Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Spinning- does it make you better?

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Spinning- does it make you better?

Old 09-01-14, 06:35 PM
  #1  
Goriot
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 135

Bikes: CAAD 9 Tiagra, DaVinci Madrid, DaVinci Oslo, CAAD 10 (one day)

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Spinning- does it make you better?

Long time since posting here, still loving the same bike-
Caad 9 tiagara.
I'm a hobbyist cyclist and recently moved into a building with a spinning bike in the gym. I never spun before and started using it. I really took to it and have found myself spinning nowadays even if the weather is good enough for the road.
I love seeing my wattage and not having "being in the zone" disturbed by traffic etc.
how many of you spin regularly vs indoor trainer for example.
Also, I'm averaging about 225W for an hr ride, anyone know how good that is. I regret never investing in a computer system for my road bike!
Goriot is offline  
Old 09-01-14, 07:00 PM
  #2  
dudemanppl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 212
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
How exactly are you getting the 225w figure?
dudemanppl is offline  
Old 09-01-14, 07:04 PM
  #3  
Kai Winters
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Northern NY...Brownville
Posts: 1,903

Bikes: Merlin Ti

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Depends...spinning can be great if the spin teacher pushes but if it it is a walk in the park, not so much...give them a try
Kai Winters is offline  
Old 09-01-14, 07:05 PM
  #4  
cycledogg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1,163
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 344 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 19 Times in 17 Posts
Spinning will make you better and fitter. I did it once regularly during the winter off season along with actual road riding and came out like a lion in the spring. One of the best race seasons I ever had.
Cheers
cycledogg is offline  
Old 09-01-14, 07:07 PM
  #5  
fstshrk
Senior Member
 
fstshrk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: WA State
Posts: 1,834
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by dudemanppl View Post
How exactly are you getting the 225w figure?
I am guessing his spin bike has a power meter of some sort.
fstshrk is offline  
Old 09-01-14, 07:16 PM
  #6  
canam73
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Haunchyville
Posts: 6,388
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by dudemanppl View Post
How exactly are you getting the 225w figure?
My guess is the spin bike has some kind of computer.

To OP, note that the read outs on most spin bikes do not always correlate so well with what an actual power meter would tell you. If you happen to know other cyclists who use the bike maybe one of them has a pm and give you some idea if it is close. Or if you list the make & model here maybe somebody knows it.

Also, power readings need to be compared to rider weight. 225 would be a pretty hard ride for me but might just be a cruise for a Clydesdale.
canam73 is offline  
Old 09-01-14, 09:35 PM
  #7  
txags92
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 799
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
They can be good for just building base endurance or for doing interval/strength type workouts that would be harder to do outdoors. My gym has really good instructors, most of whom ride outdoors a lot. But I also like to head upstairs with a set of headphones from time to time and do sets of longer strength intervals on the spin bikes upstairs. Just like any trainer setup, if you get on and just spin with little resistance, you will get very little out of it. If you challenge yourself in some way (cadence, resistance, etc) you will get more out of it and it will make you a stronger rider.
txags92 is offline  
Old 09-02-14, 05:50 AM
  #8  
bruce19
Senior Member
 
bruce19's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Lebanon (Liberty Hill), CT
Posts: 7,118

Bikes: CAAD 12, MASI Gran Criterium S, Colnago World Cup CX & Guru steel

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1165 Post(s)
Liked 471 Times in 280 Posts
In the off season I either use a video spin bike at the gym or take a spin class. Either will help but neither is on the road cycling. What I've done in the past and will be doing more of this year is using my rollers. There's nothing rollers for learning to pedal smoothly.
bruce19 is offline  
Old 09-02-14, 06:30 AM
  #9  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 9,356

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '05 Novara Big Buzz, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team SL, '19 Tern Rally

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1046 Post(s)
Liked 27 Times in 14 Posts
It's important to be clear what we're talking about here.

Spinning, though it's trademarked, as become used generically for "stationary bike." However, stationary bikes are not all equal.

Some "spin" bikes are simple resistance, some monitor cadence, some heart rate and cadence, and still others have built in power meters, e.g. Cycleops and Spinner Ion. Some without power meters can estimate power.

What's most important to getting the most out of a stationary bike (aka spin bike) is quantifying your work, tracking it, and having a plan or program. Obviously, spin bikes with power meters do this most effectively, but HR monitoring can be a useful program base, too.

