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Which one to buy: Powercranks or Computrainer?
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I'll probably get both eventually, but which one would you recommend purchasing first? Cycling is my slowest tri event with running second (I swim like I have gills).

From the marketing I've read, I'm thinking PC now and computrainer later. The PC will help both my bike and run, and I probably won't use the computrainer too much once it warms up anyway.

Any thoughts?

--Joe
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Re: Which one to buy: Powercranks or Computrainer? [dukeisno1] [ In reply to ]
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Hmmm, tough question... I'd get the Power Cranks first since they will benefit both cycling and running. I own both. They are important training tools.

Tom Demerly
The Tri Shop.com
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both are important training tools ... [Tom Demerly] [ In reply to ]
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but my, admittedly biased opinion, is that you should get the PC's first, not because they help with the running, but they make the big changes in your cycling stroke that the CT can then be used to fine tune and improve further. It should take about a year to get to this point.

In my opinion, it is not possible to make the PC changes with the CT (if it were all the CT users who are now PC users would have no trouble on that first ride) but it is possible to improve the PC changes with the CT. That is why the PC's should come first. Running improvement is just an added bonus.

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Frank,
An original Ironman and the Inventor of PowerCranks
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Re: Which one to buy: Powercranks or Computrainer? [dukeisno1] [ In reply to ]
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I'll offer a descenting view to Tom and Frank. Of course it is biased in the way that I have not ridden Power Cranks yet and I do own a Computrainer. I am blessed with nearly ideal year round riding weather here in north San Diego county, but if I were living in the north with a real winter this is the way I would view it. For me, personally, I hate riding a windtrainer, but I don't mind riding a Computrainer at all. Power Cranks would not being doing me a lot of good with a foot of snow on the ground and my bike sitting on a windtrianer, I would rarely ride it. So if I had to choose between the two, I would go with the Computrainer first if you are going to ride it a lot in the winter. It is also a great training tool year round. I do think the Power Cranks could be a valuable training tool, but for me in the winter, like I said, they wouldn't be helping much being on a bike that is just sitting there.

Mike Plumb, TriPower MultiSports
Professional Running, Cycling and Multisport Coaching, F.I.S.T. Certified
http://www.tripower.org
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Re: Which one to buy: Powercranks or Computrainer? [Mike Plumb] [ In reply to ]
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if you are gonna get them both i think it makes sense to start with the PC's. as for the entertainment/motivation aspect ride those bad boys on some rollers with a resistance unit and some tdf tapes or something and you will be more than fine. next winter ride them on your new CT and knock yourself out.
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Re: Which one to buy: Powercranks or Computrainer? [dukeisno1] [ In reply to ]
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Personally - I have not used PCs and I do own a CT. I can test myself year round on the CT - and I use this b/c each test is measured on the same course and it's as accurate as you will get with the exception of going to a lab. In my opinion the CT is like your own little testing lab right in your own house.

I am big on train, train, train, then test. It's the only way to measure improvement. Same conditions, same course, etc. Consistency when testing is critical.

I would imagine that Frank has some way to test yourself on the PCs but like Mike Plumb said, if you ride indoors, the CT might be better for you.



Mike Ricci

D3 Multisport, Inc.

www.d3multisport.com

Mike Ricci
2017 USAT World Team Coach
USAT National Coach of the Year
Coaching Triathletes since 1992.
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Re: Which one to buy: Powercranks or Computrainer? [dukeisno1] [ In reply to ]
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I don't own PC's yet (but probably will next year) so I can't say too much about them.

However I would get the Computrainer first because if you live in a place like I do, where it's cold in the winter and even the summer weather can be unpredictable the Computrainer is something you can use almost every day.

I like the way I can monitor and track all the data during training. You can follow your heart rate, average heart rate, cadence, average cadence, instantaneous power output, average power, peak power. You can also track all these on a spreadsheet in their coaching software. The Spin Scan feature is great.

With the new Topo course making software from DeLorme you can also pre-ride any course or ride you want. This way you can test yourself on the specific course that you will be racing.

I'm sure PC's are great but if you have more than one bike then you need to decide which bike you're going to put them on. If you're going to train as
Frank Day recommends, then you are going to have to ride that bike exclusively or buy multiple sets of PC's.

Richard
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Re: Which one to buy: Powercranks or Computrainer? [dukeisno1] [ In reply to ]
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At the risk of rocking the boat here, I would suggest purchasing neither.

If you live where you get a real winter - the CT might be a worthwhile investment. However, I less expensive indoor trainer can give many of the same training benefits as the CT albeit without all of the positive feedback, that I will admit can be helpful.

If you aim is to improve your cycling, I would suggest first getting the best bike fit and position advice you can( Contact Tom Demerly) Then, take the time to learn proper cycling technique by, possibly employing a good cycling coach. Take the time to log a decent base of miles over the course of a year. Focus on good, smooth pedaling technique. Ride with a group. Learn the basics and advance skills of road riding. Ride on your own and test yourself.

