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Cycling Performance Simplified

 




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Cover
About
Forum
Contents
Acknowledgements
Preface
Introduction
Basics
Impossible
Prequel
Torque
t@P/W
Orthotic (NOT)
Dead Spot
Training Program
Video Links
Power Calculator
Physics
Watts vs Speed
Powertap
File Structure
Tactics
̶S̶t̶r̶e̶t̶c̶h̶
Never Chase
Flight Check
Wish List
Naturally Thin
Appendices
Course Outline
Glossary
References
Subject Index
Climbing Calculator
Back Cover

 
Updated January 22, 2016 | By Bob Fugett

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     Currently showing  58  comments

#Time ESTNameCommentBob's Response
76282/9/2016 12:54:43 PMKalmanBob, read the performance book.

I've been riding for only 3 years, but I'm still in my 30s, so maybe I'll be fast when I'm your age.

2 questions:

1. dead spot myth. Trying spinning crystals, both legs slow down at 12 o clock. Question is: why does this really matter? When one leg is at 12 my other leg is at 6 and pulling backwards, which will push the other forward through 12 o clock.

2. estimated watts.
Right now I can't afford a power meter, I've been using my phone GPS and Strava, and using the power estimates Strava does to compare wattage after I ride. Curious if you have used Strava and compared to the real deal power meters, and if it is accurate.

Thanks!

That's right, none of this makes any sense at all without an on-bicycle power meter to give you immediate feedback relative to your perceived effort vs actual power output.

Nobody using a real power meter has ever needed to ask a question about the book.

A couple of moments with valid, immediate, reliable feedback regarding perceived exertion versus actual power output, and it is all just too, too simple and obvious.

I can remember when the first CD recorders cost $85,000; and, considering the advantage, I almost bought one for my recording studio.

Just as I started to write the check, I noticed the price had dropped $5,000 in less than two months, so I decided, "Well, maybe give it a couple more months. I mean laser printers are already supposed to be dropping under 5k soon, so who knows?"

A few years later every new laptop computer came with a Red Book compliant recordable CD already installed ... almost for free.

I expected the same price drop would be true for power meters, and that by now they would be cheap standard equipment on every bicycle sold ... considering the advantage.

I have stopped holding my breath waiting for that day to arrive.

In any case, why would you not want to have both legs totally involved and doing the best they can at every point in your stroke, much less adding resistance with one that must be overcome by the other?

I hope you are not just trolling me ... : )


76111/17/2016 12:03:52 PMFrancis
Scott
KeyTap
Bob, I think it's time you close this Forum and take a much deserved break.

Get out on your bike, and enjoy your freedom!


Will do.


754410/15/2015 10:41:54 AMBob
Fugett
Yo, BH ...

After you wrote in the Cycling Performance Simplified forum I have been pleased to see you returning to check info and use the calculator, so being more comfortable that you are not just trolling me, here is some unfinished business for this project that you might like to investigate yourself.

Whereas I have confirmed numerous times that a 20 mph pace is less than the effort required to pick a full cycling water bottle off the floor and place it on a table, I never acheived a baseline 200 watts for 20 mph on a loop outside.

Though it has been obvious that stop and go is the problem, not the hills.

I came very close, but blew out my hip from too many rides too close in a row, while not understanding the dysfunction of my hip.

My hip is now much better, but in the meantime I am now too fat and out of shape to begin the testing again.

Also, I was trying to do it on our Saturday fast ride course which is 36 miles with lots of odd aggravating intersections with traffic, so I had dropped back to a shorter time trial course of 8 miles, but only realized after my hip failed that the shorter course actually has more intersection turns, so the percentage of stop/go was actually far greater than for the longer course.

All of which points to the major calculation I was trying to approach but also never confirmed.

Here is the question.

For a given number of watts which will of course reslove to a given speed (all things considered), how long does it take to acheive terminal velocity?

The useful extension of that calculation will provide insight to the real problem with the 200 watt / 20 mph loop.

What is the minimal amount of "over wattage" that will be required at intersections to recover pace?

More or less, of course, not an ultra-precise absolute; just an easy to remember rule of thumb.


You can report "rule of thumb" results here from your standard IP number, and I will know it is you, not some impersonator.

Thanks for using the book, and I hope your cycling is progressing as you would like (ok impossible, but at least progressing then).


753910/13/2015 12:13:37 AMDavid
Fugett
Hey Uncle Bobby. Hope everything is well with you. Just wanted to let you know that Aunt Mary's paintings are now (kinda sorta) hanging in the Museum of Florida History here in Tallahassee.

I recently accepted the position of Assistant General Counsel and chief litigation attorney for the Florida Department of State. Our offices just happen to be in the R.A. Gray building that houses the Museum of Florida History. They actually let us choose artwork for our offices from the paintings that are not currently being used by the museum, but – thanks to Aunt Mary – I didn't need the help.

The picture shows what I see when I sit at my desk. So Mary's paintings are still my 'happy place'.


BTW, getting back to our much earlier discussion about 'walking yourself well' I have continued to improve so much in my back, neck, knees, etc., that I have taken up backpacking again. Since June I have walked over 80 miles on the Appalachian Trail with a full pack. With zero neck, back or knee issues. It's like a freakin' miracle as I had pretty much given up backpacking for life. I just got back from an overnighter on the AT with my middle son and his wife (the one getting a doctorate in physical therapy) and their trail dog (see pic). We did 27.3 miles, most of it in the rain, and had a blast. The picture is from the second day on the lookout tower on top of Wayah Bald in North Carolina.


Anyway, just wanted to check in with you and let you know what Mary's paintings have been up to here in Tallahassee.

Take care.

D. Fugett


Oh, man, this is GREAT!

You keep hanging out with those people.

One of the women we walk our dog with in the local parks has been winning her age group in races and just placed 4th for her age and 167 overall in her first 1/2 Marathon of 1500 people ... she left it up to us to calculate how many men she beat because she's "not competitive".

A while back she was telling me how she was doing one legged stiff-legged deadlifts and I tried one ... couldn't come close with my left.

"Hmmm," thought I and began trying one every time I picked up the dog's stick during park walks.

Eventually I expanded what was learned into climbing and descending stairs with groceries, standing up from chairs, and the toilet etc.

Long story short my left hip is like a new creature, and I can now feel this big puffy pillow (which is my ass and gluteus medius) catch my hip like a giant cupped hand and stop it from escaping to the left.

I never even knew there were muscles there before ... didn't know I was trying to hold my hip stable with my knee (small muscles on the wrong end of the lever do not do the job; just makes you wonder why a nail gun keeps hitting your knee in random spots periodically).

The new hip strength has given me a whole new more balanced standing position on my bike for hills ... stretch high and lightly toss my handle bars left and right.

Plus I have made inroads stopping my right hip rotating forward while riding seated.

And your cousin, John Mitchell, reports he avoids driving anywhere that he can ride his bike, and he was just not too long ago sitting in the canopy somewhere down in the Amazon after rope climbing up and into it with some friends.

Hearing all this stuff makes my life more or less complete!

If it is ok, I will drop your email (with name) into a few of my Forums.

BTW: Couple weeks ago Mary sold $14,000 worth of paintings in five days to random people who walked into her studio, so she has become extra feisty on her bicycle.

On the other hand, those sales are going to pale in comparison to her excitement seeing your more than perfect display of her work that you have crafted (or your wife did if memory serves) ... not to mention the story.

WOW!

-b


75209/27/2015 11:01:12 AMBHLove your website and insights. Coming from Defiance, OH, being first a fair cyclist and then a better runner, I can closely identify with you. Currently training as a 60 yr old triathlete.

Observations:

1) Would love to have some age adjusted watts numbers. While 150 watts might be modest for a 30 yr old cyclist how does 150 watts compare for a 60 yr old.

2) Saw some forum remarks about heavier riders going faster than lighter rides at the same watts. My take is that once Momentum is achieved, a heavier rider will go faster than a lighter rider at the same watts. Your take.

3) On indoor spin bikes or trainers, is momentum less of a factor and is it harder to maintain watts indoors vs outdoors where your weight is rolling along with you?

4) Along with rider weight is rider height and agility. Could it be easier for smaller riders to be efficient out of the saddle COMPARED to taller riders (Nairo Quintana vs Chris Froome for example)?

5) While I agree with your assertions, I think it takes some time and work to get better results. A person who is currently efficient at 80 rpm might find an initial loss in watts at a much higher RPM. So don't be discouraged.

6) Torque or power is important in group cycling. If one can't stay with the pack to take advantage of the pack's aero slipstream then one will get dropped out of a corner or during an attack. Some guidelines on how much or how long one needs to develop that torque so as not to get dropped would be helpful.

Thank you for your work!

All makes perfect sense, as would be expected from self-examination using a repeatable reliable objective reference.

Now, put down your keyboard and get out on your bike.


74989/15/2015 7:59:56 AMVivWhat does FT stand for please. On the table Power to Weight ratio it says 1 min 5 min FT? Thank - You

FT = Functional Threshold

Or as the great Twin Lynn once put it so perfectly, "Just as hard as you can push ... forever!"

It more or less boils down to your 1hr-Time Trial effort which I like to test by doing an actual 1hr-TT.


74487/29/2015 10:56:50 PMWidderSo now that Rich Cruet (The Bicycle Doctor) made you go look up some videos of Christopher Froome's high cadence Tour de France climb, and you saw how all the buzz is about high cadence being inherently more powerful (read: faster, easier) than lower cadence, thus vindicating your book Cycling Performance Simplified and everything you've been raving about for so long, I assume you'll be expecting apologies from all the local cyclists who called you a heretic all these years.

