Friday, February 20, 2009

PowerCranks Update--Update Overdue--Sprinting--PowerTap Ordered

It has been awhile since my last update.  There have been a few developments, none of them dramatic. 


My goal this last week was to pedal the cranks for 45 minutes straight through.  I succeeded, but was obliged to stop pedaling for one 15 second and one 35 second period due to outside stimuli.   Also, I must note that after 45 minutes my taint area feels like someone has been repeated punching it.  At this point, my legs are not my limiter, my grundle is. 


One solution to the taint beating issue is to ride out of the saddle.  I installed a 50 tooth chainring to the Powercranks, as I was finding myself spinning out my biggest gear when I had only a small ring installed.  

I would have installed a bigger gear, but my current PC bike set up will not allow it.


I am now able to get out of the saddle and limp through a sprint.  While standing, it is very difficult to maintain a set velocity with the PC's.   I have to always be accelerating in order to stay upright and keep my pedal stroke smooth.   When I try to keep my cadence steady while standing I find the “deadspots” in the pedal stroke and eventually miss a stroke.  I fail to bring one of the crank arms upwards enough to get it over the top of the stroke.  This results in swift and violent backsliding of that crankarm and a serious jarring as my rhythm is broken unexpectedly.  I have not had this happen on the road yet, but I think that it could easily cause a crash. 


Also, I have ordered a Power Tap pickup to install on my PC bike.  After spending months becoming proficient at keeping these things moving, it is now time to start actually trying to product power with them.  Luckily my training schedule is also at the point where I am ready to start producing power in training. 


Up until now, I have been using heart rate to guide me through PC workouts.  In the future, I will be setting goals based on time and power output, instead of heart rate and power.  This will be a more effective training strategy, as my goal is to become faster on the bike which is the result of increase power output; my goal is not to have a high heart rate. 


According to my perceptions, at a given power output my heart rate is higher when that power is produced with the PC’s.  With the installation of the PowerTap, I will be able to gather data to back up or refute this perception.  Also, according to the PC website, I should see my heart for a given power output decline over time due to the use of PC’s.  Obviously, I don’t have the baseline data to accurately track such a development, but I can track any changes in heart rate for given power outputs with the PC’s. 


I still have not been able to use these cranks outdoors.  Every time that the weather and road conditions are appropriate, I have a workout scheduled that can’t be done on PC’s.   I am hoping that some of the issues, such as the taint problem, will be less intense once I am able to ride these on the road again.  


iansutton said...

Wouldn't an increase in fitness as a result of training result in a decreased heart rate for a given power output regardless of whether you were using powercranks or not?

RMM said...

Indeed. Without baseline power data, I can make no determination as to whether the PC's have helped me to become more fit.

Michael Slattery said...

Don't be afraid to ride them on the road. You are probably just delaying your progress.

Riding out of the saddle just takes practice. Lean your weight forward and concentrate on pulling up. Be carefully with full out sprints. Once my the right bearing failed during one and I very nearly had a bad crash.

I've never had a taint issue, although I do get butt sores more easily w/PCs. Maybe a change in your setup and/or saddle.

Nice thing about PCs is you don't forget the training. I went 2 years without riding them and was able to ride out of the saddle on day 1. It only took 2 weeks to get back to where I was after 2 months when I first had them.

nixie the mighty said...


good luck true believer!