My Quark power meter arrived yesterday.
I haven’t quite become Chris Froome, just yet (see tumblr: Chris Froome looking at stems)
Here are few initial observations on power meters.
- I remember seeing a photo of Bradley Wiggin’s power output after winning the UK 10 mile TT championship in 2011, and showing his average power output of 460 watts for the 20 minute race! It didn’t take long for the power meter to confirm, I’m not Bradley Wiggins.
- I’m not sure how a power meter is going to help me go any faster cycling up hills.
- I was doing a few hill climbs in training yesterday. The power varied considerably during the climb. When it got steep, it was ‘easy’ for the 3 second power output to rise to 450 – 500+. When the gradient eased off, the power output seemed to evaporate and it could fall to 350. It required great effort to keep it as high as on a steep gradient.
- It was interesting to see how in my first hill climb effort, you can easily start off with power above 500 watts, but, by the last minute, it was tailing off to 350.
- I’m not convinced looking at a power meter enhances you’re enjoyment of cycling. I’m still an old traditionalist at heart. I like riding on feel. Using a computer to gauge your effort somehow takes the ‘romance’ out of cycling. (see power meters and pushing the limits) Surely a skill in cycling is the ability to pace your efforts. I don’t think a power meter changes this skill. When you’re really racing a 3 minute hill climb, you don’t have the ability to even look at a power meter.
I really bought a power meter for time trials. I wanted to see how my pacing was working out for 10, 25, 50 and 100 miles. I’m hopeful that it will be useful and help improve efficiency of these rides. For the hill climb season, I can imagine doing the hill climbs, without even looking at it.
For the statistically minded, it’s still kind of interesting to have lots of data. The trick is being able to make use of it.
photo top: Source: Flickr Mark Geo
Photo bottom: Source: Justice BUK