If they did that they would not be cyclists.
74236/29/2015 4:56:37 AMBob FugettHi Dr. Dawg : )

Below is my edit of one of your website pages as a thank you for the house call.

A copy/paste of your current web page is on the left, and my suggested changes are on the right.

Hopefully, you can quickly copy/paste the changes to your website and get immediately back to the real job of doctoring patients.

Thanks again for the house call ... very uncommon these days.


And further below that is the draft version before my blue highlighting of my changes started getting in the way of my own reading.

So what do you say kids?

Have we all found our new primary care physician, or what?

Don't forget to ask Dr. Johnson about his new local currency based on a concept out of Cornell which for some time has been making the rounds in Ithaca.

Here in Sugar Loaf, NY we call the doctor's local currency SugarCoin.


74226/28/2015 8:13:30 PMDr. Nathan Johnson
Edited by Bob
You are an Ecosystem
admin / June 16, 2014

You are an ecosystem. Microbes make up 90% of the cells of our body We share our bodies with 100 trillion microbes, living on our tongues, teeth and skin and in our intestine. While we have just over 20,000 human genes; our microbes have eight million. These microbes are quite small, with all 100 trillion weighing only 3 to 4 pounds in total, but, working together, they exert powerful effects. Modifications to our diet (with pesticides and antibiotics) and our environment (chemicals and unnatural hygiene levels) change our microbes.How are you caring for the ecosystem that is you?

This ecosystem develops right from birth. Infants with colic have more bacteria that are known to produce gas, whereas anti-inflammatory bacteria acquired from the vaginal canal are more common in colic-free infants. In one study infants were classified as excessive criers, significantly less frequently when randomized to receive prebiotic and probiotic instead of a placebo (19% vs 19% vs 47%, respectively; P = .02). In another study infants randomized to receive probiotics had NO Autism or ADHD at age 13, while the rates were 17% in those not given the probiotics. Perhaps the reductions in infantile colic, allowed better brain development.

The right balance of microbes is essential to good health and digestion. Obese and lean individuals have different gut flora composition. Obesity is associated with alterations in bacterial gut microbiota, with mainly a reduction in Bacteroidetes. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium may have a critical role in weight regulation. Odds of being overweight adults are 26% higher for C-section babies, possibly because they miss those healthy birth canal microbes.

Microbes are important in training our immune system on what to attack and what not to. Many of the diseases of modern life are caused by our own immune system attacking our body, and there is emerging evidence that exposure to diverse microbes can be protective. Autoimmune diseases like asthma, hay fever, Type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis are much less common in the developing world and in children raised on farms or in large families. In contrast, asthma and hay fever rates are increased both in cities and in children given early antibiotics. The hygiene hypothesis says we need more exposure to the outdoors and dirt.

Antibiotics are a great innovation and continue to save countless live when used appropriately. Unfortunately, antibiotics target not only the harmful bacteria. When bacteria in our intestines are disturbed by antibiotics, a common side effect is diarrhea. One way to limit side effects and prevent a resistant organism is to be sure to take a probiotic whenever you take an antibiotic. Probiotics are available in pill form and in food. Another key is limiting antibiotic overuse both in human medicine and in livestock. Many factory farms rely heavily on antibiotics. Using antibiotics for viral illness like the common cold doesn’t help, but can upset your protective microbial ecosystem.

We are only just beginning to understand the complex working of our microbes. But this much seems clear — the healthiest microbes are grown when the major ingredient in our diet is a diverse array of unprocessed plants and fermented foods. Eat a colorful array of vegetables and grow your healthy ecosystem. I love the benefits of technology and am not heading back to full paleo living. But please pass the sauerkraut, yogurt and miso soup. They come with healthy bacteria and help tend my inner garden.

Nathan Johnson, MD, is a Family Medicine Physician


You are an Ecosystem
Dr. Nathan Johnson, MD
June 16, 2014
Edited by: Bob Fugett

You might not have thought of it before, but you are an ecosystem.

Microbes make up 90% of the cells of your body.

Each of us shares our body with 100 trillion microbes living on our tongues, our teeth and skin, and in our intestine.

While we humans have just over 20,000 genes, our microbes have eight million.

These microbes are quite small with all 100 trillion of them weighing only 3 to 4 pounds in total.

Working together, however, they exert a powerful influence on our health and well being.

Modifications to our diet (with pesticides and antibiotics) and to our environment (chemicals and unnatural hygiene levels) change our microbes.

Which begs the question, "How are you caring for the ecosystem that is you?"

Consider this.

The ecosystem that is you develops right from birth, and infants with colic have more bacteria that are known to produce gas, whereas anti-inflammatory bacteria acquired from the vaginal canal at birth are more common in colic-free infants.

In one study it was found that the number of infants classified as excessive criers was significantly less among those randomized to receive prebiotic or probiotic instead of a placebo (19% and 19% vs 47% respectively; P = .02).

[Double, triple, quadruple check the changes I made to the previous paragraph. Plus, does P stand for range of assumed statistical error +/-?]

06/29/15: Dr. Dog replies - P stands for the probability that the difference is due to chance. So the 'P = 0.02' means there is only a 2% chance the results were due to chance rather than the effects of the probiotic. Generally a P less than 5% is considered significant. It is probably fine to leave P out of the article for a general audience.

And Bob (me) counter replies - Due to the fact that generally there ain't no audience on the three sites where I posted this edit, I'm leaving the P here as generally of great interest to my highly not so general audience while Dr. Dog will of course be wise to drop it from his own.

Everybody continue reading with my apologies for the green and orange text.

In another study infants randomized to receive probiotics had absolutely NO Autism or ADHD at age 13, while the rates were 17% in those not given the probiotics.

Perhaps the reductions in infantile colic allowed better brain development.

Additionally the correct balance of microbes is essential to good health and digestion.

Obese and lean individuals have differing compositions of gut flora.

Obesity is associated with alterations in bacterial gut microbiota — mainly a reduction in Bacteroidetes.

Levels of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium may have a critical role in weight regulation.

Odds of becoming an overweight adult are 26% higher for C-section babies, possibly because they miss those healthy birth canal microbes.

Microbes are important in training our immune system on what to attack and what not to attack.

Many diseases of modern life are caused by our body being attacked by its own immune system, and there is emerging evidence that exposure to diverse microbes can be protective.

Autoimmune diseases like asthma, hay fever, Type 1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis are much less common in the developing world and in children raised on farms or in large families.

In contrast, asthma and hay fever rates are increased both among people living in cities and in children who are given early antibiotics.

One theory called the hygiene hypothesis says we need more exposure to the outdoors and dirt.

Antibiotics are a great innovation and continue to save countless lives when used appropriately, but unfortunately antibiotics target not only the harmful bacteria but our good bacteria as well.

When bacteria in our intestines are disturbed by antibiotics, a common side effect is diarrhea.

One way to limit side effects while helping prevent antibotic resistant organisms is to be sure to take a probiotic whenever you take an antibiotic.

Probiotics are available both in pill form and in food.

Another key to preventing antibiotic organisms is limiting antibiotic overuse both in human medicine and in livestock.

Using antibiotics for viral illnesses like the common cold doesn’t help, but it can upset your protective microbial ecosystem.

Many factory farms rely heavily on antibiotics being given to their livestock, and those antibiotics are passed on to people through the food they eat.

We are only just beginning to understand the complex working of our microbes.

However, this much seems clear: the healthiest microbes are grown when the major ingredient in our diet is a diverse array of unprocessed plants and fermented foods.

Eat a colorful array of vegetables in order to grow your healthy ecosystem.

Personally I love the benefits of technology and am not heading back to full paleo living.

But please pass the sauerkraut, yogurt, and miso soup.

They come complete with healthy bacteria and help tend my inner garden.

Nathan Johnson, MD, is a Family Medicine Physician


74216/28/2015 4:34:33 PMDraft EditYou are an Ecosystem
admin / June 16, 2014

You are an ecosystem. Microbes make up 90% of the cells of our body We share our bodies with 100 trillion microbes, living on our tongues, teeth and skin and in our intestine. While we have just over 20,000 human genes; our microbes have eight million. These microbes are quite small, with all 100 trillion weighing only 3 to 4 pounds in total, but, working together, they exert powerful effects. Modifications to our diet (with pesticides and antibiotics) and our environment (chemicals and unnatural hygiene levels) change our microbes.How are you caring for the ecosystem that is you?

This ecosystem develops right from birth. Infants with colic have more bacteria that are known to produce gas, whereas anti-inflammatory bacteria acquired from the vaginal canal are more common in colic-free infants. In one study infants were classified as excessive criers, significantly less frequently when randomized to receive prebiotic and probiotic instead of a placebo (19% vs 19% vs 47%, respectively; P = .02). In another study infants randomized to receive probiotics had NO Autism or ADHD at age 13, while the rates were 17% in those not given the probiotics. Perhaps the reductions in infantile colic, allowed better brain development.

The right balance of microbes is essential to good health and digestion. Obese and lean individuals have different gut flora composition. Obesity is associated with alterations in bacterial gut microbiota, with mainly a reduction in Bacteroidetes. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium may have a critical role in weight regulation. Odds of being overweight adults are 26% higher for C-section babies, possibly because they miss those healthy birth canal microbes.

