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Half Iron bike power level advice please
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stenard




Joined: 04 Sep 2013
Posts: 1242

PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tin Pot wrote:
Yep but it's all I have!

But it doesnt mean anything, so you're effectively just picking a number out of the air.

Take this segment I do fairly regularly. Look at the numbers pre-power meter. They're clearly just algorithmic (i.e. the two 175W numbers half way down), yet in reality I have done times substantially slower at higher real life power, and times substantially faster at similar real life power. This shows the real world conditions matter a lot. The strava numbers are pointless to look at.

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TriSam




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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed, strava power figures are total nonsense. Not even worth looking at
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mattsurf




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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just did an IM pace 90 km bike ride, with 900m climbing (and very windy), so reasonably comparable to Wales or other hilly courses. Power was 201W, NP 213W (NP/AP 106%), at an average speed of 31.7kph - total time 2h50m. My average HR was 138bpm with a peak of 161bpm

My legs felt good after the ride, I was probably riding as hard on flat as I normally would ride, but taking it much easier up hill, trying to not exceed 300W. On hills up to 10% I had no issue, and could maintain a good cadence and power within my set limit, however, there are a couple of 13%+ hills where I was closer to 350-400W, I don't like grinding up hill at a low cadence. I was running a compact chainset and 11-28 cassette, and don't want / feel the need to go to anything smaller.

How do others keep their power down on big hills? is it better to go with a low cadence in lowest gear?
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Tin Pot




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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stenard wrote:
Tin Pot wrote:
Yep but it's all I have!

But it doesnt mean anything, so you're effectively just picking a number out of the air.

Take this segment I do fairly regularly. Look at the numbers pre-power meter. They're clearly just algorithmic (i.e. the two 175W numbers half way down), yet in reality I have done times substantially slower at higher real life power, and times substantially faster at similar real life power. This shows the real world conditions matter a lot. The strava numbers are pointless to look at.



Im not challenging you at all - I agree the Strava figures are spurious, but without access to best bike split I'm not going to get better information. If I thought Strava was so wonderful I wouldn't have bought PowerTap pedals. Smile
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iwaters




Joined: 06 Sep 2016
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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mattsurf wrote:
On hills up to 10% I had no issue, and could maintain a good cadence and power within my set limit, however, there are a couple of 13%+ hills where I was closer to 350-400W, I don't like grinding up hill at a low cadence. I was running a compact chainset and 11-28 cassette, and don't want / feel the need to go to anything smaller.

How do others keep their power down on big hills? is it better to go with a low cadence in lowest gear?


This is the issue I have. I am 95kg with an FTP of 296. Riding on the flats its easy to stay in zone and move at a decent pace. But big hills no matter how slow I ride I cannot keep my power down. On a 13% hill I will easily go into the 300 even at a very slow pace.

Yesterday I was riding up a smallish hill (probably 7%) and I saw another rider (challenge) ahead. I gunned it up the hill and was putting out 500w for about a minute. It killed me for the next 20 mins. In a tri that would have really affected me later on.

At 34 - 28 you are likely in the lowest gear you can get without changing your mech. Low cadence fatigues the muscles more quickly but if the hill is large and it takes that much power over FTP then spinning up is going to burn a massive match getting you up the hill.

I have been practicing on my long rides to take big hills really slow and steady. Rather than chasing a strava segment PR I try and get up the hill using the least amount of power.

Of course shedding excess weight is the answer but not always easy or practical
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tuckandgo




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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How do others keep their power down on big hills? is it better to go with a low cadence in lowest gear?[/quote]


In my IM Wales stats above my average cadence was about 72/73.

You can get up most hills at a conservative power in your lowest gear at that cadence.

It takes some getting used to, in my first IM 5 years ago I think my avg. was 95! I've shifted over the past couple of years following Brett Sutton's ideas and (for me) they seem to be working.
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explorerJC




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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tuckandgo wrote:
How do others keep their power down on big hills?



.[/quote]

by training in the appropriate zone
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Tin Pot




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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

explorerJC wrote:
tuckandgo wrote:
How do others keep their power down on big hills?



.


by training in the appropriate zone[/quote]

+1 You learn how it feels. I also found that breathing is a good indicator, in the absence of a power meter.
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stenard




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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tin Pot wrote:

Im not challenging you at all - I agree the Strava figures are spurious, but without access to best bike split I'm not going to get better information.

