We’re consistently pushing the boundaries of using technology to give us an edge

Posted Jul 24, 2013 at 03:25 PM

Matt Formston Wattbike Mick Curran Wattbike

Today we hear from Matt Formston and Mick Curran who are heading to Canada to compete in the 2013 Para Cycling Road World Championships. They've been training hard on a Wattbike and we've recently arranged to support the guys out in Canada by providing them with a Wattbike to continue their focused training in North America. If you're on Twitter then you can follow Matt and Mick at @OzTandem.

We'll be delving into how they prepare for their events on a Wattbike in a later blog but for now we wanted to get to know them a little better, so we asked Matt to introduce them both to our community:

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Born with full vision, I was diagnosed with Macular Dystrophy at the age of five. I now live with no central vision and less than 5% of my peripheral vision, I'm legally blind.

When not on the bike, I work as an Account Executive for Optus Business/Singtel, working with some of the largest Enterprise businesses in the world. I've played multiple sports to a representative level, including Rugby Union and Ice Hockey. I was legally blind when achieving these results in able-bodied competition. I'm happily married to Rebecca who is my driving force and rock when maintaining a full time corporate job and competing at the top of my sport.

My love for riding the bike came whilst riding from Sydney to Melbourne for charity in 2009. Since then, I've focused my efforts on mastering the art of riding on the back of a tandem. In 2011 I first represented Australia with my pilot at the time, Phil Thuaux, at the Para Cycling Road World Championships in Denmark. I've since started riding with Mick Curran as my current pilot since early 2012.

Matt Furmston WattbikeCycling is a team sport, but riding a tandem takes the word team to a new level. Mick and I ride together at least 13 days out of every 14 and have done so for the past 18 months. We won our first National Title together in 2012 at the Australian Paracycling Road National Championships, where we came away as National Champions in both the Tandem Time Trial and the Tandem Road Race. We backed this result up to defend both of these titles again at the 2013 Australian Road Championships and stamped our dominance on the Road Race, finishing over two minutes in front of any of our rivals.

We're renowned for our strict training schedule and discipline and we're both heavily involved in the research that goes into our training program. We're consistently pushing the boundaries of using technology to give us an edge over other tandem pairings. Having power technology on our road bike gives Mick live power to manage the bike and the use of a Wattbike means we can be extremely specific when targeting every part of our fitness.

In August we will travel to Canada to compete at the 2013 Para Cycling Road World Championships. Before the big race of the World Championships at the end of August we'll also race at the final Para Cycling Road World Cup where we'll have our first opportunity to test ourselves against the best tandem pairings in the world. The main event for us in 2013 will be the Tandem Road Race on 1st of September in Baie-Comeau.

The races we are participating in whilst in Canada.

·         Para Cycling Road World Cup Tandem Time Trial  23rd Aug (Matane)

·         Para Cycling Road World Cup Tandem Road Race 25rd Aug (Matane)

·         Para Cycling Road World Championships Tandem Time Trial 29th Aug (Baie-Comeau)

·         Para Cycling Road World Championships Tandem Road Race 1st Sep (Baie-Comeau)

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Many thanks to Matt for the introduction. Next time we'll be looking at the kind of training Matt and Mick are undertaking to compete at an elite level.

Training for the Tour: The principle of specificity and how to climb efficiently

Posted Jul 19, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Col du Glandon Tour de France Wattbike

There’s been much discussion about rider’s power values throughout this Tour de France but we’ll leave others to debate the contentious issues and focus on the real value of power - and that’s when it comes to training.

Tim Kerrison, Team Sky's Head of Performance Support, told Guardian.co.uk that Chris Froome had been training specifically at certain power outputs to replicate the efforts he would be making during the high mountain stages of the Tour de France. The principle of specificity is fundamental to any training plan and with the Wattbike you can undertake measurable and repeatable training with confidence in your data.

Kerrison said: “Our training is much more than just doing intervals at a constant pace for a set amount of time; [some of it] is about being able to handle changes of pace – to go from, say, 350 watts to 650 watts for a few seconds to attack and get a gap on a rider who is trying to follow, then come back down to 350 watts.”

The idea of training at specific power outputs to replicate the event or competition you’ll be undertaking sounds obvious when it's written down doesn't it? Similarly,  Team Sky's warm-up protocol is no different, a common-sense and measured approach to preparing the body for the demands about to be made upon it using a combination of heart rate, power and cadence.

Kerrison talked a lot about climbing in the Guardian interview, particularly about Froome's position of staying seated even during his 30 second sustained efforts when he attacked on Mont Ventoux. Staying seated means the frontal drag area is smaller than if the rider were to stand, therefore less power is required to move the mass, i.e body and bike, forward.

We're also big advocates of staying seated when climbing but for different reasons, although there's no doubting that these also play in part in Team Sky's training methodology too.  When you climb out of the saddle two things happen in addition to the negative effect on aerodynamics;

Wattbike Pedal Technique Climbing

1) You have to put a lot of power down the front end of the pedal stroke which has a negative effect on the smoothness and balance of your pedal technique. Having a good pedal technique means you can produce more power for the same physiological effort (HR). We’ve seen very few riders who can maintain an excellent pedal stroke when they climb out of the saddle, and of those that do they tend to be very light. The Polar View above is from a pro road cyclist who has a good technique when out of the saddle but even here we can see the dead spots appearing at the top and bottom of the pedal stroke (the out of the saddle effort is the thinner peanut shape)

2) When climbing out of the saddle there is an increased physiological cost compared to staying in the saddle to maintain a specific power output for most riders. It's more effective to choose an appropriate gear and sit in the saddle tapping out a good rhythm with a smooth and balanced pedal technique as opposed to jumping out of the saddle and seeing your heart rate skyrocket (and having to slow again for a period of recovery).

Matt Wattbike Alpine Challenge Col de la Croix Fry

Note, we're not saying you should never get out of the saddle, there are times when you'll need to stretch your legs or make adjustments for comfort but the general principle is to stay seated on the climbs.

With the Wattbike you can see the effects of climbing out of the saddle in real time via the Polar View. We often say that if you can see it, then you can change it. And that really does apply to improving your pedal technique. Get that right with regular focused sessions and you’ll start to produce more power for the same physiological effort. Flip that on its head and it’s free speed.

Order your Wattbike today.

Le Tour: What we’re listening to, reading and watching

Posted Jul 10, 2013 at 10:11 AM

Ventoux

As the world's greatest bike race moves into the second week we thought we'd share our favourite links to some of the great content that's appearing in the form of podcasts, YouTube videos, blogs and data from the 2013 Tour de France.

If you've found some great Tour de France content then leave us a comment below and we'll add it to the list.


Riders

Cadel Evans - daily diary giving a short snippet into the ups and down of a General Classification contender.

Daryl Impey - from Bicycling.co.za, Impey's blogs from the days when he wore the Yellow Jersey are essential reading.

 

Teams

Omega Pharma-Quick Step - some fantastic videos from inside the team on the Tour including rider interviews with the likes of Mark Cavendish and White Jersey wearer Michal Kwiatkowski.

BMC Racing Team - Daily audio snippets from a selection of riders posted each evening, usually featuring Cadel Evans.

 

Data

Training Peaks - a selection of riders post their power data each day. If you like the science behind the sport (and if you're reading this then we guess you are) then this is the place for you.

Laurens ten Dam - Laurens is uploading his Garmin data from every stage of the race to Strava. A fascinating look at the race and a great chance to compare your speed on the climbs to the pro riders.

 

Podcasts

ITV Cycling - if you're watching the race in the UK then you'll be familiar with the voices of Ned Boulting, Chris Boardman and Matt Rendell. The podcast takes a more irreverent look at the days action. Expect a 10 minute round-up including post-stage rider interviews.

Humans Invent - this podcast can run up to 60 minutes long and provides an in-depth look at the previous and upcoming stages. Journalists Richard Moore, Daniel Friebe and Lionel Birnie guide you through some of the more technical and historical aspects of the sport. One for the connoisseur.

 

Apps

CyclingNews Race Tracker - if you've got an iPad then download this today, especially if you are stuck at work and can't see the race live.

Images of the Tour – Zoom by L’Equipe - a fantastic app showcasing some memorable images from 100 years of Le Tour de France. This is a must purchase for your tablet. Review from The Inner Ring.

 

Some other bits...

Orica-GreenEDGE does AC/DC - our favourite video so far featuring the OGE team at various races around the world performing an AC/DC song. We're treated to some guest appearances and a few lines form the Maillot Jaune. On a par with Call Me Maybe for sure.

Cadel Evans/Phillipe Gilbert cool-down - this video showing a post-stage discussion about positioning during the final kilometres gives us a small window into the stresses of the big race. Four seconds means a lot!

Global Cycling Network - the guys at GCN have a team out a the Tour and are putting out some nice videos ranging from stage previews through to 'What's inside a musette?'

Boston Globe The Big Picture - always a fantastic selection of the best images from Le Tour. 2013 is no exception so sit back with a coffee (or something cooler) and enjoy.

 

Leave us a comment below with your favourite bits of Tour de France content.

 

Smarter Training. Smarter Mind.

Posted Oct 18, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Monique Sullivan Wattbike

Our latest blog is from Canadian track cyclist Monique Sullivan who trained on a Wattbike for the London 2012 Olympic Games.  Monique's life after the Games is very different and after taking some time away from riding is now using her Wattbike to help with her academic work.  It's an interesting experiment!

Life has changed pace quite dramatically over the last couple months! I have been living the life of a full time student and what has surprised me most is the sudden influx of choices.

For the last few years all decisions have been made from the standpoint of “what will make me go faster?” Things like what to eat, how to spend my free time and even what I should wear were dictated by cycling. Right now going fast isn’t a priority and it has been fun to explore different lifestyles.

(Unfortunately eating junk food all-day and sitting on my butt was only fun for a little while before it made me feel pretty terrible so I am back to eating well and exercising.)

My mom had a hip replacement and it was a huge awakening for me. It is a serious surgery with serious recovery. I always thought of independence as a choice one makes, but I realize now it can be stripped away at any moment.

We have been so lucky here in Calgary with amazing fall weather, which led to lots of hiking and mountain biking. As the weather starts to change I have been looking at my Wattbike again and thinking up some workouts.

A big thank you to Wattbike for their loan, it is so easy to hop on and do a workout between classes. A workout that takes 3-4 hours on the track can be finished on the Wattbike in 1-1.5 hrs because there is no travel time, waiting for your turn, shorter recovery, etc.)

I have also been trying to apply what I learned as an athlete to make me a more efficient student. Warmup is such a big part of racing I am wondering if it could help with test taking too so I have been experimenting with an optimal warmup for exams.

The brain is a muscle after all! My quiz warmup so far involves finishing my studying a few hours beforehand so I can rest, a light spin to school to get my blood flowing and some light reviewing of my notes beforehand. I am going to experiment with some multiplication tables to see if that helps wink  haha.

I hope everyone is enjoying the last of fall and getting ready for a good winter smile

Power behind the Tour: Climbing

Posted Jul 12, 2012 at 10:37 PM

Col du Glandon

The Numbers

Hopefully you’ve been enjoying the Tour de France as much as we have, particularly now that we’ve entered the high mountains and the General Classification challengers have come to the fore. We’ve been looking forward to seeing some of the data files supplied by the guys at Training Peaks from the likes of Jani Brajkovic who finished 8th on yesterday’s difficult stage in the Alps.

Some numbers from Jani on yesterday's stage via Training Peaks:-

  • 60 minute Normalized Power – 322W (ascent of Col du Glandon)
  • Stage Normalized Power – 307W
  • Power to Weight Ratio - 4.5w/kg

Now, jump on your Wattbike, and after a warm-up, see how long you can sustain 322W for – it’s a crude but very illustrative way of understanding the performance levels of pro riders at the highest level.

The Technique

In addition to the numbers we’re also interested in the technique of pro riders when they climb.  What’s really obvious is that they rarely stand out of the saddle, and if they do it’s generally to stretch their legs and relieve the pressure for a few revolutions.  If they stand to attack you’ll see that they quickly revert to a seated position once they have a gap and increase in speed.

So, why climb seated?  With the Wattbike we can illustrate why very easily, via the Polar View, our unique real-time pedal technique analysis.  If you’ve not seen the Polar View before then take a look at our guide to what the different pedal shapes mean.  What we see from elite riders is a smooth and consistent sausage shape, as seen below from a rider who has participated in the Tour de France. Here we see 400W produced at 90 cadence.

Wattbike Polar View Tour de France Rider

So what happens when a rider gets out of the saddle, well, I jumped on my Wattbike this morning and did some out of the saddle efforts.  First thing to notice is that it is very difficult to maintain a smooth application of power, which inevitably results in an increased heart rate (my heart rate jumped by 20bpm whilst my speed only rose by 2kph - we can safely say that it was not worth the effort!).  A lot of force needs to be put down the front end of the pedal stroke to maintain momentum and the consistently good pedal technique is all but lost, this is true for the majority of the riders. The physiological cost of this is an increased heart rate which subsequently leads to an increase in the production of lactate and ultimately the rider having to slow to recover.

Matt Climbing Polar View

Now, having said all of the above, we have seen a number of pro riders on the Wattbike who can stand out of the saddle and maintain a good pedal technique as you can see below.  Looking at this example though, you can see that there is still a loss in power as the riders brings the pedal over the top of the stroke, illustrated by a pinching in the middle of the 'sausage'..  Effective climbing out of the saddle takes many years of training and is generally shown by the lighter riders who spin a high cadence when climbing.

Wattbike Polar View Standing

The important point for most of us is that climbing out of the saddle brings a loss of good pedal technique and results in a detrimental physiological cost, i.e. our heart rate climbs rapidly with consequential performance loss.  Climbing in the saddle does mean that you’ll need to ensure you have the correct gearing for the terrain so that you are not labouring a very high gear with low cadence, again something which brings performance losses.

Only by training on a Wattbike can the physiological and pedal technique improvements be monitored in real-time.

Learn to ride like a pro with Wattbike.

Steve Hooker flying high with Wattbike

Posted Jun 06, 2012 at 01:13 PM

Steve Hooker Wattbike Pole Vault OlympicWe recently caught up with Australian Steve Hooker, gold medallist pole vaulter from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, who has had quite a journey in getting back to fitness in preparation for the defence of his title in London.

Steve has been working hard on the Wattbike at Western Australia Institute of Sport (WAIS) to regain fitness and confidence in his quest for further Olympic glory and our colleagues in Germany are giving Steve a helping hand by providing him with a Wattbike in the run up to the Games at his training camp in Cologne.

We asked Steve how a typical training week pans out for an elite pole vaulter, he told us: "My training varies a lot depending on my training phase. Typically I will train around 30 hours a week, made up of between 12 and 15 sessions.  I will jump between 2 and 5 times. The rest of my training is cross-training, consisting of running sessions, weights sessions, gymnastics, yoga and of course Wattbike sessions."

Always keen to get to the good stuff we wanted to find out what kind of sessions he was doing on the Wattbike: "I use my Wattbike sessions as a warm-up for my weights workouts. I also use them as a supplement to my running program. As such all have some activation components and the rest of the session is based around speed and power development."  Lots of familiar stuff there as we've previously heard from elite GB athletes Jenny Meadows and Jessica Ennis.

Steve was also happy to give us an example of a speed and a power session performed on the Wattbike:-

Speed session (6-9 efforts)

  • Progressive 10 min WU - 150w @ 60 rpm, to 250w @ 110 rpm (10w per min)
  • 2 x 20 sec Grind @ 60 rpm and 80% effort for recruitment off 1min 40 sec
  • 2 or 3 sets of short sprint pyramid, 9, 7, 5 sec duration (target 1200w av) off 1 min.
  • 3 min between sets (12-15 min block)

Power session (6 efforts)

  • Progressive 10 min WU - 150w @ 60 rpm, to 250w @ 110 rpm (10w per min)
  • 2 x 20 sec Grind @ 60 rpm and 80% effort for recruitment off 1min 40 sec
  • 3 Sets: 2 x 15sec efforts off 1min 30sec (3 min rest and repeat) 13 min block
  • Hit peak 2-3 sec then back off to 650-750w

What really sets the Wattbike apart for elite athletes is the performance data that can be used by both coaches and athletes.  Steve said: "Anything quantifiable assists in producing and maintaining an effective training program. As such the data provided by my Wattbike workouts have been very useful in tweaking elements of my program to create more efficiency."  This doesn't just apply to elite athletes either, if you are looking at a weight management training plan for example, being able to see data from the Wattbike will ensure that you can be confident of the progress you're making.

