Home torture chamber advice

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:56 pm

by apex

I need some advice on potentially updating my home indoor riding strategy. I live in Canada where the winters are long and the days are short. A busy work schedule and family commitments limits my training time to early mornings and late evenings. Most of the time this means riding indoors. I have been following a polarized training philosophy and find that I respond best to this type of training. I am fortunate enough to have a gym at work so I tend to keep my high intensity sufferfest sessions for the spin bike which leaves me doing longer low intensity training at home.

My current home setup is a set of Trutrainer rollers with magnetic resistance and my powertap equipped bike.I have a pair of jaybird blue buds and a netflix account so I have no issues spending 2+ hours in an endurance zone getting caught up on my favourite shows. I really do love my trutriner rollers. I enjoy being able to be dynamic on the bike a feel like I am really riding my bike and not fixed in one position.

Lately I have been seeing members of my club doing lots of rides on zwift and it has had me thinking. I am considering updating my system to a Wahoo Kickr and a dedicated computer for running zwift to help create a more interactive environment. I don't have the space (or money) for both. How accurate is the power data from the Wahoo. I know I could use the rollers with zwift but I would have difficulty getting into the higher zones.

I would like to hear from others on what you would do to create a home riding environment that can be fun and efficient.

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by Tapeworm

I am a big Zwift fan. It effectively "saved" form over winter. People often complain about a lack of structure, which is a massive load of bollocks. It can be a structured as much or a little as you want it to be - just like riding outdoors. That being said Zwift has now gone to a paid model they have a section of cookie cutter workouts to do with or without "erg mode".

The fact that Zwift can make a 3 hr ride seem like a 3hr ride, opposed to what it really is - sitting in the shed going no-where for what feels like 10hrs, is worth the price of admission.
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by mrgray

i use tru trainers with zwift and find it really good. it is true it probably makes it limited to sticking out around 350W, but then you have the magnetic resistance so you could probably increase that range easily enough. i often think about getting a kickr, but until i've got an ftp in excess of 300W, i don't think i'll run out of capacity on the tru trainer. and as you say, it is nice riding these rollers. they are pretty sweet.
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by jamesbass

A friend of mine just got some trutrainers and has a bike with a max gear of 61x11. Good for 1kW at 90 RPM :shock:

It's so so key that you have adequate cooling indoors. Go cheap with the fans but large. Much better to have 2 or 3 fans positioned from multiple angles and 10% down on power as opposed to 1 expensive one that's always maxed out and coming in from one direction. Also beneficial to have one slightly lower, pointing at hands/legs - you'll be very surprised at how much better this feels and you'll find you can cope with the longer intervals better.

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by mrgray

I bought a very large industrial fan. Awesome. Without fans forget it. I think without the magnets sustainable wattage is like 375. However in acceleration I'm sure you're right. Flat tyres can also help.

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by sanrensho

Edited: I notice now that you have a Powertap.

I personally switch between KK Road Machine and Planet X Resist rollers (more for tempo/recovery) on the hardware side.

For software, I mix it up between PerfPro (w/Sufferfest or racing footage) and Cycleops VirtualTraining, very happy with both.

There are a lot cheaper erg alternatives to a Kickr btw, such as Tacx Smart trainers or even a used Powerbeam Pro.
Last edited by sanrensho on Fri Dec 11, 2015 7:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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by mentok

@SanRenSho: How do you find the Planet X Resist rollers? I need to get a new set in the next few months because my old Tacx Antares rollers are falling apart (cracks in the drums) and the Planet X Resist caught my eye for the price. I just want to be able to run a tiny little bit of resistance to make it possible to sustain 400W without doing 50km/h which is what i need to do at the moment. I have a powermeter on the bike so anything with a known power curve like the trutrainer is not required, and anything with active control is outside of my budget.

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by sanrensho

^^^The first thing you need to know is that the Planet X Resist rollers are NOT progressive resistance as Planet X claims. The rollers are made by Sportscrafters, and I confirmed directly with them that this does not use the progressive resistance OverDrive drum.

I don't have a high FTP and quite frankly, I rarely go over 220 watts with these rollers. (I have the KK for that.) I don't think you will be getting anywhere near 400W with these rollers.

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by boysa

I have a Kickr and I love it. Well, as much as you can love a torture device, I guess.

I bought it when they first came out as it coincided with our move to New England. It ended up being a godsend since the next two winters I was completely stuck inside all of January, February, and most of March. Lots of time to get to know the machine. As much as I hate indoor riding, it has the benefit of specificity. I was able to really focus my training and came out flying in the spring. I've also been able to build on those two winters and have no doubt it is one reason my fitness is where it is currently. (which, btw, is a location where I'll NEVER get on the trainer!! :beerchug: )

I found there to be an offset regarding power, around 10-15W, as well as some drift as the machine warmed up. I always went off my PM's power reading, however, and just adjusted the Kickr until it put me where my pm said I should be. Doing it this way, no issues whatsoever. Actually, you shouldn't have any issues regardless, because once you get to know the machine you'll have it dialed in. Listen to your legs, I like to say. Plus, what the wattage says doesn't really matter as long as your training is consistent and you track your own data. That said, I do believe they've eliminated a lot of the variation with the newest firmware.

I know there are tons of programs out there, but frankly I'm a bit old school. Lights off, headphones and heavy metal. I did start watching some movies late last winter during some longer Z2 rides, but I was normally pretty strict about 90min and off the thing. At absolute most, I stretched it out to 2 hrs. Running in Ergo mode, that is a long time and I surmised 2hrs Ergo=2.5-3hrs on the road. That was what my legs told me, anyway.

Before the Kickr, I was using Kreitlers and the E-Motion Inside Ride rollers. Both are wonderful, especially the E-Motion, but I couldn't do hard intervals on them. The Kickr enabled me to do this, plus using Ergo allowed me to work harder than I could otherwise force myself.
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by sanrensho

mentok: The Planet X Resist power curve that PerfPro uses shows 300W @43 kph and 400W @56 kph.

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by Nefarious86


I survive with these.

Big fan (900mm)
Trainer Road
Sufferfest videos
Loud music
Rollers for light "recovery" spinning
Foam rollers etc

40rpm at 100%FTP intervals are great for destroying the legs. Erg mode means 0 hiding from the selected workout too. As others have said this setup pushed me further than any other type of structured training as you simply can't hide, do the workout or spew... No real in between. Regular MAP tests help to track progress and provide motivation.
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by Herb5998

I've got the follow setup:

E-Motion Rollers (older ones, but the mag resistance is STRONG)
Box Fan
External Speakers
Laptop wit Sufferfest Videos

It isn't fun, but at least I feel like I'm not losing as much form over the winter.

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Location: Melbourne, Australia

by Dalai

Recommendations for suitable fans? Australia preferably.

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by kfreytag

I've been using Zwift since the early days and am a fan. I can do a couple of hours or a SufferFest video inside, but I find the virtual world of Zwift more engaging.

Finally got my home office / pain cave completed:

Life's too short to ride clinchers.

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by robrud

Kfreytag do you find the height of monitor comfortable? It seems a bit high.

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