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  1. #1
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    310 Watts for 20 minutes, 4.5 watts per kilogram, non-typical plan to get there.

    To me 4.5 watts per kilogram for 20 min is a challenging goal, but according to this chart it would equate to cat 1 level fitness I hope it would make me faster on the trail.

    310 Watts for 20 minutes, 4.5 watts per kilogram, non-typical plan to get there.-30-min-tt.gif

    The funny thing is that I've already been riding (surviving) my last two seasons as a Cat 1 mountain biker with my 20 minute power around 260W, 3.7 watts per kilogram. I did do Cat 1 nationals this year (Finished at the bottom of the barrel)

    I'm thinking of a non-typical strategy this year for getting to my goal of 4.5 watts per kilogram for 20 min. 315ish watts for me.

    The plan would be performing intervals throughout the winter and spring at 315 watts, starting at 2-3 minutes once every 7-10 days then adding 2 or so minutes each month until late spring/early summer until I make the 20 minutes at 315W (4.5 wpk) (I haven't fully explored a full interval breakdown but just throwing out numbers)

    This would be an alternative to the typical plan of basing all your training zones on your current Functional Threshold Power and basing it, instead on the power you want to reach. Your just simply starting with intervals at small amounts of time at your 20 min power goal. Of course I would do base training and race prep/"build" periods with typical threshold intervals and such.

    Overall it would be high intensity for a short duration yet the duration would increase and the intensity would decrease because you are adapting to the intervals as you go.

    Any thoughts on this strategy. You could call it "working your 20 minute watt goal by performing intervals at that wattage"
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  2. #2
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    310 Watts for 20 minutes, 4.5 watts per kilogram, non-typical plan to get there.

    How long can you hold 315 watts for currently?

    Unless you've been doing something horribly horribly wrong with your training the past few years increasing your 20 minute power by 55 watts in just 6 months sounds like a big ask to me.

    It's always good to set an ambitious goal though. See how close you get.

  3. #3
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    Not sure how long I can hold 315W, not very. I'm somewhat new to my power meter, so maybe I'm not a good judge of how much a persons FTP can improve in a 6 month period. One thing is for sure, the guys leading the Cat 1 pack are very fast and if I ever hope to podium I need to be able to get those numbers or something close. I guess I'm getting a bit frustrated... this was my second season as Cat 1 and nowhere close to the top 3-4 guys, and not a whole bunch of improvement. (My job killed my training this summer) I realize the improvement curve slows once you are more experienced but I hope to improve at a better rate in 2014.
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    310 Watts for 20 minutes, 4.5 watts per kilogram, non-typical plan to get there.

    I'd be inclined to do a 315 watt test (see how long you can hold it) and also a 20 minute FTP test quite soon, so that you have some baseline figures to start from.

    Your form and power output is likely to vary naturally with peaks and troughs during the year. If you can hold 260 watts for 20 minutes at your peak fitness in the summer then during the winter off season you'll probably find that your current best 20 minute power is lower, possibly by a lot, than 260 watts at the moment.

    If you've been riding and training continuously for several years it's harder to pull out major improvements year on year, especially when you're comparing peak to peak power outputs. These were my 20 minute test results from 2011 through to August 2012 for comparison.



    http://forums.mtbr.com/xc-racing-tra...l#post10765917

    Getting big improvements in power output is easily do-able, if you're starting from a very low fitness level to begin with. My best 20 minute power now (mid November 2013) is at least 34 watts higher than it was three months ago in mid September 2013. That's because I hadn't ridden a bike for a year previously (due to my broken leg) so there were plenty of easy gains to be made.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2fst4u View Post
    Not sure how long I can hold 315W, not very. I'm somewhat new to my power meter, so maybe I'm not a good judge of how much a persons FTP can improve in a 6 month period. One thing is for sure, the guys leading the Cat 1 pack are very fast and if I ever hope to podium I need to be able to get those numbers or something close. I guess I'm getting a bit frustrated... this was my second season as Cat 1 and nowhere close to the top 3-4 guys, and not a whole bunch of improvement. (My job killed my training this summer) I realize the improvement curve slows once you are more experienced but I hope to improve at a better rate in 2014.
    The chart you posted refers to road categories... which don't really align with MTB categories.

    The average Cat 1 MTB racer (if they race road) is usually a Cat 4 or maybe 3 on the road. Most Pro MTB racers I know are Cat 3 or Cat 2 on the road. A Cat 1 road racer has a big engine, and if they are relatively light and can handle a bike make for a very formidable MTB racer.

    LMN (who should know) says that there are guys doing well in World Cup XCO races who put out a little less than 5.0 w/kg at FTP (60 minute power), for reference.

    How many years have you been racing and training? It takes a few years of consistent riding and training (without long interruptions) to reach your potential; I'm still improving 7 years in.

  6. #6
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    [QUOTE=tommyrod74;10818591]The chart you posted refers to road categories... which don't really align with MTB categories.

    The average Cat 1 MTB racer (if they race road) is usually a Cat 4 or maybe 3 on the road. Most Pro MTB racers I know are Cat 3 or Cat 2 on the road. A Cat 1 road racer has a big engine, and if they are relatively light and can handle a bike make for a very formidable MTB racer.
    QUOTE]

    this has to be 1 of the most absurd statements I've read...the only reason a pro
    mtb racer wouldn't be the same level on the road is because they don't race enough to
    get the points to cat up...you honestly think the people racing mtb's have less engines
    then the roadies...give me a break

  7. #7
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    [QUOTE=peabody;10818613]
    Quote Originally Posted by tommyrod74 View Post
    The chart you posted refers to road categories... which don't really align with MTB categories.

    The average Cat 1 MTB racer (if they race road) is usually a Cat 4 or maybe 3 on the road. Most Pro MTB racers I know are Cat 3 or Cat 2 on the road. A Cat 1 road racer has a big engine, and if they are relatively light and can handle a bike make for a very formidable MTB racer.
    QUOTE]

    this has to be 1 of the most absurd statements I've read...the only reason a pro
    mtb racer wouldn't be the same level on the road is because they don't race enough to
    get the points to cat up...you honestly think the people racing mtb's have less engines
    then the roadies...give me a break
    From a pure fitness standpoint, trod is sorta correct. I ride with some Cat 1 roadies who now race Cat 2 mtbs and get humbled out there because they are too timid in the turns and descents and anything technical anywhere up or down...

    I would say that a podium Cat 1 mtb'er in S. Calif is a podium Cat 3 roadie from a fitness standpoint....perhaps a pack fill Cat 2 roadie if they have learned to anticipate breaks and know how to race smart on the road.

    If and when they finally learn how to ride an mtb, look out!!!

    Is what it is...

    It is important to consider how said roadie earned their Cat 1 status. For example, are they crit specialists only? If so, forget about it. If they earned their Cat 1 roadie status in legit road races that actually have climbs, well...then they are legit engines and will make one heck of an mtb'er if they can ride an mtb.

    On the other hand...many top World Cup mtb'ers such as Sagan and Evans etc etc etc have gone on to dominate the pro ranks on the road!!

  8. #8
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    [QUOTE=rydbyk;10818650]
    Quote Originally Posted by peabody View Post

    From a pure fitness standpoint, trod is sorta correct. I ride with some Cat 1 roadies who now race Cat 2 mtbs and get humbled out there because they are too timid in the turns and descents and anything technical anywhere up or down...

    I would say that a podium Cat 1 mtb'er in S. Calif is a podium Cat 3 roadie from a fitness standpoint....perhaps a pack fill Cat 2 roadie if they have learned to anticipate breaks and know how to race smart on the road.

    If and when they finally learn how to ride an mtb, look out!!!

    Is what it is...

    It is important to consider how said roadie earned their Cat 1 status. For example, are they crit specialists only? If so, forget about it. If they earned their Cat 1 roadie status in legit road races that actually have climbs, well...then they are legit engines and will make one heck of an mtb'er if they can ride an mtb.

    On the other hand...many top World Cup mtb'ers such as Sagan and Evans etc etc etc have gone on to dominate the pro ranks on the road!!
    yeah my point...the local pro road guys I know all race local pro mtb
    when you're fast you're fast, doesn't matter the road or mtb

  9. #9
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    Re: 310 Watts for 20 minutes, 4.5 watts per kilogram, non-typical plan to get there.

    [QUOTE=peabody;10818661]
    Quote Originally Posted by rydbyk View Post

    yeah my point...the local pro road guys I know all race local pro mtb
    when you're fast you're fast, doesn't matter the road or mtb
    Sure it does. Road racing is all about your engine. You need technical skills for MTB racing

  10. #10
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    [QUOTE=peabody;10818613]
    Quote Originally Posted by tommyrod74 View Post
    The chart you posted refers to road categories... which don't really align with MTB categories.

    The average Cat 1 MTB racer (if they race road) is usually a Cat 4 or maybe 3 on the road. Most Pro MTB racers I know are Cat 3 or Cat 2 on the road. A Cat 1 road racer has a big engine, and if they are relatively light and can handle a bike make for a very formidable MTB racer.
    QUOTE]

    this has to be 1 of the most absurd statements I've read...the only reason a pro
    mtb racer wouldn't be the same level on the road is because they don't race enough to
    get the points to cat up...you honestly think the people racing mtb's have less engines
    then the roadies...give me a break
    The competition is less deep in MTB racing. It's easier to move up by scoring points.

    75% of the guys racing Cat 5 crits, assuming they can handle a bike offroad, would blow the doors off a midpack Cat 2 MTB racer.

    At least 50% of those starting a Cat 3 MTB race couldn't finish an "A" group road ride with the front group... and that's a competitive fun training ride, not a race... and that's WITH drafting.

    At the top level of pro, i.e. World Cup or top national level XC pro, sure, those guys have big, big engines. Your average local Cat 1 has nowhere near the w/kg of the average road Cat 1, and that's just a fact.

    A road pro = has a pro team contract, that's how a road Cat 1 becomes a Pro. No pro team contract required to race pro/elite MTB. Moving up on the road is also much more difficult once you get to Cat 3 and up, vs. MTB where I recall simply signing up as a Cat 1 (at a USAC race) and being allowed to do so.

    Many Cat 1 and Pro MTB racers don't race very often on the road, true, but many do, and they still usually aren't Cat 1 or Pro on the road.

    Should I continue, or can you contribute a different experience? What categories (road, MTB) do you race again?

  11. #11
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    [QUOTE=rydbyk;10818650]
    Quote Originally Posted by peabody View Post

    From a pure fitness standpoint, trod is sorta correct. I ride with some Cat 1 roadies who now race Cat 2 mtbs and get humbled out there because they are too timid in the turns and descents and anything technical anywhere up or down...

