Athletics and Recreation

How Much Power Is Your Bike Costing You? | Ask GCN Anything

How Much Power Is Your Bike Costing You? | Ask GCN Anything

– Coming up on this
week’s Ask GCN Anything. How much power are you losing
through your drivetrain? Is it more aero to be on
the hoods or on the drops? We’ve got some team time
trial technique tips, which is a little bit of a mouthful. And why is the final day of a Grand Tour a bit of a procession? And is it normal to be constantly hungry when you’re doing a lot of riding? You know the drill by now, if you want to ask a question
ready for next week’s show just leave it in the comments
section just down below or on social media using
the hashtag #TORQUEBACK. Or, to put yourself in
with the chance of winning a three-month subscription to Zwift use the hashtag #ASKGCNTRAINING. Straight on now then
with the first question which comes in from Steven Reeves. “Are hub-based power meters more accurate “to our actual wheel power? “In motorcycles for example, “there’s generally a 12-15% loss in power “when measured from the
crank vs. the rear wheel. “So a motorbike when
advertised 200 horse power “is only giving about 178 horse power “propelling you forward. “So if someone is pulling out 300 watts “as measured by a crank-based power meter, “is the wheel only feeling 260 watts?” Well, it’s not quite that bad, but yes, you’re on the right lines there because there is a loss through drivetrain friction
and inefficiencies. So modern bicycles apparently have a variation in efficiency between 93% and 98%, which is a wide variation. So to use your example of 300 watts at a crank or
pedal-based power meter, at the rear wheel, and
actually driving you forward, is only going to be 279 to 294 watts. No wonder then that pro teams are putting so much effort into making their bikes
as efficient as possible in the modern era. Because for someone like Marcel Kittel, for example, is putting out close to 2,000 watts in a sprint, if his bike is 97% efficient, he’s losing about 60 watts, which is roughly my sprint
power at the moment, so that is a hell of a lot. Now there is a lot you can do to improve the efficiency
of your drivetrain. A big one is using a brand new chain versus an old worn out and
slightly stretched one. However, apparently the grease that comes with new chains isn’t the most efficient. So you need to degrease it and but some better lubrication on. And that’s another one, the type of lubrication you use can also make a big difference. Friction Facts have done a
lot of research into this, and you’d be surprised at how much difference there is between the best and
the worst lubrications. Chainline is another big one. Now you often see pros these days using a 58-tooth chainring or even bigger for some of the individual time trials. That’s not because they’re
cruising around on 58 by 11, but rather, it means
they’re spending more time in the middle of the cassette with their chain at the rear wheel which means that the
chainline is straighter and therefore their
bike is more efficient. Then there’s other things such as the jockey wheels, and also the bearings in
the bottom bracket, etc. Plenty you can do, then, but there are always
going to be limitations with the traditional bike design, with the chainrings, the chain, the jockey
wheels, the cassettes, etc. So Ceramic Speed, whose mission is to make bikes more efficient have completely redesigned the drivetrain. There was a prototype on show at the Eurobike show very recently, which Si caught a little glimpse of. You can take a look at that video now, but I’d like your opinion because I know this is a
slightly controversial subject which did split opinion widely. Is this the future of drivetrains? – This has completely blown me away. Their goal was to create a bike that’s 99% efficient. And they reckon that they’ve done it. – Nick Lylak, you are our winner this week of a three-month subscription to Zwift. This is the question that
Nick sent in last week. “When riding with my buddies, “I seem to blow up on long,
uphill stretches of road. “Not talking alpine climbs, “but the ones where you
really need to slug it out. “How can I use Zwift to
improve my performance “on this type of terrain? “Hashtag #AskGCNTraining” Well, this is, in fact,
a really good example of how you can use
indoor training on Zwift to improve your outdoor performance, and therefore enjoy your
outdoor riding a bit more. We’re going to assume here, Nick, you’re talking about hills climbs that are over duration of
upwards of three minutes. Most people can get over
one to two minute climbs by getting out of the saddle and going into the red and just about hanging on with the people they’re riding with. Once you go over three minutes, though, you’re into VO2 max
effort type of territory, which is when it gets a lot harder. So we’ve got two workouts for you focused on VO2 max types of efforts. The first one far more
structured than the second, and as such, you can use
Zwift builder for this. It allows you to input the exact structured workout into Zwift and then you can follow along to it. This is another one, in fact, where using erg mode is going to be a real advantage to you. Now we touched on this briefly last week, but erg mode means that your smart trainer ensures that you’re at the right power, the right cadence, for the right duration. Takes all of the guess work and thinking out of it so you can just concentrate on pedaling the bike. So with this first workout, what you want to do is
get a really warmup in, at least 20 minutes. Then, you’re going to do
five VO2 max intervals. Now the key to this one, though, is that the duration of those intervals lengthens as you go through them. So for the first one, you do four minutes at your VO2 max, take four to five minutes
recovery between each, and then add on 30 seconds in duration into each of the intervals so that the fifth and final one is a total of six minutes. It’s a really tough workout, but if you judge things right and pace things right, you should be able to get through it. The second one, is far less structured. It’s like riding outdoors, but indoors doing repeated hill climbs, in fact. So on the various Zwift worlds there are plenty of climbs to choose from. There’s short ones, very punchy ones, right the way up to Alps du Zwift, which me personally would take me about an hour at the moment. What you want to do here, in the initial phase of your training, is find a climb that takes three to five minutes to get up, and then just do it on five occasions. Now what you can do is use the u-turn function on Zwift, either using the icon that’s on your app or by using the downward
arrow on your keyboard. Go up the ascent at a cadence of 85 rpms, get to the top, do the u-turn, ride back down the other side very easily and then turn back up again and do that four to five times. As I said initially choose
