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My experience on Power Cranks(19 posts)

My experience on Power CranksPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
May 12, 2002 7:09 PM
So aside from my post below that has caused so much controversy I'd just like to ask people how they feel about Power Cranks (www.powercranks.com) and share my experience. But before that I thank both my supporters and nay-sayers for posting. As someone said the whole point of this forum is to post questions, comments and views and for other people to read them, who have every right not to.

Anyway since May 1st I have been riding Power Cranks exclusively on rollers and the difference I feel is absolutely huge. Both while running and riding. These are definitely one of cyclings best kept secrets even if they are fairly expensive. But you can't put a price on a near perfect pedalstroke in my opinion, so instead of repairing a disc wheel which was damaged coming off an airplane last year or supplements like creatine that I'm not sure if they help or hurt me I instead decided to spend that money on these. And its been a good investment.

Cheers,
Nick Corcoran
PodiumBound.ca
re: My experience on Power CranksJBurton
May 12, 2002 7:52 PM
So Nick, how much is Frank Day paying you?? Just kidding. They do look interesting. I would like to know what some of the pro trainers, like Carmicheal or Joe Friel, think of them. They seem a bit unreasonably expensive. And, unfortunately they look a little gimmicky. But since one legged training is recommended by many trainers, maybe these things do have some validity. But the price!! They don't seem like there is that much to them. I know, I know...research and development and all. I'll start to think about it when the price is cut in half. I mean, first we have to convince our wives, mothers, friends, girlfriends that a $2,000 bike is really not that expensive and that we are actually settling for less than we would have in a perfect world. Then, we need more than one (rain bike, race bike, cyclocross bike, mountain bike, etc.). Then, we have to get heartrate monitors, then power taps, then these Power Cranks. Not to mention, the clothes aren't exactly cheap. Man! Why didn't anyone tell me this sport is expensive!?
cycling: expensive :(weiwentg
May 12, 2002 8:01 PM
true. my first bike cost a thousand bucks. not too bad, I thought.
then, I had to get lubricants and tools.
and clothes.
and bit by bit, I discovered that the Tiagra groupset was a piece of junk.
and bit by bit, which is the WORST way to go, I replaced the groupset.
and the fork (got an all carbon fork).
and the wheels.
and the saddle.
and later, I saw a great deal on a TCR frame, so I got that!!!!!
and then, I had to get a heart rate monitor.
and team clothing.
and a new bloody helmet. because my old one had been crashed on twice, and it looked geeky.
and NOW you tell me I have to get powercranks. go to hell :P
(just kidding, as you can see).
Agreed!!!PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
May 12, 2002 8:37 PM
I completely agree they are insanely expensive. Hence thats why I was trying to start a debate! I have to go on the payment plan but after using them if you aren't a racer its not worth it... But if you look at a rider like Ryder Hesjdel uses them at a different Canadian cycling center, he's not doing to badly. Its almost like a legal demoralizing steroids that make you work out only 5 mins a day for the first week before you finally pick them up! Thats why the timing with my break was perfect.

Cheers,
Nick
PodiumBound.ca
Agreed!!!JBurton
May 12, 2002 9:20 PM
Do you know any other riders besides Hesjdel using them? I mean, I think that he would do well Power Cranks or not. Not to discount their effectiveness at all, of course. I think that the theory is solid. I don't know how exactly that dolphin pedaling technique would help at all, though.
Nevermind....JBurton
May 12, 2002 9:23 PM
I just answered my own question. Duh! I should have looked more closely.
No problem!PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
May 12, 2002 9:50 PM
1) Kevin Livingston I believe uses them. So both him and Ryder Hesdjel would be great without them... but they definitely probly add that extra 5% at least. Look at how perfectly Lance pedals.
2) But anyway if you haven't already seen the dolphin kick makes you emphasize your hip flexors at the top of the stroke and scraping the show at the bottom.

Cheers,
Nick Corcoran
PodiumBound.ca
the site doesnt say how they workishmael
May 13, 2002 5:34 AM
i also didnt read it could be somewhere in all that hype...but is it as simple as an independent freewheel on each side so that the pedal has to be pulled up instead of just pushing the other side...seems like a good idea, i cant imagine what else it could be..that price is rediculous though...id imagine that trying to ride standing would be more difficult and a waste of energy...also they seem impracticle to use them for anything other than training
re: Power CranksJon Billheimer
May 13, 2002 5:45 AM
Nick,

John Howard recommends them highly in most of the articles he writes. He also flogs them at his cycling camps.

How long at a time do you workout with them (per session), and how long did you train with them this year?
My use of themPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
May 13, 2002 8:42 AM
Jon,

I started using them May 1st. While I was still out of it post-crash my parents decided to get me some new toys since I can't go to Nationals this year and PowerCranks and a Polar HR monitor were the toys.

So since May 1st I have been riding them on rollers which I believe is even more difficult than on the road. I started around 10 mins and have been steadily progressing ever since. I've only ridder a stationary bike twice in 2 weeks but %&^& the difference it absolutely unbelievable. And although these cranks are very humbling if someone started using them after the last race of the season into their rest period so they could only ride 5-10 mins for a week or 2 they'd see astronomical gains like I have. Muscles I'd never thought would be sore like hip flexors are sore!