    I would say that a podium Cat 1 mtb'er in S. Calif is a podium Cat 3 roadie from a fitness standpoint....perhaps a pack fill Cat 2 roadie if they have learned to anticipate breaks and know how to race smart on the road.

    If and when they finally learn how to ride an mtb, look out!!!

    Is what it is...

    It is important to consider how said roadie earned their Cat 1 status. For example, are they crit specialists only? If so, forget about it. If they earned their Cat 1 roadie status in legit road races that actually have climbs, well...then they are legit engines and will make one heck of an mtb'er if they can ride an mtb.

    On the other hand...many top World Cup mtb'ers such as Sagan and Evans etc etc etc have gone on to dominate the pro ranks on the road!!
    The point about road vs. crit points is a very good observation, and generally true. The reverse is true, too - if one is a great MTB racer but lightweight, and most road racing in the area is crits with few open road races, it's more likely you won't move up as quickly on the road side, as it won't suit your strengths.

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=peabody;10818661]
    Quote Originally Posted by rydbyk View Post

    yeah my point...the local pro road guys I know all race local pro mtb
    when you're fast you're fast, doesn't matter the road or mtb
    But is the reverse true? Do all the Cat 1 MTB guys race Cat 1 road? Because that's the difference.

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    I agree with peabody, that was a pretty absurd statement regarding MTB vs roadies. You sure can do those comparison if looking at the average MTB rider you know but in general, there is not much difference between both. The main difference probably resides in MTbers generally taking themselves less seriously then roadies. I raced road, and now race MTB, and trust me, there are a bunch of average fitness dudes riding the elite pack on the road. Same goes for MTB racing.

    There is a meta analysis comparing measures in pro XC racers and pro roadies and both are basically equivalent, with the pro MTBers sometimes having as high or higher w/kg ratio then TdF climbers.

    Racing a bike is so much more then w/kg and fitness.

    To the OP: im not sure your strategy is optimal, starting with short duration intervals and progressing to longer durations may prove to be too little stimulus to induce adaptations. I'd work more around some high intensity efforts and steadier efforts at higher and lwoer power output, respectively.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devincicx View Post
    I agree with peabody, that was a pretty absurd statement regarding MTB vs roadies. You sure can do those comparison if looking at the average MTB rider you know but in general, there is not much difference between both. The main difference probably resides in MTbers generally taking themselves less seriously then roadies. I raced road, and now race MTB, and trust me, there are a bunch of average fitness dudes riding the elite pack on the road. Same goes for MTB racing.

    There is a meta analysis comparing measures in pro XC racers and pro roadies and both are basically equivalent, with the pro MTBers sometimes having as high or higher w/kg ratio then TdF climbers.

    Racing a bike is so much more then w/kg and fitness.

    To the OP: im not sure your strategy is optimal, starting with short duration intervals and progressing to longer durations may prove to be too little stimulus to induce adaptations. I'd work more around some high intensity efforts and steadier efforts at higher and lwoer power output, respectively.
    Again, you're talking about top-level pros in each sport, and the engines are certainly comparable.

    The OP was talking about local Cat 1 Mtb racing. There is a HUGE variance in Cat 1 power output, which makes sense as all you have to do to get to Cat 1 is podium 5 times in Cat 2 and apply for an upgrade. Cat 2 requires NO points to upgrade from Cat 3.

    You can therefore become a Cat 1 MTB racer by podiuming 5 Podunk races with only 1-2 other decent riders.

    Becoming a Cat 1 road racer is much harder. Much deeper fields, and many more points required. On top of that, most Cat 2 races are combined with pro and Cat 1 fields except at very large races, so to get upgrade points you have to Place against Cat 1 and pro racers. Not only that, there is less incentive to move up... because you already race pros and Cat 1s, why bother?

    The Cat 2 road upgrade (from 3) also means all of a sudden you are doing pro distances in open road races. 75-100 mile road races = much more training volume (average 12-18 hrs/week) for most Cat 2 roadies I know (unless they only race crits).

    How many Cat 2 MTB guys you know are training 12-18 hrs/week? Most Cat 1s I know don't do that much. Because they don't have to.

    Again, post what categories you race and your experiences. I race pro XC and Cat 1 CX. Only Cat 3 on road, though I'll likely move up this year.

    While several of the local Cat 1 Mtb guys are good (Cat 3) road racers, many others are Cat 4 / 5 packfill. There's a very wide range of engines in Cat 1 Mtb, and the average isn't anywhere near the average Cat 1 road level.

    I'd also point out that anyone you know in the pro/elite road field with "average" fitness is likely a gifted sprinter or a supremely talented crit racer who can make up for a lack of w/kg by racing very intelligently. There is no one of "average fitness" finishing with the leaders in a climb-heavy open road race, that should be obvious.

  15. #15
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    First of all 55 watts is a big ask. Honestly, 50 watts is generally difference between peak form and completely out shape. Not saying it isn't possible but over a single year, not likely. Now combine and increase in power with a loss of weight and you are starting to get some where.

    As for the Categories: Cat 1 on the road and Cat 1 on the mountain bike don't really align. Cat 1 on road is the highest category you can race in, in mountain biking there is the Elite Category after Cat 1.

    Cat 1 on MTB is lot closer to Cat 3 on road. Both generally represent very dedicated racers, who prioritize working, school or family over racing. When you get into Cat 1-2, or Elite MTB you get a lot of racers for whom racing is their main priority.

    For OP, I am fairly competitive in Cat 1 on the MTB, not winning but it seems no matter where I race (and I have raced in a lot of places) I am 3-8th. When I am on top form my CP20 is around 4.0. Generally I have stronger technical skills then guys I race with, but that is often offset by poor nutrition well racing, and not always getting the most out of my fitness (i.e. mentally weak). If you can get around 4.0 and have sufficient technical skills you should be competitive.
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    Thanks, LMN.

    I'd add that I'm usually around 4.8-4.9 w/kg. First season in the new category I usually finished lower podium (3rd-5th) in pro/elite, better in mass-start marathon and endurance races (won several this year). I usually finish a couple of minutes ahead of the fastest Cat 1 at any given XC race.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    First of all 55 watts is a big ask. Honestly, 50 watts is generally difference between peak form and completely out shape. Not saying it isn't possible but over a single year, not likely. Now combine and increase in power with a loss of weight and you are starting to get some where.

    As for the Categories: Cat 1 on the road and Cat 1 on the mountain bike don't really align. Cat 1 on road is the highest category you can race in, in mountain biking there is the Elite Category after Cat 1.

    Cat 1 on MTB is lot closer to Cat 3 on road. Both generally represent very dedicated racers, who prioritize working, school or family over racing. When you get into Cat 1-2, or Elite MTB you get a lot of racers for whom racing is their main priority.

    For OP, I am fairly competitive in Cat 1 on the MTB, not winning but it seems no matter where I race (and I have raced in a lot of places) I am 3-8th. When I am on top form my CP20 is around 4.0. Generally I have stronger technical skills then guys I race with, but that is often offset by poor nutrition well racing, and not always getting the most out of my fitness (i.e. mentally weak). If you can get around 4.0 and have sufficient technical skills you should be competitive.
    Good point... I didn't think through regarding the chart being based on road riders. Your comparison of Cat 3 road and Cat 1 MT bike seems very accurate for me as I train with roadies (on the road and off) and they burn me on the road and I burn them on the trail.

    4.0 sounds a bit more realistic and a little more doable than 4.6... Thanks for the input.
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    2fast - good luck dude. Always good to have goals!

    Regarding the chart, it is indeed based of road categories - which as Tommy and LMN indicated, don't align. It's just a fact.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2fst4u View Post
    Any thoughts on this strategy. You could call it "working your 20 minute watt goal by performing intervals at that wattage"
    I have never heard of that strategy.

    Basically you would be doing VO2 max intervals. 120% is usually the high end of range to do 3-5m intervals with equal amount of rest in between efforts.

    If you are looking for any other ideas maybe these from Hunter Allen can help

    Hunter Allen Peaks Coaching Group: How to Rebuild Your Power Foundation

    Doing just 2,3&4 helped me last off season
    Peaks Coaching: Take Your Performance to the Next Level

  20. #20
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    How did quotes that I didn't make end up as my quotes?? Haha. Never seen that before.

    Good luck 2fast!

  21. #21
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    I'll confirm what everyone else said. CP20 around 4 is just about right for doing well in Expert/Cat 1.

    Each summer I'm about 3.8-3.9 based on CP20. In our local Expert class (non-sanctioned in Utah) I'm out of the top 10, usually about 12th - 19th out of 25-30 or so. When I did well in Nationals Cat 2 last year, I believe I was probably pushing 4 W/kg for CP20, mainly because of some good weight loss (160 on the dot).

    Coincidentally, I hold a Cat 3 license on the road, but I have some strengths that are well suited there. My CP5 is about 340-350W and I hit a 5s PR of 1180W this past season at 46 yrs old (crossfit?). But my CP1 ain't the greatest at around 500W (not by road racing standards) and I don't recover as fast after hard efforts compared to younger guys.

    Now I race Masters 1-2-3 exclusively on the road and I'm definitely at the very tail end of that group. I think I've only broken the top half twice. A dude I know won the state Masters road race and he said he hit 600W for a minute to win the short uphill finish and he only weighs like 135. That's insane.
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  22. #22
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    Something just does not add up here. Below are my average power numbers straight out of the PowerAgent tool I use with the CycleOps 300 Pro. Everything was achieved indoors at 147 lbs and I am 51 years old.

    My FTP (CP60) puts me at 3.65 W/Kg and the CP20 puts me at 4 W/Kg. But I cannot come close to hanging with Experts in short races. Even in Sport class I struggle to hit top 5. I only do well in long, endurance races (as in 5-8 hours).

    So I have no idea how you guys manage to do well with 4 W/Kg at 20 minutes. Here in Ontario I am sure you need 4 W/Kg for 60 minutes (FTP) to do well in Expert category.
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    Quote Originally Posted by serious View Post
    Something just does not add up here. Below are my average power numbers straight out of the PowerAgent tool I use with the CycleOps 300 Pro. Everything was achieved indoors at 147 lbs and I am 51 years old.

    My FTP (CP60) puts me at 3.65 W/Kg and the CP20 puts me at 4 W/Kg. But I cannot come close to hanging with Experts in short races. Even in Sport class I struggle to hit top 5. I only do well in long, endurance races (as in 5-8 hours).

    So I have no idea how you guys manage to do well with 4 W/Kg at 20 minutes. Here in Ontario I am sure you need 4 W/Kg for 60 minutes (FTP) to do well in Expert category.
    The short answer is it's not just about FTP, unless you are simply doing a time trial.

