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Got a Power Meter. Have no idea what it means.

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Got a Power Meter. Have no idea what it means.

Old 05-27-24, 02:59 PM
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Got a Power Meter. Have no idea what it means.

So, for some reason, Canyon shipped me my Aeroad CF SL with a power meter. It was not spec'ed but it is there. So, I syncbed it and went for a ride. Over 9 miles it showed 120 watts average and 300 watts max. This was a moderate 13.5 mph run., I have no idea what that means or whether it means anything useful for a 78 yr old guy. Any insights?
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Old 05-27-24, 03:54 PM
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What brand Power Meter is it? If it is Shimano, don't worry about it, they are horrible and don't measure power correctly anyway...

Power Meter Article: https://www.technogym.com/us/newsroo...-how-it-works/
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Old 05-27-24, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by bruce19
So, for some reason, Canyon shipped me my Aeroad CF SL with a power meter. It was not spec'ed but it is there. So, I syncbed it and went for a ride. Over 9 miles it showed 120 watts average and 300 watts max. This was a moderate 13.5 mph run., I have no idea what that means or whether it means anything useful for a 78 yr old guy. Any insights?
Those numbers mean you are in great shape!
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Old 05-27-24, 04:41 PM
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It means you have begun down the slippery slope of power based training.

There is no going back. Enjoy the ride.
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Old 05-27-24, 04:43 PM
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Sell it or ignore it.
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Old 05-27-24, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by bruce19
Over 9 miles it showed 120 watts average and 300 watts max. This was a moderate 13.5 mph run., I have no idea what that means or whether it means anything useful for a 78 yr old guy. Any insights?
I advise people who get their first power meter to just do their ordinary rides at their normal pace for a little while -- maybe 10 rides or so. Record the data in a little notebook, but don't change anything that you normally do. Sprint if you want (everyone does), try to see how high you can go if you want (everyone does), think about what your average cruising speed is and how many watts that takes, climb a hill at your normal pace and see how much more power it takes to climb than to cruise on the flat, think about Tour de France riders who put out 6 watts/kg for an hour and be impressed. Anyway, don't change anything: you're just looking to set a baseline and, besides, you don't yet know enough to be changing anything. If, after 10 rides or so, you're still interested in figuring out what the data are telling you, come back and ask.
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Old 05-28-24, 04:01 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
It means you have begun down the slippery slope of power based training.

There is no going back. Enjoy the ride.
Exactly my fear.
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Old 05-28-24, 04:09 AM
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Originally Posted by RChung
I advise people who get their first power meter to just do their ordinary rides at their normal pace for a little while -- maybe 10 rides or so. Record the data in a little notebook, but don't change anything that you normally do. Sprint if you want (everyone does), try to see how high you can go if you want (everyone does), think about what your average cruising speed is and how many watts that takes, climb a hill at your normal pace and see how much more power it takes to climb than to cruise on the flat, think about Tour de France riders who put out 6 watts/kg for an hour and be impressed. Anyway, don't change anything: you're just looking to set a baseline and, besides, you don't yet know enough to be changing anything. If, after 10 rides or so, you're still interested in figuring out what the data are telling you, come back and ask.
During the past two weeks I've repeated this exact route about 6 times for my comparo of my 4 road bikes. Each one of those rides, despite different bikes, were done at 13.1 or13.2 mph. Not something I was aiming for. Only the last ride was with the power meter. One of the reasons it interests me at all is the aging process. Being 78, I want to see if what I am doing is helpful to aging well. Which is why I was curious about what those first numbers mean. Thanks for the info.
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Old 05-28-24, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by bruce19
During the past two weeks I've repeated this exact route about 6 times for my comparo of my 4 road bikes. Each one of those rides, despite different bikes, were done at 13.1 or13.2 mph. Not something I was aiming for. Only the last ride was with the power meter. One of the reasons it interests me at all is the aging process. Being 78, I want to see if what I am doing is helpful to aging well. Which is why I was curious about what those first numbers mean. Thanks for the info.
If you simply keep track of your average power during rides, it will give you an idea of your general cycling fitness over time. Its not that different to logging your average speed, except it isnt influenced so much by wind and road conditions or your bike spec.

You can use power data in many other ways too but I would start by simply logging your power and observe how it varies during a ride.
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Old 05-28-24, 06:59 AM
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If you want to use it as more than a curiosity, buy the book Training and Racing with a power meter by Allen and Coggan. At 78, and wanting to stay strong and healthy, you can use the data from the power meter, such as training stress, acute training load, and chronic training load to get stronger while also avoiding over training and illness and injury.

Some people love using such data, others find it totally boring. If you want the most out of the power meter, you need to understand what the data’s telling you and then apply that to your training.

of course there’s nothing wrong with just keeping it an idle curiosity..