a three to five minute climb focusing mainly on your cadence rather than you power. Ideally, you want to be doing more power on each of the ascent, which means you need to
start relatively steady, but this one is all about
focusing on the cadence and staying in the saddle, and that should help you in the scenario that
you described outdoors. What you can do then, as I was about to say, is increase the duration
of the climb in Zwift as the weeks and months progress. So start with three to five minutes. Eventually, after what 12
weeks of training, or so, you should be able to
do four to five efforts on a climb that’s eight
to 10 minutes in duration. And once you get to that point, I’ve got a feeling that when you go out
riding with your buddies your performance is going
to be vastly improved and you’re going to enjoy it a lot more. Let us know how you get on, Nick, in the coming weeks with that and whether it improves
your performance or not. I’d be very interested to find out. It is now time for the slow fire round, which is what I’ve renamed it to when I’m presenting Ask GCN Anything. First up this week from Andrew Chalk, who sounds a little bit angry, “When did all this last day procession “on a Grand Tour malarkey start? “I don’t remember it back in Big Mig’s day “or am I wearing rose-tinted Rudy’s?” Possibly, yes, because it has been around for quite some time. I’m not sure when all
this champagne drinking and celebrations in front
of cameras started exactly, but what I do know, is that they’ve used the Champs-Élysées for the final day of the Tour de France every year since 1975. However, there have been
a couple of notable years where the leaders changed
hand on the final day, and it’s no coincidence that those years finished
with a time trial. The most famous, of course, was 1989 where Greg LeMond overcame
a deficit to Laurent Fignon to take the most famous finish ever. Eight seconds was his advantage in the end over the Frenchman after
that final day’s time trial. But is also happened in 1968, there was a 55 kilometer
time trial that year when Jan Janssen managed to overcome the Belgian Herman Van Springel on the very last day of racing. Breakaway successes on the Champs-Élysées are few and far between. In fact the last time it happened was Alexander Vinokourov
13 years ago already where he upset the sprinters. Does this tradition need to change? Quite possibly, yes. At the end of the Vuelta
that finished on Sunday, Spanish television released some figures and the last day’s processional
stage around Madrid I think got less than half the viewers of the next lowest stage viewings, if that makes any sense to you. So it might be time for a rethink. The Giro d’Italia does
change things up a bit and you might remember that last year Tom Dumoulin overcame his
deficit to Nairo Quintana on the very last day, and I’d imagine the
viewing figures for that was somewhat better. That said, I know that
riders love sipping champagne and having an easy day, so you might get a struggle from them. Next up from Mark Hagen. “I’m curious, has a country ever swept “all three Grand Tours in the same year “with different riders?” No, is the very short answer. That’s a new record this year. Two countries have previously won all three Grand Tours in the same year, but with the same two riders. So it happened in 1964
with the French riders Jacques Anquetil and Raymond Poulidor. And again 10 years ago in 2008, but it was Carlos Sastre who took the Tour de France and Alberto Contador who took the other two Grand Tours that year. So never by three separate riders. This one from bugboy. “I’m a new road rider “and recently upgraded to
a beautiful Canyon Aeroad. “I live in Vermont, USA “and can only pedal indoors
during the winter months. “I only ride for fitness. “And having trouble
deciding if it’d be okay “to get a decent set of rollers “or should I drop the extra dollars “on a turbo trainer?” Well with most rollers, there’s not much in the way of resistance. So when I was a pro, for example, when I was on rollers, pedaling a 53 by 11 about 100 cadence, I think yielded a power output of around about 300 watts. At the time, that didn’t return much in the way of training gains because my FTP was 370 or so. As things are now, that probably would be a VO2 max session, so it kind of depends on your own fitness, but if you really want to
do structured workouts, I’d personally say an indoor
trainer the whole way. It’s going to allow you to
get far more output out. Next up from TASH. “I ride to school everyday “and I only stop aching at the weekend. “I started riding about six months ago. “I always push hard on my ride. “When will I stop hurting?” Well if you’re always pushing hard, you’re probably never
going to stop hurting. I think Greg LeMond was the man that said, “it doesn’t get any easier,
you just get faster.” So you’re time to school
is going to reduce, but if you’re riding at 100 percent, you’re riding at 100 percent. If, however, you choose to go at the same speed to
school each and every day, you’ll probably get fitter, and therefore you will
find it slightly easier. What I might suggest to you is that if you go easy on the Wednesdays, you’ve got like a mini recovery ride midway through the week. Two hard sessions on Monday, Tuesday; Thursday and Friday, another two hard sessions; a recovery on a Wednesday and at the weekend. Jobs a good’un. Next up, this from The Inquisitor. “Polarized or threshold training model? “I heard base training is more beneficial “towards pro cyclists in order to cause “a physiological change
(increased mitochondrial density) “which would be less
effective for amateur cyclists “as we don’t spend
enough time on the bike. “Does that mean for an amateur “to be more efficient in training, “we should focus more on threshold models? “High intensity training, FTP, etc.” I personally say, yes. There’s definitely a benefit to doing the big volume, but most people, quite frankly, don’t have the time to do that volume unless they are a full-time cyclist. So if you’re fitting your cycling in around a full-time job, or education, family, etc, etc, you’re going to reap more rewards from doing high intensity,
focused training program. And if you’re endurance, you
can do two hours straight, in like sweet spot or tempo, which really helps. In fact, I’ve used that
myself a couple of winters when I was feeling lazy and didn’t want to put the volume in. Euan Munro asks, “In a couple of weeks I’m
taking part in my first TTT “with my clubmates at the
Scottish Championships. “I’m not the fastest of the four, “but hopefully not the slowest. “Do you have any tips “for how to gauge my