    Most XC races start with a sustained effort well above FTP (up to 10+ minutes), and you'll have repeated efforts above FTP when climbing or putting in/following attacks.

    Good anaerobic power and repeatability are also necessary as a result.

    Good FTP without good anaerobic ability = better at longer, steadier races.

    Another short answer is that FTP (and other metrics) don't race for you, and taken alone don't tell the whole story.

  24. #24
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    310 Watts for 20 minutes, 4.5 watts per kilogram, non-typical plan to get there.

    Quote Originally Posted by serious View Post
    Something just does not add up here. Below are my average power numbers straight out of the PowerAgent tool I use with the CycleOps 300 Pro. Everything was achieved indoors at 147 lbs and I am 51 years old.

    My FTP (CP60) puts me at 3.65 W/Kg and the CP20 puts me at 4 W/Kg. But I cannot come close to hanging with Experts in short races. Even in Sport class I struggle to hit top 5. I only do well in long, endurance races (as in 5-8 hours).

    So I have no idea how you guys manage to do well with 4 W/Kg at 20 minutes. Here in Ontario I am sure you need 4 W/Kg for 60 minutes (FTP) to do well in Expert category.
    If you think back to the short races where you were getting dropped consider where you were losing contact. Was it on short accelerations and repeated sprints?

    That would be my guess as your 30 second and 1 minute best power outputs aren't that high. That profile looks a lot like mine used to over the last few years when I'd consistently get blown away by everybody on short power climbs and sprinting as I just couldn't deliver enough of an explosive burst to keep up. After doing even more damage to my left leg crashing last year it's worse again in 2013...


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    Quote Originally Posted by serious View Post
    Something just does not add up here. Below are my average power numbers straight out of the PowerAgent tool I use with the CycleOps 300 Pro. Everything was achieved indoors at 147 lbs and I am 51 years old.

    My FTP (CP60) puts me at 3.65 W/Kg and the CP20 puts me at 4 W/Kg. But I cannot come close to hanging with Experts in short races. Even in Sport class I struggle to hit top 5. I only do well in long, endurance races (as in 5-8 hours).

    So I have no idea how you guys manage to do well with 4 W/Kg at 20 minutes. Here in Ontario I am sure you need 4 W/Kg for 60 minutes (FTP) to do well in Expert category.
    I have a teammate who podium's in age group expert in midwest and he is a 5.0 W/Kg, so I see your point.

    His 1m power is 85% more than his 60m power, while yours is 70%. I know he does at one point in season 1m all out with 4m recovery repeats to get his 1m power up.

    As far as working with what you have and being better at short races, ,maybe at right time of season this will help. Mountain Bike Power | FasCat Coaching :: Cycling Coach for all Cyclists

    I know this chart above is 'road oriented' but maybe go thru this "power profiling" article and see where you are at. TrainingPeaks | Power Profiling

  26. #26
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    Yeah, I guess you guys are right on. I am terrible at big efforts delivered again and again. In some hard starts I get completely hammered and it take me a full 30 minutes to recover. By then I am way back and the next hour is a struggle to catch up. And I do warm up carefully, which does help.

    I know with age the ability to accelerate and sprint decreases but for me it is particularly troublesome. The good news is that my steady efforts are still decent.
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    The chart in Coggan's book is misleading. I'll tell you why. About two years ago I was in the best shape of my life. I was at about 4.5 w/kg at my race where i hit my peak. Well, I was podium for the TT first stage in a stage race but only about 10th on the hilly circuit race and road race stages. This was Cat 4 road racing. There are some mighty fast dudes out there. Racing is humbling! My power out put was ok but I needed to be about 8 lbs lighter. That would have boosted my w/kg just enough to hang and give me a chance instead of getting dropped. Now with two little kids I've got no chance I love those kids though!

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    OP- what you propose for training does not work (starting at the wattage you want to hold and then keep adding more time until you can hold it for that long).
    If it did work- there would be many more fast bike racers and many more strong guys in the gym. What you propose assumes there is no ceiling.
    Though your system will not work, there are many methodologies that do work. You can likely make yourself stronger than ever with a solid winter program.
    It does not need to be huge time- just the right time.
    Keep researching or hire a coach that specializes in training riders who are time crunched.
    VO2 max work is over-rated. I know a guy who has won his age group at masters mtb nationals for about the last 5 years. He hardly does any work in the VO2 max area.
    But the level he can hold at or just below threshold is incredible. He works at it too- tons of tempo both flat and climbing. Also, he is a great bike handler and very steady when racing. He literally makes times on every inch of the course.

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    This discussion has been fascinating to me, as I too have set a target 20 minute power/weight for the start of next season. The rest of this post is a lot about my situation and my approach, but I think it's applicable to the goals the OP posted....

    How I've identified threshold power as a weakness

    Over the past years, my CP20 w/kg has varied little; and it changes very little throughout a season. Every 20 minute test I've done over the past 5 years has netted 4.2-4.4 w/kg. My race results have improved steadily though...from just off the podium in Cat1 to fairly consistent pro podiums in state level races (Utah). The more V02 efforts in a race, the more successful I am, but if those efforts exceed 6-7 minutes, without at least 2-3 minutes recovery, I struggle. I also suffer if the race is continuously over/under threshold (think cyclocross-which opened my eyes to this). I also struggle as race length approaches 3 hours.

    I spent a small amount of time with a coach and he was surprised at my 20 minute test result given my race results...his conclusion was that I was "efficient" on the bike, only expending energy where it is most beneficial. I think he was partially true, but I think the more significant reason is that my threshold power is a relatively low percentage of my V02 max power (5 min power about 5.4 w/kg), and that I can tap into that V02 power if there is ample recovery before the next effort. This all puts my threshold power at about 83% of V02 max...and I've heard that trained athletes will achieve threshold between 75% and 95% of V02 max. So I've targeted to raise my threshold to 88% of a V02 max effort.

    So my goal for next year is to boost threshold from 4.2 up to 4.5. How will I do this? This is basically answering the OP's question...or at least the approach that I plan to take.

    My plan to boost threshold power prior to next race season

    1) Lose a few pounds...not much, I'm at 157-down from 160 and it was very easy (just ate normal portions for a week). I want to get to 150-153. Most of this will be upper body muscle, and I'm okay with this. I will not spend as much time at the gym this winter, as it does not address my major weakness. I will also cut about 2 lb off the race bike...

    2) Higher volume with more aerobic time and less gym time....Replace gym time before work with aerobic base miles/activities. Air pollution and snow may force me to hit the slopes for some alpine touring or XC skiing, but again, it's aerobic, rather than the anaerobic efforts I've been putting in at the gym for the last 4 years. Plus, it will be at a higher altitude than here in town (7500' vs 4500'). I've normally been pretty low on volume, my biggest month ever was 42 hrs. I average about 25 hrs/mo. I'm targeting 50 hours a month Dec, Jan, Feb. With a light week at the end of each month.

    3) Structured approach through base training....December all low intensity base, January introduce some threshold, February introduce some over/under threshold work. Hit the short intervals hard in March as the races ramp up.

    So if I can achieve my target weight (152lb from 157lb), and achieve my target 20 minute power (350 w from 325 w- about 88% of V02 max efforts), I should have boosted my 20 min power/weight from 4.4 up to just over 5.0. Which should make it competitive against just about everyone I normally line up against.

    Threats to this plan are potential long work hours, lack of discipline to get sleep (typing this at 12:21 AM), weather, and illness-especially if losing weight.

    I'm curious what the coaches in here think of this plan...I've already integrated some input from Poncharelli and Scottz123 (thanks for the input).

  30. #30
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    I have been under the impression that most coaches look for a 10-15% FTP gain in one season as the realistic goal for those willing to work really hard.

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    Brentos

    I think you are complicating things too much for yourself.

    Setting accurate goals in absolute or relative numbers is not a great idea, as it can take over your training and push yourself physically and mentally to bad things. There are, in my opinion, way too many numbers in there.

    Im not sure what you mean by all low intensity, threshold, etc, but I think you are simplifying things too much and being too linear with your approach. Isolating training intensities is not the best idea and you should still mix things up while having an alternated intensity focus throughout your off season.

    I see where you are going with droping the weight lifting, but have you thought about the benefits of keeping the lfiting going? Even though they are not much bike related...

    My advice is: don't over-simplify but don't fall into the number trap. Do not isolate training focus and for god's sake, do not follow silly comments such as: ''that dude I know wins a lot and barely does VO2max, THEREFORE VO2max training is over-rated''.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devincicx View Post
    ... and for god's sake, do not follow silly comments such as: ''that dude I know wins a lot and barely does VO2max, THEREFORE VO2max training is over-rated''.
    I agree with that part. Nothing like anecdotal evidence to make a point.

    But I think Brentos has a decent plan to improve himself. It is very ambitious and will push his VO2Max around 61, which is pretty impressive. Mine is around 50 based on the formula ((10.8*CP20_Watts)/Weight_Kg)+7.

    Like with all plans, they only work when feedback is available. Not just numbers, but how you feel, how you sleep, how fresh you are before hard workouts and how motivated you are to push yourself during all those long, lonely hours in the basement.
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    I think a lot depands on terrain you are racing.

    Multiple Short steep climbs require bursty aenorobic power/endurance for example.

    There is one course unique to my area that has a fairly steep 3 min climb that i wrestle up in a 32/32 for the most part. To prepare for this length of effort, i would think 3m x 6 VO2 max efforts @ 120% is the way to go.

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    Your plan is aggressive but likely achievable.
    But I would suggest baby steps.
    1.) Is that weight loss realistic? What is your bodyfat at current race weight. Many make the mistake of improving one year because they lose bodyfat, then try to do more and end up riding slower because they lose muscle, recovery, etc.
    2 lb off bike? What is current bike? How are handling skills? Going to a lighter bike may or may not be the answer. I think a lightweight full sus makes sense except on easy courses and/or courses with really long and smooth climbs.
    2.) Volume- you say biggest month ever was 42 hours- I would not go beyond maybe 46-47 hours. unless you are doing many other things to aid recovery. Training is not how much you can do- it is how much you can assimilate and recover from.
    Especially if you are moving to a higher altitude. That is an additional load on your body and will requite more recovery. Heck, less volume may even be appropriate?
    3.) I would seek to increase 20 minute power- not make it seem like you have to get to 350 to be successful. You say that VO2 max is already a strong point for you- I would not spend to much time trying to increase that. If you push threashold power up, power at VO2 max should be better than ever.
    Think tempo- climbs but also flats. Too many mtb riders focus only on climbing- tempo on flats gives you huge staying power.
    It seems like you know what your threats are too achieving this goal. Do everything you can to minimize these threats. Make sure the plan that you outline is doable- a super aggressive program that is not doable will leave you tired, flat and unmotivated.