Microbes are important in training our immune system on what to attack and what not to. Many of the diseases of modern life are caused by our own immune system attacking our body, and there is emerging evidence that exposure to diverse microbes can be protective. Autoimmune diseases like asthma, hay fever, Type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis are much less common in the developing world and in children raised on farms or in large families. In contrast, asthma and hay fever rates are increased both in cities and in children given early antibiotics. The hygiene hypothesis says we need more exposure to the outdoors and dirt.

Antibiotics are a great innovation and continue to save countless live when used appropriately. Unfortunately, antibiotics target not only the harmful bacteria. When bacteria in our intestines are disturbed by antibiotics, a common side effect is diarrhea. One way to limit side effects and prevent a resistant organism is to be sure to take a probiotic whenever you take an antibiotic. Probiotics are available in pill form and in food. Another key is limiting antibiotic overuse both in human medicine and in livestock. Many factory farms rely heavily on antibiotics. Using antibiotics for viral illness like the common cold doesn’t help, but can upset your protective microbial ecosystem.

We are only just beginning to understand the complex working of our microbes. But this much seems clear — the healthiest microbes are grown when the major ingredient in our diet is a diverse array of unprocessed plants and fermented foods. Eat a colorful array of vegetables and grow your healthy ecosystem. I love the benefits of technology and am not heading back to full paleo living. But please pass the sauerkraut, yogurt and miso soup. They come with healthy bacteria and help tend my inner garden.

Nathan Johnson, MD, is a Family Medicine Physician


You are an Ecosystem
admin / June 16, 2014

You are an ecosystem. Microbes make up 90% of the cells of our body. Each of us shares our body with 100 trillion microbes, living on our tongues, our teeth and skin, and in our intestine. While we have just over 20,000 human genes, our microbes have eight million. These microbes are quite small, with all 100 trillion weighing only 3 to 4 pounds in total; but, working together, they exert powerful effects. Modifications to our diet (with pesticides and antibiotics) and our environment (chemicals and unnatural hygiene levels) change our microbes. How are you caring for the ecosystem that is you?

This ecosystem develops right from birth. Infants with colic have more bacteria that are known to produce gas, whereas anti-inflammatory bacteria acquired from the vaginal canal are more common in colic-free infants. In one study infants were classified as excessive criers significantly less frequently when randomized to receive prebiotic and probiotic instead of a placebo (19% and 19% vs 47% respectively; P = .02). [what does P stand for?] In another study infants randomized to receive probiotics had NO Autism or ADHD at age 13, while the rates were 17% in those not given the probiotics. Perhaps the reductions in infantile colic, allowed better brain development.

The correct balance of microbes is essential to good health and digestion. Obese and lean individuals have different gut flora composition. Obesity is associated with alterations in bacterial gut microbiota — mainly a reduction in Bacteroidetes. Levels of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium may have a critical role in weight regulation. Odds of becoming overweight adults are 26% higher for C-section babies, possibly because they miss those healthy birth canal microbes.

Microbes are important in training our immune system on what to attack and what not to. Many of the diseases of modern life are caused by our own immune system attacking our body, and there is emerging evidence that exposure to diverse microbes can be protective.

Autoimmune diseases like asthma, hay fever, Type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis are much less common in the developing world and in children raised on farms or in large families. In contrast, asthma and hay fever rates are increased both in cities and in children given early antibiotics. The hygiene hypothesis says we need more exposure to the outdoors and dirt.

Antibiotics are a great innovation and continue to save countless lives when used appropriately, but unfortunately antibiotics target not only the harmful bacteria.

When bacteria in our intestines are disturbed by antibiotics, a common side effect is diarrhea. One way to limit side effects and prevent a resistant organism is to be sure to take a probiotic whenever you take an antibiotic. Probiotics are available in pill form and in food. Another key is limiting antibiotic overuse both in human medicine and in livestock. Many factory farms rely heavily on antibiotics. Using antibiotics for viral illness like the common cold doesn’t help, but they can upset your protective microbial ecosystem.

We are only just beginning to understand the complex working of our microbes. But this much seems clear — the healthiest microbes are grown when the major ingredient in our diet is a diverse array of unprocessed plants and fermented foods. Eat a colorful array of vegetables and grow your healthy ecosystem. I love the benefits of technology and am not heading back to full paleo living. But please pass the sauerkraut, yogurt and miso soup. They come with healthy bacteria and help tend my inner garden.

Nathan Johnson, MD, is a Family Medicine Physician


74126/17/2015 4:07:32 PMKSDear SlingShot,

Greetings from the Czech republic.

I read Cycling Performance Simplified a few years ago, and I have wanted to read it again, but I could not open the link.

There is a redirect to the following page ███, which is empty.

Is it possible to read your material again?

Regards,
Krystof


All fixed.

Thanks for the heads-up.

It seems a recent server upgrade broke some of my code.

I did some maintenance with a quick check, and it appears everything is back to normal.

Thanks again for the help.
Bob


06/20/15 update: Today noted somebody still experienced problem viewing Power Calculator Explained page, now fixed. Will keep reviewing logs and fixing errors.


68595/24/2014 12:27:15 PMLaurenBob, you have assumed correctly! I need to get my sorry little gluteus maximus and all groups in gear again! Very excited for you to get the book, YOU and Mary will go bonkers over it! Cannot wait to see you both again!

Just when you thought you were out ... we pull you back in!

68585/24/2014 12:06:23 PMBob FugettLauren, thanks for the book suggestion; just ordered it One Click!

I see you have assumed Lauren will be wandering onto this page.
68575/24/2014 11:28:33 AMLauren "Lugie Angel" WarrenSoooooo awesome to catch up with you once again!! Somehow rights all the wrong the past few years and ignited the little warrior spirit in me again! You both rock! Hugs to you both!!

Whoops, looks like our posts crossed.

68254/28/2014 9:25:15 PMFred GuilhausI am in Adelaide Australia and a fan of your website, in particular Bob Fugett.

I am also writing a book about cycling, with a slant on the foibles and humor.

I have used many technically-informative internet based sites and wish to know whether I need your permission to reference your site and Fugett's work.

I make limited use of it and reference it of course ...

Absolutely no problem.

You may make use with appropriate attribution, and thanks for asking.

Bob Fugett

67122/6/2014 6:14:31 PMMark McKillopThanks Bob I will give it a go and let you know how it goes.

Should I be doing repeats in the one session, if so how many, and I assume I would then do it again over subsequent weeks to test progress?

I have a nice 11 speed cassette with some closely spaced climbing ratios so that should mak the exercise easier.

Perfect.

Check with your coach regarding how many, etc to fit in with your goals and current level.

The important thing is to test the concept and understand what you are seeing.

And yes, you will want to return to the test periodically to check progress; that is exactly what it is for.

Don't forget your floor exercises, not to be underestimated.

Also test against results with the Quarq and see if you can't get coach to say, "That's cool!"

I can't wait to hear the results.

67102/6/2014 6:06:42 AMMark McKillopThanks again Bob.

Yes I do live in Australia, in Melbourne actually. You may have heard of Beach Road which is the major urban cycling destination, there are small rolling hills around the Bay on which the city is sighted, a few which are up to 600m at a gradient of around 3 to 4%. I live a few hundred metres off that road. I do have a cadence measure on my computer (garmin 810) which can be set for instant or averaged readings. I also ride in the local mountains where there are nice 20 to 30 minute climbs of 300 m vertical plus.

So yes I would be interested in the method of working out some wattages etc without a power meter.

Cheers
Mark

Excellent, thanks for responding; this is really rather self serving of me, because I am just interested to see if something like this can be communicated over a distance without reference to the known standard of a power meter.

What I am talking about is not a way to derive wattage without a power meter but how to address the major training problem that power meters are supposed to address.

The problem is that of finding a reliable performance baseline to work from and then monitoring your progress in real time.

Beach Road is maybe a little too flat for this, and I am assuming it is also an example of the worst possible place to get reliable feedback, that is to say I am guessing it is often windy, with changeable winds.

So let me try to describe this in rather vague terms, because I am sure your coach already knows this and can help at your end.

My technique is to restrict variables by finding a climb steep enough to force you to work a little, long enough to challenge your heart rate, and covered from prevailing winds enough so that you have some hope of returning to the same slope again and again as you improve.

Whereas the Powertap does make a distinction between torque (at the pedals) and watts (at the wheel), it only does so in the software after download.

Therefore when I noticed the wildly wide variation in effort on the pedals that is possible to receive any given amount of wattage output (speed), I was perturbed to find the Powertap torque measurement is not available while on the bicycle (and SRM doesn't give it ever), so I had to figure out a way to get a reliable reference for my wife to use while she was riding, and once we established that system, I realized it could be done without a power meter, just a cadence counter.

It has to be a magnet and sensor absolute reading, not a derived from formula cadence.

I saw that the torque data was very consistent if looking at known wattages, on a known slope, at a given cadence, so I started having her watch her cadence instead of her wattage.

One can call the effort Watts, Newton Meters, or Shrimps on the Barbie for all I care, I just wanted a reliable, repeatable measurement, and cadence (in a given gear over the same slope hidden from the wind) does a perfectly adequate job.

Choose your smooth steady slope (where you can get a good 1 to 2 minute interval); find the gearing which allows you your highest comfortable cadence (your coach might take a look at that for you); then monitor using your Averaged Cadence Interval.

My wife uses two units, one showing average and one showing current cadence, but I am hoping your 810 can give you both readings at the same time.