So the short answer is Yes, "spinning" can make you a better rider, but it doesn't happen automatically, and though you may jump on a spin bike and sweat like a hog for an hour, if you don't know what kind of work you're actually doing (i.e. power, HR), it's not necessarily going to make you a stronger cyclist.

Two quick background stories:

I first spinned (?! Spun?!) in the mid-90s at the first studio in Ann Arbor, and while I got my ass handed to me by some very tiny and aerobically able women, out on the road on the bike, I didn't see much improvement, really. Eventually I saw none, and stopped going. Fast forward to '12, and I start structured, personalized training on Powertap equipped Cycleops stationary bikes, and boy, improvement has been fantastic.

Early this spring, I rode with a male aerobic instructor who does "spinning" classes at the Y here, and though this guy was obviously fit, and knew how to pedal a bike, he was outclassed by the real cyclists, probably most significantly in the endurance category, though his momentary power may have been good.

It's based on experiences like these that make me believe spinning is what you make of it, and that's it's very hard to make much of it without feedback quantifying your effort.
chaadster is offline  
Old 09-02-14, 07:01 AM
  #10  
carpediemracing 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tariffville, CT
Posts: 15,168

Bikes: Tsunami Bikes

Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 296 Post(s)
Liked 21 Times in 13 Posts
Originally Posted by Goriot View Post
Long time since posting here, still loving the same bike-
Caad 9 tiagara.
I'm a hobbyist cyclist and recently moved into a building with a spinning bike in the gym. I never spun before and started using it. I really took to it and have found myself spinning nowadays even if the weather is good enough for the road.
I love seeing my wattage and not having "being in the zone" disturbed by traffic etc.
how many of you spin regularly vs indoor trainer for example.
Also, I'm averaging about 225W for an hr ride, anyone know how good that is. I regret never investing in a computer system for my road bike!
I ride on the trainer regularly, not a spin bike per se, but a bike that does have a power meter.

I also use a spin bike of sorts (Schwinn DX900, fixed gear, predecessor to the modern spin bikes) for some high speed pedal work. Due to the wrong fit I don't use the spin bike otherwise.

Like virtually anything that works your body in some way like cycling, spin bikes will help you get some base level of fitness. However to get to that last 20-30% of bike performance you realistically want to use the bike. It's sort of like driving on a simulator vs driving in real life. There are a multitude of things that come into play when riding "for real", like riding out of the saddle, drafting, cornering, braking, riding one handed, even drinking from a bottle. Knowing how to ride a bike out of the saddle is one huge thing that spin bikes don't teach, and if you are standing on a spin bike you're learning the wrong way to do it relative to riding out on the road. Trainers are the same - they basically reward you for rocking the bike backward compared to how you rock the bike on the road. This is assuming you stand at times when you're outside, like on hills etc. If you live in a super flat area then this won't be as pertinent. However for any effort over about 800-1000w you'll realistically need to stand.

Finally, as pointed out in various posts, some spin bikes are not that accurate with power. One very fancy bike at the Y says I can average almost 300w for 20 min (in sneakers no less) but a real number is more like 200w. I'd trust a CycleOps type bike thing more, although I only have experience with a few spin bikes (and all of them, save the CycleOps, were wildly optimistic).
__________________
"...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson
carpediemracing is offline  
Old 09-02-14, 07:03 AM
  #11  
Campag4life
Voice of the Industry
 
Campag4life's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 12,572
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1187 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by cycledogg View Post
Spinning will make you better and fitter. I did it once regularly during the winter off season along with actual road riding and came out like a lion in the spring. One of the best race seasons I ever had.
Cheers
Not sure about that. A buddy of mine last year attends a spinning class and is good friends with the instructor. He brought the instructor out to ride with us and mentioned that he basically makes people sick in his class because of the intensity. The guy was a dog on the bike and after 20 miles, we had to wait for him constantly to keep up. After 40 miles the guy was just limping along.

