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But, when I want to go out for a faster ride or eventually race, then I'd like to take the nicer bike with lighter wheels and so no powermeter. I'm pretty sure without a power meter to guide me, I'll go too hard and then just blow up in a heap with all that hard training wasted. Or, not go hard enough...
Does anyone also race with power as well as train? Do you have a 2nd power meter on "nice" wheels? If so, how light can you get a set of power tap based wheels to be that'll cope with a bit of racing? I've seen the new G3 is 325g now which should help building lighter wheels up?
Or, do you go more "by feel" and hope you've got it right?
As somebody said: Alls you can do is alls you can do. Even without a PM during a race, you'll go fast enough, if not faster then you think you can go. Don't worry about the power numbers during a race, pay attention to what is happening, who's where, where you are on the course, wind conditions, etc. You'll do just fine without a PM.
If its solo efforts use a powermeter, so you can judge your effort, the small weight disadvantage shouldn't make a massive difference if it allows you to get much closer to your threshold. Without going over.
If its bunch racing, just go with the flow. If you get dropped, you weren't fit enough, no powermeter is going to change that.
I actually use my power readings from a race as a guideline for "I can do at least this much" when training as I tend to push myself harder during races than training. Races sets the new benchmark for my wattage goals. I remember one time in May this year I had a peak 8 minute of around 345-350w. Then in a race I did 360 for 10 minutes, so I adjusted my training to the new level.
I'm also a strong believer that your highest numbers should come in training.
I don't do any racing yet; I've done some longer sportive rides and was thinking about racing next year; hence the questions as I plan my training.
I completely see that you wouldn't be watching the readings during the race (especially in a bunch!) but wondered if people find the post-race analysis useful.
For TT'ing I can see a benefit for pacing and so on; but maybe in road-racing it's useful post race (or on a break) but not so much actually in the bunch.
pacing a long climb (long is subjective, but really anything 10' or greater)
breakaway riding with a small bunch
breakaway riding solo (determining power level based on distance still to be covered)
watching NP to know how hard you can go
watching NP to remind yourself to pedal as little as possible
If there I a decent climb ill keep an eye on the numbers but it doesn't change much thou.
But more use it for afterwords on if i have a bad race or a blow a bit, i can look over files and see what happened.
That said, some riders like to race entirely on feel, which is fair enough, and I have done that plenty of times. But I don't really think there is anything to lose by analyzing the numbers after the race. If they are really crap and you sucked, you can always delete the file : -) and move on! or, even better, use it as a reminder that you need to do better than that!
The on/off-nature of cyclocross, varying and a good half of kilo of mud on your rear wheel makes it quite hard to feel if you're pacing correctly. The auto-lap feature is quite nice for this.
I look at the data after the race.
I do some long races with huge amounts of climbing. For those I use power data during the race although my results have been better when I wasn't using a power meter so I may stop looking at it in those races as well.
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