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Brief background. I havn't competed in a proper TT in 12 years. Previous 10m PB 23.54 25m 1:03.24. Do lots of MTB and Road riding for fun, normally 2 or 3 rides a week. Never really 'train'. I'm 34, weigh 13 stone ish, don't smoke, hardly drink and eat well.

3 Months ago I broke both wrists in an MTB crash. Since June I have been able to ride on the Turbo using tri bar arm rests instead of my hands. I got a HRM with cadence to make the miles meaningful (Cateye V3c). I have clocked some 400 ish miles in the cellar. Normally 18-22MPH average, a few 'interval sessions (like 5, 10 or 20 min at 75% max).

So, Today was the TdF TT and I thought I would have a crack at a 25m TT too. I started in between Cadel and Bradley and rode as hard as I reasonably could, using ITV as my inspiration. I found my HR wasn't rising much above 110bpm at 23mph, so upped the pace to 25 then 27 then finally settled at 30mph! My HR hovered around 150ish and my legs felt worked but good. In the end I clocked a 56:30.25. In TdF terms that means I beat Yesterdays stage winner Thibaut!

So, either I should be on a Pro contract and I'm a huge undiscovered talent, or my Turbo is crap and doesn't come close to replicating a real ride. It's a cheapo Trans-X one. Basic with just magnetic resistence but surely this shouldn't matter. The Cateye is calibrated properly. The roller is squashed up to the tyre nicely.

So what do you think is going on? I am just not that fast!

13 comments

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Stubat [12 posts] 3 years ago
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Not sure, but there are no hills or wind to cope with on the turbo which must make a difference in a 25?

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MattT53 [146 posts] 3 years ago
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I don't think a turbo trainer can be considered in any way like 'real life'. Even if the resistance unit is set up to roughly mock estimated watts for a given speed, things like how tightly you clamp it up will probably vary. I never use a speedo on mine as it's just not relevant to real life with all that irritating wind resistance stuff (certainly I can spin a much higher gear on the turbo than the road).

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Raleigh [1665 posts] 3 years ago
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Yep, not Air Resistance either.

The speed at which over 1/2 of your energy is expended on breaking the air is only 15mph.

Because you don't break any air on the Turbo, I suppose a lot more of your energy goes straight into pedalling.

ITS SCIENCE  4

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mattbibbings [81 posts] 3 years ago
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Science indeed! The other thought that rattles round my tiny mind as I knock out the miles on the turbo is how much air resistence 'holds you up' on the bike. I don't mean slows you down but how it actually supports your weight and reduces the pressure on your hands and butt.

Thoughts?

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Raleigh [1665 posts] 3 years ago
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Too many miles I think.  19

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mattbibbings [81 posts] 3 years ago
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Raleigh wrote:

Too many miles I think.  19

I just wish I had a choice! The turbo is normally the last form of exercise I consider but I am teaching myself to love it. Probably got another 2 months at least. I've had 4 ops so far and need at least 2 more. My right wrist is in tatters.

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Raleigh [1665 posts] 3 years ago
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Gotta love turbo.

Sufferfest etc.  4

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notfastenough [3661 posts] 3 years ago
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I occasionally use spinning classes for intervals, but the 400 watts it says I can output sounds a bit high for me, I think you either need to go off perceived effort or just use the HRM and say a sufferfest DVD.

Good luck with your wrists.

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dave atkinson [6142 posts] 3 years ago
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without reliably measuring your power output and comparing it to a pro trace from the day, it's difficult to say. there's no data from the TT on the SRM website as yet, but the top guys would have been putting out somewhere over a 450W average for the 50-odd minutes of the race. That's a long way north of what anyone I know could manage.

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mattbibbings [81 posts] 3 years ago
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I used to have a peak of 400W (Measured on a kingcycle at Uni 14 years ago!)

Thanks for the replies folks. It's a big ask for any kind of accurate answer given that this is a forum and not a Lab! I Might have to fit a 52 or 53 ring as I did yesterdays 25TT on 50x12. I only have an 11t left after that!

I have also borrowed a freinds Turbo today so I'm going to do a comparison, see if mine is too 'easy'. Mind you, the 53 ring may be cheaper than a new turbo!

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dave atkinson [6142 posts] 3 years ago
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The big hitters in the tour will have a functional threshold power (ie the power they're able to sustain for an hour) of over 450W. Back in the days of Armstrong it was Tour lore that to be able to win you needed a watts-per-kilo number at FTP of about 7. so for a 65kg rider your FTP would need to be 455W.

That number has been revised downward a touch over the last few years, I've no idea why  39

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samjackson54 [54 posts] 3 years ago
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My 25TT PB is a 54 on the road, that doesnt mean i wouldve beaten Thibaut Pinot etc yesterday. Their course yesterday was what would be considered 'sporting.' Wiggins would easily smash out a sub-47 on most courses. As Dave said, Watts are the best test; a turbo is a fairly artificial reckoning for simply judging speed.

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mattbibbings [81 posts] 3 years ago
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samjackson54 wrote:

My 25TT PB is a 54 on the road, that doesnt mean i wouldve beaten Thibaut Pinot etc yesterday. Their course yesterday was what would be considered 'sporting.' Wiggins would easily smash out a sub-47 on most courses. As Dave said, Watts are the best test; a turbo is a fairly artificial reckoning for simply judging speed.

Hmmm... I was being sarcastic about the comparison.  3