I Think I Hate Power Meters

Hutt Street Racing

Sunday 19th October is the inaugural  Hutt Street Bike Race. I don’t know much about it other than seeing the below poster on Sunday morning.

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Indiglo

They got there.

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There are a few days to go and time to back Simon and Lesley – Indiglo Kickstarter

A great effort, all the best and looking forward to receiving mine.

Weekend Ride

I found a nice pocket of the Adelaide Hills over the weekend that I haven’t seen before.

At the top of the climb up to Forest Range, you know, that place where if you’re not dry reaching you just haven’t tried hard enough, theres that dirt road on your left shoulder. If your confident with your tyres, head on up there, you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise.

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A km or so up Mawsons Road you have the option to turn left and head down Blockers road to the bottom of Little Italy and Pound Road, or you can turn right and wind back around towards Lenswood. There are a few branching roads that I didn’t get the chance to head down , but they’re not going anywhere so to speak. Surprisingly, the roads are in very good condition.

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These roads make me want to go out and buy a Diverge (yeah yeah, its a Specialized, but hey!)

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Diverge

Cycling Tips reviewed the Specialized Diverge, looks a treat and by the sounds, would be great on the Adelaide dirt roads.

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Have a read of the article, its a a great write-up and leaves me salivating.

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The below is CyclingTips summary.

Before I rode the Diverge I had a difficult time understanding exactly what it was for. I take my regular road bike on gravel roads all the time (albeit, hesitantly). After one ride it became the bike I didn’t know I wanted so bad. For me, testing the Diverge was like taking someone else’s Hummer out for a cruise and doing some mischievous off-roading through places I wouldn’t ever take my own vehicle. However, I do ponder where the Diverge sits in the market in terms of mass appeal. For a regular guy like me where my bike budget is limited, this bike either fits into a fourth slot in my list of bike priorities (behind race bike, mountain bike, cyclocross bike). Or to look at it differently, if I were to only own one bike, this would be the one.

So, what didn’t I like? Almost nothing. A couple nit-picky things were that the handlebar drop was quite shallow so that my wrists would hit the top of the bar when I stood out of the saddle and in the drops. Easy enough to change though. Also, the through-axels to accommodate the disc brakes are a bit of a pain if you want to get the wheels off (they require an allen key instead of a simple quick-release lever).

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The real question for you as a consumer is: Does the Diverge offer something that a cyclocross bike couldn’t adequately handle? My answer is that it depends on the type of riding you love to do. Cyclocross bikes are built for competition and will often have a more aggressive geometry (i.e. shorter headtube) and longer wheelbase. The Diverge has a slightly longer wheelbase (at 1000mm for a 54cm frame) than the Tarmac (at 978mm), and almost equally shorter wheelbase than their cyclocross bike, the Crux (at 1016mm). The outstanding compliance and vibration dampening of the Diverge is also something that it has over its cyclocross counterparts.

Perhaps the only weakness of the Diverge is where it fits into the market. But if you love a combination of on and off-road riding with some touring thrown in and have no aspirations as cyclocross racer, I’d recommend trying out a Diverge. If you’re anything like me, you’ll find a way to get that fourth bike into your quiver.

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JT’s have a Specialized Specailized Diverge Expert Carbon 2015 for $4,499

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FRAME Specialized FACT 10r carbon, tapered headtube, OSBB
FORK Specialized FACT carbon w/ Zertz, tapered
HEADSET 1-1/8 upper, 1-1/4″ lower, Campy style, crown race, 8mm carbon cone spacer, w/ 20mm of carbon spacers
STEM Specialized Comp Multi, 3D forged alloy, 4-bolt, 12-degree rise
HANDLEBARS Specialized Expert, shallow drop, alloy, 123mm drop, 75mm reach
FRONT BRAKE Shimano 785, hydraulic disc, Ice Tech resin pads w/ fins
REAR BRAKE Shimano 785, hydraulic disc, Ice Tech resin pads w/ fins
FRONT DERAILLEUR Shimano Ultegra, 11-speed
REAR DERAILLEUR Shimano Ultegra, 11-speed, long cage
SHIFT LEVERS Shimano 685
CASSETTE Shimano Ultegra, 11-speed, 11-32
CHAIN KMC X11, 11-speed, reusable Missing Link
CRANKSET FSA, carbon, BB30, 50/34
FRONT WHEEL AXIS 4.0 Disc
REAR WHEEL AXIS 4.0 Disc
FRONT TYRE Specialized Roubaix Pro, 120TPI, folding bead, BlackBelt protection, Endurant casing, 700×30/32c
REAR TYRE Specialized Roubaix Pro, 120TPI, folding bead, BlackBelt protection, Endurant casing, 700×30/32c

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Kwiatkowski’s Power

Cycling / Feature : Michael KWIATKOWSKI (Pol)

 

 

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Saw an interesting power writeup in cycling weekly. This is my take on the article (link here – cycling weekly) with context to my riding with a Power Meter over the last week.