efforts on the front?” Well, my tip is the same however good you are compared to your other teammates. When you’re on the front, you want to swing off
before you’ve gone too deep because it’s another
effort to come after that because when they come through, you’ve slowed down and therefore, you have to accelerate to get back up to the same speed to get onto the back of the train and start your recovery process before you hit the front again. So don’t go really deep, otherwise you might struggle to get back onto the slipstream in the first place. Now the key to a team time trial is to make sure that the speed is relatively constant. So the strongest riders shouldn’t be coming through and increasing the pace by 5 k’s per hour, they should be doing longer turns, and the weaker riders, the same speed, but shorter turns. What you will generally
find in team time trials is that the ones that
seem nice and smooth, but a bit easier, are actually faster than the ones where it’s really ragged, and you’ve gone straight into the red at the beginning of the event. Next up, this from Brian A, “Dan, what’s the etiquette
during a pro tour, “can a rider accept nutrition or water “from an opposing team?” Yes, and it happens quite
regularly, actually. The teams do tend to help each other out. Quite a lot of sportsmanship there from that point of view. Especially if the soigneur standing on the side of the road has been with that rider
at a previous team, they might choose to hand him off a bidon if they’re desperate for one. It’d also happen from
the team cars, as well. In terms of outside
nutrition and drinks, etc, you won’t normally find
any of the pro riders accept a drink from a member of the public to actually drink just in case it’s contaminated. So generally when you’re watching, what you’ll find is that
if they take a bottle from the side of the road, it’s literally to douse their head with and try to cool themselves down. That’s it for the questions in the slow fire round this week, but we’ve not got a poll. There was quite a different viewpoint in my answer last week whether you should wear socks over or under your leg warmers. So let’s get his settled once and for all. There’s a poll on the screen now, let us know what the
etiquette these days is. Because some of the younger generation didn’t appear to agree with what I said. I still think socks under leg warmers, but don’t let me sway your vote. The next question is
all about aerodynamics, and it came in from Clifford Romina. “I always watch GCN videos
about riding fast and/or aero, “and I noticed that you
guys often use the hoods “instead of the drops. “Why is that?” Well, for me personally, Clifford, it’s because I felt like I was more aero in that position. Not the most scientific, I know, but I did have some reasoning behind it, and that’s because I ride
quite a slant position, i.e. my bars are pretty
low at the front end, and therefore I can get my back flat with my hands on the hoods and my elbows at 90 degrees. And secondly, with my hands on the hoods and elbows at 90 degrees, it of course means that my forearms are out of the wind, too. Whereas even further down on the drops, what I would find was that
once I got my back flat, my arms were still reasonably extended, and so quite a lot of my forearms were exposed to the wind. That said, out of the saddle, I would always sprint on the drops because when you stood up and you’re a bit higher up it’s quite hard to get your back into a flat position when your arms are extended on the hoods. That said, if you haven’t
got a sound position, and your bars are quite a
lot higher at the front end, you’re pretty going to struggle to get your back flat with your hands on the hoods, and therefore, for you, it’s probably going to be more aerodynamic to have your hands on the drops. Cos the main thing is
always to get your back and your body out of the wind as much as possible. Does seem like I might have been getting things, though, if this advice from an
aerodynamics guru over at Zipp is anything to go by. Cos Si was picking his brains on this very subject
a couple of years ago. You’ll find that video here. – There is quite a big difference between the hoods and the drops. That’ll save you up to 20 watts if you get low enough. So in race scenarios,
drops are always better. – It’s time for our last question now, and it comes in from Robert Repka. “I wonder whether it’s normal being super “and insatiably hungry, even binge-hungry, “the day or two following
several days of riding. “However, those days of
riding were well-fueled “and not fasted. “Is it something that’s
experienced commonly, “for instance among the
professional riders?” Well, I would say, yes. It’s very normal to be very hungry for a couple days after a lot of riding because your metabolism
is revved right up. So to give you a personal example, there were plenty of times when I was riding full-time when my brain would never tell me that I was full up. I was constantly craving
a little bit more. To the point where you eventually
have to say to yourself, I’ve probably consumed enough calories to replace what I burned today. So it’s a difficult one. Personally, I’ve got quite a good internal hunger suppression when I’m not doing too much. So, for example, in the three weeks when I used to take off
at the end of the year, or at the moment when
I’m not doing too much in the way of bike riding, I’m not generally that hungry in between my three main meals of the day. Other people I know do struggle with that. So it’s a real fine balance between making sure that you replenish what you use and not over eating because even when you’re exercising a lot, there is the chance of putting on weight and sometimes even manage to do that during Grand Tours. What is really important, though, is that you do adequately
fuel your recovery because if you don’t your training and your racing is really going to suffer. We did do a video on this
a couple of years ago on how to use nutrition
to improve your recovery. So that might be something
that you’d want to watch now. – A normal, balanced diet
is gonna be sufficient to allow most of us to recover from the riding that we do in order to carry on
with our normal lives, but the harder you train, or the more stressful your life, the more you might want to consider certain aspects of nutrition to make sure that you
are recovering optimally. – That’s all for this week. So I should do a ceremonious
closing of my laptop. And don’t forget to leave
in the comments below your questions for next week’s show. And give this video a like if you have enjoyed it. We’ve got another video that you might think
is relevant to you now. If you’d like to know how to improve your drivetrain efficiency, we have got a video on that very subject, and you can find a link to that just down here.

