Sunday, February 23, 2014


After my small testride last week I did 2x 20 min @ SS on Saturday evening on the Kurt. On Saturday afternoon I did the same but then outside. See below. First 300 watt average, second 289 average, which is OK.
On Sunday I wanted to do a nice endurance ride, but my saddle came loose after approx. 25 km. This really sucked because I lost some components of the seatpost/seat. On my way back I did find one piece back but I couldn't find a small screw. Now it becomes really bizar. When I took out the laundry from the washing machine I found the small screw which I lost!!! Now, that would mean that the screw must have fallen on my tire or wheel and was catapulled back into my backpockets!!! That is just really really bizar. But hey. You won't hear me complain.
When I came back I just took a shower and one hour later I stepped on the Kurt to do another hour so in total I did 110 TSS tpday. It is however a strange feeling doing two rides a day......
Next week a week with SST, SST and SST. And on Sunday my first trainingrace.

Friday, February 21, 2014

New Power(meter)

Hurah! Today I got my second Power2max powermeter: the new Type S. This Type is lighter and has a different battery placement compared to the normal version. It will be a nice eye-catcher on my new Dogma. 

I am a happy Power2max user and I would certainly recommend it. It has (automatic) temperature compensation (or do a manual zero offset if you want), easy installment, no hassle with changing a battery, has a very competitive price and most of all it does accurately what it must do: that is measure power. They also have a very good customer service: always quick in responding! Kudos to them!

I will post a nice picture when properly installed in the Dogma.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Two relevant markers

Today was a good day to do a first test on my road bike. That is the FP7. I wanted to get an estimate of my current power at VO2max (determined by a 5 minute test) and my FTP (determined by a 20 minute test). I have a reference from last year as a first test on the road. In 2013 I did a similar protocol. That is only difference was that I also did a 1 minute all out before doing the 5 min VO2max and the 20 minute FTP. That was at a Powerclinic with Hunter Allen here in the Netherlands. That was end of March. In that winter I did a lot of SST and FTP work. Well my result at that time was 344 watts for the 5 minute test and 318 watts for the 20 minute FTP test. A bit on the circumstances: there was someone riding 30 meters before me that time and I did not want to let go of his pace. Behind me there were also people and I did not want to be overtaken by there was a bit of competitive edge in it.
I did a nice warmup and started the 5 minute test. Normally to determine your power at VO2max you do this in a laboratory. However, the 5 minute test is a good proxy (just read some on the Facebook page of Andy Coggan). Below you can see the graph:
As you can see I started off a bit too enthusiastic for the first 3 minutes, those went at an average of 400watt. Last two minutes I kind off collapsed ;).  I averaged 370 watts, but with better pacing I would have done 380watts. What you can't see in this graph is some curves that came up on the end which brought the average down from 378 before the curves to 370. But anyway. It is OK for now. Also given that I weigh 2 kilo's less than a year ago. If I use the ACSM formula to estimate is:
(370x 10.8)/68 + 7 = 66 ml/min/kg. For what it's worth. Golden Cheetah gave 68.
Then I had a short break to start the FTP 20 minute test. I have to say. It did not go that well. Below you see the graph:
I averaged 306 watts, which was not quite what I was aiming for. I wanted to do 315. So a bit of a dissapointment, especially also since I suffered (and just couldn't get into a good cadence). Now that's not bad, but the feeling was just not OK. If I compare it to the first road test in 2013 my heart rate went up much quicker now. OK, I can come up with a lot of reasons why I did worse than a year ago and some are valid, but I am not gonna. It;s not the powermeter. It was zero-ed properly and yes the offset at start was -1017 and after 2 minutes -1015 which could give me just a few extra watts. Below the two intervals highlighted:
My simple conclusions for now:
* My FTP on the Kurt is approximately 5 watt higher than on the road
* My power at Vo2max at the moment is not that bad (5.5 watt/kg) although I did not specifically train for it. Actually I did not train for it because of my cough. I can't explain it given my training type
* My FTP is not very good at the moment
* The ratio of my FTP / power at Vo2max is 78%. This is not too much and quite low. This should go to at least 83% (the best ratio I measured last year). A typical range is 75% to 90% for very fit riders (source Alex Cycle Blog).
So in other terms the ceiling is enough for now, but I need to get the floor higher. Does that make sense? At it's true you know. My training until now did not have a lot of longer SST / FTP in it. I just started it. So....everything still goes according to plan............let's see if I can make some improvement Andy Coggan is writing about currently with his 50 minute SST rides.....

