Rush Limbaugh has his . . . well, here is mine. This is my record of news stories and issues that interest me. You can also find more headlines at the site where I serve as editor: The Common Voice.

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Quarq CinQo and Garmin Edge 705

For over a year I've been thinking of getting a power meter. Recently I finally made my choice and ordered a CinQo power meter by Quarq ( Perhaps I'll discover some limitations in the device, but so far... I'm quite happy.

My interest in the CinQo started when I learned it would work with the ANT+ Sport wireless protocol. I also liked the fact that it was integrated into the crank leaving me free to change out wheels should I desire.

I made contact with Quarq to see if I could beta test their power meter with the new Garmin Edge 705. Things were looking good as Garmin agreed to allow me to use their new computer for the test. I was pretty stoked about being able to be one of the first to review the 705 and the CinQo.

Soon, I had two 705's from Garmin, but no CinQo. The release of the power meter kept being delayed. Finally, the CinQo was available, but by that time Quarq was not willing to allow me to beta. They offered to allow me to go on the waiting list, but no test for me.

Then I learned that the first CinQo's would only work with standard cranks. I had purchased (what I thought would be) a compatible SRAM S900 compact crank. Now nearly a year later, the opportunity came to purchase the standard crank with the CinQo installed directly from Quarq.

Frankly, the way the deal worked out, I almost went the PowerTap route. Their ANT+ Sport version is supposed to come out this winter. However, the fact that I would have to purchase a whole new set of wheels kept bringing me back to the CinQo. Why didn't I just get an SRM? $$$$$.

Now that I have it. I'm loving it. Once the guys at Sunshine Cycle Shop had my crank put in the frame things were just about ready to go. Some advice should you get the CinQo...

1) Read the directions. Make sure you upgrade your Garmin to the latest firmware.
2) Pay attention to the illustrations in the manual.

Once I had the firmware updated I was ready to get the two devices to talk to each other.

1) Click on "Settings" in your Garmin menu screen. Follow the menu through the "Profile and Zones" to the "Bike Profile" choice. Once there, make sure the "Power" check box is checked. Then go back out to "Settings".

2) Choose the "ANT+Sport" option.

3) Click on "Accessories".

4) Here is where I messed up earlier. I left the "Cadence Sensor Present?" choice as "Yes." This needs to be turned off or you may get some really weird speed readings.

5) Make sure the "Power Meter Present?" choice is "Yes".

6) Turn the crank backward about five times and then click on the "Restart Scan" button. You should see a message saying "Power meter detected".

7) You can then "Calibrate" the unit by clicking on the button, or you can simply turn the crank backward five times to zero out the unit to the factory calibration.

8) Hop on and ride! You'll see your power come up in the field you designate to show the power. Actually, you could fill the screen with current, average, and max power fields.

9) Upload your information from the Garmin to your computer. I have a copy of Ascent for Mac and WKO+ for Windows. The data is great for both.

The Quarq CinQo appears to be a pretty solid option for people looking for a lower cost option for measuring power. Time will tell whether it holds up to a full season of cycling. The construction seems solid and I'm looking forward to what it can do.

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Going to have to make a change

No weight training for a few days. I think I might have caused myself some problems. Thankfully it is nothing that can't be corrected.

Saturday after the UWBL ride I was pretty tired, but felt pretty good for the most part. However, later that night I started to feel some pain in my hamstrings - particularly my right hamstring. The pain continued on Sunday.

Sunday evening I got on the trainer in hopes to get the muscles loosened up a bit. That helped along with some massage and heat. Monday night I took a break from exercise entirely. Thankfully, at the moment I'm feeling much better.

So, what's up with the pain? Turns out by doing squats without working on my hamstrings, I was doing something dangerous. These muscle groups work together. By strengthening one set and ignoring the other I stressed my hamstrings during my 64 mile ride because of the increased strength of my quadriceps.

Thursday I'll start the weights again, but I'll start doing some exercises for both muscle groups. I don't think I'll keep it up very much past January. At that time, I plan to turn my attention to converting my - I hope - new found power into riding motion. Then by February I'll be gearing up for the new season.


Friday, November 30, 2007

Things going slower than I hoped

Went to the gym again last night. The way I lifted tonight - more reps per set - really gave me a workout. I slept like a rock last night. I don't know if it was the workout or just clean living, but I haven't had a night of sleep like that in ages.

144 @ 90 lbs. from 1 to 12 to 1
125 @ 180 lbs. 2 sets of 50 and 1 set of 25
20 @ 315 lbs. 2 sets of 10

I did some spinning as well just to cool down. 5 minutes of easy spinning, then 2 minutes of spinning over 400 watts and 3 minutes spinning over 300 watts, and another 5 minutes easy spinning. After all the lifting, that was tough.

The other problem with the trainer in the gym is that ergonomics are all wrong. The seat sits back behind the "crank" and the grips for your hands are way high. Its fine for what it is, but you can't mimic riding an actual bike. If I'm going to try getting into this power training, I'm going to have to come up with another option.

I'm still working on the Sunshine Cycle Shop Web site. Unfortunately, I'm not getting it done as quickly as I would like. Click here to see the bike lines page. Most of the time isn't on layout and graphics but on looking up information to populate the page. By the way, the specials listed on the page are real!

