RoadBikeReview.com's Forum Archives - General


Archive Home >> General(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 )


Anyone out there use PowerCranks?(9 posts)

Anyone out there use PowerCranks?maurizio
Jan 8, 2004 9:52 AM
Anyone out there use powercranks? I do one-legged drills on the trainer and they wipe me out after one-minute intervals.
Imagine how hard one would work if that were the case for an entire ride...sheesh.
Comments on them, good or bad?
see pezcyclingnews.comSpunout
Jan 8, 2004 9:57 AM
i think the jury is out on that, not sure. If I had to race one legged, then I would train one legged.

But I don't.
really, how could they be bad?wilsonc
Jan 8, 2004 10:26 AM
I just picked up a set and started using them this week. All I can say is that they are really hard. Yesterday I maxed out doing a total of 7.5 minutes, 2.5 minutes at a time. any longer than 2.5 minutes and it either hurt too badly, or I couldnt keep it going. The muscles that I find the powercranks really work are, in decending order, the hip flexors, anterior tibialis, quads, hams, and glutes.... thats almost all of the leg muscles.

Anyway, back to my questions, how could they be bad? They are a training tool, different than anything else out there, and different is how you get muscle adaptation. It also makes it blatantly obvious where the flat spots in your pedal stroke are. They just take a lot of concentration for me right now to keep the timing correct, as well as keep my legs moving.

wilson
How could they be bad?asgelle
Jan 8, 2004 10:38 AM
They could be bad if they have you spend time developing muscles that will not benefit you when pedaling standard cranks while you could have been using that training time more effectively by training the muscles/metabolic pathways that will increase performance.
really, how could they be bad?wilsonc
Jan 8, 2004 11:39 AM
I just picked up a set and started using them this week. All I can say is that they are really hard. Yesterday I maxed out doing a total of 7.5 minutes, 2.5 minutes at a time. any longer than 2.5 minutes and it either hurt too badly, or I couldnt keep it going. The muscles that I find the powercranks really work are, in decending order, the hip flexors, anterior tibialis, quads, hams, and glutes.... thats almost all of the leg muscles.

Anyway, back to my questions, how could they be bad? They are a training tool, different than anything else out there, and different is how you get muscle adaptation. It also makes it blatantly obvious where the flat spots in your pedal stroke are. They just take a lot of concentration for me right now to keep the timing correct, as well as keep my legs moving.

wilson
really, how could they be bad?Jon Billheimer
Jan 8, 2004 1:14 PM
One question I've had since reading their site a year or so ago is what is the net metabolic advantage of training with the power cranks? Obviously the hip flexors are trained to take up more of the pedalling workload, with the quads and hamstrings theoretically doing less of the work. So how does all this translate into greater cycling economy? Presumably the workload and consequent caloric expenditure is the same to move a bicycle down the road regardless of the distribution of the work to the various muscle groups.

I know what the hypothetical claims are, and I also realize that the company claims that a number of pros use them in their training. Yet I know of no one in the pro peloton who enjoys a huge advantage over anyone else, otherwise the guys training with them would be riding away from everyone else during races, and this generally isn't happening.

It would be interesting if you could keep track of your sustainable power output and comparative racing advantage over the season, and keep us all posted with the results.
No way to measure power, butwilsonc
Jan 8, 2004 2:12 PM
I race in triathlons, and I generally do several of the same races year after year. We'll see if there is a large improvement in cycling and/or running as they claim. Before I go on, I am curious as to whether the powercranks can live up to the hype... that is why i'm trying them. For argument's sake, here's a response:

As for muscle work loads, who is to say that the quads and hams do less work. What if they do the same amount of work, but now add in the advantage hip flexors. In addition to increasing the recruitment of the hip flexors, you are probably going to work against yourself less by learning independent pedal strokes on the powercranks. I woudl also argue that the workload (and caloric expenditure) would decrease if your pedal stroke is more efficient.

There are a few pros using these, but I think at that level, it would be hard to just ride away from anyone in the pack. The level of difference between the different competitors just isnt as extreme as there are in the amaetur ranks.... they have less room for improvement. Still any improvement is significant at their levels.

wilson
No way to measure power, butJon Billheimer
Jan 8, 2004 6:19 PM
It follows that if your pedal stroke becomes more efficient, then speed and/or power at any given fraction of your total aerobic capacity will be greater. If, however, the total metabolic workload is simply redistributed among the muscle groups there would be no performance advantage. And that's my specific question.

According to the suppositions given by the inventor of the power cranks they should--theoretically--create a significant enough advantage for a competitive cyclist to considerably outperform his peers. However, no such real world results seem to have occured.

One way you could track your progress would be to perform periodic time trials on your trainer or rollers at a pegged heart rate. If, over time, and independent of any other training variables, your speed or distance improves then you could attribute that to a real improvement in cycling economy due to the power cranks. However, I remain skeptical. I'd like to see some data.
No way to measure power, butbollard
Jan 9, 2004 6:53 AM
Check this website out it is UK pro John Ibbotson's experiences with the powercranks http://www.ibboworld.com/25972.html