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Power Meter Users [but over 60]

Old 01-17-13, 03:00 PM
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gpshay
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Power Meter Users [but over 60]

I am 61 and just installed a Power Tap Pro on my road bike .. I was wondering if there where any other 60+ year olds out here that is using a power meter and if so what Wattage can they maintain and for how long .. I cant find any charts or graphs that dont seem to pertain to racers .. thanks if anyone can help .. Glenn
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Old 01-17-13, 03:07 PM
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Good luck with the non-racer part of that. Most of us that spend the bucks, time and hassle on power measurement do so because we are racing and want our training to be as effective as possible. And comparing numbers falls into what is called the "e-wang" category. It's similar to "average speed" threads.
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Old 01-17-13, 04:20 PM
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I'm over 60 an use a power meter mostly indoors. See charts in the Velo Garage thread. I do not race. Power numbers will be harder to compare for outdoor rides.
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Old 01-17-13, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
Good luck with the non-racer part of that. Most of us that spend the bucks, time and hassle on power measurement do so because we are racing and want our training to be as effective as possible. And comparing numbers falls into what is called the "e-wang" category. It's similar to "average speed" threads.
Amen... I am over 60 and have power on my road, track and time trial bikes. Why do you care about others's power numbers. Some riders are very aero and light and do not need much power. Some riders are big, heavy and strong and can generate a lot of power but may no be very fast. Also, duration is the key metric combined with power. Some examples are 5 second power, 30 second, 1 minute, 5 minute, 10 minute and 60 minute. The maximum power one can produce for 60 minutes is call the functional threshold power (FTP) and it is the basis for setting power zones. Riders that have higher FTPs tend to be good at time trials and hill climbs while those that have great 1 minute and 30 second power with the ability to recover are good at criteriums but may have relatively poor FTPs.
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Old 01-17-13, 07:50 PM
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With all due respect - why does it matter any more or any less ?
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Old 01-17-13, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by gpshay View Post
I am 61 and just installed a Power Tap Pro on my road bike .. I was wondering if there where any other 60+ year olds out here that is using a power meter and if so what Wattage can they maintain and for how long .. I cant find any charts or graphs that dont seem to pertain to racers .. thanks if anyone can help .. Glenn
If you want to use a power meter, get a copy of the book "Training and Racing with a Power Meter" by Allen and Coggan. Just forget about the "racing" part. There are other similar books, but this one is as good as any. It will explain what you need to know. I use one, but only to compare one day's effort to others. Also, I'm developing a software application that, among other things, analyzes power data.
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Old 01-17-13, 10:24 PM
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Aside from the training for racing aspects (or just trying to optimize your training to be generically faster) your FTP can be used to estimate your time on climbs... There's a link to a climb calculator for Bay Area climbs that I've found to be amazingly accurate. I'll try to track it down and link it here later tonight.

Here's the link I mentioned: power calc

Last edited by Esteban58; 01-18-13 at 10:59 AM. Reason: added power calc link
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Old 01-18-13, 07:40 AM
  #8  
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About that wattage---

I do not have a power meter and have no intention of getting one But technology has overtaken my wishes. The Spinning machines at the gym do not have a speedometer- calorie count is there if you look for it and the Heart rate count can be interfered with by other Heart strap users but there is a Measure showing all the time of Watts. All the instructors advise you to look at wattage- either what you are putting out now or the total that is showing for the session.

I have found it very useful to keep an eye on as it will tell me how hard I am working and when I get more used to it- if I am slacking or overworking on that section of the lesson. It does not matter to me what watts the other riders are showing as we are all of different grades and capabilities but I can see watt measurement becoming more common as a fitness parameter for us mere mortals.

As most Power meter users are in the "Race" category I would not expect to get anywhere their power output but the one question the OP has not had answered is what output do you show on your meters. It would give a useful guide to how much both he and I need to improve before we do that 50 mile TT next year

Any offers to show your wattage to the world So others can walk around with a smile on their face- or even show them how much they have to improve?
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Old 01-18-13, 09:08 AM
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[QUOTE=stapfam;15170260]About that wattage---

I do not have a power meter and have no intention of getting one But technology has overtaken my wishes. The Spinning machines at the gym do not have a speedometer- calorie count is there if you look for it and the Heart rate count can be interfered with by other Heart strap users but there is a Measure showing all the time of Watts. All the instructors advise you to look at wattage- either what you are putting out now or the total that is showing for the session.

