This week, I estimated my fitness level with a spin bike at Kitsilano Community Centre.
Once you know your FTP, you can calculate your power zones for training and pacing.
In the community centre, I used both their Life Fitness upright exercise bike and one of their Keiser spin bikes.
The LF bikes measure heart rate, average cadence, and power, and allow logging your data through an online account. I used an LF bike at a warm up pace. For some reason, my legs were tired. Maybe it wasn’t properly adjusted. In case you’re wondering, they have recumbent bikes too.
Here are some screen shots from an LF bike.
Today, I used one of their Keiser spin bikes. They measure cadence and power but don’t seem to have HRM sensors attached which means you may have to bring your own HRM. Both its seat height and fore-aft position can be adjusted. They even have single sided clipless pedals with toe clips on the other side. They’re more confortable than the LF upright bikes.
With that bike, I warmed up then pushed my heart rate around 165 to 170. My guess was that my average power was 160W for 20 minutes, which means the FTP was calculated to be 152W, which is average. I did push hard before the test for five minutes which may have affected the results.
I thought the result was surprisingly low because I rode my bike to work around 45 minutes a day five days a week for more than a year. Maybe I’ve cut back too much on cycling for half a year or never trained effectively.
From the following links, you can find charts showing power vs duration and fitness levels:
Here are my power zones. Here’s the link for the calculator: http://datacranker.com/cycling-power-zones/.
Compared to bicycles, the exercise bikes felt like they had more resistance maybe because I’m so used to coasting. Without a heart rate monitor or power meter, it’s easier to overestimate your effort based on feel. I have a better idea of what it’s like not to coast and how to properly pace myself when cycling. When I’m not doing intervals, I try to keep my heart rate between 120 and 130.
In the future, I plan on measuring my LTHR since I train with a HRM. I also plan on doing interval training which by the way can boost your fitness in VO2 max significantly in only eight weeks!