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  1. #1
    Burnt Orange Blood Longhorn's Avatar
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    Heart Rate and My Electric Bike

    I didn't want to further hijack Digital Gee's "News: Good and Bad" thread so I thought I'd start a new one. Sorry, DG!

    Quote Originally Posted by slide
    Do you use a HR monitor? That seems to be standard equipment here for serious folks or those who like to take things a bit more formally. I don't have one. Instead, like running, I use percieved effort. I mean, what am I training for - to finish #301 instead of #304 in a field of 310? Why take myself seriously?
    I do have an HRM and it was after I started riding with it that I found out just how high my HR was getting -- over 200 after climbing the 10.7% hill behind my campus! That number definitely matched my perceived effort!

    My resting HR is about 70. When I'm exercising, it feels most comfortable in the 160s (I can talk while I'm exercising) and I can tell I'm pushing it (getting out of breath) in the 170s. I push it as far as I can and then turn on the motor. I can't tell what my HR is while the motor is running because the throttle interferes with it.

    Since battery range of my bike is still a concern of mine for the 17-mile commute, I try to avoid using the motor as much as possible. If I could only use the battery on that very last hill, it would be worth it to me! I still have to zigzag up that hill, even with the motor!

    As I climb a hill, I keep gearing down until I'm out of gears, then I slowly apply the throttle. I then gear up a little in order to help the motor with stronger strokes as much as I can. This way, it's still a good workout for me -- as I get stronger, I'll use the motor less -- and I put less load on the battery. To further increase range (mine and the battery!) I just replaced the stock Cheng Shin 2.5 inch mountain bike tires (psi max 65) with 1.5 inch Specialized Armadillo city tires (psi max 100) though I'll keep them at 90 since they are single-walled rims.

    I agree with you -- the only race I'm in is against the clock -- that is, getting to work in a reasonable amount of time. Getting home quickly doesn't matter as much. I don't wear the HRM that often but will probably try to wear it about once a month to monitor improvement.

  2. #2
    Riding a bitsa
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    I don' t know your age, but 200 seems darn high to me. I was recently told that your heard can't beat faster than 220 - (your age). Unless you are 20, then that formula is wrong.

    Have you considered letting yourself recover more and then go further? When running, we found many folks did best with fewer long runs than daily ones. I'm NOT suggesting this to you because I don't know you, your situation nor do I know much about bicycles, but I only put this out as something we learned in distance running.

    For example, if I were serious about training for a century ride, I'd probably ride 50 miles on Sat and 60+ on Sunday leaving the rest of the week for gym work and easy rides for fun. Instead, I ride all for fun

  3. #3
    Burnt Orange Blood Longhorn's Avatar
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    I just turned 50 yesterday. You're right that the general formula is 220 minus your age. That's why I found the 200+ reading so disconcerting. I can tell that I'm improving, though I haven't tried to take that hill without the electric bike recently but I'm hoping to do the commute with my Trek 7200 (non-motorized) about once a month and see how it feels and what the HRM says.

    This summer, I commuted three to four times a week by parking my car six miles from work and riding the rest of the way. Since I teach a 7:45 a.m. class two days a week and tutor until 8 p.m. the other two nights, I've decided to do a one-way commute where I'll drive to work, ride home, ride back, drive home and repeat. When it cools off, I hope I'll also be doing a weekend ride with my husband. I hoped we could ride today but the heat index is still 104 degrees at 6:35 p.m.

    I appreciate your suggestions and you've given me some things to think about as I learn more about this. Thanks!

  4. #4
    Spot, the cat BobL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longhorn
    I just turned 50 yesterday. You're right that the general formula is 220 minus your age. That's why I found the 200+ reading so disconcerting. I can tell that I'm improving, though I haven't tried to take that hill without the electric bike recently but I'm hoping to do the commute with my Trek 7200 (non-motorized) about once a month and see how it feels and what the HRM says.