I have found it very useful to keep an eye on as it will tell me how hard I am working and when I get more used to it- if I am slacking or overworking on that section of the lesson. It does not matter to me what watts the other riders are showing as we are all of different grades and capabilities but I can see watt measurement becoming more common as a fitness parameter for us mere mortals.


As most Power meter users are in the "Race" category I would not expect to get anywhere their power output but the one question the OP has not had answered is what output do you show on your meters. It would give a useful guide to how much both he and I need to improve before we do that 50 mile TT next year

Any offers to show your wattage to the world So others can walk around with a smile on their face- or even show them how much they have to improve?[
/QUOTE]

And why is that?
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Old 01-18-13, 09:41 AM
  #10  
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You need to understand what the wattage charts are about. They're not intended to show you where you stand up in relation to others. They're intended to be a tool to show you how you standup to yourself.

By looking at profiles of FTP (1hour power) 5 minute power, 1 minute power, and 10 second power, and comparing the relative dispersion, you can get an idea of your strengths and weaknesses, based on which ones are relatively higher or lower.

From there, you can train your weaknesses, and race your strengths.


Also, I don't think age would be much of a useful metric. I'm 53. I know there are 65 year olds with higher FTP's than mine. I also know there are 30 year olds with lower FTP's than mine.
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Old 01-18-13, 11:29 AM
  #11  
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Sir your info is exactly what i am trying to find .. I believe we fall in the same catagory .. a non racer but one who still likes to push themselves to get a bit faster without really hurting ourselves .. I ride mostly indoors on my Compu trainer and ride at about 120 to 180 watts sustainable .. when I get into to 220 -240 watts my Heart rate will reach 158-162 obviously not for very long though .. I would love to see more of your charts and those of the other guys I saw riding in your garage .. thanks again Glenn in Phx.
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Old 01-18-13, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
You need to understand what the wattage charts are about. They're not intended to show you where you stand up in relation to others. They're intended to be a tool to show you how you standup to yourself.

By looking at profiles of FTP (1hour power) 5 minute power, 1 minute power, and 10 second power, and comparing the relative dispersion, you can get an idea of your strengths and weaknesses, based on which ones are relatively higher or lower.

From there, you can train your weaknesses, and race your strengths.



Also, I don't think age would be much of a useful metric. I'm 53. I know there are 65 year olds with higher FTP's than mine. I also know there are 30 year olds with lower FTP's than mine.
Exactly why I would like to have a power meter.

That said is there any difference, besides price and obviously the wire bit, between a wired and ANT+? I suspect not but asking the experts.
Wired ones can be had on Fleabay fairly cheap.
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Old 01-18-13, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by gpshay View Post
Sir your info is exactly what i am trying to find .. I believe we fall in the same catagory .. a non racer but one who still likes to push themselves to get a bit faster without really hurting ourselves .. I ride mostly indoors on my Compu trainer and ride at about 120 to 180 watts sustainable .. when I get into to 220 -240 watts my Heart rate will reach 158-162 obviously not for very long though .. I would love to see more of your charts and those of the other guys I saw riding in your garage .. thanks again Glenn in Phx.
Here is a website of Computrainer folks who do a weekly time trial and submit their results:

https://sites.google.com/site/comput...-race-league-1

And here is a spreadsheet of results. You can see there the power that people of varying ages can generate over different time ranges.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...hl=en_US#gid=0

If you've got a Computrainer, don't be shy. Join in!
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Old 01-18-13, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by gpshay View Post
Sir your info is exactly what i am trying to find .. I believe we fall in the same catagory .. a non racer but one who still likes to push themselves to get a bit faster without really hurting ourselves .. I ride mostly indoors on my Compu trainer and ride at about 120 to 180 watts sustainable .. when I get into to 220 -240 watts my Heart rate will reach 158-162 obviously not for very long though .. I would love to see more of your charts and those of the other guys I saw riding in your garage .. thanks again Glenn in Phx.
Glenn,
Only one other guy in the VG uses a power meter and he is a pup of 35. I think he can hold about 80-100w more than me...why I can't hold his wheel very long riding hard. All of my rides are public on Strava and you can see power numbers and graphs there. I'm not the same every day and don't make my best power on every ride.

