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Old 12-18-11, 09:33 AM   #1
choteau
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Heretic? or just my opinion!

I read posts about heart rate, cadence, gearing, speed, bike computers, etc. Based on my experience: if my chest hurts = my heart rate is too high, if I can't breathe = I'm spinning too fast, if my knees hurt = I'm pushing too high a gear, I honestly can't tell the difference of .25 mph, and I'd rather see where I'm riding and look at things other than another computer screen. Tim
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Old 12-18-11, 09:48 AM   #2
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People were riding bikes a long time before they came out with all the instrumentation. But I just got a new improved "computer" that actually shows temperature! Woo! I can see how it could be addictive. Give me another couple of years, and I'll be out there with a powermeter and GPS and be recording everything to 8 digits a thousand times a second, too.
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Old 12-18-11, 09:58 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by choteau View Post
I read posts about heart rate, cadence, gearing, speed, bike computers, etc. Based on my experience: if my chest hurts = my heart rate is too high, if I can't breathe = I'm spinning too fast, if my knees hurt = I'm pushing too high a gear, I honestly can't tell the difference of .25 mph, and I'd rather see where I'm riding and look at things other than another computer screen. Tim
You have spoken great truth.

In a week or two i'll follow it up with a thread entitled "What business do recreational riders have doing interval training?"

If you 're a racer all that power meter stuff might make sense (although the Luddite in me doubts that, even), but for a recreational rider it seems like a waste of money.

I shelled out $75 for a ANT+ dongle for my iPhone. If I'm pedaling so hard I need to see what my heart rate is doing, I'm usually suffering too much to pay attention to it. It was a waste of money.
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Old 12-18-11, 10:00 AM   #4
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+1 Too many people forget to enjoy the ride.
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Old 12-18-11, 10:05 AM   #5
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The only reason I'd care about my watt output..would be if I'm powering a light bulb!
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Old 12-18-11, 10:12 AM   #6
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Based on my experience: if my chest hurts = my heart rate is too high, if I can't breathe = I'm spinning too fast, if my knees hurt = I'm pushing too high a gear,
You can probably tell when it's raining just by sticking your nose out the door too, can't you? Me too.

I like a computer to show me distance. Knowing speed, and maybe top speed, is fun for its wow factor. Otherwise, my old steel bikes ride just fine, thank you, and the high-quality engine still hasn't quite adjusted to the bump from 2x5 gearing to 2x6.
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Old 12-18-11, 10:23 AM   #7
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Based on my experience: if my chest hurts = my heart rate is too high, if I can't breathe = I'm spinning too fast, if my knees hurt = I'm pushing too high a gear,
To my RN mind, 'chest hurts'=chest pain=bad cardiac stuff happening. Of course, shortness of breath can also be a sign of bad pulmonary/cardiac stuff but is perfectly normal on a hard climb up a steep grade.
But, I don't recall experiencing what I would describe as my chest hurting while cycling. How would you describe the discomfort? How about others' experience/descriptions of this kind of distress that would seem be a result of pushing too hard?
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Old 12-18-11, 10:33 AM   #8
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Blasphemer! All datum must be gathered, collated, graphed and analyzed! (and shared, if it's really, really good...or just better than someone else's)

OK, admittedly, I do engage in some of that foolishness. I toyed with heartrate stuff when I was training for a marathon a few years ago, but I've gotten out of that. I do like capture distances - something I started doing so I know when to replace my running shoes...I just migrated it to the bike stuff, as well...
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Old 12-18-11, 10:35 AM   #9
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I've become less and less interested in data from individual rides, and have not even bothered to install computers on the last few bikes I built.
But, what interests me more these days is total accumulated mileage, (or kilometerage) on specific parts and components so for that purpose, I find bike computers most useful.
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Old 12-18-11, 10:36 AM   #10
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To my RN mind, 'chest hurts'=chest pain=bad cardiac stuff happening.
I'd be remiss not to second that.

I tell a cardiologist friend I routinely ride out in the middle of nowhere and I pedal so hard going up hills I think I'm going to puke.

He has me scheduled for a stress echo. If I had an ounce of sense I'd get it done.

But I AM A CYCLIST.
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Old 12-18-11, 11:08 AM   #11
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one or two summers ago I was heading back from a rather long ride with some friends and the heat had hit us a bit harder than expected. I had hydrated and taken a few extra breaks but after climbing a short hill and decending the other side I suddenly felt a bit tired. Looked at MY HR monitor and noticed it was a bit high. I didn't feel all that bad just a bit weak. After about 1/2 mile on level ground my HR hadn't dropped any. Still didn't feel bad only a bit weak. Pulled up to a stop light and MY HR was still high and it was only then I noticed I wasn't sweating. We found a shady place and poured water over me to cool me down and I got a ride in a truck back to the starting place for our group ride. It was the beginning of heat exhaustion. I only caught it early because I was concerned with my HR reading. Yes I use one and no my chest didn't hurt even with a high HR. But that is just me.
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Old 12-18-11, 11:26 AM   #12
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Choteau,

Exactly!
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Old 12-18-11, 11:41 AM   #13
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The BF is an enthusiast’s board. 80% of the talk/advice could be classified as fetish, obsessive, and neurotic. Don't take it seriously.

Of course, ranting about it is even more bizzare..which I’ll do too often. At least with Bicycle Mag the drive force is more logical: sell as much stuff to "cyclists" as humanly possible.

Ride on.
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Old 12-18-11, 11:47 AM   #14
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I have ridden for years. I have never had aspirations to being anything other than a recreational cyclist. Well, sort of, I trained with a race team for awhile. I realized that if I wanted to be successful as a racer, that I would have to get very structured and disciplined in my training. I rode quite a bit. But I have always ridden the way I "felt like" riding on any particular day. It struck me that I already had a job and having a part time unpaid job as a competitive athelete just did not seem to make a whole bunch of sense.

