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  1. #1
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    Used some sort of powermeter for the first time last night

    power.jpgAn email went out to all members of the NYC racing scene to show up at this training center in the city that has a bunch of bikes hooked up to powermeters, they have VO2 max testing, etc. Only two people showed up, I guess because it was 38 and raining outside and it's far on the west side of manhattan. They had us do a 10 mile ride and I rode at a pretty good pace. Turns out the strava estimated power seems relatively accurate, as the rides I do usually are around 175 watts. In the attached picture you can see my average wattage was 193 watts. I tried to keep it above 200 the entire time.

    When I tried to increase my cadence and keep my speed the same, it seemed like my power was dropping. Is that common? Also it seemed on flat ground I had to keep my watts above 210 or so to sustain 20mph, and then on a 3% incline my watts went into the mid 2's to go around 14-15mph. During a couple of 15 second sprints I kept it above 500 watts - that's my weakest area of racing. I can sustain a decent clip but can't accelerate fast enough. I probably have to do more intervals. Also, my w/kg seemed to be around 2.4 average. I'm 165 lbs.

    Pretty interesting stuff overall. I now know on a rough estimate how much power I'm putting down in order to keep certain speeds.

    VO2 max testing was $300. Doesn't that seem really high? Also, is there any way I can garner FTP information from my ride? How can I get information about the different zones? I'm picking up a heart rate monitor tomorrow afternoon so I'll test it this weekend. I've never worn one before.

    There was a fitter there and mentioned that I'm way too far forward - need to raise my seat and push it back a bit. She said slamming the stem wouldn't do much until I fix my saddle. Of course they wanted $250 for a full fitting so they didn't give much information. Overall, not bad for a free class.
    Last edited by Gramercy; 03-20-14 at 07:40 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gramercy View Post

    VO2 max testing was $300. Doesn't that seem really high? Also, is there any way I can garner FTP information from my ride? How can I get information about the different zones? I'm picking up a heart rate monitor tomorrow afternoon so I'll test it this weekend. I've never worn one before.

    There was a fitter there and mentioned that I'm way too far forward - need to raise my seat and push it back a bit. She said slamming the stem wouldn't do much until I fix my saddle. Of course they wanted $250 for a full fitting so they didn't give much information. Overall, not bad for a free class.
    VO2 testing for $300 seems high, but to me everything in NYC seems pretty spendy. I'd expect that to be in the $150 to $200 range.

    I don't think you can do anything relative to your FTP with what you got, and since you wont be riding with wattage as a reference when training, I cant imagine a reason to try. If using an HRM, FTP (functional threshold power) isn't applicable as you're not measuring power. you'll need to get some books on training with heart rate, friel training bible is the most commonly referenced, and establish your heart rate zones based on the prescribed testing methodology.

    $250 for a fit is in the reasonable range for a good fitter, if you're that far off and are just moving stuff around based on a short conversation with the fitter, it may be a good investment in yourself. there are definitely worse ways to part with $250.

  3. #3
    bf is my facebook. ljrichar's Avatar
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    VO2 testing is pretty useless & I don't know why you think Strava is pretty accurate. You can't really do much with the numbers from one ride. HR will help with longer intervals. IMO, if you're only doing 200w for a 30min ride, you just need to ride more & do more threshold intervals.

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    $300 for VO2 max test seems high, especially when you consider the price of a used Powertap hub/wheel. I'm not talking the value of the tester's time and knowledge, I'm talking the value of power for one session versus having power for a while. One of the things that having a powermeter does is that you learn how to test, you learn that perceived power can be way off from actual power. This is valuable when racing - that "little" effort you make in a race might be a massive effort in terms of power, recovery time, etc. Likewise when you're at the limit the effort that you think is soul-draining may end up not that bad.

    I think that on longer steady climbs Strava is reasonable at guessing power.

    For sprints a trainer isn't that good, unless you were on a the rocking trainer by Kinetic. Even then the small roller is limited to about 1000-1100w before stuff gets weird, like tires slipping etc. I've exceeded my max trainer wattage by 50%/500w on the road.

    For fit… I have my opinions on fit, at least for someone of my proportions and my issues, and they don't align well with the accepted norms. Proper fit needs to take into account many things, else you'd have the exact same fit for a TT bike, a road bike, a cross bike, and a mountain bike. Since that's not the case it means that there are adjustments necessary for various environmental and situational factors (since the rider is the same).
    "...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson

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    I rarely average over 200w for any ride, including hour long Cat 3 crits or even Cat 2 crits. I've placed and won Cat 3-4 crits, placed as high as 2nd in straight Cat 3 races (against many of the same riders at the front of the 3-4 race), and done so averaging in the 180-190w range. My FTP is in the 210-220w range and if I'm over 200w I typically can't sprint because I'm too blown.