App.strava.com/athletes/478873

cheers
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Old 01-20-13, 12:42 PM
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IMHO...a power meter is an indispensable tool if you are training for competition. If you aren't, it's an expensive toy (even used). You can get very useful metrics from a heart rate monitor, and if you use Strava, the power estimations it provides are fairly close. As for functional threshold power, it is individual. I've learned that there are those with silly high FTP numbers who can't sprint, and those with low FTP's who regularly do well in road races and crits.

Me? I have a power meter (PowerTap), because I have a coach and I race. My FTP is relatively low, even compared with other women my age. However, I get along quite well, thank you. Oh, and I'm over 60!
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Old 01-20-13, 04:04 PM
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Whether Strava's estimates of avg power are accurate or not (and they don't seem terribly accurate to me), just knowing the average power number for a ride isn't worth all that much. And as far as I can see this is all that Strava can give you unless you input data from a power meter. And HR can be way more useful when paired with power data. To find out if I am a better rider this year than last I don't think I could do that from HR alone.

I love using my power meter. Especially on the trainer....even though I don't race.

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Old 01-21-13, 07:09 AM
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Glenn - I'm 61 as well, and I've got a Powertap on my bike. I've also got a coach, a training plan, and a set of goals. The goals came first, then the coach and the training plan, then (at her recommendation) the Powertap.

My recommendation is that you sit down with a cup of coffee and come up with a quantifiable set of goals for this year. An example of a quantifiable goal would be something like, "Complete the full El Tour de Tuscon in 6:30". Once that's done, amble on over to your local bookstore and pick up a book on training. It's true that most of them are oriented towards racing, but the basics remain true for non-racers. My recommendation would be The Time-Crunched Cyclist by by Chris Carmichael. IMO, it's the most easily understood of the training books out there, and specifically addresses the needs of non-racers as well as of racers. It's got the simplest test to determine where you are power-wise.

Once you've done that, you need to stick to your plan. Work at it steadily and consistently. You're 61, this ain't news to you.

Finally - you live in Phoenix (today's weather - 45 for a low, 79 for a high, 19% humidity) and you ride mostly inside on a Computrainer? You oughta have your head examined!
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Old 01-21-13, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
comparing numbers falls into what is called the "e-wang" category. It's similar to "average speed" threads.
+1

However, I'm continually surprised by the standard advice regularly dispensed on internet forums that "Power Meters are for Racers only; they're a Waste Of Money if you Don't Race"

I would think the folks who could most benefit from a Power Meter are Cyclists Who Do Cooperative Group Rides.

Racers had been training and winning for decades before there were power meters. But for folks who have poor proprioception there is no way to convey the concept (much less the proper execution) of an Even Effort Ride without a power meter. Cyclists that like to go out for an energetic ride with friends where everyone wants to get a decent workout, take advantage of the benefits of pacelining, keep the group together...and yet often find themselves riding off the front, or getting dropped on decents... are prime candidates for a Power Meter.
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Old 01-21-13, 01:01 PM
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Bob, are you thinking that everyone would try to maintain the same power, or that an individual would use the PM to make sure they keep the effort consistent? There is certainly value to the latter, though cadence works pretty well also: maintaining it when you take over the pull.
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Old 01-21-13, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
Bob, are you thinking that everyone would try to maintain the same power, or that an individual would use the PM to make sure they keep the effort consistent? There is certainly value to the latter, though cadence works pretty well also: maintaining it when you take over the pull.
Yeah, the latter, as an aid towards maintaining uniform effort, especially over varying terrain.

Cadence is a good trick for not surging when you take over the lead (digression: Bob Doppolino has a wonderful aphorism: "You don't take the lead, you inherit it.") but cadence doesn't really help a group maintain uniform effort if they're going up or down rollers...unless they're all also doing some Vulcan mind-meld trick and are shifting exactly the same too.
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