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    310 Watts for 20 minutes, 4.5 watts per kilogram, non-typical plan to get there.

    Quote Originally Posted by serious View Post
    But I think Brentos has a decent plan to improve himself. It is very ambitious and will push his VO2Max around 61, which is pretty impressive. Mine is around 50 based on the formula ((10.8*CP20_Watts)/Weight_Kg)+7.
    How accurate is that formula supposed to be? The last time I had any actual lab testing done was back in the late 1990s (pre injury). If you work back to get the 20 minute power figure from my known bodyweight and known VO2 Max at that time I'm not convinced the resulting power figure is reliable.

    I don't think I'd rely on it starting from 20 minute power and bodyweight to give your true VO2 Max.

    Quote Originally Posted by scottz123 View Post

    Doing just 2,3&4 helped me last off season
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    I like the way he's saying do a 5 or 6 hour ride every week or so, but also do lots of extra intervals and concentrate on quality over quantity. It's making me feel tired just thinking about it.

    By rest days he seems to be saying endurance miles, rather than complete days off?

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    VO2 max

    VO2 max is icing on the cake. You should wring as much as you can out of threshold and sub-threshold before you worry about VO2 max intervals.

    Quote Originally Posted by serious View Post
    I agree with that part. Nothing like anecdotal evidence to make a point.

    But I think Brentos has a decent plan to improve himself. It is very ambitious and will push his VO2Max around 61, which is pretty impressive. Mine is around 50 based on the formula ((10.8*CP20_Watts)/Weight_Kg)+7.

    Like with all plans, they only work when feedback is available. Not just numbers, but how you feel, how you sleep, how fresh you are before hard workouts and how motivated you are to push yourself during all those long, lonely hours in the basement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bootsie_cat View Post
    VO2 max is icing on the cake. You should wring as much as you can out of threshold and sub-threshold before you worry about VO2 max intervals.
    How? Why? Since when VO2max is the icing on the cake? It can serve many other purposes, adaptation-wise.

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    How? By doing work at threshold or below- lots of it.
    Why? Because it will raise your threshold power, not burn you out, and put you in a whole different league as a racer.
    Way more bang for the buck training this way. VO2 max work takes way more recovery (if you are doing it all properly). A good VO2 max workout can cost you half a weeks training in terms of recovery needed.

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    As far as I know, the blind threshold approach consisting of days in days out threshold workout is supported by very few, if any, evidence. On the other hand, VO2max work, or other high intensity training, has been shown to be a potent stimulus for skeletal muscle adaptations.

    Im not saying sustained threshold work won't ''work'' (I use it myself). But im saying one should not discard VO2max work, year round or not, based on what people say on training forums.

    As for recovery implications, both threshold or VO2max efforts do have recovery implications. One is not worst then the other and it depends on the total work volume you are doing. There is a dose/response relation between time spent at these intensities and acute physiological consequences: glycogen depletion, post workout infalmmation, neuromuscular fatigue, hormonal stress, etc.

    There is quite a huge difference between 60min at, say, 85-95% of FTP and 15min at 110% of FTP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    I like the way he's saying do a 5 or 6 hour ride every week or so, but also do lots of extra intervals and concentrate on quality over quantity. It's making me feel tired just thinking about it.

    By rest days he seems to be saying endurance miles, rather than complete days off?

    "I believe it means off", this article was put out in November, I thinking as an off-season FTP base builder. Quality over quantity for example stuck on trainer?

    "After two intense days, give yourself a rest before coming back to training, except every other week give yourself two days of easy training after two hard days instead of resting so you can keep your battery charged" Hunter Allen in this winter training article Hunter Allen Peaks Coaching Group

  41. #41
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    Thanks for the feedback everyone, I appreciate it. I will keep the focus on the numbers to a minimum...doing a baseline test in a couple of weeks, then no more than one test a month after that.

    I will be going to a hardtail (19.9) from a FS (22.25)...I've raced hardtails before and done well on them, it just feels a bit more out of control, and gets tiring after 2 hours. I do have a 24 lb 5.5" travel bike for the really rough courses without a ton of climbing.

    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    How accurate is that formula supposed to be? The last time I had any actual lab testing done was back in the late 1990s (pre injury). If you work back to get the 20 minute power figure from my known bodyweight and known VO2 Max at that time I'm not convinced the resulting power figure is reliable.

    I don't think I'd rely on it starting from 20 minute power and bodyweight to give your true VO2 Max.
    I agree that that equation probably isn't too reliable. At my current 20 min w/kg, it calculates to 55.5. Lab testing a few years ago showed my measured V02 max to be 72.9....

    IF I go on the assumption that the equation fits the average of the population, it is more evidence that my threshold power is modest for what one would expect for measured V02max.

    So this takes me back the discussion...what's the best way to boost threshold???

  42. #42
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    WR304: I don't think I'd rely on it starting from 20 minute power and bodyweight to give your true VO2 Max.

    I got it from this Hunter Allan blog. It is an approximation, but I bet it reflects my modest Vo2Max very accurately.
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    There is truth to what you say. But given that it seems that riders should not take prescriptive training advice from online forums.
    There are way too many variables.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by brentos View Post
    This discussion has been fascinating to me, as I too have set a target 20 minute power/weight for the start of next season. The rest of this post is a lot about my situation and my approach, but I think it's applicable to the goals the OP posted....

    A LONG BUT GOOD POST

    I'm curious what the coaches in here think of this plan...I've already integrated some input from Poncharelli and Scottz123 (thanks for the input).
    I like what you have written up.

    1. I think the volume increase will be beneficial for you. But I am worried that you are being a bit ambitious. I think you can probably handle the volume physically but it take a while to learn to juggle your other life commitments to handle repeated 50hr months. I have a lot of flexibility and all the support to train as much as I want. I can and do achieve 50hr months but not consistently, 40hrs is a lot more achievable. Given that this would be a significant increase over what you have done is the past I suspect it will be sufficient to achieve.

    2. Weight loss is always a challenge. I can get light but don't stay there very long. Beer and ice cream are far too good for me to stay at race weight for length of time.

    3. XC skiing and Alpine touring is a great way to spend your winters. A friend did 70 days of touring this winter and probably 50 days of XC skiing. Didn't really start to ride regularly to late April. Beginning of July he won a stage and placed top 5 overall at BCBR.
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  45. #45
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    Being a new PM user myself, I wish I had a bag of popcorn right now!!!

    I did an FTP test 3 weeks ago and a Power Profile today...I haven't looked at the numbers from today, but my FTP was 295W at 177lbs...3.69w/Kg...and this is from only working out at the gym for 4 weeks, only riding for fun on weekends since my last race on Sept. 22...I hope my upside is good...

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    310 Watts for 20 minutes, 4.5 watts per kilogram, non-typical plan to get there.

    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    2. Weight loss is always a challenge. I can get light but don't stay there very long. Beer and ice cream are far too good for me to stay at race weight for length of time.
    What's worked for me so far this year was buying a set of Withings WS-30 wifi scales, for tracking long term weight changes, and also recording my diet each day using the www.myfitnesspal.com app.

    Withings WS-30 wifi scale:
    http://www.withings.com/en/wirelessscale

    My Fitness Pal:
    http://www.myfitnesspal.com

    Those two things used together every day basically act as an incentive to keep in control of body weight.

    As at 20 November 2013 I'm still a little heavier than I'd normally be (149lbs), but at least it's only 3lb overweight, rather than the 27lbs overweight (including external fixator frame on leg) that I was in March 2013.

    I've found it far harder losing weight than it is maintaining a healthy weight year round to begin with. It's better to not get into that state by letting yourself go if possible.

    If you're wondering how the numbers below tie in - the big drop June 2013 was where the frame was removed and I was able to step up the exercise. My first cycling on a turbo trainer was 06 August 2013, my first ride outdoors was 14 September 2013. At the moment I'm eating 3,500 to 4,000 calories per day and trying to ride 6 or 7 days per week.


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    This is a good thread, subscribed. I tend to have the ability to put out quite a few watts but I've also got to haul a 81-83kg beanpole body uphill. My offseason goal is to achieve 4-4.15 watts/kg which means a CP20 of about 340 watts. My current FTP appears to be about 3.65 watts/kg but declined after a peak at the end of August. I've already switched to my shop's road team to prepare for the 2014 NUE so that at least I won't have to be dodging trees in the tight twisty trails and can focus on my strengths in climbing next year.

  48. #48
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    This is great freaking thread. Thanks to everyone for all of the useful information.

    I have my own question based on a 20 minute test I performed last night that I'm hoping can add to the body of information here (and help me out of course too!).

    So I did a 20 minute test to see where I'm at right now, get an estimation of FTP, and see my zones for training for the coming year, etc. It was raining outside, so I did this on my trainer in my garage. Power is measured by Quarq cranks.

    My protocol was: Easy spin for 10 minutes, then 10 minutes at an M.E. (muscular endurance) level which for me I'm guessing is around 280 watts. Then 20 minutes all out....cool down.

    I uploaded my data to both Training Peaks and Strava. (and this is kind the basis of my questions). Training Peaks spit me out a "normalized power" number of 324 watts for the 20 minute period. I was a little dissappointed in this number, because I was trying to sustain around 330 watts, and thought I was doing a better job of that. But then I also uploaded the same data to Strava, highlighted the 20 minute test, and Strava spits out a number of 333 average (not normalized) watts for the same exact period.

    So I guess my question(s) are: What is the difference between normalized power and average power (I didn't think they'd be that different on a trainer), and which number should I use going forward?

    FWIW, 38 years old, 170 pounds at the moment, and don't really care for long walks on the beach. Generally podium in Pro SS & geared Cat 1 races, and have been winning most races in my cyclocross series this year in the Single Speed A's.
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  49. #49
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    Normalized power and average power should be exactly the same in a test if you make an attempt to hold the same power. I saw this many times in my CycleOps spin bike.

    Although there are different formulas for normalized power, the idea is to predict your average power in a ride where you have large variations and especially zero power from coasting. Normalized power is always equal or higher than average power. My normalized power can be 10-20 Watts higher than the average (on the spin bike), reflecting my slow 20-30 minute warmup that a normalized power formula will attempt to "play down".

