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Watts. What?

Old 08-05-16, 08:46 AM
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bruce19
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Watts. What?

OK so I know what watts is but I never have tried to track mine. Until now. Apparently Strava, which I joined last season, gives estimated watts for each ride you do. Today's 6.4 mi. TT showed an estimated average of 162 watts for me. I'm just wondering how that compares to others who are age 70 or thereabouts. Just curious to see where I'm at compared to my "peer group."
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Old 08-05-16, 08:50 AM
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I can sure feel them and feel when I'm able to put out more.
I ride for calories, but don't measure those either.
40 miles is about a days' worth of calories.
Generally keep track of miles for the week.

My riding buddy has suffered ataxia before and we had to lay him down. So he rides on his cardio monitor, and if I ever want to know specifically how many calories, distance, climb height, etc. I ask him.
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Old 08-05-16, 08:57 AM
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If you pay for premium, Strava breaks it down into age groups.

The power estimate is inaccurate IMO, but more accurate for steep grades uphill.

FWIW I wouldnt be unhappy with your 162 watts at 70 years old.
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Old 08-05-16, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
If you pay for premium, Strava breaks it down into age groups.

The power estimate is inaccurate IMO, but more accurate for steep grades uphill.

FWIW I wouldnt be unhappy with your 162 watts at 70 years old.
I am a premium member but I've never really looked for that category. I'll go try right now. Thanks. FWIW, I'm not happy or unhappy. I was just wondering where my fitness is for my age group.
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Old 08-05-16, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
OK so I know what watts is but I never have tried to track mine. Until now. Apparently Strava, which I joined last season, gives estimated watts for each ride you do. Today's 6.4 mi. TT showed an estimated average of 162 watts for me. I'm just wondering how that compares to others who are age 70 or thereabouts. Just curious to see where I'm at compared to my "peer group."
I'm using Strava as well. I'm 73 so I guess I'm a peer. I looked at my two most recent rides, one 24+ miles and Strava lists two wattage readings. The first was some Dr. Coggan's formula and that one was 155w. The estimated Power Average one listed was 134w. One the other ride of about 16 mi. the wattages were 164 and 139 respectively. I have no idea what the difference is between the two listed readings though.
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Old 08-05-16, 10:30 AM
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Thanks.
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Old 08-05-16, 01:42 PM
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Looking at watts seems useless unless you want to spend the money to actually measure it and incorporate it into your training. Even if you have invested in all the equipment to measure your wattage, it takes time (learning curve) to incorporate it into your training.


I just don't see how it can be useful: https://support.strava.com/hc/en-us/...measures-Power


Does Strava even consider Threshold Power? A cruicial factor in all this...
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Old 08-05-16, 01:53 PM
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Hi. Recently installed a power meter and thanks to your question compared the power meter to Strava for the same rides.

No surprise Strava average watts per ride is about 23% higher than my meter or 159 Strava avg compared to 129.

Sorry
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Old 08-05-16, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Miami Biker View Post
Hi. Recently installed a power meter and thanks to your question compared the power meter to Strava for the same rides.

No surprise Strava average watts per ride is about 23% higher than my meter or 159 Strava avg compared to 129.

Sorry
Which type of power meter did you install?
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Old 08-05-16, 02:04 PM
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What good are watts? Why don't you just keep track of your physical improvements and how much more you can do?


Watts are for stereos. You can only get so much out of your bike and it depends on what you can input as much as how the bike performs.


I don't need a computer gizmo to tell me I just made it up Hospital Hill without stopping or walking it. I just pedal and get lots of water and stop when I need to.
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Old 08-05-16, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
What good are watts? Why don't you just keep track of your physical improvements and how much more you can do?


Watts are for stereos. You can only get so much out of your bike and it depends on what you can input as much as how the bike performs.


I don't need a computer gizmo to tell me I just made it up Hospital Hill without stopping or walking it. I just pedal and get lots of water and stop when I need to.
Pretty much what I do. Beyond the most basic data, time, distance, climbing, etc. the other data is all relative to me. Whether is it absolutely accurate, really don't know or care. I have a couple of benchmark routes laid out that I go back to from time to time to see improvement... or not.
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Old 08-05-16, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
What good are watts? Why don't you just keep track of your physical improvements and how much more you can do?


Watts are for stereos. You can only get so much out of your bike and it depends on what you can input as much as how the bike performs.


I don't need a computer gizmo to tell me I just made it up Hospital Hill without stopping or walking it. I just pedal and get lots of water and stop when I need to.
Personally, I don't use watts to measure my performance; however, I have looked into it (out of curiosity) and I can see the advantage if one is really into training. I do have a regular computer and I do wear a H/R monitor and no matter what metric you measure there are varibles that can throw it off, for example Heart Rate is pretty good, but for anyone that has used a monitor for any length of time you soon realize that there are a lot of variables, such as one week running at 140 bpm avg hr would seem rediculously easy and another week it could seem like a descent w/o. Same with all the other metrics.


