Posts in the category Training

First Ride: LifeBEAM’s Helmet Mounted Optical Heart Rate Monitor – Weights, Tech Updates & More!

LifeBEAM Smart Bicycle Helmet with integrated optical heart rate monitor and ant+ bluetooth 4 wireless data transmission

Introduced last year as an IndieGoGo project, LifeBEAM’s helmet-integrated heart rate monitor has not only made it into production, it’s been improved to include dual transmission to work with more devices.

Built around an optical sensor also used in military, hospital and sports watch applications, heart rate is measured by bouncing light off the skin and measuring the reflectivity to determine raw heart rate. The built in processor at the back of the helmet converts that data into a cleaner HR signal, accounting for movement and other “noise”, then broadcasts it over both Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+ simultaneously.

Compared to a chest strap, LifeBEAM’s optical solution works instantly and flawlessly…no need to keep a moist layer between a physical contact point and your skin like with traditional heart rate straps. It’s also far more convenient, particularly if you’re like me and only remember said strap once fully dressed and ready to roll.

Click through to see how it works, tech details and why it’s only getting better…

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IB14: Garmin Vector Pedals Now Measure Cleat Pressure Offset & More, Plus New Connected Forerunner 920XT

Garmin Vector power meter pedals now measure power stroke and cleat pressure offset and time seated and standing

At Eurobike we saw the new single-sided Garmin Vector S power meter pedal option, which tweaked the left sensor’s system to send a doubled up signal to the head unit and approximate total power for both legs from a single meter at about half the price.

At Interbike, they showed us the new Cycling Dynamics updated for the Vector and their cycling computers. The new screen interprets data from the pedals in a new way, showing your Power Phase (how strong you are at each point in the crank’s rotation), compare time spent seated versus standing and see how your power is hitting the pedals with their Platform Center Offset reading.

All three metrics will appear on a single screen and show up in Garmin Connect upon syncing the device with your computer after the ride. A software update will be available later this year for both the pedals and Garmin’s head units to bring it all to life…

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New Multiplayer Online Cycling Game Zwift Revolutionizes Indoor Training

Zwift-Indoor-Online-Cycling-Game-1

Riding indoors sucks, but a new startup called Zwift is looking to change all that. The company has created a massive multiplayer online game which allows riders from around the world to meet and ride together in an immersive 3D world.

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IB14: Endura Custom Fits your Chamois to your Saddle and Gets Colorful for Road and Mountain

Endura New Colors 2015 road mountain clothing Endura New Colors 2015 Clothing road mountain (6)

Have you ever wished your chamois was a bit narrower or a touch wider? If you fall into either camp, Endura is providing a solution through their new FS260-Pro SL bibshort. Developed through their collaboration with team Movistar and the gebioMized dynamic saddle pressure measurement system, the shorts are the first that we’re aware of with multiple chamois widths and leg lengths in the same size short.

Similar to choosing a saddle based on the width of your sit bones, each individual sized short will have three different width chamois based on what width saddle you are riding. The thought is that the proper width chamois will position the padding appropriately and cover the pressure points without being too wide and becoming diaper like. Endura takes the custom fit concept a step further and actually offers two leg lengths for each size as well with standard and long. Endura has found that the longer legs offer better compression properties, but they also work better for taller riders.

Manufactured from Italian Power Lycra with Coldblack technology and UPF 50+ rating to keep riders cool, the shorts use Endura’s Continuously Variable Profile 700 series pad and a 3D Mesh upper to offer a pro level fit. Any of the sizes, widths, and lengths will retail for $169.99 each.

Well known for their durable, black kit, Endura is also diving into a bit of color for both road and mountain. Check it out next…

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Physiology and Nutrition: Strategies for Acute Recovery, Part 2

compression tights for recoveryLast month I discussed the nutritional aspects to help recovery from injury and exercise-induced muscle damage. In this Part 2, I’m going to examine the modalities available to facilitate recovery, timing of their use and what’s best for a dude vs. a woman. The purpose of this review is to allow you to recover faster, garner training adaptations a bit quicker; thus allowing smarter training and fitness gains.