I recognize this is only one guy and maybe most spin instructors are supermen on the bike but this guy sure wasn't. I never do spin classes.
Campag4life is offline  
Old 09-02-14, 07:23 AM
  #12  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 9,356

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '05 Novara Big Buzz, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team SL, '19 Tern Rally

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1046 Post(s)
Liked 27 Times in 14 Posts
Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
Finally, as pointed out in various posts, some spin bikes are not that accurate with power. One very fancy bike at the Y says I can average almost 300w for 20 min (in sneakers no less) but a real number is more like 200w. I'd trust a CycleOps type bike thing more, although I only have experience with a few spin bikes (and all of them, save the CycleOps, were wildly optimistic).
Are you saying that Cycleops' power meters are not trustworthy, and if so, why? Also, I figured any actual or measured power from a power meter equipped stationary bike (as opposed to estimated power) would use the same type of strain gauges as we see in road going bike borne meters, and would be just as reliable in that sense, although depending on calibration and location of measurement, would not necessarily kick out the exact same number, but would at least be consistent in reading, or is that not true? What type of meter do you use for base trust measurement?
chaadster is offline  
Old 09-02-14, 07:29 AM
  #13  
nondes 
Northern Rider
 
nondes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 435

Bikes: 1999 Litespeed Tuscany 105, 2007 Marin Palisades Trail, 2006 Burley Duet tandem

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 89 Post(s)
Liked 400 Times in 103 Posts
I do about 3 spin classes a week through the winter - no power measurement but I do use an HRM sometimes. I find it still takes a week or two to get up to my regular bike-fitness level once I get back onto the "real" bike in the Spring.
nondes is online now  
Old 09-02-14, 07:38 AM
  #14  
superslomo
Solo Rider, always DFL
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Beacon, NY
Posts: 2,004

Bikes: Cannondale T800, Schwinn Voyageur

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I think that what makes me honest on the bike is the fact that the road doesn't have a knob on it to make it flatter or steeper, and that a degree of suffering has to do with not being able to choose how much you want to suffer right now

I guess a spin bike is better than not riding, but I'm planning/hoping to keep out there until the snow rolls in, and then I'm thinking about studded tires.
superslomo is offline  
Old 09-02-14, 08:15 AM
  #15  
carpediemracing 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tariffville, CT
Posts: 15,168

Bikes: Tsunami Bikes

Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 296 Post(s)
Liked 21 Times in 13 Posts
Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Are you saying that Cycleops' power meters are not trustworthy, and if so, why? Also, I figured any actual or measured power from a power meter equipped stationary bike (as opposed to estimated power) would use the same type of strain gauges as we see in road going bike borne meters, and would be just as reliable in that sense, although depending on calibration and location of measurement, would not necessarily kick out the exact same number, but would at least be consistent in reading, or is that not true? What type of meter do you use for base trust measurement?
Just the opposite. I trust CycleOps more so. I trust their PowerTap. They use the same device in their spin bikes (if you want to call them that). I pedaled one a bit and the numbers seemed reasonable, realistic.

The other machines I've ridden seemed wildly optimistic. For me to do 500w is a big effort, especially when sitting, and I can't average 300w for more than a minute or two. I did an anaerobic threshold test on one machine. I was up into the mid 400w range before I blew. I was told that this was a "relative test", meaning I could relate that number to that particular machine, and if I tested again I could see a relative difference. However the absolute value ("450w") had no meaning.

I have two SRMs that I use on my two main bikes. I had a PowerTap for a short time, before I realized that I had way too many wheels, and too many weird ones, to use a PT set up. The numbers from those devices seem to reinforce one another.
__________________
"...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson
carpediemracing is offline  
Old 09-02-14, 08:19 AM
  #16  
Looigi
Senior Member
 
Looigi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 8,950
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Way way better than doing nothing. It can be a nice adjunct to cycling in winter. I do HIIT and cadence drills on spin bikes during the shortest and harshest days of winter, otherwise I prefer to ride.
Looigi is offline  
Old 09-02-14, 08:30 AM
  #17  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 9,356

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '05 Novara Big Buzz, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team SL, '19 Tern Rally

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1046 Post(s)
Liked 27 Times in 14 Posts
Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
Just the opposite. I trust CycleOps more so. I trust their PowerTap. They use the same device in their spin bikes (if you want to call them that).

The other machines I've ridden seemed wildly optimistic.
What I was getting at is why is this true? Are you talking power meter equipped spin bikes, or ones that estimate? If meter equipped, how do you account for the optimism in their readings?

I ask because, as I'd said, I thought all meters used the same type of gauges for readings, and so while the numbers may be different one to another, I would expect them to be consistent (important for training programs) and not wildly different.

For example, do you think we can expect, say, a Cascade CMX Pro Power to yield similar numbers to a Cycleops 100 Pro (assuming both are calibrated to same standard)?