With a total distance of 254kms and 4,200m of climbing (just a tad longer than 3-peaks and about the same amount climbing), Michal Kwiatkowski presented some staggering stats at the Worlds a week and a bit back.

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Across the whole race, Michal averaged

  • Average power output of 240 watts (3.54 watts per kilo of bodyweight – W/kg)
  • Peak 1-hour power of 300 watts (4.42W/kg)
  • Average heart rate of 148bpm
  • 5,490 calories burned

Putting this into context – a reasonably fit recreational rider might typically be able to sustain around 6.5W/kg, 3.0W/kg and 2.6W/kg for 1, 5 and 20 minutes respectively. A competitive club rider at cat two level might be able to manage around 8.5W/kg, 4.9W/kg and 4.3W/kg respectively.

With the Power Meter I’ve had on loan from Velo-Porte over the last week, I’ve been able to pump out around 270 watts on the climb up Greenhill Road, which at 81kg has me up the top in a slow 32 ish minutes, making for a 3.3 w/kg. I’m not disatisfied with that, but there is room for improvement, both in weight where i could do with a few kilos off, and speed.

Contadors ascent of Verbier (9.7km climb at 7.5%) in stage 15 of the 2009 Tour de France took 20 mins 55secs, during which he sustained an incredible power output of 6.8W/kg. At that same output, he would make it to the top of Greenhill Road (7.2km @ 7%) in just over 15 minutes.

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Ouch.

For those in training mode, in the run up to the 2011 Tour, Bradley Wiggins practiced 25-minute climbs sustaining 6.6W/kg throughout.

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For me, using the same power to weight ratio, that would mean averaging about 540 watts all the way up Greenhill.  That is never going to happen.

For some more context, on our weekend ride last Sunday, Uncle Rog flexed his muscles, achieving over 500 watts on a sprint down Sturt Road, discarding the rest of in his wake. We thought that was pretty impressive for us plebs. Now imagine doing that all the way up Greenhill Road. An unfair comparison I know, but puts the performance of the pros into some context us weekend riders can understand.

World Championships (Men Elite) 2014

Back to Kwiatkowski’. His final attack for the line attack started after nearly 6.5 hours in the saddle and lasted around three minutes. One minute into the attack, he was powering along at 706 watts (10.4W/kg) and he sustained over 500 watts output for the entire attack – that’s over 7W/kg.

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Kwiatkowski launched his attack by jumping away from the main chasing group to catch the lead group, unleashing a half-minute burst averaging 436 watts (6.43W/kg) at 53kmh, during which his peak power hit 928 watts. After catching the lead group, Kwiatkowski took a minute to recover, before launching his championship winning attack.

 

His sprint away from the lead group lasted around 3 minutes, during which he sustained over 500 watts, peaking over 700 watts. Having got away, he kept the pressure on right to the line, sustaining an average power of 415 watts and a speed of 60kmh for the final 1.7km.

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2014 Road World Championships: Elite Road Races

Impressive after over 6 hours and 4,000m in the saddle.

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2014 Road World Championships: Elite Road Races

 

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Of course, that all sounds very hard for a mere pleb like me, and the few rides I’ve had with the Power Meter so far, I’ve found myself “Looking at Stems”. And the mere thought of knowing I will be putting myself through pain just because some little electronic device on my stem is telling me I’m riding shite, well, it sends shivers down my spine.

Confucius quote

It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get.

I’m going with easy here – Power Meter, I hate you.

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Lombardie

One of the last races for the season was the Giro di Lombardia, Cadel Evans last European race.

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Shirt of the Week – Giro Ride Crew 3/4

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Inspired by classic sweatshirts and updated for todays riding with a modern fit, the Ride Crew 3/4 is made from a unique Merino blend fabric that wicks moisture fast, keeping you dry in hot weather and warm in the cool. Moisture Wicking / Quick Drying, 35% Merino Wool / 65% Poly Blend, 18.9 microns. 220 g/m2, Bonded Front Pocket

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till next week

tight spokes

iPib

2 thoughts on “I Think I Hate Power Meters

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