Understanding the gains to be made from training on a Wattbike are pretty clear for sports such as cycling and triathlon so it was really interesting to hear from Steve about how his pole vaulting had improved: "The biggest gains I have experienced are in terms of power and recovery. I have noted a big improvement in the acceleration phase of my run, largely helped by the increased power output that has been created by my Wattbike sessions. My maximum wattage output has improved from 1600W to 2005W."

And it's not just power and speed where Steve has benefited from training on a Wattbike: "My recovery between jumps has also improved. I find I am less fatigued between jumps and the quality of my jumps at the end of a session is greatly improved. I credit this to the short recoveries between efforts in my Wattbike workouts."

We have to give a big thanks to Steve (and his supporting team) for taking the time to share their use of the Wattbike.  It just remains for us to wish him the very best of luck in the upcoming Olympic Games.

An Indoor Sprint Session with Cav and Three Legs Cycling

Posted Apr 29, 2012 at 07:13 PM

Cavendish Three Legs Cycling Wattbike

Sometimes we need just that extra bit of motivation to do a Wattbike session so last night our Matt tried out one of the offerings from Three Legs Cycling, which features none other than World Champion Mark Cavendish.  Naturally, he decided on the 'Sprinting' DVD, which is an hour's session including a warm-up and cool down.

The warm-up involved increasing gearing at a constant cadence in order to bring the heart rate up to a level ready for the short but very hard sprint efforts to come.  There were some well-timed and much-needed(!) rest periods within the session and Matt found these a great time to focus on technique using the Wattbike's Polar View.

The sprint efforts came thick and fast and he's happy to say that he did have a couple of things in common with Cav during the session, they were both working incredibly hard and sweating in equal measures!

What really stood out was the pace of the session and the interaction between the on-screen participants - they really provided some good humoured motivation - Matt's think my favourite quote is 'If it was easy, footballers would be doing it'.

Wattbike Matt Three Legs Cycling Polar Veiw

Analysing the data after the session via Wattbike Expert Software it was quickly obvious that Matt had a great session - some nice peaks on HR, cadence and power and pretty good technique during the specificed efforts.

Wattbike and CrossFit Redlands - Feel the Energy

Posted Apr 27, 2012 at 03:47 PM

What an awesome video from Michael Maina on Vimeo featuring the Wattbike at CrossFit Redlands.

If ever there was a video to show the intensity, energy, speed, desire and commitment to get every last inch of performance out of your body on a Wattbike, this is it.

Wattbike CrossFit Redlands from Michael Maina on Vimeo.

Find out more about Wattbike and CrossFit when Wattbike was the surprise package at The CrossFit Games.

After training on a Wattbike for 18 months I have a greater “feel” for what my legs are doing

Posted Apr 25, 2012 at 05:44 PM

Wattbike Polar View Estonia

Great feedback on Facebook last week after we posted some links to info on how to improve your pedal technique on a Wattbike.

First to respond was Ryan Scott, he's been training on a Wattbike for 18 months and commented: "This is going to sound odd, but after training on a Wattbike for 18 months I believe I have a greater "feel" for what my legs are doing when riding on the road."

"Much has been written about mountain bikers having the ability to spin there legs better than roadies and also about the importance of cadence in efficient cycling but having actually seen what your pedal stroke looks like is worth so much more. I have often warmed up on the Wattbike before heading out on the road and having seen what my pedal stroke looks like and felt like prior to riding really helps. I'm a believer!"

Great feedback from Ryan and the most satisfying part of it is that he's getting the benefits of his training on a Wattbike out on the road.

We also got some feedback from Peeps Leino (pictured above) who told us: "Same here! I've used WB only for about 2 months (one or two 1-1.5 hour sessions in a week) and I can "feel" now when my legs are not doing all the work that they should, outside on a road bike. In that sense I'm looking forward to autumn again, to start using it more often."

Love these stories, if you want to leave us your experience of how training on a Wattbike has helped you improve your on-road performance then leave us a comment on the Facebook post.  And if you want to Buy a Wattbike then there's no better time to do it, take a look at our Wattbike Shop.

The Coaches View on 2012

Posted Apr 04, 2012 at 06:00 AM

It's always a pleasure to meet up with elite track cycling coach Andy Sparks when out in Mallorca so this time I once again pointed a camera at him and got a great insight into what the feelings are like for a coach during an Olympic year.  We've heard from lot of athletes so it was pretty good to see it all from a coaches point of view.

Andy reckons the London velodrome is one of the loudest he's ever been in when he visited for the test event although he says that things will be slightly different for the Olympics, with the one rider per nation per event rule.

The track centre will be a lot quieter and he'll need to ensure his athletes remain focused in a somewhat very different environment from the busy Track World Cup events.

Andy trains riders from a number of nations under his Performance United banner including Sofia Arreola from Mexico, Martyn Irvine from Ireland, Recep Unalan from Turkey and of course, Sarah Hammer from the United States.

Andy sent us this great photo of his athletes from his base in Mallorca.

Wattbike Andy Sparks Sarah Hammer Sofia Arreola

Get social with Wattbike and WIN Training DVDs

Posted Mar 13, 2012 at 09:43 AM

One of the great things about being part of the Wattbike community is seeing Tweets and Facebook updates telling us how much people have beaten their personal bests by on a Wattbike, or better still telling us how much faster they have gone in a race, a sportive or a triathlon after a good block of training on a Wattbike.  This kind of sharing of experiences and training data is the kind of stuff that gets us out of bed in a morning and puts a smile on our face.

With that in mind we want to make sure you're conencted in all the right places with us - whether it be here on the blog, on Facebook, Twitter or through our Newsletter.

We recently took on one of the Three Legs Cycling DVDs featuring World Champ Mark Cavendish (purely for research purposes!) and liked them so much that we thought we'd give a few away in a competition.  The workouts are hard enough as it is so we won't tax you any more by asking difficult questions.

To be in with the chance of winning a Sprinting/Road Race bundle or a Time Trial/Climbing bundle all you need to do is make sure you're hooked up with us on Twitter, Facebook and subscribed to our Newsletter

For every place you're connected with us, you'll get an entry into the draw - so triple your chances with just a couple of clicks!

We'll pick the winners out at the end of March - Good luck!

 

 


 

 

The boring stuff...aka Terms and Conditions

1. This Prize Draw is open to all, excluding employees of Wattbike Limited, or any of its subsidiary companies, their families, agents or anyone else connected with this promotion. No third party entries, bulk entries or entries submitted by agents will be accepted. Wattbike reserves the right to verify the eligibility of entrants. Wattbikemay require such information as it considers reasonably necessary for the purpose of verifying the eligibility of an entry and the prize may be withheld until and unless Wattbike is satisfied with the verification.

2. The winners will be selected at random from all eligible entries received. Each winner will be notified within a reasonable time after March 31st 2012 either by email, Direct Message on Twitter or Private Message on Facebook. The prize is awarded conditionally upon acceptance and if a winner is unable to be contacted after a reasonable period or if any prize is unclaimed or declined within a reasonable period, the prize shall be deemed as unclaimed or unaccepted and a supplementary winner may be drawn at Wattbike's discretion.

3. Wattbike's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

4. This promotion is governed by English Law and is subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

5. The promoter of this Prize Draw is Wattbike Limited, Vermont House, Nottingham South & Wilford Ind. Est., Wilford, NG11 7HQ.

 

There is no comparison between the Wattbike and any other static bike

Posted Feb 20, 2012 at 02:28 PM

Steve Benfield WAttbikeWhen you're 6 feet and 7 inches tall it's not that easy to find fitness equipment that can handle the sheer size of your body and with an inside leg measurement of 37 inches, Steve Bainbridge has found just a solution to help him train for triathlons in the Wattbike.

Steve is a former rugby union player, representing both the British and Irish Lions in their 1983 tour to New Zealand and England at the 1987 Rugby World Cup.  After he retired from rugby he took up the challenge of indoor rowing at the age of 50 and after just 5 months training finished second in his age group at the world championships in Boston.

Having pretty much conquered the indoor rowing challenge he turned his attention to triathlon and, in his words, "…appreciated that I must hone my cycling fitness to be competitive at 106kg in triathlon! My first step towards increased cycling efficiency and fitness was to start using the Wattbike."

We asked Steve what his initial experiences were with his Wattbike, he told us: "First step was to be physiologically tested and gain an understanding of the Wattbike's immense capabilities. I got in touch with Eddie Fletcher an exercise physiologist and Wattbike guru.  Second step, I now have a training plan that will ensure that I maximise my sessions by tapping into the Wattbike's potential."

"I quickly learned that there is no comparison between the regular turbo trainer I bought and the Wattbike, in fact there is no comparison between the Wattbike and any other static bike that I had been on before!  If you're looking for performance improvement in the shortest period of time for me there is no comparison – the Wattbike wins hands down."

We get some very funny looks when we ask people why they love the Wattbike so much, mainly becuase it's hard to talk about something which provides such intensity (and often pain) during workouts - we'd defnitely get some very different answers if we asked people for their thoughts mid-session, most of which would never make the blog!

Steve was as enthusiastic as most about telling us why he chooses to train on a Wattbike: "Where do I start?  Comfort! I can get it to fit my body! That may seem like an obvious statement but at 6 feet 7 inches tall with a 37inch inside leg it's not easy."

"The vast array of data that is available either as you are riding, displayed on the monitor, or as I have it, up on a large 50" plasma, is immense. In fact, there is more data than you will ever use at one time but you can select a personalised display which for me was: Duration, Heart Rate, Cadence, Watts and average Watts.  You also have the ability to design your own personalised sessions and save them for future use."

"It even allows you to become a more efficient cyclist by analysing and graphically displaying each pedal stroke allowing you to develop a more efficient and powerful pedalling technique."

Steve, not unusually, prefers to ride outdoors - a dislike of indoor training in our experience is often due to poor equipment, poor setup and a lack of performance data to make indoor training efficient and importantly, effective.  Ask almost any of the team here at Wattbike HQ and they'll tell you that their number one reason for training on a Wattbike is to be able to enjoy riding out on the road even more, whether that be for competiing in a triathlon, a sportive, other sports such as rowing or just riding for general fitness.

Steve told us: "I don’t really like training on a static bike indoors, I would rather be outdoors but what the Wattbike allows you to do is get the maximum effect in the shortest period of time. If I have a threshold session to do at certain duration and at certain wattage I want to ensure that I am cycling at that wattage. I don’t want to dilute my efforts by riding at the wrong intensity. The Wattbike is deadly accurate every time you get on it, nothing is left to chance."

"I believe enjoyment is an essential part of any training program.  Because of its accuracy and smoothness you can deliver highly focussed, intense sessions in a short space of time knowing that when you repeat the session, you are performing with the same parameters thus allowing you to feel the buzz associated with tracking performance improvement.  This performance improvement is achieved by having your bum on the saddle for the shortest period of time."

Given that Steve is an ex-pro rugby player, we're not suprised that he can't resist the competitive element on the Wattbike, he's posted his times on our Wattbike Ranking leaderboard - if you haven't posted your best times up there then get them up today!  Steve said: "There's also an online community where you can test yourself against others, be it a max wattage age group test (1698watts top of age group rankings but a long way off my 2000+ watts when I was playing – see still competitive!) or a 200m sprint. It gets the competitive juices flowing!"

Thanks so much to Steve for sharing his Wattbike story with us, what really comes through are three things, 1) At 6' 7", the Wattbike works for Steve and can be setup for pretty much any body type; 2) if you're going to train indoors it simply has to be effective and efficient, for this you need the quality data produced by the Wattbike; and 3) Competition is for everybody, get your times uploaded to Wattbike Ranking, this will give you some motivation to track your improvements and measure yourself against others.

S-no-w problem for Monique!

Posted Feb 03, 2012 at 03:19 PM

S-no-w problem for Monique!

For those of you who have made the trip to Calgary in winter, you will know that cycling is not top of the list of available sporting activities! The freezing temperatures and mountains of snow have not hampered the training of Canadian track star Monique Sullivan who has kept up her workouts on a Wattbike at home over Christmas. We delivered a Wattbike to Monique back in October and since then the Wattbike has become a key part of Monique’s training.

After three weeks of training away from the track on rollers and the Wattbike, Monique returned to the boards with a bang at the UCI World Cup in Beijing finishing as the top ranked Canadian rider in both the Keirin and the Sprint at the Laoshan Velodrome.

Wattbike caught up with the 14 time National Champion whilst in Beijing and Monique was delighted with her form. “I was away from the track for three weeks and trained solely on the Wattbike. The training on the Wattbike felt really strong, I was able to do many different workouts and was feeling really satisfied with my training. When I did get back to the track I was amazed at how great I felt. I noticed the biggest difference in my seated acceleration. I am really pleased with the Wattbike and will definitely continue adding it to my training!”

Monique is training hard in the build-up to the Olympics this summer where she will be looking to add to her Commonwealth Games bronze medal. You can follow Monique on her website and twitter to track her progress at the final UCI World Cup event at the Olympic Velodrome in London in February.

Peter Keen tells the story of the Wattbike - Extended Interview

Posted Jan 24, 2012 at 04:37 PM

Peter Keen tells the story of the Wattbike - Extended Interview

Many of you involved in sport will recognise the name of Peter Keen as Director of Performance at UK Sport, the body which ensures that investment in sport in the UK is targeted at the right areas to deliver winners at the highest level; essentially we're talking about creating and supporting World and Olympic champions.

He is also credited as the person behind the turnaround in success for British Cycling, where in 1997 he set up the High Performance Programme which laid the foundations of success for the likes of Chris Boardman in 2000 through to Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton in more recent times.  Imitation is the best form of flattery and many other sports, both in the UK and overseas, have tried to copy the system set up by Peter, with varying degrees of success.

Peter was very much involved in the development of the Wattbike from 2000 onwards when we approached him at British Cycling with the idea to produce the perfect indoor cycle trainer.  Following many years of back and forth, we finally produced what is now the Wattbike, to be used not only by elite athletes for training and testing, but also for use at home and in the gym environment.

During the interview Peter talks about his role at UK Sport, the development of the Wattbike and how he uses a Wattbike at home to train whilst balancing an extremely busy lifestyle.  His enjoyment of the Wattbike comes from the feel ot riding a road bike and the ability for you to grow with the Wattbike as training device.

We've uploaded the entire interview, as it gives a real and unique sense into what went into the development of the Wattbike -  we're very grateful to Peter for spending time with us to give us his insight into the Wattbike.

James Fletcher on technique, endurance and life as a GB Age Group Triathlete

Posted Jan 19, 2012 at 09:37 AM

As 2011 came to a close we managed to grab a few minutes with Vivelo–Inverse CyClaim RT and GB Age Group triathlete James Fletcher to hear about how his 2011 season had gone and what his plans were for 2012.  He also gave us some insight into how he is structuring his training on the Wattbike and combining that with outdoor road cycling sessions.

James had previously spoken to us about how he was using the Wattbike to help improve his pedaling technique and with almost 2 years training on a Wattbike he's pretty much got that nailed, although he would be the first to admit that he still uses the Polar View to check his technique is holding good form.  We're sure that his coach might have something to say if he's found not keeping an eye on the fantastic technique he's built up - his coach goes by the familiar name of Eddie Fletcher!

He's off to Israel for the 2012 ETU Triathlon European Championships in April and will be getting a good mix of Wattbike and on-road sessions in prior to the event.  Good luck to James and we look forward to catching up with him post-Israel!

Andy Smith of Team Dillon on his Wattbike experience

Posted Jan 09, 2012 at 09:36 AM

We've received another update from one of Team Dillon's triathlete's, this time it's Andy Shaw, giving us a great insight into how he is using the Wattbike to improve both their training and performance during competition.  Lovely to see that Andy's daughter and son are also benefitting in different ways from using the Wattbike too.  Look forward to seeing how Andy gets on in 2012…

 

I use the Wattbike every other day for an hour session and a double session at weekend, which has proved invaluable to me. Earlier this year I completed the Austria Ironman with a 5 hour bike split. This was certainly down to all the training on the Wattbike.

The feedback is excellent. Although of course turbo trainers and other exercise bikes give you information as well, none are as detailed and precise as the Wattbike. The data provided and accuracy is fantastic. This feedback enabled me to tailor my exact training requirements and wattage output to gain maximum efficiency for the Ironman.

I know what I am capable of and how much effort is needed to improve even the minimal of time improvements. You feel very confident when racing knowing what wattage you have been pushing during training sessions.

The solid build of the bike is excellent and I have had no issues whatsoever all year. The different adjustment levels afford you the opportunity of exactly replicating your bike position unlike many other static bike manufacturers.

