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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 3:34 pm 
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Location: South Carolina
I do think training with powermeters and racing with them have caused some people not to actually "race" their bikes. Example: Guy has been training and knows that his LT is somewhere around 320 watts. He is so set on this number and dialed in that he can repeatedly, while training, hit this number. He gets into a race situation though and goes in the break...Thing is, in the first part of the break, that number is higher than he is used to seeing and he starts thinking to himself that he cannot hold the higher power numbers he is seeing, in which case he dials it back and comes out of the break, or just gets dropped because he thinks he cannot go harder.
Over simplified I know, but this is a scenario.
I know myself in a race recently that I was hitting numbers on a climb that I have never hit on my own training, but if I was strictly racing by the powermeter, and not what my competition was doing, I would have not been able to stay with the surges.
I think you should have your display set to show you a training day data and a race day data. Race day data is MPH, time and distance.

Just my $.02

HUMP

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Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 3:34 pm 


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:00 pm 
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HUMP DIESEL wrote:
I know myself in a race recently that I was hitting numbers on a climb that I have never hit on my own training, but if I was strictly racing by the powermeter, and not what my competition was doing, I would have not been able to stay with the surges.


I think this is the key point: if you want to win (or finish as well as possible) you CAN'T strictly race by the numbers. You go when the rest go, if you can go. I have my computer on during races, but I rarely ever look at it. I've learned by looking down when things get rough, I just end up scaring myself and thinking, "I can't do this." Ignorance is bliss.

If I'm off solo or in a tt, I might try to gauge my effort by looking at the data, but I could do this with HR, as well, because those efforts are long and drawn out. I agree with the statements made by KWalker and others that those who think power data should be banned probably don't race much.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:18 pm 
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Boysa, others: similar to the "let's not lop the 'doubters' with the 'haters' comment, can y'all not lop the "remove head units" persons with the "power data" suggestions?
They're different, and as stated clearly before: it won't make a damn difference in the race quality, but it does assuage any thoughts about racing-by-numbers. This has been covered very clearly each time this argument has come up, but each time the clear differentiation suggested is being ignored.

Remove the ability to read data live (but still record data, for post-race analysis). It's really that simple.
Karsten/Nathan/other's argument: "It doesn't matter! You don't race by numbers. You must not race. I do. I am superior."
Reply: "Ok, I believe you. So what difference does it make? Why not remove the visibility of the head unit - exactly what they do on the track - and it keeps your argument sound, it battles the people who point to the possibility of racing-by-numbers, it's a win-win for everyone involved. You still get your power data from the race. You say it doesn't get looked at during the race, so it makes no difference."

The Pro racers really don't need data during the race, so just have the headunits stashed away somewhere to record the data. Look at it after the race.
Done.
Do they need GPS? Nope. The course is closed, they know where to go.
Do they need speed data? Nope. Go with the peloton, attack, or not. Done. (Actually, this might make TTs more interesting too... but maybe a TT specialist would chime in here)
Do they need HR data? Nope. Just like power, the race itself determines performance.
So what's left? They don't need power data, according to Karsten/Nathan/others.

Get rid of the visibility of the headunits.

Funnily enough, on a second thought on the HR aspect of it:
Person: "But a racer could need the HR data to see if anything wierd is happening with their body! What if their HR shoots up suddenly or drops too low and they go into a cardiac issue during the race?!?!"
Reply: "Well, umm... yeah, if you can't tell that your body is having issues and need a computer to tell you that's one thing. If your heart has issues, the hope is that it has been something some doctors have taken a look at (shout out to jvanv8! heal up man!).... and if you stop suddenly and keel over? That might be dope. Pun intended. But we got rid of doping, right?"

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:56 pm 
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If riders have the course profile printed on their bars/stem I'm sure they're using the head units for time and distance at least.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:01 pm 
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Distance maybe, but probably not time. Time would be a result of the avg speed of the peloton or if they're on the attack or whatever else. It's variable, too variable to have on a course profile. Even the race handbooks (that are provided to soigneurs/press/teams) have charts that offer variations of time possibilities based on the peloton's progress. The range between the columns can sometimes vary by a half hour to an hour, or be down to 15 minutes variable, depending on the course. Distance would be a constant however, as you point out.