    And I would trust your powermeter over Strava any day.
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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by serious View Post

    And I would trust your powermeter over Strava any day.
    oh yeah totally of course,....but this ^^ is sorta the thing. This isn't a Strava estimation of power, it's the exact same power file being uploaded to both Training Peaks and Strava Premium. And I'm just looking at the same exact 20 minute interval and not the whole workout with warm-up and cool down included.

    I'm still not sure if I should use the 343 normalized power to set my zones or the 333 average power number. I was indeed trying to hold the same number for the 20 minute test (~330) but there were dips every few minutes where I'd shift my position in the saddle, or stand for just a few seconds just to get comfortable. It sounds like you are saying the normalized should be used eh?
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    using normalized power to set up your training intensities is fooling yourself. Disregard the higher power (normalized) and use the average power.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    oh yeah totally of course,....but this ^^ is sorta the thing. This isn't a Strava estimation of power, it's the exact same power file being uploaded to both Training Peaks and Strava Premium. And I'm just looking at the same exact 20 minute interval and not the whole workout with warm-up and cool down included.

    I'm still not sure if I should use the 343 normalized power to set my zones or the 333 average power number. I was indeed trying to hold the same number for the 20 minute test (~330) but there were dips every few minutes where I'd shift my position in the saddle, or stand for just a few seconds just to get comfortable. It sounds like you are saying the normalized should be used eh?
    20 minutes is too short a timeframe for normalized power to be an accurate reflection of your aerobic ability (unless normalized power happens to = average power, which, as stated above, means you held a very steady effort).

    20 minutes, in other words, is a short enough to have a very large anaerobic component - especially as a singlespeeder

    Always use average power for power testing.

    Normalized power is more useful for examining relative effort over longer rides/races.

    Edited to add: If Normaized power is noticeably higher than average power during what's supposed to be a steady effort test, than you are doing the test wrong

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    I uploaded my data to both Training Peaks and Strava. (and this is kind the basis of my questions). Training Peaks spit me out a "normalized power" number of 324 watts for the 20 minute period. I was a little dissappointed in this number, because I was trying to sustain around 330 watts, and thought I was doing a better job of that. But then I also uploaded the same data to Strava, highlighted the 20 minute test, and Strava spits out a number of 333 average (not normalized) watts for the same exact period.
    This is a data interpretation issue between the two different websites. If you're using the Training Peaks website (free or paid version) then it will give you both an average power and also a normalized power figure for your best 20 minutes. On a turbo trainer these should be close to identical (within a couple of watts). I'd use the Training Peaks figure in preference to Strava.

    If you're using the free version of the Training Peaks website make the ride Public (on the Calendar screen left click on the workout and then tick the Public box at the bottom left) before applying the change. Once you've done that click the small "Share By Link" icon and paste the URL into a new tab of your web browser. In the shared link you can view the details for individual laps and best power using the free version of the Training Peaks website.



    On the shared Training Peaks graph in your new browser tab either select the lap (if you were doing a set workout) or alternatively select the best 20 minute power from the list. This will now change the displayed summary so that both average and normalized power for your best 20 minute power are displayed together. In the picture below of my outdoor FTP test from 15 October 2013 you can see how my average power was 218 watts and my normalized power was 219 watts, indicating it was a good effort throughout.



    The new desktop version WKO 4 is supposed to be released 10 December 2013. For power file analysis I'd consider buying that once it's available.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devincicx View Post
    using normalized power to set up your training intensities is fooling yourself. Disregard the higher power (normalized) and use the average power.
    That is why I am confused....the higher number in my case is the average number, and the normalized number came out lower. As I mentioned, Normalized 324 watts. Average = 333 watts. I am guessing I should go with the lower, normalized one. (
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    I'd add to all the (great) advice above that there's no real disadvantage to slightly lowballing your FTP estimate - the worst that will happen is that the interval workouts you plan (based on the slightly low FTP) will be slightly easier than intended, and you'll just bump up the wattage accordingly (which you'd have done anyway once they became too easy).

    Overestimate FTP by any significant amount and your derived interval workouts will be too difficult, and you will fail to complete them properly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyrod74 View Post
    20 minutes is too short a timeframe for normalized power to be an accurate reflection of your aerobic ability (unless normalized power happens to = average power, which, as stated above, means you held a very steady effort).

    20 minutes, in other words, is a short enough to have a very large anaerobic component - especially as a singlespeeder

    Always use average power for power testing.

    Normalized power is more useful for examining relative effort over longer rides/races.

    OK thanks for the response man. I think this makes sense. Thank you
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    That is why I am confused....the higher number in my case is the average number, and the normalized number came out lower. As I mentioned, Normalized 324 watts. Average = 333 watts. I am guessing I should go with the lower, normalized one. (
    If the same program is calculating both, then NP should be higher. Strange.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyrod74 View Post
    ...20 minutes, in other words, is a short enough to have a very large anaerobic component - especially as a singlespeeder
    Nitpicking. A one-off maximal effort over a period of 1-2 minutes will be pretty much all aerobic. Longer than that and the continual contributions from anaerobic source will be negligible. Hence, 20mins and more and its aerobic all the way baby.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    I was indeed trying to hold the same number for the 20 minute test (~330) but there were dips every few minutes where I'd shift my position in the saddle, or stand for just a few seconds just to get comfortable. It sounds like you are saying the normalized should be used eh?
    For a 20 minute test on the turbo you really want to be doing as close to a constant effort as possible, trying to minimise the amounts of shifting around and changes of pace. If it's too uncomfortable consider doing like I do and have a big well padded saddle on the turbo trainer bike for a bit more sitbone cushioning whilst riding indoors.

    Have a look at some of the indoor turbo training graphs and suggestions in this thread.:

    Training for the whole next season...on a trainer?!?!?

    Remind yourself that it's fun repeatedly also. That should help you ride better and reduce perceived exertion too.

    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/1...ut-feels-good/

    Talking Yourself out of Exhaustion: The... [Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI

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    Quote Originally Posted by TapewormWW View Post
    Nitpicking. A one-off maximal effort over a period of 1-2 minutes will be pretty much all aerobic. Longer than that and the continual contributions from anaerobic source will be negligible. Hence, 20mins and more and its aerobic all the way baby.
    Call it nitpicking if you want. I know I can do a 20 minute test with a high VI (variabililty index) that gives me a NP at least 30 watts higher than AP.

    If a 20 minute effort is all aerobic, then why do so many reputable coaches recommend the 5 minutes all-out effort before a 20 minute test?

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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    This is a data interpretation issue between the two different websites. If you're using the Training Peaks website (free or paid version) then it will give you both an average power and also a normalized power figure for your best 20 minutes. On a turbo trainer these should be close to identical (within a couple of watts). I'd use the Training Peaks figure in preference to Strava.
    OK I think I am all squared away now. I do indeed have the paid version of Training Peaks. I am relatively new to Training Peaks so am still getting used to where to find all of its data, and when I scroll down a little below the normalized power number, I do see an average power. SO when I do this, all in Training Peaks, normalized power is 324, and average power is 323. Nearly identical. I guess there is a bit of a difference between the two different websites even when using the same power file.

    Thanks everyone for your help....again, very educational.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyrod74 View Post
    Call it nitpicking if you want. I know I can do a 20 minute test with a high VI (variability index) that gives me a NP at least 30 watts higher than AP.
    Is that test result riding offroad?

    If I tried to do a constant effort 20 minute FTP time trial test on the road, and it resulted in a Normalized Power 30 watts higher than the Average Power, I'd be really quite disappointed. A big difference between NP and AP like that means it wasn't a constant effort for 20 minutes, as there must have been a mixture of freewheeling and hard sprints, rather than the solid time trial effort I'd intended to do.

    After a result like that I'd try and find a different more suitable route for doing future tests. Somewhere where I could concentrate on pedalling hard for 20 minutes with fewer interruptions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    Is that test result riding offroad?

    If I tried to do a constant effort 20 minute FTP time trial test on the road, and it resulted in a Normalized Power 30 watts higher than the Average Power, I'd be really quite disappointed. A big difference between NP and AP like that means it wasn't a constant effort for 20 minutes, as there must have been a mixture of freewheeling and hard sprints, rather than the solid time trial effort I'd intended to do.

    After a result like that I'd try and find a different more suitable route for doing future tests. Somewhere where I could concentrate on pedalling hard for 20 minutes with fewer interruptions.
    That was the point of my example - that by doing hard suprathreshold efforts interspersed with coasting or softpedaling efforts, I can create a result where my NP is considerably higher than the average power, and that (if I'm anaerobically gifted relative to my aerobic capacity) the NP will be higher than the best AP I can achieve for 20 minutes.

    Yes, this would be a (intentional) example of a bad test - and an extreme example to illustrate why you don't use NP to calculate FTP.

    It would be hard to accidentally do this unless one were intentionally targeting a high NP, because one believed that NP could be used to accurately estimate FTP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    OK I think I am all squared away now. I do indeed have the paid version of Training Peaks. I am relatively new to Training Peaks so am still getting used to where to find all of its data, and when I scroll down a little below the normalized power number, I do see an average power. SO when I do this, all in Training Peaks, normalized power is 324, and average power is 323. Nearly identical. I guess there is a bit of a difference between the two different websites even when using the same power file.

    Thanks everyone for your help....again, very educational.
    One program could by using 5 second average, one could be using 3 second average, for example, leading to the reported discrepancy.

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    The short answer is you use average power to set your zones. Why the power figure on Strava is different is not so easy. I once went back and forth with them on the same subject and they really couldn't give me an answer that made much sense. I would go with the TP data.

    Edit: opps, didn't refresh my browser. Looks like this was already answered

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    oh yeah totally of course,....but this ^^ is sorta the thing. This isn't a Strava estimation of power, it's the exact same power file being uploaded to both Training Peaks and Strava Premium. And I'm just looking at the same exact 20 minute interval and not the whole workout with warm-up and cool down included.

    I'm still not sure if I should use the 343 normalized power to set my zones or the 333 average power number. I was indeed trying to hold the same number for the 20 minute test (~330) but there were dips every few minutes where I'd shift my position in the saddle, or stand for just a few seconds just to get comfortable. It sounds like you are saying the normalized should be used eh?
    your typo confused me, since you wrote 343W normalized.

    TW beat me to it. A 20 minute effort is mostly (read VERY MUCH) aerobic. The 5 minutes blow out prior to the 20 minute test is a way to pre-fatigue yourself. Whatever is the idea behind the 5 minute effort (which is probably linked to anaerobic component to effort), I highly doubt people are nailing it the way it should be to reduce anaerobic contribution to the subsequent 20 minutes efforts.

    People are over-thinking it too much. Just do the 20 minutes test, stick to this protocol, and ride your damn bike.

