Cycle Tech

As promised in my previous post, this entry will touch on electronics, software tools, and social media. I don’t know about you, but I can be a bit fanatical when it comes to tracking metrics associated with my rides.  It all starts with the basics of the ride and includes distance, time, power, speed, cadence, calories, and heart rate.  All of these items as easily tracked by a modern bike computer.  After a good deal of research, I chose a Garmin Edge 800.

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Garmin Edge 800

I purchased my unit a few years ago when Garmin first introduced the platform. Since that time, Garmin has released updated offerings, and the Edge 1000 is the newest member of the family.  As will everything in tech, the newer models incorporate enhanced features and upgraded performance characteristics.  If purchasing a new unit today, I would choose this device.  Since my existing Edge 800 is functioning as it should, I don’t have a real reason to upgrade.  Although I am tempted.

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Garmin Edge 1000

The Edge series of bike computers offer a number of useful features and functions.  Besides the metrics I mentioned above, the Garmin Edge is also a GPS tracker.  It provides turn-by-turn direction, Bluetooth integration, and live ride updates.  Edge is an ANT+ compatible device and supports different peripherals that confirm to the ANT+ specification.  What is ANT+?   According to Dynastream Innovations, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Garmin Limited,  ANT+ is the wireless technology that allows your monitoring devices to talk to each other. Although ANT and ANT+ have been developed by Garmin, the industry of tracking devices has adopted ANT as the generally accepted standard for their products.  ANT+ capabilities can be found in a wide variety applications from cycling and running to weight tracking and elder care products.

 

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ANT+ Device Profiles

 
On my bike, I leverage a Garmin GSC 10 speed and cadence sensor and I use and ANT+ capable heart rate strap.  I am considering a Shimano Dura Ace crank with an integrated power meter.  The power integrated offering from Shimano was released in June of 2016.  For a full review, please check out the article from the well-respected and prolific blogger, DC Rainmaker.

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Shimano Crank – FC-R9100-P

You might be wondering about the data all of these devices generate.  Garmin offers a web portal known as Garmin Connect.  The site provides the following description of the service.   “Garmin Connect is your online training tool to store, analyze and share all your fitness activities. Join millions of users who run, bike, swim, and hike. Garmin Connect works seamlessly with your Garmin device and supports all your fitness goals.”  Be warned, the site can become something of an addictive compulsion.  The first thing I do after each ride?  Sync my data and perform a cursory review of the trip, of course.  Did I hit my goals?  What do my splits look like?  What was my fasted mile?  The site offers a good deal of accessory data to complement the real metrics.  Temperature, elevation change, and comparisons to other rides.  The site links to social media accounts and can be configured to update these sites for sharing your accomplishments.  The platform also integrates with fitness apps such as Strava.

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Example of Garmin Connect Ride Summary Data

In my last post, I mentioned Zwift.  I’ll admit that I missed my goal of riding my first Zwift ride last week.  No excuses, I didn’t make it happen and need to make it a priority.  My schedule is a bit easier this week so a ride is in the cards.  I’m looking forward to it.

I’ve started looking into a smart trainer.  I curious to hear what you are using?  Please post a response in the comments section below.

What’s up for the next post?  Have you ever ridden on rollers?  Check out eMotion Rollers from Inside Ride.  They experience is as close to real riding as you can get indoors.  Take a look at some of the videos on YouTube.

Until next time, always move forward and remember…

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