THE T:ZERO BLOG
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First of all, I’ll start off by saying that there are many ways to skin a cat when it comes to what data you have showing on your bike computer screen, but if you are new to riding with power, or are looking to start riding with power, please read on for some learnings that I have had over the years of being in the sport from both riding with and without power at different stages.
Do I need to ride with power? Is it worth the expense? As per most, I asked these questions of myself about five years ago, and in my experiences since, the answer is yes.
What are the benefits? It’s my opinion that power is a number that can’t be cheated, no matter if you are riding into a block head wind, with a humming tail wind, rain, heat, cold, uphill, downhill; it doesn’t change anything……
200W IS STILL 200W in all these circumstances.
On the other hand, if you are riding to speed and/or heart rate, they are massively affected by all the elements, terrain and conditions listed above. If you’re going into a race with a pre perceived plan of “I’m going to ride 36k/hr tomorrow” and you come up against a 30k head wind, you are going to be looking down at your screen wondering what is wrong with you, push harder into the wind to get your speed up and burn match after match which is going to come back to haunt you on that run. You also need to remember that the conditions are the same for everyone racing when you are faced with these challenging situations, and those that race smart and stick to their plan will be the ones smiling at the end of the day. The time will be what it will be, and if you walk away from the race knowing that you nailed your plan, you will be happy.
Personally, I no longer have “current speed” on my bike computer, and I haven’t missed it. If anything, it has kept my head clearer in challenging conditions in both training and racing by just focusing on my power and cadence.
So, you’ve got the power metre, and now you are messing around with the screens on your bike computer trying to work out what you should be looking at and why. As mentioned above, there’s a heap of different options that you can be looking at, but I like to keep things as simple as possible. You can go through trial and error for what works for you but from my own experience, below is what I have on my screen and why.
LAP NP (Normalised Power for the Lap)
As I said in the very beginning, there is a plethora of options in your device to display on the screen, and you can obviously set up multiple screens if you want to see extra data like heart rate if that is key with your coach. For me, I’m not looking for much more outside of my screen above to be honest, and that’s in training and racing.
Should you have questions, I’m more than happy to chat further, feel free to reach out in the comments or send me a PM through messenger.
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