First power meter - guidance and feedback please

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Alex Simmons/RST
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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:16 am

trailgumby wrote:
MichaelB wrote:Seeing some good discussion and looking fwd to getting my 'dose' of the power drug (as Alex put it), but have to wait a bit for it to come into stock.
Doing plenty of reading in the meantime and using HR as a guide, and doing 'practice' 30 min efforts for when the 1st FTP test is ready to be done. There is a good climb in Adelaide for this - Greenhill Rd which is 7.3km (AT) 6.6%. Did a PB there the other day at 31:31 (avg. HR was 172bpm, so was giving it a bit of wellie :D ).

Fingers crossed that it comes soon :wink:

I've been reading Allen and Coggan's book - they have a slightly different approach to doing the FTP test. I don't think it's going to be any less uncomfortable though :lol: I'll probably give it a crack on the weekend after next to set a baseline. Next week is a recovery week.

Just for reference, the test suggested in the book (i.e. the 5-min pre-test blowout effort followed by a 20-min max effort and multiplying the 20-min power by 95%) is a protocol suggested by Hunter Allen. It's not one of Andy Coggan's preferred methods, which are affectionately known as the "Seven Deadly Sins".

Now days with enough hard riding over durations up to an hour or so, the power duration model in WKO4 does a reasonable job of providing an estimate of FTP.

There are numerous options for deriving an FTP estimate and over time it can help to settle onto a method that suit the individual best but more importantly is working through what it is you actually need to know/track and what you are going to do with it.

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MichaelB
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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby MichaelB » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:56 am

Well, Alex's post got me curious, so here is a great writeup of what Coggan's 7 Sins are.

Need to read a bit more from Alex's blog. No doubt that some of it will go over my head and make me realise that I won't be using the PM (when I finally get it) as well as I could (but then I'm not competing), but it's more of a toy.

Thanks for the great input Alex :D

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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby Jezz Machado » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:44 am

So just jumped in and got the vector 2S - I would have preferred dual, but for an initial toe in the water I am happy with the call. Also was only 500 from Bikebug... I know there's cheaper but too late now! Figure I can always upgrade later if I find it useful. I also feel like my left leg is the weaker of the two (no way of knowing with dual though!) so was comfortable to use a left side only PM to guide overall improvement in performance.

Anyway, I am wondering is anyone has an idea about how close the Zwift manual power calculation is to real world. I tested last night using speed+cadence+manual trainer to get a zwift power value which was close to 2 thirds of the power reading from the pedals based on same cadence and gearing. I am not sure if a) the power meter is over inflating values due to poor setup or b) Zwift is a low value due to the calculation method. I am hoping for b.

On my first road ride, the numbers seem reasonable - read low! - (based on RPE and environmental factors - wind, false flat, etc.) for someone of my fitness and general crap performance on the bike!

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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby MichaelB » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:48 am

Still waiting on feedback from P2M Aus (guess they are busy and P2M Germany is not quick at replying, but have started to wonder if the sage advice from Alex in a separate post (shown below) is something that I need to seriously consider ..

So it helps to understand what sort of uses you are expecting to make of the data. If all you plan on using a power meter for is in much the same manner one might use a HR monitor (e.g. to provide some basic guidance on intensity of effort while riding, perhaps to maintain a training log), then you might want to consider saving your money since one can already do that pretty well with perceived exertion and/or a HR monitor.


I am finding that riding with the HRM is yielding some benefit, so starting to question whether or not a PM will REALLY make a difference (to what I think I want it for ), or whether it's a toy that I have been wanting for a while, but should I concentrate more of wanting what I have .....

:?

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Alex Simmons/RST
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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:09 pm

Jezz Machado wrote:I also feel like my left leg is the weaker of the two (no way of knowing with dual though!) so was comfortable to use a left side only PM to guide overall improvement in performance.

I'm a left trans tibial amputee. My power balance at threshold power level was 50:50 and at low effort would sometimes be left side dominant. Well that's based on a pseudo power balance measurement (understanding power balance is a whole 'nuther thing). YMMV.