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Some interval work back

I managed to do 4 workouts last week. 3 on the Kurt and one endurance ride outside.

In the three Kurt rides I focused on intervals slightly above 320 watts (107% FTP) for 6 minutes and 3 minutes in between. Last weeks or better months I did not do any interval work because of my cough, but last week I felt I had to give it a try again.

The first two workouts did not go that great to be honest. But practice makes perfect and the last workout I could feel some more strength in the legs and body to do the workouts properly. It gave a nice amount of work above FTP in my 1 hour workouts.

This week I am going for some sustained steady level SST / FTP work again, but I hope to do them outside.

In the table you can see the average watts per interval and the average HR.


Every interval my average HR goes up with approximately 3 beats per minute....

I have also ordered my Rotor Type S power2max and in an e-mail I got the reply that it will be sent this week. Should be fun......

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Social Power

Given some recent developments in terms of team sponsorships of other power meter brands than SRM / Quarq as a way to spend marketing budgets I was interested to see how power meter companies actually perform / what they are doing from a social media perspective. Also, I wanted to see some development in information on Search Volume from Google which could (should) give a view on popularity.
I am not a social media expert but the advantages companies can benefit from are numerous: think of broadening the company / brand exposure / visibility at lower cost than traditional marketing, targeting new customers. Also because there can be a communication more directly back and forth this can also improve customer service and enables companies to gain new information about their customers. Also because direct feedback is possible companies can also quite quickly response to negative publications. The last part is also a threat of course because everyone is ‘free’ to post whatever they want and sometimes damage control just is not enough / too late or completely inappropriate.
Questions w.r.t. the power meter brands I had were like, which brands are active on social media, what is the sentiment around those brands, how many are followed, liked, what is the development, how much is being talked about these brands and (from a different order) how about search volumes for these brands and are the companies doing some sort of webcare and if yes, where and in what degree?
This was –as appeared later- a bit of an ambitious starting point. To get some of these insights I dug into the internet to find some free social media analytics tools. To be honest, I was kind of disappointed in the quality, but maybe my expectations were too high. Also to get a trial version of some package you have to first survive marketing people before you can get your hands on it. So, I had to do it with things I could dig up and in this respect is a much narrower view. And Google only gives some sort of popularity Index, so I had to do it with that in terms of Search analysis. Anyway, here goes.
My starting list of brands was: SRM, Powertap, Stages, Power2max, Ibike, Rotor, Garmin Vector, Quarq (SRAM), Look Polar Keo Power, Pioneer and  Infocrank (very new). I dare to say you have 99.9% of the power meter market.
The social media I looked at were Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Youtube, a tiny bit on social pictures/blogs and Search (Google). I did not look at social media from a specific weblog (, Wordpress, Blogspot, etc.), perspective or any other social platform perspective. For that you just simply have to have better data extraction- and analysis tools.
On Facebook you can find these brands except for Look (Polar) Keo Power, Rotor Power and Garmin Vector specifically. Polar, Look (Look Cycle) and Garmin have several Facebook accounts for basically all of their products, but they do not to have a separate account for their power meter product. Garmin Vector does have a Facebook usergroup but that’s not directed by Garmin itself I think. Rotor also has a general account as said (Rotor Bike Components).
From the other brands Power2max had several Facebook accounts (North America, South Africa, Greater China and Asia). Remarkably in the continent of origin (Europe) they do not have a Facebook page.
I would have liked to see an overview of number of posts these companies did overtime, how many likes they got from each post, how many times these posts were shared, to how many these posts were exposed, but as said I couldn’t find a proper tool which did that.
The development of the number of likes I got from a tool called Wildfire. It has a free monitor of Twitter followers and Facebook likes. Below you see the overview since July 2013.