The goal is to be able to increase your gear by one click higher while holding the same cadence over the same challenging interval on your known slope that is hidden from the wind (best it can be).

To work on your spin efficiency you might instead just try to increase your averaged cadence by 1 or 2 rpm.

The only thing that any of the current power meters will give you insight into beyond this use of cadence is how insanely variable the amount of effort on the pedals is required for any given wattage.

You can be pushing really, really, really hard for 200 watts, or really easy for 400 watts, and speed of cadence is a large part of that equation (given you have a smooth even balanced spin at the given cadence).

Wattage is of course more of an absolute reference to speed than it is to effort on the pedals.

I am sure your coach knows this, so I would be very interested if they can repeat the results I found with the Powertap using the Quarq.

If she ever has a minute, see if you can get her (or him) to go up one of the longer rollers, establish a smooth relatively high wattage, then click down two gears easier while increasing cadence.

The power meter should spike 10 watts higher (more or less, if it is responsive enough and the delayed reading inherent in all these devices is considered) while the effort felt in the legs will be less.

People used to be absolutely flabbergasted when they saw this happen, but with power meters available to more people (and my book pointing it out), it has probably become common knowledge.

In any case, thank you for allowing me to use you as my guinea pig

67072/5/2014 10:05:24 PMMark McKillopThanks Bob.

I haven't purchased the Vectors yet.

I thought it would be useful to pick a power meter which measures torque at the crank as well as watts given your advice in the book concerning the importance of efficiency as well as watts.

Given the Garmin measures watts through analysing force at the pedal crank it seems to me it is really measuring torque rather than watts and presumably translating to watts by a linear formula.

There is a Garmin speciality dealer near me, so I will invstigate through them.

I have been training using HR mainly and estimated power based on Strava charts, with my coach who has a quarq and swears by it.

The price for the Vector is down to $1250 AUD here now which is still more than want to pay, so I will hold off for a while.

If you have a trip computer that measures cadence using a sensor and magnet on the crank and which will give you an averaged interval (so you can focus on your performance without counting), I could step you through using it for precision training in a way that will be 99.9% as useful as all current power meters.

That is if also you are in an area with some really good hills with one of about a quarter mile of a relatively regular moderate slope.

Though you might be able to do it on a stationary trainer as well.

By your IP# and your comfortable English, it appears you may live in Australia.

BTW: I am sure that by now you are aware Strava is routinely off by 1 to 2 tenths of a mile one way or another most of the time, making precise measurements impossible.

67062/5/2014 5:20:34 AMMark McKillopDoes anyone know if the Garmin vector, which is said to measure power "at the pedals," is in effect measuring torque as described in the book?

If Garmin would like to provide me with a few of their devices, along with some riders who are drug free and have the requisite computer and analytical skills plus are intensely interested in understanding their own cycling performance, and if Garmin will pay for me to perform a thorough review of their product, I would be glad to give a rational report on the correctness of their unit.

Otherwise I have been disappointed far too many times with regard to product promises vs actual product performance to even hazard a guess.

Last time I looked at the information Garmin provides, the pedals are the right idea, but it does not appear they have yet overcome the basic problems in terms of sampling speed, on bicycle reporting, and accuracy.

But neither has Powertap, SRM, nor anybody else.

I would caution Garmin that merely paying me to take a look at their pedals would not guarantee a positive review, and I would of course maintain control of my research to publish here.

In any case, I am not sure the correctness of the data is relevant to most riders as the main goal generally appears to be showing up for a group ride with the appropriate cycling bling.

On the other hand, I would be intensely interested in hearing about your own results with the pedals, Mark, so feel free to report here in the Forum.

I would add that given the number of people who use my online power calculator and read Cycling Performance Simplified, there actually does seem to be some interest in correct data, and your reading pattern of the book implies you are in that camp (as opposed to the bling for bling's sake camp).

So thank you for the question, and post here anytime.

66431/11/2014 12:38:31 PMToddWhat does FT on the results chart mean?

Functional Threshold.

Or as Lynn Meyer so eloquently puts it, "As hard as you can push the pedals ... forever."

Although there are all kinds of nonsense formulas to derive it from shorter efforts, I like to test it using a full 1-hr time trial on the road.

Basically if you can do it for an hour, you can do it forever, give or take.

657612/12/2013 3:48:30 PMJamie O'NeilThanks Bob, I'm excited to potentially get into the best shape of my life. Come by the foundry if you're ever in town. It's a fun visit.

Jamie

Excellent. Thx.
657512/12/2013 12:28:55 PMJamie O'NeilThe spin bike does have a power meter. It's a Keiser 1113 bike. I was really enjoying that part of spinning even before I found your work. I had an inkling of the power relationship to speed and have been trying to learn the lessons of endurance training, new to me. I've read that the body adapts much better, quicker, to lower mid intensity longer duration training than the more intense, shorter duration work. As a weight lifter and soccer player, I've always been strong but I've never trained with any discipline for endurance or "built a base". MTB has really got me excited to get better focused and train properly since the payoff is so much fun. I think I'll even enjoy spectating road racing so much more now that I understand the speed tactics and gamesmanship you've described.

Is there a way I could establish some kind of guess for FT for an hour workout based on maintained power for 1 min or 5 min? From playing with my HR monitor I think I a bit of feeling for a HR threshold I can maintain and correlate with perceived effort a bit.

Would it be a good idea to try to first train at some threshold for an hour or so and try to find a baseline, then later do intervals and speed? My trail rides always include some kind of climbing or interval work just by the nature of the terrain so I'm thinking I'll get the most benefit from holding a threshold for an hour or so while stuck indoors and it will be some time before I would advance to having a power meter on a bike.

Jamie

Given the specifics of your situation, you are going to be greatly, and pleasantly, surprised by the astounding amount of progress you are about to make.

Just keep notes, because pain after all is pain, and if that is all you look at you'll miss seeing how much better you are getting.

If you have a standard loop that is more or less circular, just make note of how long it takes, then do constant comparisons as you repeat it over the coming months and years.

You wouldn't even have to do any specific training at all, or push to any type of limit, to see great gains ... if you go out consistently.

Just do the loop easy, check your time, do it again, and again, and again, and marvel at how much faster you are getting without really even trying.

Of course, specific training can fine tune, speed your improvement, and help you over sticking points.

A power meter just gives you a reliable reference so you don't get fooled by the extreme variability of cycling.

BTW: That okfoundry sure looks like an interesting place, and a place to learn a lot of good stuff about the physical world around us.

My guess is you have the personal observational skills to figure this all out in rather short order.

You might like to do a full 1-hour time trial on that stationary at your earliest convenience just to record your startup baseline.

You are never again going to be in this bad of shape with the opprotunity to see such great gains in performance ... later you are going to be worrying about taking off a minute here, or a second there.

Take advantage of your current golden opportunity: 1-hour, real time.

657112/11/2013 1:48:04 PMJamie O'NeilBob,

I'm have really enjoyed your online book and other resources for cycling performance improvement. Thank you.

I am a 46 year old recent mountain biker. I ride a single speed most of the time on single track. Growing up I played competitive soccer and played on and off in my adult years, but eventually could not stay match fit due to not enough regular endurance training and regular life hassles. I've really enjoyed mtb'ing and have improved my fitness greatly and rode a 12 hour and 6 events with mixed results.

I've notice how "fast" the road bikers are on the trail and have started some spin training for the winter and plan to add road riding to increase the miles, etc. I'm also starting some core work to improve my spinning and have just ordered Egoscue's book, your information comes very timely for me. I'm excited to try your spun crystal test for myself and wife at the first opportunity. I'm sure my 46 yo body has some weak areas and kinks that will show up in the functional inspection of crystal and Egoscue that will inform my core work.

All this to get to a question. In my first and only spin class the other night I noticed that I felt "good" spinning at 100 to 110 rpm. The whole experience was new to me as I am normally stomping my mtb SS up hills and I expected that I would need to focus on spinning rather than grinding. I had a bit of hard time in the class as the instructor was guiding something like interval training including standing and for me to stand up and not fall through the pedals I needed to increase the resistance significantly which would quickly put my HR into Max. The instructors coaching for the rest interval included the suggestion to spin at 80 rpm's for rest. Although I like climbing short hills on the SS, and typically don't spin, I didn't like the standing or 80 rpm target. The 100 to 110 felt fine and although it was jumping around, I thought I had some decent power or at least based on the computer miles, calories, etc. over 50 minutes I know I was doing a decent workout.

What should I be thinking about this cadence? Should I indulge my subjective feeling and spin fast as comfortable? I plan to try to establish a crude threshold by trying to hold a cadence, resistance, watt level for 1 hour to get some kind of baseline. But, is it worth testing power at a lower cadence, if faster is feeling alright? I apologize for the dumb question as I suspect the answers to this will be apparent on the real bike on the road. It must be harder to spin faster without the rigid support of the spin bike.

Jamie


Spin as fast as is comfortable for endurance; use low cadence for power work.

However, that is very much the most general of guidelines and your instructor will take a closer look.

Actually you may find the bike gets out of your way when it is not rigid, so a high candence will be easier.

In any case, floor work like Egoscue will work miracles for you, and don't forget to take a look at the FMS.

Are you using a power meter?

651610/4/2013 10:14:59 PMWayne BoddyHi Bob,

Not a question, just a thank you for the excellent information posted on your website and in your forum.

I would especially like to thank you for the research you put into the reference materials.