Jezz Machado wrote:Anyway, I am wondering is anyone has an idea about how close the Zwift manual power calculation is to real world. I tested last night using speed+cadence+manual trainer to get a zwift power value which was close to 2 thirds of the power reading from the pedals based on same cadence and gearing. I am not sure if a) the power meter is over inflating values due to poor setup or b) Zwift is a low value due to the calculation method. I am hoping for b.

Inferred power from speed sensor readings when riding on an indoor trainer is subject to so many variables that it's a bit of a crap-shoot.

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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby queequeg » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:12 pm

MichaelB wrote:Still waiting on feedback from P2M Aus (guess they are busy and P2M Germany is not quick at replying, but have started to wonder if the sage advice from Alex in a separate post (shown below) is something that I need to seriously consider ..

So it helps to understand what sort of uses you are expecting to make of the data. If all you plan on using a power meter for is in much the same manner one might use a HR monitor (e.g. to provide some basic guidance on intensity of effort while riding, perhaps to maintain a training log), then you might want to consider saving your money since one can already do that pretty well with perceived exertion and/or a HR monitor.


I am finding that riding with the HRM is yielding some benefit, so starting to question whether or not a PM will REALLY make a difference (to what I think I want it for ), or whether it's a toy that I have been wanting for a while, but should I concentrate more of wanting what I have .....

:?


I had nothing but HRM for years, and to a point it would work, but the thing is that HRM does lag, and it is also subject to variables such as sickness, poor form etc.
When I added the power meter to the mix, I found that having a high heart rate doesn't mean you are putting out a high power. Conversely, a low heart rate does not mean you are putting out low power.

Where the power has helped me dramatically is with evening out my effort on big rides, and ensuring I don't go stupid on long climbs and end up bonking in the middle of nowhere. By setting myself a power target for a climb, I can ride within my limits (e.g. ride a 20km climb at 80% FTP, rather than trying to ride it based on heart rate).

I did the Fitz Epic last year (missed this year due to injury), and I rode the entire event without once going into threshold heart rate. I kept my power well below FTP for all but the little pinches, and I was the first rider home at the end of the day. The guy chasing me up Corin forest went and busted his backside trying to close the 10min gap to me, and he caught me at the top of Corin at the checkpoint. He was able to survive the 11km descent with me, but a soon as we turned into the wind, he was straight out the back with nothing left in the tank. I rode solo to the finish at well below FTP, and he still couldn't reach me.

For the most part, for day to day riding I don't even look at the power numbers, but behind the scenes it is used to calculate my TSS, which gives me an ATL/CTL over time so that I know when the body needs a rest, and I can factor that in. Mostly it was my coach looking at the numbers, and adjusting my workouts accordingly.

btw I am still waiting for Sam to get back to me with an ETA on my order. I am still a couple of weeks off having the other parts for my bike rebuild. I am going to put the Rotor 3D+ p2max into my commuter bike using a BSA-30 BB. Hopefully it will work. Just hoping the BB Cups don't get in the way of the p2max spider.
'11 Lynskey Cooper CX, '00 Hillbrick Steel Racing (Total Rebuild '10), '15 Cervelo S5

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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby PiratePete » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:39 pm

Plus one on what @queequeg said.

I've only had PM for 3 weeks and as this was added when coming back from my knee injury my volume of riding is still way down on normal. I can see an absolute use for longer rides to best manage fatigue. I previously have primarily used HR as this measure, but power is absolute, HR is effected by lots of factors not only as @queequeg commented but also things like caffeine and the sleep (or lack of) on the days preceding the ride.

Managing effort is black and white with a PM, I was surprised as to the amount of speed washed off by a relatively low velocity headwind. Now I wonder just what sort of watts I used to push out when bashing into a headwind thinking that I was mentally weak and that I should suck it up and keep the pace up... Riding to the power (which basically takes care of the HR) I feel is a recipe for success.

I always wanted a PM but until this knee injury couldn't justify it due to the toy factor, now I realise that I should have purchased one years ago. But dual sided to manage my dodgy knee of course.