Personally I outsource pouring over the data to a coach, so I don’t have to.
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Old 05-28-24, 07:02 AM
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Also, if you use power, and heart rate, by correlating power, hr, and perceived effort, you can learn more about your body’s response to training, and learn, when you should push through a bad day, and when you should pack it in and recover.
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Old 05-28-24, 09:06 AM
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I also prefer to correlate power and HR. If one does that for a while, especially on long rides, it gets interesting.
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Old 05-28-24, 11:20 AM
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At 78 years old, a true power based training regimen where you were taking full advantage of the data to could easily do more harm than good. I used power meters for many years but have now completely changed my daily riding regimen and goals in my later 60"s. If anything, I now use power just to tell myself when to back off. I would sell it or just use it like you watch your HR and speed.
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Old 05-28-24, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by bruce19
Exactly my fear.
No, it's great, you'll love it. Embrace the obsession.
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Old 05-28-24, 11:51 AM
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I've had a PM for the past 10-12 years. I really (!) like riding with one. But, I have NO interest in "training with power." I read the book. No doubt, I'd be faster if did what it prescribed. But, it means riding alone. I would much rather ride with my club.

One of the things I like about riding with power is that it's "pure." if you finish a ride with a 225 watt average in hilly, flat, solo, group, windy, calm, etc. conditions, it's still 225 watts. The power meter doesn't care if you pulled the entire time or hid in the back. I did a ride last week and averaged 24 mph. Okay, "I" didn't - the really fast group in which I never took a pull averaged 24 mph. A solo ride at 19 mph would have had a higher watt average.

If you regularly ride with a group, a PM is good tool for knowing what you need to be doing. Example: If I'm on the front of the line with my club, I'd better be over 350 watts or someone's going to yell "NEXT!" and only sorta be kidding. There've been times I thought I was killing it, I'd look down and see "265 w" and think "Well *$&@. I guess I don't have it today." and move off the front.
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Old 05-28-24, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by jrobe
At 78 years old, a true power based training regimen where you were taking full advantage of the data to could easily do more harm than good.
All the power meter does is provide data. It's up to the rider (or coach) to decide how to act on that data. If they choose to use it in a way that does more harm than good, it's no more the power meter's fault than a thermometer's if you choose to go out underdressed for the temperature and are too cold.
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Old 05-28-24, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by asgelle
All the power meter does is provide data. It's up to the rider (or coach) to decide how to act on that data. If they choose to use it in a way that does more harm than good, it's no more the power meter's fault than a thermometer's if you choose to go out underdressed for the temperature and are too cold.
That is a meaningless response. He asked what he should do with the data. Why don't you tell him what you think he should do with the data. I told him how most people use the data (following the book recommendations above) and that this may not be useful at age 78. Maybe you have a better idea.
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Old 05-28-24, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by jrobe
That is a meaningless response. He asked what he should do with the data. Why don't you tell him what you think he should do with the data. I told him how most people use the data (following the book recommendations above) and that this may not be useful at age 78. Maybe you have a better idea.
Sorry your feelings got hurt when I corrected your misleading statement, but it's hardly meaningless to point out misinformation.
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Old 05-28-24, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by asgelle
All the power meter does is provide data. It's up to the rider (or coach) to decide how to act on that data. If they choose to use it in a way that does more harm than good, it's no more the power meter's fault than a thermometer's if you choose to go out underdressed for the temperature and are too cold.
Moreover, the age is irrelevant.
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Old 05-28-24, 04:34 PM
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Arguably, having the data, and using it well is more important as we age. As you get older, it’s harder to recover, and easier to get sick and injured. So if you’re going to train, being smart in how you do it is more important.

Monitoring your training load can help in avoiding over doing it.
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Old 05-28-24, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by bruce19
During the past two weeks I've repeated this exact route about 6 times for my comparo of my 4 road bikes. Each one of those rides, despite different bikes, were done at 13.1 or13.2 mph. Not something I was aiming for. Only the last ride was with the power meter. One of the reasons it interests me at all is the aging process. Being 78, I want to see if what I am doing is helpful to aging well. Which is why I was curious about what those first numbers mean. Thanks for the info.
"Aging well"? Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light!
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Old 05-28-24, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
"Aging well"? Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light!
I thought it ends not with a bang but a whimper.
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Old 05-28-24, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
"Aging well"? Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light!
Dylan Thomas.....one of my favorites.,
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Old 06-03-24, 02:52 PM
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In simplest terms, a power meter allows you to be more flexible.

Without a power meter, if you're looking for a hard day, or an easy day, the easy way of doing so is to pick one of your standard routes - you know how long the whole thing takes, you know how long the big climb takes. You can gauge by how long it takes you to hit certain checkpoints to see if you're going easy enough or hard enough. On a hard day, you might pick a very familiar route and simply time yourself over a segment of the course to see if you're doing better.

With a power meter, you can monitor your performance over time while still exploring new routes - no longer do you have to do the same 15 mile loop on every ride to gauge if you've gotten faster or slower, but you can go elsewhere and still see if your average power output is going up or down.

There are other games, too - if you want to stay in Zone 2 for example, you can try singing as you're riding - or reciting a speech, whatever floats your boat. The higher the wattage you can push while still speaking (and not getting winded), the better!
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Old 06-05-24, 06:22 AM
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Most of us in our seventies won't find power values very valuable because we're not training to race. At this age, just not getting slower each year is an accomplishment. I never owned a power meter until I bought a Cervelo Rouvida ebike. If you ride it with no power assist, it displays your personal power output. That's valuable to know how much power you normally put out on flats, compared to climbs of various gradients. From there, you can personalize power settings to ramp up power to fit your needs, while minimizing battery consumption.

Power equals torque times cadence. Torque is how hard you push on the pedals and cadence is how fast you spin the cranks. Pedaling too slow requires more torque and tires out leg muscles faster.
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