    I also don't look at the numbers during a race because I don't want to limit myself mentally. I look at the numbers after a race.

    My training rides tend to be lower, 150-170w avg. I've been putting all my rides on Strava so that people can see what I do. I have every ride I've done since late April 2012 on Strava. Before that it's sporadic. The ones with maps are outdoors and I used a phone to record the ride, the power numbers are inaccurate from Strava but I have the actual numbers in the comments.
    "...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson

  6. #6
    Senior Member globecanvas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
    The ones with maps are outdoors and I used a phone to record the ride, the power numbers are inaccurate from Strava but I have the actual numbers in the comments.

    I am guessing you use a SRM head unit. Should we buy you a Garmin? It will save you a lot of clicking and typing
    Ninny

  7. #7
    Banana Pancakes furiousferret's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
    I rarely average over 200w for any ride, including hour long Cat 3 crits or even Cat 2 crits. I've placed and won Cat 3-4 crits, placed as high as 2nd in straight Cat 3 races (against many of the same riders at the front of the 3-4 race), and done so averaging in the 180-190w range. My FTP is in the 210-220w range and if I'm over 200w I typically can't sprint because I'm too blown.

    I also don't look at the numbers during a race because I don't want to limit myself mentally. I look at the numbers after a race.

    My training rides tend to be lower, 150-170w avg. I've been putting all my rides on Strava so that people can see what I do. I have every ride I've done since late April 2012 on Strava. Before that it's sporadic. The ones with maps are outdoors and I used a phone to record the ride, the power numbers are inaccurate from Strava but I have the actual numbers in the comments.
    /stalking

  8. #8
    In the Pain Cave thechemist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gramercy View Post

    There was a fitter there and mentioned that I'm way too far forward - need to raise my seat and push it back a bit. She said slamming the stem wouldn't do much until I fix my saddle. Of course they wanted $250 for a full fitting so they didn't give much information. Overall, not bad for a free class.
    Do the Fit
    Quote Originally Posted by globecanvas View Post
    I am guessing you use a SRM head unit. Should we buy you a Garmin? It will save you a lot of clicking and typing
    I would trade my garmin for a dedicated headunit in a heartbeat. What a headache garmin can be sometimes.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljrichar View Post
    VO2 testing is pretty useless & I don't know why you think Strava is pretty accurate. You can't really do much with the numbers from one ride. HR will help with longer intervals. IMO, if you're only doing 200w for a 30min ride, you just need to ride more & do more threshold intervals.
    How can you tell just by my 200w number? Doesn't it totally depend on weight? The girl next to me weighed 110 and her watt output was far lower than mine. I figured w/kg is the most important stat. I weigh 165.

    I'm going to try and ride for 30 minutes at a similar pace (20mph in mostly flat central park) to compare to what I did last night and see how accurate the strava estimate is. I can't justify shelling out for a fit or powermeter right now, especially since I just started racing and clearly need to ride more. I've only ridden 300 miles this year, but that's mostly due to the bad weather.

  10. #10
    Senior Member topflightpro's Avatar
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    I had my VO2 tested a couple years ago. Not only did it cost me nothing, I was paid to have it tested. (I participated in a study that an exercise science professor was conducting.)

    I forget the exact number, as it really has no bearing on anything I do. What I do remember was the professor commenting that for a man my age, my VO2 was pretty good. But for a competitive cyclist, it was fairly average.
    Last edited by topflightpro; 03-20-14 at 09:05 AM.

  11. #11
    In the Pain Cave thechemist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gramercy View Post
    How can you tell just by my 200w number? Doesn't it totally depend on weight? The girl next to me weighed 110 and her watt output was far lower than mine. I figured w/kg is the most important stat. I weigh 165.

    I'm going to try and ride for 30 minutes at a similar pace (20mph in mostly flat central park) to compare to what I did last night and see how accurate the strava estimate is. I can't justify shelling out for a fit or powermeter right now, especially since I just started racing and clearly need to ride more. I've only ridden 300 miles this year, but that's mostly due to the bad weather.
    :shakes head

  12. #12
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thechemist View Post
    Do the Fit
    why?

    Does the OP have any problems that warrant a fit?

    OP: Which place are you talking about?

    These kinds of discussions are befuddling. OP goes somewhere. We get second hand info about what some nameless expert says on equipment we don't know and folks are drawing conclusions.

    Hell we're even discussing the accuracy of strava power based on this. Winter is over folks. The 33 is better than this…it really is.

    shakes head

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    Quote Originally Posted by globecanvas View Post
    I am guessing you use a SRM head unit. Should we buy you a Garmin? It will save you a lot of clicking and typing
    ha. I was waiting for an unspecified company to start making a wired SRM "Ant+ Sport" broadcaster. It was in the works and then it wasn't.