Other members of my family are also gaining benefit! My 14 daughter used it to improve her fitness for sports day and a 5k race recently. My son who is recovering from an ACL operation finds the individual leg feedback incredibly useful for his rehabilitation. His consultant is even considering buying one for himself after seeing how well my son is recovering.

Finally I find the hill setting adjustment very useful for cardio fitness which is great to combine with occasional full effort sessions thereby helping maximise ones VO2 capacity.

And that was 2011, how was yours?

Posted Dec 27, 2011 at 03:48 PM

Well, where did 2011 go?  It’s been a busy year here at Wattbike HQ and we’re all now well into our winter training and looking forward to some fantastic events and challenges in 2012.


We thought it would be nice to pull together our top 10 highlights of the year; we’ve interviewed some fantastic people over the last 12 months including Phil Liggett, Jenny Meadows, Sarah Hammer and Teun Mulder, attended some spectacular events such as the London Eye Wattbike Challenge and Alpine Challenge and most importantly to us, received some superb feedback from our loyal Wattbike community.  Keep an eye out on the blog for even more great interviews, training tips and the latest news throughout 2012.

Here are our top 10 Highlights of the Year…


Teun Mulder Wattbike

 

Teun Mulder – we took a trip to the home of the 2011 World Track Championships in Apeldoorn in the summer to see Dutch track cyclist Teun Mulder.  Teun gave us a great insight into the Japanese Keirin School, his hopes for the track season and displayed some awesome power on the Wattbike.
http://wattbike.com/uk/blog/post/teun_mulder_talks_training_at_2000w_on_the_wattbike

 

Phil Liggett Wattbike

Phil Liggett – quite simply, ‘The Voice of Cycling’.  Phil generously welcomed us to his home and spoke about how he manages a hectic work schedule with training on his Wattbike.  As the world’s leading commentator on cycling, he spends much of is his time living out of a suitcase, making his training time limited.  Phil loves his Wattbike.
http://wattbike.com/uk/blog/post/phil_liggett_talks_all_things_wattbike_with_us

 

 

Jenny Meadows Wattbike

Jenny Meadows – we meet lots of nice people, but it’s fair to say Jenny is in a category of her own.  Always willing to talk, Jenny provides an honest account of her ambitions and training alongside husband and coach, Trevor.  We’ve got more coming from Jenny soon, as she enters the most important year of her life.
http://wattbike.com/uk/blog/post/jenny_meadows_on_recovery_tapering_and_the_wattbike

 

Doc Roddy – a leading voice in the Wattbike online community, @docroddy bought a Wattbike following a injury in 2009 and his only regret is that he didn’t buy one a year earlier.  A regular on the Etape Caledonia, he completed the 2011 edition in just under 4 hours, no mean feat and over 20 minutes faster than his previous effort.  Check out this Q&A we did with him in the summer.
http://wattbike.com/uk/blog/post/gaining_time_with_the_wattbike

 

 

Four Nations – the England national rugby league squad took their game to a new level in the 2011 Four Nations tournament, reaching the final and putting in a superb performance which gives real hope for the future.  The squad trained on a Wattbike during the tournament and they were a regular fixture pitchside for warm-ups in each game.  We met up with Strength and Conditioning Coach Mark Bitcon at England’s training camp.
http://wattbike.com/uk/blog/post/wattbike_at_the_four_nations_rugby_league_tournament

London Eye – possibly the strangest location we have a seen a Wattbike challenge but also, without doubt, the most spectacular.  Staff from Lloyds Banking Group cycled for 24 hours in a pod on the London Eye, raising a fantastic amount of money for Save the Children.  We managed to get some awesome images from the day and as we said at the time, if you’re going to do a Wattbike session, you may as well have a good view!
http://wattbike.com/uk/blog/post/wattbike_flies_high_in_the_london_eye

 

 

Sarah Hammer Wattbike

Sarah Hammer – a trip to Mallorca saw us meet up with one of the classiest track cyclists in the World.  Sarah started to train on a Wattbike in 2011 at her base on the Spanish island and it’s fair to say (and not surprised) to see that she had an incredible pedalling technique.  Sarah opened her Track World Cup account with a crushing display to take the win in the Omnium in Cali, Columbia recently.
http://wattbike.com/uk/blog/post/double_world_record_holder_and_world_champion_sarah_hammer_talks_to_wattbik

 

Alpine Challenge – if we were forced to pick one highlight of the year then this would be it.  Spectacular scenery, rolling road closures, a wonderful group of people and temperatures of 30C and more.  3 days of cycling around the Alps (with a little bit of competition thrown in for good measured) finished off with a fantastic evening on the side of Lake Annecy is something we will never forget.  Did we mention we also got to ride with Triple Crown winner Stephen Roche?
http://wattbike.com/uk/blog/tag/alpine+challenge

 

 

Ryan Scott – when somebody tweets that they have taken 40 minutes off a sportive time from the previous year and put much of that improvement down to training on a Wattbike, we sit up and listen.  Ryan sent us a little more info outlining exactly how he did it, and it’s no secret.  He just bought a Wattbike and followed one of our free training plans.  What could be easier?
http://wattbike.com/uk/blog/post/how_to_ride_a_sportive_40_minutes_faster_than_last_year

 

Cyclosport End of Season Party – a fantastic way to round of the year, a sunny ride through the leafy lanes of Surrey, taking in Box Hill on the 2012 Olympic Road Race course, a lovely 3 course meal, a Q&A with leading lights of the UK cycling scene and a Wattbike challenge thrown in for good measure.  We couldn’t think of a better way to end the season.
http://wattbike.com/uk/blog/post/cyclosport_end_of_season_party_box_hill

 

 

We hope you’ve had the chance to review some of the above with us and that you have your sights set on some great challenges and events of your own in 2012.  We hope that we can once again play a big part in helping you achieve your goals and if you are doing something special in the new year then get in touch and we’ll get it on the Wattbike blog.


Have a great Christmas and New Year, don’t worry about how much you eat and drink, an extra Wattbike session will sort out that extra mince pie and glass of wine you’ll no doubt have.


See you in 2012!

Power to Weight Ratio explained

Posted Dec 24, 2011 at 08:48 AM

Whenever we get people on the Wattbike for the first time we're often asked, can I do a peak power test.  The answer is of course yes but we always recommend a good warm-up.  You then have a peak power figure to tell all of your mates about, but whether it be 750W or pushing the 2000W barrier the important figure is your power to weight ratio.

It's a simple calculation, power divided by weight, this gives a much more sensible comparison as heavier riders will often out-perform ligter riders when doing a peak power test on a static bike.  Put them both out on the road, and especially when it goes uphill, and the lighter ride may well diappear into the distance.

Eddie, our sports scientists, has written a really useful piece on our Training Guide on the importance of  Power-to-Weight ratio for cyclists, so take a look and don't forget to weigh yourself next time you are comparing peak power scores.

Heart rate comparison between Wattbike and Road Ride

Posted Dec 22, 2011 at 08:45 AM

Heart rate comparison between Wattbike and Road Ride

Ryan Scott got in touch recently to send us an interesting comparison between his heart rate when training on his Wattbike and when he is out on a road ride.  Ryan is working hard this winter on his Wattbike, following the Winter Triathlon Plan and is looking to improve his TT times in 2012.

Here's what Ryan had to say, including some nice screenshots of his data:-

 

I wanted to find a way to display how training on the Wattbike allows me to have complete control over my heart rate zones. I used my Garmin 310XT to record two separate sessions. The first was a 2 x 10KM time trial attempting to reach race pace on both 10K’s. The second is the 20KM bike leg of a duathlon 11 days later.

 

For the above work out I completed a 10 min warm up with “rev outs” at 5, 7, and 9 minutes respectively before completing 10KM at race pace. As you can see my heart rate increases progressively during the 10KM. I was aiming for a negative split between the two. Unfortunately I went a bit hard on the first 10K and missed the negative split by a couple of seconds.

In complete contrast is the trace for the bike leg of a duathlon. The course was relatively flat with a few rolling climbs but nothing that involved the small chain ring or out of the saddle pedalling. As you can see I went off too hard, nearly reaching my maximum heart rate in the first 5 mins! For the rest of the 20K my heart rate peaks and troughs, but there is a general downward trend.

So, this proved to be very interesting. Firstly you can see that during my training sessions on the Wattbike I’m able to produce a constant sustained effort during 10KM time trials. But, when it comes to race day I get a little carried away and set off too hard, too early. Secondly, when trying to build strength for events such as duathlons and triathlons involving 20 plus kilometre bike legs the Wattbike is able to offer me a constant resistance that allows me to remain in the higher zones as experienced during races.

I’m now back following the Triathlon winter training plan and sessions like the 2 x 20min zone 2-3 should really help me with my pacing for next season.

Thanks for the update Ryan, look forward to seeing the improvements from your winter training on a Wattbike!

Christy McKee on the McKee family triathlon challenge, winter training and her Wattbike

Posted Dec 20, 2011 at 08:52 AM

Team Dillon Coaching are great advocates of training on the Wattbike so I thought it would be interesting to share some updates from this incredibly talented group of triathletes.

Christy McKee gave us a great interview, talking about family rivalries, how she fits training into a busy schedule and of course what benefits she gets from training on a Wattbike. We'll be catching up with Christy in the New Year to find out whether she did indeed come out on top in the McKee tri challenge!

For most, the festive season is a time to let go of dietary inhibitions and cast aside the evening workout regimen opting instead for a boozy night out with colleagues and friends. Not so when your a member of Team Dillon and have the last triathlon of the year looming in the very near future - in this case December 4th.

Many of my friends would describe me as having a competitive streak; therefore it should not shock the reader to learn that genetics may have played a role. On December 4th I will be competing in a sprint triathlon with my now 64 year old father who I'm not ashamed to say, on an age adjusted basis, is a far superior athlete to the writer of this blog. Did I get the competitive gene from him? Nope, he's as laid back as the Dali Lama and eases through just about any physical obstacle with the patience and precision of a heart surgeon. My competitive prowess is a direct result of my cut throat, leave-nothing-to-chance mother.

Most of you are probably scratching your heads wondering what this could possibly do with Wattbike. Truth be told, I usually compete in longer triathlons - half and full Ironman - so this sprint represents a bit of a different challenge for me. To add more heat to the fire, my cousin, of similar age is also coming down to compete in the race as well. I can't recall exactly who began the debate, but wagers have been recorded amongst the McKee family regarding who will be the fastest and who will rank highest in their respective age groups. Based on what I mentioned at the outset, you can see that it would be of huge detriment to my ego if I were not, at least, the fastest overall.

Now I turn to Michelle and my trusty Wattbike to get me ready for this short race, while maintaining my endurance and base fitness up for an Ironman early next year. During the week I don't have the time (or the light) to ride outside. Cyclists of London can empathise. Also we're getting to that time of the year where it's either too cold or too foggy to have a safe and effective training ride outdoors over the weekend.

A typical week (running and swimming excluded) means a very tough BRIC workout incorporating intervals, a steadier 75-90 ride, and another interval ride lasting at least 60 minutes all on the Wattbike. And that's just Monday to Friday. Saturday is my long ride - either 4/5 hours on the road or 2/3 hours on the Wattbike.

When I'm doing intervals, which can range between 2 minutes to an hour time-trial, I try to keep my pedal stroke smooth and maintain 200+ watts. This gives me a good gauge for where I'm at and how my body is feeling that day. Even though I don't have a powermeter on my road bike, because I use Wattbike frequently, I have a pretty good idea of how many watts I'm pushing on the road. I was pleased when a few weeks ago one of my most accomplished cyclist buddies Rob told me he's never seen me looking better/stronger on the bike.

So there's no way to know what will happen on the 4th of December, but I shouldn't fare too badly with good genes on my side and a pretty disciplined approach to training on my Wattbike through the winter season.

Thanks so much for the update Christy, let us know how you went on and whether you are the family tri champ.

Sarah Hammer wins Cali Track World Cup Omnium

Posted Dec 05, 2011 at 02:40 PM

Managed to catch US track cyclist, Sarah Hammer, taking the win in the Omnium Scratch race on a (fairly poor) live webstream of the latest round of the UCI Track World Cup.  Sarah is targeting the Omnium event for London 2012 and she put in a fantastically dominant performance in Columbia, finishing no lower than 4th in the six events which make up the Omnium.

Womens Omnium Cali Columbia Results

Sarah trains on a Wattbike at her European base in Mallorca and is scheduled to appear at the London Track World Cup, Melbourne World Championships and the 2012 London Olympic Games.  We'll be catching up with Sarah again soon but in the meantime you can take a look at this video we shot when we visited Sarah in the summer

 

Rob Darden Uses Wattbike for Winter Training

Posted Nov 28, 2011 at 09:50 PM

Rob Darden Uses Wattbike for Winter Training

We recently had the pleasure of speaking with professional BMX rider and X Games 14 BMX Park Bronze Medalist, Rob Darden. After a knee injury last year, Darden has undergone a range of reconstructive surgeries and has been working to rebuild his strength and get back to riding.

We reached out to Darden after hearing about his interest in Wattbike through his affiliation with Rogue Fitness. Darden is looking forward to getting into Wattbike training and is planning to put in some serious work for the upcoming winter.

Come back in the next few months for more updates on Darden’s progress.

Becky Lavelle, American Triathlete, Credits Wattbike For Helping Her Return to Racing

Posted Nov 21, 2011 at 04:06 PM

Becky Lavelle, American Triathlete, Credits Wattbike For Helping Her Return to Racing

Becky Lavelle is an American triathlete and has been a USA Triathlon National Team Member since 1999. She has held many titles in her long career, including but not limited to NCAA All-American Swimmer at Louisiana State University, 2008 Toyota Cup Series Champion, and 2008 US Olympic Team Alternate.

Lavelle decided to take a break from competition when she gave birth to her daughter Caitlin Jenny, whom she describes as her “pride and joy.” She took 18 months off and began racing again in April 2011. From April to now Lavelle has raced 18 times and won four of the races.

Training after 18 months off was surely difficult but Lavelle credits the Wattbike for helping with her comeback. “I really must give credit to Wattbike for helping make my comeback year a successful one. Having a 1-year old doesn’t give me much time to get out on the road and train so the Wattbike has been a key element in my bike training and I would not have the same bike fitness without it. I swear by it! I love the fact that I can get a good quality workout in a much shorter amount of time than being on the road.”

As for her workouts on the Wattbike, throughout the season she would do 1-2 workouts on the bike per week, riding 40K total (roughly 1:08-1:10 ride time) and doing one of the following workouts… (1) 15 min warm-up at 1:45-1:50/k pace (resistance level 1-2), 1 min at 1:30/k or faster pace (level 4-5), 1 min easy spin same as warm-up pace, 2 min at 1:30/k, 2 min easy, 3 min at 1:30 pace, 3 min easy… 4, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 the same way. 5 min cool-down.

(2) 15 min warm-up, 5 min at 1:30/k pace (resistance level 4-5), 5 min easy (level 1-2), 10k at 1:30/k pace or faster (aim to go under 15:00 for 10k!), 5 min easy, 5 min at 1:30/k pace, 5 min easy, 10 min (every minute do :20-:30 at 110 rpm’s, level 2, recover :40-:30), 5 min cool-down.

Wattbike is looking forward to seeing what Lavelle does next, taking her Wattbike along for the ride. We wish her many successes in the 2012 season!

Double World Record Holder and World Champion Sarah Hammer talks to Wattbike

Posted Nov 21, 2011 at 04:04 PM

Double World Record Holder and World Champion Sarah Hammer talks to Wattbike

Now that the 2011/12 track cycling season is underway I thought it would be a good time to bring you a video we shot back in the summer of when myself and Eddie took a trip to Mallorca to see US track cyclist Sarah Hammer.

Sarah is a double world record holder in the individual and team pursuit and 4 times world champion, we're talking the best of the best here.

All of her focus is now on the London 2012 Olympics so it was good to catch up to see how her training and season would pan out and get her views of training on a Wattbike.

It was a pleasure to meet Sarah's coach, Andy Sparks, one of the most respected coaches in track cycling.  Andy has a wealth of experience and is currently coaching athletes from the US, Mexico, Turkey and Ireland.

In addition to the team from the Netherlands, you will often see Andy's athletes warming up on Wattbikes in the pits at the major track events, so keep an eye out for that if you're visiting one of the cometitions or watching on TV.

It's fair to say that Sarah's pedaling technique as displayed on the Wattbike's Polar View was pretty much perfect, so impressive, we would love to show you the graphs and we may well ask for permission from Sarah at a later date.