Added feature, all the stats on Strava, TrainingPeaks or whatever you poison become factual rather than fiction by having the full combo of GPS (elevation), HR, cadence and power data.
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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby eeksll » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:43 pm

so lets say I am sick and my heart rate is high, my power numbers are showing low, whats the plan? what can I do with this information? (honest question)

@MichaelB its a toy for most of us, hardly a reason not to buy one :mrgreen:

The reason I am interested is, I am currently doing some long intervals on a turbo trainer 3/4 x 10min, 2x15min , 2x20min and although I am holding the same "virtual power" or same cadence on same gear for all the intervals. I feel like the first 5 mins is harder than the last 5 mins of each interval (something like that anyway).

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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby MichaelB » Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:24 am

Thanks @queequeg , PiratePete & eeksll.

One of the key goals, similar to queequeg was to use it as a pacing type tool for the TdU Bupa stage coming up. It's not a race or a significant length (168km home to home), but there is plenty of climbing (~ 2,250m), most of it back loaded, and it has the potential to be a hot day.
I'm not good at waiting :? , so that combined with the delay in getting experience and some limited data is starting to weigh in whether it will ultimately be useful, or an extravagance.
I'm almost at the point of getting a FSA Powerbox from Bike24 (A4696 delivered) or Powermetercity.com (A$718 delivered - on special with them at USD$519 + $25 shipping) and being done with it.

Whilst it's not the same as the P2M, it's a similar price, I've then got it well prior to the TdU and it gives me the ability to get some data behind me to make it useful for the TdU ride. I typically don't do many of those style of rides (and even generally baulk at the mass participation rides because of too many plonkers that ride dangerously and Adelaide doesn't have that many long hills !).

What a dilemma .... :roll:

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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby andrewjcw » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:32 am

I have no trouble classifying my purchase as a 'useful toy'. Practically speaking I'd say it's easier to justify than getting a $6,000 bike over a $1,400 bike but no one has trouble justifying or defending that $4,600 spend. It's a hobby, do what makes you happy and keeps you motivated and interested.

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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby madmacca » Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:08 am

queequeg wrote:
MichaelB wrote:Still waiting on feedback from P2M Aus (guess they are busy and P2M Germany is not quick at replying, but have started to wonder if the sage advice from Alex in a separate post (shown below) is something that I need to seriously consider ..

So it helps to understand what sort of uses you are expecting to make of the data. If all you plan on using a power meter for is in much the same manner one might use a HR monitor (e.g. to provide some basic guidance on intensity of effort while riding, perhaps to maintain a training log), then you might want to consider saving your money since one can already do that pretty well with perceived exertion and/or a HR monitor.


I am finding that riding with the HRM is yielding some benefit, so starting to question whether or not a PM will REALLY make a difference (to what I think I want it for ), or whether it's a toy that I have been wanting for a while, but should I concentrate more of wanting what I have .....

:?


I had nothing but HRM for years, and to a point it would work, but the thing is that HRM does lag, and it is also subject to variables such as sickness, poor form etc.
When I added the power meter to the mix, I found that having a high heart rate doesn't mean you are putting out a high power. Conversely, a low heart rate does not mean you are putting out low power.

Where the power has helped me dramatically is with evening out my effort on big rides, and ensuring I don't go stupid on long climbs and end up bonking in the middle of nowhere. By setting myself a power target for a climb, I can ride within my limits (e.g. ride a 20km climb at 80% FTP, rather than trying to ride it based on heart rate).

I did the Fitz Epic last year (missed this year due to injury), and I rode the entire event without once going into threshold heart rate. I kept my power well below FTP for all but the little pinches, and I was the first rider home at the end of the day. The guy chasing me up Corin forest went and busted his backside trying to close the 10min gap to me, and he caught me at the top of Corin at the checkpoint. He was able to survive the 11km descent with me, but a soon as we turned into the wind, he was straight out the back with nothing left in the tank. I rode solo to the finish at well below FTP, and he still couldn't reach me.

