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So I finally got a power meter

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So I finally got a power meter

Old 07-18-19, 07:35 PM
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So I finally got a power meter

just so you folks would quite ranking on me about it. Not really. A close friend of mine was involved in a could-have-been-worse car encounter in which his bike was destroyed. Insurance got him a new bike with pedal-based meters and he gave me the Powertap Pro+ meter. Good start, free meter. Then I had to go and spend $257+shipping on a fancy aero rim and CX-Ray spokes. If I'm going to use it, it has to be in a decent wheel. I built it up yesterday.

Used it for the first time this evening on my rollers. Works fine with my Edge 800. I calibrated it and set the display for 10' average power. Meter vs. HR says I'm still trashed from last Sunday's ride. I knew that. No problem pumping out a little power, but HR's still in the toilet. More recovery.

My WAG at FTP is 150 from looking at Strava's calculations. Might be even worse. I won't get a chance to do a test soon because I'm tapering for a big ride. I'll give it a month and then test. This roller ride was for recovery and looking at Coggin's zones, I've been "recovering" 10+ watts too high, but I knew that, just not the number.

I set up my TrainingPeaks account to use power. Do I have to do anything in Strava to switch it over to power from HR for calculating and displaying? I changed my FTP there already.

Thanks for the encouragement.
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Old 07-19-19, 12:04 AM
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I think the best thing to do when you get a power meter is to spend a couple weeks riding as normal and observing the numbers. You're a clever guy and extremely knowledge about cycling, so you might get less out of that than most people. (It's not just what X watts feels like, it's the relationship between power and time, everybody kind of knows it but seeing the numbers is a different thing.)
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Old 07-19-19, 05:27 AM
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I would not use Strava estimates (without riding with power) to accurately estimate your FTP. The margin of error is too great which makes it impossible to determine what your zones actually are. Take a 20 min test, or better yet do an hour test. The latter being the most reliable.
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Old 07-19-19, 09:39 AM
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I believe you have to have one of the summit packs for strava power. You can also use the elevate plug in for chrome that calculates power analysis similar to trainingpeaks
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Old 07-19-19, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I think the best thing to do when you get a power meter is to spend a couple weeks riding as normal and observing the numbers. You're a clever guy and extremely knowledge about cycling, so you might get less out of that than most people. (It's not just what X watts feels like, it's the relationship between power and time, everybody kind of knows it but seeing the numbers is a different thing.)
Theoretically I'm sure this is a good idea. But is it possible to get a new high-end toy, I mean tool, and not to spend the next two weeks staring at the output?
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Old 07-19-19, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
I would not use Strava estimates (without riding with power) to accurately estimate your FTP. The margin of error is too great which makes it impossible to determine what your zones actually are. Take a 20 min test, or better yet do an hour test. The latter being the most reliable.
Thanks for the suggestion. As I said in my OP, a test is not going to happen for at least a month. Meanwhile, if I'm going to upload to TP and Strava as I've been doing for years, and that will upload power too, from which TSS and everything else will be calculated. No more using hrTSS. Therefore I have to enter some FTP power number, and starting from a Strava estimate seems better to me that using whatever fool thing Strava inserts as a default.

I doubt that Strava would be that far off at estimating power on the steady, windless grades of 1000'-3000' I had last Sunday. If they are, they need to hire a physics major. Those numbers seem usable since I had 5 climbing PRs on that 115 mile ride. I'll see when I get out there and do a couple multi-thousand foot climbs next Thursday. I obviously won't be climbing at FTP on a 10 hour ride, rather in the middle to upper zone 3. Using HR, my hrTSS should be ~600, probably somewhat less using power.

I'll have to see what happens. At least that gives me something to go on while looking at power and estimating HR drift. Might keep me from overdoing it on the first big climb or unknowingly burning matches on the little rises during the 60 mile, 3000' run-in to the climbs.
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Old 07-19-19, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Theoretically I'm sure this is a good idea. But is it possible to get a new high-end toy, I mean tool, and not to spend the next two weeks staring at the output?
No.
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Old 07-19-19, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
I believe you have to have one of the summit packs for strava power. You can also use the elevate plug in for chrome that calculates power analysis similar to trainingpeaks
Thanks, didn't know that. I have Summit for my tandem rides, but don't have it for my single. PITA to have to have 2 Strava accounts for tandem and single bikes. which is the reason I do all my analysis on TP. I'll get power TSS there for my single now, and still use hrTSS for the tandem. Part of the reason I resisted getting a PM for so long.