I wonder if part of the issue is that it's very hard to know if an indoor cycle actually uses a power meter, or if it's estimating? Some of these makers are quite explicit about the type of meter, e.g. Spinner's SpinPower, but others are vague, like the Cascade; I mean they say it "measures power," but really only detail a "wired power console," the mixed terminology causing uncertainty in my mind.
chaadster is offline  
Old 09-02-14, 08:33 AM
  #18  
FrenchFit 
The Left Coast, USA
 
FrenchFit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 3,757

Bikes: Bulls, Bianchi, Koga, Trek, Miyata

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 360 Post(s)
Liked 20 Times in 13 Posts
Originally Posted by Goriot View Post
Long time since posting here, still loving the same bike-
Caad 9 tiagara.
I'm a hobbyist cyclist and recently moved into a building with a spinning bike in the gym. I never spun before and started using it. I really took to it and have found myself spinning nowadays even if the weather is good enough for the road.
I love seeing my wattage and not having "being in the zone" disturbed by traffic etc.
how many of you spin regularly vs indoor trainer for example.
Also, I'm averaging about 225W for an hr ride, anyone know how good that is. I regret never investing in a computer system for my road bike!
Spin bikes got me comfortable riding long pulls in the drops and using aero bars. I also practiced long climbing pulls standing, and that translated nicely to riding. I think the computers/power meters on all the spin bikes I've used have been nonsense, but perhaps that's just my experience. I got to use the Matrix bike for about six months, a really nice machine: Matrix LS-S Cycle | Gym Source All those plastic saddles suck, but I use a Tri cover and can tolerate then for a few hours if I'm doing a long workout.
FrenchFit is offline  
Old 09-02-14, 09:11 AM
  #19  
Goriot
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 135

Bikes: CAAD 9 Tiagra, DaVinci Madrid, DaVinci Oslo, CAAD 10 (one day)

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Nice responses. Listening to music or even watching a video on my phone while spinning also helps keep me in the zone.
The spin bike I'm using is a keiser: M3 Indoor Cycle

I think overall the road is a better experience but I feel it's so much easier to go for a quick spin, and in 30min push your heart rate, push power, and still be so close to home. It tends to fit into my schedule really well. But the fit on the spin will never match the fit of the proper bike
Goriot is offline  
Old 09-02-14, 09:18 AM
  #20  
Mvcrash
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 456

Bikes: Trek 4900, Cannondale Cx-4

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I use a spinning bike with a HRM to do intervals when the weather does not permit me to be outside. I crank up the tension, stand on the pedals and keep my heart rate up as long as I can. Sit down, lighten the tension and wait 3 minutes and then start over. Combined with being on a real bike in the wind and with hills it keeps me in shape.
Mvcrash is offline  
Old 09-02-14, 09:28 AM
  #21  
ph4nt0mf1ng3rs
Senior Member
 
ph4nt0mf1ng3rs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 520

Bikes: 2013 Specialized Allez, Iro Mark V

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I did a spinning class once during the time I was saving to replace my first bike which got stolen.
I worked at McDonalds and ate there every single day. almost 1000 calories in ONE meal. EVERY DAY + my other normal meals. And I still managed to lose almost 5% body fat and almost 10 lbs. Im no expert but it sure helped me.
ph4nt0mf1ng3rs is offline  
Old 09-02-14, 09:57 AM
  #22  
bonz50
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Antioch, IL
Posts: 2,330

Bikes: 2013 Synapse 4

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 70 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
Finally, as pointed out in various posts, some spin bikes are not that accurate with power. One very fancy bike at the Y says I can average almost 300w for 20 min (in sneakers no less) but a real number is more like 200w. I'd trust a CycleOps type bike thing more, although I only have experience with a few spin bikes (and all of them, save the CycleOps, were wildly optimistic).
devil's advocate - maybe the cycleops is wildly pessimistic???
bonz50 is offline  
Old 09-02-14, 10:03 AM
  #23  
carpediemracing 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tariffville, CT
Posts: 15,168

Bikes: Tsunami Bikes

Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 296 Post(s)
Liked 21 Times in 13 Posts
Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
What I was getting at is why is this true? Are you talking power meter equipped spin bikes, or ones that estimate? If meter equipped, how do you account for the optimism in their readings?

I ask because, as I'd said, I thought all meters used the same type of gauges for readings, and so while the numbers may be different one to another, I would expect them to be consistent (important for training programs) and not wildly different.

For example, do you think we can expect, say, a Cascade CMX Pro Power to yield similar numbers to a Cycleops 100 Pro (assuming both are calibrated to same standard)?

