My Rides

Thursday, January 27, 2011

First Ride: Kurt Kinetic Road Machine

Good eye!  Yes, those are "The Feynman Lectures on Physics" on the shelf, as well as a book titled "Random Data." 
Wow!  What a difference from the Trakstand Ultra.  Smooth and consistent.  The power curve starts & stays a little higher, but it's a very good fit for my gearing (22-32-44 Front, 12-36 Rear).  My workouts, so far, are done in the middle (32) ring up front, and the highest 3-4 gears in back (12-14-16-18).  With the Trakstand I was jumping into the big ring (44) for intervals, and back down for spinning - without a great chainline in either case.

Although the flywheels are similar mass, the Road Machine just feels smoother around the stroke.  Maybe it has more to do with the power curve progression (Road Machine is a little slower than the Trakstand), or a difference in how each type of resistance responds to the acceleration in my stroke.  With the Trakstand, after an interval I'd shift down, and would be bouncing in the saddle and have a hard time doing a smooth stroke.  Needless to say, at my weight bouncing in the saddle leaves my rear-end sore (I just tell myself the pain is a motivator to not be this weight).  With the Road Machine it's nice and smooth (it may be new-toy-bias, but I stood less in the ride to relieve pain, and feel better sitting here now).

Each interval I rode felt the same.  I felt a lot more confident in the number I saw when I looked from my speedometer to my power vs. speed chart taped to the wall by my bike.  On the Trakstand, assuming no glazing was present when I noted power, I was spinning at around 105 Watts.  On the Road Machine, which I place more trust in, I am spinning at 150 Watts (of course there could be some I-want-to-think-I'm-faster-bias).

The Road Machine also seems more stable.  On the Trakstand I always felt a lot of motion in the back, and heard creaking no matter how I adjusted the cones (that clamp the bike axle/quick-release into the trainer).  With the Road Machine it's "in there like swimwear" as long past co-worker liked to say (don't ask what that may mean, I never really got it - it just rhymes).

So, if the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine is correct, today (week 7 of my program):

  • Endurance Miles (spinning):  135-155 Watts
  • Peak-Fade Intervals:  220-340 Watts