Singlespeed training and power meters? Anyone doing this?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Singlespeed training and power meters? Anyone doing this?

    I ride and race SS but most of the plans and advice you read are based around power zones, especially sweet spot that are hard to keep consistent on an SS and normally fluctuates a heck of a lot more with terrain and environment on the day.

    Are others using power zones for training? Are you doing this on geared bikes or trainers?

    I've been doing a lot of indoor work with heart rate on a spin bike which has given me improvements but looking at all my options to up my game.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    more skier than biker
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    I am...I have power meters on two of my single speed bikes. 1 on my SSCX, and then other on my SS hardtail.

    I'm a long time SS racer, then I switched to geared racing for a few years, this year I've made a new commitment to return to my SS roots and do a lot of endurance racing on the SS. (first race in less than a week).

    I also have a power meter on my geared road bike (which gets the lions share of my training...especially in the winter).

    Yes, I use 'zones' for training. If one isn't, then there really isn't much use to having a power meter to begin with in my opinion.

    Depending on what my workout is (and also what mood I'm in), I'll grab one of these bikes and hammer out what I'm supposed to do accordingly.

    Speaking broadly, if I am doing short hard intense efforts (i.e. anything in the Neuromuscular zone, VO2 zone, etc) then quite often I do these on a one of the single speeds. When I need to do longer intervals less intense intervals (i.e. 10 min or 20 min jobbers at either threshold, or sweet spot or tempo) I usually grab the geared road bike as it's pretty hard to do consistent work for those lengths of time in a single zone like that on a SS.

    Utilizing both geared and SS tools seems to work best for me. (plus I just crave the variety).

  3. #3
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    Thanks, Tyrone. You've really laid it all well and is similar to what I thought. I too am working on reasonably rookie/intermediate SS endurance training, thus the reason for the longer sweet spot tempo work.

    I'm gathering from your post that doing the work on the geared bike still translates well to you SS racing (unless I've read that all wrong), so that's encouraging.

  4. #4
    more skier than biker
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    Quote Originally Posted by chumbox View Post
    Thanks, Tyrone. You've really laid it all well and is similar to what I thought. I too am working on reasonably rookie/intermediate SS endurance training, thus the reason for the longer sweet spot tempo work.

    I'm gathering from your post that doing the work on the geared bike still translates well to you SS racing (unless I've read that all wrong), so that's encouraging.
    No prob....for me the work on the geared bike translates well. Especially for building a good base. I spend a lot of time trying to bump up my FTE, so when I really "reach" for those hard SS specific grunts, I'm not reaching as far above of a line then I would be with a lower FTE (hopefully that makes sense).

    But this is just 'for me' though. There are plenty of SS guys that train and ride only on SS bikes and do great. But for me, I like the mix.

    As you know though too, SS racing requires a lot of lower back, upper body and core strength....I definitely make it a point to hammer out long SS rides with that in mind. Have to keep that stuff strong and the geared bikes really don't work those muscle groups.

    Oh and also...another thing that the geared bike won't get you. In SS races, there are lots of times where you are spinning at insanely high cadences....like say at the start of a race if it starts pavement and you need to draft the geared guys, and then you lunge into the first climb of the day and your legs want to blow up. It's very hard to simulate that high-cadence simulation on a road...I mean, you can do it, but it's just not fun to me. To get those adaptions, I actually take my SSCX bike out on our local weekend fast group roadie rides and SPIN (then grind), then SPIN (then grind) ad nauseum over the course of the 3 hour ride like mad to stay with the lead group. This is something I've just started a few months ago....so I guess I'll have to wait and see how effective that training technique has been this weekend. lol

  5. #5
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    I bought a smart trainer a few years ago and it allows me to do whatever type of training I want. I normally do Trainerroad programs that are typically intervals at certain power levels. I generally mix up out of the saddle low cadence, mid cadence, and crazy high cadences to replicate riding a singlespeed.

    As mentioned above, being able to spin very fast has its benefits, but that's not something that gets trained often on a typical trail ride. On my trainer I'll sometimes try to sustain around 120-130 for periods of time, and also practice bursts up to around 200rpm. It's great for race starts or sprints to the finish.

    The most beneficial part for me though is the ability to maintain efforts over long intervals. On my local trails, it's rare to pedal more than a couple minutes before either hitting a downhill or a sharp corner. On the trainer i can do 10 minute intervals for example, and it really makes a difference at the pace I can maintain on the trail.