However, with power, you remove all those subjective reading and it becomes much more objective. Good videos on youtube...Training with wattage reading would be the best way to pace yourself, especially for a long term training program.
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Old 08-05-16, 02:18 PM
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I have to get groceries and get about the town, it's not all that strategic. I'm still too fat as well. And nobody is going to come to see all the blinky blue lights on my stereo gear, I have to go out and buy stuff to meet the nice married women and have some sort of social life anyway.


Ain't a one of them going to follow me home and straighten me out anyhow, I always say, but it beats being stuck in here all day, other than my air conditioning.


If you have to keep more records than Mr. Scott's engineering log for the Enterprise perhaps you have too much going on. Most of your conditioning should be EXTERNAL and then you can apply it to cycling. The bike itself was designed to take your motion and make it easier than running, so you aren't going to put all your effort into conditioning solely with the bike.
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Old 08-05-16, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
Which type of power meter did you install?
A Quark Elsa RS.

FYI have about a dozen rides with the meter at average of 40.4 miles per trip. Average speed of 19MPH with my group.

Average Normalized Power 143 which is more telling than average power. Intensity average 82% (effort compared to functional threshold), so not easy rides but not super hard either. Highest ride 87% and lowest 73% which was yesterday when limped home after a flat far out from starting point.

Hope this answers some questions. Oh yes, I'm 71.
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Old 08-05-16, 03:14 PM
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Some of you are unsure of a meter's value. I was too for the past 2 years.

It was my coach who pressured me to get one. So I did and now I've learned it was really for him so he could help me train better. Oh well.

There is some value when riding to measure your effort. Knowing your functional threshold tells you how hard (not how easy) your can really ride in an hour.

Watts is the only objective measure of your effort taking into account hills up and down, wind in front or behind, riding alone or in a group etc.

My coach uses watts to measure effort, progress and to build up my functional threshold.

Measuring watts and cadence says a lot. Adding heart rate and speed is somewhat important. Ultimately speed is a by product of watts and cadence.

Still learning more about power meters. Guess I'm glad have it now as definitely getting stronger with it these past 6 weeks.
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Old 08-05-16, 03:32 PM
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Measuring watts via estimate algorithms as on Strava or other apps is as accurate and useful as taking calories used as an accurate figure on similar computerised algorithms.

If you want to use watts in your training program get a power meter and do it properly.
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Old 08-05-16, 04:29 PM
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I still have no clue what watts are for here. Geek Yogurt as far as I know. Please 'splain.
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Old 08-05-16, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
I still have no clue what watts are for here. Geek Yogurt as far as I know. Please 'splain.
+1
Yes I did google it.
Seeing how my bikes are vintage and I'm vintage I'm not hip to what is watts.
So correct me if I'm wrong. Is it possible for someone on a 150 lb bike and and is able to put out a high wattage number, can he still be slow? Or what if someone has a light bike and put out average watts can he be fast?
If the answer is yes, then I officially don't care about watts.
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Old 08-05-16, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
I still have no clue what watts are for here. Geek Yogurt as far as I know. Please 'splain.
It's simply a measure of power.

1 horsepower is about 750 watts.
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Old 08-05-16, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
It's simply a measure of power.

1 horsepower is about 750 watts.
Correcto. +1. Ditto

A watt is a valid measure of effort. In this case the amount of effort to propel a bicycle. Be it a 150 pound bike or 15 pound bike, it measures the effort to move the bike and is relative primarily to you the rider although people often measure watts per kilogram of weight. (Don't ask, please)

Another example is a Tour de France rider will use 400+ watts for the duration of a stage. The more watts each rider puts out, the faster they ride and the lower their time. The road, wind, bike weight and distance are about the same for all riders. The difference is how many Watts they generate (with the help of their team).

The pros focus on watts becuz watts are the greatest single measure of cycling ability.
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Old 08-05-16, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
It's simply a measure of power.

1 horsepower is about 750 watts.
So, my last ride resulted in me producing 18.5% of a horsepower.
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Old 08-05-16, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
I am a premium member but I've never really looked for that category. I'll go try right now. Thanks. FWIW, I'm not happy or unhappy. I was just wondering where my fitness is for my age group.
By not unhappy with it, I mean that it would be a pretty good number for people in your age group.
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Old 08-05-16, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
It's simply a measure of power.

1 horsepower is about 750 watts.

But you're no horse, Wilbur.
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Old 08-06-16, 06:26 AM
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Training using wattage is all about measuring your exertion. Nothing else will tell you how much exertion you are putting out, definitely not cadence nor speed. H/R is the next best way to judge exertion, but even that is not good enough since it such a great variable. If you train by wattage you have much less of a chance of burning yourself out and causing injury. Racing is all about pacing yourself, so you save your legs for when you need them and power meters are a great tool for that.
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Old 08-06-16, 08:53 AM
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Watts is work .. those fancy power meter cranks are a direct reading of your effort in that unit of measure.
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