Want to know why the InfoCrank is the most accurate power meter in the world?
This three-part video series covers the 2% myth (the accuracy claim made by numerous power meter devices currently on the market) as well as what validity is, what reliability is and why they are important if you want to be able to trust the data from your power meter.
The series is hosted by Brad Hall, Managing Director of both the Veris Racing team and the Exercise Institute, based in Perth, Australia.
Part one of Brad’s guide to what’s important when it comes to the accuracy of your cycling power meter highlights what you need to consider if you’re thinking of investing in one. This episode reveals the 2% myth – the accuracy claim made by numerous power meter devices currently on the market.
Part two of Brad’s guide to power meter accuracy demonstrates why the InfoCrank is the only power meter you can trust. In this episode, Brad talks about why validity is important and needs to be considered if you’re thinking of investing in a power meter.
The final part of Brad Hall’s three-part series looks at reliability and what you should look for if you truly want to be able to trust the data from your power meter. Brad covers all in this last installment.
Lucy Gadd rides for Storey Racing – the women’s road-cycling team led by Dame Sarah Storey, Britain’s most successful female Paralympian of all time. This is Lucy’s third year in Storey Racing colours after an impressive first season in 2019. Training and racing while studying for a Psychology degree, Lucy took some time out to share how lockdown has given her a new perspective on life.
I am an athlete who wants to achieve, and I am a student who wants the best grade. Here’s my perspective on how to do both of these, full-time, every day.
Let’s start with the basics – I am 19 years old; I’ve been riding a bike since the age of 10 and racing since 12. I am currently studying Psychology at University in my second year. My days involve waking up, training, then getting my head in a book or staring at my computer screen for the next 9 hours. And funnily enough, I actually really enjoy it!
Back track to my first year of uni (well, first half year because the second half was near enough cancelled due the Covid). I was trying to train for over 20 hours a week on the bike, whilst in my head going over all the stats equations I had to remember. It became very stressful – I was getting very little sleep and I was getting ill a lot.
Then exams came around and I was spending every day in the library 8am to 11pm, sometimes missing my training because I got myself so worked up that I wasn’t doing ‘enough’ work.
I’d say I learnt the hard way of how to manage uni and training. I put a lot of pressure on myself and didn’t cope with it in the ideal way.
During lockdown, I was able to take a step back. Like most other people, I had nowhere to be, no commitments and I spent my time purely focussing on my training. My days turned into waking up, thinking about my training and preparing for it. I would get it done to the best of my ability.
Once I was home, I then had chance to recover properly and relax before it was time to do it all over again the next day. I took this time to analyse my efforts alongside my coach Dame Sarah Storey.
We looked specifically at improving my power balance, with InfoCrank telling me the difference between my left and right side. For me, power is my preferred way of training – I find that my heart rate fluctuates day-to-day depending on my sleep, fatigue and how energetic I’m feeling. Therefore, having the most accurate and consistent power metre is key to comparing efforts and simulating a race. Having this structure for five months put me in the form of my life – if only I had some racing to do!
I feel very fortunate that in England, we were able to resume time trials in July. I’ve never done them properly before, so I was very excited to learn a new discipline! I did my first one on 26 July. I got as many under my belt as I could of different lengths and parkours before it was time for the District 25 mile championships on 23 August (which I won) and the following week, the National 10 mile Time Trial.
I must say, I’ve never felt so good on a bike in the whole nine years I’ve been riding, and I managed to finish second place in my category! All the hard work had paid off!
Now, I am back studying at university. I’m pleased to say that I am coping so much better! My days consist of getting my training done then having the rest of the day to do my work. When I do it this way, I realise how many hours there are in the day and this is ample time to keep up and go beyond the required material.
So, if I’ve learnt anything from balancing a student athlete life, it’s to plan, plan, plan. I don’t want to be thinking about analysing my power file when I’m supposed to be reading a research paper about the brain! Make time for training – it’s very important for your mental wellbeing. When it’s time to study, this is your sole focus; when it’s time to train, fully dedicate that time to pushing the pedals.
Lucie Fityus rides for Veris Racing in Perth, Australia and has been using the InfoCrank power meter to support her training and racing for the past six months. Lucie took some time out to reflect on her stats from a key training block last month.
