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LifeCycle numbers(6 posts)

LifeCycle numbers1EyedJack
Mar 30, 2001 9:09 AM

This'll probably sound pretty uninformed, but can anyone comment on the accuraacy of the numbers (esp. wattage) that are given by exercise bikes such as the LifeCycle? Anybody with experience monitoring output on a real bicycle as well as the LifeCycle or similar exercise bikes? Is there a difference in perceived effort?

I ask because I don't have any sort of measuring devices when I ride my bicycle, but my family just took delivery on an exercise bike. I want to get a better idea of how much work I'm putting in when I ride the "real" bicycle and where my fitness is at, so I'd like to know if those numbers on the EB's display are there just to sell the machine or if they're usually close to accurate. The bike is a LifeCycle 9100.

Thanks much!
Can comment on other "Life" equipment.Humma Hah
Apr 3, 2001 10:53 AM
Frankly, I've had trouble getting LifeCycles to work properly. Every time I try one (a 9500) it cycles the load on and off in some crazy manner.

The LifeStep stairclimbers I used were notoriously generous in their calibration. A pair of 9500HR stairclimbers I used put my calorie burn at 1200-1500 calories/hour, far above any other piece of equipment I have used. Then they changed computer on one unit and the same exertion dropped to about 700-800 calories/hour. I also felt their treadmills were a bit on the generous side.
agreeDuane Gran
Apr 5, 2001 4:29 AM
I too have noticed their measurements to be generous. As an example, I rode a lifecycle and was tooling along easily outputting 250 watts. My cycling club/team offers a fitness test, which among other things, includes determining wattage at a given heart rate on a well calibrated stationary bike. On this machine I have to fight and claw my way into the 350 watt ragne. Okay... everyone, stock snickering about my weak legs. ;)
agreeDaniel H.
Apr 7, 2001 7:42 AM
350 watt range, for how long? that sounds pretty good if you can maintain it for any amount of time. 350 watts for 1 hour, weak if you're a pro.
agreeDuane Gran
Apr 12, 2001 8:46 AM
The fitness test involved increasing the resistence every minute and recording the HR at each stage. It determines your lactate threshold and roughly your max wattage in an aerobic sense. I've heard that professionals can hold a 400-500 watt output for about an hour. I was only going for 20 minutes, and the 350 watt range only lasted for 5 minutes at best. My goal is to be at 400 by the end of this season... we'll see!

Pretty soon I'm going to get the Polar Power Kit, which estimates wattage output. I think this will be a handy training tool, but one has to be suspicious of the numbers. This stuff is most helpful when it comes to observing changes over a period of time.
Depends on the machine, but ...HH
Apr 12, 2001 10:48 AM
... I can hold 300-350 W for about a minute on a rowing machine, but that's largely an arm strength and efficiency issue, plus who-knows-what calibration accuracy.

I've seen much higher readings on certain stairclimbers and treadmills, but I suspect an overly-generous calibration.