Reader Comments

  1. Why don’t the pros have their name printed on the back of their jersey making identification that bit easier for the viewing fans?

  2. Ceramic speed system only allows 2~3 teeth to transfer power. This puts too much load on those teeth, as well as the shaft axle. Imagine how much torque a single teeth has to bear in a sudden attack. A total gimmick.

  3. Hey my name's also Dan I'm 31 years old and only started cycling a few weeks ago but I'm going to be doing London to Paris for charity next year. I'm buying a turbo trainer in a couple weeks so I can use zwift. But I'd like to ask two questions 1. What's the best training method for next year? and 2. I'm looking to join a club but how will I find out what sort of rider I am?
    #torqueback #AskGCNTraining

  4. Woah woah – for the power meter question you have to know what are you trying to measure. Power output of the athlete or power output of the complete machine? With cars, yes you want the power output of the whole machine… 300 watt engine that can put out only 250 watts at the wheel is a significant difference for the entire machine. For me on my bike tho, I don't want to know what the power output of the bike to the ground is… I want to know the output of the engine – ME!

  5. #torqueback When in my TT position I always end up off the front of the saddle and 'shuffling' back. I use S bend tri bars which are slightly raised at fhe front for support but always seem to end up off the front end. Any tips to stop this happening?

  6. AskGCN. Hi I've started getting neck pain, i ride flat backed elbows bent.
    So could this be from straining to look forward, as in holding the head up too much?
    Thanks ed

  7. #torqueback
    Hey, I started riding in a group and what I found most problematic is getting back to end the pace-line after doing your job in the front. What is the best way of doing it without getting dropped and also without constantly looking backwards to check where the end of the train is? Thanks

  8. You guys! Most efficient drivetrain, cadence, watt output and staring at a little screen! Ride your bike to have fun. Enjoy yourself. Stop worrying about what your computer is telling you. Ride a fixed gear at least once, go on, give it a try. You'll notice the big wide world around you not worrying if you're in the wrong gear or wrong cadence. You'll accelerate faster, clime faster, get fitter faster. I'll be the one overtaking you with a big smile on my face enjoying life. You might as well stay in and play on zwift worrying about how much power your losing and being all sad. 😜 just get out and ride. Enjoy life and put your phones/wahoo gubbins down. 👍🏻🚴

  9. #torqueback #AskGCNTraining Starting to think about my winter on Zwift. What are the pros and cons of the various fitness tests out there (i.e., 20-min FTP, 2×8-min FTP, Ramp Test, and 4DP Test). I feel like depending on which test I use, I can end up with significantly different "scores".

