watt sprint, what does that mean to you? I have my own opinions, but I want to know what you guys think.
    no PM. yeah i know. whatever.

    what's a sprint? for me - as someone who can sprint, but isn't really a sprinter - it's the initial jump. watts or whatever, doesn't matter. just sayin'.
    Last edited by botto; 01-31-08 at 05:11 PM.

  7. #7
    The mods changed this... damocles1's Avatar
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    You have to have a big watt jump and then be able to hold some big watts for 10-15 seconds.

    Example-

    1550 watt jump
    1480 5 sec
    1405 10 sec
    1370 15 sec

    905 30 sec

  8. #8
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    Don't understand your question. 1400 watts for 2 seconds may win a sprint, 1400 watts for 20 seconds may put you in the middle of the pack in a big field sprint.

    What matters is speed (or time on the track), which of course is related to wattage. But speed is a much better measure of how well you sprint.
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    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoRacer View Post
    You can delete your initial post yourself using 'Edit'. Deleting the initial post will delete the entire thread.
    I'm pretty sure that won't work after a reply has been made to the thread. I went ahead and merged the two threads and deleted the original post though.
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  10. #10
    Burning Matches. ElJamoquio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
    1400 watts for 20 seconds may put you in the middle of the pack in a big field sprint.
    ?!??!? Where are you racing?
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElJamoquio View Post
    ?!??!? Where are you racing?
    On a planet populated entirely by Taylor Phinney clones.

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    Euro-Trash Enzo Gucci's Avatar
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    I still can't understand the whole wattage thing.

    People brag about being able to "touch" 1,400 watts.

    Wow, isn't that impressive. Fresh, warm legs that can peak, for a split second, over 1,000 watts in the best of conditions. I didn't know sprints lasted less than one second.

    What about realistic numbers that really matter? After being led out by your team at the end of a 200km stage, how long can you HOLD a certain number... that seems to make more sense to me. To me, the number game is obsolete in these situations.

    1400watts for 20 seconds putting you mid pack? What kind of race are you taking about, the Worlds?
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  13. #13
    Glimmers of form esammuli's Avatar
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    Honestly I think it depends on the type of sprinter you are describing. Some guys are punchy, quick acceleration, McEwen-type guys and others are big, long lead out, Boonen-type guys. The quick guy might not have the 15-20 second power of the Boonen type, but he probably has a pretty good peak and 5 second W/kg.

  14. #14
    Slow'n'Aero DrWJODonnell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo Gucci View Post
    People brag about being able to "touch" 1,400 watts.

    Wow, isn't that impressive. Fresh, warm legs that can peak, for a split second, over 1,000 watts in the best of conditions. I didn't know sprints lasted less than one second.

    What about realistic numbers that really matter? After being led out by your team at the end of a 200km stage, how long can you HOLD a certain number... that seems to make more sense to me.
    I guess this is where I was going with the question. Some people talk about being able to touch on a certain number, but then can just barely hit it. In my mind a sprint is at least 10 seconds in duration, and so if someone were to ask me to quote my sprint wattage, I would say that normally I can hit X watts, but what I mean is that x watts = the average power output over the course of say 10-15 seconds. It is interesting to see the different answers though.

  15. #15
    Don't mince words Red Rider's Avatar
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    I don't have a power meter. I know, I know, so dark-ages of me.

    I measure intensity/output by my heart rate. A sprint for me is 90% of my max HR, as I discovered at the end of my first crit a couple weeks ago. I can sustain that for, I don't know, 25 seconds?

    Speed isn't necessarily a factor in sprinting as grade and wind direction have more bearing than my own output.

    I'm not sure that a power meter will affect my training enough to warrant the $$ (I'm on a self-imposed saving spree), especially since racing isn't a source of income for me (nor will it ever be).
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  16. #16
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    20 seconds if not more... Most think a sprint is just the final 5 second kick at the end but it aint
    Please remember that all statements unless quoted, are strictly my opinion of what happened. That there are as many opinions as there are spectators attending. I just choose to publish mine on this forum. And would NEVER intend to purposely hurt or discredit any other cyclist.... With that said... HTFU!

  17. #17
    Member Crit Rat's Avatar
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    You can't really measure a sprint with a heart rate monitor. Heart rate lags way too much.

    When I talk sprint numbers I'll just say max wattage and then 5 second power (avg). I think 5 second power gets thrown out a lot because of the Coggan chart but also because true sprint power comes from the creatine phosphate energy system and it is pretty much depleted in around 8 seconds.

    In real racing a full on sprint is more like 10 seconds and quite often longer. Of course this after going at least a threshold to more likely VO2 max or higher pace so peak wattage in a sprint at the end of a race is very rarely the max for any individual.