I wonder if part of the issue is that it's very hard to know if an indoor cycle actually uses a power meter, or if it's estimating? Some of these makers are quite explicit about the type of meter, e.g. Spinner's SpinPower, but others are vague, like the Cascade; I mean they say it "measures power," but really only detail a "wired power console," the mixed terminology causing uncertainty in my mind.
I don't know the brands but my brother's family is a member of a local Y (pool, gym, etc) and on family get togethers we might go visit. I've ridden their computerized, realistic view (of a road etc), fancy bike and it's wildly optimistic. I don't know why - torque to the pedals or the output to the hub would be a constant with regards to power output from a rider. The test machine I was on was a "$5k" machine according to the staff but it, too, was pretty off in terms of actual power.
__________________
"...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson
carpediemracing is offline  
Old 09-02-14, 10:16 AM
  #24  
carpediemracing 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tariffville, CT
Posts: 15,168

Bikes: Tsunami Bikes

Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 296 Post(s)
Liked 21 Times in 13 Posts
Originally Posted by bonz50 View Post
devil's advocate - maybe the cycleops is wildly pessimistic???
Heh yes, I thought of that. However my numbers, FTP, peak, 1 min, etc, seem to make sense for what I'm doing, in my races, on my rides. I've been riding with a power meter since 2008. I've raced every season since 1983. I have an idea of what I can do, what I can't do, and the powermeter numbers I see, on my bike, seem to verify that.

Some of my typical numbers:
FTP (avg sustainable power for an hour): 210-220w during one of my best seasons, 2010. This is pretty low and correlates to my poor time trialing ability (best ever 40k was at 23.5 mph). Currently it's probably in the 200w range, if not lower. If I could do 300-400w, like some machines tell me, I'd be able to do something more like 25-27 mph. 400w FTP is pro range.

1 min power: 587w. This is moderately high but isn't steady, it's basically massive peaks as I try to maintain position in a race. I actually blew up making the efforts, about 400-500 meters to go, and I sat up.

20s power: 1000-1100w, give or take. This is a high sprint number for me from 2010. Technically it's 18-19 seconds, I've never held full power for 20s. This gives me a top speed of about 40 mph.

Peak power: 1250-1550w. This depends largely on if I'm in a race (numbers are lower) or in training (all my high numbers). Typically in training I'm pretty recovered before I make a max effort. In races I have no choice, I'm usually pretty redlined before I sprint, so my peak numbers are much lower.

Based on my results, based on other people's power meters and their readings, I'm pretty confident that my powermeter is in the "reality range".

A race where I jumped at 1200w, did 900w for 14 seconds (so a pretty weak sprint for me, although I thought it was really hard). This gave me a sustained 37 mph sprint. The guy in green catches up to me about 200-250 meters after the line - he was second in the sprint. He jumped at 1400-1500w, I forget exactly what, and he asked if I was doing 1600w when I jumped. Not, but it would be nice. The timing of my jump allowed me to accelerate up to speed at a slower rate - if you look at the video you'll see I don't go fast immediately, it takes me a good two pedal strokes to start moving. Details here but the video is more illustrative of what it was like:

I averaged about 172w for that race. On my trainer (CycleOps Fluid) it takes me about 160w to turn a 39x19 at 90 rpm. It takes about 190w to turn a 39x17 at 90 rpm. So my race average was somewhere between those two average efforts. It's not a lot of power. Same bike, same SRM, just race wheels vs the clinchers I use for training.
__________________
"...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson
carpediemracing is offline  
Old 09-02-14, 10:24 AM
  #25  
txags92
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 799
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
We have the keiser M3 bikes with power meters at our gym. I believe they are slightly optimistic, but not wildly so. I don't worry much about the absolute number on the meter, but instead try to get the same bike each time I ride (they are numbered at our gym). I can compare that from workout to workout, and know that the power numbers shouldn't vary much due to the bike. Whoever was talking above about planning and quantifying is correct. If you go in and take a spin class taught by an aerobics instructor that never rides a bike outdoors, their idea of a "hard ride" for a spin class is one that involves lots of jumps and standing work...which is not very useful to anything we do riding out on the road. But if you get in a class with somebody who rides on the road a lot (or on the track like one of our spin instructors), they will be doing much more cycling-centric interval sets, with effort and duration based on your relative power output instead of the "stand up, turn up the resistance, and sprint til you puke" type of effort the aerobics instructors like to do. There is a place in any workout program for Tabata type sets like that...but making your entire class based off of that isn't very productive over time.
txags92 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.