I now own a e-copy of Peter Esgocue's Health through Motion, (that was all that was available) and hard copies of the Anatomy of Movement series.

The exercises that Egoscue prescribes are simple, easy and effective.

After a thirty (yup 30) year hiatus, I am back in the saddle with the exercises keeping me going forward.

thanks again
Wayne

I guess this is where I should pitch a product.

Whoops, I don't have a product.

Maybe I should have a product.

No, that sounds like work, and I would rather be on my bike.

In any case, thanks for the thanks ... now get out on your bicycle.

64649/16/2013 1:18:53 PMGilles HoschHi Bill,

I have been cycling for almost 5 years now, and take immense pleasure in it. I am also born with an (un)healthy sense for competition, and so I am trying to figure how I measure up with "the boys."

My racer does not have a power meter as yet - but it is coming ...

The reference table t@P/W for 5s, 1m, 5m and FT particularly caught my attention. at 180W and 82kg, I manage 2.2W/kg "for a semi-eternal amount of time"... however, according to the table - and assuming I should check under FT - that basically means I have never been sitting on a bike, and am in reality an "untrained" 350lb couch potato barely able to breathe; which is not accurate... or not quite let's say...

Now - following Chris Horner's victory of the Vuelta yesterday, and widespread press-speak of possible doping, I came across his power meter transcript for stage 14, which he had released to the press earlier last week.

What I found is that his average power output on that mountain stage was 210W for 66kg of body weight.

This gives a 3.18W/kg performance over the stage's course... that puts Chris Horner somewhere in the lower stretches of that same table in the FT column... far away from the world-class athlete that he actually is.

So I wonder what this all means? I know you said it is all a bit relative, and we should look at our own performance instead of drawing comparisons. However, to me the FT column in that table just seems off.

I was almost relieved this morning when I realised that I was not alone, and that Chris Horner was in my team when it came to ranking oddly in that league table.

Thanks for shedding some light into my power cave :)

Best Wishes,

g

The closest thing I can see to a question here is: "So I wonder what all this means?"

First off, there is no Bill here; I am Bob, so either that is a typo or somebody has figured out a way to put this forum on their own website and trick people into thinking they are me.

As for the numbers, it all means that a generalized averaged number over an entire stage race does not account for teamwork, drafting, and team strategies: "We can go pretty easy most of the time, so long as on that one climb we actually work and just long enough for a photo op with some commentator making it seem like we are all putting in never before seen superhuman efforts, then right back to meandering."

It means that you (and I, who can apparently easily beat you) would do well in such a race, if we could only convince everybody to ride it the way we want them to, push where we choose, ease off where we select, never jump too hard on a severe slope, etc.

Also you will note that the results were published in Watts, not Torque, and there is a big difference in turning 210W on the flat, and turning 210W on a 22% climb.

When you get your power meter (assuming you get one that is accurate and reports Torque at the pedal as well as Watts from the wheel), this will all make perfect sense to you.

If not, come back and ask a question.

64409/5/2013 1:02:26 PMA. StuteWell that was cold.

Tough love.

Sometimes you have to.

64399/5/2013 12:12:29 AMCharles I believe it will need to be updated b/c the majority of athletes from the tour already had lower watt/kilo numbers, etc. in the past few years.

Also, performance numbers have steadily fallen from the late 90's for the majority of riders.

So I wouldn't be any faster if I used PED's for the past few years?

If EPO has such short term effects why would pro's take it in the off season then some stop or reduce it before racing?

From what you guys are saying EPO wouldn't benefit them in off season training. Not wanting to argue more interested in learning about it.

In summary, I only deal in verifiable data, so that puts me somewhat at a loss.

To address your final statement first with regard to "you guys":

There are no "you guys" here, only somebody who posted using the name "Charles Hodges" (easily spoofed), and the next posting by "A. Stute" which is my own posting using a made up name to address the fact that there is no way to verify the name provided by the post previous to it.

Whether or not you are the same person as the previous "Charles Hodges" is also not something that can be verified.

In any case, the first "Charles Hodges" post was certainly a joke, because the chart in question has nothing to do with anything except pointing toward a rational set of goals for cycling performance along with an indication of how to use the information derived from power meters to meet those goals.

The chart will never need to be updated, because it is only a dataset assembled at a certain point in time under a certain set of circumstances and provides a baseline for understanding the data provided by power meters.

Nobody wins or loses anything (certainly not money, fame, nor credential) by besting any number on that chart, while power meters (the correct ones) only provide a repeatable reliable way to overcome the massive variables and myth confronting serious riders who want to logically improve their performance ... based on their own performance.

One of the things I track very closely is the usage of this website, and while the information about power meters is read often, the IP# associated with the previous "Charels Hodges" post and the one associated with this current "Charles" are two separate numbers neither of which were observed reading much of anything regarding power meters either before or after posting.

Of course it is always possible that whoever posted both "Charles" were in fact the same person and that person actually did read a lot of the material provided on this website but arrived from another IP# or two.

However, that is very unlikely, because the person would then understand that nothing about this forum has anything at all to do with PED's or EPO's or any such acronyms.

Plus anybody serious about their long term health would not have the slightest interest in that crap anyway.

Not to mention anybody truly interested in their cycling performance would not be posting in forums but would be grabbing as much information as quickly as they can then getting out on their bike.

My own numbers have been steadily improving since the late 90's due to following that process.

Therefore, it is probably best for me to consider these types of questions and comments merely trolling and nothing more, so I will leave these posts here to put people on notice, but further such nonsense will be toggled off without comment.

There are people showing up here who actually want to learn something.

64359/2/2013 9:17:02 AMA. StuteWhy do you believe that is Charles Hodge?

I don't.

In fact, as far as I can tell, the person who posted that didn't even read the book before doing so.

64349/1/2013 1:53:05 PMCharles HodgeI know the chart is for individual reference and performance progression, but do you think it will need to be updated as the sport becomes cleaner?

Now that's funny!

I guess it will need to be updated, because as soon as top athletes stop doping themselves for short term gain, and destroying their bodies in the process, their careers will extend long enough for them to easily beat all the figures currently on the chart.

That combined with the removal of a multitude of "how to" myths power meters have revealed to be false.

On the other hand, why do you believe the sport will ever be cleaner ... just because somebody you admire tells you it will?

Have you forgotten already?

63778/5/2013 1:38:35 PMNicole Ginley-HidingerHello Bob,

My name is Nicole, and I work for Ski Magazine.

I am writing a story on DIN (the torque it takes to release you from your bindings), and I was hoping to relate it to something outside of skiing.

Since a lot of skiers also bike it seemed like the perfect reference.

Could you help me out with a couple questions?

1. Since torque is a direct representation of strength, how does it change?


2. What kind of strength is needed to achieve a torque of 232 Nm?


3. What kind of strength is needed to achieve a torque of 325 Nm?

Thanks for your help!
Nicole

Due to the fact Torque is itself a measurement of strength, the question of how much strength results in what Torque is somewhat circular, but fortunately I have myself labored to come up with numbers that non-technical riders can understand, so I think I can help you out.

All of my information regarding Torque as it relates to cycling comes from direct measurements of real world performance using a Powertap.

Take a look at this page:

You will notice the chart near the top of the page shows a cyclist at the end of a very competitive club ride achieving over 30 mph in the front group sprint.

The rider's maximum measured torque for that effort was 12.2 Nm; therefore the 232 Nm and 325 Nm figures you asked about would be quite significant indeed.

A full 32 oz cycling water bottle picked from the floor and placed on a table would require less than 10 Nm, but on a bicycle that amount of force could easily maintain a 20 mph pace.

Here is how I would test the strength required in your own case.

Remove a cleat from a ski boot; attach a simple torque wrench to it; use the wrench to pop the cleat out of the binding and record the number.

Simple, right?

As for my own experience with ski releases: we once watched as my nephew fell over on a virtual flat in what appeared to be a slow motion non-pressure fall from an almost completely standing still position.

Because the ambient temperature was near freezing his binding had warmed and refrozen so that it failed to release.

His tibia and fibula shattered in three (3) places.

We couldn't understand why he was crying, because the fall appeared so inconsequential.

63707/31/2013 11:32:51 PMReid Bob,

You mention the use of Spun Crystals.

I attempted a search online for a better understanding of what they are and how you use them.

I did not find a good explanation; can you help provide some insight on this tool?

I also struggle with piriformis and psoas issues and am looking forward to reading the research you have linked on these topics.

Thanks for your effort in the research and writing of this information for others to utilize.

Reid

You will not find a discussion of Spun Crystals online because it is my own term coined for a rather simple (though as it turns out hard to describe) technique.

It comes from my background in teaching music where I worked out similar techniques on musical instruments (see my book: Impulse and Strength).

I have shown Spun Crystals to a few people, but I left it vague in the book on purpose partly to puff up my knowledge of the arcane cycling arts to the local riders (my nemeses) but mostly in hopes somebody would ask about it, and I am shocked it took this long.

Riding right next to somebody and stepping them through the technique has been hard enough, so if I have any success expressing it to you through writing, I will give myself a sound congratulatory backslap.

Let me start as simply as possible (which may be more than enough for you to get it), and if you have trouble just report back, so I can expand and try again.

Spun Crystals was the best name I could come up with, but I have always been dismayed by the term.

It does sound full of magical power (got your attention) but it is really just this:

You know when you are at a wedding dinner (or similar) and people make their crystal glassware sing by wetting their finger and rubbing it around the upper lip of the glass?