Training block: 14 – 20 September 2020
Total hours on the bike: 14.5 hours
Total distance covered: 308 kilometres
Total metres ascended: 2,635 metres
Maximum power output: 849 watts
“I’ve been powered by InfoCrank for around six months now. I have had the road cranks since March and last week I put a power crank on my track bike too. I have absolutely loved using the InfoCrank as they provide such accurate and reliable results every week and have been instrumental in tracking my training progression. They also help me to connect to my coach Brad, who uses the numbers to gauge how to set my training program.
“In this particular week of training last month, I had shorter duration rides with intensity thrown in. This is to condition my legs for shorter track races that don’t require huge amounts of base kilometres, but need generous power output.
“On Monday, I did my usual weekly sub-maximal fitness test so that my coach can gauge my fatigue and current form. Then on Tuesday I completed ten one minute intervals with two minutes of rest inbetween – achieving a third highest one minute power personal best of 433 watts).
“Wednesday was some low intensity volume and Thursday was a track session I attend weekly in Sydney. On Friday, I decided to spice things up a little by going on a short mountain bike ride close to home. Saturday was another shorter day of intensity on which I had to complete eight 30 second intervals with three minutes of rest in between.
“The next day I had two hours of training with six four-minute Fartlek efforts to complete. I find these the hardest as they don’t allow much rest during the intervals and usually require going up a hill! I do love these weeks though as the shorter more intense training suits me as a road sprinter.
“My power output on the intervals has just been better and better, and I really love that with my InfoCrank, I don’t have to calibrate them before every ride and they’ll still maintain high accuracy!
“I’ve just got say a huge thank you to Verve and InfoCrank for the amazing support for Veris Racing and its athletes. I always recommend these amazing cranks to my fellow riders, many of whom have gotten them too!”
Although she’s better known for her eRacing performances on Zwift, Canyon eSports’ Mary Wilkinson is also a formidable rider on the road.
And while the UK outdoor road season is coming towards a close, there’s still plenty for Mary to train and race for in the coming weeks.
We spoke to Mary to find out all about her week in numbers.
“It was a busy week building in preparation for the upcoming Zwift season and the National Hill Climb Championships in October – a really key period to get in some good aerobic volume and to touch on intensity.
“I started off with a hill climb race on the Monday evening before a functional threshold session two days later. I did an aerobic capacity session as well as two four-hour hilly endurance rides, an active recovery ride and I even managed time for a rest day.
“All in all, I spent just over 16 hours on the bike covering 266 miles. I live in the Yorkshire Dales – I’m so lucky to be surrounded by such beautiful places to ride, but it does mean a lot of hills! I ascended almost 7000 metres during the week and part of my training took me up the Great Dun Fell near Kirkby Stephen – the highest paved road in the UK.
“Every ride I go on feels like an opportunity to explore and enjoy the amazing world in which I live and I love the chance to go and ride somewhere new. Being able to train in such beautiful surroundings is definitely a huge motivational factor.
“I’d be lying if I said I always fully appreciated it during my big effort rides, but I definitely soak it all in during the recovery sessions!
“Training indoors for Zwift racing brings different challenges and I can understand why some riders might find it tough not being out on the open road.
“For me, my motivation indoors is just to be the best athlete I can be and to make sure I am as strong as possible to support my teammates. That’s what drives me to push myself as hard as I can.
Photo credit: Anthony Wood
“I feel very lucky that technology allows us to feel incredibly immersed in a video game, such as Zwift. Tech plays a big part in my training now and the InfoCrank power meter has been a total game-changer. I can now work towards the goals set by my coach and have complete confidence in the data I’m seeing.
“During the week, I reached a maximum power of 720 watts (12/6w/kg) and my average power during the hill climb in Ulverston in the Lake District was 362 watts (6.3w/kg).
“I know I have to commit to hitting the targets my coach sets and to dig deep to hold a wheel in a Zwift race, or I’ll be disappointed with myself.
“All I can do is give my best and as long as I do that, I’m happy.”