As Eddie pointed out during the visit, it is the consistency of the application of power which is key to good pedaling technique and Sarah just continued to push out perfect Polar View shapes, revolution after revolution.

Take a look at the video below and if you have any questions you'd like us to ask Sarah when we catch up with her in 2012 we'll certainly put them to her.

Wattbike at Divided We Fall 2011 hosted by Crossfit Velocity

Posted Nov 17, 2011 at 02:31 PM

We spent some time in the US this year where Wattbike debuted at the 2011 CrossFit Games, and now we're playing our part over in the UK.  We recently took some Wattbikes down to the Divided We Fall 2011 event at CrossFit Velocity in Swansea, one of the organizers, Nick, sent us this report:-

 

Wattbike Crossfit Games Divided We Fall

 

We had over 320 competitors comprising of 80 teams of 4 (3 men, 1 woman) from across the UK completed 4 CrossFit workouts on Saturday 29th October 2011.  At the end of this grueling day the top 40 teams made it through to the Sunday and were told that the 1st workout on the Sunday would take place at the Wales National Pool and would be a swimming based workout.

Following this there was a further cut to 20 teams, then another workout, another cut to10 teams, another workout and cut to 5 teams for the final.  The top three teams were:

1st: CrossFit Central London
2nd: CrossFit Clitheroe
3rd: Train, Manchester

 

Over 500 people attended the event making this the biggest CrossFit team event in the UK.  This has grown from just 23 competitors 2 years ago, up to 212 in 2010 tto a packed venue this year.  CrossFit in Wales was well represented with a team from CrossFit Velocity, CrossFit Cardiff, Dragon CrossFit Cardiff and Funct Fitness Bridgend all making the top 20 teams.  Thanks to Wattbike, it was great and provided something very different to the first workouts.

Thanks for the update Nick, we were happy to play our part in what turned out to be a fantastic weekend of competition.

Where is my nearest Wattbike?

Posted Nov 07, 2011 at 09:34 PM

Where is my nearest Wattbike?

A question we often receive on our Twitter stream is, where can I try out a Wattbike at a gym near to me. The simplest way to find out is via our ‘Find a Wattbike’ map, where we’ve plotted all of the Personal Trainers and Gyms who offer Wattbike sessions.

If your local gym does not yet have a Wattbike then please ask the manager to take a look at our website and get in touch with us, a bit of nagging goes a long way! By working together we can help you get the finest indoor cycle trainer at your local gym.

Upload your Wattbike session to Garmin Connect

Posted Oct 25, 2011 at 02:05 PM

I caught this excellent 3rd party online tool from a recent tweet; Coopa.net have developed a very handy tool which will convert your Wattbike session data files to allow upload to GarminConnect, enabling you to store both your indoor and outdoor training sessions in one place.

It’s a simple tool and it works, really well. Thanks to Coopa.net for making this available to the Wattbike community.

Head over to www.wattbike2garmin.com to use the tool.

Andy Sparks Track Cycling Update

Posted Oct 25, 2011 at 01:56 PM

You might remember that Eddie and myself went over to Malllorca in the summer to deliver a couple of Wattbikes to Andy Sparks, elite track coach, and Sarah Hammer, multiple World Champion and World Record Holder. Andy’s been pretty busy with his stable of athletes over the last couple of months but he kindly managed to drop us an update this week before he once again is back in competition mode at the European Track Championships. He also sent us a couple of stunning photos of Sarah and her Ouch Pro Cycling team-mates at the start, and in full flow during the team pursuit where they took a comfortable victory.

We started off late August with a 4 week training block at altitude at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs to start the year off with a good block of endurance training at altitude.

Colorado Springs is great because of not only the near 2000M elevation but also because of the world-class facilities the Olympic Training Center houses, including an outdoor velodrome (very nice in the Colorado sun), full Olympic-lifting weight room, sports science facilities and, an important part of our training at altitude (so we can get heavy resistance, which is hard to get at altitude), a fleet of Wattbikes.

We had some great weather for the camp and also some great company as the Australian, Dutch and German team were also training at the center during this time.

We also had some successful results out of this camp including Sarah Hammer and Jennie Reed setting a new track record at the US National Track Championships, Recep Unalan of Turkey winning a UCI 2.2 stage race (3 stage wins and the overall) and Sofia Arreola, who took 2nd overall at the Pan-Am Games in Mexico.

The Irish and Turkish teams are now in final prep mode for the European Championships coming up this weekend (starting October 21st) and then Team Mexico, Ireland and Mexico will head to the first World Cup of the year in Astana, Kazakhstan to chase Olympic points. Wish us luck!

Thanks Andy, we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on the results from the Euros and from the upcoming 1st round of the World Cup.

Taking Wattbike to Estonia

Posted Oct 20, 2011 at 06:33 PM

Taking Wattbike to Estonia

Last weekend I travelled to Tallinn in Estonia to deliver our first overseas Wattbike Advanced Technical Workshop to an audience of cyclists, coaches and personal trainers from the Baltic States.

On the Saturday morning I visited a cycle trade show where there was some Wattbike racing going on over 1km – fastest on the day was 00:58.

The Workshop was split over two days and the delegates were keen to learn all about how the Wattbike works, pedalling technique, Expert and Power Cycling software and how to test and train on the Wattbike.

There was no lack of volunteers to get on the Wattbike for the practical sessions and Peep Leino was a star agreeing to be tested live in front of his colleagues. Peep has since downloaded Wattbike Expert to do his own analysis of his test files. Five other brave volunteers participated in a 30 minute Wattbike Training session with me at the end of the second day.

There was much discussion about pedalling technique and some very good technique on show – one delegate could replicate good technique at all levels on a Wattbike Pro (he was a pro cyclist though!).

Of particular interest was our new Wattbike Power Cycling software for display of each rider in a class setting – ideal for both cyclists and fitness enthusiasts alike.

A rewarding workshop with great interest on show which makes the journey all the more worthwhile.

Racing in Estonia

Delegates getting to grips with pedalling technique

Peep Leino in warm up test mode

Peep Leino getting towards the end of his test

Global cycling record attempt

Posted Oct 12, 2011 at 08:55 PM

Global cycling record attempt

I spotted a tweet from Paul Unett a couple of days ago, he’d just completed 1,000 mile challenge on a Wattbike, so I thought I’d get in touch to see what he was up to and why he wanted to spend so long on a Wattbike!

It transpires that Paul is in training for an attempt at the record for fastest person to cycle around the world. Think of that 1,000 miles he’s just done on a Wattbike over the course of a week and then consider his global challenge which will see him knock of 18,000 miles. My legs are aching just thinking about it.

Paul is fundraising for ManxSPCA and Article25. Over the next year he is hoping to raise a combined total of £29,000 for the two charities which will contribute towards the construction of a deep pool pen for seals at Ard Jekyll, Foxdale; and the reconstruction of a school in Haiti following the natural disaster in 2010.

We’ll keep in touch with Paul as he nears his challenge and look forward to hearing how he gets on. Meanwhile you can follow him on Twitter via @paulcyclesworld and his website at www.paulcyclesworld.com.

Did Jimmy Watkins record the highest ever cadence on a Wattbike?

Posted Oct 10, 2011 at 04:52 PM

Did Jimmy Watkins record the highest ever cadence on a Wattbike?

Wattbike sport scientist, Eddie Fletcher caught up with Jimmy Watkins the USA Olympic track cyclist last week. Jimmy does some of his training on a Wattbike Pro training out of Fire Station 55 in Lebec, California where he is a full time fireman working 48 hour shifts!

Jimmy reckons that ‘the Wattbike is by far the best training tool I have. Working as a firefighter full time as well as living 2.5 hrs from the nearest track I rely heavily on it to compete at level I do. It is a super stable platform with very realistic resistance. The information you get is unbelievable’.

He had a Wattbike workout already recorded from the day before for Eddie to look at, a punishing 2 set workout, the first set (seated starts) of 3 x 5 second sprints, a 10 second sustained power sprint and a 20 second sustained power sprint (seated starts), the second set (standing start) 3 x 5 second sprints, 20 second sustained power sprint and a 40 second sustained power sprint.

First set was on air resistance 6 and the second set on air resistance 8 – don’t try this workout at home!

Awesome leg speed and power output on the 5 second sprint sections of the workout topping out at over 2000 W and cadence of close to 170 rpm on each one

His pedalling technique is also awesome and Eddie identified some small improvements which Jimmy could make to get those all so important marginal gains.

Eddie then got Jimmy to do the Wattbike 20 minute cadence based warm up on air resistance level 1. During the first ‘rev out’ Jimmy set a record 214 rpm with peak power of 2069 W (unless any of our readers know a higher figure - and remember this is at air resistance level 1).

Truly awesome!

Jimmy’s comment ‘the leg speed warm up you had me do today is definitely harder than I normally warm up. But I hit the highest watts I ever have on that setting so I guess it’s my standard warm up now’.

We will be working with, and tracking Jimmy’s progress through to London 2012. Watch out for regular updates.

Jimmy is competing in the Pan Am Games later in October and there will be an opportunity to see him in London at the World Cup Track event in February 2012.

You can only train as hard as you can rest

Posted Oct 05, 2011 at 01:45 PM

You can only train as hard as you can rest

Having just completed my last sportive of 2011 I have to admit to feeling pretty tired. Not only because of the 55 mile hilly course around the Peak District but because I was recently ill. Getting back on the bike after a severe bout of sickness is something that simply cannot be rushed, it took nearly two weeks before I managed to not feel totally fatigued from daily tasks like taking a shower or even just walking up the stairs. The temptation to go out for a ride almost got the better of me and with the Wattbike just sitting, almost taunting me, at home, I was going slightly stir-crazy.

When I finally did get out to ride it took me 2 hours to do 21 miles – not really great form for getting around the hills of Northern England. However, I was back on the bike, turning the legs and felt ok. Last Sunday’s Brian Rourke Cat and Fiddle ride had me slightly worried given that I’d only ridden twice since being ill but I rode the course without any problems, felling good on the hills. I didn’t break any records but equally I didn’t break my body.

The following day proved to be a bit of a wake-up call though, as I felt very fatigued and quite stiff. A constant source of frustration to me is my lack of commitment to do some basic stretching, I know I should, I want to, but I never do. Perhaps something for 2012 New Year’s resolutions!

What I have done though is take a look at the info put together by Wattbike Sport Scientist Eddie Fletcher on Rest and Recovery. Even if you don’t own a Wattbike (and why don’t you!?!) there is some invaluable advice on the importance of allowing your body to recover from training and competition. If you ever get the chance to meet or speak to Eddie about a training program, you know he’ll spend a good amount of time talking about rest and recovery – as he says, it’s just as important as the work you do in training.

Given how good I felt on the hills last weekend, there is a huge temptation to get out as soon as possible for some longer rides, but I know that I need to spend some time resting up. I will do a recovery session on the Wattbike later tonight, I already know my training zones from our calculator so can produce the right power and heart rate for a suitable recovery session.

While I’m doing this, I’ll start to have a think about what I want to achieve next year on the bike which will give me some focus to training over the winter. It would be good to hear about your plans.

Rest up!

Wattbike helping Simon Richardson on the road to recovery (#simonstrong)

Posted Oct 03, 2011 at 08:38 AM

Wattbike helping Simon Richardson on the road to recovery (#simonstrong)

We’re often asked about providing support or sponsorship for various cyclists, triathletes, events and charities and while we take a detailed look at every request there are some occasions when it takes a matter of seconds for us to say yes, we can help.

We’d been following Simon Richardson on Twitter for some time, he’s an inspiring guy. In 2001 he was riding his bike to training when he was hit by a car which left him with a damaged back in 2 places and a broken right leg. In 2005 he took up cycling as part of his rehabilitation, going on to win 2 Gold and 1 Silver medal at the Beijing Paralympics just 3 years later. In the 2009 Honours List, Simon was appointed a well-deserved MBE.

Preparations for the London 2012 Paralympics were going well when Simon was involved in a collision whilst out training on his bike in August 2011, it left him in a critical condition in hospital. The news quickly spread via Twitter and an incredible amount of messages of support were coming in from all over the world. We left our own message too. We’d never met Simon, we just enjoyed keeping up to date with what he was up to via Twitter.

It was great to see after a few days that his condition was improving from what was a life-threatening situation and the updates from Phil Jones of Race-Pace.net kept the cycling community up to speed in the following weeks as Simon started to realise that he’d been involved in a big accident, but also that he was in a position to begin the road to recovery. And then we saw this message on Twitter:

It took us no longer than the 5 seconds it took to read the message to know that we wanted to help Simon on his journey to getting back to what he likes doing best. We’re not sure when Simon will want to start using a Wattbike but we’ve got one waiting here at HQ, ready for the call when he says that he wants to step back on a bike again. It might be indoors, but those first few pedal revolutions will no doubt be the start of another chapter in the extra-ordinary life of Simon Richardson MBE.

We look forward to hearing Simon’s thoughts on his recovery on the Wattbike blog in the coming weeks and months. We know the rest of the Wattbike community wish him all the best too.

Teun Mulder talks training at 2000W+ on the Wattbike

Posted Oct 03, 2011 at 08:17 AM

Teun Mulder talks training at 2000W+ on the Wattbike

Earlier in the summer (yes, remember that, summer!) we took a day trip to Amsterdam to catch up with 3 times World Champion track cyclist Teun Mulder. We met up with Teun at the velodrome in Apeldoorn, scene of the 2011 World Track Cycling Championships and were greeted by an image of him which stretched the full height of the building!

Teun should have been heading to Japan for his season of Keirin racing but due to the earthquake in the region the entire season was cancelled; Nonetheless we were interested to find out what it was like going to Keirin School as a European rider.

Teun’s been using a Wattbike to train on for quite a while now and we wanted to know about the kind of training he does for his sprint events. It was pretty cool to hear about the kinds of numbers he is putting out during training, regularly over 2000W and sometimes over 2200W! Yes, he definitely is at the elite end of the sport!

We’ll be following Teun closely as he enters the 2011/12 track season which of course culminates in the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Carla Ryan heading to the World Championships

Posted Sep 13, 2011 at 02:51 PM

Great news to hear that Garmin-Cervelo pro Carla Ryan will once again represent Australia in the 2011 World Road Race Championship on 24th September. Check out a recent interview we did with her for the Wattbike Blog.

Carla recently sent us these photos of her training on her Wattbike…

Carla Ryan trains on a Wattbike

Carla Ryan trains on a WattbikeCarla Ryan trains on a Wattbike Carla Ryan trains on a Wattbike

Wattbike now an Official Sponsor of The Alpine Challenge

Posted Sep 01, 2011 at 01:04 PM

Wattbike now an Official Sponsor of The Alpine Challenge

This is a really exciting development for us at Wattbike, we’re now an Official Sponsor of The Alpine Challenge. The Alpine Challenge is a 4 stage Alpine event which follows a similar format to the London-Paris, both of which organised by HotChillee Events.

The event is based out of the beautiful lakeside town of Annecy in the Savoie and the scenery and riding is breathtaking every day. We’ll have a couple of guys at the event next week so check the blog to see how they’re getting on. Three are some stunning climbs on this year’s Alpine Challenge route and combined with superb hospitality it really is shaping up to be a fantastic event.

Speaking about The Alpine Challenge, HotChillee director Sven Thiele is extremely pleased with the route that his HotChillee team have put together, an event which will once again take in some of the greatest bike riding country in the world, he states:

“We are very proud of what we believe to be one of the best ever routes that HotChillee has designed for one of our events. We were overcome by the response to the inaugural event in 2010, and people genuinely felt that the challenging environment and the event logistics made the event feel very much like a Continental stage race. Riders meet many new friends and riding partners, they create new business contacts and they all share a real passion for cycling.”

“There are no barriers to mixing and interacting and many participants of our events have become very close to all of the HotChillee events team. Annecy is a great hub for the event too, and is a beautiful part of the world to enjoy cycling and leisure time. With some great attractions and stunning places to stay we are encouraging participants to make this a family affair and bring their loved ones to enjoy this super Alpine environment. Overall we have a superb event planned for 2011, and feel that The Alpine Challenge will surpass people’s expectations once again”.

Follow our trip to The Alpine Challenge here on the blog and via Twitter

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

Posted Aug 26, 2011 at 09:01 AM

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

We get lots of updates from elite athletes who are using the Wattbike and we try to post as many as possible up here on the Wattbike blog but sometimes we get one which is, well, just a little bit different. Today is one of those days.

Oli Beckingsale, elite XC mountain biker, crashed a couple of weeks ago in the UCI MTB World Cup in the Czech Republic, we’d heard about it on Oli’s Twitter feed first and, injected with a bit of humour, was the sad fact that he was going to be out of action for quite a while.