    I don't know what I'll do but for now I have two complete SRMs so I'll be on them for a while.

    Plus part of the whole social media for me is to share selectively. I never mentioned we wanted to start a family on the blog, here, etc, until Junior was born. I don't talk about personal personal issues. And for power stuff I'd rather keep the actual spikes etc discrete. There was one race where I was doing 300w just to hang on wheels. The guy that pulled the first 5 laps dropped back, looked at me, and went straight to the front again. A few more laps and I was gone. I have to think that knowing your opponents' power numbers would help determine if such efforts would be worthwhile.

    *of course this is assuming the others are on the same level as you. In my case the other guy was a smoking Cat 1 and in no way would he consider me an opponent.
    "...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    why?

    Does the OP have any problems that warrant a fit?

    OP: Which place are you talking about?

    These kinds of discussions are befuddling. OP goes somewhere. We get second hand info about what some nameless expert says on equipment we don't know and folks are drawing conclusions.

    Hell we're even discussing the accuracy of strava power based on this. Winter is over folks. The 33 is better than this…it really is.

    shakes head
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  15. #15
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    meh.

  16. #16
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    Can't add much to the thread, but my take is that it's not worth it to pay this place any money for further testing.

    Train more (or better), race more. That's a lot cheaper!
    pro-meter: lol

    blog

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    In the Pain Cave thechemist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    why?

    Does the OP have any problems that warrant a fit?


    I was assuming that if a fitter glanced at him and saw concern than it was a big enough adjustment that he probably isent to comfortable. After seeing his pic, I agree but i am no fitter.
    All that being said, even if he was comfortable, I bet with a good fit that he would have that "lightbulb moment" and realize how comfy a bike can be. I bet he could gain a few watts with a good fit.

    IMO

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljrichar View Post
    VO2 testing is pretty useless & I don't know why you think Strava is pretty accurate. You can't really do much with the numbers from one ride. HR will help with longer intervals. IMO, if you're only doing 200w for a 30min ride, you just need to ride more & do more threshold intervals.
    Why's that?
    -Cat-3-o-meter: TBD :/

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    why?

    Does the OP have any problems that warrant a fit?
    It may be placebo, but I've always found it interesting that everyone I know who has gotten a professional fit raves about it.

  20. #20
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thechemist View Post
    I was assuming that if a fitter glanced at him and saw concern than it was a big enough adjustment that he probably isent to comfortable. After seeing his pic, I agree but i am no fitter.
    All that being said, even if he was comfortable, I bet with a good fit that he would have that "lightbulb moment" and realize how comfy a bike can be. I bet he could gain a few watts with a good fit.

    IMO

    your body will adapt to almost any position. I think the photos provided are stock photos at any rate.

    I've had fitters put me into an ideal position. ever talk to a fitter? they always 'see' something.
    They're a bit like management consultants.

  21. #21
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafzali View Post
    It may be placebo, but I've always found it interesting that everyone I know who has gotten a professional fit raves about it.
    'professional fit' is a 41 term.

    it simply means you paid for it.

    it depends

    imagine?

    I've had two reutls with 2 completely different results simply because they were done by two different fitters.

    good fit? Who is the fitter?

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    'professional fit' is a 41 term.

    it simply means you paid for it.

    it depends

    imagine?

    I've had two reutls with 2 completely different results simply because they were done by two different fitters.

    good fit? Who is the fitter?
    Well, in theory these "fit systems" purport to take the person out of it and make things more equal. I'm not saying that's true because I don't have the knowledge of experience that someone who fits for a living does, but that's the premise anyway.

  23. #23
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    where in rockland are you?

    there's no truth to taking the fitter out of any system. Someone is holding a tape measure at some point. ever see dart fish? get the point directly on the ankle and you get one measure…a little off and you get another.

  24. #24
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    If it really is that far off and is obvious, maybe you can take video of yourself on a trainer and post it in the fitting your bike forum? I wouldn't expect millimeter precision from them, but maybe you could get some idea of whether you need a real fitter or if that lady was just looking to drum up some business.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  25. #25
    Senior Member globecanvas's Avatar
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    I've had a "pro fit", but I was left somewhat unimpressed by the process.

    It seems to me that individual bodies are more than just collections of geometry. People bend, flex, and move in unique characteristic ways. It's why we can recognize people by their body language. Any system that purports to transfer skeletal measurements into a ideal fit is missing something.

    I'm sure there are fitters who are so skilled that they can take unquantifiable factors like this into account, but I don't think there's any reason to think that any given fit system is going to work just right for any given rider.
    Ninny

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