Posts in the category Training

Bkool Trainer Gets More Stable, Online Simulator Improves Compatibility, Versatility

bkool bicycle trainer with online ride simulator and user uploaded video and GPX tracks

BKool is a Spanish brand that started as a technology company that wanted to make a simulator but needed a trainer for it to work on. So, they made their own trainer, which, along with the software, is made in Spain and takes a different approach to indoor training.

The basics are: It’s a magnetic trainer with computer controlled resistance, the levels of which come from their online simulation program. The program lets you watch ride videos from around the world or use professional training programs, then join up with others or issue challenges via its social integration.

Video routes stream at the speed you’re riding and resistance adjusts based on the elevation profile. You set up your height and weight, and then resistance levels are applied accordingly. So, a heavier rider would feel more resistance on the climbs, just like in the real world.

We’ve had one of the originals (shown above) in for review since last winter and, honestly, our opinion has been lukewarm. There are certainly some cool features, but several physical and virtual issues have kept it from living up to the hype. Fortunately, the new model and updated software could turn our frown upside down. Check it out…


Wahoo RPM Clocks Cadence in Bluetooth & ANT+ Without Magnets

Wahoo RPM Cadence sensor (2)

The purveyors of iPhone powered fitness devices now have their sights set on cadence sensors. Thanks to the new Wahoo RPM Cadence Sensor, constantly misaligned magnets are a thing of the past. The tiny 7g, coin cell operated RPM simply affixes to your crank and pairs with most Bluetooth 4.0 or ANT+ compatible devices to provide the necessary cadence feed back. Due to the fact that the RPM does not use magnets, it can also be installed on your shoe as a footpod for public spin bikes, or if you want to easily use it on multiple bikes.

Battery life, installation requirements, and more, next…


Cycling in Space, How Astronauts Stay in Shape

Cycling-in-SpaceIn order to help maintain physical fitness while residing in zero gravity, astronauts have to resort to a number of different methods for exercise, but the preferred method for maintaining sexy legs is an unusual stationary bike.

Watch the video after the break…

PowerTap Adds AMP Series, Offers Carbon Wheels with Power at Impressive Prices

PowerTap Adds AMP Series, Offers Carbon Wheels with Power at Impressive Prices

It wasn’t long ago that many privateer racers used one set of wheels for training, and the good set of wheels for racing. That meant if they used a hub mounted power meter like the Saris PowerTap, they were usually investing in more than one hub, which can get expensive in a hurry. Now, PowerTap feels that those days are over, especially with the introduction of their new AMP collection of wheels which offer the aero performance of deep carbon wheels in a affordable and durable package.

Regardless of how you view the race day/training day wheel question, the PowerTap AMP wheels are definitely worth a look for their value alone…


TrainingPeaks Adds AutoSync for Garmin Connect

TrainingPeaks auto sync with Garmin Connect via bluetooth automatically uploads ride data from Edge cycling computers to TP account

TrainingPeaks has just become the first third party company to use Garmin’s API to pull data directly from Connect and adding it to their own training management system.

Even better, thanks to Garmin’s newer devices’ (Edge 510/810 and 1000) Bluetooth capabilities, you won’t even have to plug the device in to make it happen. Just hit save on the GPS cycling computer when your ride’s over and it’ll first save the data to Garmin Connect, then instantly copy the data to your TrainingPeaks account. TP’s rep says it all happens in under 30 seconds, letting you analyze your ride before you’ve even had time to shake up a recovery drink.

You’ll need to set up the sync within TrainingPeaks’ dashboard before it’ll work, but once set up, everything sent to Connect automatically goes to TrainingPeaks thereafter…


New Honey Stinger Gels and Waffle Add Delicious Options, Caffeine

Honey stinger new caffeinated gel

If you’re a believer in gels for your athletic performance, Honey Stinger has some new options for you – especially if it’s caffeine you crave. Starting with their organic tapioca syrup and organic honey base, the new Strawberry Kiwi and reformulated Chocolate gels offer the same electrolytes and natural flavors of their other gels, just with a little boost. Harnessing the natural power of green tea extract, each gel pack manages to carry 32mg of caffeine which should be plenty to keep you going.

Honey Stinger received a small shipment of the new gels, but they’re expected to go fast, with 24 gels retailing for $33.36 on their web store. However, more gels are on the way along with a brand new waffle flavor…


Rebuttal: Why Athletes Should Use Gels


Editor’s Note: Last month’s Physiology & Nutrition post, OSMO co-founder Stacy Sims’ regular column, discussed why she thinks gels are a poor choice for fueling endurance athletes. It’s a good read and generated a lot of comments and questions. It also piqued the interest of several brands known for their gels, one of which sent a rebuttal. As did one of the Peaks Coaching coaches, which serves as their column for this month. Both responses are posted below unedited, as was Sims’ post. 

As an introduction and a little background, we’ve interviewed Sims when OSMO launched. We’ve also interviewed Allen Lim when he launched Skratch and asked similar questions. Then, in preparation for last year’s TSEpic, I interviewed Sims again about food choices. That post has a primer about why solids work when gels may not, which was one of the common questions in the comments. And Sims has already prepared Part 2 of “Why No Gels” which expands on that. Look for it this Friday. In the meantime, here are a few counterpoints to the original.

Dear Bikerumor,

My name is Magda Boulet. I have been a pro athlete since 1997, training and competing with GU product for 17 years now. As the VP of Innovation and R&D at GU Energy Labs, I work closely with athletes of all walks of life who train and compete with gels every day at the highest competitive level. Understanding fueling strategies is essential to my long lasting success as an Olympic distance runner.

As an athlete, a scientist, and a consumer, I am passionate about formulating products and delivering research that are supported by experts in the scientific community and validated by athletes in the field. Having said this, I was disappointed to read the recently published article on “Why Not Gels?” in which the author misrepresented scientific facts and concluded that gels are “the most detrimental fuel sources for performance.”


60 MPH On The Flats? With The Air-Spear It May Be Possible

WORLD Racing Air Spear Jim

Life long martial artists Jim Wing has only been a cyclist for one year. But his goal of pedaling to the speed of 60 MPH under his own power may soon be realized. The key to achieving such a feat? …the “Air Spear.” See it in action, next.


Rotor Updates Power Meter Firmware, Software to Improve Accuracy & Battery Life

Rotor has just issued an update for its Power Meter cranks to resolve issues related to zero calibration and battery life. The units use a dual power meter to individually measure left and right leg power. They were introduced at Eurobike 2012 but didn’t start shipping until Spring 2013. Check out the tech details in this post.

Their sponsored riders found that batteries were getting drained very quickly. The culprit? Transportation. Having the bikes jostle and vibrate while in the team can or on a rack we’re keeping the system awake and trying to transmit, which killed the battery. (BTW, this problem isn’t limited to Rotor. If your own power meter battery seems to be running low frequently, this could be the cause) Now, an initial 1.5kg load must be applied to the crank to wake up the transmitter.

They also found that calibration set up wasn’t always accurate. This one sounds like mostly user error, like trying to calibrate on the move, so it now requires a zero RPM state to be zero’d out.

Lastly, they’ve made software updates easier with an update to the PC software.

Full PR and links below…