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Turbos/power meter advice.

Hi guys,

As the nights are now depressingly drawing in i have been thinking of investing in a turbo trainer for the winter months. I have saved about 300 pounds. Does anyone have any advice regarding which models, the ones with computer packages look fun (but i'm sure are too expensive).

I have also read that using a power meter will improve my performance, i dont really understand what these entail and how to use them.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.



  • Andy, I hired a power meter (powertap) and have been using one for about 4 months. The idea is that as you cycle they give you a wattage output- ie the power you generate. Through various testing (ie 20 mins all out on the bike) you can work out what your power threshold is. This is a similar measurement to your aerobic threshold using heart rate monitoring. It basically tells you the appropriate level you can train at before your body starts to over reach. For example, by staying at your threshold or just below you are probably working as efficently as possible.

    Power meters are therefore useful on the road in that you can make sure you are working to the right levels. What first got me was that I realised I had been coasting down hills and working a bit harder and that improved my times. They are also very good devices to train with as you can create a number of sessions - just like running- ie speed session, threshold session, tempo session etc...

    All in all it is all a bit techy, but I love that stuff- you can download the data and review performance etc... and you can assess how you power increases and see how you rank relatively speaking (ie what power output a category 2 or 3 or 4etc.. cyclist ordinarily produces). Downside is that they are expensive (SRM gold standard about £1,200, power tap about £700) and they do add weight to your bike but I hired one from cyclepowermetres.com, was relatively cheap from there.

    The above really is the back of the fag packet answer. Have a look at these for more info:

    http://www.twowheelblogs.com/training-with-power/power-levels-0 (Coggan is the co authour of the benchmark book: http://www.pccoach.com/products/books/book_cycl_trainwpower.htm


    Overall I have found it all useful, but i know others that feel its all a bit too much and that you should just get out there and cycle!
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