Riding with Power

Thursday I officially became a bike geek. I now have a power meter on my bike. This is an important element to my training effort for the Leadville 100 MTB race (exactly 16 weeks from today). Using a power meter is much more effective than a heart rate monitor for at least two reasons:

  1. Power measures current output, heart rate measures body reaction to output.
  2. Heart rate levels should decline with fitness and are also subject to other variables which don’t translate to output: excitement, caffeine, etc.

And for an 8-10 hour ride one needs to maximize efficiency which means higher power:heart rate ratio which can only be measured with both devices.

I’ll be posting more about my journey as a newcomer to riding with a power meter with the “power” tag if you are interested.

After 15 months of owning my current mountain bike I wish I had documented all my trips to the bike shop and what I went in for because it’s been an astonishingly frequent and severe experience. I’ll post a summary later as I did reflect at one point and capture what I could recall. Going forward, I will document my visits with a “bike shop” tag.

My visit Thursday was to pickup my bike with the Quarq power meter installed. They also straightened my rear disc brake rotor with a new device they recently acquired.

While making the slog down to Larkspur is never convenient, my first couple rides after they dial it in are always the best.

There are a lot of power meters out there but the choice was pretty straight forward as this is the model SRAM promotes for their XX1 drive train system. Combine that with a user-replaceable battery (believe it or not many don’t and no they aren’t rechargeable!) and the only questions I have are:

  1. Does it work well?
  2. Will it hold up to abuse?

All research and evidence I’ve gathered says yes to the first question.

The second question is really the first for anything I put on my bike thanks to the experience of the last 15 months as noted previously. Unfortunately only time will tell on that as there isn’t a lot of history yet with this relatively new entrant.
After my first ride yesterday I simply can’t believe how noticable the impact of cadence is on power output.

So far my excitement level for the power meter continues to build. Off for another ride with power today, more to come!