Having a super small LCD screen displaying distance covered would be interesting. It could be standard issue (or whatever) and small enough to barely make a dent in the appearance or aero qualities of the brand. Doesn't need additional features or buttons. Just a start/stop/reset function and a method of pairing the unit to the data recorder (like a pin hole button on the back, since this would be done pre or post race). Magnets are already being built into wheels either in the spoke or the rim, and a receiver can be integrated into the fork. Protocol could be open-standard, such as ANT+. Hmmm....

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:24 pm 
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Jesus Prend, drop it already. I don't like watching Sky-style racing, but my first impulse isn't to ban the things we believe are making it possible. The sport evolves as it always has and always will. Enough with the cries for a Merckx category.

The Vuelta needs to hurry up and start already so we can get out of this terrible mire and back to complaining about aero road helmets and making fun of Euskaltel.


Last edited by AGW on Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:31 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:24 pm 
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I'm not sure if it has been mentioned yet, but the no head units on the track is a safety precaution first and foremost. The fact that it does make racing not about numbers is just a result of that. That said I am all for a similar rule on the road.

Sometimes when I'm watching a road race and in the last kilometers there are several crashes, I wonder to myself how many of those crashes were caused by a leadout-man briefly glancing at his computer to see how fast they are going, or a hopeful breakaway rider checking to see how many kilometers are left before he should make a jump for it. Both those situations don't require a rider to glance at a computer (all-out efforts don't need a gauge, and there are distance markers on the road), and in fact in those situations they are a distraction, and ultimately not safe. When riders are going that fast on an open road (albeit closed to traffic during the race), one can cause a crash from less than a second of inattention. Sure climbs they are going much slower, and in TT's there is only one rider, but that still does not prevent computers being a distraction from riding on the road where there are still spectators, cliffs, rocks, road furniture, and other road hazards.

That's why on the track, where you cannot brake or stop pedaling, having a distraction like a computer to take the rider's senses away from their surroundings is a big safety concern. Even in amateur track races, there seems to be less computer usage, and coupled with the fairly strict etiquette (which basically instills the habits of riding safely), there are less crashes. And in beginner races where there is less experience, the habits of safe riding are demonstrated in rare occurrences of crashes. Although this is digressing a bit from 'pro discussion', we all have to remember pros were amateurs at one point. Maybe they have forgotten what it's like to ride without a computer.

The fact that computers make bike racing less exciting is not the main concern. Safety is the main concern. I'm just afraid that there might not be a rule change until something tragic happens and it is done reactively, instead of preemptively.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:35 pm 
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I highly doubt they are crashing because of a computer. Watching most crash replays often demonstrates poor positioning and/or reactions to events at speed. Good point noting that the track matter is a safety reason.

I see computers as being useful when they report temperature, speed, elapsed time, and elevation. In many cases time is helpful in a race simply to alert a rider not to run dangerously low on food or hydration. Its not a tell all metric of any sort, but its definitely good to know. Speed kind of works the same way- neither helpful nor detrimental in and of itself. Power, personally speaking, can really depend. In a TT it can help if the course is pan flat with no turns, hills, or road furniture. On a road stage it doesn't matter- if a guy is going faster you either increase your pace or you don't. If someone races by numbers and loses out then that's their fault, but in most cases where that happens it doesn't contribute if you can't follow other's numbers or vice versa. Its really moot. I see the use in having it simple because its on most head units and is benevolent. I don't see a reason to redesign head units around any of this. IMO the absence of radios plays a bigger role than having a detailed computer, but when radios have been absent recently it hasn't made racing any more exciting.

People forget that this is what pros do. They ride 25+ hours a week and have raced hundreds or thousands of stages. Its not too hard to figure a lot of things out after a while such as your perceived exertion, pacing, RPE, etc. Having the balls to attack, counter, bridge, is a matter of confidence, fitness, and tactics more than anything.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:45 pm 
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AGW wrote:
Enough with the cries for a Merckx category.


That's a pretty big leap of judgement there. If I were to leap in the opposite direction, can I ask for motors? How about some balance, which is what I'm aiming for?

How about "enough with the reduction of another person's reasoning into an extreme stance?"

