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Gadgets...... indoor bikes etc


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So I have been a religious indoor trainer sorta bloke since the mid 80s long long before it was 'a thing'..... we were first introduced to the joys of suffering indoors by Ron Bonham when he was the coach of the Barracuda tri team. I always had that masochistic streak and enjoyed making myself vomit and back in the day, found it a very good way to get a good session in before a run, or combined with a run to the pool and linking it all together etc.

We did many sessions in the Barracuda offices in Darlinghurst and the absolute king of those sessions was Rick Pallister. No power meters in ancient history just efforts at x heart rate etc. Ouch. I think Ric was the only one of us that ever got through one of Rons' sessions. 

Fast forward thirty plus years and probably the only thing I still do that resembles proper training is indoor stuff. Have had various incarnations of turbos, broken things and was one of the very first to purchase an original wattbike pro when they first came out, would combine those sessions with a session on the rollers at high rpm after - rollers and turbo/ergo being very different things, but that helped me to go from a 80-90 rpm triathlete/time trialist to a reasonable masters track rider at rpms north of 110 for pursuits and even up to 130 odd in mass start races. 

Have in the last 12 months gone to a smart trainer, tried zwift but hate the video game experience much prefer trainer road - its just numbers, and some truly difficult sessions that are structured and enjoyable, with a pitifully low FTP given recent health problems (but I think most people lie about FTP) I at least have seen finally some encouraging numbers. 

So...... I donated my wattbike pro (the more modern one that connects to Garmin etc) to my cycling club and bought a Stages bike. Wow. Its really good, in terms of being solid and efficient. I dont like usign my bikes on my smart trainer for extended periods as I wear shit out and/or break them. I think all the others that do the up/down/sideways/vibrator/whatever experience are just for those that cant stomach indoor training and need the distraction or are locked in by covid/snow etc. It was five gees but its awesome. The video game experience may be nice but ... yeah. Not my cuppa tea. 

Just on that I see the UCI cashing on on the indoor thing is now giving out a jersey for it which is sacrilege in my view, but hey. A rower dude won it which is not surprising as its a constant effort, indoors is very different to outdoor racing as there is the constant effort as opposed to the variances in effort on the road (even in TT's). The first big piece of data that came out of power analysis going on 20 years ago now is that the winners of most races are the ones who pedal the least - but when it matters pedal the hardest. Thats not what happens on strava. Trainer road is awesome. 

Similarly as I have road, track, gravel, MTB, TT etc bikes I wanted to replicate my positions so I have bought a gadget called a 'velo angle' from the US..... it is a pro level tool to replicate bike fit, cost a few bucks but the dude sent it express post from the US I imagine it wont be long before he sells the business to a big tool producer its a very cool precision piece of kit. I know GP lama and DC have reviewed the stages bike, from a punters perspective I can say its very good, very quiet and very bombproof.

Also have acquired some gadgets for MTB use (a shockwiz for the dark art of MTB suspension) and a device that saved my life a few months back a Garmin inreach explorer.... If I was ever at the stage again to ride the climb from Tom Groggin back up to Dead horse or anywhere there is no phone reception Id have it with me for sure. 

https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2020/07/stages-bike-sb20-smart-bike-in-depth-review.html

https://www.veloangle.com/

As I have realised Im no good at wives and have given that idea away I buy what I want when I want.....  Funny though you can live in a nice place with a nice view and being a bloke you will still spend an inordinate amount of time in your garage.....

Boys and their toys huh..... 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Callum Dalgleish McGregor
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I do almost all of my training on an indoor trainer.  When I train, I ride on an Aldi Magna Trainer (I think that's what they call it) that my son bought for me from Aldi about 10 years ago for about $59.00...   Same, same, but different!

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Well the only performance metrics you need are 1. A watch to assess time on a repeatable benchmark; 2. A set of scales; and 3. Results in goal event. Indoor training if done properly will help you do increase that first metric considerably. 