Keeping that tone going requires a very precise light pressure on the glass, and the same with keeping your most powerful (but easiest most efficient long lasting) spin on your bicycle.

Checking your ability to do this on your bicycle should be done at the beginning of every ride.

Forget strength for the moment, I mean your basic functional movement, and you can learn a lot about what is right and what is wrong with your body at any given moment by checking it against a super light slow motion spin.

No need to be surprised by something falling apart deep in a ride; know what to expect right out of the parking lot.

Get moving fast enough on the flat so that you do not have to worry about balance; clip out one foot and with the other clipped in foot trace a path around the crank as slowly as you can while just barely touching the peddle.

Make sure to do it with absolutely no forward pressure; it should feel as if your chain is dropped.

In fact, if you are on a stationary trainer (not rollers) you can drop your chain for the exercise, but be aware a fixed position bicycle will give a slightly skewed false reading due to the extra support it provides.

You should feel for the edge of the circle just like the lip of a crystal glass; make it sing.

You will find out an amazing amount of information about your basic spin this way.

Every person that I have shown this to has been shocked with the realization that one of their legs (at least) refuses to come over the top (or stutters significantly ) at some point (usually between 9 and 12 o'clock back to front), and by shocked I mean they are really, really shocked.

The tendency is for them to fall back on the age old myth of the cycling dead spot.

Sometimes the lack of functional movement is so hidden to them, I must point it out several times before they feel it.

Part of why you want to do the movement with absolutely no forward pressure is because your leg can be helped over the top by ramping itself up on the crank arm, so you will not notice that the hip and leg (with associated support structures) are dysfunctional.

I always start my rides with two sets of four strokes each (as part of my flightcheck): one of the sets with no pressure at all (right/left), then one set with forward pressure (right/left).

I start with the right leg because my right is most correct, and I compare the left to it.

You might like to repeat the no pressure set while reviewing what you noticed on the first series.

Ok, maybe that will be enough for you.

Try it out, and report back if you run into trouble.

Dollars to doughnuts Spun Crystals will be one of the useful aids you use to fix your piriformis and psoas problems so they become a distant memory.

61084/4/2013 9:33:05 AMBill RoudebushIs the book available in print form? Would like to have so to make notes while reading.

Hi Bill : )

Currently the book is not in print, but your question has given me the solid reason for moving it to print.

I have held off bringing it to hard copy due to how important the interactive Power to Weight and Race Category calculator has proven for people, and the calculator would not be available in book form...even an e-book.

Also I wanted to take one final pass at confirming Watts to Speed over a long course while establishing a procedure for calculating the minimal extra watts required to return to pace after a slow down for turn or stop.

You have touched on the third hold up which is that I have never seen any strong advantage to print over the online version.

However, being able to keep closely associated notes is certainly a big advantage.

While waiting for the print version, feel free to print out any pages you wish for note taking.

59822/9/2013 4:30:45 PMCharles HodgeIf it helps you any, I weigh 143 and have been working on holding 300 watts for an hour. Done 292 so far.

Wondering if 320 watts for an hour is considered threshold or is anything over 30 minutes threshold?

I assume 320 for an hour is a harder goal than 30 minutes.

I also realize Taylor Phinney does 400 watts for an hour but 300 watts per hour equals his w/kilo, but he would destroy me in a TT.

My own preference is to use an actual 1-Hr TT when judging FT, but others may find quick rule of thumb calculations are useful to them.

One local rider has put it in perfect context like this: "Functional Threshold? That just means, 'How hard can you push the pedals...forever.'"

In any case, whatever criteria one uses in the attempt to generalize comparisons with other riders, things very quickly degrade into an apples to oranges situation.

The purpose of the figures and calculations provided here in Cycling Performance Simplified is to help riders identify reliable repeatable criteria to use in fine tuning their own performance when compared specifically against their own performance.

In summary it is a simple matter of: "Is what I am doing actually improving my performance or only making it worse?"

While the first consideration is of course: "How can I be sure?"

59812/9/2013 4:22:00 PMCharles HodgeIs the FT on the chart that has 5 w/kg beside Cat 1 ranking for men based more for 20 minutes or an hour?

My own preference is to use an actual 1-Hr TT when judging FT while my recollection of the book (that those figures were abstracted from) is that the actual criteria was not very specifically stated.

59752/5/2013 7:49:28 AMCuryousWhy do you assume that was actually Ann Marie Love?

Never said that I did.

59742/4/2013 10:30:51 PMAnn Marie LoveHey Bob,

Great info and style.

I'm sure you have found this site by now in your search for cycling data sites...but in case you haven't: ██████.

Seems they are on the same wave length or at least could chat with you about yours. aml

Had not seen that website, but just took a look at their home page and found it far too commercial for my tastes.

Pretty easy to be on the same wave length as me, just the very simplest classical earth bound physics and most basic elementary biomechanics.

Nothin' to it.

59732/3/2013 1:30:29 PMDanThat's the problem.

I don't know.

I'm just doing what I do, what feels right.

I'm trying to figure out how to take it to the next level,.

Where can I find these answers?

First master the Course Outline.

Then work your way through the remaining References.

Arnie Baker's book smart cycling has 100 pages as Part 4 dedicated to Racing and tactics.

Also a lot of practical lessons are found on the Video Links page.

I see from my web usage logs that you have already gone through most of the Cycling Performance Simplified pages, but it may not be apparent that an insane amount of improvement on your bicycle is found by doing the correct exercises off your bicycle in order to correct and balance your overall movement patterns.

It is easy to discount how important having balanced movment patterns are, but since I started looking closely at this, I have never seen one rider who is fully even and balanced.

I will leave you with this thought.

Last year a rider at a club ride was asking me about his gearing for a planned trip to Colorado and for some day long climbs.

I suggested changes to his setup, and he asked, "Are you sure that will help?"

To that I responded, "Absolutely. In fact I can guarantee that if you get the right gears and learn to spin smoothly you will positively be one to two tenths miles an hour faster for the exact same effort."

He spit, "What? One or two tenths mile an hour. That is all?!"

I explained, "I said it was faster. I didn't say it was magic."

BTW: Glad to see you spent some time on the Torque page.

59722/2/2013 8:04:06 PMDanI can't tell how it works, but it does.

When I do my workout program, they all use the Powertap which is displayed on screen.

When I match their speed and cadence, my watts match theirs, but what I am confused on is how to become more efficient like you talked about not chasing someone up a hill.

What should I focus on during a race?

How do I train to be most efficient?

Why do you believe you are not already riding most efficiently?

59712/1/2013 2:51:39 PMDan DeckerI have been riding for 4 years: started riding MTB for fun, then started racing them, then started doing triathlons and road riding.

In the last 3 years I have done over 70 races.

I have just finished an 8 week power training program.

I use the iSport Pro power meter.

The thing I'm confused about is how do I put the info I read about to use?

Ok, I'll have to do some homework first.

I'll edit this post as I work my way through.

Right now I have begun reading an article about a power meter that I assume is similar to the one you are using: article.


It took me awhile to go through the article, and then I spent some time on the iSport website trying to find an actual statement regarding the manner in which iSport measures forces.

Maybe you will know better about it, but best thing I could figure is that it is some variation on wind resistance and speed.

If that is the case, no wonder you are confused.

I was excited to find a cheaper power meter, but calling the iSport a power meter is to be calling it something it is not.

You may certainly find it somewhat useful in training (until you get closer to your ultimate potential), but it is not for precision work, and the manner in which it was compared to a Powertap would of necessity show similar results over the long haul.

One could get the same results using a reliable speedometer, or better yet a stopwatch.

In order to understand the content in Cycling Performance Simplified, you would need a measuring device that gives you very quick feedback, and I should add here that the Powertap is itself way too slow.

However, given your level of experience and MTB riding, you probably already know the gist of it anyway: a quick smooth cadence is inherently more powerful (faster) than a slow plodding mash.

That is why you have MTB gears for steep climbs.

Please tell me I am wrong, that I missed the part about how the iSport works, and that you can tell me exactly how it measures "forces."

59691/31/2013 8:05:05 PMDanGreat info, but I am confused.

Are you saying to spin faster with less Torque = faster speed?

Due to the fact it left you confused, I would judge the info was not so great.

How long have you been cycling and at what level?

Also what power meter are you using, and to what chapter, paragraph, and sentence are you referring?

59671/27/2013 9:18:59 AMCuryousSo what is your final take on that person who posted the Rich Staley question?

Given their position on getting things correct before building strength into it, doing full hour tests, attention to relevant detail, etc, anybody who has that person as a trainer is very lucky indeed and should be paying very close attention to what they are being told by them.

59661/26/2013 1:14:21 AMRich StaleyThis email is for Bill Hill.

I read your articles about power training, power to speed and weight etc.

I own a bicycle shop in Reno Nevada, and we do a ton of computrainer training.

I am much more about building base, bike fit, and pedal stroke efficiency before working on true interval power.

However, to cut to the chase, we were doing Hour Power testing with a full hour course.

I feel that when testing for hour power, you really should do it for an hour.

There is a mental and physical component missing from testing for 2 intervals at 6, 8, or 12 minute bursts, then averaging and multiplying by some percentage to get your threshold power.

Anyway, during the test I noticed that when a heavier rider was compared to a lighter rider there was an anomaly.

In 3 different cases, the heavier rider won the race by time, but lost by watts per kilo.