Strava, in spite of years of complaining by tandems, won't accommodate us by allowing us to use a TANDEM designation when we upload, separating out our tandem rides, so we don't get QOMs everywhere and a lot of KOMs on descents. Not fair to other riders. To complicated for them, no ROI.
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Old 07-19-19, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Theoretically I'm sure this is a good idea. But is it possible to get a new high-end toy, I mean tool, and not to spend the next two weeks staring at the output?
I'm not saying don't look at the numbers, I'm saying don't take them too seriously for a couple weeks, and don't do any real analysis. Actually I suggested to look at the number and get a feel for what it means.
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Old 07-19-19, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Thanks for the suggestion. As I said in my OP, a test is not going to happen for at least a month. Meanwhile, if I'm going to upload to TP and Strava as I've been doing for years, and that will upload power too, from which TSS and everything else will be calculated. No more using hrTSS. Therefore I have to enter some FTP power number, and starting from a Strava estimate seems better to me that using whatever fool thing Strava inserts as a default.

I doubt that Strava would be that far off at estimating power on the steady, windless grades of 1000'-3000' I had last Sunday. If they are, they need to hire a physics major. Those numbers seem usable since I had 5 climbing PRs on that 115 mile ride. I'll see when I get out there and do a couple multi-thousand foot climbs next Thursday. I obviously won't be climbing at FTP on a 10 hour ride, rather in the middle to upper zone 3. Using HR, my hrTSS should be ~600, probably somewhat less using power.

I'll have to see what happens. At least that gives me something to go on while looking at power and estimating HR drift. Might keep me from overdoing it on the first big climb or unknowingly burning matches on the little rises during the 60 mile, 3000' run-in to the climbs.
But it's a different thing to estimate how much power you're using, vs how much you're capable of producing. Even with a direct force power meter it takes some work to nail down your FTP. You're right that the system demands a number, and maybe one Strava guess is better than another, I don't know. But I'd put a lot less stock in their FTP estimates.
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Old 07-19-19, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
But it's a different thing to estimate how much power you're using, vs how much you're capable of producing. Even with a direct force power meter it takes some work to nail down your FTP. You're right that the system demands a number, and maybe one Strava guess is better than another, I don't know. But I'd put a lot less stock in their FTP estimates.
I noticed that Strava's FTP default for me was 180, which is IME absurd. My doctor's FTP is 185 and he drops me easily. This will be interesting and I like to be interested.
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Old 07-19-19, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I noticed that Strava's FTP default for me was 180, which is IME absurd. My doctor's FTP is 185 and he drops me easily. This will be interesting and I like to be interested.
should look at it in terms of watts/kg. You can probably guess the types of riders you can hang with for various distances/times at peak effort and guage roughly what your equivalent FTP should be https://www.cyclinganalytics.com/blo...he-power-curve
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Old 07-19-19, 01:37 PM
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Just starting out with power, I expect that riding a bunch of miles to collect data points on your critical power curve will be more useful than estimating your FTP accurately. If you really want to know, then the most time efficient way I've found is to perform an indoor ramp test.

Also Strava isn't the only solution to tracking performance, far from it. I import my Strava activities into Golden Cheetah and get PMC and critical power estimates for free. If you use a Garmin, Connect also provides a power curve, as well as FTP and VO2Max estimates for free, though I suspect FTP might be based on a 20-min best power average.
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Old 07-19-19, 02:15 PM
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YAY!!! I suspect you will really enjoy the data and metrics over the next few years.
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Old 07-19-19, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Theoretically I'm sure this is a good idea. But is it possible to get a new high-end toy, I mean tool, and not to spend the next two weeks staring at the output?
8 years after my first powermeter and I still stare at watts on my screen all ride long...
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Old 07-19-19, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
8 years after my first powermeter and I still stare at watts on my screen all ride long...
https://chrisfroomelookingatstems.tumblr.com/
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Old 07-19-19, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
should look at it in terms of watts/kg. You can probably guess the types of riders you can hang with for various distances/times at peak effort and guage roughly what your equivalent FTP should be https://www.cyclinganalytics.com/blo...he-power-curve
If my FTP is 150, I'm 2.3 watts/kg and he's 2.7 right now. I'll see if I can hold his wheel on Thursday. He's a bit off, having lost maybe a month's training to his accident. He's the source of the PT hub. Last year, he dropped me easily. On a training ride a month ago I astonished everyone by soloing out in front with ease. OTOH, he's had a month of training since on one those fancy new trainers in his basement. It's been nice for me this year, not having PMR. On the 3rd hand, he couldn't go on last Sunday's training ride. Yeah, I know, big competitions among the geezer crowd. Sunday, I'll find out what my bib number is this year. Last year it was #10 out of 800, by age. Still having fun.
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Old 07-19-19, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
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Old 07-19-19, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
8 years after my first powermeter and I still stare at watts on my screen all ride long...
I got that beat...I started staring in 2008.
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Old 07-19-19, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Thanks for the suggestion. As I said in my OP, a test is not going to happen for at least a month. Meanwhile, if I'm going to upload to TP and Strava as I've been doing for years, and that will upload power too, from which TSS and everything else will be calculated. No more using hrTSS. Therefore I have to enter some FTP power number, and starting from a Strava estimate seems better to me that using whatever fool thing Strava inserts as a default.

