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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.
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.

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...
Jul 16, 2002 3:47 PM
mine was on a trainer from Performance