Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Over the years, we have all bought shiny new bike parts. Most of what we have bought has been brought about due to greater technological advances. New tech bits have not only played a large part of bike advancement, but they are also in our favorite training tools. We’ve all had ‘em or wanted ‘em. Heart rate monitor, power meters, GPS. They will make us faster, ya?

I was one who started off on a heart rate monitor. After a few years on that I got a screaming deal on a PowerTap I just could not pass up. I used it for a couple years. I also had a wrist watch GPS with heart rate monitor function to boot. They were all great and maybe helped with my training. Last year after coming back from a 7 week knee injury, I went old school. I took what the power meter and heart rate monitors had taught me about perceived exertion and used that as my new tool. That was a big technological step back. Guess what, with this old school approach, I became way faster. It was not just the lack of tools, it was also a different training plan in place.

So this brings me to the main point. I have tried to re-embrace training technology and have transformed my PowerTap into 135mm spacing for my flat-bar road/mtb bike. I also have been using a Garmin 705 on mountain bike trips to follow GPS tracks and not get lost. Well, today was my first day of any intensity in what feels like ages. My PowerTap hub batteries died and I wanted to collect some data as a reference point, so this is what it came to.

I felt like a fool riding around with all these fancy gadgets hanging off my riser bars. Looked and felt weird coming from someone who swore off training tools last fall. Let’s just see if by Spring it makes me any faster. If not, I know I can always go back to the old-school approach.

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