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Is my watts/weight ratio any good for never cycling before?

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Is my watts/weight ratio any good for never cycling before?

Old 06-30-12, 01:36 AM
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Maroochy Guy
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Is my watts/weight ratio any good for never cycling before?

Ok...just a little bit of info about me, I'm an injured runner who's been using the exercise bike at the gym for the last couple of weeks while my achilles hopefully gets better. Ive been paying close attention to the watts output as it's a good figure to look at to see how I'm going from workout to workout, especially the average watts at the end of the session. I googled 'watts' and 'cycling' and it seems like its a pretty important measure of cycling ability. I weigh 79kg and I was able to average 365 watts for a 25 minute session, going a little beyond my lactate threshold, so I couldn't of held it for too much longer. Just doing the math it looks like I'm producing 4.62 watts/kg. Ive never even considered cycling as a sport because I love running so much, but does this figure indicate any natural ability? The reason I ask is that I'm a good runner, but not an awesome runner (18:30 for 5km). Does this watts/kg indicate more ability than my running form? Thanks.
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Old 06-30-12, 02:12 AM
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4.62 watts/kg for 25 minutes is a very good power output, especially for someone who's never cycled before. I believe that a recreational cyclist with your weight is considered to be in good physical condition if he can push 240 watts for an hour. However, I'm not sure if you can trust wattage figures of the exercise bike. You need to do a road test involving a real bicycle and a hill.
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Old 06-30-12, 11:45 AM
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We have a popular local mountain where people often go to practice (Palomar Mountain). It's 12 miles up the grade that averages 7%. Median time on Strava is around 1:30 (equivalent to 230 W @ 175 lbs). To get into the top 10%, you need to do it in 1:13 (290 W @ 175 lbs). Last month, two guys finally managed to complete the distance in 57:35 and 59:31 (360 W and 380 W @ 175 lbs).

Then a week ago some guy rode there and got to the top in 51:15 (360 W, 140 lbs). I think that KOM will stand for a while. Right now that guy is in Europe, competing in TdF.

Incidentally, this brings me to my second observation. There are good 175 lb recreational riders, but I don't think that there are any 175 lb pro cyclists. The heaviest I've seen in Wikipedia articles @ such was 160 lbs. The lightest was 130 lbs.

Last edited by hamster; 06-30-12 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 06-30-12, 11:52 AM
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ewang chart

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Old 06-30-12, 11:57 AM
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I wonder how accurate those exercise bikes are.
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Old 06-30-12, 03:28 PM
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According to strava my 5 min power and weight converted to a watts\kg is equivalent to a UCI Div III pro. Haha...not!
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Old 06-30-12, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by hamster View Post
Incidentally, this brings me to my second observation. There are good 175 lb recreational riders, but I don't think that there are any 175 lb pro cyclists. The heaviest I've seen in Wikipedia articles @ such was 160 lbs. The lightest was 130 lbs.
Magnus Backstedt won Paris-Roubaix at about 210lbs. Indurain won five TOurs de France at 175lbs

EDIT: more topically, Fabian Cancellara weighs 180lbs

Last edited by chasm54; 06-30-12 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 06-30-12, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
According to strava my 5 min power and weight converted to a watts\kg is equivalent to a UCI Div III pro. Haha...not!
And I am a Cat 4 (more like a Fat 4). Unless you have a powertap or other power measuring device, the Strava numbers are a joke.
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Old 06-30-12, 06:46 PM
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A very funny joke indeed.
<--cat 4 as well.
No power meter for me.
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Old 06-30-12, 07:49 PM
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Thanks everyone for your responses. Going off the chart it looks like I'm category 1 level, which makes my numbers look a little unrealistic for never having ridden before. It looks like the only way I'm going to know how good or bad I am is to buy a bike, enter a race and see how I go.
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Old 06-30-12, 07:50 PM
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Chris Hoy, multiple time world champion and most successful Olympic cyclist of all time, is 200lbs.
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Old 06-30-12, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Maroochy Guy View Post
Thanks everyone for your responses. Going off the chart it looks like I'm category 1 level, which makes my numbers look a little unrealistic for never having ridden before. It looks like the only way I'm going to know how good or bad I am is to buy a bike, enter a race and see how I go.
That may not provide you the answer you need immediately. Bike racing is a combination of abilities.
However, I would encourage you to give it a try as it is amazingly fun.
Then again perhaps you will take to it quicker than I. It seems that I need to make every mistake in the book before I start moving up in the standings.
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Old 06-30-12, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
Magnus Backstedt won Paris-Roubaix at about 210lbs. Indurain won five TOurs de France at 175lbs

EDIT: more topically, Fabian Cancellara weighs 180lbs
Shows how much I know about pro cycling.

On the other hand, in the top 10 in general classification in TdF 2011, one guy was 160 lbs and all others were 150 or less. So, heavy pro cyclists exist but they don't seem to be common.

Chris Hoy, multiple time world champion and most successful Olympic cyclist of all time, is 200lbs.
Chris Hoy is a track cyclist.
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Old 06-30-12, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by hamster View Post
Chris Hoy is a track cyclist.
...aaaaaaand?
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Old 07-01-12, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
...aaaaaaand?
uuuuuuuuuuh, track sprinters race for a matter of seconds so it behooves them to be huge and powerful, unlike road races which is a totally different discipline
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Old 07-01-12, 10:56 AM
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There are no hills on velodromes.
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Old 07-01-12, 02:21 PM
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Even in road cycling racing there are multiple disciplines. Heavy guys can kick arse in crits but generally not in hill climbs but there is always an exception to a generalization.

We are getting a new outdoor velodrome in my area. I can't wait to try track cycling.
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Old 07-02-12, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by hamster View Post
Incidentally, this brings me to my second observation. There are good 175 lb recreational riders, but I don't think that there are any 175 lb pro cyclists. The heaviest I've seen in Wikipedia articles @ such was 160 lbs. The lightest was 130 lbs.
Eddy Merckx has to be at least 200 lbs and I'm sure he's still pretty good

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Old 07-04-12, 02:45 AM
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Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
uuuuuuuuuuh, track sprinters race for a matter of seconds so it behooves them to be huge and powerful, unlike road races which is a totally different discipline
The OP didn't say road racing pro cyclists (though he was shown to be wrong about that, too), he said simply "pro cyclists", and he's just plain wrong about that.
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Old 07-04-12, 05:50 AM
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touche my good man.
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