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Tacx Flow New User

garetjaxgaretjax Posts: 175
edited November 2008 in Training, fitness and health
hi,

just bought one of these and had a first go. I've got a couple of questions for other Tacx Flow users:

1. When calibrating the brake, is the idea to adjust the knob and repeat the test until i get a reading of Zero? Or is it the case that whatever the brake reading is on the test, -4, +8 e.t.c., the computer will adjust the roller resistance automatically?

2. I found that a slope of +2 mimicked the road feel and gave me a speed/HR i'd expect on the road. What do you find?

3. It felt like the back wheel was slipping a little over the roller, especially if i stomped on the pedals. Which tyre do you use? I have Conti Gators, but might buy a turbo training tyre.

3. I want to use the Flow for 10-mile TT training. What sort of wattage can you belt out ? I did a 10 mile/ 30 minute run and averaged 240 watts, but this was not full-on as I'm recovering from flu. I guess 240 watts was equivalent to a hard-ish endurance /easy Tempo effort.

Posts

  • Al_38Al_38 Posts: 277
    1.) the computer should automatically adjust the power outputs based on the calibration factor - i.e. set it up and then you should be good to go.

    2.) Yes mostly - I find my HR is normally slightly higher on the turbo as you don't get to move through any air and get cooled by it - so you end up a lot hotter and as a result HR goes up to compensate.

    3.) If the back wheel is slipping slightly I would suggest that you need to push the roller into the tyre more - this should increase the grip levels. Alternatively just be a little more careful in spinning up? - I found I also had some slip when really stamping on it, I don't think that a turbo tyre would help much as they will be a harder compound to reduce wear rates - so a bit less grippy

    4.) might be wrong on this but I seem to remember last winter (when i last used it) I could produce 350W for an hour riding at threshold something like 240-250W at a UT2 pace. If you are still ill you don't want to be pushing it really hard though as it will knock you back a bit.
  • guv001guv001 Posts: 688
    350W for an hour that is impressive..
  • 1. As above just calibrate and leave it. You must calibrate every time you start to train.
    2. No idea yet

    3. You can't just put everything into it. You need to spin your way up o where you want to get to.

    3. There's several other options as well. Have a look around various websites which will give you tips for some good training specific to want you want. Searh for "2x20" on this forum. Tacx also has some training programs....

    http://www.tacx.com/beleef+tacx.php?lan ... he%20month

    I have only ben using my trainer for a month and it really has everything I need for quality training.

    Have fun
  • PorkyboyPorkyboy Posts: 433
    Hi
    Al_38 wrote:
    1.) the computer should automatically adjust the power outputs based on the calibration factor - i.e. set it up and then you should be good to go.

    4.) might be wrong on this but I seem to remember last winter (when i last used it) I could produce 350W for an hour riding at threshold something like 240-250W at a UT2 pace. If you are still ill you don't want to be pushing it really hard though as it will knock you back a bit.

    1). I think this is incorrect. Also the load generator and tyre need to be warmed up for about 10 minutes before any calibration is done at all and then it needs to be calibrated to zero if the power figures are going to be repeatable. I say repeatable because they have been demonstrated by a number of users to be inaccurate, even if repeatable.

    http://www.cyclingforums.com/t466943.html

    5). Riding at 350W for an hour is hugely impressive if the 350W is accurate and if the number came off a Flow it almost certainly won't be :( An FTP of 350W for say a 70kg (5W/kg @ threshold) rider would certainly put the rider in the Cat 1/Domestic Pro band, which may of course be the case!

    Cheers,

    PB
  • Al_38Al_38 Posts: 277
    1.) That is interesting - having just re-read the manual, I suppose it could be taken that for an accurate power reading you need to set it to 0. From a sensical point of view, I think if they go to the bother of having a calibration factor then it is no more difficult to adjust the power readings (esp considering they adjust power based on weight). Also, I read it as saying that 0 was the default setting if you don't bother to calibrate it. I normally had it calibrated to +4 (whatever that might do to the power readings)

    5.) Fraid I'm not a racer (planning to start in the summer). I do however train hard (for rowing) something in the region of 20+ hours a week or so. So i am fairly fit - when i am on the bike i normally average mid 20s. p.s. I also weigh almost exactly 70kg and it was a fairly unpleasant experience...
  • PorkyboyPorkyboy Posts: 433
    Hi
    Al_38 wrote:
    1.) That is interesting - having just re-read the manual, I suppose it could be taken that for an accurate power reading you need to set it to 0. From a sensical point of view, I think if they go to the bother of having a calibration factor then it is no more difficult to adjust the power readings (esp considering they adjust power based on weight). Also, I read it as saying that 0 was the default setting if you don't bother to calibrate it. I normally had it calibrated to +4 (whatever that might do to the power readings)

    5.) Fraid I'm not a racer (planning to start in the summer). I do however train hard (for rowing) something in the region of 20+ hours a week or so. So i am fairly fit - when i am on the bike i normally average mid 20s. p.s. I also weigh almost exactly 70kg and it was a fairly unpleasant experience...

    1). I'm sure someone who knows for certain will clarify things but my belief is that the "calibration" of the Flow is a pretty hit and miss affair. I think the best that can be done is to warm it and the tyre up well and then run the "calibration" routine (which is just a simple run down measurement) and decide on a figure to use as a standard, which might as well be zero. Then in the future always warm up everything in the same way and adjust the press on force until the run down is the same figure as was originally chosen, at least then you will get some consistency. If someone just gets on the unit from cold and rides the numbers the unit produces, in my experience, are pretty meaningless. To prove this all one needs to do is put a PowerTap (or similar) equipped bike on it and ride, the numbers will speak for themselves.

    5). That's a big training volume, I'd be exhausted! If by averaging mid 20s on the bike you mean miles per hour you are doing very well indeed, the overall average speeds for the TdF in recent years have been about 23-25mph I believe.

    Cheers,

    PB
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