Most notably was a 176 lb rider who turned 325 watts at 4.07 w/kilo.

He lost by a minute to a 220 lb rider who turned 358 watts but at 3.59 w/kilo.

The course was flat, no hills, no wind, and no drafting.

Calibration was done to a warm tire, and all riders calibrated around 2.5.

It was a simple 23 mile time trial.

There were 3 other riders where the heavier rider won by time, but lost by w/kilo.

So, my question is simply why.

When I punched these numbers into your power and weight to speed calculator, I got the same results where the heavier rider was going almost a mile per hour faster than the lighter rider even though the lighter rider is turning a higher w/kilo by almost .5 w/kilo.

What the heck am I missing?

Thanks for your input
Rich Staley

Don't know who Bill Hill is, but if I read your question correctly, the answer is simple.

The Cycling Performance Simplified power to weight and speed calculator does not consider rider weight in the speed calculations.

Therefore, if you matched the results with Computrainer, you have merely revealed a flaw in the Computrainer readings.

That is to say, although Computrainer purports to be providing calculations based partially on rider weight, it is not doing so, but is reporting speed based on an assumed weight.

My own Cycling Performance Simplified calculator states that a rider weight of 85 kilograms is assumed (for speed calculations) which would imply the Computrainer is using a similar figure if you matched results.

So you haven't missed anything in your process (everything you prefaced is dead on correct), and you have only pointed out the imprecision of the current measuring tools.

Not to mention the Torque value is missing from Computrainer measurements and that might also help explain the results you observed.

Otherwise, who is Bill Hill, and why would you expect that a posting here would be read by him?

Also, why would you expect me to believe you are Rich Staley just because you say you are?

59561/14/2013 11:49:32 AMTom HoltonMort! (now you know I'm for real!)

Did you give Steve Brown and me credit for chasing your skinny butt around all those streets of London?

And do you remember laying out the quarter-mile oval in the grass with Mr. King at the Catholic School since we did not have a quarter mile track for practice?

Those were good times!

My recollection is that it was me who was chasing you guys around.

In any case, I have moved this discussion to the London, OH forum, so people coming here for help with their numbers don't have to watch two geezers trying to remember their names.

Plus nobody is going to believe we had to make our own 440 practice track out in a cow pasture anyway.

BTW: You might want to get on a bicycle yourself.

592211/25/2012 2:45:11 PMMichael BolesCan you give a link or tell me how you got all the numbers in this formula:

= SUM (SQRT ((2 * A2) / (9.8067 * A4 * 0.0053) + 0.185) * 60 * 60 / 1000 * 0.621371192 )

I would like to try and see if I can make it show watts based on speed and distance.

Where do these numbers come from or mean:

(9.8067, 0.0053, 0.185, 0.621371192)

Thank you for your time, I just like playing with numbers.

Those are the formula and constants used by the Power to Weight Calculator which also calculates speed based on power while showing nominal race categories.

The numbers and formula were abstracted from the Wikipedia article linked below:

Be aware the calculations will only be meaningful assuming a more or less circular course which ends at the starting point, or an out and back, where wind will be neutralized.

Also be sure to review my chapter on Torque.

I personally spent a lot of time confirming the validity of these numbers in the real world.

You should have no trouble reversing the order of the Power to Speed calculations.

BTW: Is this you?

591911/20/2012 12:31:21 PMRichard WhartonThis is GENIUS. How long has this been up?

Thank you for saying so, but actually it is just simple physics.

On the other hand, when that guy got hit on the head with an apple and came up with a measuring system based on the weight of an apple falling out of a tree, people called that genius as well.

Except the ideas here are not really my own, just settled science that the functioning of the Powertap is based on, although I do seem to have looked at the situation a little more closely than most...the people currently at Powertap included.

Well, ok, maybe some of the ideas are my own.

The first elements of CPS were posted the beginning of January, 2008, and I do recall at the time nobody called it genius, they just referred to me as that stark raving lunatic.

However, the results of everything mentioned here are easy to reproduce, so some of that talk has died down of late.

In any case, thanks for reading and for writing.

BTW: Is this you?

585310/8/2012 2:59:02 PMJennie KieslingBob,

I enjoyed meeting you on the road today. Thanks for the encouragement to get a Power Meter, which is clearly in my future.

Jennie

Anytime you want to borrow a Powertap wheel to try it out, we have a loaner.

We are the green building across from the church in Sugar Loaf, and my wife is Mary Endico the watercolorist.

I probably didn't make it clear when I handed you the card (didn't want to cheapen the product), but I don't charge for this stuff.

I just keep that fancy card on the refrigerator reminding me to not eat.

In any case, the wheel is currently loaned out to Keith over at The Bicycle Doctor in Middletown but should be back next week.

Keith just won two divisions over at the Sussex series by riding them back to back all season, but he is still looking for ways to get better and showed an interest.

I put the wheel in his hand quick as I could.

Like I said, should be back next week, borrow it anytime, plus I'll be glad to go out with you and give a quick how to.

585210/8/2012 8:44:09 AMBob FugettI just want to take a moment and thank all the people who are reading this book.

It has become pretty much of a phenomenon and keeps me fired up as I check the web usage logs every morning to make sure people are finding the information they came here to get.

I developed my own tracking system to easily follow the path readers are taking, and I make adjustments to the text when it appears readers are reaching dead-ends before finding the information asked for in their search engine queries.

I don't know who many of you are, but see from the IP#'s that readers are from all over the world.

Again, many many thanks.

57797/23/2012 9:03:49 AMTomer GeminderHi,

I just came (and not for the first time) onto your site.

With your permission I would like to translate some of the material into Hebrew and post it on my blog.

Of course, all references to the origin, to this site, as well as your short bio shall be added.

Thanks,
Tomer

Absolutely no problem.

Have at it, and thank you for asking first.

57386/13/2012 7:42:17 PMKevin ConnorsThanks Bob. Unfortunately, the version of the Nook I have has the web browser permanently disabled. No worries, I'll have to read the book via my PC. That works.

Hope you enjoyed the ride. I have to wait to 5 before I can go for one. The weather is looking promising.

After my ride (went out with Widder, her birthday, great ride, long massive hills, perfect day), I got home, saw your email and went online to see about getting something onto your Nook.

I found out the Nook uses ePUB format and also accepts PDF, so I decided I could probably put something together for you in those formats.

I have another book available in both of those formats as well as Kindle.

However, when I started stepping through the process, I realized there are a couple essential aspects to the web browser version of Cycling Performance Simplified that would be lost in both ePUB and PDF.

The most important element lost would be the interactive Power to Weight Calculator which automatically assigns power data to Race Categories (based on the data gathered by Allan and Coggan).

Those calculations are central to making the book easy to understand, because a lot of the discussion is too counterintuitive without a solid objective reference—due to the mythology built up over years of cycling performance being measured by highly unreliable criteria.

In fact, even though I know this stuff inside out, I still have to remind myself of the facts almost every ride.

Such as, "I'm pushing really hard. I must be generating a lot of power and speed."

Couldn't be further from the truth: correctly pushing very lightly can be significantly more powerful and faster. (see: Torque and Dead Spot)

Another main element that would be lost to ePUB and PDF is the Table of Contents vertical navigation bar (left side of all pages).

It is not merely a static listing but is actually output from a database, which allows me to easily make global changes to address feedback from readers when they get lost.

On the other hand I fully understand the convenience of a resource in your pocket.

I do a lot of my own reading and daily chores on my aging iPod Touch.

But when it comes time to get down to business, I still default back to my laptop, its big screen, and thinking with 10 fingers while not bothering to look at them.

Still, if you want some aspect of Cycling Performance Simplified ported over to ePUB or PDF, I could take a run at it.

57376/13/2012 11:27:48 AMKevin ConnorsI somehow happened upon your book, and I'm eager to read it.

Is the only source the web site?

It would be handy to put it on my Nook.

cheers -

KC

I just did a quick Google search and found the Nook has a hidden web browser that you might try and let me know if it works.

Here is a link to a YouTube video:

56884/26/2012 10:45:46 AMDavid Parrillo JrMy name is David and I live here in Scarsdale NY—fairly new to cycling.

I absolutely love the Cycling Performance Simplified book.

It has answered so many of my questions!!

Thanks for putting it out there.

David

And if you think the book was good, Scarsdale just happens to be within 1 hour of the best rides on earth.

Here's a link to the Orange County Bicycle Club website which has weekly rides over the best courses known to humankind: link.

Although most of their rides are less than an hour from you, I took the liberty of Google mapping directions to the closest most regular one.

The ride loops through Harriman State Park and includes the renowned Harriman "Race Course."

Here is a little more info.

56744/4/2012 7:17:24 AMCuryousWhat is it about a smooth faster spin being inherently more powerful (and less effort) than a slower stomping plod that makes it so hard for people to understand?

I have no idea, but the three previous questions below show the gold standard classic example.

Be sure to read them in numerical order (5657, 5669, 5672 bottom to top) to see the persistence of false logic.

Make note the person asking these questions is no freaking idiot either... otherwise I wouldn't have bothered answering.

His questions were so well written I credited him in Ackknowledgements.

56724/3/2012 10:44:59 PMClinton Smith
Colorado
Bob,

Thanks ... I think you may have missed my point on this one, though.

If I understand your argument, then you establish an objective of maintaining an average of 180 watts over all terrain (hills). Or using a different metric, 20mph average.