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    Speaking of normalized power, the number gets to be very useful for outdoor rides such as hilly road rides where you coast a lot or mountain bike rides or even group rides (for obvious reasons). For such rides the average might look embarrassingly low because very low power output (and even zero power, if configured) will be part of the average.
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    Quote Originally Posted by serious View Post
    Speaking of normalized power, the number gets to be very useful for outdoor rides such as hilly road rides where you coast a lot or mountain bike rides or even group rides (for obvious reasons). For such rides the average might look embarrassingly low because very low power output (and even zero power, if configured) will be part of the average.
    Further, the longer the ride duration, the better NP represents what AP would be if you were able to pedal steadily (which makes sense, as the longer the duration, the proportionally smaller the contribution of anaerobic ability).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Devincicx View Post
    your typo confused me, since you wrote 343W normalized.

    TW beat me to it. A 20 minute effort is mostly (read VERY MUCH) aerobic. The 5 minutes blow out prior to the 20 minute test is a way to pre-fatigue yourself. Whatever is the idea behind the 5 minute effort (which is probably linked to anaerobic component to effort), I highly doubt people are nailing it the way it should be to reduce anaerobic contribution to the subsequent 20 minutes efforts.

    People are over-thinking it too much. Just do the 20 minutes test, stick to this protocol, and ride your damn bike.
    Well, yeah, but it's still fun to discuss this stuff. You don't have to read if you're not interested

    Point taken though - it really is that simple, especially if you realize that if you over- or underestimate FTP, all that happened is your intervals based on that number are a little too hard or easy, so you just adjust up or down as needed.

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    Here's some reading about anaerobic contributions.

    http://cmierphotoandfitness.net/file...obic_power.pdf

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    310 Watts for 20 minutes, 4.5 watts per kilogram, non-typical plan to get there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Devincicx View Post
    your typo confused me, since you wrote 343W normalized.

    .
    Crap. Sorry about that... Didnt realize i had the typo in there
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    310 Watts for 20 minutes, 4.5 watts per kilogram, non-typical plan to get there.

    Quote Originally Posted by scottz123 View Post
    "I believe it means off", this article was put out in November, I thinking as an off-season FTP base builder. Quality over quantity for example stuck on trainer?

    "After two intense days, give yourself a rest before coming back to training, except every other week give yourself two days of easy training after two hard days instead of resting so you can keep your battery charged" Hunter Allen in this winter training article Hunter Allen Peaks Coaching Group
    Days off are one of my least favourite things. On Sunday I was flagging and low on energy after just 1h30 of a 3 hour ride so I decided to have some days completely off from cycling to try and recharge (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday). Fast forward to today and I head out for a gentle ride, taking it easy on the hills and my legs were so sore. It was a case of trying to pedal lightly and still feeling as though all the muscles were tearing.

    It took 1h45 of riding to settle down and find some kind of rhythm. After that it was ok but that soreness from time off did remind me why I normally try and keep riding most days, even if just for a quick spin on the turbo trainer in the evening.

    On the way home today I rode back along the cycletrack. Some of it is quite rough with a series of whoops that you can pump through. I tried to pump it partially out of the saddle but my left hip couldn't take the weight and started getting major shooting pains. It wound up as a lame disjointed half seated freewheel instead.

    It's a bit of a problem as my riding needs to be better for any sort of offroad but I can't even do the minimum still. I know what to do but making my leg actually do it is proving difficult.

    On the plus side I managed to do a hill stop and hill start today, which was something.

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    Good discussion guys, thanks for the input. On a different note, regarding recovery, I've realized that for whatever reason I'm a below average "recoverer". I have to be really careful on how I use intensity and increasing volume. I'm 41 and my 52 year old buddy in whom puts together our group rides recovers much quicker than me and is always energetic and eager on rides where I may be dragging. I know other guys, regardless of age, that seem to bounce back from a race or intensity really well. This is mainly genetic but any suggestions on how to improve recovery (assuming sleep and nutrition is going well) Does anyone else seem to fight with the balance of recovery/training load?
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2fst4u View Post
    This is mainly genetic but any suggestions on how to improve recovery (assuming sleep and nutrition is going well) Does anyone else seem to fight with the balance of recovery/training load?
    I make sure I ingest 20g to 30g of protein, and also some carbs post work out I found helps with muscular soreness, how I feel later in the day (talking mood here) and is something that I found helps when doing consecutive days (ref below). Personally I use kidís drinking chocolate powder and full cream Milk, anywhere between 500ml, and 700ml. There are a number of articles online re the use of protein post workout; I know cyclists tend to shy away from protein as itís typically associated with weight / muscle gain but from what I understand the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) has studied the use of Chocolate Milk post workout with their cyclists and got some good results (Iíll post the link if I can). Not sure about your side of the pond, but cost wise the Choclate Milk is about 4000% more cost effective then specialist supplements.

    As for balancing the training load / recovery Iíve tried a number of different methods, including changing up the number of days, re-arranging days, reducing & increasing volume but I found three consecutive work days followed by one EASY spin day, and one completely OFF day works best for me. While this may cause the CTL to drop a little, it also allows the TSB to come up also; like most periodical plans I take a rest week where I do very little riding above Z1 (Z2 at the very most).

    YMMV!
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    +1 on recovery drink.

    Per Joe Friel, post workout I have 16oz of grape juice, 4 tbsp of dextrose and a scoop of protein powder.

    Friel's blog has of late has been on aging athlete and recovery, etc (see links in blog also)
    Joe Friel - Aging: Designing a Microcycle to Match Your Recovery

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2fst4u View Post
    Good discussion guys, thanks for the input. On a different note, regarding recovery, I've realized that for whatever reason I'm a below average "recoverer". I have to be really careful on how I use intensity and increasing volume. I'm 41 and my 52 year old buddy in whom puts together our group rides recovers much quicker than me and is always energetic and eager on rides where I may be dragging. I know other guys, regardless of age, that seem to bounce back from a race or intensity really well. This is mainly genetic but any suggestions on how to improve recovery (assuming sleep and nutrition is going well) Does anyone else seem to fight with the balance of recovery/training load?
    Testosterone

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    57 Y O here , with low hemocrit and low iron,dad was quite anemic.I recently went back
    Ultra 40 100% argentine beef liver pills - 5 ea 3 -4 times a day and am feeling better recoverys .I'll taper off them and quit for a while soon.FWIW.

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    310 Watts for 20 minutes, 4.5 watts per kilogram, non-typical plan to get there.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2fst4u View Post
    Good discussion guys, thanks for the input. On a different note, regarding recovery, I've realized that for whatever reason I'm a below average "recoverer". I have to be really careful on how I use intensity and increasing volume. I'm 41 and my 52 year old buddy in whom puts together our group rides recovers much quicker than me and is always energetic and eager on rides where I may be dragging. I know other guys, regardless of age, that seem to bounce back from a race or intensity really well. This is mainly genetic but any suggestions on how to improve recovery (assuming sleep and nutrition is going well) Does anyone else seem to fight with the balance of recovery/training load?
    I tend to have quite a lot of protein each day, mostly in the form of whey protein shakes and fish, such as salmon or haddock. This is small amounts spread throughout the day, rather than say a giant steak in one meal. I like whey protein shakes both because they're easily digested but also because when mixed with 500ml of water I know I'm getting regular fluid intake throughout the day.

    This works out as roughly 2.5g of protein per kg of bodyweight per day when I'm really trying hard, such as at the moment. This is higher than you'll normally see recommended for cyclists but it's something that I've had success with. When recovering from injury, after operations etc I've pushed this even higher with decent results. Over the last few months I've had to rebuild all the cycling specific leg muscle that was missing so it helps with that.

    My pre-ride routine is to have 30g of whey protein mixed in 500ml of water and a cereal bar about 45minutes before the ride. During the ride itself I have energy drink in the bottle and cereal bars for solid food. As soon as I get in the door I immediately have another 30g of whey protein mixed in 500ml of water, a shower and then a proper meal soon afterwards. Today for example I had homemade fish and chips.

    The other thing I tend to eat quite a lot of are bananas. Only a few each day, rather than 50 banana a day level (google it ) but I do tend to feel better recovered and more energetic from having them regularly.

    http://www.nomeatathlete.com/fruitarian-experiment/

    Something that I really like for riding consecutive days are my shoe heaters. They warm and dry your shoes. Waterproof winter shoes tend not to breathe very well. They get damp inside from sweat or rain and then the linings insides never dry out fully by themselves. The shoe heaters mean that my feet start off in warm and dry shoes the next day which is a big part of happy winter riding.

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/sidas-drywarmer-v20-insole/



    I wasn't feeling too bad this morning so decided to do a 20 minute FTP test today (21 November 2013). The last FTP test I did was 15 October 2013, where I managed 218 watts average power (219 watts NP). The route I use is flat for the first few minutes and then I try and time it so that I ride for 20 minutes before reaching the top of the climb. The climb is a constant gradient after the first section so I find it works well. (I don't do a 5 minute interval first as living in a valley it's a bit tricky to fit into the route. Alex Simmons wrote about how he doesn't use the 5 minute interval first either so I don't worry too much about it). I make sure I use the same route and protocol each time, so that the tests are done in the same format in order to be comparable between different months and years.

    Average power today was 230 watts, a power output improvement of 12 watts for about 6 weeks riding and 80 hours on the bike (I've also lost 3.5lbs of bodyweight in the same period). Both the flat and hill sections were averaging 230 watts so I was quite pleased with that.


  79. #79
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    310 Watts for 20 minutes, 4.5 watts per kilogram, non-typical plan to get there.

    I meant to post this link and thought it was worth a seperate entry.

    http://alex-cycle.blogspot.co.uk/200...ing-ftp-2.html

    Sin of Sins #6 Ė 95% of a 20-min mean maximal power = FTP
    "Well, this method of establishing FTP isnít one of the listed Seven Deadly Sins in the first place, but it has become such a commonly referred to/utilised method (mainly due to its publication in the excellent book, Training and Racing with a Power Meter) that it gets its own SOS number.

    Firstly, the main issue with this common Sin of Sins is that the ratio between 20-min power (or other similar shorter TT duration power) and FTP is not the same for everybody, and neither does the ratio remain static for an individual. One should recognise that due to several factors, not least of which is the contribution of anaerobic capacity and the exact protocol used (e.g. performing a pre-ride blowout effort), that the ratio is likely to be within a range and where someone is within that range is anyoneís guess.

    So, FTP might be anywhere in the range of, say 90% to 98% of 20-min max average power. Personally, my FTP has been at both 92% and 96% of my then 20-min max average power. So, by all means use 95% of 20-min max power as a starting point but remember it may well be out by some margin and it would be wise to use an additional or alternative method to validate your FTP estimate. "
    Alex Simmons

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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    I meant to post this link and thought it was worth a seperate entry.

