What's Cool In Road Cycling

Training Gear: Cycling Peaks Software

Everyone likes new toys, but the difference between a toy and tool is how you use it. Just like that new computer that ends up being a post-it note station, cycling power meters can be in the same category.
Spewing out numbers left and right, max this, average that, what does it all mean? And then along comes CyclingPeaks Software, the Rosetta Stone of power meters, turning those binary 1 and 0’s into useful data.

Not since the STI shifter have I been this excited about a development in cycling. Power meters have been around for the last decade or so with the SRM, and with more power meters like the PowerTap Pro, Polar, and Ergomo now on the market there are plenty of numbers
being spewed about.

Listening Loudly
During last year’s Training with Power Seminar in Philadelphia, all the wattage geeks of the US and abroad converged. It was there that Hunter Allen, Andy Coggan, and Kevin Williams (from CyclingPeaks) listened to the ideas, complaints and thoughts of coaches from around the world. People wanted more out of their power meters, so the guys from CyclingPeaks returned to Colorado to develop a program that could do everything they always wanted… and a little more. Then CyclingPeaks Software was born from over 1,000 hours of programming.

What Does It Do, Exactly?
It takes the numbers of your ride, two rides, ten rides, a season or even years of data and allows you to analyze them to the ends of your desire. After almost a month of using the program I can honestly say that there hasn’t been a single data spread I wanted to analyze that I wasn’t able to. The guys at CyclingPeaks just weren’t programmers hired to write a program, they are coaches, riders, and racers themselves.

The program comes in three versions, which are all physically the same, the only difference being the number of athletes each can handle. After programming the easy to use Athlete Home I clicked the Gregg Germer athlete and a screen pops up which contains several default charts for the past 28 days. Each of the charts are in CyclingPeaks Software are full-customizable in data and appearance.. You can toggle easily to the Calendar page to double click any ride and start and analysis of that individual ride.

The biggest advantage CyclingPeaks has over other programs is it’s real-time data point chart. The stacked graph is designed where each individual pixel is representative of one data point. This allows you to see the true natural flow of a rides data rather than the squished view when you push it all into one screen.

I won’t go into detail of all the different ways you can look at your data (I do have a word limit here), but my favorite is the “Fast Find” feature in a ride analysis. It’s here you can look for those famous matches you hear guys talk about. Really helpful for finding out how many times you actually went hard in a race. The normalization feature is great for weeding out the high and low power outputs of meters to find a more true‚ average power of an extended effort.

The other added feature is the TSS output, a scaleable intensity factor based on date sensitive threshold power. Use the CyclingPeaks Software website for details of TSS.

The true brilliance of the program comes with its ability to look at certain sectors of your training (like cadence and wattage) over multiple rides. I used CyclingPeaks to look at my race data and I found my race cadence limit. This has helped me know more where to gauge time trial efforts and work on my cadence training. The only problem I have encountered is with analysis of race only data is the need to weed out the training and warm-up data associated with a lot of
race days. So I ended up creating files using the cut and paste feature and entering it into a second rider Gregg Racer‚ that holds only race data.

Anyone out there who has a power meter should at least try the free three-day trial of the software and have a look at their data. Also be sure to download the Bjarne Riis file from the website and have a look, the power outputs so awesome.

For more information or a free download visit the CyclingPeaks Software website at: www.cyclingpeakssoftware.com

Like PEZ? Why not subscribe to our weekly newsletter to receive updates and reminders on what's cool in road cycling?

Comments are closed.