  10. #torqueback if i ride out on the road all is fine even if i ride all day, but on the turbo i get numb butt after 30-45mins, do i have a bike setup problem?

  11. CS did not design crank bikes, but using bearing as teeth. In the current state it can only barely shift. I would argue using bearing as teeth will be a maintainencd nightmare, as well as having a much larger, more prone to damage cassette. It still require much longer development in order to be sensible to be compared with chain system which has been refined and perfected throughout it history.

  12. Hi GCN, My question is about training late at night. I have a busy job and home life but through the winter I love grabbing an hour on the trainer in the garage once I've finally finished for the day. unfortunately its sometimes quite late. is there any detrimental effects from training later on at night? my rule of thumb is if I've got energy to train I train, if I'm tired I don't. Am i getting it right?

  13. I rode a hybrid bike for about 10 years after getting back into biking as an adult. Just over a year ago I bought a Trek Domane, my first road/carbon fiber bike. I've been using the same 2 bolt SPD cleats with the new bike, but I'm wondering if I run into other bike riders will they laugh at me for not have true 3 hole road biking cleats. Should I switch? I am in my late 40s and I ride for fitness and because I enjoy the open road. I do about 1500 miles a year. #torqueback #AskGCNTraining.

  14. If the average rider swallows 40 flies /year for 50 years, that's 2000 flies over a lifetime.
    Any tips? I've just turned vegetarian. #torqueback

  15. OMG socks under. I am not the younger generation (55…) but socks wick moisture! if it is wet and your socks are exposed your feet will get soaked. Plus which, you may have to pull the things off. I'm wearing booties before leg warmers usually, and I actually wear socks that are shorter than the booties so I have a reasonably water resistant assembly without a wick sticking out.

  16. Should have asked how much is getting more power out of your bike going to cost you. I'll bet a lot of people would be afraid to answer that one.

  17. #torqueback Hi folks! Great content as always. Due to work commitments (and an awful local traffic) I do my weekdays training sessions very early in the morning. As a result, I train fasted on weekdays and properly fueled on weekends. Although this has been great in regards to losing weight, I feel that my level of fitness/gains of strength might be hindered. Any light on the matter? Do yo know any nutrition tricks I could use for pre-rides on weekdays? Thanks!

  18. taking a year off regular training and racing just showed me how much i can eat, i've gained some weight luckily gym was and still is very regular so some muscle to showed up but some fat too now can't wait to get back to riding a lot more and next year race again and see how much i suck 🙂

  19. The "grease" that comes on new chains isn't intended to be a lubricant, but simply to protect the chain from corrosion during shipment and storage.

  20. #torqueback #askgcntraining. I’ve been using a “dumb” trainer for years and have been reluctant to upgrading to a smart trainer since I’ve worries that having Erg mode would take away some of the mental fortitude that comes with having to focus and hit the power number on your own. I use TrainerRoad (not zwift) and would be curious on your thoughts on this and/or any drawbacks of smart (other than cost) trainer.

  21. #askGCNTraining How can I use Zwift to increase my cadence? I’m looking into 300 to 400 km endurance rides after winter and I’m told a high cadence is crucial for that.

  22. Hey #torqueback, just got my first proper bike fit for my road bike which got me wondering whether I need a fit for my commuter. I commute every day on a commuter/city bike which has a more upright position. Not having any pain while commuting but would a fit make me faster/more efficient?

  23. Can I increase my FTP, climbing and cadence using same training or I need to do different training for each? thanks #AskGCNTraining

  24. #torqueback #AskGCNTraining
    Myself and a group from work are doing a charity ride Lands End to John O’Groats in 9 days we are not season cyclists only 6/7 miles to and from work one had never ridden a bike before signing up. We have started upping the miles but what is best way to train for the 110 miles a day on road and zwift options

  25. A shaft drive on a bike is not a new idea. It was used on some bikes in the late 19th century but it didn't catch on probably because of the extra weight of the shaft as apposed to the relative simplicity and lightness of a chain.

  26. I'm looking to invest in an indoor trainer and am unsure whether to buy a smart trainer or a standard turbo trainer and then purchase a power meter separately. I'd heard that the power readings are more accurate with a crank power meter and I could then still be recording the data when I'm outside on my bike. What would you suggest? #torqueback #AskGCNTraining

  27. I just bought a brompton. What are you're thoughts on the bike and have you thought of making a video about city commuting vs training on folding bikes?