Bottom line is that many triathletes have done very well and gone on to huge success without either of these training tools.

Best wishes.


Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
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Re: Which one to buy: Powercranks or Computrainer? [dukeisno1] [ In reply to ]
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neither...ride your bike. get some rollers for the winter months, otherwise just ride.

tommy
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Re: Which one to buy: Powercranks or Computrainer? [Tommy Nelson] [ In reply to ]
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Call me retro, but I second the rollers. Spend a bit on some TdeF or Spinerval DVDs, then learn to stand up and sprint on the rollers.
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Re: Which one to buy: Powercranks or Computrainer? [Marlin] [ In reply to ]
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Well, we'll assume for the sake of argument that you have some money earmarked for a triathlon -related purpose and are gonna buy one or another. My vote is for the CT as it offers you something unique. Others mention the ability to test yourself, etc. but it also offers you the closest thing to riding outdoors you can find. There are many reasons why from time to time riding outside is not the best idea (traffic, lack of daylight, etc.) And the fact that riding a CT is continous effort makes it more like running...you get a lot of bang for your buck because there is no cheating. When I ride my HR fluctuates from 90 to 166 as I live in very hilly terrain. On the CT it is sustained at wherever I want it to be. There's no substitute for outdoor riding for sure though. PowerCranks?? To me, you can get the same thing if apply yourself mentally to your riding.
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Re: Which one to buy: Powercranks or Computrainer? [chip] [ In reply to ]
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well, as a counterpoint to chip i am certain you stand a better chance of killing yourself by holding your breath than you do of duplicating the effect of powercranks thru mental focus. just not gonna happen. this is why people ride them for 5 min and start to cry, including seasoned road pro's. i think ktalon's $10K offer is still open. . . . . . . .
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Re: Which one to buy: Powercranks or Computrainer? [Tommy Nelson] [ In reply to ]
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You're right, sorry Frank, but after riding my PC's for a month I don't think anyone else should ever buy a pair of these. Of course there is not a chance in hell I'm sending mine back, grandfather clause and all, you know.

We are so fucked.
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a month? [j p o] [ In reply to ]
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WOW. You rode your PC's for a month? The most I have heard at ony one time was 8 hours so far. and we were all impressed with ttn's 100 miles on day three record. When did you sleep?

Hey, just got a pair back from someone who was on them (apparently correctly) for almost 2 months and didn't see any improvement yet. Second time in 4 years that has happened. Another reason to go with the PC's first. 2 month money-back guarantee. If they are not as good as you think they should be, send them back and get that CT.

Frank

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Frank,
An original Ironman and the Inventor of PowerCranks
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Re: Which one to buy: Powercranks or Computrainer? [t-t-n] [ In reply to ]
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Seasoned pros crying after 5 minutes?? Sounds like a recipe for overtraining to me.

I'll get the PCs when they are proven to be as indispensible to a triathlete as aero bars and wetsuits and clipless pedals. Until then I'll continue to lift weights and ride the Blue Ridge Parkway and live with the results.

Mental fortitude?? for all you know I got it like Merckx, dog and you shouldn't start a war of words with me.
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Re: Which one to buy: Powercranks or Computrainer? [chip] [ In reply to ]
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Fair response. If money was no object and I wasn't such a grouch I would go PCs. I just like riding outside.

MM
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Re: Which one to buy: Powercranks or Computrainer? [chip] [ In reply to ]
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sorry there, chip. your mental fortitude was never in question with me! :) neither did i intend to start any war of words. i was just offering that duplication of PC's effect is not, in my opinion at all likely or even possible thru imagery - that is kinda their whole point in being. so ride that parkway !! or was that the CT simulated parkway - you lost me there, i'm afraid. and, did i miss something or have CT's been proven as indispensible as aerobars while i wasn't looking. . . . . .:)
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Re: Which one to buy: Powercranks or Computrainer? [chip] [ In reply to ]
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I dont know about specific references to power cranks and pedaling, but Dont underestimate the power of mental focus. thats how I learned to ski- took a one hour lesson (at 21 years old, also to let you know I am very uncoordinated, no gifted athlete whatsoever-cant play ball sports for the life of me)-fell all over the mountain-couldnt even do a snow plow at the end of the lesson. after the lesson gave up

went to bed that night, and for about two hours pictured how you are supposed to ski (by observing the instructors at the school)-My leg muscles were contracting and twitching as I pictured myself parallel turning and carving-all while in bed. the next day, had another lesson. As soon as I put skis on I was able to ski down the mountain-skipped snowplow and went right to parallel-My instructor had no idea what happened. by the end of the day was going down black diamonds with ease. and this isnt an exaggeration.