For the most part, for day to day riding I don't even look at the power numbers, but behind the scenes it is used to calculate my TSS, which gives me an ATL/CTL over time so that I know when the body needs a rest, and I can factor that in. Mostly it was my coach looking at the numbers, and adjusting my workouts accordingly.

btw I am still waiting for Sam to get back to me with an ETA on my order. I am still a couple of weeks off having the other parts for my bike rebuild. I am going to put the Rotor 3D+ p2max into my commuter bike using a BSA-30 BB. Hopefully it will work. Just hoping the BB Cups don't get in the way of the p2max spider.


In addition to the above, I am finding my new PM to be very good at managing above-threshold interval training. Differentiating between 110%, 120% and 150% of FTP is very difficult with an HRM (partly because the HR differences are small at that level, and partly because the lag of HR response with short intervals)

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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby lewie15 » Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:17 pm

I'm currently in the market for a new Power Meter. I've read countless power meter reviews and watched a number of videos on YouTube and think i've decided to go for the Powertap P1 pedals. I like the idea of being able to swap between bikes easily and the Powertaps have proven themselves to be a reliable product. The Garmin Vector 3's also look good, but a bit more expensive.
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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby andrewjcw » Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:09 pm

Powertaps look like a natural choice if you want moveability between bikes and don't mind the cleat setup.

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queequeg
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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby queequeg » Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:20 pm

MichaelB wrote:Thanks @queequeg , PiratePete & eeksll.

One of the key goals, similar to queequeg was to use it as a pacing type tool for the TdU Bupa stage coming up. It's not a race or a significant length (168km home to home), but there is plenty of climbing (~ 2,250m), most of it back loaded, and it has the potential to be a hot day.
I'm not good at waiting :? , so that combined with the delay in getting experience and some limited data is starting to weigh in whether it will ultimately be useful, or an extravagance.
I'm almost at the point of getting a FSA Powerbox from Bike24 (A4696 delivered) or Powermetercity.com (A$718 delivered - on special with them at USD$519 + $25 shipping) and being done with it.

Whilst it's not the same as the P2M, it's a similar price, I've then got it well prior to the TdU and it gives me the ability to get some data behind me to make it useful for the TdU ride. I typically don't do many of those style of rides (and even generally baulk at the mass participation rides because of too many plonkers that ride dangerously and Adelaide doesn't have that many long hills !).

What a dilemma .... :roll:


The FSA powerbox is a p2max NGeco with FSA branding on it.
'11 Lynskey Cooper CX, '00 Hillbrick Steel Racing (Total Rebuild '10), '15 Cervelo S5

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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby g-boaf » Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:15 pm

eeksll wrote:so lets say I am sick and my heart rate is high, my power numbers are showing low, whats the plan? what can I do with this information? (honest question)

@MichaelB its a toy for most of us, hardly a reason not to buy one :mrgreen:

The reason I am interested is, I am currently doing some long intervals on a turbo trainer 3/4 x 10min, 2x15min , 2x20min and although I am holding the same "virtual power" or same cadence on same gear for all the intervals. I feel like the first 5 mins is harder than the last 5 mins of each interval (something like that anyway).


If you are sick, the plan is to rest up and get better. Don't ride a bike at that point.

When you are recovered, ease back into it. Others on here who don't have a power meter have prepared for cyclo-sportive events by doing consistent kilometres and riding decent amounts of hills. They build up to it gradually. The idea is to complete the rides, and the more you complete, the easier it will become.

Now, on your observation that the first 5 minutes is harder than the last 5 minutes, that tells me that you've not warmed up properly. What sort of warm up are you doing?

If you wanted, try something like this:

Warm up: 50-85% over 8 minutes
Easy: 40% over 4 minutes
Active: 85% over 30 minutes (cadence 80-85rpm)
Easy: 40% over 8 minutes
Active: 85% over 30 minutes (cadence 80-85rpm)
Warm down: 40% over 8 minutes

That's a pretty good workout, you'd do maybe two of them a week. They don't feel super difficult at first, but near the end you'll start to notice it. Do a three or four weeks of those and see how it goes.

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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby MichaelB » Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:35 pm

Got tired of waiting and ordered a FSA Powerbox (P2M NGeco with 4 Bolt spider) from Bike24. Also bought the spacers to make the BB386 EVO crank for in the BB30 frame.
Already left Germany, so hoping it’s here during the week. Then the fun can begin !!!