Verve Cycling, producers of the world’s most accurate cycling power meter the InfoCrank, are proud to announce their support of this year’s MSWA Ocean Ride – powered by RetraVision. The MSWA Ocean Ride, which will take place on Sunday 22 November, is set to be Western Australia’s largest community cycling event in 2020.
With six ride distances to choose from – ranging from the 10km Family Ride up to the 120km Challenge – there is a something to suit all ages, abilities and fitness levels.
Multiple Olympic Gold Medallist Graeme Brown OAM, part of the InfoCrank family, will provide helpful training tips for MSWA Ocean Ride participants in the lead up to the event. He’ll also be riding on event day, taking on the 120km Challenge.
Verve Cycling will also offer an exclusive InfoCrank discount to MSWA Ocean Ride participants, with part of the profit from all sales donated back to MSWA to support those living with a neurological condition in Western Australia.
Australian para-cyclist and InfoCrank ambassador, Emily Petricola, said:
“I’m delighted that InfoCrank have partnered with MSWA for this exciting and important event on the MSWA events calendar. The InfoCrank is an essential weapon in my arsenal as a cyclist. It allows me to track not only my training power but helps me keep an eye on power balance across my body which is invaluable when managing and limiting the way my MS impairments impact my performance.
“The MSWA Ocean Ride raises vital funds that make a real difference to a huge number of people living with neurological conditions and I wish this year’s participants the very best for a great ride.”
Verve Cycling CEO, Bryan Taylor, said:
“I’m delighted Verve Cycling has the opportunity to be involved with MSWA in this way. I’m a firm believer that businesses have a part to play in supporting such worthy causes, and a commitment to CSR has always been in Verve Cycling’s history. I wish luck to all the MSWA Ocean Ride participants and hope they are successful in both their cycling on the day, as well as their fundraising efforts.”
Over the past decade, the MSWA Ocean Ride has raised over $2 million, with these funds used to support thousands of Western Australians living with a neurological condition.
MSWA CEO, Marcus Stafford AM, said:
“The MSWA Ocean Ride is a marquee event for MSWA, and a date in our calendar we have looked forward to over the past 11 years. We are so pleased to have the opportunity to work with Verve Cycling, another great Western Australian organisation, on this year’s event.”
In some ways, accuracy is the easiest thing in the world to describe. Something is either true or not. 300 watts is 300 watts or it is not!
However, the concepts can be quite confusing sometimes, so I just want to work on one issue today. The question is, “Can you measure the radial forces?”
Firstly, what are the radial forces?
They are the forces that are applied to the crank which presses it inwards or outwards, usually by foot placement at different times during a ride or sprint.
The short answer is that InfoCrank does not measure any forces except the tangential force – that’s what drives the bike forward and constitutes the energy the cyclist applies in order to move the bike.
Technically, this is because our software, strain gauge placement in a Wheatstone bridge formation and bonding techniques all combine in such a way that no other force can register. No; we do not measure radial forces. In fact, we nullify them completely.
Just assume for a moment that we built an InfoCrank that did not nullify the radial (and other) forces? What most people do not realise is that we would still just get a number purporting to be watts. What we would not know is how much of that number was actually watts and how much was something else.
Our rider may sprint and his foot may move outwards which would show up as increased watts but no one knows if it is or not.
Therefore, the only way to measure radial force is to purposefully measure it. Measuring all the forces and then trying to build out algorithms to separate them is one of the main reasons most power meters are vastly inaccurate in real life. Real life is complicated.
With an InfoCrank, no matter how the pressure is applied to the pedal, the power result is the same. It does not differ if your foot is 25mm from the crank or 35mm, or if you have a different pair of pedals. 300 watts is 300 watts – that is your energy put into making the bike go forward.
But what if we built an InfoCrank in such a way that we measured both tangential and also radial force? Now our 300 watts is going to vary up and down and we are going to have no idea how much of that is due to differing foot pressure and how much is driving the bike forward. We are going to have to build an algorithm and assume all sorts of things such as riding style, leg tiredness and seat height to try and isolate out the radial force. What a mess!
So, no we don’t measure radial force or any other force except tangential. If you want us to, we will build a specially instrumented crank or pedal to do so but that would be when you discover that no one really wants to know radial force and certainly they do not want to pay for it…
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