About cycling power
When you ride your bike, you apply force to your bike’s pedals to move it forward. This force and cadence constitute cycling power that you can measure with a power sensor.
Left right balance is the power distribution between your left and right leg. One of our legs tends to be stronger than the other.
Measuring your cycling power helps you to monitor and develop your cycling performance and pedaling technique. It helps you recognize what different levels of effort feel like and how effort varies in different weather conditions, just to mention a few points. Unlike heart rate, power output is an absolute and objective value of effort. This means that you can also compare your power values with your fellow cyclists who are of the same sex and about the same size as you are; or compare watts per kilogram for the most reliable results. Seeing how your heart rate corresponds to the power zones also gives more insight.
You need a Kéo Power Bluetooth® Smart pedal set (there are two options: a set with two pedals and a set with one pedal), and a compatible Bluetooth Smart Ready training device, such as Polar V800 or Polar V650, in which you can see the power data from the pedals during training sessions. After sessions you can sync your data to the Polar Flow mobile app for instant analysis. Flow app syncs the data automatically to the Polar Flow web service for more detailed analysis.
Kéo Power Bluetooth® Smart measures the power directly from the pedals, separately from both legs, with eight very sensitive strain gauges on each pedal. It’s one of the most accurate and versatile power measurement devices on the market. The Kéo Power Essential Bluetooth® Smart has one pedal, and therefore measures power from one leg only.
Clipless pedals allow you to use force more efficiently and change your pedaling technique. With clipless pedals you get more control over the entire pedal stroke, whereas with regular pedals you can mostly just control the downstroke.
There are two schools on this: some cyclists prefer to use only power sensor while others use also heart rate, speed and cadence sensors. Which method you use depends on how deep you want to go: professional cyclists use both to get the maximum amount of information about their training. One of the advantages that recording your heart rate gives you is your Training Load and Recovery Status. Following it will help you avoid over and under training.
In addition to the regular values such as average heart rate, speed and cadence, there are several power-related values that give you different points of view to your session.
Normalized power takes into account the variation that naturally takes place in power during cycling. It’s different from Power avg in that it better accommodates the variation in power, and gives a better evaluation of how demanding the session was. In the result you have the following power-related values:
- Power avg [w]: the average power in the session. Maximum power is mentioned under the average value.
- Normalized power [w]: the normalized power of the entire session.
- Normalized power 20 min [w]: the highest normalized power of a period of 20 minutes.
- Normalized power 60 min [w]: the highest normalized power of a period of 60 minutes.
Over time, when you are able to produce more power, it means that your cycling performance has improved.
A fairly typical value for a recreational cyclist is 100-300 watts, depending on one’s fitness level, whereas a professional cyclist can produce around 400 watts. Professionals can also peak up to 700 watts for a short period, sometimes even a lot higher.
During your training sessions you see the pie visualizations of your left and right pedal stroke. In the V800 pie visualization, which you can see in the picture below, the dark gray area is the positive force you are using. The light gray area is the point in the pedal stroke where you use the maximum force. The black area is where you are not using any force, in other words it’s the negative force area.
Ideally, you should aim at making the positive force area larger. You can try varying your technique and seeing how that affects your positive force area.
In the example picture, the cyclist’s left leg produces 74% positive force and right leg produces 60% positive force in the pedal stroke.
There is a big difference between the force values of my legs. What does that mean and what should I do about it?
It’s normal to have difference between the force values of your legs; a 50-50 left right balance is mainly theoretical. You should monitor your left right balance in the long run. First you’ll find out what your regular range is, and then you’ll be able to spot changes that are out of the ordinary.
You can aim at making the difference between your left and right leg smaller: this will most likely help your performance and help prevent strain-related injuries in the long run.
Yes they can! They are easy to set up and switch between bikes.