We’ll let him give you the background…

Hello

Life, sport and bike racing is a mix of highs and lows. After the high of my 9th place at the European Champs (my best result for 3 yrs) I came crashing down to a massive low only a week later at the sixth round of the World Cup in the Czech Republic.

The race was great with big crowds, well organised and a super tough course, which featured tough steep climbs, technical descents and lots and lots of roots. The Elite men were down for 8 laps and I knew this was going to be one of the most physical races of the year.

I pushed to move up on the start loop and took a few risks, one of which did not pay off as I hit a huge rock taking an off-piste line. The tire did not go completely but went to 10PSI and required a quick CO2 inflation. This meant i came round lap one mid pack in 70th. The legs were good though and by the end of lap 5 I was up to 32nd and going forward.

Then near the end of lap 6 things went wrong in a big way. On a flat rooty part of the course my front wheel slipped out and I went down. It’s the type of crash I have had a thousand times but luck was not on my side and I landed with my full weight on my hip onto a large tree root.

I never experienced pain like it as I dragged myself off the track. After a painful trip to hospital and an x-ray it turned out that I have fractured the neck of my femur, in other words I have snapped the ball of my hip joint of my leg!!!

Its a bad injury but I am lucky as there was a complete break but everything stayed in place and the hip did not dislocate. I was operated on that night and they pinned and plated the joint.

My Dad stepped up and flew out on the Monday to help me, which was fantastic, as being on a Czech hospital ward, language issue, dealing with the insurance company and being generally worried would have been far more challenging on my own.

I managed to get home to the UK on Saturday and go to a UK hospital. The consultant was happy with the work they had done in Czech and now I can begin to recover and rehab. Basically this involves 6 weeks on crutches with no weight on the bad leg and then another 6 weeks working up to full weight. I have exercise to do but no riding for 12 weeks!

At least it is almost the end of the season , I have only missed 4 races and like they say if it does not kill you it makes you stronger..

Photos are of me in hospital looking positive and a nice shot of some metal work ( i hope they put titanium in there!)

Thanks for the support

Oli

We’d like to wish Oli a speedy recovery from all of the Wattbike community - you can send Oli your own best wishes via Twitter. He”ll be using a Wattbike to aid his recovery once he’s allowed to pedal again and we’ll be catching up with him via a video blog to see how it’s going.

Bike Fit on the Wattbike

Posted Aug 23, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Bike Fit on the Wattbike

If you’ve ever sustained an injury on a bike (other than from falling off!) it’s likely that it will have been caused by an incorrect bike setup. The resulting injuries can make cycling a fairly miserable experience and more often than not cause other problems as one part of the body over-compensates for the pain being felt elsewhere.

To help you alleviate these problems we’ve recently added a new ‘Bike Fit’ section to the website which shows you how to set up your Wattbike perfectly; you’ll then be able to transfer these settings over to your road setup to maximise the benefits of your indoor training.

First thing you’ll need to do is ensure the Wattbike is level on the floor - there are adjustable feet which turn easily to change the height - and get your saddle parallel to the floor. There is a specific order in which to make changes to the Wattbike in order to get the best position, so get the saddle position sorted first and then look to get your handlebars in the correct position.

It’s best if you have a partner to help you assess your position by dropping a plumb line from the elbow, through the inside of the knee and finally it should bisect the pedal spindle. If you don’t have a plumb line then you could always tie something small and heavy to a piece of string (multi-tools are good!).

These are just the general guidelines, to get the detail from our sport scientist, Eddie Fletcher, see the fantastic Bike Setup section on the website.

I’ll be reassessing my riding position this evening in preparation for the 3 Minute Aerobic Test.

The 3 keys to triathlon success

Posted Aug 22, 2011 at 10:49 AM

The 3 keys to triathlon success

We’ve just had an update on how Team Dillon’s Christy McKee has been getting on over the past few months which includes a significant amount of training on a Wattbike. Her triathlon results have been very impressive and it’s clear from what she says below that a combination of high quality training, a great coach and proper nutrition are the 3 keys to success.

It’s been a busy past few months since my last update. After taking a few weeks off work to train, in April I did TriStar Mallorca. Thanks to my regular Wattbike sessions the day before the race I rode the 50k course familiarisation loop with several pros (who of course were riding at an easy pace for us normal human beings). I am proud to say that by the end of the loop not only was I the only non-pro girl still in the group but one of only five that managed to keep up. Yeah!

I’ll focus on the bike leg of my races as it relates more directly to my training sessions with the Wattbike. Given I’m not the most impressive runner, I depend on having a strong swim and bike to give me a little more lead time on the girls that are better runners than me. In the TriStar Mallorca race the bike leg was 100km long (run was 10km long) and there was one steep 6km hill we had to do twice. I managed to keep a good strong pull despite some mechanical difficulties which meant I was stuck in one of my more challenging gears. Ultimately I finished 3rd in my age group as the bike gave me enough of a lead to hold off the other women on the shorter run.

A few short weeks after TriStar, I competed in the inaugural Mallorca 70.3. The race is in very familiar territory around Port Pollenca where I’ve ridden several times in the last few years. I know the route and the 10km hill (there is only one long hill on the course) went well and I felt comfortable racing on my tri-bike. Although I only came in 13th in my age group out of 59, my bike was strongest sector and if I had been 4 minutes faster in my run leg (and/or cut that time out of my transitions) I would have come in the top 5 in my category.

The bike course splits were at the 35.5km, 70.4km and 90k points. The 35.5km split was at the top of the long hill, and I was very excited to learn that out of the 219 non pro women competing in the race, my time in the first bikesplit was good enough for 19th place out of the 219 demonstrating my power up the hill. In the second 35km split, I was 39th out of 219 which is still reasonable but can be explained by my hesitation to descend the 10km hill at full blast and taking risks. Over the final 20km flat sector into the wind, I was 28th out of the 219 non pro women. Overall I was the 22nd fastest non pro woman on the bike compared to the 25th and 45th fastest on the swim and run respectively.

My biggest feat of the year was Ironman Nice, this was my first ever Ironman and a huge challenge as its known for having the toughest ride profile of all the Ironman race series. I spent a lot of time after work on my Wattbike and even more hours on my bike outdoors over the weekends trying to emulate same power on the road. Ultimately on race day I had the most fun I’ve ever had on a bike course – I got everything right, the amount of training, the nutrition, etc. I also had one of the stronger bike splits in my age group and this was despite the 36 degree weather which I had no way of preparing for being a UK resident! In Nice, I was the 7th fastest woman in my age group out of the 29 that finished the race.

More recently I did the Hyde Park Triathlon – I will definitely be doing it again next year as the race organisers did an excellent job. The day of the race I was still recovering from a bad cold, but I rode my tri-bike fresh with brand new Hed3 wheels and managed to rank 19th out of 183 other lady racers in the bike leg. I was pleased with this as I’ve been more focused on distance training rather than shorter power sprints and because I lost a lot of time in the turn around points (there were 5 laps which translated into 10x 180 degree turn around points) which are not exactly fun on a stiff tri-bike with toe overlap.

Finally, this past weekend I raced in the Germany 70.3 Ironman. Before I get into my race performance I have to say that I had hugely underestimated how tough the bike course would be as the race profile didn’t look too intimidating. I therefore made the very novice mistake of only taking 2 gels and one energy bar – what I’d usually take on a milder, relatively flat course. I had a great start to the ride, it was the first time I’ve felt able to push the pace since the Nice Ironman in June, and I stayed with the faster riders.

Around 40k I was getting worried because I had already gone through the two gels I had brought. I was holding off on eating the energy bar because I forgot to open the wrapper before the race and knew I’d loose time playing with the foil. At 70k I could tell I was losing power and some of the girls I put behind me early in the race were starting to catch up. I waited too long, and with the rainy weather I dropped the energy bar on what was a pretty steep hill.

At that point I had no intention of getting off my bike to get it – thinking of the time I’d loose - and in retrospect it turned out to be an enormous mistake. My fate? I suffered through the last 20k on the bike and my legs were shaking as I descended down the huge hill back into Wiesbaden – not an ideal way to start a 21k run. So a note to all those reading this – even a well tuned car won’t go anywhere if you don’t put fuel in the tank. So despite having a great coach like Michelle, a great training tool like Wattbike, and a great training partner like my boyfriend, if you don’t get your nutrition right you might as well stay in bed – in a longer race it will make or break your performance.

Thanks for the update Christy! Don’t forget we have our free Triathlon Winter Training Plan if you’re looking to take the next step in your own training.

Ian Richards gives us the low-down on his Wattbike training

Posted Aug 16, 2011 at 08:54 AM

Ian Richards gives us the low-down on his Wattbike training

You’ve probably read about some of the great performaces Ian Richards has been putting in as he enjoys his first season of European road racing here on the Wattbike blog. From completing his first full UCI Tour to becoming champion of South Holland, Ian’s season has gone from strength to strength.

It’s fair say that Ian’s a perfect example of how putting in a tremendous amount of work and focus into your training will often not only reap the results you want but also at times exceed them. Ian is meticulous in planning his training, whether it be out on the road or indoors on his Wattbike.

I asked Ian, as a road rider, what he is mainly using his Wattbike for and how exactly it is helping him to gain the edge on his competition. It was no surprise to hear that the miserable weather we’ve experienced in Europe this summer has meant that his Wattbike is getting some serious use. Ian also shares one of his ‘favourite training sessions below which is well worth giving a try. Here’s what he had to say:

During the racing season the Wattbike is the best training tool; when I’m racing up to 4 times a week and riding in week-long tours every couple of months training on the Wattbike fits perfectly into my European racing calendar.

My training is based around the power aspect of the Wattbike. Using the power readings on the Performance Computer I can safely smash out my efforts at 100% without risking myself with traffic and the numerous other hazards on the road. This isn’t the best bit either; the weather is also very temperamental in Europe, and with any sign of rain I’m straight on the Wattbike without the risk of catching a cold or crashing in the rain.

My training is done in 2 segments each day, Either 2 sessions on the road or one on the Wattbike and another on the road. These are called split days and enable me to train at a higher level without suffering from high levels of fatigue. The benefits of having a Wattbike means that I can train at any time of the day without having to worry when it is dark, cold or windy.

My least favourite type of effort on the Wattbike is called a 20/10; I say least favourite because it hurts…A LOT! This is 20 seconds at high watts, then 10 seconds at lower watts, repeated for 4 minutes, 3 times. Ouch!

This effort represents the changes in speed during a race and enables my legs to get used to this race-type lactate period and helps my aerobic system to adjust as well.

Wattbike has been fantastic in supporting me and it’s great to be able to use a Wattbike very day of the week.

Look forward to keeping up with your progress Ian. Thanks for sharing one of your training sessions with us.

Walter Thorburn coaching triathlon on the Wattbike

Posted Aug 15, 2011 at 02:32 PM

Monday mornings are usually full of planning for a busy week ahead, telephone calls, emails from the weekend to answer and working out where I am going to be over the next 7 days! This morning got off to a great start with an email overnight from a Wattbike user in New Zealand; it’s the kind of email which I forwarded to the rest of the team here at Wattbike HQ as it just makes everything we are doing to produce the world’s best indoor training bike worthwhile and spurs us on to keep on pushing the boundaries.

The email comes from Walter Thorburn, two-time New Zealand Half Ironman Champion and 2009 World Age Group Champion, he’s got over 28 years experience of racing with 6 years of this internationally - you could say Walter has been there and done it when it comes to competing at the highest level. He’s now coaching elite triathletes through his own coaching company, Go2Max. I’ll let Walter tell you what he thinks of the Wattbike in his own words:-

When a Wattbike brochure came across my desk I thought: “Cool, great idea!” but then proceeded to carry on with what I was doing anyway. Fast forward a few months and athletes in the local bike shop were raving about what they were achieving with the Wattbike, about the improvements they were getting and also that crucially, their improvements were directly transferring to the races they were competing in.

Never being one to ever let new ideas slip by me should there be a nugget of useful information, I decided to research it and see what potential it may have for what I do and how it might improve my systems as a coach.

So what are the benefits of using the Wattbike, and why it is (in my eyes) different from others stuff out there? I liked the idea that I could finish a workout and was able to get a full data screen of information on the session right away. Being able to track everything from heart rate, power, cadence and the effectiveness of my pedalling is a major advantage training wise.

The idea of the bike self-charging when you are riding is great. Also, not needing to calibrate it every time for accurate watts before using it is another reason I am passionate about using this bike. It has to be easy and this ergometer certainly is! Secondly, the Pro Trainer offers higher resistance levels than other indoor trainers, which was particularly important for myself as an athlete, but also for the purposes of coaching. I have athletes who range from beginner to national champions.

Maybe the greatest driving force in my decision to purchase a Wattbike was how it felt to ride. For an indoor trainer it is important to me that I want to get on this in all weathers and enjoy the experience replicating the exact feel of the pedal as if I was on the road. The same experience I like the athletes to have when I am doing any number of tests with them.

Because the Wattbike to me feels like a real bike I find myself very often “just riding” it as if I was on the road without following a special workout. However, one of my personal favourite workouts is the following:

  • Warm-Up 15 minutes above 90 rpm slowly increasing watts to my aerobic threshold in last 5 minutes.
  • 5 x 3 minutes, between 80-90 rpm @ aerobic threshold focusing on best watts with an easy 1 minute recovery.
  • 5 x 2 minutes, between 80-90 rpm @aerobic threshold focusing on best watts with an easy 1 minute recovery.
  • 5 x 1 minute, at 90 rpm @aerobic threshold focusing on best watts with an easy 1 minute recovery.
  • Warm-Down 15 minutes above 90 rpm.

I can honestly say that I have not ridden a better indoor trainer, and can only recommend it to any athlete ranging from weekend warrior to elite.

Thanks Walter, we’ve just about stopped blushing here in the office after all that praise and thanks for sharing one of your training sessions, I’m sure the Wattbike community will want to have a crack at that one!

Wattbikes the surprise package at The CrossFit Games

Posted Aug 01, 2011 at 02:17 PM

Wattbikes the surprise package at The CrossFit Games

It was all pretty hush hush really. We were really excited to be asked to provide Wattbikes for the CrossFit Games which finished yesterday in LA. Not only were we not allowed to tell anyone, not even our mothers, we also did not know what distance the races were going to be over. But we were excited.

We built up twenty new bikes and shipped them down the Home Depot Stadium in Carson, South Los Angeles, and Ben and Ian even flew in from the UK to assist over the three day weekend to make sure that everything went smoothly.

The CrossFit Games is the pinnacle of competition for CrossFitters who have been waiting to compete to find out who wins the title of The Fittest on Earth and the US$200,000 first prize, with 60 Open Men and 60 Open Women qualifying from all over the world.

The Wattbikes were a surprise addition to the games (for the competitors anyway) and they were used with both individuals and teams. The whole games were filmed by ESPN and posted on line at the CrossFit Games website. The events featuring the Wattbikes are:

Men's Open - Killer Kage

Women’s Open – Killer Kage

Team Competition - Killer Kage

Masters Men’s Finals

Masters Women’s Finals

Check out CrossFit.com and CrossFit Games. to find out more.

TC Valentine at Crossfit Endurance tries the Wattbike

Posted Jul 01, 2011 at 03:56 PM

After a whistle stop tour of the states, well, actually only two states Florida and California (I know tough life!), I ended up in Costa Mesa with Doug and Brian from Cross Fit Endurance. We had a long agenda of bringing them up to speed on how to use the Wattbike, so I was pleasantly surprised when they explained that they had invited a guest (or really guineapig) to join the party.

TC Valentine is a two time US National Track Champion and was forgoing his session on the track to try the Wattbike, and I think it’s fairly safe to say that he thought he was wasting his time and should be on the track! He brought along the session that he was going to do on the track, including the gearings for each element, so we were able to just read off the settings for each section of the session from the tables in the training guide (no I don’t have them all memorised and especially not in gear inches which is what TC uses), and adjust the air brake accordingly.

TC got on the bike, looking more than a bit sceptical and started his warm up. “This gear feels just right” was his first concession that this might not be such a waste of time! We worked through the session and by helping him focus on technique and where he is losing power we were able to improve his polar view from his first attempt at a flying 200m to his fourth attempt quite considerably:

TC Valentine First 200mTC Valentine Fourth 200m

The quality of TC’s pedalling and session in general improved greatly as we tweaked his gearing and worked his start. It was really impressive to watch him learn so quickly. Brian, from CrossFit Endurance took a video of the session – we have cut out some of the more colourful language from the video below, (the original can be found here)

Power through the Tour de France

Posted Jul 01, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Power through the Tour de France

So the 2011 Tour de France pedals away tomorrow in the Vendée region of France and you could say I’m pretty excited about it. Having watched the Tour live on the mountainside for the last 8 years I can tell you it’s incredibly inspiring and exhilarating seeing the pros climb mountain after mountain, day after day. If you live in the UK then it’s safe to say that nothing can prepare you for the sheer length of the climbs over which the Tour regularly passes.


