Indoor Cycle Training
What bike do you use when you can’t train on the road? Wattbike!!
I started using Wattbikes for cycle training a couple years ago and I love it! And I’m not alone. Although many amateurs use the device, Wattbikes are becoming the indoor trainer of choice for elite cyclists too. There are many good reasons for this. Following are just a few.
Saddle and handle bar positions are easily adjustable for individual user dimensions and the bikes are universal. They can accommodate mountain cleats, road bike cleats and non-cleated shoes.
Not only is the Wattbike designed to mimic the feel of the road, it is computerized and offers several key data points for measuring your training output during each session: power, speed, distance, heart rate, cadence, time, and the data is presented in real time and as an overall average. The actual speed is displayed at any given moment as well as the average speed overall.
Improves Pedal Stroke
One unique feature is the Polar view which displays a graphic representation of your pedaling technique. Not just how much each leg is working but where in the pedal stroke each leg is working the most: down stroke, up stroke, the entire revolution or what.
Variable Data Displays
The computer is also capable of displaying data in several formats depending on what you’re monitoring. If you’re interested in distance, set the display to show what distance you’re traveling by the meter.
The computer can even show how many minutes you’ll take to travel one kilometre at your present rate of speed.
Forty different parameters are measured and recorded while you train. If they made bike computers to record the same amount of data, it would probably cost more than the Wattbike! A power meter alone is half the price.
But that’s not all.
Tests And Training Programs
The Wattbike onboard computer offers training programs to guide your workouts and several tests to gauge your progress. The 3 minute test calculates maximum minute power (MMP) and maximum heart rate (MHR). The 20 minute test helps calculate your functional threshold power (FTP). Other tests are: 6 seconds, 30 seconds, 10 minute and more.
Interfaces With Online Data Portals
Obviously, no one trains with a pad and pencil in hand to take down data, but not to worry.
With Bluetooth technology and a smart phone you can collect all your data and save it to your favorite online data base. There are several, and they are free.
I’m using the Polar H7 heart rate monitor and two different apps on my phone: The Wattbike App and Polar Beat App (both free). I use them simultaneously. The Wattbike App sends data to the Wattbike Hub (and Strava) and Polar Beat sends data to Polar Flow. Data transfer happens automatically. Set it up once and presto, data saved!
The best news is you don’t have to buy a Wattbike for home use. Many gyms offer Wattbikes now and the best part is the gym worries about the maintenance. All you need do is show up and train.
In Durban, WattWorx conducts training sessions using only Wattbikes. Contact details can be obtained on their website.
The list of Virgin Active Gyms that have Wattbikes is here. If your Virgin Active isn’t on the list, contact your clubs manager and request they get one.
My gym, La Lucia Virgin Active, maintains a Wattbike studio with nine bikes. No classes, Just bikes in a separate space with TV screens and fans. Train when you like. That’s how popular Wattbikes are.
Endless Online Tutorials
One last thing. Wattbike has countless online instructions and tutorials. Google your question. They have an answer. There’s no end to the information they provide.