NB: Decreasing numbers in (1) and (2) will generally see improving numbers is (3). 

Im on a few of those training forums and pages where its massively over thought. I read them for amusement. I know I suck presently and have to readjust my goals to realistic ones (difficult) but the stopwatch is the gold standard. Get in a pool, go to a running track, or find a measured course (a climb is best generally) and hit start. 

The rest is just fluff. 

Oh a point about indoor training if you cant do it in an hour you arent doing it properly, if you are spending 2 plus hours on a bike indoors unless its snowing you will end up with overuse injuries, saddle sores on your junk (trust me its bad when you have to have them surgically removed) and you are better off doing a hard indoor session and going..... running. Ah I miss running. 

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Yeah, I miss running too.  Finally got back to a little after 7yrs of shit knees, then I get another injury that knocks me out.

I do 50%+ on a home trainer and the Mrs 80%+.  Same as GoEasy, an Aldi special & a very old Minoura that seems to be bullet proof.  No power meters.  Never do more than 1hr.  Most sessions have some intense intervals.  APs old sessions that I dig out occasionally are harder than the InformCycling program she subscribes to.

But re metrics, what about HR monitors?  We always use them, that's how I gauge my intensity.  And I like the cadence sensor.  Big gear efforts I try to hit at least 80rpms else I know I'm bludging.  Also, with the Mrs heart issue, it helps her know when to back off (i.e. when HR starts to climb much more than 10 above mine).

BTW HR always go higher (low 160s) on steep little climbs on the MTB than on the windtrainer (maybe 156 max).

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On 16/12/2020 at 10:01 AM, Callum Dalgleish McGregor said:

 

Im on a few of those training forums and pages where its massively over thought. I read them for amusement. I know I suck presently and have to readjust my goals to realistic ones (difficult) but the stopwatch is the gold standard. Get in a pool, go to a running track, or find a measured course (a climb is best generally) and hit start. 

The rest is just fluff. 

 

Yep

we live in the world of overthinkers , in pretty much everything 

when most of the time , it’s just hard work(effort) that’s needed , but folks of today wouldn’t know hard work if it hit them in the head 

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1 hour ago, ComfortablyNumb said:

 

But re metrics, what about HR monitors?  We always use them, that's how I gauge my intensity.  And I like the cadence sensor.  Big gear efforts I try to hit at least 80rpms else I know I'm bludging.  Also, with the Mrs heart issue, it helps her know when to back off (i.e. when HR starts to climb much more than 10 above mine).

 

As someone who spends 99.5% of ride time on the trainer (I’m on the trainer now😫)

For trainer HR is too old school especially for someone with heart problems 
the efforts with HR will never be consistent or repeatable , as your HR has so much variation from day to day (due to hydration status, ,fatigue, heat. cold. glycemic levels etc)
and also through each session as your HR takes a while to rise and then goes over the top of perceived effort as each interval goes on during the session

 

power is king 

for example 

if your doing 6 x 10 mins at 150 HR 

first interval may be at 230watts as your body (HR ) hasn’t warmed up or got into the “mode” 

as your body adjusts the watts (Effort) will come down As your HR will become higher for each interval so your watts come down

you may find your session will end up like this if your HR is 150;

interval 

1 239 watt

2 230 

3 225

4 215

5 210 

and If your really cooked yourself then interval 6 will be down to 200

thats a  15% drop In power on your first “effort”

if your just useing power then 

230  watts is allways 230 watts 

 

if you where just useing power then the above session would best be done at the 210/215 range for full benefit and less chance of overtraining (And heart stress) 

edit to add 

this is not over thinking it , just good Training sense as your first effort may be “less effort” at 215 watts Your remaining intervals will be harder to sustain especially the last two so in the end the session is More even but still a great workout

evenmorso it’s repeatable day after day after day so you can see “measure” your progress which iis not the case if just useing HR 

Edited by ironpo
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@ironpo

Sounds like you have this worked and you might know. 