Galibier, Tourmalet, Ventoux, Alpe d’Huez, Aubisque, Apsin, Croix de Fer, Izoard – all conjure up famous scenes from Tours past on TV and some personal memories for those who have followed in the footsteps of the pros. Once the circus passes you are left to descend the mountain, running through your mind what you’ve just witnessed and a little part of you becomes that pro at which you bellowed ‘Allez, Allez, Allez’. And then you reach the bottom and return to your hotel or campsite in the evening, discussing the day’s events and inevitably the conversation always ends with, ‘I just don’t know how they do it.’




Throughout the 3 weeks of the Tour we’ll profile what it takes to be a sprinter, a mountain climber and a rider who can take the overall win in the world’s biggest race. Eddie Flecther, our sport scientist, will offer up some thoughts on the kind of power being generated by the elite of the sport and we’ll take a look at some examples of what the pedal stroke of each rider might look like on the Wattbike’s Polar View.

Enjoy the Tour, wherever you watch it. It’s going to be awesome.

Phil Liggett talks all things Wattbike with us

Posted Jun 16, 2011 at 04:15 PM

Phil Liggett talks all things Wattbike with us

When anybody mentions ‘the Voice of Cycling’ you really do think of only one, well actually two, people, Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin. They have provided the soundtrack to many Tour de France performances and it was fantastic to find ourselves sitting and listening to Phil talk about how, and importantly why, he chooses to train on a Wattbike.

It goes without saying that Phil is a busy man, if he’s not sat in a studio voicing a commentary for a highlights reel then he’ll be perched halfway up a mountain providing the words to live images which will be replayed again and again as another page turns in cycling’s colorful history. What was clear from our visit is that he spends an awful lot of time on the road working, consequently time spent at home is of great value.

Phil’s passion for cycling knows no bounds and he still enjoys riding out into the local countryside but when his schedule dictates that, for example, he is only spending a short evening at home, he still likes to turn the legs over and keep in shape.

And this is where Phil has fallen in love with the Wattbike. It enables him to benefit from a high quality training session on an indoor trainer on which he can accurately replicate his road bike setup. His training sessions fit nicely around his work schedule and allow him to enjoy those rare occasions out on the open road even more, as he maintains his fitness through regular use of the Wattbike.

Watch as Phil tells us about how his Wattbike experience.


Wattbike Sport Scientist Eddie Fletcher Visits the US

Posted Feb 28, 2011 at 12:54 PM

At the end of February Wattbike’s in house sport scientist took a few days out of his hectic program to visit Wattbike USA and some of our customers in the USA. Eddie has been working hard over the last two years to develop protocols for testing of elite athletes in all sports using the Wattbike and he was able to pass on some of his knowledge to some of the Sport Scientists and Coaches that we met, and of course indulge in his joy of eating Mexican food.

In the space of a few days we took Eddie to visit the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, USA Triathlon, TriEndurance Yoga Crossfit, Boulder Indoor Velodrome, Retul, Crossfit Front Range and Rob Lockley of Optimize Endurance Services. Eddie was able to share his experience throughout and as well as helping some of our customers, and prospective customers we also learned a lot about the cutting edge of cycle training and pedalling technique.

By the end of the trip we had pretty much worn Eddie out, but at least he slept well on the trip home!

Pre-Season Burn Series

Posted Jan 10, 2011 at 11:40 AM

The Pre Season Burn Series is a new race series developed by Threshold Racing for 2011. The race is sponsored by Wattbike and was developed with Threshold Racing Partner San Mateo Athletic Club (www.smccd.edu/sanmateoathleticclub/). The race is going to be held on January 16th, February 13th and March 13th. The race was developed with two goals in mind. One, to give experienced triathletes 3 high end fitness measurements in all three disciplines leading up to our reservoir Triathlon in April. Two, we wanted to create a controlled, low stress, environment for new triatheltes to experience all three disciplines of the sport.

The race will be a 200 yard swim, 6 mile bike and 1.5 mile run. The swim will take place in the brand new aquatics facility pool of San Mateo Athletic Club located on the pristine campus of San Mateo College. each reacer will have their own lane for their heat. The bike will be on the amazing new stationary bike developed by Wattbike.

Brandon Nugent Testimonial

Posted Jan 10, 2011 at 11:16 AM

I want one for me, my personal training clients and for group training challenges. Really good stuff.

Brandon Nugent. Crossfit Trainer/Cycling Coach

Andrew Ferguson Testimonial

Posted Jan 10, 2011 at 11:15 AM

If you have not bought one of these I would strongly suggest you do so. I have one and it is an unbelievable piece of equipment.

Andrew Ferguson - CEO Founder of Threshold Racing

Jurgen Grobler Talks About the Wattbike

Posted Nov 23, 2010 at 01:48 PM

Jurgen Grobler Talks About the Wattbike

Jürgen Gröbler, Head Coach of British Rowing, talks about the Wattbike

Jenny Meadows Talks Wattbike

Posted Nov 23, 2010 at 01:13 PM

Jenny Meadows Talks Wattbike

In September we dropped off a Wattbike with British record holder and Olympic 800m runner Jenny Meadows and her coach and husband Trevor Painter. We also had the opportunity to ask Jenny and Trevor a little bit about how she would be using the Wattbike and what benefits she thought it would bring to her training.

Jenny Meadows Receives a Wattbike

England Rugby are using Wattbikes

Posted Nov 19, 2010 at 03:15 PM

For those eagle-eyed viewers out there you may have noticed not only the transformation of the England rugby team in recent weeks but also their chosen warm-up tool on the touch line at Twickenham. That’s right they really are Wattbikes pitchside. The Wattbikes have been used intensively in recent weeks at the Pennyhill Park training camp and are proving an excellent non-impact training tool for the team. Keep your eyes peels to see if you can see them tomorrow and next weekend.

If you are going and could possibly grab some photos of the bikes in action and send them through that would be much appreciated.

James Fletcher - review of a year using the Wattbike

Posted Nov 02, 2010 at 10:59 AM

James Fletcher - review of a year using the Wattbike

Since we visited James and took some video of him talking about using the Wattbike he has been training hard and has had some very impressive results this year. Last week he sent through a short review of how he has been getting on with the wattbike in the last 12 months.

Having only sat on a Wattbike for the 1st time a year ago in October 2009, its fair to say its been used at every stage of my season and been a key part of my training during 2010. I had the most consistent year of training I can remember and made some big gains on the bike in the race season. To be honest my cycling is a different league to anything I’ve done previously, largely thanks to a good winter.

I started from the bottom this year by working on my pedalling technique. I wasn’t aware of any dead spots in my pedalling action until I sat on the Wattbike and looked at the graph for the first time. So the first month was spent ironing out these dead spots or in Wattbike speak moving away from the dreaded ‘figure of eight’ shape, then improving to a ‘peanut’ and then moving to the certified ‘peanut to sausage’ shape.

After the initial technique work the emphasis of my training changed into building in a solid winter base, building gears and working on cadence. Moving in towards the race season we used Wattbike to do some very specific interval sets and also specific bike to run sets (very hard but great to mimic the feeling in your legs in a race). During the race season we dropped a Wattbike set in favour of a road set but still used it to maintain race fitness and really work on that bike to run. At every stage I’ve been able to use Wattbike to monitor power levels, cadence, technique and train at the desired heart rate.

In comparable races from my 2009 season, my 2010 results speak for themselves. At Eton Sprint Triathlon, my traditional season opener, I improved 4% on my 2009 20k-bike leg. I had an 8% improvement on a 42k-bike leg at the British Triathlon Championships in Bedford and the same percentage improvement in my bike leg at Bala Triathlon recording a 63 split for 40k. Despite the Baltic temperature of Bala lake my overall time of 2.07.43 was the fastest time I’ve recorded at the Olympic distance. I also managed to sneak the last automatic qualifying spot for the European Age Group Championships in Spain next year. A great end to the season!!

After Bala I had a good 3 weeks off and have done very little in the mean time, apart from eat a few pies and drink a few beers to gain some winter warmth. Having just started training again I’m already starting from a much higher base power than last year. I’ve begun winter training this year with a max minute power test output of 380 watts on the Wattbike (power to weight ratio of 5.4 W/Kg). So it’ll be interesting to see how that develops over the coming season.

Feels like I’ve just started to scratch the surface in terms of the gains I’ve made over the last year. Hopefully much more to come over the next year, so bring on the winter training!!!!

James Fletcher

RYA Testimonials

Posted Nov 01, 2010 at 04:40 PM

RYA Testimonials

No question, the Wattbike is in a different league to all other indoor bike trainers

Wattbike provides our sailors with the opportunity to follow their training programmes more accurately than ever before with onboard power meter readouts

In my opinion the Wattbike will become the de-facto indoor bike trainer for all top flight gyms and individuals looking for the best return on their training investment

Stephen Park OBE, RYA Olympic Manager

GB Rowing

Posted Nov 01, 2010 at 04:38 PM

GB Rowing

The Wattbike has provided our athletes with an excellent cross-training alternative to rowing. The ability to accurately monitor intensity allows the coaching and support team to prescribe training and determine progress easily, while the ergonomic flexibility allows athletes of all shapes and sizes to safely train. The bikes have been particularly useful for injured athletes unable to row as the software provides information regarding relative leg contribution which has helped the physiotherapists to monitor recovery.

Mark Homer - Sports Scientist, GB Rowing Team

British Cycling

Posted Nov 01, 2010 at 04:36 PM

British Cycling

British Cycling is completely sold on the Wattbike’s capacity to provide a positive benefit to every level of the sport. The Wattbike will help us contribute to the health, education, participation and performance agendas.

Ian Drake, Deputy Chief Executive

British Cycling prides itself as an organisation that operates on the cutting edge, and in Wattbike we have the perfect partner. We share the same vision, and values. Together, we have developed a piece of equipment that will support us in everything from increasing participation in the sport to underpinning our World Class Pathways and International success. The Wattbike will provide a positive benefit to every level of the sport by linking indoor and outdoor cycling and helping us continue to make a substantial contribution to the health, education, participation and performance agendas.

Peter King, Former CEO British Cycling

The GB Cycling Team have played an important role in the development of the Wattbike to ensure that it is capable of supporting and making a valuable contribution to our World Class programmes. The Wattbike is already assisting the GB Cycling Team in identifying our future stars and its potential in terms of indoor competition in schools and clubs can only be positive in terms of the number of young people coming into the sport in the future.

Dave Brailsford, Performance Director, British Cycling

The Wattbike is exciting because it offers so many more opportunities to engage children. It will enable us to extend our delivery to schools, and to confirm Go-Ride as a year-round programme. It will stimulate intra-school competition, drive the development of school-club links, and enable us to feed those youngsters who excel into our talent programmes.

John Mills, Coaching, Education and Development Director

The Wattbike offers tremendous potential in terms of talent identification and will undoubtedly assist us to be far more effective in that area of our work as it does much of the job for us. It will encourage children into cycling, support us in spotting potentially talented youngsters, and provide us with a means of measuring their physical progression. The technology will give us the capacity to draw down results online, and we have complete faith in the consistency of the data.

Gary Coltman, Talent Programme Manager

The Wattbike provides a great platform for all types of cycling. It has the potential to signpost indoor cyclists to outdoor activity, and offers an alternative for those outdoor riders, who tend to hang their wheels up for the winter. The technology involved presents riders with the personal challenge of interactive competition against themselves, or others. Put simply, it will broaden peoples outlook.

Jonny Clay, Cyclesport and Membership Director, British Cycling.

Aviron France

Posted Nov 01, 2010 at 04:35 PM

Aviron France

Wattbike is a great training tool that gathers consensus among athletes at Lyon rowing training center. Top internationals rowers do spend 50% of their training time practising others activities (running, cycling, swimming, weight…) and cycling is a second sport for rowers.”

Daniel Fauché (former World Champion and Olympic medallist, coach for the French Olympic Team).

As a coach I notice that the two wattbike we have are always used as a warm up, warm down or real training session. I would also say they even spend two much time on it… The after sales services offered by Wattbike France are up to our expectations and the others indoor bikes we got are less used since we‘ve got Wattbike. This is why we will order two more.

Charles Imbert (Former Olympic Rower 1984, currently Head Coach at Lyon Training Centre - France)

The wattbike is a real training tool. The adjustment is easy to do and it is very specific in terms of control of the session. The problem is that they are used continuously at the training center and therefore not always available.

Jean Christophe Bette (Rowing World Champion 1998-2001-2005-2009 and Gold Medallist Sydney Olympics 2000)

Because we are both bike enthusiasts, we appreciate the fine tuning installation (saddle and handlebars) pedaling that approaches the road bike and the comfort of the saddle.The digital dial is very attractive.

Fabien Tilliet (2005 & 2009 World Champion and 2008 Olympic Finalist in Rowing)

Rachel Armstrong

Posted Nov 01, 2010 at 04:32 PM

Rachel is a Triathlete and Personal Training who uses the Wattbike both for her training and with her clients. We visited her in July 2010 to talk to her about her experience of the Wattbike.

Rachel owns and runs Personal Best Fitness in Bedforshire.

James Beckinsale - Optima Racing Team

Posted Nov 01, 2010 at 04:30 PM

James Beckinsale - Optima Racing Team
  • James Beckinsale M.Sc, Head Coach, Optima Racing Team
  • Triathlon Coach of the year 2007
  • London Coach of the Year 2009
  • Using Wattbikes since December 2009
  • www.optimaracingteam.com

As a coach, you are continuously looking for ways to improve the service you are providing to your athletes to improve their performance.

Over the years I have had my triathletes/ duathletes do bike time trials to assess where they are on the bike. However, there are far too many factors that come into play when doing live time trials that it was just not a suitable answer. I needed a bike test that was repeatable and where variables would stay as constant as possible.

Four years ago I purchased an Ergomo spin bike (power meter fitted to a spin bike), but the spin bike adjustments where too great to get the guys fitted correctly. So in 2009 the Watt bike seemed like the answer to my prayers!

Here you have an indoor bike that is adjustable to the finest millimetre, the testing you carry out, you are happy with the repeatability and accuracy of the test and you can contrast and compare with other test results with confidence.

One further part of the Watt Bike, that I have found invaluable, is the combination of a spin scan with real time average wattage output. Seeing even the strongest of cyclists come onto the bike to be tested, when the get towards the end of a test, with maybe 3 – 6mins to go, they start to mash down on the peddles (peddle in squares), their bodies start to move around and guess what… the wattage starts to drop.

This is the biggest learning curve they could be given on a bike and as a teaching tool for me it’s magic… as you get them to watch what is happening to their wattage as they think they are working harder but are failing to hold smooth/ controlled revolutions… With some coaching and smoothing out of their peddling, the wattage goes back up… lesson learnt!

James Cracknell Takes on America

Posted Jul 12, 2010 at 08:41 AM

It was not enough for James Cracknell to be the highest placing Brit ever at the Marathon des Sables, (made slightly harder as he also had a broken toe)! We have been following James’ exploits since he retired from competitive rowing - he has been training on the Wattbike and working with resident Wattbike Physiologist and legend Eddie Fletcher, so we were not overly surprised to hear that he has a new challenge!

Starting this Thursday, July 15th on the west coast of Southern Californian (in Santa Monica) James is taking on America. He is racing non-stop across the US to the Statue of Liberty in what may be his ‘toughest challenge yet’! - which lets face it would mean that he expects it to be pretty tough!

He has chosen four Olympic disciplines to complete the challenge as follows:

  • Cycle 350 miles from Santa Monica to Death Valley National Park in Nevada
  • Run 80 miles through Death Valley
  • Cycle 2,500 miles from Death Valley to Toledo, Ohio on the western tip of Lake Eerie
  • Row 250 miles the length of Lake Erie from Toledo to Buffalo, New York
  • Cycle 500 miles From Buffalo to New York City
  • Swim 15 miles to the Statue of Liberty

James will be followed every step of the way by the Discovery TV documentary film crew (if they can keep up), and he hopes to complete the challenge in 16 days. To help him along the way he will have the support of multi-endurance sport and survival expert, Bernie Shrosbree and the backing of Merida Bicycles. We spoke to James about it when he popped into the office a few weeks ago, and then on Thursday when we caught up with Bernie for a coffee - both were very upbeat about the event and were looking forward to the challenge (and also suggested that Matthew Pinsent may put in an appearance at Lake Eerie and row some the distance alongside James, we will report back on that one!)

