Saturday, January 3, 2009

PowerCranks Update

I have been faithfully riding PowerCranks for the last week. Since my first post, I have completed 3-4 rides, one outdoors and two on the trainer.

I have a number of observations and comments:

First, I find it much easier to use these cranks on a moving bicycle. Pedaling rhythm was problematic in my first couple of PC rides on the trainer. But when you get a PC equipped bicycle moving, you must keep your pedaling rhythm steady or you will find the bike unstable, since your uneven pedaling will cause weight shifts. I also found that I am able to complete longer intervals on the street than on the trainer.

After 4-5 rides, I have found that, while painful, pedaling the PC's seems normal. In fact, when I switch over to a regular bike mid-workout, the attached crankarms feel strange.

When putting out low power pedaling the PC's, my heart rate is in a much higher zone than if I was on a regularly equipped bicycle. I don't have a power meter, but when I in "base 2" my heart rate reacts as if I was in base 3. I have not attempted to put out high power yet, but I plan on building to that.

I still can not pedal the PC's for more than 4 minutes at a time. At the end of 4 minutes, my legs are screaming and I am gasping. Remember, I am not putting out much power.

I have taken the advice of the PC website and am pedaling at a low cadence. Consequently, I am going to have to change my chainring setup. Currently, I am running a single chainring with a 44 tooth ring. Once I am able to put out higher power, I plan on upgrading to a double with an extra large big ring.

I have started learning how to pedal out of the saddle. It was not all that hard to learn. The problem is that I am unable to actually sprint with PC's. The gear is spun out earlier than normal and I get sloppy, which is dangerous, since if you fail to pull one of the crankarms over the stroke, it will fall backwards, which subsequently make the bike jerk. I almost crashed my first few times, but I am becoming more confident.

Apparently, Mark McCormack is a three season PC user (see the comments section of my last PC entry). Once I am able to ride these for 3 hours straight, Mark has offered to take me to the Blue Hills and trash me on the PC's. This is a huge motivator. Its not everyday that an equipment purchase helps you get a workout with a such a distinguished rider.

Lastly, Since there is no neutral standing position with these cranks, potholes and bumps are problematic. On a normal bike, I become light on the bike by sort of hopping a little when faced with an obstacle that I can't avoid. With PC's hopping would cause the saddle the stab me in the...Anyway you hit bumps hard since you have little leverage to pull up on the front end and no leverage to get the bike off of the ground. Obviously avoidance is the best option, but that is not always possible.

1 comment:

n-o-s said...

I love these powercranks posts. I've been fascinated with the idea of them for some time now. Through reading your experiences I will either become foully jealous or insanely glad I didn't actually buy them yet. We shall see! Keep it coming.