I hope to have some more time to get things done this weekend. I'm still hoping to have the static, public portion of the site done by the end of Sunday. We'll see...


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Cycling with my fingers

The blog has been quiet here for a bit. I have been busy redesigning the Sunshine Cycle Shop Web site. I guess you could say I've been cycling with my fingers. I've also posted more over at the blog because there has been some interesting things happening in professional cycling.

I'm still training away. Monday night I did about 45 minutes of spinning. I had my iPod on and used the various selections to mix up my training. A new song meant a new chain ring. Wow, it seemed like I picked the longest song for the big ring/small ring!

Last night I did my weight training right after work.

144 90lbs. (1 to 12 to 1)
100 180lbs. (10 sets of 10)
20 315lbs. (2 sets of 10)
10 180lbs. explosive lifts

My cool down was spinning some on the trainer there at the gym. I did push a little for about 5 minutes - 320+ watts for that period. That time isn't meant for pushing though, so I eased off to let the muscles relax.

Hope to have the public side of the Sunshine site done by Sunday. I'll still have some work to do on the management side. It is kind of like it's own homegrown content management system. Once the design is done, Mike will be able to make changes to the site himself by just entering info into text fields.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ouch those seats hurt!

Last night I did my weight training again. Before I started lifting I did a little reading on proper exercises for cyclists. I was happy to know that what I am doing is pretty close to what was recommended.

I started out this night on the trainer. Man, you would think that nice large padded seat would be very comfortable. Not so! The seat is too wide at the horn and the padding isn't nearly as comfortable as my Toupe. I had to stop after about 10 minutes (I was planning to do 15 to warm up).

At the "Smith Machine" - that's what I've discovered the apparatus is called - started off with 90 pounds and did my 1 to 12 and back routine. It wasn't as easy this time. I could tell I was still feeling the effects of Monday night.

Following that set I moved up to 180 pounds and did four sets of eight reps. I finished off that session with one set of 10 slow (giving me a total of 50 lifts) and then 10 explosive lifts. This is where you start off in a squat and then "jump" into the lift. Those were actually easier than the slow lifts.

I then cooled down by spinning for about five minutes. I would have gone longer but my seat was hurting again and the gym was about to close for th evening. Now I'm going to rest my legs from this until next week.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Unprofessional weight training

I think I need to get a trainer. No, not the kind you put your bicycle in so you can ride in your basement. I mean a person who can tell me what I need to be doing in the weight room to help me be a better cyclist.

Tomorrow on TGN Cycling Blog I'll go a little more into my reasoning behind doing this. Here I'll just record what I did during my first session in the gym. I'd like to say there is a science to it. Unfortunately that isn't the case.

After stretching I approached a machine that allows you to do squats without a spotter. This isn't resistance type machine. It uses real weights. You step under two padded shoulder harnesses and then when you lift the carriage picks up the designated weights and slides them up a pole. You can change the weights by pulling a pin out of one location and putting it in a new hole.

I started out at 45 pounds. Why? Well, I figured I didn't want to jump in and kill myself the first time out. 45 pounds is a fourth of my weight, so I figured that would be a good place to start.

One summer I worked at a camp in North Carolina that was about five miles above Lake Jocassi. I was a cook so there were opportunities for some free time. I used to run down to the lake and back each weekend. I would also run down to a waterfall about a mile from the camp every day.

I would also do a little workout program. Basically, you do push ups in a ascending order: 1 rest 2 rest 3 rest 4 rest all the way up to 12. Then you would go from 12 back down to 1. Before you were finished, you would have done 144 push ups.

After that summer, I was in the best shape of my life. Why do I mention that now? Well, I decided to do the same thing with the weights. I started out at 45 pounds and went through the same ascending/descending order. That first session was pretty easy.

I then upped it to 90 pounds. I went through the sessions again. Still feeling pretty good... I moved the pin into the 120 pound weight and did 50 straight lifts. Then I moved to about 10 pounds over my weight at 180. I did my weight 20 straight times. By this point my legs were starting to shake a bit.

Before calling it a night, I just had to give the max amount a try. So, I moved the pin down to 315 pounds - the most the machine would allow and did ten straight lifts. I was really pretty shaky by the time I finished that.

While I was lifting with my skinny cycling body, I overheard some guys talking. "Have you seen the new car commercial?" I heard a guy say. "It talks about how things have changed. They mention how our ideas of power have changed and they change from a scene of a body builder to frames of Lance Armstrong." That made me feel a little better. These guys might be able to out lift me, but I could run them in the ground on an hour ride.

I'm actually kind of looking forward to going back. I found a stationary bike there that can tell me my watts. I didn't play around with it until after I had done the lifting, so I was starting off pretty tired to begin with. However, it was cool to see the wattage.

Just playing around I had it up over 500 watts. For about five minutes I was putting out nearly 300 watts. At some point here I'm going to see what type of max wattage I can put out. Then again, it is like the weight training. I'm not exactly sure what the data is really telling me - just like I don't know for sure my training plan is really going to give me more explosive power in my sprints.

Hey, no pain, no gain...

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