  28. #torqueback #AskGCNTraining Hi GCN, great show, keep up the great work! I've been struggling with climbing a bit, any GCN tech gurus has experience fitting the sram red etap with a 30 or a 32 cassette without changing derailleur cage length? thanks

  29. #AskGCNTraining: Hi, as the days are getting shorting most of my riding will be done now on my turbo trainer. I picked up cycling about 10 years ago as part of my revalidation program after some knee surgery and I had to let go my main sport. My goal is to improve my average speed of the cyclosportives I am doing, I am only training with a power meter since 2 years so I assume I have still some potential to improve (although I am 50 now). My main yearly reference is Gent Wevelgem whereI managed to improve up till now. When riding with my friends, my weak points are the short steep climbs that you get in the Flemish classics. On the longer climbs I seem to be able to hang on much better although I am typically struggling with the transition from flat to climbing. I have been now using a turbo trainer (Elite Turbo Muin) for 3 years, with the training programs that it generates based on your power test mixing it up with some of the HITT session from GCN. I was wonder what would be a good indoor session that I can add to improve my ability for these climbs (4-6 minutes efforts) while still be able to maintain a high power output right after. Thanks for your help.

  30. #AskGCNTraining A group of us are doing a 6 day sportive next May (2019). None of us are spring chickens and are mostly between 57 and 70 years old. We are all reasonably fit and regularly do 100k on rides with usually between 1,100m and 1,500m of climbing on most rides. Is there any particular advice on training for this event you could give, especially in respect of age related specifics. Thanks

  31. I think the Ceramic Speed system could be great on the track, but dirt and grime would ruin efficiency on the road. At an antique motorcycle and bicycle show, I once saw a late 1800s shaft drive bicycle, which was a similar early idea. I think a potentially better system is the Pinion gearbox with Gates belt drive.

  32. Surly the most efficient drivetrain is a fixed gear. As long as you have momentum, even uphill, the crank will turn therefor you need to use less power rotating said crank! 🤔

  33. Is it just me or does anyone else find the background music to be extremely annoying/distracting? Aaaagh. thump thump thump!!!

  34. #torqueback #AskGCNTraining Hey GCN, i'm new to cycling and have learned so much from this show. (Thanks!) I bought a bike last November, and after a long Appalachian mountain winter mostly on the trainer, I started actively riding outside in late April. Weekly, i've been averaging 3-4 rides, 60-70 miles each week, and averaging 1,000 ft elevation gain per 20 miles or so. I've gotten much better and lost a lot of weight, but my biggest weakness still is climbing… I'm slow, go into the red quickly, and prefer to stay seated in the saddle (weak knees). There's an out-and-back route where I live that is just over 9 miles long, but you climb around 1,500 ft. I've considered doing this ride once a week to improve my climbing. Should I do it more often? Is once a week enough?

  35. Hi GCN, I just returned from a 6 day round trip in the Dolomites, which was fantastic. However, I found myself struggling on these long climbs (>5 miles). I found that during climbing my heart rate kept dropping over the consecutive days, but worse, my power kept dropping too; despite taking it easy on the first couple of days. When talking to fellow cyclists I found that some of them shared this experience, but others didn't, in fact one of them upped his FTP on day 6!
    So my question is, how can I train to keep my power constant over 6 consecutive days of 6-8 hour efforts with long climbs? #AskGCNTraining

  36. #torqueback I've been trying to lose weight through cycling and dieting over the last two years – lost nearly six stones to date. But, I've hit a wall at 100kg/16stones and can't lose anymore. Frustrating!

    Advice please?!

  37. I’ve just broken my ankle. Any tips on stuff I can do in a moonboot to keep moving for the next 6 weeks? #askgcntraining

  38. While I wait for my new road bike to be built (an accident a couple of weeks ago busted my old bike) are there any good workouts I can do on a "dumb" trainer with my TT bike? I haven't ridden in two weeks and it's killing me. Please help! #AskGCNTraining

  39. Hey I live in an area with little [cross]winds, but an area which I will be racing is known for having crosswinds – how would I train for my race? I have an TT bike with 50mm wheels, so whenever I get a crosswind it’s very unstable for me, and fear I’m going to end up like Matt. My shallow wheels weigh 400grams more and do not want to ride, unless necessary. Advice please. #askGCNtraining

  40. How do I convince my girlfriend that I NEED another bike? She found out how much I spent on my first bike and will not be pleased if I got a second… please help because I really plan to add three additional bikes in the next couple of years 🌚 #torqueback

  41. That drive train is a white elephant, it uses one cog to transfer power. Shaftdrive is known in engineering to be less efficient. Get out of the saddle and you will break it. Keep an eye on it, it will never see production. Just a prototype gimick to get people talking about ceramic speed.

  42. #torqueback
    I hear chainrub on my front derailleur when on my large chainwheel combined with the biggest cog and up to the fourth biggest. Shimano half-click doesn’t help. BUT when I put the bike on the stand and check, no chainrub! I will appreciate any input. Thanks in advance.

  43. #AskGCNTraining I’m an average cyclist quite happy doing 30-40 mile social rides, but inspired by my son, I’ve started taking part in cyclocross training and some races this year. With the dark nights coming in the training has stopped, can you recommend any Zwift based exercises specifically towards cyclocross intervals, with a view to developing both fitness and power?