    Again 1400 watts for 20 seconds is beyond world class. Probably is possible but likely for a trackie, not a road cyclist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmotoguy View Post
    I dunno, they all have their merrits, i'd say that 15seconds is roughly what most people sprint for (200 meters at 50kph (just over 30mph) )

    the max is good to see what kind of jump you have, but the 5 and 10 second are also valuable as is 20.
    +1, although a bit shorter for me, I've got a good jump/acceleration but am toast after about 150M. BUT, I'll say this, I dont put out nearly the Ws that I see posted all over this board, but am a pretty good sprinter at least at the Cat 3 level ... it's what you can do at the end of the race that matters, wattage #s with fresh legs are just d!ck measuring contests.

  19. #19
    Slow'n'Aero DrWJODonnell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
    +1, although a bit shorter for me, I've got a good jump/acceleration but am toast after about 150M. BUT, I'll say this, I dont put out nearly the Ws that I see posted all over this board, but am a pretty good sprinter at least at the Cat 3 level ... it's what you can do at the end of the race that matters, wattage #s with fresh legs are just d!ck measuring contests.
    Why would anyone want to measure a duck?

  20. #20
    B(.)(.)BS badfishgood's Avatar
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    One second ahead of the second place finisher?
    Shallow genius, deep idiot.

  21. #21
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    I look at the zones. Neuromuscular power is most evident at the 5s duration. It would be pure max, but measurement of max is iffy with the PowerTap at least. 1m power is anaerobic capacity, and for me, this is more defining of my performance in a sprint.

    When I think about what it takes for me to get around someone's wheel, my 5s power is a big player there -- even if I'm tired. To get to that point, I need anaerobic capacity for all the **** that went down to get to that point.

    So, when I think of my sprint, it's 1527W 5s, and 721W 1m. Those numbers, together, are what I'm going to utilize in the final kilo.

    If someone asks my sprint power, I'll say "1527W for 5s." Nobody's ever asked, of course

    My max power of 1622W is nice to know, but I'm not sure it's accurate (I've hit over 1600W four times though), and I clearly can't maintain it.

  22. #22
    Burning Matches. ElJamoquio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Rider View Post
    I don't have a power meter. I know, I know, so dark-ages of me.

    I measure intensity/output by my heart rate. A sprint for me is 90% of my max HR, as I discovered at the end of my first crit a couple weeks ago. I can sustain that for, I don't know, 25 seconds?

    Speed isn't necessarily a factor in sprinting as grade and wind direction have more bearing than my own output.

    I'm not sure that a power meter will affect my training enough to warrant the $$ (I'm on a self-imposed saving spree), especially since racing isn't a source of income for me (nor will it ever be).
    Heart rate will never measure sprint well. I can hold 90% of Max Heart Rate for two hours; you probably can, too. Your HR didn't get up to steady state in your sprint, as it shouldn't.
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  23. #23
    Killing Rabbits
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    It would be interesting to see some sprint and podium finish power files from some of you. Why debate opinion if we can see a consistent curve shape in race files? Personally, I am uninterested training sprints or sprints for 12th place.

  24. #24
    Euro-Trash Enzo Gucci's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthalpic View Post
    It would be interesting to see some sprint and podium finish power files from some of you. Why debate opinion if we can see a consistent curve shape in race files? Personally, I am uninterested training sprints or sprints for 12th place.
    I know that Dominguez has been riding an SRM. Next time we go riding I'll ask him about his sprint numbers at the end of a race. I'm sure his numbers would be a pretty good measuring stick for everyone else. There are so many variables, though.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
    I look at the zones. Neuromuscular power is most evident at the 5s duration. It would be pure max, but measurement of max is iffy with the PowerTap at least. 1m power is anaerobic capacity, and for me, this is more defining of my performance in a sprint.

    When I think about what it takes for me to get around someone's wheel, my 5s power is a big player there -- even if I'm tired. To get to that point, I need anaerobic capacity for all the **** that went down to get to that point.
    Best comment by a long shot!

    In Enthalpic's "put up or shut up" vein, here's a screenshot of the last minute and change of a late season crit, where I won the pack sprint (2nd overall, late attack stayed away -- this is the PUR Tour Men's Cat 3, for any Ohio residents).

    - 1 minute out there was a little kicker of a hill that reshuffled the pack. 700+ watts for about 20 seconds to stay on the wheel I wanted.
    - 25 seconds out he attacks (I thought he would go early, which was why I wanted his wheel!) I hit a little under 1k watts to hold his wheel.
    - last 5 seconds jump him and bike throw, 1k+ watts

    In training, I can do 1450w 5seconds, but I've never hit over about 1250 in a race. In this particular race, a big deciding factor was that the first part was very negative and slow, so the last 20 minutes was pretty intense. I had an NP of 350w for the last 20 minutes.
    At least I offer my own disaster.

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