Continuing our revolve24 season we thought it'd be a good time to look at some of the training our team road.cc members are embracing. We'll kick off with Simon, one of the road.cc squad that took on Brands Hatch last year who has been signed up by none other than British Cycling. They've signed a deal with Verve Cycling, the manufacturers of Infocarank's and, well, why I don't I let Simon tell you what he's up to...........
"This week has been a bit crazy. I've been trying to find as many hilly bits near me as possible because elevation on our recorded rides is one of the factors that gives us a good grid starting position at Revolve24. I've also been on a very long journey with my bike in the boot of my car.
Some time ago I volunteered to be part of a British Cycling test study group. British Cycling recently signed a 5 year partnership with Verve Cycling, the makers of Infocrank power meters and this study is one of the results of that partnership.
I've wanted to get a power meter for ages and now thanks to the study providing us with certain equipment, I have one. It's not just any power meter either.
The Infocrank I've been sent is supposed to be the most accurate power meter you can buy. Because it's strain gauges are precision bonded into the crank arm the Infocrank only measures direct force. There's no compensatory equations or guesswork like some other power measuring devices. The Infocranks never have to be calibrated, not on the first use or even if you move them to another bike. The only time they may need calibrating is if they get damaged.
I spent a very long day last week travelling from sunny Essex to what turned out to be a rainy Manchester's National Cycling Centre. Fourteen lucky volunteers and I were set up in the middle of the velodrome to conduct some performance testing. The performance testing was conducted using an interesting looking indoor trainer, the Revbox, which we also got to take home with us. Slightly unfortunately, as events turned out, the Revbox is a direct drive indoor trainer. This means it has a cassette on it and replaces the rear wheel completely.
For future reference, if you ever use a direct drive indoor trainer you must make sure your bike computer is using a profile that doesn't have auto pause. Most of us will have set up auto pause so our rides don't include the time stopped at traffic lights. On a direct drive trainer, you don't have speed. The two points your computer normally get a speed reading off, the gps position or the magnet on the back wheel, won't give a reading with this set up. Guess what, if the computer doesn't get a speed reading, as soon as you press start it auto pauses. It does it so quickly that if you're concentrating on holding a power output whilst listening to a countdown to your 30 second full power sprint you might not notice the yellow pause sign flash up, or hear the beep that often accompanies it. What happens next is that when you finish the exercise and stop and save the workout you'll get the red square so you know that you had pressed start, but when you go to find out your max power reading there will be nothing there. It didn't record any of it and I wasn't the only one either.
We managed to complete some parts of the performance test and the rest of it that we lost will be incorporated into the training plan that I'll be receiving soon. Yes, a training plan devised by an actual Coach. Lucky, lucky me! I can foresee a closer relationship with my bike forming in the near future and if the testing we did in Manchester was anything to go by I may well find out how hard I have to ride before I end up doing a Jason Kenny and needing to find the nearest bin! If you don't watch track cycling, the successful fiancé of Laura Trott pretty regularly finishes his races by getting rid of the contents of his stomach. Apparently it's actually quite a common thing for top level athletes in sports where you make a short but maximal effort, and a good indication of how hard you really are trying. With planned 30 minute stints at Revolve24 and lots of brief but steep hills it's going to be all about the short hard efforts. The only thing now is whether I'll get the training plan in time to make much difference for the *fun event at the beginning of September."
*call it what you want, it's a race. It was a race last year but we didn't realise it until some ridiculous hour during the night.
Simon is going to be keeping us up to speed on his testing and training so make sure to keep an eye on the blog section for updates.
As part of the Tech Hub here at F-At Digital, our senior product reviewer Stu uses the knowledge gained from putting well over a 1,000 products through their paces (including hundreds of bikes) to write in-depth reviews of a huge range of kit. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 160,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. Although, as he spends a fair bit of his time reviewing ebikes these days he's becoming an expert in letting the motor take the strain. He's also waiting for 23mm race tyres to make a comeback!