  44. @Steve's question!: It depends what your goal is. If you want to know the overall physics of how effective you and your machine are then yes, you need to measure the output where it matters, the end of the drive train (and ideally right before it, the peddles; thus determining any internal rider to machine loss).

    However if you are just focusing on Riding Your Up Grade, then you want to actually just do that, measure how you are growing as a person. Heart rate and power at the pedals are more than accurate enough to identify your possible peak energy out and when you can push again.

    Likely you budget is limited so any slight gains you take can be seen in time reductions compared to relative wattage output. But having that compounded number might give you peace of mind as well.

  45. It sounded like take '45 minutes of recovery' then listening and making sense of the chart, shows you meant "four TO five minutes"

  46. POLL: socks UNDER leg warmers. Such as they are nicely layered from shorts covering leg warmers and leg warmers covering socks. Size your leg warmers correctly and carry on! (I'm glad I picked up XS leg warms because I'm that petit).

  47. not much resistance to rollers? WHAT? get a resistance fan. i don't know how rollers would work without one.
    and rollers will make you a BETTER cyclist, and you can ride rollers every bit as hard as a stationary.
    rollers over staitionary every single time

  48. Im not sure but last time I looked at a map of the world England and Wales were 2 different countries England's Capitial being London and Wales being Cardiff, isn't Gerrant Thomas a Welshman and last time i was in England calling a Welshman is a lot like calling a Kiwi a Aussie it's a huge insult to all parties, & isn't Chris Froome born and raised in Zimbabwe….. & yes yes I'm aware Chris Froome races under a English licience and competes for England in the Olympics, but isn't it about time this rubbish of competeing for another Flag that is not your birthplace just completely wrong i know in my heart i could never compete for any other nation then Australia (because I am Australian & bloody proud of it too) sure if people become citizens of a country no problem, but then dont go around stating your also from another nation, its like the English Cricket team, hasnt that at some time contained Welshman but yet it's called The England Cricket Team.

  49. #torqueback. Hi GCN. Is it usual to be able to pedal smoothly at 120+rpm in 53×12,13,14 yet struggle to maintain 100rpm in 39×23,25. Also it’s easy to get low and aero in a big gear going downhill yet it’s difficult into a headwind uphill

  50. turbo trainer's. I have broken 2 bones in my hand in a gentle fall off my bike and I am unable to ride. I am using the turbo trainer for 30 mins each day. in the past 3 weeks it's worn a lot of rubber off the tire . What alternatives do I have, a replacement wheel with a special tire and cassette. or is it better to get a trainer thet does not need the wheel. "Winter is Coming" and I will be using the trainer on bad cycling days. I have the Wahoo elemnt plus cadence speed and heart rate monitor. I cannot get wifi in my garage so is there a option of a stand alone computer program to load onto a laptop to train to. Cheers in advance Mike

  51. #torqueback #askgcntraining Registered for a 2019 spring gran fondo in early May which has a 8k+ climb. Am not a climber in the best of times. Any suggestions for winter training? Great show as Always.

  52. #Torqueback #Askgcntraining Hey GCN i’m seventeen and i’m going to join a under 18 cycling team,here in Italy winter is coming what should i buy in order to make improvements fast?
    A power meter or a good indoor trainer?
    Thank you and please answer my question.

  53. #torqueback. When decending I often struggle to be aero and have a clear view of the road ahead. The frame of my sunglasses is in the way and I end up looking through the gap between the sunglasses and my helmet or sit more upright. Do you have any suggestions? Do I need to improve my position on the bike or should I look for a better helmet-sunglasses combo?

  54. I want to train during the winter time on my Wahoo Kickr to prepare for Alp d’Huzes (a fundraising ride to support cancer research). How can I prepare for this using Zwift?

  55. #torqueback
    Gcn, why is my question never in your video? I asked it like two times now. I do not want to wait amymore!
    Here is it again:
    We all now the crouch from Graem Obree. If I would shorten my top tube and down tube on a tt bike and ajust the height of the aero bars so that my arms would be under my body (like the crouch). I stilI use the same equipment as the other cyclists and my bike is set up UCI legal further. I wonder if my bike would be legal like this.

  56. Now that the long summer nights are coming to a close, I’ve dusted off the turbo and restarted my Zwift subscription. I switched back to the road in April from solely training on Zwift over the winter and since then clocked up between 150-200k a week. I don’t have a power meter on bike so unable to monitor power throughout this period.
    My rides on Zwift this week can be described in the region from brutal – horrific, in comparison to the training during the winter months I’ve have lost about 50 watts in power and have only lasted up to 60 minutes per session without completely crashing. I previously could complete a 90-120 minute session without too much trouble.
    I’m struggling to understand why there has been a drop off in my stats / fitness given I’ve maintained my fitness throughout the summer on the road.
    Is there an explanation for this, do indoor trainers work you harder than you normally would on the road (no free wheeling / stopping to aid recovery), is it something as simple as recalibrating my turbo (which I’ve not done since taking out of the box) and reindexing my gears (there is a slight slippage on the turbo at the moment) which could give inaccurate power readings?
    Most importantly do you recommend a Zwift training plan to build up my power and fitness to the same levels as last winter? Cheers Matt

  57. #torqueback
    I have a problem with the outer bones in my feet, and as a result they bend outward just a bit, creating pressure points on the sides of my feet. I've seen some pros cut their shoes for relief, but are there shoes specifically designed for wide-foot problems? I mean high-end shoes, things that compete with top models from all brands? I and my aching feet thank you in advance!