SRM is twice as big in terms of likes than the second competitor, which is interestingly Power2max Greater China. Power2max in this respect recognizes the potential in this market. As relatively newcomer Stages already is in the third place and has already beaten an established brand (in terms of years on the market and sales) Powertap. Quarq is behind Powertap. Pioneer –which is not shown here has an American Facebook account: Pioneer Cycle Sports USA which has 142 likes.
Rotor Bike Components has 18.5K likes, Polar has 61K likes, Look Cycle 84K. As said Garmin has several accounts with the biggest 214K likes.
To put some things into perspective w.r.t bicycle components: Campagnolo has 72K likes, Shimano 127K and SRAM 125K.
Power2max Asia is on Google+ with 5 followers, StagesCycling with 1 follower, SRM Training System with 3 followers, I Bike with 7 followers, Powertap 5 followers (also Cycleops), Verve Cycling 3 followers. Garmin and Polar/Look are also present, but again not specifically for Vector / Look Keo Power pedals. You can also find Pioneer (Cyclepioneer), but in general you can say this does not seem like the hotspot for now.
Again I used the Wildfire site to get some info. Below you see Twitter posts (from the companies themselves) from July 2013 onwards.

Again SRM has most followers and is 2 times bigger than the next ‘competitor’, in this case Quarq. Power2max is missing in this overview when compared to its place on the Facebook ‘ranking’.
Look (@Velolook) has 2.4K tweets and 5400 followers. Garmin has 52.9K followers and 9.7K tweets and Rotor (@Rotor_bike) 5.9K followers and 4K tweets. As said not specifically for the power meter products.
Below you can see the activity in terms of number of tweets for other brands (displayed in how thick the bar is) and type of tweets (Source:

SRM, Quarq,Stages and Power2max predominantly retweet. These tweets of course focus on a lot of positive things others have written: spread the good news! Ibike has a distinct pattern w.r.t. using a lot of links (bitly and in their tweets. Also they have a lot of plain tweets. The nature of Twitter is also shown here: not much of a picture medium of course.

After Google Youtube is the biggest search engine in the world. Power2max has a Youtube account with 47 ‘subscribers’,13K views. Stages Cycling has 102 subscribers with already 11K views. SRM Training System does not seem to be present. Quarq Technology  has 137 subscribers and 55K views. Powertap (Cycleopspowercycling) is in the lead in this channel with 1931 subscribers and 1.1mln views. There is one remark to those numbers. It also encompasses all the indoor activities and not exclusively the power meter Powertap. Pioneer is also on Youtube with CyclePioneer and has 57 subscribers and 20K views.
Garmin is on Youtube with Garminblog (a total Garmin account) and they have some specific videos for Vector. Those videos have been viewed 77K times.  Look has Lookcycletv with 1K subscribers and 870K views, but Look Keo Power related videos have been viewed about 14K times. I found Velocompibike to have Ibike videos with 160 subscribers and 243K views.
Again if I had the tooling to count comments, likes, dislikes and the video watch time I would do it.

Pictures & Blog/forums
For some reason I did not quickly find my way on Instagram. I should get an account first to browse a bot. On Pinterest I found SRM (8 likes, 13 pins), Stages (4 likes, 37 pins), Ibike (although also for their other products, 1 like, 8 pins) on Pinterest with an account. Garmin 18 likes, 495 pins (1.1K following). I couldn’t find Look/Polar however.

