Mtb endurance HRM/Power

Hey all,

Lately, I have been considering a PM for my mtb(currently have one on my road bike) but I question the effectiveness. I have been riding and trying to gauge endurance work by HR and TSS. Yesterday I noticed it takes a good amount of effort for
me to stay in zone 2 Heart-rate-wise and certainly
Putting out higher than zone 2 watts if I had to guess. I’m not opposed to getting a PM but would imagine the inconsistency in typical Upstate NY type trails wouldn’t make it easy. What have you found to be most helpful?

I had a TSS of 76 after a 1:35 minute ride. I thought that was pretty decent. I’m not some huge proponent of TSS or anything just want something to help me get an idea of effort. In the moment would be easier I think
Curious what/how you guys approach the Endurance stuff on Trails

I have PMs on my MTB and it’s useful for sustained climbs where I can dial in my pace, intervals and making sure I don’t spike power needlessly on up and downs. BUT, I find HR just works better overall as a guide to keep things in endurance. There’s just a delay in the response, so I use power to keep that in check. Both work well in conjunction.

On technical trails where I ride in CO, I do find it to be a fun game to ride while keeping HR and power in right zone. For me, it’s harder to be smooth over obstacles than to just hammer challenging sections.

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Yea that seems like the best way to go about it. Makes sense. I may still look into PM for those reasons.

One thing ai just discovered was my max heartrate for cycling in garmin was set to 210. That may have happened once when I was deep in a hole and overtrained but that is not max. So that makes sense why it was so hard for me to get into zone 2 consistently when looking at my Edge.

I’d say it’s worthwhile, but not as helpful as on a road bike or trainer. Its good for the sustained climbs as the other poster noted, its also good for a non-tech race such as Leadville. We have fairly tech rocky/rooty trails here in New England so its less helpful day to day. I find rating my effort much more with a combo of the power metrics and HR, while on the road I mostly ignore HR.

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PM or not, trails just aren’t the best for long, steady distance stuff. The power meter is only going to tell you what you already know. To me, the PM on the mountain bike is for tracking weekly TSS in a more accurate way. I also do my outdoor workouts on my MTB, but I do those on gravel uphill segments. I find it to be more useful as a training aid, than for pacing, it’s better to look at the data after the MTB ride, rather than during. Although it’s quite interesting tracking RPE and power while on the trail…

Where in Upstate are you? I’m originally from Binghamton, there’s a lot of good stuff up there that very little people are aware of. :slight_smile:

Yea I was mainly looking for a way to get endurance work in while staying with the discipline I’m working on. I could easily take the road bike out and it would be easier to track zone 2 with my PM but not sure that would be as beneficial if focusing on getting those longer rides on the mtb. Although will admit I’ve had a decent start to my mtb “career” with first two races being podiums while doing most of my riding/training on my road bike and trainer.

I live in Saratoga. A bit away from Binghamton but by all means if you know of stuff I’m all ears

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