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Power Meters (Why?)

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Power Meters (Why?)

Old 11-15-19, 10:22 AM
  #101  
livedarklions
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So, OP originally asked why he/she needed one if he/she is not going to race.
My answer was that I don't have any use for it, but recognize that's only one possible answer.

So, I guess the question is, does the device have any use other than as a tool to train to go faster over distance?
@doctorisotope mentioned he uses it as a fuel gauge, but isn't that really an endurance/racing issue? Honest question.
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Old 11-15-19, 10:40 AM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
So, OP originally asked why he/she needed one if he/she is not going to race.
My answer was that I don't have any use for it, but recognize that's only one possible answer.

So, I guess the question is, does the device have any use other than as a tool to train to go faster over distance?
@doctorisotope mentioned he uses it as a fuel gauge, but isn't that really an endurance/racing issue? Honest question.


You also don't need to measure speed or distance to, as you say, go fast when you feel like it,

so you could ask the same question about the speedometer/odometer.
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Old 11-15-19, 10:52 AM
  #103  
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The best indicator of performance is performance itself. This applied to competition means the meter goes way down in importance. It goes up importance racing/simulated racing more.

In training, this means the meter goes way up in importance.

Training the body and training for racing are two different things that are inextricably linked together to succeed.

You can hit range balls and never play on the golf course and do pretty well, but never succeed. You can play golf on the course all the time and give up a lot of muscle memory hitting balls working on technique. Then not succeed also.

Same with the power meter. It's a tool in training and possibly a crutch in racing. I don't recall looking at it more than a glance at the computer to see miles to go or my HR once or twice. The wheel in front of you or wheels chasing you don't care one bit what your power meter says.

Now, TT.......I'll glance a couple times initially to not go out too hard. Then it's a lot of RPE and focusing on staying aero. You're not aero if staring at a meter constantly (maybe if you've got a heads up display).

Replace the word "race" with "fondo", or "weeknight worlds", or "riding a century" and apply accordingly.

Also, meters and racing on Zwift is mandatory so that it functions. You can't race most stuff on Zpower. You need a meter and HRM for most A/B/C stuff. Especially A/B.
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Old 11-15-19, 10:52 AM
  #104  
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
You also don't need to measure speed or distance to, as you say, go fast when you feel like it,

so you could ask the same question about the speedometer/odometer.
Right, which is why I said "use" not "need" in MY question. OP used the word need, I didn't except to quote/paraphrase.

So my question, which is an honest one, not a smart-alecky one, is can you explain its non-racing, non-speed maximization uses? I'm trying to learn something here, not trying to prove "I'm right and you're wrong."
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Old 11-15-19, 11:13 AM
  #105  
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Hi, what's this thread about?
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Old 11-15-19, 11:32 AM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
... Improving your power is the reason why people train. Sure it's not the only factor, but it is the biggest.
That may be the core of our disagreement. Outside of this forum, I don't know folks that train to do anything but be faster and/win more (they can be different). Power helps do both. But, certainly if power is the goal, you have a point. I think you'd get more power with the proper gym routine than on the bike, but the PM would be the best tool to measure that for you.

Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
Does it not make sense to actually track your progress?
If your goal is power, it makes perfect sense.


Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
And what's foolish is that you've taken advice given to someone coming from an endurance background and transitioning to a short event that has a large glycolitic component and thinking this applies to the general cycling population. It's also pretty foolish to use training advice from the 1980s. The vast, vast majority of cyclists, even those doing events as short as a 4km pursuit are spending far more than one hour a week on their bike. Yes, I'm sure just about every pursuit rider is also lifting weights, but I'm equally confident that if they had to choose between dropping workouts on the bike or workouts in the gym, the vast majority would drop the latter without hesitation.
Those that do well in the short power aerobic events can do well in semi longer, which is I assume where most posters here ride - in that 2nd group. Obviously the 3min mark is a combo of aerobic and anaerobic power, but the same individual can do well in both.
<3 min (Track)
3min -> 90min (Some track, Crits, group rides, pros and amateurs in MTB, cx, TTs)
>90min->300min (USA amateur RR, pro single day)
>300min (Fondos and Pro RR)
Multi day and depends on length of daily races (Pros in stage races, nutjob amateurs like RAAM)

I don't see the foolish part about thinking short time events and longer events in that 2nd group cross well. This year:
Colby Lange is a USA pursuit rider that trains under Chris with weights) won the Boulder Roubaix race this year.
Wurf I named earlier was a 7 min event guy (WC rower) now an Iron man guy. Sure, I doubt he would have broken the Kona record had he spent the time just in the boat, but I think he would have done well.