    Alex's Cycle Blog: The Sins of Sins (Testing FTP #2)

    Sin of Sins #6 Ė 95% of a 20-min mean maximal power = FTP
    "Well, this method of establishing FTP isnít one of the listed Seven Deadly Sins in the first place, but it has become such a commonly referred to/utilised method (mainly due to its publication in the excellent book, Training and Racing with a Power Meter) that it gets its own SOS number.

    Firstly, the main issue with this common Sin of Sins is that the ratio between 20-min power (or other similar shorter TT duration power) and FTP is not the same for everybody, and neither does the ratio remain static for an individual. One should recognise that due to several factors, not least of which is the contribution of anaerobic capacity and the exact protocol used (e.g. performing a pre-ride blowout effort), that the ratio is likely to be within a range and where someone is within that range is anyoneís guess.

    So, FTP might be anywhere in the range of, say 90% to 98% of 20-min max average power. Personally, my FTP has been at both 92% and 96% of my then 20-min max average power. So, by all means use 95% of 20-min max power as a starting point but remember it may well be out by some margin and it would be wise to use an additional or alternative method to validate your FTP estimate. "
    Alex Simmons
    WR: good stuff

    In another Alex Simmons article "In my experience, FTP is rarely as high as 95% of 20-minute maximal power. 88-93% is not an uncommon range" Alex Simmons

    Alex's Cycle Blog: The seven deadly sins

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    310 Watts for 20 minutes, 4.5 watts per kilogram, non-typical plan to get there.

    Quote Originally Posted by scottz123 View Post
    WR: good stuff

    In another Alex Simmons article "In my experience, FTP is rarely as high as 95% of 20-minute maximal power. 88-93% is not an uncommon range" Alex Simmons

    Alex's Cycle Blog: The seven deadly sins
    I normally like to do the occasional one hour time trial effort as well as just 20 minute tests. It makes a change and gives something to compare against too. When it comes to a full one hour time trial I have to really try and work on pacing to get a good result and avoid fading, rather than just go flat out like I would for a 20 minute effort.

    I haven't done one yet this year though, as I've mostly been concentrating on either steady three hour rides or interval sessions. On the WKO+ 3.0 power profile chart I'm barely out of the "untrained" category for one hour power. I could definitely do better and bump it up with a focused effort but apart from a higher number on a chart it doesn't mean that much really.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottz123 View Post
    +1 on recovery drink.

    Per Joe Friel, post workout I have 16oz of grape juice, 4 tbsp of dextrose and a scoop of protein powder.

    Friel's blog has of late has been on aging athlete and recovery, etc (see links in blog also)
    Joe Friel - Aging: Designing a Microcycle to Match Your Recovery
    Good articles on Joes website, I like the A-typical microcycle suggestions. As far as Whey protein I do a shake right after my workouts and it seems to help. Sleep as well as keeping my training load in check is what seems works the best for recovery. Right now I'm only on the bike 3 days a week (I've always done 4 minimum for all training periods) and I feel stronger and healthier. This year I'm trying some different strategies for sure... more rest days, very little if any caffeine, more intensity in base, doing short intervals at my goal 20 min power starting in base and steadily increasing them into build period.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    I normally like to do the occasional one hour time trial effort as well as just 20 minute tests. It makes a change and gives something to compare against too. When it comes to a full one hour time trial I have to really try and work on pacing to get a good result and avoid fading, rather than just go flat out like I would for a 20 minute effort.

    I haven't done one yet this year though, as I've mostly been concentrating on either steady three hour rides or interval sessions. On the WKO+ 3.0 power profile chart I'm barely out of the "untrained" category for one hour power. I could definitely do better and bump it up with a focused effort but apart from a higher number on a chart it doesn't mean that much really.
    I think it's better to do 1hr time trials than "hypothetically" do them, no pain no gain right?

    I use a cheap speedometer on the trainer than calculates average speed. After a bunch of rides you have some reference speeds and are able to pick a target.

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    310 Watts for 20 minutes, 4.5 watts per kilogram, non-typical plan to get there.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2fst4u;
    very little if any caffeine,.
    That's just crazy talk!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    That's just crazy talk!
    Agree. Coffee is our "EPO".
    My rides:
    Lynskey Ti Pro29 SL singlespeed
    KHS Team 29
    S-Works Roubaix SL3 Dura Ace
    KHS CX 550 cyclocross

  86. #86
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    Re: 310 Watts for 20 minutes, 4.5 watts per kilogram, non-typical plan to get there.

    Quote Originally Posted by serious View Post
    Agree. Coffee is our "EPO".
    Yeah, I'll just settle for being slower.

    Sent from my Transformer TF101 using Tapatalk 2

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    310 Watts for 20 minutes, 4.5 watts per kilogram, non-typical plan to get there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Combatcm View Post
    I think it's better to do 1hr time trials than "hypothetically" do them, no pain no gain right?

    I use a cheap speedometer on the trainer than calculates average speed. After a bunch of rides you have some reference speeds and are able to pick a target.
    The problem with doing 1 hour time trials as tests, rather than as intervals, is that I have to be reasonably fresh and in the right frame of mind. I'm fine with doing a hard one hour effort but for a test I want to be doing close to my best effort, hitting it as hard as I can. That takes more planning in advance to get sorted.

    If you look at the test results I posted in Post #4 my 1 hour time trials in 2011/ 2012 were a bit of a mixture. I wasn't consistently riding them as well as I'd have liked (I wanted to see progression in the power outputs over time, rather than the up and down pattern that it actually was).

    Doing a 1 hour effort, as part of a longer ride at endurance pace, is something I might try later in the week to see how it goes. I've been doing enough steady rides at one speed that it would make a nice change to mix up the pace and format a bit.

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    310 Watts for 20 minutes, 4.5 watts per kilogram, non-typical plan to get there.

    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    Doing a 1 hour effort, as part of a longer ride at endurance pace, is something I might try later in the week to see how it goes. I've been doing enough steady rides at one speed that it would make a nice change to mix up the pace and format a bit.
    I think it might be next week now. I did 3x9min under over intervals during the first hour of today's ride and then 2h30 at endurance zone 2 pace afterwards, for a total ride time of 3h30. The intervals in the first hour were solid, the first two just hitting the target power zones but I was fading a little for the third one.

    About 2 hours into the ride slogging home into the headwind I was starting to feel quite rough and low on energy. There were some short steep climbs and I was down to what seemed like bottom gear. I saw a few people I knew going the other way and it was about all I could do to take a hand off the bars to wave.

    At the 3 hour mark, after turning off the A38 out of the wind, I knew there was only 30 minutes left on the home stretch so I reached into my jacket back pocket to eat whatever food I had left. Imagine my surprise when I realised that I still had an hour or so worth of food available! I was expecting to be almost out and down to the last crumbs by then. I'd clearly forgotten to eat at some point (my routine is to eat a chunk of cereal bar every 15 minutes, one cereal bar per hour of riding) which was why I'd been sagging energy wise mid ride. I ate the remaining food and finished feeling ok.

    My legs are toast now though. Trying to do several interval sessions per week incorporated into the longer rides is proving quite hard at the moment.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    I think it might be next week now. I did 3x9min under over intervals during the first hour of today's ride and then 2h30 at endurance zone 2 pace afterwards, for a total ride time of 3h30. The intervals in the first hour were solid, the first two just hitting the target power zones but I was fading a little for the third one.

    About 2 hours into the ride slogging home into the headwind I was starting to feel quite rough and low on energy. There were some short steep climbs and I was down to what seemed like bottom gear. I saw a few people I knew going the other way and it was about all I could do to take a hand off the bars to wave.

    At the 3 hour mark, after turning off the A38 out of the wind, I knew there was only 30 minutes left on the home stretch so I reached into my jacket back pocket to eat whatever food I had left. Imagine my surprise when I realised that I still had an hour or so worth of food available! I was expecting to be almost out and down to the last crumbs by then. I'd clearly forgotten to eat at some point (my routine is to eat a chunk of cereal bar every 15 minutes, one cereal bar per hour of riding) which was why I'd been sagging energy wise mid ride. I ate the remaining food and finished feeling ok.

    My legs are toast now though. Trying to do several interval sessions per week incorporated into the longer rides is proving quite hard at the moment.
    That's why I usually do either long and steady or short and intense for regular workouts... combining that kind of volume with intervals = need to recover as if I'd done a race. I've not had a need to do workouts like that with any regularity.

  90. #90
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    I can usually do this sort of ride format without too much drama. You do the interval session full on to try and wear yourself out, get to the end of the hour, where you'd finish on the turbo trainer, and then just keep riding.

    I'm still trying to get some sort of fitness back together after such a long time off the bike so I'm feeling it a bit currently. If I was a bit fitter I'd generally do intervals for the first hour and then proper hill climbing for the remaining hours of the ride to keep the pressure on. I quite like Under Over intervals because that up and down change in pace forces you to dig in when you're already feeling that you're trying hard.

    I meant to post the details and overview in my previous post. This shows the overview of today's ride. There's a big sag in hour two where I wasn't feeling great before I pulled it back together later on.



    This table shows the individual Under Over power outputs for the intervals. I had the workout programmed on my Garmin Edge 500 with 10 second power output as the upper display and just about stayed with it. The highlighted yellow cells are where I was below the target zone so it wasn't too bad overall, with only a few missed targets.


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    310 Watts for 20 minutes, 4.5 watts per kilogram, non-typical plan to get there.

    I only did three hours riding today. I didn't feel too bad but there was some light rain, killing my Powertap hub for the third time in two months. If it doesn't start working again once dried out I think I might go old school, put a speed sensor on and do without a power meter for the winter.

    It's not much fun being afraid of riding in the rain due to the prospect of incurring ever higher repair bills.

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    I only did three hours riding today. I didn't feel too bad but there was some light rain, killing my Powertap hub for the third time in two months. If it doesn't start working again once dried out I think I might go old school, put a speed sensor on and do without a power meter for the winter.

    It's not much fun being afraid of riding in the rain due to the prospect of incurring ever higher repair bills.
    Marine grease FTW.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyrod74 View Post
    Marine grease FTW.
    It wasn't actually water that caused the issue this time. My Powertap hub had to have a new battery cradle after the old one shorted out in the rain a few weeks ago (on a Powertap SL+ hub you clip the two 357 batteries into a small plastic cradle and then plug the cradle into a connector inside the hub). When I opened it up this morning the plastic cradle had a loose fit where it had worked loose from vibration whilst riding. I changed the batteries and wedged the cradle with electrical tape in the hope that will keep it in place. It worked all of today's ride without any problems, including some offroad on a rough byway, so I'll have to see if it holds up.