For us normal people the scale of the challenge is quite mind-boggling, and James is well-aware that he will need to call on all his reserves of energy and motivation to keep going which is why he would like as many people as possible to support him. If you’d like to send James any messages he can be contacted at http://www.twitter.com/jamescracknell

Perfect Wattbike set up - there’s an app for that!

Posted May 27, 2010 at 09:24 AM

Ever since getting a road bike several years ago, I’ve slowly learnt the nuances of positioning for my optimum riding position. How useful would this have been to have had a look at this back then - http://www.sizemybike.com/ Just .input your measurements and the app will tell you the correct positioning for your road bike or mountain bike. The great thing is you can replicate both on your Wattbike, so you can get perfect your aero position, fitness and cycle technique on the best static bike in town!

The Wattbike Polar View Explained

Posted May 24, 2010 at 06:15 AM

One aspect of the Wattbike that makes it unique is the Polar View display on the performance computer and software. This view allows you to monitor at what point in the pedal turn you are applying power, and where you are applying the peak force. This can become a very powerful training tool, making the Wattbike, not simply a great physiological training tool, but also the best technique training tool available. When combined with the ability to review all sessions through the software this can make the process of learning to pedal more effectively an exciting challenge. In the video below Wattbike’s resident Sport Scientist explains the polar view. 

England Footballers using the Wattbike

Posted May 19, 2010 at 07:21 AM

Back in October Steve posted that the England Football Team were preparing for the World Cup on Wattbikes, and that Ben had been down and dropped off the Wattbikes. The team were using the Wattbikes to do hypoxic training, in the same way that the British Lions’ had before their tour of South Africa. 

On last night’s BBC ten o’clock news there was a feature about the England Football Team doing altitude training and at 1:07 in it featured the Wattbike being used in anger. Check it out at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8690766.stm

Hamish Bond - World Rowing Champion and Wattbike legend

Posted May 07, 2010 at 02:18 PM

Over the last few weeks I have been privy to a few emails from New Zealand, once I had sifted through the usual banter I did stumble across some pretty impressive information. Hamish Bond, winner of the coxless pairs at the 2009 World Rowing Championships (beating the GB pair into the silver medal) has been doing his training recently on the bike, and in the process set his mind to the ranking, and now holds all the ranking records from 750m all the way up to the hour.

There is a short article about him at http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/other-sports/3667613/Wheels-of-recovery-keep-turning-for-Bond

Clancy not bothered!

Posted Apr 09, 2010 at 10:22 AM

An interesting article on morethanthegames.co.uk from the 30th March about the possibility of changing the rules to ensure that all bikes used at the games are available to buy at a reasonable cost. This has been done by windsurfing (the current board is the RSX), but it would be a big change for British Cycling who currently invest heavily on the bikes and skin suits that their athletes wear.

Ed Clancy makes a good point though - "The bike does not win the gold medal but the cyclist does"

The article: Clancy couldn’t care less about UCI’s proposed bike rule changes

Wattbike in the news

Posted Apr 08, 2010 at 11:26 AM

It has been a while since I updated you with where the Wattbike has been mentioned online - so here it is:

Countdown to Skipton Triathlon - featuring a Wattbike on the day.

Kelly Cycle Coaching - Testing on the Wattbike

Pinkbike Wattbike 1000m challenge - Mates vs Mates

British Cycling picked up our Wattbike training days on their site

Redditch Road and Path Cycling Club  - Wattbike Results (PDF)

Wattbike Indoor Trainer video from Australia

Nick Dunn - The Clocks have changed

Posted Apr 04, 2010 at 07:40 AM

 

The clocks have changed and it is now lighter, warmer (just), legs have been shaved! and im ready for action!!!!!!!  Getting a few Personal bests in the pool and the biking is going strong - I have been mixing the Wattbike sessions with some easy longer rides on the road.   My Wattbike pedal shape has improved as has my power output and time on the bike has been good so I am very happy with it. 

Got my new bike delivered the other day from Total Fitness Nottingham (TFN) triathlon shop - its a Ceepo - same as I used last year but a newer, cleaner model!  Can’t wait to get out on it for some sessions.  Got an Easter bank holiday monday time trial tomorrow (approx 29 miles) - not in the best shape at the moment to race but its all good training. 

Races start in May so looking forward to preparing for them. 

Train hard and I look forward to seeing some of you at a race in the near future. Nick 

Wattbikes being used in Australia

Posted Mar 31, 2010 at 07:10 AM

Our friends at Wattbike Australia have been busy recently, they have been working with a shop to set up a Wattbike centre. Here is a short video with some more info.

What are you looking for in a sportive?

Posted Mar 29, 2010 at 01:00 PM

What are you looking for in a sportive? Lots of miles, lots of hill climbs? But you wouldn’t expect a flat short course,would you? But why not??

Well I went to a very anormal sportive in Duncton near Portsmouth this Sunday. There was a 25k short-course and a hilly 50k ride through the South Downs at the  but the key thing was you could do whichever you fancied, and you could ride as little or as much as you liked. Some just did the flat 25k, one chap blasted round it 4 times! Other riders just did the 50k hilly ride a couple of times, whereas most did a combination of the two, stopping off the sustenance and Wattbike training in between sessions.

The event was the Sportive Training Day run by SouthernSportive.com, and riders came to and through from the hub location in Duncton. It was a really good format as novice riders got to sample the longer rides, and keen cyclists got to attack the same course twice to improve their times.

When not on the road, riders relaxed with a technique analysis and power testing on the Wattbikes as well as nutrition advice from SIS. Improving your cycling technique really drew in the cyclists and they loved the instant feedback the polar view force curve gives you. Lots of the riders said they were very interested in the Wattbike and are going to buy or hire to get some really time-efficient training in at the start and end of the days.

Debbie Flood - Faf time is wasted time when there are things to be done and worked for.

Posted Mar 24, 2010 at 03:51 PM

Guest post from Olympic Rower Debbie Flood:

Faf time is wasted time when there are things to be done and worked for.

With my limited training profile at the moment, I need to be making the most of my spare minutes of time. I have come to the conclusion that I can be good at faffing and wasting precious time, particularly aimlessly looking on the internet and my facebook page. But over the last few weeks I have learnt to swap my wasted internet faf time to spend time on my new friend the Wattbike. When I get back from work if I have a spare bit of time whilst I am waiting for my dinner to cook in the oven I will jump on the Wattbike for 30 minutes. 30 minutes passes in no time, and I feel much better for having done a productive training session without pushing myself over the edge. Perhaps this may seem slightly extreme when i should be just relaxing or winding down from work, but I am an Olympic athlete - and at the moment I do not make the grade. My focus is on getting fitter and closer to achieving my dreams and this takes a high priority in my life. The Wattbike, I am finding, is a good way of keeping my legs moving fast without killing them like it would on the rowing machine if I rated high. I am able to spin along whilst still at a low heart rate keeping those fast movements and keeping my legs used to moving like they would if I was racing on the water. It is motivating to see my power splits getting better though I am being mindful not to go too hard at the moment as that is not the current purpose of my training on the Wattbike. It would be nice if it was as easy as spinning the legs along at a high cadence and low heart rate then be able to jump on the water and race flat out, but in a week or so time I will be mixing up my training with racing practice on the water on training camp. I am hopeful that the high cadence work have been doing on the bike will have prepared me well for starting to take my fitness into the boat. 30 minutes is such a small amount of time out of a day and is easy to find if we want to do it. If you have a Wattbike of your own there are no excuses!!

Microsoft, Scary Spice, Disability and a Wattbike - in conversation with Pete Devery

Posted Mar 23, 2010 at 03:15 PM

Last month I took a trip to the Microsoft offices at Thames Valley Part to talk to Wattbike owner Pete Devery, our chat took place in one of the coffee areas and in the film below you can actually hear the coffee machine - maybe not ideal, but some interesting comments never the less. 

It’s official Robbie McEwen has a better TV than me!

Posted Mar 22, 2010 at 12:49 PM

We should clarify things here, the only reason I know what sort of TV Robbie has is that he tweeted that he has his Wattbike set up in front of his 46 inch TV!  

One of the things that I am asked fairly regularly is how to keep interest on the long sessions - I have two answers, first watch the polar view to make sure you are riding well, and second - get a TV! I have my 23 inch LCD next to the lap top so I can be watching the polar view and The Wire at the same time. I do feel somewhat inadequate now though as Robbie’s TV is 4 times the size of mine, but then……

he has won the Green Jersey at the Tour de France  TWICE

he has won at least 10 stages of the Tour de France 

he has won stages of pretty much every major road race 

he also has his own page on Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robbie_McEwen - enough said

Good luck to the British Cycling team

Posted Mar 19, 2010 at 02:01 PM

It’s Track World Championships time! This time Team GB are competing in Copenhagen, and it starts this coming week!

Ben and I have heard on the QT that the Wattbikes are proving popular choices for some of the top Britons over the winter and we wish the British squad the best of luck from the 24th to the 28th.

For full news stories, check out the British Cycling website and if you are not lucky enough to be there and are following them on TV (like I am), check out the schedule below.

Track Cycling World Championships on TV The Track Cycling World Championships in Denmark (Copenhagen)  are going to be figuring heavily on two TV stations between March 24-28.

BBC will have Jill Douglas presenting live coverage every day with commentary by Hugh Porter and Chris Boardman.

Wednesday: BBC2, 7pm - 9pm, Red Button 6 till 9 Thursday:  BBC2, 6.30pm - 8pm, Red Button 6 till 8.30  Friday:    BBC2, 7pm - 8pm, Red Button 6 till 8.30     Saturday   BBC1, 2.15pm - 4.30pm then BBC2 4.30 till 5.30pm Sunday     BBC2, 2pm - 5.30pm 

Free Wattbike training

Posted Mar 18, 2010 at 03:50 PM

We are running Wattbike Cycling training for Cycling and Triathlon clubs and coaches - and they are absolutely free!

Training sessons take place in Nottingham and we can accommodate a group of up to 10 people at a time.

Take a look at the Wattbike cycling training page for more details!

Altered Images going strong

Posted Mar 18, 2010 at 12:29 PM

Ben and John recently went down to Hereford to take a look at Wattbike Centre Altered Images.

They have a great set up, just on the riverside in Hereford, and run a variety of Wattbike races, group cycling sessions and individual fitness and weight-loss programmes. If you are in the area, why do you not drop in?

Take a look at their website and their videos for details

Great Notts Bike Ride launch

Posted Mar 18, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Ben took the Wattbikes to the nearby Nottingham County Hall for the launch of the Great Notts Bike Ride.

The Wattbike teamed up the the Nottingham Outlaws BMX team who put on a great display, jumping across, in front of and occasional over councillors and VIPs riding on the Wattibke.

In the picture below, Councillor calmly rides on as the Outlaws BMX team jump over him.

BMX riders Councillors, local sporting heroes and the NHS laid out the details and the route of the county’s largest ride. The are family-orientated 5k laps, and fun rides all the way up to a 75-mile sportive for the more serious cyclist. The event is on Sunday 20th June.

For more details see the Great Notts Bike Ride website or find out more on the history of the event.

Nick Dunn - Blog

Posted Mar 15, 2010 at 03:34 PM

A short but sweet entry from Nick…..

Wattbike 0 nick dunn 1 - smashed the bike today - 350 watts and didnt feel it! may pay tomorrow though!!

Altitude Centre training World Cup teams

Posted Mar 08, 2010 at 04:13 PM

Ben was recently down at the England Training camp with the guys from Altidude Centre during the build to Eygpt game and as part of the preperation for the World Cup in South Africa this summer. Although we do not want to give to much away the youtube clip gives you an idea of what the players had to go through and we can say they all did very well. The Wattbikes are about 45 seconds in.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9RFNOFyuT8

http://www.altitudecentre.com/

 

News from Debbie Flood - From training camp to trials.

Posted Mar 04, 2010 at 08:19 AM

Below is an update from two time Olympic Silver Medal Rower Debbie Flood who is attempting to break back into Team GB for London 2012. She has been training on the Wattbike to test the premise that cycling helps rowers.

From training camp to trials.

Camp (in survival mode) was my first marker. It was not an easy time, but I never thought that it would be. Olympians achieve their success through hard work and training and I have a bit to catch up on.  Racing closely followed the camp and I approached the unknown with an open and positive mind set. Racing, much to my surprise, turned out better than I expected coming 6th at trials (with 2 out injured) and gave me a good starting point - the good news is that from the video footage and current fitness level, i have lots to improve on! 

For the last few weeks after a combination of individual and crew boat trials, the Wattbike has become my ‘friend and recoverer’ rather than my tester.  After racing in the boat I find it hard to stay in the same position and prefer to warm down on the bike. With a short time between races, clearing the lactate and restoring pH in the muscle is key in being able to repeat subsequent races and active recovery has been found to be the best way to do this however much I may want to just lie on the floor and not move for an hour! My recovery strategy worked well and I was able to hold my form (as it is) between races. This has given me confidence going forward knowing that I can still perform to a certain standard even though I have much to improve on.

Having woken up my competative senses again with some racing, I now look forward once again to training and making those technical and fitness improvements to take into the next trials - watch this space.

Wattbike at the Southern Sportive’s March Training Day

Posted Mar 03, 2010 at 05:02 PM

Wattbike have been confirmed to attend the Southern Sportive’s March Training Day on the 28th March. We will be offering product testing, training advice and our resident Sport Scientist and Coach Eddie Fletcher will be delivering a training talk on how to get the most out of your training using power and pedalling effectively. Check out http://www.southernsportive.com/ for more information

Inter-school competitions with Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson

Posted Mar 03, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Darlington’s first Inter-School Wattbike competition supported by Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson

GOLD medal-winning paralympian Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson visited a school to present awards to the winners of a cycling challenge.

Darlington’s first Inter-School Wattbike competition was won by a team from Carmel RC College. The Wattbikes were loaned by the British Cycling North-East regional team to three Darlington schools, Carmel, Haughton and Longfield. Team members from the schools took turns to cycle one kilometre. An average was then calculated for the teams. The results were: Carmel, 86 seconds, Haughton, 92 seconds and Longfield, 97 seconds.

The competition was organised by Sustrans, a sustainable transport charity, and backed by Dame Tanni. At yesterday’s presentation, Maura Regan, principal of Carmel, told pupils, staff and guests that she was delighted with the energy and enthusiasm of the pupils involved in the many Sustrans cycling initiatives at the college.

“They all promote and encourage young people to cycle,” she said.

“It is fantastic that there are so many of you here today to celebrate with Dame Tanni, such a great ambassador and advocate for young people.”

Kevin Kilcullen, of Sustrans, said it had been a tough challenge.

He said: “Some riders found the short test really tough and there were many wobbly legs as riders got off the bikes after their turn.

“I plan to run the competition on an annual basis for the secondary schools in Darlington that work with Sustrans.”

Wattbike stories online

Posted Mar 02, 2010 at 04:35 PM

Over the last few weeks we have been inundated with good news stories, which I have listed below. If you have any Wattbike news that you would like us to post on the site email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

 

Marek the Orienteer - Blog entry - Attended a wattbike session in Estonia.

Robbie McEwen - Twitter - rainy recovery day. easy session on my Wattbike.probably best training tool ever. Power+indv. L+R pedalstroke analysis http://bit.ly/dAR8rA

Robbie McEwen - Twitter - try this link insteadhttp://wattbike.com

John Lee - Pinkbike blog - Review of training on the Wattbike

Norwich race results - EDP24 - review of the Norwich Wattbike racing

Tanni Grey-Thompson to attend Wattbike Awards - Sourcenews - The 11 time Paralympic Fold Medallist Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson will attend a presentation for the winners of the Wattbike Compatition in Darlington 

Wattbike Racing at Welwyn - Forum post 

Norfolk Wattbike Series and free Wattbike session - from RoadCyclingUK forum

Update from Nick Dunn

Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 04:25 PM

Nick popped into the office to see me this week, and download some of his data from his monitor. He arrived at about 10am having already done three sessions - the man certainly gets some training in early! Here is his latest update:

"It’s cold, wet and more snow is on the way (not again!) - time for a long steady Wattbike session - its so much nicer indoors and soooooo warm! It was going to be a rest week this week but forgot about it (not very professional) so am going to have to take it next week - can’t risk getting injured.  Had a great week though, two tough Watt Bike session - one interval and one 20 minute test at about 350 Watts.  Not been out on the road bike as I am too scared of the ice - seen to many crashes recently.  Loads of swimming though and some running (never like to do too much!), plus yoga and body balance - so the hours are adding up nicely - season starts soon(ish).