There is a local club that I had ridden in. I used to ride with the "A" riders. Virtually all of the "A" riders I rode with are out of cycling and have been for years. Many of them have gotten way out of shape and gained piles of weight. The "A" rides were big contests to these people and they really wanted to "win" or something. I always felt good about riding well. But I have always loved cycling for its own sake. There were some other riders like me in that old fast bunch and the ones who cared less about competition all seem to be still riding.

I am not saying that competition is bad. If that is what floats your boat, have a blast. But there is a point where riding for the joy of riding and seeing the scenery has a place also.
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Old 12-18-11, 11:58 AM   #15
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Good point.

The time that Garmin data, etc makes sense is to judge what my fitness level MAY be compared to other riders on any given group ride. I was looking over my Strada data where you can dissect out certain segments pretty easily. My 'favorite' loop has a ft./mile ratio of 66, which in this area qualifies as 'moderately hilly'. It's a 5 mile loop. If I can ride it at 14-16 MPH (which I've never done, BTW, particularly on my bent) for 3-4 loops I really should be able to hang with the B club rides.

I realize the above paragraph might have moved me from 'Luddite purist' to 'typical BF fetishmonger'.

Oh well.
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Old 12-18-11, 12:32 PM   #16
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I ride occasionally with other riders and I do not enjoy it. They have a competitive edge to them that I lack. I do not worry about it as I go at my pace- do the hills how I want to and get the ride done with some energy to spare.

However I do use a Computer and Heart rate monitor. The computer will tell me how many miles I have done and as it is a Garmin-It will also tell me Amount climbed- degree of climb and average speed. I use that to gauge how "Fit" I am for future reference. The heart monitor and I like to do a ride with a purpose in mind. As such I like to keep within my working zone which is between 130 and 140 for most of the ride.Problem is- 120 and 130 sometimes don't feel much different so I use it to check that I am in the zone. Similarly- I try not to exceed my HR unless there is a hill involved. As soon as I start exceeding 150 then I back off a bit- unless it is a hill. Too many miles above my working zone and I will be cutting the mileage.

I am in your camp where I do not worry about doing a ride as fast as I can- I keep within limits on the flat and up hills but downhill and everything goes by the board. I don't want to see how high i can get the heart rate- as long it is high enough is fine. I use cycling for enjoyment and if that means viewing the scenery then that is what I do. on the majority of my rides.
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Old 12-18-11, 02:09 PM   #17
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A "ditto" thread many times over
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Old 12-18-11, 02:26 PM   #18
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I use an HRM but not so much for any speed training or trying to be in any one riding group. My leukemia has also produced chronic anemia and my hemoglobin is always low. Because of that, I don't always get oxygenated as well as I should, on a cellular level. Watching my HRM and my respirations helps me determine ahead of time if my body is heading for a crash when I'm on my 50+ mile rides.

Edit: I do use a bike computer but mainly for distance, even though my computer has cadence.
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Old 12-18-11, 02:33 PM   #19
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Well, I say record what you want. Some people really enjoy statistical analysis. I see it as a harmless mental exercise, kinda like crossword puzzles.

I have a cheapie computer and record mileage and times. I have no idea what my cadence is. I go by feel. If the pedals are getting to hard to push shift down, too light shift up. But I'm mainly a commuter with some recreational riding on the weekends.
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Old 12-18-11, 02:47 PM   #20
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Well, I say record what you want. Some people really enjoy statistical analysis. I see it as a harmless mental exercise, kinda like crossword puzzles.
+1. I haven't used a bike computer in years but I ride with others who use gps, powermeters and all types of electronics. There's nothing wrong with it and sometimes it"s fun to discuss data.
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Old 12-18-11, 02:48 PM   #21
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I do use a simple bike computer...rather low end one, but I mainly use it so I can keep track of my progress. I don't graph it nor even jot it down. But, I do see your complaint about looking down at the computer too much. I just glance down every 10 or so minutes(probably more often than that and can't admit it to myself, )

If I didn't have a bike computer, how could I brag that my fastest overall avg speed over a 20 mile ride was 17.3 mph once while riding a comfort bike.

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Old 12-18-11, 03:13 PM   #22
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I read posts about heart rate, cadence, gearing, speed, bike computers, etc. Based on my experience: if my chest hurts = my heart rate is too high, if I can't breathe = I'm spinning too fast, if my knees hurt = I'm pushing too high a gear, I honestly can't tell the difference of .25 mph, and I'd rather see where I'm riding and look at things other than another computer screen. Tim
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Old 12-18-11, 03:40 PM   #23
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Here we go again. To keep the popcorn flowing, I'll jump in with a "Who the heck are you to judge whether those of us who use computers are having fun?" Guess what... we data addicts are having fun, or we wouldn't be doing it. Oh, and we can still see the sights and watch where we are going! Do you look at your dashboard every now and then when you are driving a car? I suspect so. Anyway, enjoy your cycling, however you choose to pursue it... the more people cycling the better, and the more WAYS people cycle the better.
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Old 12-18-11, 04:20 PM   #24
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I am glad data addicts have fun.
I am glad cf frame and duraace riders have fun.
I am glad folks with $10K of bike stuff have fun.

I ride my aluminum bike with cheap wheels and primitive computer and have fun.

Fun is the point! Unless of course, you are a cyclist (I shall now go ride the hill and puke, so I can be a cyclist too).
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Old 12-18-11, 04:27 PM   #25
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if my chest hurts = my heart rate is getting to about the right place
if I can't breathe = I'm working hard enough
if my knees hurt = I'm over 50, my knees hurt when I watch TV
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