Of course they train a lot of hours a week. For a non pro competitive cyclist, on limited hours, doing a routine that decrease time on the bike in favor of high resistance exercises can generate higher numbers on that PM. If those numbers are your goal, you certainly need a PM to measure that. If getting Strava KOMs, winning races, being faster on the group ride, or lowering a time on a course are goals (like those I know personally) the PM may not help.
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Old 11-15-19, 11:38 AM
  #107  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Right, which is why I said "use" not "need" in MY question. OP used the word need, I didn't except to quote/paraphrase.

So my question, which is an honest one, not a smart-alecky one, is can you explain its non-racing, non-speed maximization uses? I'm trying to learn something here, not trying to prove "I'm right and you're wrong."


My point was that since you have speedometer/odometer for non-racing, non-speed maximization uses, you could compare to that- PM is just another measurement.

For me it's useful to measure relative fitness- average watts for rides, max 10 second power, 20 minute FTP test.

Also for pacing for climbs and long (DC) rides. Good for assessing proposed group rides- my (W.A.P.) is high 180s at best, so if I see that folks are showing over 200 watts then I know I will be dropped for

sure. Entertaining to watch the numbers, compare side by side to others, and compare others' numbers post-ride (Strava). Only have PM on road bike so other miles have less or no measurements.
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Old 11-15-19, 12:28 PM
  #108  
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Originally Posted by ksryder View Post
Hi, what's this thread about?
One-upmanship
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Old 11-15-19, 02:20 PM
  #109  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
Well, you seemed to struggle with what I thought was a very straight forward comment: cycling speed varies more than running speed.
Meh, I only "struggled" with what you meant by it - ambiguous as you were. And being charitable with that - fast marathon runners halve my pace, which is a greater variance than in cycling.

The fact of drafting, and the relative value of drafting, is *irrelevant* to this, except to note as an example that it actually does impact the runner. Since there *is* an impact, regardless of how much more impact it has in cycling, the effects of wind resistance also have an impact on runners which is obviously not captured when they record only their pace.

You seem to be making an assumption about what I do or do not actually realize. I'm aware that drag plays a role, hence why Kipchoge had people he could draft from during his recent sub 2-hour marathon. But, IIRC, the difference was something like 1.5 to 2 minutes which is far, far less than the time a cyclist could gain from a draft over 2 hours.

8-10% vs roughly 90%.
You still don't seem to realize that it doesn't matter if it's 10% vs 90%. The same reasoning for using a more precise measure still applies.
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Old 11-15-19, 02:31 PM
  #110  
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
My point was that since you have speedometer/odometer for non-racing, non-speed maximization uses, you could compare to that- PM is just another measurement.

For me it's useful to measure relative fitness- average watts for rides, max 10 second power, 20 minute FTP test.

Also for pacing for climbs and long (DC) rides. Good for assessing proposed group rides- my (W.A.P.) is high 180s at best, so if I see that folks are showing over 200 watts then I know I will be dropped for

sure. Entertaining to watch the numbers, compare side by side to others, and compare others' numbers post-ride (Strava). Only have PM on road bike so other miles have less or no measurements.
See, now that's an explanation!

Rather than the comparison to speed, though, I think it's more like when I compare the size of the weights I'm lifting and the number of reps. I'm "competing" with myself.
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Old 11-15-19, 02:42 PM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Meh, I only "struggled" with what you meant by it - ambiguous as you were. And being charitable with that - fast marathon runners halve my pace, which is a greater variance than in cycling.

The fact of drafting, and the relative value of drafting, is *irrelevant* to this, except to note as an example that it actually does impact the runner. Since there *is* an impact, regardless of how much more impact it has in cycling, the effects of wind resistance also have an impact on runners which is obviously not captured when they record only their pace.



You still don't seem to realize that it doesn't matter if it's 10% vs 90%. The same reasoning for using a more precise measure still applies.
Is this an argument over whether or not you should find the difference between the two groups odd?

We need to invent a unit for measuring the intensity of endless extremely low-stakes arguments.
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Old 11-15-19, 02:47 PM
  #112  
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
That may be the core of our disagreement. Outside of this forum, I don't know folks that train to do anything but be faster and/win more (they can be different). Power helps do both. But, certainly if power is the goal, you have a point. I think you'd get more power with the proper gym routine than on the bike, but the PM would be the best tool to measure that for you.