Nottingham Clarion Wattbike Nights

Posted Feb 24, 2010 at 03:39 PM

Nottingham Clarion Cycling Club are offering a Wattbike night every Thursday from 6:30pm to 9:30 pm at the Sports Hall, Holme Pierrepont. If you are in Nottingham, check it out. 

Robbie McEwen is using the Wattbike

Posted Feb 23, 2010 at 03:11 PM

We already new that Robbie McEwen was using the Wattbike, but we did not know how much he loves it. We do now!

TCR Show

Posted Feb 16, 2010 at 12:23 PM

Ben, Andy and Gary spent the weekend at the TCR Show (I was only there for Sunday) - running the Wattbike 200m challenge. Some good results and nice to put faces to names. Learning process for us though, we should have been doing a pedalling technique session and comparing individual’s power delivery with some of Britain’s top cyclists. 

Wattbike user to ride the ABSA Cape Epic

Posted Feb 01, 2010 at 11:17 AM

 

Early in 2010 I had an email from Malcolm Thornton, a keen Wattbike user, who had requested the Wattbike logo to put onto his cycling jersey for the ABSA Cape Epic. Further email conversation with Malcolm revealed an interesting story. Here it is in his words:

 

I rather foolishly allowed my wife to enter me in the ABSA Cape Epic, an 8 day, stage mountainbike ride in south africa in March 2010. I am a keen amateur cyclist, but the longest off road race I have ever done is the Brecon Beast 100km.

I did a lot of outdoor training throughout the summer of 2009. My biggest concern was maintaining that over the English winter. I bought a Wattbike in October 2009. I had my anaerobic threshold tested at bath university and then devised my own interval training programmes around this.

I alternate training sessions with 1 minute, 3 minute or 21 minute intervals. I am managing about 8-10 hours a week on the bike. Far more than I would have, had I had to leave the house each time to go cycling (young children, icy roads etc).

Since october I have increased my 5 minute average power output from 280 to 420W and my one hour average power output from 240 to 312W. I am delighted with my improvement using a targeted training approach.

I have also finally worked out that the reason I hate climbing hills is that at 95kg, my power to weight ratio needs a little more on the power side of the equation. I have 7 weeks training to go, and intend to spend most of that on the wattbike.

Malcolm Thornton

Revolution 27 - Wattbike team time trial

Posted Jan 28, 2010 at 02:11 PM

The Wattbikes played their part in the Revolution 27. On the night of Revolution 27 the guys at the Manchester Velodrome used their Wattbikes to run a 250m team time trial, each rider chose to represent 1 of the 8 teams and then the combined times for the best adult, boy and girl were put together for that team.

It was a hard fought event with Dynamo just coming out top with an overall time of 48.37seconds followed by Forza with 48.70sec and in third Rollers with 49.11secs. The points were then added to the overall points total for the night’s event, please see the link below for a full report.

http://www.cyclingrevolution.com/content/en/news_details_gb.aspx?guid=AB7F0E25-0849-4568-86B6-B8D4A16C5F63

The Wattbikes will be back in action on the last of the Revolution series for this season on the 28th February.

Wattbike mentions on the web

Posted Jan 26, 2010 at 09:00 AM

There are a few good articles and mentions of Wattbike around the web, I have listed some of the interesting ones here:

Norwich Wattbike League – photos and results at http://www.lotuscycleracing.org/

Altered Images doing some interesting things with the Wattbikes - http://www.alteredimages.tv/revolutions/

Lichfield Wattbike League Report on the British Cycling Website

Riders out in force for the Wattbike Challenge at the DHL sprint day - on Retford Today Website

Phil’s Road Biking Blog - Spinning Classes at the Manchester Velodrome

 

Tri-coach sessions

Posted Jan 19, 2010 at 03:01 PM

Yesterday, we ran our first Triathlon coach session at our HQ in Nottingham. It was a very successful training session and attendees did a series of easy-to-run tests and that showed their pure power and power endurance. They also got the chance to record their cycling technique and then analyse it with their coaches. They took away the images of their cycling and tips on how to improve it so that they can translate what they learnt during the day into their Wattbike cycling and outdoor cycling.

Take a look at Darren’s shape below, which shows a consistently strong application power between the left and right.

Tips to improve for Darren: to cycle as through you are trying to scrape mud off the balls of your shoe. This means greater flexibility of the ankle and there will be less of a drop-off in power before the other leg drive begins.

 

We are running more training sessions aimed at Triathlon coaches and athletes this month and next., they are free but places are limited. There are also swim sessions available with White Dolphin technology

Interested? If so, please call me, Steve, on 0115 945 5454 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Friday Night Wattbike League is back!

Posted Jan 18, 2010 at 05:26 PM

Friday Night Wattbike League - Lichfield

Friday 5th January saw the return of the Friday night Wattbike league at Friary Grange Leisure Centre. The Wattbike league is based on the type of racing commonly seen at indoor velodromes and provides 5 different events for each competitor to participate in. Riders are split into 3 groups of 10 riders.

The first race of the evening was the 500m time trial, Chris Stilgoe blasted to the fore with a 33.25 second ride ahead of Beth Clayton’s time of 34.39; David Beattie made his first appearance at a wattbike event and came third with a 34.85 ride.

In group 2 Neil McDonald’s time of 30.83 ensured him of the win ahead of Steve Clarke in 31.02. Tony Wrighton’s 31.32 earned him third place. With both groups having such close finishing times between the top 3 riders all eyes turned to Group 3 to provide similar racing. Clearly, Ian Beard had not read the script so far and powered away to win in 26.31 seconds. David Hirons 27.63 gained second place but was still 2 seconds clear of Steve Clayton who finished third in 29.95.

Race organisers in a cruel streak according to the riders then imposed the distance races as the next event. Normally left to the end of the evening, this promised to turn proceedings upside down. The sprinters could find themselves too fatigued to gain valuable league points, although the riders who preferred the longer distances could suffer even more in the later sprint based events.

Group 1 also had to contend with an extra kilometre, being made to ride 3 instead of the normal 2. Beth Clayton showed her form by winning in 4.20.62 with Chris Stilgoe second and Alison Holmes coming through to third. In group 2 meanwhile Rob Cox continued his good form in the distance races to secure first place in 4.08.86, Tim Challinor was second and chris parlour took third.

Group 3 race over the 4000m distance, Matt Gee’s ride of 4.56.86 secured him first place and a new event distance record. Steve Clayton finished in 5.06.17 with Graham Birch taking third.

A short respite in the evening’s races allowed riders time to recuperate whilst the teams were decided for the next event: The Team Sprint. Each rider completes in turn 250m their cumulative time deciding the placings. Organisers try to team riders together with the aim of creating an evenly matched race. Debbie Capewell and David Beattie took the honours in Group 1, giving Debbie her second team Sprint win in 2 weeks. In Group 2 Tony Wrighton and Pat Staite won whilst in Group 3 Ian Beard and Phil Kelly took the honours

The Devil race, with pre-determined distances used to eliminate the last rider to reach it, guarantees fast and furious racing in which tactics are all important. Alison Holmes did enough to ensure she wasn’t eliminated in any of the sprints and finished ahead of Beth Clayton in second and David Beattie in 3rd. Tim Challinor proved the stronger rider in Group 2 ahead of Chris parlour and Rob Cox. Matt Gee, Steve Clayton and Graham Birch finished in that order for Group 3.

The 500m Handicap event, the last of the evening, sees riders set of at intervals dependant on their times in the 500m time trial event. If the handicapping is done well it should see all riders crossing the line together. It does however rely on the riders not holding back in the first event, as if they would consider doing so!

Anne Robinson held on in Group 1 to win ahead of  Alison Holmes and Debbie Capewell. Pat Staite took the first place in Group 2 but was hotly pursued by Tim Challinor and Rob Cox. In Group 3 meanwhile Ian beard proved to be the 500m specialist taking the final event  despite being set off las with a 5 second deficit. Ian Simms took second and matt gee 3rd

By the end of the evening Alison Holmes and Beth Clayton tied for first place overall in Group 1, Chris parlour and Tim Challinor also tied for the top place in Group 2. Group 3 was more decisive as Ian beard took the overall ahead of Matt Gee and Steve Clayton.

If you would like to participate in this event which is open to anyone to do so please contact Nigel Capewell on 07768 560932 or Phil Kelly at the leisure centre on 01543 308842. Full results and details are available on www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/wattbikes

Wattbike racing at Lichfield’s youth and ladies event

Posted Jan 18, 2010 at 05:01 PM

Wattbikes a winner!

The ongoing inclement weather conditions failed to stop the recent craze of indoor cycling that is Wattbike racing.

22 riders gathered on Tuesday 12 January to participate in the first round of the Youth and Ladies Only event at Friary Grange Leisure Centre.  Once riders had been split into 3 groups the races began with the 500m Time Trial.

The Group 1 race was won by Georgia Tonks in 43.99 seconds but Rosie Cox’s finishing time of 44.00 seconds gave a hint of the night aheads results.  Bertie Newey finished in 31.86 seconds to take first win of the night ahead of William yde in 32.98 seconds in Group 2.  In Group 3 “The Ladies”, Sam Simms won in 37.42 seconds ahead of Debbie Yates in 40.73 seconds.

The evening’s second race was the ‘Scratch’, a distance race over 1500m to 2000m that tests pace and endurance of the riders.  A reversal of the placings in Group 1 saw Rosie Cox win ahead of Georgia Tonks.  Bertie Newey won again in Group 2 but Jacob Kelly followed him home just 1.9 seconds later.  In Group 3 meanwhile Sam Simms proved to be the stronger rider again but Sarah Cox sneaked into 2nd place.

The 250m Team Sprint is a popular event with the riders and certainly proves to be an exciting race for spectators.  Riders are formed into teams of two based on their times in the first event.  It ensures close racing between the team and so it proved.  Special mention must go to Heather parlour who thought she had come to watch the event but was persuaded to ride the team sprint.

The penultimate event was the 500m Handicap.  Once again the results from race 1 are used to determine the starting order.  It effectively means the winner of race 1 will start the race last.  The potential is therefore that all riders will finish at the same time. It is however rare as other factors also come into play.  In a repeat of event 1 however, Georgia Tonks finished first, with Rosie Cox second.  Daniel Cooper was however pleased with himself to finish in 3rd place.

This was an emotion clearly shared by Emily Capewell in Group 2.  Her yell of “I win” announced the result to everyone in the room.  Luke Selibas was second closely followed by Isabelle Clarke.

There was no such shout as Anne Robinson of Group 3 crossed the line, but 2nd place Janice Hyde was certainly smiling at her own result.

The last event of the night was the Keirin.  In this race the riders are required to ride to a pace determined by a rider on an additional bike.  The pace speeds up until it reaches a pre-determined distance, at this point the riders are able to race flat out – first across the line wins.  It is a race of timing and tactics.

In group 1 Cox and Tonks occupied the first 2 positions ahead of 3rd place Amie Parlour.

Group 2 was split into 2 separate groups so that the girls had their own race.  Sophie Capewell took first place ahead of Isabelle Clarke and Emily Capewell.  In the boy’s race, Jacob Kelly took first place to ensure he retained his crown of ‘King of the Keirin’.  He is unbeaten in a Keirin race on the Wattbikes.  Bertie Newey took second place ahead of Nick Selibas.

Sam Simms won the ladies race with Debbie Yates and Sarah Cox taking the next two placings.

The league takes place every Tuesday until March and the senior riders get their chance to ride on a Friday.

Further details are available on www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/wattbikes as are results and league standings.

Cycling Tips have a Ramp Test on the Wattbike

Posted Jan 14, 2010 at 03:55 PM

Australian website Cycling Tips have a video and article with comments about doing a Ramp test on the Wattbike. There is some interesting information there. We will soon be launching our Training centre which will include information on testing and training, it will include all the formulae mentioned as well as information about how to do the tests safely. 

http://www.cyclingtipsblog.com/2010/01/how-to-do-a-map-ramp-test/

Note: we do not recommend a ramp test unless you are already at a high level of fitness and should discuss this with a physiologist and your Doctor prior to undertaking any maximal intensity test.

 

 

Altered Images Wattbike Classes

Posted Jan 13, 2010 at 03:03 PM

Altered images have posted three videos on Youtube about their AIRbiking - Altered Images Revolutions biking. It is a very good use of the Wattbikes in a gym environment.

 

Nick Dunn - Winter Training

Posted Jan 13, 2010 at 08:40 AM

Now all this snow is finally starting to melt I have dusted off the road bike - went out today but still abit dodgy (will give it a few more days I think, not worth slipping on the ice.) The Wattbike has been amazing over the last few weeks - I dont know how I would have been able to train with all this snow and it has been fun with all my mates coming round with there turbo’s.  They are all wanting to have a go on the Wattbike though and the ones that have, have loved it - so much more info than just sitting on your turbo (no numbers to crunch or pedalling actions to keep you occupied!) The extra few weeks worth of training I have done but could have easily missed might be very valuable indeed come race season!

Debbie Flood - Can cycling help me row better?

Posted Jan 12, 2010 at 11:32 AM

On the front cover of Rowing and Regatta magazine is the caption - Row Better - Can cycling help?  I am going to test that theory (and am hoping that it will!)

Let me introduce myself. My name is Debbie Flood and I have been a member of the British Rowing Team for the last 12 years (wow time flys!) for which most of I was a full time Lottery funded athlete. After returning from the Beijing Olympics in 2008 I decided that I deserved and needed a well earnt break as well as wanting to start my career pathway for ‘life after rowing’ if that indeed exists. I am the sort of person who will never stop doing ‘something’ exercise related, so kept myself occupied in my year out attempting a few triathlons and duathlons as well as doing some domestic rowing for my club Leander. I now continue to work in my day job as a Prison Officer full time but am fitting in rowing alongside this with the intention of hopefully getting back into the senior team and competing in this years World Championships in November. 

This is a task that I am finding more difficult than I first thought - having the positive mindset of a racing athlete and thinking that I am always fit and ready to race anything, I find that I possibly havent been this unfit Ever. Structure and managing the spare time I do have are going to be key in my return to fitness. Rowing is an endurance sport hinging on the fact that an exceptionally high skill level is needed inorder to transfer that fitness and power into speed over the water. Sport specific training is essential BUT coming from a varied sporting background myself - running, shot putt, karate, judo and rowing - I am a firm believer in all round fitness and strength.

The bike has more and more formed a part of our training in rowing as a squad. After our break following the end of our racing season we particularly use cycling on training camp to regain fitness and kick off our winter training. On my year out last year, the Rowing Team also started to use Wattbikes, and a few appeared at Caversham Lake - our squad training ground.  I had heard whisperings that the Wattbikes were really good and better than any alternative we had used before, so when I had the opportunity after the Indoor Erg Champs this year to use a Wattbike I jumped at the chance.  Cycling to work was forming the main part of my training and use of spare time, but with the nights already dark and the icy mornings drawing in, being out on the road was becoming less favourable.

With the Wattbike charged and me ready and raring to go, it will form a new set of targets for me. Being less fit than I am used to, the ergo is frustrating as I can see that my times are not what I want them to be at the moment. But the Wattbike is an unknown to me and II look forward to seeing what I can do and charting my progress with my increasing fitness.

Having taken a year out of international Rowing, the general consensus is that it takes a year to get back to that level of fitness, and even then you will be on catch up. I hope to be an exception to that rule. Bring it on!

Debbie Flood joins the team

Posted Jan 12, 2010 at 11:27 AM

A warm welcome to Debbie Flood who has started on the come back trail in an attempt to row at the London 2012 Olympics. She is one of Britain’s greatest female rowers, with two Olympic Silver Medals, two senior World Championship Gold Medals and two Under 23 World Championship Gold Medals in her trophy cabinet. After Beijing she has taken some time out of training and is just trying to get back to full fitness ahead of the World Championships in New Zealand in November. We will be following her training through her updates of this blog as she tries to return to being amongst the World’s best. 

Review of the Group Cycling on the Wattbike

Posted Jan 12, 2010 at 09:29 AM

There is an interesting review of the group cycling classes that have been started at the Manchester Velodrome using the Wattbike on Phil’s Road Biking Blog

 

Watt is this weather all about!

Posted Jan 11, 2010 at 04:12 PM

Another cold and snowy day - did my proper watt bike session yesterday so  had planned an easy outdoor one today then it started snowing again! - so it was watt bike and a movie! - never watch ‘Saw’ while cycling- scary!