10km times on and exercise bike?

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Galileo82, Jun 13, 2008.

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  1. Morning All

    I need some exercise bike info.

    I am in competition with someone and we live in different cities. She does 10km on an exercise bike in around 18mins; I did it yesterday in gym in 11.24.

    This is of course an incredible time and, taking into account the fact that she is a girl and I am quite the cyclist, it still sounds a bit ridiculous! However, when the distance read 10.01 (it doesn’t say whether it is km on the machine), my time was 11.24, so what am I to believe. Can one cycle at 30mph on an exercise bike?

    Can anyone shed some light on what is going on? Could it be different level settings, modes etc?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Yes just look at the likes of Jan Urlich and Lance Armstrong and there time trial times, they are cycling at speeds averaging round 25, 30. It is achievable on an excerise bike, yes although I find them a bit dodgy and I think it would be better done on a turbo trainer or on the road. If you have a decent road bike find out where your local 10TT is and do that.
  3. Maintaining any real speed on a road bike is horrifically difficult. With good legs and sub 8 minute BFT fitness I found it impossible to maintain anything over 24mph for long. 30mph on a decent road bike is 500w of power. You would need some ability to maintain that for more than a minute. A lot of people struggle to get a bike up to 30. The calibration on exercise bikes is all over the place. I use the new Precors (which seem reasonably calibrated) and 38kph (23 and a bit mph) is 160 beats per minute and a sweaty mess after half an hour.

    Very, very few people can sustain 26mph+, and 25 for an hour is the standard for a seriously good club rider.
  4. Or looking at it differently, if you can do 500w for ten minutes you can sustain (say) 450 for an hour. Can you ride a 25 in 51 minutes (or less) and get on the front of Cycling Weekly?

    I've had some hidings on the bike :)
  5. Thanks folks!

    The more I read the more I reckon my time is clearly pish (as in incorrect)!

    I am no Lance Armstrong, I did Edinburgh to Glasgow in sub 4 hours on a mountain bike, but I am no where near a professional cyclist!

    I think the settings on the bike must be different, if not, Olympic Gold here I come!
  6. Often the machine can't cope if you spin the pedals too fast or too slow. I had a quite good cyclist/exercise physiologist tell me he was doing 400w+ for half an hour on these indoor bikes. I told him that on the old bikes anything above 90rpm the resistance fell off a cliff, you could tell the machine wasn't coping, a little red light flashed .........he wasn't having it. He said that turning the pedals faster was just more efficient, that was why the perceived exertion was less. I eventually got him to concede that the efficiency difference between 89rpm and 91rpm couldn't be much, and had him try sitting at 89 and then 91. At that point he admitted what was happening. You could actually feel the resistance collapse through the pedals as soon as the little rpm light started flashing. It could only cope 85-90rpm, outside of that the readings were nonsense.
  7. Exercise bike speeds are relative to little except as a reference and bear only a passing resemblance to actual road speeds. Note that 70-90% of a cyclist’s effort is expended just overcoming air resistance. Obviously on a static bike there is no air resistance because you’re not moving.

    On the question of road speeds, in the recent National 25m TT Championships, the winner, Michael Hutchinson, clocked an impressive 50:49; that’s a tadge under 30 mph average. Not bad on an out and back course (during the preceeding month’s National 10m TT, Hutchinson (who also won that) did a 18:07; that’s 33.118 mph. In fact, in the National 10, the top 28 riders all clocked in at over 30 mph average).


    Check out this forum for the all-time record times for UK time trials at standard distances:


    10 Miles - Bradley Wiggins, 1996, 17:58 or 33.426mph!
    25 Miles - Chris Boardman, 1993, 45:57 or 32.644mph (on a fixed gear bike)!

    Interested in cycling? See the Army CU forum on Armynet for details.

    Incidentally, it's the Army CU Time Trial weekender this weekend. It's on the A3 near Bordon (between Liss and Liphook). There's a 'ten' on Sat between c.1630 and 1730, and a '25' on Sun between 0800 and 1000 approx. Come along and shout rude things in encouragement. It's open to civvies too and you may see some of the top riders in the country.
  8. True, but there can be a bucketload of other resistance. Graeme Obree trained to break the world hour record on the crappiest indoor bike you've ever seen, in his back yard. He wasn't going anywhere and wasn't overcoming air resistance. He was, though, sticking nearly 500w through the pedals.

