Greetings from the UK!
I started road cycling earlier this year and have been really enjoying it.
I’ve been building up my distance and speed over time eg. 100km on Sunday with an average speed of 27km per hour.
I am considering indoor training options for the wetter/colder months and TrainerRoad looks like a great option.
I would however really appreciate some advice on the following equipment options;
Rollers - I have invested in some InSide Ride e-Motion rollers and was wondering if these combine well with TrainerRoad? Or whether a Smart Trainer would be a much better option?
Speed/Cadence - I have the Wahoo Blue SC and was going to get started with VirtualPower to see how I get on. Is that a good place to start or will I regret not starting out with a PowerMeter from day one?
Power Meter - after a fair bit of research, I am considering the Assioma Uno which seems to be both reliable and cost effective. I understand it basically doubles the left leg output (which is my weaker leg) but was thinking this would provide a consistent yardstick for my starting point and future progress. Does this make sense or will I regret not getting the Duo to start with?
Thank you in advance for your time and insight.
Greetings from the UK!
If you can afford the jump to dual go for it. I think the difference is probably negligible for most and something you won’t notice especially if you are only using the uno and don’t plan on comparing it to other power meters or smart trainers. The potential issue arises when you try comparing your single sided power to a different source.
Ive not got the concentration for roller although I believe one of the TR podcast crew uses then to good success.
Years ago I started with virtual power before finally getting a single sided Favero Be Pro S. I don’t regret starting with virtual power; just be aware when you reset your FTP with an actual PM the +/- could be a fair bit different. VP is only an estimate but its consistent so is a good place to start IMO. I’ve never regretted the single sided PM either; at the time of purchase I didn’t have the money for dual sided PM and a disc wheel. I had intended to go double sided at a later stage but 5 years down I’ve not had much urge and I would still rather spend my money on other things for the bike
If you are serious about taking your training to another level, I’d start off with the real power meter over virtual power. (I have left side only and it works for me. There are many topics though where people debate the merits of dual sided.)
I futzed around with a not-so-accurate smart trainer and it really derailed my training. You would also want to have power for all your outside rides so you can monitor all of your training with a power duration curve and a performance management chart.
I’m not good on rollers, and I struggle doing higher power efforts on them, and certainly think I’d fall off at the end of a ramp test! Your mileage may vary though.
If you want to try out training I’d suggest signing up and either going with exactly what you have or buying a cheap wheel on trainer.
Both options will use virtual power, but if you use this all winter you’ll find out if you ‘enjoy’ indoor workouts and TR. Based on this you can upgrade in the spring to have a power meter + head unit for outdoor workouts
I have a Kickr and rollers, and have put a LOT of time in on the rollers. I think it works really well with TR most of the time BUT…intervals that take you to exhaustion are not a good idea eg ramp test or perhaps serious max efforts etc. At some point you will have dial it back to stay on the rollers or risk falling off! I have no issues doing every other type of work though and have used them exclusively the last 18 months while the Kickr gathers dust. FYI I much prefer using indoor trainer tyres on them - saves wear on the road tyres and they never slip or squeal etc.
Many thanks for your reply.
I’m learning that cycling is a rather expensive hobby and that I can’t necessarily afford (or justify) buying everything I might need immediately. Hence a more phased approach.
Many thanks for your insight.
I rather like the concentration aspect of rollers (so far) combined with the sense that I am actually riding the bike.
I am gravitating towards TrainerRoad because I am guessing it might work better on rollers than Zwift (which might be more distracting).
Great to hear that VP is consistent and a good place to start.
Also great to hear that you have been happy to stick with the Uno. I suppose it gives you that more accurate consistency inside and out - just without any left/right output variance data.
Thank you and that’s an excellent point regarding the outside rides - as I will be riding outside unless it’s really cold or wet.
It will also be really interesting to see how the output compares between the road and the rollers - and, as you say, it’s all part of the same jigsaw puzzle.
Thank you and that’s an excellent point regarding “enjoyment” before I splash out too much.
And yes, the fear of falling off (and need to balance) will certainly limit going absolutely all out on the ramp test.
Many thanks for your insight and sounds like you have the best of both worlds there.
Great to hear that you gravitate towards your rollers - which makes me feel good about my initial purchase.
If I really enjoy the inside training option I will probably invest in a smart trainer at some point down the line.
I used VP for several years, so long as your setup is consistent (same tyre pressure, etc.) then it’s fine. My FTP “changed” when I got a power meter but again, consistency is key.
I’ve a 4iiii PM which is left side only, the only time on the turbo when it’s a “problem” is during individual leg exercises when using the right leg - looks like I’ve stopped pedalling for however many seconds I’m doing it!
When I got the PM it was a choice between that and a smart trainer. I figured I could use the PM on outdoor rides as well, then TR introduced outdoor workouts so the decision paid off If I could afford it I’d get a smart trainer as well. Yes cycling’s expensive.
I’ve used the rollers on and off for 10 years but early last year, around lockdown time, I just got the bug for them again. It sounds a little like what you said originally - the extra mental focus required and the fact that it feels alittle more ‘real’ when riding.
I would also add it can take a little experimenting to work out how gearing, cadence and tyre pressure can be used to hit different wattage targets. Its not going to be so precise as erg mode on a smart trainer, as sometimes a target wattage will simply fall between 2 gear ratios or at a cadence you just dont want to sustain. I have stopped during warmups sometimes to add or remove a few psi from the rear tyre for example, so it better hits my target at a cadence I want to ride etc. I have the Cycleops alu rollers and an adjustable magnetic resistance add-on but its not changeable during riding and I tend to set it before each session based on the focus - eg off for z2/3 work, low resistance for SST/threshold and more resistance for >FTP work etc. Your rollers may differ regarding this but it just takes a little more faff sometimes to get it right.
Of course the other benefit of rollers is that you can pass the time with some drills to aid with the mental aspect - 1 leg, no hands, standing (might be easier on yours with the sliding capability but its VERY hard on traditional rollers - riding edge to edge etc. All can just help passing the time.
Have fun with it and just remember that watching cycling videos with downhills and corners etc can create some interesting moments on the rollers if your concentration wanders
I train on rollers. I have a cheap smart trainer, but not used it for about 2 years. However, I do have a resistance unit for my rollers, which means I don’t have to ride with crazy fast wheels to hit power targets, and I have a one-sided Stages PM on the bike. I wouldn’t do sprints on rollers, but everything else is fine.
I think to really follow the TR workouts, a PM is extremely useful. With VP and rollers, I think you get too much variation from different tyres pressures (and gearing, but you can keep an eye on that).
And yes, cycling as a sport can get expensive really quickly…
You can get TR for free for a month to try it out, just ask in the referral code thread.
I’d say buy the powermeter, you can use it inside and outside. I use e-motion rollers with a powermeter when I do indoor TR workouts, they work perfect, just be sure to turn the resistance up a notch over normal for ramp tests so you don’t run out of gears.