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What's the deal with watts?(5 posts)

What's the deal with watts?Gator
Jul 16, 2002 9:36 AM
I'm sure this has been posted a million times, but this is the last great mystery in the cycling venacular for me. I have no idea what the deal with this is. It's the power you output, I suppose? How is it measured? What does it mean? What's good? Do want to produce more power or use less power? Any help would be great.
horsepowerDougSloan
Jul 16, 2002 9:45 AM
It's nothing but a unit of power -- the ability to do work.

One horsepower equals about 746 watts.

Armstrong makes about 500 watts average in a timetrial. Sprinters make upwards of 1500 to 2000 watts in a sprint. We average peons make around 150-200 watts in long rides, and might top out around 1000 watts in a sprint.

On bike with a device to measure power, I've hit just under 1000 watts sprinting - this translates to about 36 mph on the road, no drafting.

No big deal. It's just an objective measurement of what work is really being done.

Doug
horsepowerkomatiite
Jul 16, 2002 1:21 PM
what are some computers that measure power output? is there one available with all the regular functions, PLUS power output?
measuring power outputOffTheBack
Jul 16, 2002 3:16 PM
It takes more than a computer, you need either a special crankset or a special rear hub that can measure the tourque you are applying as well as the speed. There are some systems on the market, but I don't know the manufacturers off hand. They are a bit pricey...
trainerDougSloan
Jul 16, 2002 3:47 PM
mine was on a trainer from Performance