  6. #6
    I am Walt
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    I'm very interested in this topic. I SS exclusively (with no road biking), and do endurance XC riding and events, including 12/24-hour races. I have never really "trained"; have just upped my saddle time and miles as events draw near.

    I am getting more serious about it, and want to "train" more thoughtfully and effectively. Given that I don't road or geared ride, I have considered the following:
    - A power meter on my SS. Multiple people have told me it's kind of pointless on an SS.
    - A smart trainer, like a Wahoo Kickr. I am open to this, but have never used one, and would be clueless.
    - Do some sort of training on a spin bike at the gym, including spin classes (which I hate).

    Appreciate the info above and anything else that is offered.


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by waltaz View Post
    - Do some sort of training on a spin bike at the gym, including spin classes (which I hate).
    Hey Walt

    You sound like you are in a very similar spot to me. I've been running a standard spin bike at home (cheap too) to knock out some extra heart rate rides late at night when the family goes to bed. I sort of loosely pulled a plan together from the training plans and indoor cycle workouts that British Cycling puts on their webpage for free. Has been really helpful but my question came about because I feel the heart rate has been good but it seems to be a little too subjective depending on how full on my work day was. I have the found the structured heart rate spin bike plans at home though a benefit and certainly wouldn't discredit them. They just have a cap. I also mix this with heavy strength training because it's helpful for power and I have always enjoyed it anyhow. Good mix.

  8. #8
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    I do a similar training regiment to Coke, I use a trainer all winter and sparingly during the summer following a Trainer Road plan. When the riding weather hits I use that time to get back into "single speed shape" which is much easier to do after a hard winter on the trainer. I keep putting off buying a crank based power meter for the SS mainly b/c I feel like it would be too tempting to watch it during a race and may actually take away from my racing. I don't want any measurable data that tells me I dug too deep to hang with or drop someone, it can get into your head and make it harder to come back from. Where as if you only go by feel IMO it is easier to come out of that hole. Not to mention it is very hard to hit specific training intervals outdoors, either on the road or especially on the trails. So a PM on the bike is hard to justify.


    But yes, training with power is a great way to go about it!

  9. #9
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    Here's an example of trainer road with a smart trainer. It started with a warmup, followed by some 1 leg drills, then did 4, 8 minute intervals.

    Notice how I can change my cadence, but the smart trainer changes the force so that power is maintained. The first interval I did mostly around 80 rpm, but finished the last minute around 105 rpm. The 2nd interval, I rode out of the saddle between 45-50 rpm. Didn't do any real high cadences today, but during the 3rd interval I spent a minute over 120.


    Just posting this as an example. I HATE riding my trainer, but it obviously has some benefits that can be difficult to replicate on the trail.
    Singlespeed training and power meters? Anyone doing this?-trnr.png

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by coke View Post
    Notice how I can change my cadence, but the smart trainer changes the force so that power is maintained.
    Well that is pretty awesome. What sort of trainer are you using?

  11. #11
    I am Walt
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    Pardon the naive question, but what is better for a SS: the type of trainer you remove the rear wheel for, or the trainer where you leave the rear wheel on and it sits in at the rear axle or something. Pros, cons, etc?


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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by waltaz View Post
    Pardon the naive question, but what is better for a SS: the type of trainer you remove the rear wheel for, or the trainer where you leave the rear wheel on and it sits in at the rear axle or something. Pros, cons, etc?
    Probably the biggest thing with trainers where the wheel remains on and they spin on a roller is that knobby tyres make a lot of noise, can vibrate and get chewed up. You really need to chuck a slick on for these. This is often why those with one bike use the trainers where you remove the rear wheel. If you have a spare bike to chuck in a trainer so you don't have to remove the wheel, then it'll work fine on any trainer. Just check the trainer you are looking at can provide power measures if this is something you want.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by waltaz View Post
    Pardon the naive question, but what is better for a SS: the type of trainer you remove the rear wheel for, or the trainer where you leave the rear wheel on and it sits in at the rear axle or something. Pros, cons, etc?


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    I'm using a cheap road bike on cycelops powerbeam pro trainer with a dedicated trainer tire. If I could do it again, I'd get the type that uses a cassette rather than a tire on the drum. Unless I'm in close to the highest gear on the bike, I get wheel slippage when I stand and mash.


    Cheap nashbar road bike with mountain bars for added comfort

    Singlespeed training and power meters? Anyone doing this?-20160312_130914.jpg

  14. #14
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    I can get significantly more training volume without overdoing it by using a geared bike.

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