My point is though, it hardly counts as information. If I said to you now you did that ride in 205W AP, it's about as much use as the information you have from strava. There is absolutely nothing you can do with it.
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stenard




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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tin Pot wrote:
explorerJC wrote:
mattsurf wrote:
How do others keep their power down on big hills?

by training in the appropriate zone

+1 You learn how it feels. I also found that breathing is a good indicator, in the absence of a power meter.

Does either of these responses really answer the question? I do accept that you could train to be able to better absorb multiple punchy intervals, but if the riders aim is to maintain a steady power output/low VI throughout, then the two options are either change gearing, or use a very low cadence.

My understanding was the OP was asking if there were benefits of one over the other.
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explorerJC




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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stenard wrote:
Tin Pot wrote:
explorerJC wrote:
mattsurf wrote:
How do others keep their power down on big hills?

by training in the appropriate zone

+1 You learn how it feels. I also found that breathing is a good indicator, in the absence of a power meter.

Does either of these responses really answer the question? I do accept that you could train to be able to better absorb multiple punchy intervals, but if the riders aim is to maintain a steady power output/low VI throughout, then the two options are either change gearing, or use a very low cadence.

My understanding was the OP was asking if there were benefits of one over the other.


almost certainly there is, but without understanding the athlete physiology there is no simple answer, other than

by selecting the gearing and cadence that enables you to stay within the appropriate zone
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Tin Pot




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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stenard wrote:
Tin Pot wrote:
explorerJC wrote:
mattsurf wrote:
How do others keep their power down on big hills?

by training in the appropriate zone

+1 You learn how it feels. I also found that breathing is a good indicator, in the absence of a power meter.

Does either of these responses really answer the question? I do accept that you could train to be able to better absorb multiple punchy intervals, but if the riders aim is to maintain a steady power output/low VI throughout, then the two options are either change gearing, or use a very low cadence.

My understanding was the OP was asking if there were benefits of one over the other.


Not really. There is only one answer too the literal question, how do you keep your power down - you just output less power.

What you do to make sure your putting out less but in a consistent fashion is the only discussion to be had.
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Half Iron '17 7h39!, 6h28 '16 5h53
Olympic '16 3h18 '15 3h33, '13 3h36
Sprint '16 1h17, '14 1h40, '13 2h01
Half Mara '16 2h04, '14 2h07
10 Mile TT '16 00:26:30
Trail 10K '16 54:01 '13 54:46
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jibberjim




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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

explorerJC wrote:
by selecting the gearing and cadence that enables you to stay within the appropriate zone


Indeed, however I would also note that if you are forced to output a power in a cadence that is lower than your preferred for that combination of force/inertia, then it will likely fatigue you more anyway. Since the peak forces will still be high, even if the aerobic demands are lower.

Power will still correlate with aerobic demands.
but
Peak force (the parts where you're pushing down) will still be as high or even higher (as you're forced to re-accelerate the pedal) as if you were producing more power due to the lower cadences.

If this matters, depends on the type of fatigue you're trying to limit, so you should consider this if you choose to simply keep the same gearing but lower cadence. - you may also be less efficient at a different cadence too, but that is probably not relevant as efficiency is reasonable similar.

Personally I would always get a lower gear if I wanted to cap output - of course, I'm not sure I would choose to cap output that much.
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stenard




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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's the kind of detailed response I was expecting! Smile
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explorerJC




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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jibberjim wrote:
explorerJC wrote:
by selecting the gearing and cadence that enables you to stay within the appropriate zone


Indeed, however I would also note that if you are forced to output a power in a cadence that is lower than your preferred for that combination of force/inertia, then it will likely fatigue you more anyway. Since the peak forces will still be high, even if the aerobic demands are lower.

Power will still correlate with aerobic demands.
but
Peak force (the parts where you're pushing down) will still be as high or even higher (as you're forced to re-accelerate the pedal) as if you were producing more power due to the lower cadences.

If this matters, depends on the type of fatigue you're trying to limit, so you should consider this if you choose to simply keep the same gearing but lower cadence. - you may also be less efficient at a different cadence too, but that is probably not relevant as efficiency is reasonable similar.

Personally I would always get a lower gear if I wanted to cap output - of course, I'm not sure I would choose to cap output that much.


Personally I select a low gear too, but the physiology has to be trained to spin out efficiently hence there being no simple answer to the question....

I would add that if your are forced to output a power at a lower than optimum cadence you've either opted for the wrong gearing, wrong power output or wrong hill...
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