So for example, that would mean ride 20mph on the flats, 10mph on each uphill and then 30mph on the downhill. Thus, 20mph average.

Switching to using power, that would mean 180 watts on the flats, 360 watts on an uphill and then zero watts on the downhill. Thus, 180 watt average.

So let's use two rides:

1) Ride A: perfectly flat, 180 watts.
2) Ride B: some hills, each canceling out the wattage average to arrive again at 180 watts. All flats at 180 watts.

That's where I believe your logic differs from what I would expect.

To say that ride A and ride B require the same amount of effort does not seem logical.

Effectively, ride B is the same as doing intervals above your functional power threshold, with recovery after each (downhill).

But we all know that doing intervals forces the rider to go anaerobic, which creates a larger amount of lactic acid and accelerates fatigue.

Even with recovery in between.

Said differently, to ride over a route that looks like a row of sharks teeth vs. a flat line/pancake, the hillier ride will generally create more fatigue.

The key is that the up hills force the rider to cross into a level that produces chemical changes (anaerobic system used for energy production) which cannot be cancelled out during the same route by simply coasting downhill.

Did I miss something?

It is not your fault you missed it, nor mine that I can't communicate it.

Unless we both are working from the same objective data, it is probably impossible to reach an understanding.

It is 180 Watts everywhere: uphill, downhill, and on the flats.

The belief that one needs to overwork the uphills, then underwork the downhills, while only maintaining power on the flats is exactly the false logic that everybody without a power meter (and even lots of people with one) is probably doomed to follow.

You have probably seen it in every group ride you've ever been on.

People hammering the hill, then coasting the downhill.

A 180 Watt loop is a 180 Watt loop no matter hills or no hills.

The person who hammers 600 Watts on the uphills then recovers on the downhills to average 180 Watts (overall) will get to the finish at the same time as the person who maintains a steady state 180 Watts both up, down, and flat.

However, the person who maintains steady state will get there a lot less wasted.

Of course this assumes no team tactics or group efforts through drafting for both riders.

It is about Time Trialing.

Like I said, this is insanely counter-intuitive until you see it happen.

Somebody could probably figure it out without an objective external reference, but it would take many, many years of experience.

Probably the only way to catch on to this without a meter is by trying the following technique next time you are getting gapped (just slightly) by somebody on a hill:

Click down (not up), and spin a little faster.

The first time I showed this to somebody they were dropping off my left shoulder, and I said, "Click down 2 and spin faster."

They passed me and reported it was easier.

Simple mechanics of levers.

In any case you do realize that while we are writing this stuff, neither of us is getting any stronger, don't you?

56694/3/2012 6:52:39 PMClinton Smith
Colorado
Thanks, Bob.

I saw the reply there and appreciate your diligence in the response. I think what I’m asking about is perhaps a blend of physics (torque vs. power/watts) and data processing.

That is, want to be able to feed a GPX file (common format for GPS units) into a formula/utility/program that calculates some relative degree of effort required to perform that ride.

To do that, we have to assume some fixed variables (e.g., rider weight, wind conditions, temperature, same bike, etc.).

Additionally, let’s assume the exact same speed over all terrain (I know that’s very unrealistic, but it’s required for this exercise).

Otherwise, if you allow the speed to be reduced for every hill climb, then that effectively negates any hills in the first place and it becomes essentially a “flat” ride.

And for flat rides, given the number of fixed variables, the only effort difference is the distance.

As I think about it more, we’re really attempting a simulation that fixes SPEED rather than TORQUE/WATTS.

That forces the effort to increase for hills and thus helps differentiate different rides beyond just the distance that each represents.

Know a way to do this?

Well this is even easier.

The Power to Weight Calculator is specifically designed to give you those figures.

However, without a power meter to test the facts (in the real-world) the explanation of why it works is not going to make much sense to you.

This is a very non-intuitive situation.

Consider this: a consistent 180 Watts output will result in about a 20 mph pace on a more or less circular loop no matter what the terrain.

Just so long as you maintain 180 Watts constant output over the entire course.

Downhills cancel out uphills.

Tailwinds cancel out headwinds.

The true limiting factor is if a technical course requires you to slow down for curves and stop signs.

Overcoming inertia to regain your 20 mph pace is really what takes the most energy and is affected by rider weight significantly more than anything else.

Otherwise 180 Watts on one of your courses (if they are all loops) will very closely match any other course.

How to acheive those Watts consistently may be your biggest problem and is determined significantly by having the correct gearing to allow you to maintain the correct cadence both uphill and downhill.

A complicating aspect of this type of performance is that it demands a high level of efficiency in your pedal stroke.

There are individually at least 360 points of possible failure for each leg plus a wealth of other personal performance factors.

It all seems non-sensical doesn't it?

I have tested this type of ride numerous times and found the figures hold true.

Unfortunately without a power meter it is very hard to understand how an easier effort on a hill can sometimes be significantly more powerful (faster).

For point of reference the energy required for a 20 mph pace is about the same as required to pick a full bicycle water bottle off the floor and place it on a table... again and again.

In summary the relative difficulty of your loops is probably better compared by the number of cross roads, stop signs, and tight turns rather than the number of hills and their slope.

56574/2/2012 4:11:33 PMClinton Smith
Colorado
I was wondering if you have a consistent way (or know where to find one on the Web) of determining the relative effort required for a given ride/route.

I live in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains … each ride I do has a variety of climbs to it and of course distances vary as well.

But at the end of the day, if we assume that a rider/conditions stays the same (same weight, same posture, same wind speed, same bike) AND maintains a steady speed for the entire route, then there has to be a way to calculate the relative difficulty of the ride.

I don’t have a speedometer or a power meter, so this is just a way to rank my regular routes in terms of order of relative difficulty.

What I’m interested in is how the % incline of a climb impacts the difficulty of the ride.

Thus, a 2% incline is one that you can arguably go “easy” on, but a 11% incline will always be difficult – it doesn’t seem possible to go “easy” at that pitch.

But that’s only for one climb … over the course of a ride, there are many climbs each with a different length/pitch.

So I want to be able to rank my rides overall for their degree of “effort” required to complete the route.

My challenge is that some will argue, “just use a power meter”.

But with a power meter, you can just reduce your speed as the climb gets steeper and thus maintain a constant power output.

However, the climbs I sometimes do approach 15%+ and thus continually reducing speed to maintain a certain power goal just isn’t possible – you’ll fall over!

Thus, at times, you must produce a higher power output just to stay upright.

Thank you, CS

First be sure to review: Torque

Even if you did this comparison with a Power Meter and considered only the Watts, you would still not get an accurate result with regard to your effort.

Watts are variable against your effort (Torque) much the same way as your speed is variable against slope and wind.

This disparity has caused much confusion among riders, partly because only Powertap gives a separate number for Torque, so people don't have easy access to how the two numbers interact.

Without using a power meter, you can get a rough comparison of your rides using my Watts Required for a Climb Calculator and compiling expected Power requirements (per your weight) totaled from segmented sections of each ride.

A more accurate comparison would be derived by notating the average cadence you can maintain in specific gears for each section.

In fact, using averaged cadence is as good or better than a power meter for precision training where you want to track "how strong are you" and are your workouts "making you stronger."

In any case as the saying goes, "You can never step in the same river twice."

Just in case you need a slope calculator you can use: this.

56353/18/2012 2:05:24 PMmaxwellyanofLove CPS - thanks!

Finally, salient info presented in an accessible manner (narrative "sweet-spot") with no shortage of humor.

Maxwell

And with that I am retiring from writing, because no result of my writing could ever be better than my receipt of these kind perfectly penned words.

TEAM TACTICS BONUS

For the local "team," here's a link to an article about team tactics (scroll down to Tactics Recap) that was bylined to Maxwell Yanof whose IP and email would imply this is he who took the time to write thanks.

54378/31/2011 1:40:31 PMOwen LisaHey there~ I found your summary re: your search for a simple speed calculation based on power and weight pretty amusing.

Within my own search I can definitely relate.

I'm looking for something similar to what you put together.

Could you share the assumptions you used to put together your speed calculator?

Thanks! Owen

After clicking the calculate button on the Calculator a link "About Calculator" appears beside it which points to this page:

If you haven't seen that page take a look.

It gives a rundown of my methodology, and I will be more than happy to answer questions and clarify anything not covered.

Thank you for taking the time to write.

54187/18/2011 3:17:59 PMGarrettCurious to know if you can figure out how fast I could go If I lost 30 pounds.

For example I am currently 230 pounds and recently did a 15 mile ride in 57 min (or about 15.8 mph avg).

Given the same watts output, can your calculator somehow figure out what my avg speed would be if at 200 pounds?

Or 190 pounds?

Here is a link to a calculator which will allow you to "what if" various weights.

Click on the image of the calculator at the right of the page to open the live interactive version.

Otherwise, my own calculator is meant as a quick rule of thumb check to begin gaining insight into how to go faster at your current weight and power no matter what that might be.

You will find its calculations track very closely to the graph for speed vs watts at the bottom of that page, and I have seen in practical application how that graph is fairly true for a range of body weights.

The process to make yourself lighter is going to also make you more powerful, so your watt numbers will go up as your weight comes down anyway.

I was myself over 230 lbs when I began cycling, have been close to that again several times since, and was 155 lbs as of this morning, so I can tell you without a doubt that a 30 or 40 lb weight loss will make you considerably faster.

Thank you for taking the time to ask the question, and I'm sure I can count on you to not add my e-mail address to any lists.

 


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