If your goal is power, it makes perfect sense.


Those that do well in the short power aerobic events can do well in semi longer, which is I assume where most posters here ride - in that 2nd group. Obviously the 3min mark is a combo of aerobic and anaerobic power, but the same individual can do well in both.
<3 min (Track)
3min -> 90min (Some track, Crits, group rides, pros and amateurs in MTB, cx, TTs)
>90min->300min (USA amateur RR, pro single day)
>300min (Fondos and Pro RR)
Multi day and depends on length of daily races (Pros in stage races, nutjob amateurs like RAAM)

I don't see the foolish part about thinking short time events and longer events in that 2nd group cross well. This year:
Colby Lange is a USA pursuit rider that trains under Chris with weights) won the Boulder Roubaix race this year.
Wurf I named earlier was a 7 min event guy (WC rower) now an Iron man guy. Sure, I doubt he would have broken the Kona record had he spent the time just in the boat, but I think he would have done well.

Of course they train a lot of hours a week. For a non pro competitive cyclist, on limited hours, doing a routine that decrease time on the bike in favor of high resistance exercises can generate higher numbers on that PM. If those numbers are your goal, you certainly need a PM to measure that. If getting Strava KOMs, winning races, being faster on the group ride, or lowering a time on a course are goals (like those I know personally) the PM may not help.
This is too ridiculous to bother composing an extensive reply to.
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Old 11-15-19, 02:53 PM
  #113  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Meh, I only "struggled" with what you meant by it - ambiguous as you were. And being charitable with that - fast marathon runners halve my pace, which is a greater variance than in cycling.
And you still seem to be deliberately (I hope for your sake) misunderstanding a straightforward comment.
Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
The fact of drafting, and the relative value of drafting, is *irrelevant* to this, except to note as an example that it actually does impact the runner. Since there *is* an impact, regardless of how much more impact it has in cycling, the effects of wind resistance also have an impact on runners which is obviously not captured when they record only their pace.



You still don't seem to realize that it doesn't matter if it's 10% vs 90%. The same reasoning for using a more precise measure still applies.
Uh no. Smaller environmental effect = smaller variance in times = less need for some alternative form of measurement. I don't know how this can be said any simpler: for running, a stopwatch is generally precise enough. For cycling, it isn't. Why? Because an individual's cycling speed will vary far more do to outside influences which, in turn, makes speed an unreliable way to measure progress.
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Old 11-15-19, 03:30 PM
  #114  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
And you still seem to be deliberately (I hope for your sake) misunderstanding a straightforward comment.


Uh no. Smaller environmental effect = smaller variance in times = less need for some alternative form of measurement. I don't know how this can be said any simpler: for running, a stopwatch is generally precise enough. For cycling, it isn't. Why? Because an individual's cycling speed will vary far more do to outside influences which, in turn, makes speed an unreliable way to measure progress.
It's half-full, dagblammit!
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Old 11-15-19, 11:41 PM
  #115  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
This is too ridiculous to bother composing an extensive reply to.
Short replies are welcome. To the OP why have a PM when you don't race? Because you want to .
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Old 11-16-19, 01:51 PM
  #116  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Is this an argument over whether or not you should find the difference between the two groups odd?

We need to invent a unit for measuring the intensity of endless extremely low-stakes arguments.
Why engage in high stakes arguments? But I think the real reaction is to my implication that either competitive runners or competitive cyclists have fallen prey to fashionable thinking regarding power meters, because they can't both be right.
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Old 11-16-19, 02:28 PM
  #117  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Why engage in high stakes arguments? But I think the real reaction is to my implication that either competitive runners or competitive cyclists have fallen prey to fashionable thinking regarding power meters, because they can't both be right.
I engage in high-stakes arguments for a living. If I lose the argument, people can lose their freedom and/or their kids.


Well, in that case I'd have to disagree with you, they both could be right if the difference between speed and power is large in bicycling, but closer to rounding error in running. The problem, as I see it, is that's there is such a thing as a high speed, low-effort ride, and there really isn't an equivalent in running.