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queequeg
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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby queequeg » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:12 am

MichaelB wrote:Got tired of waiting and ordered a FSA Powerbox (P2M NGeco with 4 Bolt spider) from Bike24. Also bought the spacers to make the BB386 EVO crank for in the BB30 frame.
Already left Germany, so hoping it’s here during the week. Then the fun can begin !!!


It will take about 2 weeks to reach you. I have two Bike24 packages on their way (a few days apart). First one left Nov 23rd and hasn’t arrived yet, but I order most of my stuff from Bike24 these days.
'11 Lynskey Cooper CX, '00 Hillbrick Steel Racing (Total Rebuild '10), '15 Cervelo S5

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MichaelB
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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby MichaelB » Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:42 am

Meh, at least it’s on its way.
If it gets here before I head up to Gold Coast, great. If not, something to keep me busy over Xmas

eeksll
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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby eeksll » Sun Dec 03, 2017 3:38 pm

MichaelB wrote:Got tired of waiting and ordered a FSA Powerbox (P2M NGeco with 4 Bolt spider) from Bike24. Also bought the spacers to make the BB386 EVO crank for in the BB30 frame.
Already left Germany, so hoping it’s here during the week. Then the fun can begin !!!


Nice, I would really like to know why it isn't campagnolo 11 speed compatible :?


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MichaelB
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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby MichaelB » Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:56 pm

This was one of my initial ideal solutions (budget viewpoint) , but the Specialised cranks are a known incompatibility !!

They seem to have good feedback otherwise

eeksll
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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby eeksll » Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:06 pm

also they C1 does not seem to have the 34 tooth compact chainring.

eeksll
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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby eeksll » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:10 pm

g-boaf wrote:
eeksll wrote:so lets say I am sick and my heart rate is high, my power numbers are showing low, whats the plan? what can I do with this information? (honest question)

@MichaelB its a toy for most of us, hardly a reason not to buy one :mrgreen:

The reason I am interested is, I am currently doing some long intervals on a turbo trainer 3/4 x 10min, 2x15min , 2x20min and although I am holding the same "virtual power" or same cadence on same gear for all the intervals. I feel like the first 5 mins is harder than the last 5 mins of each interval (something like that anyway).


If you are sick, the plan is to rest up and get better. Don't ride a bike at that point.

When you are recovered, ease back into it. Others on here who don't have a power meter have prepared for cyclo-sportive events by doing consistent kilometres and riding decent amounts of hills. They build up to it gradually. The idea is to complete the rides, and the more you complete, the easier it will become.

Now, on your observation that the first 5 minutes is harder than the last 5 minutes, that tells me that you've not warmed up properly. What sort of warm up are you doing?

If you wanted, try something like this:

Warm up: 50-85% over 8 minutes
Easy: 40% over 4 minutes
Active: 85% over 30 minutes (cadence 80-85rpm)
Easy: 40% over 8 minutes
Active: 85% over 30 minutes (cadence 80-85rpm)
Warm down: 40% over 8 minutes

That's a pretty good workout, you'd do maybe two of them a week. They don't feel super difficult at first, but near the end you'll start to notice it. Do a three or four weeks of those and see how it goes.


posted here so not to Hijack, but looks like MB has decided on his powermeter.

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MichaelB
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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby MichaelB » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:20 am

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Just saw this. Powertap C1 for $US350. Not sure if available here.
https://www.powertap.com/product/powertap-c1-chainrings?utm_campaign=WinterSpecials17&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email


No shipping beyond Amreeca for this deal.

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queequeg
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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby queequeg » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:48 am

MichaelB wrote:Meh, at least it’s on its way.
If it gets here before I head up to Gold Coast, great. If not, something to keep me busy over Xmas


My Bike24 package that shipped on Nov 23rd has just reached the Delivery Depot in Sydney today, so pretty much within the 2 week. My other parcel from Bike24 that shipped on Nov 26th has not yet arrived in AU.
'11 Lynskey Cooper CX, '00 Hillbrick Steel Racing (Total Rebuild '10), '15 Cervelo S5

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