I am utilizing this for my swimming-watch vidoes of top swimmers and picture myself doing what they do before bed. and its working-not so dramatically as skiing though.

but now I mentally picture how I should do all three sports in my downtime, and it does pay off.

Try reading "the mental edge"-think I got that book title from Triathletemag. interesting stuff and it does work.
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Re: a month? [Frank Day] [ In reply to ]
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It certainly felt like a month. I did some higher cadence work last night since I have my long sessions up over 1:15 and I don't like riding that long on a trainer without PC's. I cried like a baby after 5 minutes. 40 minutes of alternating a minute high cadence with a minute low cadence and I was cooked.

We are so fucked.
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Clearly, all you need ... [j p o] [ In reply to ]
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is a little more mental fortitude :-)

--------------
Frank,
An original Ironman and the Inventor of PowerCranks
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Re: Which one to buy: Powercranks or Computrainer? [t-t-n] [ In reply to ]
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t-t-n: no sweat dude. you got me on the "indispensible" comment. I reckon when I bought the CT in 1995 I probably DID think it indispensible and giving where I was living then (concrete jungle) it just might have been. And no, the Blue Ridge rides are the real deal and better than any "simulated" riding you could do on a trainer. But as we speak they are covered with about 7 " of snow and it's 30 degrees and dark by 5 PM so.....yeah, it's indispensible.



Frank: I entered a war of words with you over on Gordo's forum about 6 months ago and swore I would never again post in a forum where you were being Mr. Buttinsky.. I think we all know where you are coming from on this topic. You just want us to be all better cyclists 'cause it'll make you feel warm inside, right?? Let me tell ya: when I am riding a 12 % grade pushing my 13 I am working my damn hip flexors. I don't need to spend a grand to do it better. I just roll down the hill and do it again. I don't want trochanteric bursitis from pushing an unnatural load, either. And as far as your claims go, I think they were sliced and diced to a fair-thee-well over on Gordo's sight not too long ago to.
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Re: Which one to buy: Powercranks or Computrainer? [chip] [ In reply to ]
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cool by me chip. you are a lucky man - we have been mt biking around the parkway area a few times and i always swore i would rather be road riding around there. i mean, the place rekindled and freaking reMADE lances's career, in his moment of doubt. N-I-C-E. and, i could actually see where riding on those grades would make PC's less noticeable, so you have me there. i have found climbing with PC's to be the area easist to do, and probably the area where i used the HF's the most previously, as you say. and, the downhills around there are so insane you would not be likely to be spun out and crying, either.

but, it does bear noting that 1/2 gordo's personal clients use PC's - fair thee well or no. a pretty high percentage, if a fella thinks about it. . . . .
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Re: Which one to buy: Powercranks or Computrainer? [chip] [ In reply to ]
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I'm curious, chip...have you ever tried powercranks? As a reformed fellow retro-grouch and currently non-PC user, all I can say is one has plenty of time in life to try something new. If it doesn't work, at least then one can speak from a place of self-knowlege, not speculation... I told my wife she was wasting time and our $$ with her Pilates. I called it exercise-of-the-month crap and all that. Well, a year and persistence in her belief in it later, she's in far better shape, feels happier, and is more motivated to work out than all the years we tried to make a triathlete out of her.

Not having been privy to the thread on Gordo's forum, I don't know if you speak from a former user standpoint or not. If so, your points are well received here. If not, well, I guess you'll never REALLY KNOW if they work or not. But I DO know, in that case, that your comments are nothing but speculation and hearsay and I will have to give them FAR LESS weight than an actual user. Its easy to be hard, but hard to be smart...

1st Place, 50-55 2018 USAT Duathlon Sprint Duathlon National Championships, National Champion; 2nd Place Overall, 2018 Virginia Duathlon; 3rd Place, 50-54, 9th overall, USAT Long Course Duathlon (Miamiman); 4th Place Masters, 10th overall, 2018 Kiawah Island 1/2 Marathon
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Re: Which one to buy: Powercranks or Computrainer? [TriBriGuy] [ In reply to ]
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No, I haven't used the PCs ever. Given my lack of personal experience, I don't know why I harp on 'em so much. Yeah, I have the CT but for some reason I don't like most "gizmos". It's not so much about the money but they DO seem costly in a relative sense. I don't think anybody SHOULD really listen to me on this one as I'm truly uninformed in a scientific sense. REALLY what I wanted to do when I posted was to toot the horn for the CT but just couldn't resist taking a pot shot at the PCs while at it. Sorry for all the uproar.
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Re: Which one to buy: Powercranks or Computrainer? [dukeisno1] [ In reply to ]
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I do not own PCs but fronm what other say they improve pedalling technique? A cycling friend on mine was always going on about one legged cycling to improve cycling technique (pedalling in circles etc). May be a cheaper alternative? We did a few one leged races - no idea if it improved my cycling but it is a hell of a lot of fun...
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