    I only did about a mile of offroad but it was quite bumpy, enough to get the bike's suspension working. Encouragingly my left hip handled the bumps fairly well. I had spasms and shooting pains down my left leg for about the next 45 minutes of riding back on tarmac but nothing apocalyptic so much better than previously. At this rate I might be able to do some trails next year.

    I had a major scare later on though. I've got a new Endura Equipe winter jacket which has two rear side pockets and then a wide zipped centre pocket. The stretchy side pockets are narrow at the top but then deep and widen at the bottom. As it was about 46f I was only wearing thin long finger gloves, rather than full winter gloves. Near the end of the ride I reached into the bottom of the right rear pocket to try and get some food out. My hand went into the pocket fully and got trapped by the narrow opening! I was riding along for about 15-20 seconds unable to get my right hand out of the pocket coming up to a road junction before starting the final descent home. I was having visions of having to ignominiously lay the bike down on the verge before I finally got it back out just in time...

    As it's the end of November this table from WKO+ 3.0 shows how my peak power outputs have responded to starting riding again. It's very much a typical plan but is working so far. The heart rate average by month is worth looking at too. I don't normally bother with a heart rate strap because of how much my heart rate drops when riding regularly. That trend is very clear from this table.

    I left out TSS and KJ because I had a few rides without the hub working and quite a bit of turbo training so it isn't a complete comparison.


  94. #94
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    your heart rate average might spike after getting your hand caught. Sounds scary

  95. #95
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    310 Watts for 20 minutes, 4.5 watts per kilogram, non-typical plan to get there.

    I was definitely concerned. The problem is that it's a percentage game. If you do enough riding these sort of strange incidents are going to happen from time to time. Who'd have thought I'd pull my foot out of the SPD pedal binding and then somehow put my foot through the front wheel last year, breaking my leg. That's quite a rare occurrence I think.

    One of the training rides that I find really useful for fitness progression is to get out on the road club runs. Riding with faster riders who'll stretch you is a good way to push yourself a bit harder than you think you're capable of. If you just ride by yourself all the time, or ride with a group where you're faster than everyone else, that can see you becoming complacent.

    I was dropped up every hill by a 13 year old today so fair play to him. On the plus side it wasn't as severe a drubbing as the last time I went on a club run at the beginning of November, where everyone was simply riding away from me when the road went upwards. On several of the climbs I was only 30 metres or so behind the group this time.

    The hardest part of the route today was a 7 mile section that is just short hill after short hill. Riding by myself Saturday 23 November 2013 I did this 7 miles at an average power of 163 watts and an average speed of 12.9 mph. Today trying to stay with the club I did the same section at an average power of 178 watts and an average speed of 13.9 mph. I think a lot of it is psychological, once I know that I can produce a particular effort and (importantly) recover from it quickly, such as being able to hold 248 watts for a 4 minute climb, rather than only 227 watts, then that becomes my new normal and I'll keep building from that new level in future.

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    Bummer; I didn't know that the Powertap had problems with water.

    OK enough of the funny business: unless I get a lump of coal, by Christmas time I should have a new Stages power meter. I also bought a Garmin 510 bundled with a TrainingPeaks subscription. So what should I do with it?



    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    I only did three hours riding today. I didn't feel too bad but there was some light rain, killing my Powertap hub for the third time in two months. If it doesn't start working again once dried out I think I might go old school, put a speed sensor on and do without a power meter for the winter.

    It's not much fun being afraid of riding in the rain due to the prospect of incurring ever higher repair bills.

  97. #97
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    310 Watts for 20 minutes, 4.5 watts per kilogram, non-typical plan to get there.

    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    Bummer; I didn't know that the Powertap had problems with water.

    OK enough of the funny business: unless I get a lump of coal, by Christmas time I should have a new Stages power meter. I also bought a Garmin 510 bundled with a TrainingPeaks subscription. So what should I do with it?
    My first Powertap internals did well against water. The current set has gone haywire a few times in the rain though. It cut out again today as the battery connector shook loose again. I've fixed it more securely this time so hopefully it won't happen again.

    You can start using the Garmin Edge 510 straight away. Set it up without the power meter and when the power meter arrives just add the new sensor to that bike profile. The .fit ride files can be uploaded to Training Peaks without needing a power meter.

    One thing that I'd strongly suggest buying is an individual ANT+ speed sensor, so that speed is recorded from wheel rotations, rather than GPS. This will give you a nice smooth speed curve on any graphs so that you can compare power and cadence closely against speed. A Bontrager ANT+ speed sensor that sits on your fork will work fine with a Garmin Edge, providing a neater install than a combo sensor.

    http://bontrager.com/model/09814

    With a power meter all the automatic features of the Garmin Edge should be turned off. Here are my settings for a Garmin Edge 500:

    System Menu
    Auto Power Down - OFF

    Bike Settings Menu:
    Auto Lap - OFF
    Auto Pause - OFF
    Auto Scroll - OFF
    Start Notice - OFF

    Data Recording
    Cadence - NON-ZERO AVG
    Power - ZERO AVG
    Recording Rate - 1 Second (although it doesn't matter with a Power meter because it automatically records at 1 second intervals)

    Under the Named Bike Option -

    Bike Details
    Wheel Size - CUSTOM and use a manual tyre circumference so that the GPS isn't involved. Whenever you fit different tyres this needs changing. Don't leave it on auto. I have a spreadsheet where I keep the tyre circumference of the different tyres that I use at particular pressures (eg: I run my current Specialized Ground Control tyres at 50psi for road rides and 20 psi for offroad rides so I change the circumference to the correct value each time.)

    ANT+ Spd/Cad - The speed and cadence both come from a Powertap hub so there's no need for any additional sensors. This setting should be disabled if you have a Powertap hub.

    With a crank based power meter, such as the Stages, you need a seperate sensor for speed so Ant+ Spd single would be enabled.

    ANT+ Power - YES
    Under the Calibration menu Auto Zero should be TICKED

    Garmin Edge 500 Display Settings Whilst Riding
    When riding there are four Power options available for the display - Power, Power - 3s Avg, Power - 10s Avg and Power - 30s Avg. This is the amount of smoothing on the power numbers. You need some smoothing because the power display is all over the place otherwise if you're viewing the unsmoothed power readings.

    There was a comment that made me laugh on cyclingforums.com about what to use:

    "The 10 to 30 seconds rounding, I believe, is for people who are using the power meter as an expensive speedometer and don't understand how to put this expensive training tool to good use." (insert rolleyes smiley and apply face2palm firmly)

    http://www.cyclingforums.com/t/49844...t-on-smoothing

    I use Power - 10s Avg. Displayed power is always going to jump around a bit but if it's too jumpy then it becomes increasingly hard to use. This jumpiness is down to how the power data is transmitted and then interpreted by the head unit, rather than how evenly you're pedalling. The more smoothing you have the less jumpy the display is.

    A nice experiment on your Garmin Edge is to set one of the display screens with the four different smoothing options (Power, Power - 3s Avg, Power - 10s Avg and Power - 30s Avg) all shown on one screen. You can then watch how they respond as you ride to decide which you prefer.

    For longer sustained efforts having a stable power number allows you to gauge your effort. Riding to a power meter takes a little practice to really get the hang off but with time you can hold quite a consistent pace using it. If you're dropping too low you get an indication through the pressure slacking off on the pedals and the same if you're pressing too hard on the pedals.

  98. #98
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    310 Watts for 20 minutes, 4.5 watts per kilogram, non-typical plan to get there.

    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    My first Powertap internals did well against water. The current set has gone haywire a few times in the rain though. It cut out again today as the battery connector shook loose again. I've fixed it more securely this time so hopefully it won't happen again.

    I wasn't too impressed today. I was wearing my fluorescent lime green jacket, lit up with two rear LED lights and a front LED light riding in daylight on a main road and this car still cut me up by passing and turning off immediately in front. From the way they were driving, slow but clearly not stopping for anything, I'd guess they were old and oblivious. I gave them a sarcastic wave. Just to rub it in near the end of the ride a car turned out of a junction right alongside into my space on the road and then promptly turned off. They could have waited the 1-2 seconds for me to go past.

    I was already fuming under my Assos robocap as the Powertap hub had stopped working 5 minutes into today's dry ride. I think that's it now. This set of Powertap internals are toast. The hub has a bad bearing too (they were all replaced with new bearings mid October). The battery cradle connection definitely wasn't loose today and it had new batteries. I've put my spare wheel in whilst I decide what to do next. All the options are expensive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    I was already fuming under my Assos robocap as the Powertap hub had stopped working 5 minutes into today's dry ride. I think that's it now. This set of Powertap internals are toast. The hub has a bad bearing too (they were all replaced with new bearings mid October). The battery cradle connection definitely wasn't loose today and it had new batteries. I've put my spare wheel in whilst I decide what to do next. All the options are expensive.
    Sorry to hear that. I have seen used PowerTap wheels for sale online at decent prices, for instance Online Swap Meet on Facebook.

    Thanks very much for your detailed reply to a previous post. I am studying all of this thread; it's ironic that I've resisted technology in training for so long since I work in IT. I got my Garmin 510 yesterday so that's cool to try out now. It will take several weeks to ship the Stages crank arm. If forced into buying new I suppose that could be an option for you, too.

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    310 Watts for 20 minutes, 4.5 watts per kilogram, non-typical plan to get there.

    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    It will take several weeks to ship the Stages crank arm. If forced into buying new I suppose that could be an option for you, too.
    I would buy a Stages power meter but it's something that I'll never be able to use as I basically just pedal with my right leg nowadays. My left leg is paralysed from the knee down, I can only bend the left knee partially and most of the left thigh muscle was removed. The left leg pedals small circles using a modified crank and does barely any work.

    Any power meter that relies on measurements from the left crankarm (Stages) or requires symmetrical length cranks (Garmin Vector, Pioneer etc) is ruled out permanently because I have asymmetric cranks. It's why the Powertap was good because that measures torque at the hub so the readings aren't affected by an asymmetric crank setup. Stages takes the power from the left hand crank and doubles it to give you an overall power figure.

    I've been looking around and think I may possibly get a Power2Max MTB power meter. That comes with a Rotor 3D crank (alloy rather than carbon crank arms so can be welded and modified) in a triple chainset version with a 169mm q factor, allowing me to keep my current setup of 44/33/23 front chainrings.

    http://www.power2max.de/europe/en/Pr.../rotor-3d-mtb/

    .

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