I recently started riding with power and seem to be able to 'create' power much more easily on the road then on the trainer. I use Favero Assiomas on the same bike on the trainer and road. It's set up to use power from the pedals for trainer road. 

Why do I feel so much stronger and just overall better on the road? On the trainer I just suck and feel weaker for the same power output (I feel maybe the trainer is too consistent and even doing a straight up climb on the road isn't even rotely the same 'feel'). 

I did a 70min effort climbing at an average of 298watts. Trainer road tells me FTP is 239watts. I did a 30min 20k effort on the road (Shepparton flat course) and averaged 281 watts out and back. I need to read more and ride more to 'get it' but please. School me a bit here. 

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55 minutes ago, Crappy said:

@ironpo

Sounds like you have this worked and you might know. 

I recently started riding with power and seem to be able to 'create' power much more easily on the road then on the trainer. I use Favero Assiomas on the same bike on the trainer and road. It's set up to use power from the pedals for trainer road. 

Why do I feel so much stronger and just overall better on the road? On the trainer I just suck and feel weaker for the same power output (I feel maybe the trainer is too consistent and even doing a straight up climb on the road isn't even rotely the same 'feel'). 

I did a 70min effort climbing at an average of 298watts. Trainer road tells me FTP is 239watts. I did a 30min 20k effort on the road (Shepparton flat course) and averaged 281 watts out and back. I need to read more and ride more to 'get it' but please. School me a bit here. 

You averaged 298 for 70 minutes and TR thinks your FTP is 239 ?

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2 hours ago, ironpo said:

Yep

we live in the world of overthinkers , in pretty much everything 

when most of the time , it’s just hard work(effort) that’s needed , but folks of today wouldn’t know hard work if it hit them in the head 

Agree with you, Zwift, TR suffer fest are all good tools for helping you suffer. Some people are good at taking a set watching the number and staring at the wall.

TR zwift et al all help you do that if want in trainer mode with sets that will kill you if want to. Anyone who has raced at their appropriate grade in Zwift would know that it is not consistent effort. The first minutes or so is madness, then it is hang on to the pack you made, they will attack on any hill with huge efforts, shelling people until a final sprint.

Like the real world it is hard to break away unless you really hit hard for 30 seconds or more and then are prepared to stay at ftp for 3 to 5 minutes to hold a gap. The algortihm is proven to be very solid.

The issue with Zwift TR et al is you probably work to hard even a C bunch ride is going to easily have most people averaging 3 w/kg with surgy bits. Go into the A and B rides and they will all be harder than your Hours of power and hell rides, never letting up.

Working hard for intervals is not that much an issue for a lot of people as HIIT is sort of fun. riding lots aerobically however is and that's not much fun on a trainer

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1 hour ago, Crappy said:

@ironpo

Sounds like you have this worked and you might know. 

I recently started riding with power and seem to be able to 'create' power much more easily on the road then on the trainer. I use Favero Assiomas on the same bike on the trainer and road. It's set up to use power from the pedals for trainer road. 

Why do I feel so much stronger and just overall better on the road? On the trainer I just suck and feel weaker for the same power output (I feel maybe the trainer is too consistent and even doing a straight up climb on the road isn't even rotely the same 'feel'). 

I did a 70min effort climbing at an average of 298watts. Trainer road tells me FTP is 239watts. I did a 30min 20k effort on the road (Shepparton flat course) and averaged 281 watts out and back. I need to read more and ride more to 'get it' but please. School me a bit here. 