Cheers,
Nick Corcoran
PodiumBound.ca
My use of themPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
May 13, 2002 9:06 AM
Jon,

I started using them May 1st. While I was still out of it post-crash my parents decided to get me some new toys since I can't go to Nationals this year and PowerCranks and a Polar HR monitor were the toys.

So since May 1st I have been riding them on rollers which I believe is even more difficult than on the road. I started around 10 mins and have been steadily progressing ever since. I've only ridder a stationary bike twice in 2 weeks but %&^& the difference it absolutely unbelievable. And although these cranks are very humbling if someone started using them after the last race of the season into their rest period so they could only ride 5-10 mins for a week or 2 they'd see astronomical gains like I have. Muscles I'd never thought would be sore like hip flexors are sore!

Cheers,
Nick Corcoran
PodiumBound.ca
Astronomical GainsTJeanloz
May 13, 2002 9:17 AM
Nick, I have a question. You haven't even ridden on the road since you started using these things, and yet you've seen 'astronomical gains'? How do you measure progress, by muscle soreness? If so, I played basketball the other day, and I must say I had some astronomical gains.

I'm not saying they don't work. But it seems a little pre-mature to talk about how great they are before you have any 'real' (ie race) results from them. Again, I'm not saying they don't work, or aren't a great product, but I'm wondering on what basis you are evaluating them- aside from how you 'feel' on a stationary bike?
My gainsPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
May 13, 2002 9:28 AM
My astronimcal gains were measured on a stationary bike which I spun 110-130 RPM effortlessly for warmup in perfect circles. I've always hated leg speed stuff but the minute I got on everything clicked. And I can just feel my hip flexors getting so much stronger. I can run for hours now when I haven't run in 6 months.

Cheers,
Nick ( gone to do a workout )
PodiumBound.ca
only for training, USCF ILLEGALstr8dum1
May 13, 2002 8:26 AM
they are energy storage devices as defined by rules in USCF handbook.

a SRM or PowerTap is a MUCH better use of money for training!!
I don't think they are,TJeanloz
May 13, 2002 8:30 AM
Unless you know of a technical committee ruling that I don't, I don't believe they are illegal. There is no energy storage in the power crank device- actually, there is probably some energy lost in the mechanism. As recently as last year, I knew of a couple of pro's using them in early season races (granted, they were ACA races).

I don't see what about them would make them illegal.
Powercranks are worth the money over an SRM or Powertap IMHO...PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
May 13, 2002 8:34 AM
In my opinion a device that makes you have a perfect pedal stroke is far more worth it that a device that measures wattage. As long as you have a HR monitor why do you need watts? Sure theres some problems with it but most people ultimately correlate the watts to HR anyway. Of course all the power measurment devices such as SRM and Powertap say they are a million times better than a HR monitor but in all honesty this is propaganda in my opinion to sell the product. Like a lot of fitness products such as liquid creatine.

Cheers,
Nick
PodiumBound.ca
Ah, opinions,TJeanloz
May 13, 2002 8:43 AM
Opinions, they're what keep this board alive. Your opinion is that a device that trains your pedal stroke is worth more than an SRM (or similar). But what if, like me (sarcasm-but it's possible), you already have a perfect pedal stroke? What do the 'power cranks' do for you then? Nothing.

As far as wattage, it is a far more valuable piece of knowledge than simple HR. Heart rate merely tells you how fast your heart is going, which is effected by a number of variables that can't be measured. So one day, a HR of 170 might require a higher than average effort, and on another day, the same HR might require a lower than average effort. But wattage measures what your actual output is- which is really what's important in racing (unless you have races to see who can record the highest heartrate).

I realize, and applaud, that you couched everything as 'your opinion'. Just know for now that your opinion is contrary to the opinions of most of the scientific and coaching community. But maybe they'll come aound to your POV, one never knows.
AgreedPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
May 13, 2002 9:25 AM
I agree opinions drive the board so I know I'm going against what a lot of people believe or think which comes from scientific proof.

But my question is how many people on this board can come over here jump on a set of rollers with the PowerCranks and stand pedalling both legs? I don't think many people can, because most people pedal with their hamstrongs and quads as opposed to the smaller muscles such as hip flexors, glutes and calfs especially at the highest RPM's. I don't think I could yet unless I add resistance with both brakes in my biggest gear. Then I'd probly tip over!

No heart rate monitor and very few power measuring devices can measure how perfect your pedal stroke is. And if they do they just tell you its not good enough and your forced to do single leg stuff but over the top and the bottom momentum can just drive the cranks past these dead sports not solving your problems much. I know this from my experiences being told my pedalstroke was good but it always flying apart into a million pieces at any rpm over 160 rpm.

So due to these reasons and because I'm going to work out now its time for me to head out. I'd be happy to add my 2 cents to any further arguements you or anyone else have. Remember any training program is highly personalized just due to the fact no 2 people react the same way to a set or have the same strengths and weaknesses.

Cheers,
Nick Corcoran
PodiumBound.ca
Only meant for trainingPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
May 13, 2002 8:38 AM
These are only really meant for training. However, for me being a track rider I'd never be able to use them on the track racing so they do their job. And standing and pedalling as hard as it sounds theres a clip on the right side of the Powercranks.com website of a guy doing it. So it is possible and until you learn it would be a waste of energy but once you master it you'll be pedalling circles. Not many riders are capable of this.

Cheers,
Nick Corcoran
PodiumBound.ca