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Can't get my indoor power down on the road

CptKernowCptKernow Posts: 467
I use the same powermeter (Assioma Favero) indoors and out. The bikes are different - but should be set up more or less the same.

On a Zwift ride I can cruise at around 3w/kg for a couple of hours. However, when I go out on the road for a 1.5hr blast I'm still averaging 3w/kg, even though it doesn't feel like I could go much harder. (although I can hold several hours at 3w/kg). Heart rate is about the same too.
I guess normalised power is always higher, but I just don't feel I can hold the power on the flats, or as soon as my speed starts picking up.

What is also also weird on the road is the apparent disconnect between perceived effort and watts I'm putting out anywhere except up hill.

Hard efforts seem to be roughly similar outdoors and indoors - although this is usually on some sort of climb, which leads me to think the problem is with riding position. I generally ride on the hoods on the trainer, so not sure how much I'm subconsciously ducking the wind outdoors.

May be it is just the lack of a carrot to chase when I ride outdoors. Suppose I'll figure this out if I get round to racing next week.

Bit vague I know, but would be interested to hear if this is a common issue, and / or what the fixes might be.

Posts

  • CptKernowCptKernow Posts: 467
    Actually, I suppose what I am asking is why can't I keep up my sweet spot / threshold power outside, on the flats (ish where I live) when I spend all my time doing this on the trainer?
  • marykamaryka Posts: 748
    What turbo are you using indoors?
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,038
    When you do race you will soon know if all that Zwifting is paying off or selling you short.
  • CptKernowCptKernow Posts: 467
    maryka wrote:
    What turbo are you using indoors?
    Tacx Bushido - but the power is measured through the pedals.
  • Have you tried doing the same route recently on both bikes, swapping the power meter pedals between bikes?

    Could the road bike have longer reach and/or lower stack compared to the turbo bike, so while making you more aero outdoors, it is compromising your sustained power?

    If you were riding virtual hilly routes on the turbo, were you using 100% slope simulation? Zwift, for example, defaults to 50% because it hits ~20% on some small incline sections and some turbos can only emulate up to ~6% gradient.

    Definitely pairing up turbo apps like Zwift to use the pedal power meter, rather than the turbo?

    Are you comparing indoors and outdoors under comparable fitness/fatigue/form?
    ================
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  • MishMash95MishMash95 Posts: 104
    I have the opposite problem, and I think it comes down to whatever you get used to. I have a Tacx Vortex, which is a pretty similar turbo and I find it hard to push out power on the turbo because of how the resistance feels. To me, the turbo feels like the resistance is there for a much larger chunk of the pedal stroke (kind of like when you are riding up a steep climb, or riding at a lower cadence), however, out on the road, power delivery feels like it is a lot shorter and sharper, even at the same RPMs.
    From my experience, it's just a matter of doing it on both for a bit. If you can do it indoors, then you have the aerobic capacity of doing it outdoors (and vice versa), however, the way your muscles fire could be subtly different, to the point they fatigue at different rates.

    Even similar still, I had something similar between my new bike and old bike. Granted, position is a smidge different, however my new Aero roadbike has an even sharper pedal stroke, whereas my older, heavier bike feels a bit more weighty and sluggish to push along. Part of this is that the aero bike is a lot stiffer, whereas my old bike now feels quite spongy.

    Another subtle factor is how you are measuring power. One common irritation with outside, which tends to yield lower power over sustained intervals is "micro-rests", say when you are turning, or going over a roundabout, or dodging a pothole/going over a speedbump. You may stop pedalling for a second or two. Not enough to rest the muscles, but enough to affect the average. To give you an example, a 1 second "rest" every minute equates to a ~1.7% drop in power average.

    If you don't have long empty roads, 2 seconds a minute on average could be quite a reasonable note of the time spent not pedalling, which is the same as a~3.4% drop in power. i.e. if your avg power says 200w, you would actually need to target 207w to maintain this average of 200 over a long period. Even though it may only sound like a little more, it can easily shift which zone you are in (as you may be working harder than you would on the turbo to pull the same avg). This is where normalized power over longer durations can help close the gap a little, as raw average gets disproportionately pulled down by 0s versus the actual physiological benefit.
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    Why do you care about power indoors Vs outdoors. That's the real question. I am beginning to think power meters are an evil.

    Out doors your normalised power maybe a better measure than the average output and that's a fudge.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • For me I often find that I can’t find the exact power vs cadence that you get in ERG mode on the trainer. The jumps on the cassette don’t seem to suit me quite as much on the road but as a heavier rider I need the 32 dinner late option.
  • Why do you care about power indoors Vs outdoors. That's the real question. I am beginning to think power meters are an evil.

    Out doors your normalised power maybe a better measure than the average output and that's a fudge.

    Quantifying something and seeking to better understand it is not evil.

    It's a means to provide insight.

    It might provide insight into impact on performance of different riding environments, or it might provide insight into the reliability of the measurement itself.

    But it is not evil. It's just basic human curiosity.
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    I'm the same - same pedals too! In fact was going to ask the very same question but you saved me the bother!

    I can easily do 230 Watts (it is a lot for me but know it is not for most people! what can i say, i'm skinny!) indoors, either erg mode or sim mode in zwift for a couple of hours but out on the road i average 160-170 watts and it actually feels harder than the power indoors.

    I'm not sure if it is just a case of it being easier to push the same watts consistently indoors so maybe i just need to work on my pedalling outdoors more?
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • CptKernowCptKernow Posts: 467
    JGSI wrote:
    When you do race you will soon know if all that Zwifting is paying off or selling you short.

    Yep. Think it might have been a carrot thing!

    Put out some quite high watts (for me) whilst low on the drops.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Chris Bass wrote:
    I'm the same - same pedals too! In fact was going to ask the very same question but you saved me the bother!

    I can easily do 230 Watts (it is a lot for me but know it is not for most people! what can i say, i'm skinny!) indoors, either erg mode or sim mode in zwift for a couple of hours but out on the road i average 160-170 watts and it actually feels harder than the power indoors.

    I'm not sure if it is just a case of it being easier to push the same watts consistently indoors so maybe i just need to work on my pedalling outdoors more?

    Are you doing 230w for a couple of hours on the turbo ?
  • CptKernowCptKernow Posts: 467
    MishMash95 wrote:
    To me, the turbo feels like the resistance is there for a much larger chunk of the pedal stroke (kind of like when you are riding up a steep climb, or riding at a lower cadence), however, out on the road, power delivery feels like it is a lot shorter and sharper, even at the same RPMs

    I think this is possibly a factor.

    Another thing is maybe not hitting the cadence sweetspot that you can easily sit on when on the turbo. As soon as the terrain on the road changes a little you are 5rpm out of whack and it can be a struggle to find it again...
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    cougie wrote:
    Chris Bass wrote:
    I'm the same - same pedals too! In fact was going to ask the very same question but you saved me the bother!

    I can easily do 230 Watts (it is a lot for me but know it is not for most people! what can i say, i'm skinny!) indoors, either erg mode or sim mode in zwift for a couple of hours but out on the road i average 160-170 watts and it actually feels harder than the power indoors.

    I'm not sure if it is just a case of it being easier to push the same watts consistently indoors so maybe i just need to work on my pedalling outdoors more?

    Are you doing 230w for a couple of hours on the turbo ?

    Not solidly, but averages out somewhere between 210 and 225ish depending if it's erg mode or sim mode and what workout I picked.
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
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