Of the brands considered I did find interaction with users on companies own blogs (e.g., Garmin), but also companies interacting on forums. A good example is the wattage group where you can find answers, remarks, etc. from the Quarq company founder and people from Power2max. I have also seen a ‘Official power2max support thread’ on Slowtwitch. Stages also put remarks on the DC Rainmaker site. I actually also found a Strava Group for Power2max South Africa with…..3 members…..
(Google) Search
In order to get a view on popularity of search for these brands I used Google Trends. To start I used the term ‘cycling power meter’, ‘bike power meter’ for the product category, but basically these numbers are rather similar. Below you see the graph for this category search term since 2012:

As you can see the category in all is growing in terms of search. This is not a strange thing given more brands, lower prices, more media attention, etc.
To level every power meter search task I used the brand name + power + meter as search terms (except for Powertap, Garmin Vector and Power2max). That’s my starting point and I will after that give the drawback and the difficulty using different terms. The results since 2012 are depicted below: 

I have to admit it is a bit of a spaghetti graph. As you can see Powertap is quite consistently biggest of all. What’s also apparent is that the market leader SRM is quite low in popularity compared to the others. Power2max is coming up since 2012 while you see popularity for Garmin Vector and especially Stages bursting half 2013 until now.

The result interpretation is a bit more difficult in a sense that if you use another search term you will get a different result and sometimes not with the intent of finding the respective brand. If you search for example for Powertap power meter you won’t even get weekly results in Google Trends because the frequency for that search is too low. As an example I have also shown below the result differences between SRM power, SRM power meter and Powertap/Powertap power. I have not shown solely SRM because you get really big numbers and there seems to be a strong seasonal pattern in it. If you search for SRM on the first result page you get a printer company and Marketing course, so SRM in itself has more references. For Powertap you do get  only Powertap power meter related results so I tend to say that this search term is quite the good general one for Powertap. So yes, SRM might be biggest for the brands followed by Powertap, but I cannot give more accurate results for those explicitly searching for the SRM power meter.
So in all SRM and Powertap are probably most popular. There is a strong growth in search popularity for the Stages power meter. Apart from Garmin Vector and to a lesser extent Power2max search popularity seems rather stable (of not trending slightly downward for some brands) last two years.


In terms of volume it is quite clear who is the biggest: the one with the biggest brand heritage SRM. Stages Cycling is however –considering the time there have been there- a remarkable player w.r.t. social media; they do seem to take it very seriously. It’s interesting because end of the day I was browsing on their internet site and they state: :”We know that outside opinions of, and experiences with, a stages power meter can carry greater weight than our own testimonials’’.
I do wonder however why a company like Garmin does not have a separate social media platforms account for such a distinct product category. It could be a great opportunity to interact with people, get some more platform for their rider’s success (let it come out more than on the ‘total’ Garmin accounts), etc.
In all I am not too disappointed in social media presence of Power meter companies and yes some do take it more seriously than others. In my humble opinion you cannot go without presence because (future) owners are critical and they will look / browse on the internet before (and after) they make their purchase. I have never seen a number on it, but I might estimate that nowadays at least 80% of people buying one has oriented themselves first on the internet and that in the decision they eventually made the pros and cons on all those media did weigh up a lot. A lot more than some cycling magazine ad.
If someone does have a good sight with the right tooling feel free to give some insights/remarks. Maybe we can both shed a light on a lot of unanswered questions.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Rides ''first half'' 2014

Today was a very windy day. I did a 3 hour ride, trying to keep the lactate away and that went quite well. 85km, guestimated NP 200W and 133 TSS.
Below you can see my races/rides until Les Trois Ballons. Maybe I need to adjust / put an extra race in here and there but this is 95%. After Les Trois Ballons I go on holiday (and hope to take the bike with me). I still have to make the planning after my holiday but that's still a looong time to go.

There is one thing and that is that I have to again adjust one of my goals w.r.t. a time trial. The time trial will not take place so my goal is now to finish first 5 on the BWF championship. Maybe not very ambitious, considering 17 years ago I was district champion  KNWU in a category higher (amateurs), but that's 17 years ago. What's the difference then with 17 years ago? To be precise 2 kids, no sleep  at night, no rest during the days (work or kids) and 17 years........