I'm not a racer, so I'll leave it to others as to whether it's necessary for that kind of bike training, but the OP specifically stated that wasn't the question.
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Old 11-16-19, 05:52 PM
  #118  
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After pages and pages of responses, I wonder if the OP took the plunge and ended up getting PM or if they just stopped reading after post 5...
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Old 11-16-19, 06:01 PM
  #119  
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You all realize runners use stride sensors and some have in-sole power meters now? Also, they track TSS and intensities and zones on Trainingpeaks just like cyclists do.
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Old 11-17-19, 10:21 AM
  #120  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I engage in high-stakes arguments for a living. If I lose the argument, people can lose their freedom and/or their kids.
Fair point. My work is the opposite of that. Every detail in code has to be objectively correct, and corrected when found in a code review or testing. Arguments in code review drive me up the wall.

Well, in that case I'd have to disagree with you, they both could be right if the difference between speed and power is large in bicycling, but closer to rounding error in running. The problem, as I see it, is that's there is such a thing as a high speed, low-effort ride, and there really isn't an equivalent in running.
I personally have no need of either - I'm certainly not going to get stress meter running shoes - for a reason that still needs to be mentioned in this thread. The perhaps most useful result, total training load or total stress, is just about meaningless at my age and level of condition. I have to keep an eye on each system individually, and that's applies even more after my injuries in June But in theory ...

I don't deny (from the start) that there is greater difference in cycling, from actual power and what you perceive as power, because of the greater impact of wind resistance at higher speeds. Arguments to convince me of that (or instruct me as the case may be) are pointless because it's a fact already assumed. But my premise for the power meter is the need for precision. I could estimate the power on a bike, and I can estimate the power produced while running, and the accuracy is going to be somewhat different but when you actually do that you see that it's not all that much different. If there is an actual need for say 5% precision (the usual real goal, not accuracy) then you're missing that in estimating running effort by pace.
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Old 11-17-19, 04:11 PM
  #121  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Fair point. My work is the opposite of that. Every detail in code has to be objectively correct, and corrected when found in a code review or testing. Arguments in code review drive me up the wall.



I personally have no need of either - I'm certainly not going to get stress meter running shoes - for a reason that still needs to be mentioned in this thread. The perhaps most useful result, total training load or total stress, is just about meaningless at my age and level of condition. I have to keep an eye on each system individually, and that's applies even more after my injuries in June But in theory ...

I don't deny (from the start) that there is greater difference in cycling, from actual power and what you perceive as power, because of the greater impact of wind resistance at higher speeds. Arguments to convince me of that (or instruct me as the case may be) are pointless because it's a fact already assumed. But my premise for the power meter is the need for precision. I could estimate the power on a bike, and I can estimate the power produced while running, and the accuracy is going to be somewhat different but when you actually do that you see that it's not all that much different. If there is an actual need for say 5% precision (the usual real goal, not accuracy) then you're missing that in estimating running effort by pace.

I was told there would be no math on this thread.

I will run to catch a train, maybe. That's about it.
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Old 11-17-19, 06:50 PM
  #122  
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
After pages and pages of responses, I wonder if the OP took the plunge and ended up getting PM or if they just stopped reading after post 5...
OP is an enthusiast and likely is sitting back and enjoying. I expect he has, or will have a PM.
Lots of us that see no need for a PM have them. I have 5 or 6. Because I want to. I also don't race. I have immense sprint power. I know I do because my PM tells me.
It also tells me my power is going down, so I'm sure that, in part is why I dislike them. I can count my push-ups and they are going down too, and my weight is going up. So there is that.
But if you want to get faster, you do not need a PM. If you want to measure your power, they are great.
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Old 11-18-19, 08:47 AM
  #123  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I was told there would be no math on this thread.

I will run to catch a train, maybe. That's about it.
Get to my age and level of decrepitude and it's use it or lose it. I'd rather math than run, which would be the real reason for a power meter if I ever got one.
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Old 11-18-19, 10:00 AM
  #124  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Get to my age and level of decrepitude and it's use it or lose it. I'd rather math than run, which would be the real reason for a power meter if I ever got one.
I'm 58. I have congenital foot and ankle problems that make running especially bad for me, which is why I got into cycling in the first place. Perfect for people with good legs and bad feet.

I don't mind math, but I definitely don't want to do math on my bike.
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Old 12-03-19, 07:54 AM
  #125  
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Originally Posted by jad3675 View Post
Self-install crank based Avios can be had for around $160 from various UK sellers. Avio states they only work with Shimano cranks, but with a bit of ingenuity I was able to mount one to my Campagnolo Potenza crank. It required disassembly of the Avio, and the application of heat to bend the case so that it followed the contour of the crank.

John
did you mount it with battery side closer to the bottom bracket or battery side closer to the pedal? Also, which model did you buy- A or B?
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