I doubt that Strava would be that far off at estimating power on the steady, windless grades of 1000'-3000' I had last Sunday. If they are, they need to hire a physics major. Those numbers seem usable since I had 5 climbing PRs on that 115 mile ride. I'll see when I get out there and do a couple multi-thousand foot climbs next Thursday. I obviously won't be climbing at FTP on a 10 hour ride, rather in the middle to upper zone 3. Using HR, my hrTSS should be ~600, probably somewhat less using power.

I'll have to see what happens. At least that gives me something to go on while looking at power and estimating HR drift. Might keep me from overdoing it on the first big climb or unknowingly burning matches on the little rises during the 60 mile, 3000' run-in to the climbs.
For me, the Strava estimate of my FTP is usually quite good. I think it takes a fair bit of data for Strava to get it right, and maybe itís just that I ride a lot of TT efforts, but Iím impressed with both my FTP estimate and training stress estimates.
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Old 07-19-19, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
But it's a different thing to estimate how much power you're using, vs how much you're capable of producing. Even with a direct force power meter it takes some work to nail down your FTP. You're right that the system demands a number, and maybe one Strava guess is better than another, I don't know. But I'd put a lot less stock in their FTP estimates.
You're certainly right about "less stock." I finally felt recovered enough to put in a little effort on my rollers this evening. I took it up to my usual one hour of VT1 pace, about 116 HR or 86% of LT, 18-18.5 mph on my rollers. When I hold that steady for an hour, my legs hurt at the end, but if I really want to torture them I can go 1.5 hours. Tough on rollers, no little downhills, eh? I was putting out ~150 watts, so that certainly isn't my FTP. 15' of 150 didn't even get me breathing hard. So it's got to be at least 160. I'll try the hour at 160 test when I'm recovered from RAMROD. I forget that those power numbers I'm seeing on Strava are for 7-10 hour climbing rides, so all I can do for that time period, keeping my output even, is not a high percentage of my FTP.
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Old 07-20-19, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
I got that beat...I started staring in 2008.
Haha. Nice!

I should say 8 years of riding. My first was the wired PT back in 2005. That thing was such a hassle. Had to send it off two times in less than 1.5 years to get the bearings replaced/fixed.... but then I had a long break of no riding. When I started riding again in 2013 I was all over Ebay and bought two SRMs because they were like $500... I didn't realize they were so cheap because everything was wireless by that point. I was still pretty excited to be riding on $2000+ SRMs, though! Still have one of them. Couldn't give it away at this point, but it still works perfectly.
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Old 07-20-19, 01:52 PM
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Next interesting thing I noticed is that my standard roller workouts are showing a higher TSS than they did hrTSS for same workout. I think this is more likely due to HR lag rather than FTP estimate too low, but I'll see at time goes on. 275 watts for my standard 1.5' interval, usual gear and speed. HR was a straight line, heading for the sky. My workout library has specs for gear and speed for many workouts, so I can just hit it and not fool around.
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Old 07-20-19, 02:41 PM
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TSS genuinely means nothing to you at this point (and I'd argue if doesn't mean nearly what some people think it means, but that's another story).
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Old 07-22-19, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I'll try the hour at 160 test when I'm recovered from RAMROD. I forget that those power numbers I'm seeing on Strava are for 7-10 hour climbing rides, so all I can do for that time period, keeping my output even, is not a high percentage of my FTP.
I wouldn't be picking a number to shoot for. You will not be able to bracket and estimate your FTP if that is what you are trying to do. Go as hard as you can for either 1hr, or 20min depending on the test you choose to do.
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