Can you sprint on the Saris MP1 rocker plate?

I’d really like to improve my 5-10 sec sprint power. Can you sprint on the MP1 rocker plate? I’m sure it doesn’t feel exactly the same, BUT…is it close enough? Has anyone tried this? I have a lot of technique to work on in my sprinting and being able to do it indoors and safely would be really appealing to me.

Here’s what I’m talking about:
https://www.saris.com/product/mp1

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My limited experience with it is that even careful, controlled standing pedaling feels pretty awkward. I wouldn’t suggest it for doing max sprint efforts.

It’s in the Lama Lab now. Sure you can sprint on it… BUT… Like ALL rocker/movement plates, don’t expect to be able to use or train proper sprint technique on it. It’s not the same.

There’s so much more to a sprint than side to side movement. I’ve demonstrated this on my 2nd rocker plate video comparing it to standing on a stationary skateboard and rocking side to side vs moving along the sidewalk on a skateboard doing the same motion. Same motion, two entirely different experiences.

At best what happens in a sprint on the MP1 (and other rockers) is that pulling on the bars results in keeping the bike almost staic… as opposed to flopping to the wrong side - which is what these plates want do to.

My litmus test with movement being ‘natural’ out of the saddle is to put an experienced cyclist on one and observing how it rides. There’s a learning curve. And when there’s a learning curve, for an experienced cyclist, it’s not natural.

This aside, there is one feature of the MP1 I really like… and I need to stop wasting time here so I can go put that in a video. Stay tuned! :slight_smile:

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I just got my MP1 a week ago.

Just so happens I’ve been doing SIT, e.g. Charing and Rowdow.

Short answer is no, it’s not great for standing sprints because the plate tilts in the opposite direction of what you’d expect on the road. E.g., on the MP1, with your right foot down, the bike tilts right. It should tilt left, but it’ll never happen on a rocker plate because the fulcrum is in the wrong position. It should be up higher, closer to the axles.

That said, the MP1 is awesome for everything else. I find the side to side rocking to be less active than the fore/aft. You don’t notice how much your bike moves back and forth on the road, because you’re always moving forward, but turns out it’s significant.

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You’ve blown my surprise! This movement in the saddle when seated really humping along or pushing up a climb is brilliant on the MP1.

I have yet to try the MP1, but from comments of those who have and videos I have seen show it to be too stiff for the left-right rocking springs. From my testing, this will make standing sprints a tough proposition for getting the rocking & pedaling timing correct.

Getting less leveling spring force requires (and allows) more normal force input from the rider. This is one step towards getting closer sprint technique inside. This is what I have captured on my rocker, that lacks fore-aft motion. When you add the fore-aft motion, it smooths out the mass shifts and eliminates the shifting and hopping you see on the plate.

Here is one 1200w sprint on my older setup.

This is not perfect reproduction of the outside sprint, but it is closer than any other method we have at the moment and I feel is reasonable for practice vs skipping them on a rigid trainer.

  • I am leaving out motion rollers for the moment. I have done some solid sprints on mine, but they are super tricky to keep centered and I am still limited from hitting the peaks that I have done on rockers.
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thats what I instantly loved about the E-Flex / Kickr combo :slight_smile:

Sprinting inside just doesn’t make sense (someday?). Its flat out my door, so I’m using a pedestrian bridge over the freeway, and a super wide sidewalk on a bridge over railroad tracks (nobody ever walking on it!).

@Nate_Pearson wanted to thank you for the sprinting video, haven’t focused on sprint technique yet but already watching your video and listening to Pete’s coaching have resulted in some nice gains in 1-sec power (1500+W yeehaw). Its been a few years since breaking 1000W on 5-sec sprint, I’m sure thats within reach with the awesome video you and the team put out!!

This blog video, or something else? I must’ve missed it. If not this, please link?

@GPLama looking forward to the video as I am interested in getting one for my H3.

I’m on it. Literally :slight_smile: Stay tuned!

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yes!

There is other good content if you search the TrainerRoad YouTube channel, this should take you to the channel and deliver all the videos tagged with sprint:

yay! :clap:t3:

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take this as you will @Nate_Pearson but if were talking on a trainer id really suggest seated sprints. this literally has nothing to do with the whole rocking a bike/breaking frames/stability etc issue. i personally think learning to do hard seated sprints will force you to learn to hold full body tension better then being able to flail out of the saddle like most people are prone to doing ESPECIALLY when youre fatigued and tired at the end of a race. if you can practice turning over a big gear and accelerating it from a slow speed/stop even for a 10 second effort youll learn to hold tension that should transfer over to out of the saddle outdoor rides. give it a shot and lemme know what you think.

my personal favorite seated sprint workout is find a hill(really just a bump) that you can roll into slowly in a relatively big gear and just sprint over it as hard as possible. ideally taking 10-15 seconds till you get to the top, then just roll around for 5-8minutes and do it again. repeat untill your power starts to drop excessively.

indoor seated stuff id have to go with 10 second big gear seated accelerations. find a gear that you can pedal at 60rpm and then sprint so youre in the 110-120rpm range or there abouts for a peak. 3-5min recovery. repeat. i do 3 starting with my right leg and 3 starting with my left. then i repeat the entire block but in a small gear where im hitting 200+rpm. one block gets the strength gains, one block works on the ability to contract muscles exceptionally quickly! then go take a nap, if you do it properly youll just lay down next to the bike afterwards

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also novel, holy crap my bad.

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I’ve been using the MP1 for a number of weeks now in conjunction with a Tacx Neo. It’s really been transformative in terms of making for a more comfortable realistic feel during indoor trainer rides. Seated, the motion is very subtle at higher cadences but becomes more pronounced as you start to drop your cadence down and start to grind out some efforts. As others mentioned the fore and aft motion is more notable than the side to side.

I’m definitely more of a long distance endurance type rider than a sprinter, but I’ve been doing a lot of 5s, 15s, and 30s burst efforts since getting the MP1. Out of the saddle, as mentioned above, the bike doesn’t have the same direction side to side motion that it would have underneath you outdoors. However what is interesting is how “stable” the entire platform feels; it moves but the trainer itself it tightly fixed to it and everything feels controlled. It is hard to describe, but if you aren’t using an MP1 (or other rocker), you wouldn’t want your trainer moving when you stand up and sprint. If fact I’ve seen pictures of people who actually weigh down their trainer legs with weights/kettlebells to keep their trainers from moving. However on the MP1, the platform allows some movement but ultimately it feels like more power is going into the pedals. The result has been that I seem to be putting out higher power numbers as compared to prior to the MP1. It could be coincidence based on where I am in my training program, but I think there is something to it.

Everything else feels great on the MP1. After a while you just forget it is there, but then you finish your workout and realize you aren’t as sore. Today I did a two hour upper end Zone 2 ride with 5 second sprints every two minutes for the first hour and I felt great throughout. In the past, by the end of two hours my backside would be feeling it with a longish two hour Zone 2 effort, but no issues at all today.

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Damn, son! Do that for 5 seconds and you’ll be cat 2 in no time.

I wish!