Why Wahoo?

We are lucky at Watts Up to have a studio equipped exclusively with Wahoo Kickrs. We have have been long time users of Wahoo Kickrs at home and when it came to reviewing and selecting a Trainer for Watts Up it was a no brainer that we would fill the studio with Kickrs. The reasons for our decisions are below:

  • As Coaches there are two levers we can pull when creating a training ride; duration and intensity. When in Erg mode the resistance (or intensity) created by the Kickr is the specified number of watts that are needed for the interval be it an Endurance, Tempo, Sweet Spot or VO2 Max interval. No more no less.
  • The flip side to this is that the recovery intervals are done right. There is no over riding them. Recovery is important as it sets you up for success for the next interval.
  • Using a software platform we can control each Kickr based on the individual riders capability/FTP. Of the top shelf trainers, suitable for studio use, there is only one other that that offers this feature and it was an unknown to us.
  • In addition to the above the fact that the resistance is individualized and based upon the riders ability/fitness level ensures that they are training in the correct Training Zone(s) and utilizing the correct energy system.
  • The Kickr has been around since 2014. By comparison to its nearest technically similar rivals it’s a gran-daddy. Each iteration has improved on it’s prior version. The newer versions now allow for disc brakes, thru-axles and the Wahoo Climb

Becca blogged about this 2 years ago from a user’s perspective. You can read more about her experience here.

We are sure once you have tried a Kickr you’ll agree with our choice!

We saved one for you…

Six Stocking Stuffers!

Here are some ideas for Stocking Stuffers that you can get the cyclist (or yourself) and have delivered in time for the Big Day!

Dummy Hub, we talked about this in a prior post about washing your bike! There are several options including those from Pedros, Feedback Sports and Park Tools to name a few. We like the Park Tools version, its nice and simple and comes in a handy-dandy storage tube.

Warmers; only if you can live without having matching kit…trust me the struggle is real here! But if you can you check out the dreamy soft offerings from Snek. Merino wool is natural and warm in the cold and wet! They come in classic black, have a old school look and will be the envy of your buddies!

A Phone Case, ditch the the ZipLoc bag. You just spent $1000 on a phone, treat it with a little more respect than a 10c baggie! There are several options and sizes. We use the Club case from Waterfield. Room for you phone and some emergency spares. It’s fits nicely into a jersey pocket and keeps everything safe and sound!

Jersey Pump, go environmentally friendly and carry a pump. If you haven’t felt the cold jet of Co2 on your fingers as you try to get it into your tube you will at some point! You’re then left wondering how you’re going to get home! Today’s pumps weight the same as two CO2 cartridges and the head unit. Lyzene’s Pressure Drive fits easily in your pocket and gets you back on the road nice and quick!

DRL – Daytime Running Lights, perfect for this time of year but also valid on any ride. Having some running lights will help you be seen by other road users and that’s never a bad thing. There are plenty to choose from but remember buy cheap usually ends up being buy twice. Bontager’s Ion FlareSee Sense’s Ace and Garmin’s Varia are all worthy contenders. If you really want to level up have a look at the Cycliq Fly 6 and Fly 12 Cycliq offer a Team Deal if you can gather enough interest!

Finally a grab bag of consumables…stuff wears out. This time of year is perfect for replacing some of them, think of it as replacing your smoke detector battery before you get that annoying “beep beep”…usually at 2:00am! These things include; shoe cleats, brake blocks, tires and batteries; HR straps are usually the first to go!

So there you go, some last minute ideas for you or your cyclist!

The Wind Tunnel

Winter is here! Finally, well, at least for this week! It makes the mornings and evenings cold. Stripping down to your lycra glad self and planting yourself in front of a gale blowing fan, may seem counter intuitive and it probably is for the first 5 minutes!

The reality is our bodies are not very efficient! We would all like to think with our laser like focus our best efforts are pouring power into the pedals. Unfortunately, this is not the case! The reality is that our bodies are turning 75% of the output into heat and only 25% into the pedals!

The body controls our temperature and in the case of cycling heat is dissipated though the evaporation; sweating. Outside we have the benefit of moving which obviously creates a breeze. Clearly inside, this is not the case!

We’ve all seen sweat on the mat under our bikes. Some people view this pool of water as a badge of honor. What they fail to realize is that overheating like this is potentially impacting our workout. Your body is working overtime to cool down, you’re becoming dehydrated and you are pouring corrosive, salty, sweat on delicate bike parts!

Just no!

To compensate for the lack of movement we use fans…oh boy do we!

We have 4 Vornado Heavy Duty Shop Fans and 2 Large Circulator Fans. Combined these are moving nearly 4000 cubic feet a minute. To put that into perspective there are 1600 cubic feet in a room that is 10’x20’ with a 9’ ceiling, which happens to be a pretty close facsimile of our space. So, in summary we’re moving twice the volume of air every minute!

Now I have completely spaced you out! What does this really mean?

The bottom line is with this controlled environment we are allowing you to maximize the benefit of your workout by letting your body effectively evaporate the sweat!

That’s not to say you’re not working, trust me you are!

Screen Time!

This week we thought we would share the two main Garmin screens with you.

In this time of information overload, it’s hard to cut it down the essentials and, to be honest, identifying the essentials can be tricky too. Based on years of using head units and the increasing amount of data that they are collecting and able to display we have pared them down to this.

So, without further ado let’s swipe left!

The main screen is simple, with only 5 fields it’s easy to see and easy to process. It’s the “right here, right now” and as such is the most often in use. All these fields are available out of the box from Garmin except for the last one “Sweet Spot”. The fields show:

  1. Time of Day – kinda obvious, but we do lose track of time!
  2. Heart Rate – monitoring you HR is a good way to see what’s happening. Are you riding easy and your HR is high or are you having issues with elevating it? Despite Power being King, HR is a good Queen to have up your sleeve!
  3. Cadence – the jury is out on high vs. low and much like the weather it changes frequently. So go with the flow. Personally, we aim for around 90 rpm.
  4. 3s Power – this is the average of the last 3 seconds, it’s preferred as it’s a bit more stable than real time which jumps around too much
  5. Sweet Spot – weekend longer rides will often have a goal of  x minutes of Sweet Spot time accumulated and this field displays that data. To get this data I use a Garmin CIQ app called AppBuilder5+. This allows me to create a custom algorithm based on my FTP and the Sweet Spot power range of 84-97%. We show you how to add a CIQ field in another post.

The second screen is a summary screen:

  1. Timer – this shows ride time. With Auto Pause enabled this will stop when you stop riding
  2. Elapsed time – this doesn’t stop when you stop. Basically, these two fields show the difference between riding and total time. It’s a good reminder that those minutes spent standing roadside soon add up. It’s also a good one to use when you are working on minimizing Aid Stations stoppage time! I can’t underline how important these timer screens are on race day! The remaining fields are just overall numbers
  3. Distance – how far!
  4. NP – how hard! Normalized Power (NP) is a metric to quantify training intensity with power data, it’s based on a complex algorithm
  5. Total Ascent – how high, always a good Ego boost!
  6. Ave HR – overall for the ride
  7. Ave Cadence – overall for the ride

You may have noticed that Speed is not used. To be honest speed is result of most of the above and it’s one of those things that when observed can freak people out…it felt like 35mph which is super comfortable vs. it was actually 50mph which has a much higher pucker factor!

Finally while this post shows data fields and screenshots from a Garmin 1030, most if not all should be available on a Wahoo, Polar or other devices, with the notable exception on the CIQ field.