*comment 25 February. Trois Ballons is on the 14th instead of the 7th. Thanks Richard ;)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Almost another week

Last week I started with steady state efforts, because with my cough it doesn't work to do hard intervals with deep/faster breathing. Those intervals were done around 270-280 watts (around 90% FTP). This week I wanted to do them at a bit higher intensity (around 280-290 watts).

This went quite OK actually. On Monday I did the 50 minutes with 285 watts on average with an average cadence of 100. My HR data is corrupt, I need to get a new battery for my Garmin Strap I think. On Wednesday I wanted to do the same, but the battery of my Garmin was empty and the wife took the computer for a course so I couldn't use Trainerroad. Nice then. I then did the training by feel, and I guess my cadence was around 100-110 in one gear lighter. So probably I did not do the 280-290 range, but 260-270.

Today I wanted to do a FTP effort for 40 minutes. That went quite OK, but the last 5 minutes I really overcooked. It was really hot so I stopped after 35 minutes, but the feeling was OK. Not good, not bad, but OK. I spinned for 5 minutes to end with a 5 minute 320 watt effort, which actually felt quite good. You can see the figure below. As you can see HR data is completely corrupt.

Tomorrow (if the weather is good) its the weekend endurance ride again. Hope to do at least 90km (let say ride for 3 hours) If the weather is good maybe I am also going to do a 20 minute test in my ride. But, we'll see.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

OT (but not quite): for Sale

For sale:

* Campagnolo veloce crankset compact 50/34
Used in three rides. From the bikeshop in Bourg D'Oisans (bought it there) to the camping, from the camping for a trainingride and the third ride was the Marmotte. After that de-installed and not used anymore. Was installed on a Pinarello FP7

Price: 90 euro excl. Shipment THIS ITEM IS SOLD

* FSA Gossamer crankset compact 50/34 
Used in 4 rides by my dad (Mont Ventoux). After those 4 rides never used anymore.
Was installed on a Colnago Dream

Price: 70 euro  excl. Shipment 

Is this off topic? Not quite. I use the money to buy a Power2max Type S spider. 

If interested just e-mail me

Saturday, February 1, 2014

It seemed like a good idea

It seemed like a good idea to do some more SST work because harder work at the moment is not working (long time cough / breathing problem). So I did two workouts each 1 hour with a 10 minute warmup. After the warmup I rode at 274 watt on average for the next 50 minutes (approx IF 0.9, given my current FTP of 300). I tried to maintain a high cadence -which above expectation- went quite well. These two workput had identical numbers. 274 watt on average, average HR of 151 and an average cadence of 98.
I wanted to ride 4 times this week but unfortunately I could manage it. I was just too tired. Normally I do my endurance ride at the weekend but because of the rain and because of the fact that I cannot ride tomorrow (good weather, but I will be going to the World Championship cyclo-X in Hoogerheide) I tried to do a longer ride on the Kurt. Since I wanted to do work in the SST range I chose Sufferfest ISLAGIATT. For those who do not know what this stands for: It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time. Well. Those of you who know Sufferfest, know that these workouts can be classified as challenging at least. I looked at the profile of the ride, but I did feel I could fit in my current flow of riding at SST. The workout is 1.56h and with an IF of 0.9 (TSS 160) it is certainly a nice one. It's about riding slightly above SST in the intervals (roughly 4) and it further contains over and under FTP. Anyway, I felt I was worth doing.
I must say. It went quite well. I tried to have cadence high in the intervals (around 95-100) and when it I had to go above treshold I changed to a smaller cog behind.

With an average cadence in total of 92 and average HR of 144 and the watts (average 252 / NP 270)  most importantly I can be quite happy. Two hours with an NP of 270. For Trois Ballons I am aiming to do approximately the same in the climbs, but then 4 hours instead of 2 (and slightly higher average watts for those 4 hours). Well, a lot of work to do until then.
Next week I am going to try to 2 (preferably 3) similar steady state workouts, but then at slightly higher wattage (in the 280-290 watt range), next to my weekend endurance ride. O yes, I have also made my concept race calendar. I will post that coming week as well.