    This summer, I commuted three to four times a week by parking my car six miles from work and riding the rest of the way. Since I teach a 7:45 a.m. class two days a week and tutor until 8 p.m. the other two nights, I've decided to do a one-way commute where I'll drive to work, ride home, ride back, drive home and repeat. When it cools off, I hope I'll also be doing a weekend ride with my husband. I hoped we could ride today but the heat index is still 104 degrees at 6:35 p.m.

    I appreciate your suggestions and you've given me some things to think about as I learn more about this. Thanks!

    As soon as I read your heart rate was 200 and you just turned 50, I thought "must be a woman". Why? Two reasons: first - my wife is just over 50 (like I am) and has a faster HR, too; second, my doc once told me he didn't know why, but the rules didn't work as well for women. It is not uncommon for women to be way beyond that "220 minus your age" number. You mention being able to converse comfortably at 160 - that's way beyond conversation for me (it feels like death is imminent), but my wife could probably match that.

    It's also not uncommon for a guy to violate that max HR rule, either. One website I read said that if you've exercised regularly, your max goes down 1 beat every 2 years instead of 1 every year for each year older than 30. I remember that because it conveniently works out for me.

    I find my heart rate is higher in the summer, due to the heat stress. I don't think heat index means as much riding as it does walking or running, because your self-generated breeze cools you off. But it is usually in the 90s during my summer rides, with humdity that's high, too. I seem to expend a lot of energy trying to cool myself.

    But we're a good two months from cooler weather, yet.


    BobL
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  5. #5
    Burnt Orange Blood Longhorn's Avatar
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    Yes, Bob, we dream about cooler weather in October, as I'm sure you do, too! At least it will probably be cooler in the mornings and evenings, if not in the middle of the day.

    You could be describing my husband and me. His resting heart rate is 60 and he has a hard time getting his heart rate into the 130s before he gives out, and he's very fit. He's much stronger than I am but I actually have better endurance. He can mash up the hills but if they're very long, it's like the tortoise and the hare.

    About the heat, earlier this summer, someone posted on the board that heart rate will increase one beat per minute per degree of temperature above 70 degrees F. Wow! Here's an article I found interesting in learning more about this: http://home.hia.no/~stephens/hrchngs.htm According to the article, humidity will also increase HR. Wow, the double whammy for us!

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    I'm 62 and my max observed HR is 188 My resting is about 50-55 first thing in the morning.

    I asked my doc wether I should be concerned about the max number being so high, and he replied that "it is what it is" everyone is different. I try not to push all the way up, but I do hit near my max on one steep hill near my home. I notice that it is higher if I am really tired out after a hard ride versas a moderate one.

  7. #7
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    [QUOTE=Longhorn]
    Since battery range of my bike is still a concern of mine for the 17-mile commute, I try to avoid using the motor as much as possible. If I could only use the battery on that very last hill, it would be worth it to me! I still have to zigzag up that hill, even with the motor!

    This is kind of off the subject, but I was wondering what kind of electric you have. I was thinking about getting on of these so I could go over the hill instead of around it and shorten my commute...not that it's all that long now, but in the winter months here in Oregon I would like to get to work as fast as I can...my comute isn't nearly as long as yours so the battery would last the whole trip (I think)

  8. #8
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    220 minus your age is an "eyeball" thing- I'm 54 and MRH is at least 184.

  9. #9
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Like some others here, my heart rate runs much higher than others. I'm 53 with a resting heart rate in the low 50's. My Max HR presently is 194 which isn't anywhere close to the 167 based on the 220 minus 53 rule...... I set my target zones on my HR monitor at 140 and 170. I can ride all day in that range but I know I'm going to struggle if I try and ride too much above 170. I completed a time trail last night and my average heart rate was 175 over a 24 minute period which was about all I can do.

    Interestingly my brother and I are 12 years apart (he is younger) and our heart rates pretty much mirror each other on rides. A lot of the other guys we ride with (in their 30's and early 40's) heart rates are much, much lower than ours. Must have a lot to do with the genes.

  10. #10
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    It's also not uncommon for a guy to violate that max HR rule, either. One website I read said that if you've exercised regularly, your max goes down 1 beat every 2 years instead of 1 every year for each year older than 30. I remember that because it conveniently works out for me.
    Just remember, it is not a rule. It is a gross guideline, only.

