Power meters generally transmit wireless data and can be paired with standard bicycle computers. They provide instant feedback to the athlete and allow for a more accurate race analysis. For some years now, the use of a pedalling power meter has been used in professional cycling both in training and in managing the rhythm of the race. Even in the amateur world, albeit more slowly, we are going towards this direction, although the price of this instrument is still high.
With this data, you know precisely and objectively how much you are pushing on the pedals to make the bike move.
It is good to know that in order to assess your ability to express power you need to use the same test protocol and equipment
In fact, heart rate monitors, although directly related to the level of physical effort, are also influenced by factors such as performance anxiety, use of exciting substances or daily changes in hormonal rhythms. Think of the athlete who trains alone for 50′ in anaerobic threshold at 160 bpm with good fatigue; the day of the race, after two coffees and feeling the excitement of the group proceeding, the same athlete can easily reach 170 bpm over the same period of time.
- by crankset
- cleat, hub, crank
- dumbbellIn a power meter, the most important requirement to evaluate is the accuracy of the data, as a difference of a few watts can be very significant in performance evaluation (in most cases the accuracy decreases as you move away from the cranks). The data collected by these instruments include peak, instant, average and interval power. In addition, in some models of power meters, you can detect the difference in thrust between the two legs (also called balance).The idea of instantaneously measuring the watts delivered by the athlete stems from the need to quantify more objectively the effort required by competitions and training. With the possibility to store the collected data, through dedicated software, it is possible to study them afterwards, thus elaborating workout programmes and schedules.
From frequency to threshold power with the power meter
We have therefore moved from percentages based on threshold frequency to those based on threshold power. The result? Easier to follow training loads and better control of performance and improvements.
How is power measured?
- body weight,
- rolling friction,
- air resistance.
The power, instant by instant
The power meter must be accurate
It is good to be aware that in order to make assessments of your ability to express power you need to use the same test protocol and the same equipment.