  58. I love the show keep up the awesome work. I am looking put a training plan together with the aim of being in decent shape for road racing early next year. I have a several sessions i think should work but no idea how to make a cohesive plan. Is it just a case of mixing up hard and easier sessions or is there a cleverer way of doing it? #askgcntraining

  59. #AskGCNTraining What would you guys (as professionals) recommend for maintenance intervals? Changing tires, lubrication, and periodic adjustments? Also if your going to do a long distance charity ride, how close to the day would you make adjustments if they're needed?

  60. #AskGCNTraining #TorqueBack Hello GCN Team, I've been a long time consumer of your excellent content on YouTube, and I thought I would pitch in with a question for AskGCN. I have recently taken ownership of my first road bike, and I commute 3-4 times a week to work, on a short 30 minute ride which is fairly flat (200/300ft elevation change overall). My average speed is between 16-19MPH depending on wind direction, and I am really struggling to get my average speed up consistently above 20MPH. Are there any training tips or cycling techniques to get me moving faster? Thanks for your help, and keep up the good work with the show!! David.

  61. #AskGCNTraing I ride daily commuting back and forth to work. When I can’t make the group ride cause of work I will use the stationary bike. I was really starting to make progress and keep up with the top of the tempo group. After upgrading to a new bike (specialized Amira w/ 10×2 Shimano 105) it’s like I’m back at square 1. I have tried spinning drills to help with recovery and it’s like my lungs and legs can’t get enough air. I’ve gone back to using the bottom half of the cassette and using belly breathing techniques. Please help. 😰

  62. I am neither losing nor gaining weight over 2 years of relatively intense cycling yet I struggle to eat as much as I think I need before, during, and after rides. I frequently and reluctantly consume high fat high sugar empty calorie foods in order to meet my expected caloric needs for the day. I rarely feel hungry. I attribute the lack of hunger to a basically balanced, nutrient dense diet. I wonder if, perhaps, there may actually be a 500 or so calorie range that will maintain my current weight. I am reluctant to test that theory because it seems to diminish my cycling performance.

  63. #AskGCNTraining About time trial phasing: how to phase yourself on a hilly route? for example a section of 0.5 km/4% uphill and 0.5km/-4% downhill. Is it best/faster to pedal with constant watts close to ftp (300W/300W) or over phase uphill and save energy on downhill(325W/250W)? Considering that air resistace is much higher going downhill. Is there a top speed where to almost stop pedaling? How much and how long can you stay over your ftp, if the downhill section is going to take roughly 1/3 of the uphill time?

  64. Love the show Jon! I do a fair bit of maintenance on my 2012 Caad 8 105 but I draw the line at wheels. Truing a wheel looks like black magic to me so I do not want to end up ruining a good wheel. Over the course of the summer I have had 2 spokes snap. At a cost of $40.00 per to replace them. How do I know when its time to stop the bleeding and just pay up for a new wheel?

  65. Hi GCN, Since a few weeks i'm training with a Stages on my Racebike as well as my Mountainbike. Indoors I train on a Tacx Flux. During my training I experience a much more painfull ride on my Flux, an experience that more people have. Outdoors on my racer I'm able to deliver more power. (so far it makes sense to me) Since i've mounted my stages on my MTB (I also have a stages on my racebike) I find that I can deliver way more power on my MTB in comparisant to my racebike. Is there any explanation for this? e.g.: My top output is around 2000watt on my MTB (a friend of mine also has an abnormal high powerlevel at the beginning of the curve). On my racer I get to max 1200 – 1300watt. When I compare my output during a 5min effort in a training together with a trainingpartner we both deliver about 10% more than we would think we could. Both on MTB, both with a stages. However we doubt that the figures are right… Is there a difference in power you can deliver on a MTB in comparisant to a racebike? #TorqueBack #AskGCNtraining

  66. My friend and I did a 10 minute effort as a part of a workout. We were averaging the same speed (or very close) for the same amount of time but I had to put in 18.5% more watts. We were riding the same segment at a close enough time that the wind wouldn't have changed that much. He rides a Scott Addict 46cm and I'm on a Trek Domane s5 Carbon. Both of us are on 105 groupset + Stages power meter (left crank). I'm baffled – this issue is consistent across other riders. they seem to need fewer watts than me. Bad power meter? #torqueback #AskGCNTraining

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