How should you track your cycling progress?

Before the days of digital bike consoles, riders faced difficulties accurately measuring their workouts. The invention of the indoor cycling bike console gave enthusiasts the ability to track metrics and thereby scientifically improve their performance. Now, indoor cycle manufacturer Schwinn has gone one step further and created a power measurement tool that reads data directly produced by the rider, a metric called Direct Power, rather than relying on a sensor and wire taking data from the flywheel (Indirect Power).

Schwinn is the #1 Brand in the industry, known for cardio, reputability, and trustworthiness. Riders interested in accurately tracking their data and getting the ultimate cycling workout can have confidence that Schwinn products will provide an authentic riding experience with scientifically accurate data.

With several metrics to choose from, it can seem difficult to distinguish which you should track to gauge performance. Heart rate and Rate of Perceived Exertion are both common tools indoor cyclists use as frame of reference for tracking progress, but only Power, measured in Watts, can accurately depict the amount of work a rider has completed in each session. Schwinn Master Trainer and leading fitness educator Keli Roberts states “Simply put, it is the best and most accurate indicator to gauge improvement and gains.”

Heart Rate can be very unpredictable and is easily affected by factors such as stress, caffeine, dehydration, etc..  Rate of Perceived Exertion is also quite variable because it’s based – as the name indicates – on a perception of the working intensity, which tends to be overinflated. According to industry expert Roberts, “The Power behind Power/Wattage is that it bridges the gap between heart rate and perceived exertion and the numbers simply don’t lie.  It’s the Holy Grail of performance metrics.”  Having a number to reference allows you to accurately determine that you are getting stronger.  For example, if you are doing some work that feels “hard” at 120 watts and pushing the work to 150 watts leaves you breathless, that can serve as a baseline for that experience.  Six weeks later, if 150 watts now represents “hard” and it takes pushing to 170 watts to go breathless, you know your performance has improved.   Steadily rising power/wattage metric draws a clear, indisputable correlation to performance improvements.

Riders looking to improve their performance should consider how their Power measurements are being taken. While many indoor cycling bikes can monitor power indirectly through a sensor on the flywheel, serious cyclists should consider looking for a way to measure power directly, through a strain gauge on the pedal.

Schwinn, the #1 Brand for high quality products and brand used most by serious cycling enthusiasts, has recently partnered with power meter company 4iiii Innovations, to provide riders with the most accurate measurement on the market: Direct Power.

Both the AC and SC Power come equipped with this technology created by 4iiii, a sports performance technology company from Cochrane, Alberta. Schwinn and 4iiii have partnered to offer riders a highly accurate power measurement, calculated from the amount of force being applied to the gauge and pedal by the rider. And although the power meter may seem new to the indoor cycling scene, it has long been a staple in road cycling: “While power meters have seen increased acceptance in the past 10 years, we’re just beginning to see it reach the mainstream,” added Eric Gerstenbuhler, Managing Director of 4iiii Sport. “What sets 4iiii apart is the patented 3D strain gauge technology that we use to measure the bending, elongation, and twisting deformation. This allows for measurement of every force being applied to the crank arm by a rider thus giving the most accurate data possible from bike to bike.”

Schwinn is committed to providing indoor cycling enthusiasts with a truly authentic riding experience, from using carbon blue technology to mimic the feel of the chain on a road bike, to now offering the most accurate power meter on the market.

See below for more information on how you can bring indoor cycling bikes and power from the #1 brand in the industry to your studio.

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