I'm not as strong as the others, does that matter?
Absolutely not. The great feature of this system is that everyone works within their own personal zones. The Initial Assessment includes a performance test (either a Sub-Max Ramp Test, or a 3-Minute Test). These gives us what is called a Maximum Minute Power (ie how many watts you can sustain for one minute) and Max Heart Rate. At the beginning of each session you simply enter those two numbers into the Wattbike and it calculates your own personal "Zones". The main core of each session will involve working within those Zones as directed by the coach. So you can be riding in (say) Zone 4 sitting next to Bradley Wiggins who will be working just as hard in his Zone 4. But his Zone 4 wattage may be just a tad higher than yours! Because your zones are specific to your own abilities you are getting the equivalent of personal coaching, but with the motivation that comes from a group environment.
What should I wear?
The Fitness Centre has both aircon and fans....but you can still expect to get hot. Very hot.....so think of it as summer cycling. Padded shorts and a summer top/vest. Ensure you have an adequate supply of water, a sweat towel to put over the bars and a small drip towel to go over the frame. You wouldn't want to get onto a sweaty baike, so please wipe-down and clear-up after you. We haven't got showers I'm afraid, so post-ride you'll need a dry top and a tracksuit or suchlike to change into.
What pedals do the Wattbikes have?
The bikes have double sided pedals, with SPD on one side and LOOK KEO on the other. There is also an insert that fits into the Keo pedal and provides a flat pedal with toe-straps, so ordinary trainers can be used. Note that "SPD" refers to the original small metal SPD cleat, and not the SPD-SL road cleat. However, whilst not recommended, experience has shown that an SPD-SL will fit into the Keo pedal....it's just rather difficult to unclip.
Sorry....we can't permit pedals to be removed and swapped.
What heart rate straps work?
The bikes use the ANT+ protocol, so any ANT+ strap should work. That includes Garmin straps. Additionally, some uncoded Polar straps can be detected.....we'll just have to try it and see. If you do happen to know the Sensor Id of your strap then please write that down and bring it with you to the first session.....that will make life a bit easier in trying to work out which HRM signal belongs to which person.
I'm 6'4" tall - will I still fit?
We have two extra long seat pins.
Can pedal stroke be analysed?
Yes. One of the screens available during a session shows your pedaling technique curve. One of the coaches can download the session and do a detailed analysis of your pedal stroke, if required.
What's the cost?
Session cost is £11 per hour, so a six-week programme at 1 session per week is £66. Economically, this is a great way to train as you get all the benefit of personal coaching that would normally cost £50 per hour, but at a fifth of the cost.
For anyone wishing to sign up for 2 sessions per week, the second weekly hour gets a 25% discount (Use the Coupon Code DISC25 when making your
online booking for that second session).
How about Under 18s?
We're more than happy for under-18s to take part. From a practical perspective the only constraint is whether they can reach the pedals with the saddle set to
minimum (ie they'll need to be about 5ft tall), and that a parent/guardian is the 'Responsible Adult'. There is a 10% discount available.....put UNDER18 in the Coupon Code box
Can I join part-way through a block of six weeks?
Indeed yes. It's quite common for riders to join part way through a block. The coaches will talk you through all you need to know, at the same time as giving
specific instructions to the other class members. The booking system will only charge you for the remaining weeks of a block not the whole
Can I just turn up and ride?
The bikes are available for you to use individually as part of your own training, bookings will be required for these sessions but you will need to have undertaken a preliminary Introduction and Wattbike Acclimatisation first. Cost for unsupervised usage is £5 per hour. Click on "Open Ride" in the menu above.
How do I pay?
Click "Online Booking" above and bookings are all taken electronically. Payment is via Paypal, but if you don't operate a Paypal account the payment screen gives the option to use a credit card.
How is the data displayed? Each Wattbike has its own data console (see the photo at the top of this page). However, we use a PC to wirelessly gather the data from all the bikes and beam it up onto the big screen at the front of the room. So don't think you can sit at the back of the class and backpedal......all your data is up there on the screen for the coaches to see!
Can I get the data on Strava?
Aaarrrghhh Geeks! Yes, there are a couple of routes available that will enable the geeks amongst us to get their session files up onto Strava (or Garmin Connect). There are two mains option available:-
Use the ANT+ Id of your Wattbike as the sensor_id for Speed & Cadence, and for Power. The Garmin then records your session and you can geek away to your heart's content afterwards. Some tips on getting your Garmin to pick up the data from the Wattbike:-
- If you have a Garmin 800/810 etc that uses "Bike Profiles" then create a new "Profile" including the ANT+ Id of the Wattbike in the title - eg WB17924 (see the list below for Wattbike numbers). Later models (eg 1000) do not use Profiles, they simply provide a list of Sensors.
- For both the "Speed & Cadence" sensor and the "Power" sensor, manually key in the ANT+ ID of the Wattbike eg 0017924. Don't let it "Search" because if it loses that signal just for a second then it will go back into Search mode and probably pick up a bike nearby. But if the Sensor ID is directly coded then it will wait to re-find the correct signal. You can actually do all this set-up in advance, there is a list below of the ANT+ ID for each of our Wattbikes.
- Manually set "Wheel Size" to 2076. In Auto-mode, or if the default of 2090 is used, then the Garmin will under read the mileage compared to the Wattbike.
- If your device supports "Activity Profiles" then set up a new one called "Wattbike"
- Turn off Auto-Pause
- Ensure that your device has the latest version of software downloaded from the Garmin website
- If you find that, even with Auto-Pause disabled AND the latest factory download, the Garmin keeps losing the signal then, somewhere in the Garmin's System menu, set the Recording Interval to 1 second
- When you have loaded your file into Strava (either directly or via Garmin Connect), go onto the PC version of Strava and click the "Stationary Trainer" button for that Activity.
If all goes well you should end up with something in this sort of format on Strava:-