    A very interesting article on the 220-age "myth."

    http://faculty.css.edu/tboone2/asep/Robergs2.pdf

    Here is an excerpt.

    Based on this review of research and application of HRmax prediction, the following recommendations can be
    made;
    1. Currently, there is no acceptable method to estimate HRmax.
    2. If HRmax needs to be estimated, then population specific formulae should be used. However, the most
    accurate general equation is that of Inbar (17) (Table 3); HRmax=205.8-0.685(age). Nevertheless, the error
    (Sxy=6.4 b/min) is still unacceptably large.
    3. An acceptable prediction error for HRmax for application to estimation of VO2max is <3 b/min. Thus, for
    a person with a HRmax of 200 b/min, error equals 1.5%. If this precision is not possible, then there is no
    justification for using methods of VO2max estimation that rely on HRmax prediction formulae.
    Prediction of Maximal Heart Rate
    8
    4. Additional research needs to be performed that develops multivariate regression equations that improve the
    accuracy of HRmax prediction for specific populations, and modes of exercise.
    5. The use of HRmax is most prevalent in the fitness industry, and the people who work in these facilities
    mainly have a terminal undergraduate degree in exercise science or related fields. These students/graduates
    need to be better educated in statistics to recognize and understand the concept of prediction error, and the
    practical consequences of relying on an equation with a large standard error of estimate (Sxy).
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 09-08-05 at 05:53 AM.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  11. #11
    Riding a bitsa
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe
    Like some others here, my heart rate runs much higher than others. I'm 53 with a resting heart rate in the low 50's. My Max HR presently is 194 which isn't anywhere close to the 167 based on the 220 minus 53 rule...... I set my target zones on my HR monitor at 140 and 170. I can ride all day in that range but I know I'm going to struggle if I try and ride too much above 170. I completed a time trail last night and my average heart rate was 175 over a 24 minute period which was about all I can do.

    Interestingly my brother and I are 12 years apart (he is younger) and our heart rates pretty much mirror each other on rides. A lot of the other guys we ride with (in their 30's and early 40's) heart rates are much, much lower than ours. Must have a lot to do with the genes.
    I had a friend tell me that this *is* hugely genetic. At medium effort, her HR (she's 48) is 200. It's always been high like that. When she inquired, she was told that for her this is normal.

    In fact, so many folks I know merrily exceed the old 220 - age formula, I think it's worthless. Maybe it was once valid, but to me it isn't.

  12. #12
    Burnt Orange Blood Longhorn's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=gew0419]
    Quote Originally Posted by Longhorn
    Since battery range of my bike is still a concern of mine for the 17-mile commute, I try to avoid using the motor as much as possible. If I could only use the battery on that very last hill, it would be worth it to me! I still have to zigzag up that hill, even with the motor!

    This is kind of off the subject, but I was wondering what kind of electric you have. I was thinking about getting on of these so I could go over the hill instead of around it and shorten my commute...not that it's all that long now, but in the winter months here in Oregon I would like to get to work as fast as I can...my comute isn't nearly as long as yours so the battery would last the whole trip (I think)
    I have a Lashout. Here's more about it -- and the place I bought it, too. Another option is to get a kit that you can add to an existing bike. There are front-hub, rear-hub, and rear motor models. If I had it to do over again, I might put a Crystalite Rear Hub motor on my Trek, but I'm okay with my purchase, too. If you're interested, I have lots more links on e-bikes. Just PM me.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longhorn
    I have a Lashout. Here's more about it -- and the place I bought it, too. Another option is to get a kit that you can add to an existing bike. There are front-hub, rear-hub, and rear motor models. If I had it to do over again, I might put a Crystalite Rear Hub motor on my Trek, but I'm okay with my purchase, too. If you're interested, I have lots more links on e-bikes. Just PM me.
    I have test driven the Lashout at a LBS here in Portland. Pretty cool bike.

  14. #14
    Rossy
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    Thanks for the info re max HR. I am 53 with max of 179. Never could find aformula to work it out but yours is almost spot on.

    Cheers
    Rossy

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