As I mentioned, right next door to my office a new niche recovery lounge has opened up (RechargeSportSF.com) attending to the most under-emphasized aspect of training: Recovery. The focus at places like Recharge is to offer bigger ticket items for recovery such as compression boots, water circulating compression for cooling-compression, cold laser therapy, and some EMS (electrical muscle stimulation such as the MarcPro).

A question often asked is why make these available to the general public? Why not just reserve them for the top end professional athletes whose livelihood relies on specific performance outcomes? Primarily because these modalities work and they should be available to everyone who trains hard, works hard, and then has to face the stress of real life (read: kids, job, family, travel, mortgage, Interbike…).

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IB14: Jet Black’s New Premium Z1 Pro Fluid & Whisper Drive Magnetic Trainers, Plus New Training App

Jet-Black-Z1-pro-fluid-cycling-trainer

Jet Black’s new Z1 Pro model is the successor to the Z1 and gets the largest stock flywheel ever at 6.6 lbs, more than triple what it was before. There are heavier aftermarket flywheels out there, but they say this is the heaviest one that comes standard on any trainer. A heavier flywheel gives it a much longer coast down times for a more realistic feel.

It’s a fluid trainer, so it’s quiet, particulaly with it’s oversized gel roller, and gives you less tire wear. Beyond the flywheel and gel, the closure mechanism is all new and rather nifty…

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IB14: SwiftWick Squeezes In New Recovery + Compression Socks, Plus Bright New Colors

Swiftwick Recovery + compression socks fda sustain 12 new colors (3)

It’s easy to think there’s not much going on in the world of sock technology, but the folks at Swiftwick continue to keep us on our toes. Whether you’re trying to recover after a big race or wanting to keep your legs fresh during a long flight, compression socks can be a welcome friend for many cyclists. Even though the Swiftwick range already offers compression in most of their cycling socks, the new Recovery + is their first FDA certified Medical Class II compression sock. It’s also the first medical compression sock to be made from post-industrial recycle material in standard Swiftwick fashion.

Squeeze out the details on compression plus new colors for the Swiftwick range next…

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IB14: Pioneer Adds Cycling Computer Bundles, Integrates Di2 & Auto Strava Uploads

pioneer cycling power meter now available for installation on your own crankset

Pioneer showed offer several improvements to both the system and the packaging to make them a more viable option among all manner of cyclists.

For starters, you can now add their dual-sided power meter to your existing crankset. Originally, the sold a complete Dura-Ace 9000 or Ultegra 6800 crankset with power meter preinstalled for $1,850 or $1,550 respectively. Now, you can purchase the components on their own for $1,299. They come with a return shipping box, a “birth certificate” that you fill in with your information and they complete with the full installation procedure details. You send it in, they clean and prep the cranks, install it in their California-based clean room, and return it. The process will be facilitated by your local bike shop, and Pioneer will keep them posted on progress. Return time is estimated at 7-10 business days depending on how far you are from California.

The power meter is compatible with any ANT+ cycling computer, but to display all of Pioneer’s advanced metrics, you’ll still need to buy the SGX-CA500 computer for $300. Or, you could get the new bundle…

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IB14: Mio Targets Cycling with the new Velo Heart Rate Watch

Mio heart rate monitor straps wrist watch (2)

Wrist mounted heart rate monitors are nothing new for Mio, but the company is more cycling specific features into a new device to better target the two wheeled set. Called the Velo, the wrist strap uses the same continuous technology that monitors your heart rate using LED lights and an electro-optical cell that can sense the volume of blood under the skin (similar to other products like the Lifebeam helmet). That means you get your heart rate without the need for a strap across your chest.

What sets the Velo apart from their other HRMs is the new bridging capability which can read your ANT+ and BLE speed and cadence sensors. From there the Velo can connect to your phone, providing all of the necessary metrics in one place. Set for retail at $129, the Velo does not have a built in display and will be available in November.

Looking for a fitness tracker that will also keep track of your heart rate? Check out the new fuse next…

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