    I know a physiologist who did a ramp test on Obree - ie, start at 300w (the point where the rest of us stop!) and add 25 a minute until you blow up. At the start Obree said, "What's the highest score anyone has managed?" They told him it was 460w (or whatever). He said they were to let him know when he hit it. As soon as he did hit it he stopped. They reckoned that the sneaky so-and-so knew that the physiologists would be testing every major cyclist and Obree didn't want anyone to know just what he had in the tank.

    I'm sure if I had his ability I could have turned it into major dough, but then again if you change one thing you actually change everything.

  9. Quite right Gobby, but I think you may have mistaken my point. I never said that static training wasnt worthwhile (far from it; I do most of my power and speed training on a static trainer in my garage). I was responding to the question of whether static trainers' speed indicators were accurate.

    The most effective method of recording static training is intensity and time (and interval count, if you're doing intervals). Interestingly, intensity can displayed by 'speed' on a static trainer as there is no wind resistance or hills and so all is constant (apart from your exertion). Other indicators of intensity include Heart Rate, Perceived Effort, and actual Power Output (again, often inaccurate on gym bikes but nevertheless useful as it is only relative to itself) etc. I use a large kitchen clock, a HRM and a pile of different coloured duplo bricks to count out my intervals; for certain training types I also measure cadence.
  10. Dragstrip are you just a time trialist or a road racer aswell?
  11. I've done the odd RR but I tend to do TT, principally because the training volume required is lower. Whilst roadies need massive aerobic fitness to survive literally hours in the saddle of fast-slow-fast-slow etc, if you stick to shorter distance TT you can survive on power and speed as you're delivering a more constant power output over a shorter duration.
  12. I had someone explain to me the problem with most indoor trainers, which basically is that you need a massive flywheel effect and big gearing to simulate the road. Most indoor trainers it is more like climbing - a big deadspot on every pedal stroke; makes you good at struggling uphill with a bergan but doesn't transfer across so well to riding fast on the road, particularly in a tailwind. People think riding with a tailwind is easy, but in a race a tailwind kills weaker rider.

    Kingcycle used to make a trainer which had a massive flywheel but it cost a fortune and I think they went bust.

    I found an old Tunturi trainer in the street (and Tunturi know what they are doing - big flywheel and a big gear) but (stupidly) I got fed up carrying the awkward bugger home and dumped it. A Tunturi trainer at a car boot sale - one with the massive steel disk on the front - can be a good buy.
  13. This is a link to an image of a kingcycle ergometer:


    As you can see, it has a tiny flywheel.

    The best way to train for road conditions is to train on the road. The main reason why athletes use static trainers (and put up with their inherent compromises) is that all is relatively constant and techniques such as intervals etc can be used more accurately and with greater potential effect. Plus you tend not to get rained on or mown down by idiot drivers.

    For example, I have a bike especially for static training and I know from my training log the exact setting that I have used for all of my sessions, including, tyre pressure, gears, tension setting, elevation of front wheel, temperature, humidity, time of day, duration etc. You cannot easily do this on the road.

    Not sure what you're on about when you say that a tailwind kills the weaker rider; I don't think that can be true, tailwinds (and headwinds) are simply positive or negative air resistance and are both relative to road speed and are the same for everybody in an echelon (assuming everyone takes a share of the work and the shelter by echeloning through to the front). The point being that, race tactics aside, it is the same for all. Larger riders tend to be less aerodynamic and so suffer more in a headwind but benefit more from a tailwind (they also provide a greater degree of shelter for those drafting behind). Sidewinds are a different matter as light riders can get thrown around a bit and this can be exhausting over hundreds of kms.
  14. Fair doos on the Kingcycle. The nugget that told me this persuaded the uni to pay something ridiculous like 5k for one of these things. He's a principal lecturer in exercise physiology now - I just checked on google.

    His point about tailwinds, though, was a race point. A strong tailwind and people are nearly spinning out on a 53X12, gaps open and then the trouble starts.

    Chris Boardman was told by his family never to race because it would spoil the pleasure of cycling for ever. You can see their point; there is something horrific (and dangerous) about really struggling on a bike. I can still remember looking at the speedo reading 27mph as I swerved round a manhole cover, folded the front wheel, and broke my fall with my eyebrow. Quasimodo for about 6 weeks. I was lucky I wasn't killed; the car behind was a cop who stopped and scraped me up.
  15. Friend of mine was once pulled over by the police for speeding on a bicycle