Not an expert at all mate , just spent a fair bit of time with very learned folk and being a sponge 🧽 ,also spend lots of time on the trainer 
 

MJK will tell you that your watts will increase on a up hill effort by about 8-10%  Due to the incline (I don’t know the excact science)

 

also some folks just can get thier head around the trainer , if your not “enjoying “it then you won’t Be giving your best 

I love the time efficiency of the trainer and can see the massive payback you get by it so I “enjoy “

can also come back to your set up , do you have decent fan(s) , if your not effectively cooled you won’t perform , it’s just not good to be sweating profusely , TV For entertaining etc 

 

sounds like your ftp might need a reset , but I also think FTP some folk take the FTP a bit too seriously, it’s good to have a number to work off , but don’t need to be so rigid about it 

my (Tested)FTP is probably lower than it was 5 years ago but I’m a far better rider now than I was then 

 

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can also come back to your set up , do you have decent fan(s) , if your not effectively cooled you won’t perform , it’s just not good to be sweating profusely , TV For entertaining etc

This

Also a lot of people struggle with the mental aspect, hence why the industry made things like TR and Zwift and all those interval sets 4 * 8 at  96 -101 % with 1.5 ez is good work and you can mentally get stuck in.

A hill or slope to work against helps too. But once you have the cooling sorted and asuming the same Power meter, inside is heaps easier to hit hard intervals and even consistent efforts. Just put the trainer into erg mode for an hour if you want dial it in about 5 % below FTP and ride

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2 hours ago, BarryBevan said:

You averaged 298 for 70 minutes and TR thinks your FTP is 239 ?

Yeah I'm confused a bit too. But if below the +10% for uphill seems the 20k TT was probably more the truth then the FTP Trainer Road is spitting out. 

2 hours ago, ironpo said:

MJK will tell you that your watts will increase on a up hill effort by about 8-10%  Due to the incline (I don’t know the excact science)

 

also some folks just can get thier head around the trainer , if your not “enjoying “it then you won’t Be giving your best 

Thanks for the first bit. 

Second bit I have a better setup than most. I have a split system aircon and a 750mm industrial fan (sometimes it's too cold and I turn the fan down). I have a Tacx Neo 2T which is by far the best trainer I've ridden. I was on an ergo before a Kickr about 12months ago then gave that back to owner and got the Neo 6months ago. 

The only thing I hated a bit was zwift, then I tried a couple of others and trainer road fits. Just gives me what I need. I setup my favourite trainer set that I've done - it was actually me 3rd trainer set ever (10mins warm up, 5min on at max, 5 min rest X 3, 2min 60rpm 2min 100rpm X 5, 10min cool down). 

 

 

 

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On 16/12/2020 at 10:01 AM, Callum Dalgleish McGregor said:

Oh a point about indoor training if you cant do it in an hour you arent doing it properly, if you are spending 2 plus hours on a bike indoors unless its snowing you will end up with overuse injuries, saddle sores on your junk (trust me its bad when you have to have them surgically removed)

What got surgically removed - saddle sores or your junk ??

FM

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I spent a large amount of time on my bike trainer between March and November this year, during Melbourne’s Covid restrictions. It’s been good to do consistent training using a variety of workouts. Nothing sensational and no smart trainer stuff. I’ve always enjoyed the bike trainer stuff whenever it’s not possible to train on the road. Over thinking the training and workouts is what I think puts a lot of people off. Add all the data analytics and it becomes a chore. Keep it simple and you will enjoy it more.

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10 minutes ago, Callum Dalgleish McGregor said:

Im amazed females are interested in me too. Ive never understood it.

But I am incredibly charming and witty and have a massive tongue.

Once you are over forty, the market changes. I've been doing school drop offs and pick ups for the last 6 months. Even in the early 30's school mums demographic a skinny pencil neck tri geek like me gets to hang out, have coffees and generally get some serious attention.

Have a heart beat, a job, not be an alcoholic, confused about your sexuality, not be obese. That's about it to be a commodity

 

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3 minutes ago, Callum Dalgleish McGregor said:

Being the school BBQ daddy in a rich demographic like the bays up the road from me is where its at. Was fun while it lasted, unfortunately doing school canteen for your year 12 kid aint so cool. 

 

The school mums in our reasonably wealthy demographic, consultant partners, Microsoft account managers etc, have been really good. Our year was rubbish and they included me in their coffee crew and helped with the kids.

They were really really good, not stepford wives at all

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