This is hardly a cry for a Merckx category. I like carbon. I like most tech. The data is still useful. It's just minor aspects.
A lot has changed in racing technology since Merckx was around, and I'd like to see most of it continue. It helps the industry grow. Things have vastly improved since the Cannibal raced, and I'd like to keep those changes in there.

That said or written, a suggested adjustment to aides during sanctioned races does not suddenly throw us back decades.

We're at a lull in the Pro racing calendar, obviously.

KWalker wrote:
I see computers as being useful when they report temperature, speed, elapsed time, and elevation. In many cases time is helpful in a race simply to alert a rider not to run dangerously low on food or hydration. Its not a tell all metric of any sort, but its definitely good to know. Speed kind of works the same way- neither helpful nor detrimental in and of itself. Power, personally speaking, can really depend. In a TT it can help if the course is pan flat with no turns, hills, or road furniture. On a road stage it doesn't matter- if a guy is going faster you either increase your pace or you don't. If someone races by numbers and loses out then that's their fault, but in most cases where that happens it doesn't contribute if you can't follow other's numbers or vice versa. Its really moot. I see the use in having it simple because its on most head units and is benevolent. I don't see a reason to redesign head units around any of this. IMO the absence of radios plays a bigger role than having a detailed computer, but when radios have been absent recently it hasn't made racing any more exciting.


Okay, so time & distance. Small LCD. Done. Froome won't bonk because he can see that it's been 30 minutes since he last ate something. He can get fined again, everyone is happy and people start yelling at each other over insignificant things again, forums stay busy with people hitting reload so they can yell at each other on the internet over their passion for something they're not capable of doing themselves, advertisers stay happy, admins keep up the moderating, we all win.
Everything else you stated above pretty much follows the line of reasoning posted earlier... So... thank you. :)

KWalker wrote:
People forget that this is what pros do. They ride 25+ hours a week and have raced hundreds or thousands of stages. Its not too hard to figure a lot of things out after a while such as your perceived exertion, pacing, RPE, etc. Having the balls to attack, counter, bridge, is a matter of confidence, fitness, and tactics more than anything.


Again: haven't forgotten. Your argument is well heard, we got it. But, again, removing the headunit makes no difference per your argument.

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Last edited by prendrefeu on Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:54 pm 
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OK this is what the DS says over the radio to his star rider when he's in the break. Forget the power meter, and all else does not matter:

<enter your favorite rider here> listen, you are so strong,
it's like there are two different races.
You are twice as fast as the other guys,
so be conservative, wait for the moment and
you'll be able to do what ever you want at the final.

C'mon you're the best here, you're the best here.
You're perfect man.
It's man against man.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 6:47 pm 
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"OK this is what the DS says over the radio to his star rider when he's in the break. Forget the power meter, and all else does not matter"

You are also forgetting the:

Favorite rider A DS: You are 1 min behind favorite rider B. You need to attack now and bridge the gap or else you will lose too much time in advance of the time trial tomorrow. You need to go now. Favorite rider B is all alone in the breakaway and has no team support. You will have at least 4 teammates to help you and attack favorite rider B. Go go go.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 6:50 pm 
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It will be a sad day when Thor is no longer racing. He might not be able to ride like he could several years ago, but it is a pleasure still to see him ride when he is in form.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:08 pm 
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I love tour of poland but 6man teams, italy start and silly attractivity classification deciding overall? #keepcyclingsimple #wrong

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:14 pm 
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I use my HR as a sign for when i have to leave the front, skip a pull or ease the gas or try to be more aero, sometimes tucking in is enough to keep the speed and still get HR under control. Now i am no pro, but i Think hr/power is fair enough.. Maybe when the bikecomputers start to predict performance in the finale..... Hehe..

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:57 pm 
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53x12 wrote:
It will be a sad day when Thor is no longer racing. He might not be able to ride like he could several years ago, but it is a pleasure still to see him ride when he is in form.


In my previous posts last year or earlier this year I said that Thor Hushovod was done.

But I was wrong.

In this tour of Poland

Stage 1 ---> 122th at 35:28 down
Stage 2 ---> 112th at 44:12 down
Stage 3 ---> 1st
Stage 4 ---> 6th
Stage 5 ---> 1st ( 6 category climbs )

Although the terrain is suited for Thor there no notable sprinters that can go up hills.

Even Ivan Basso is there. You think he's training for the Vuelta?

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Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:57 pm 


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