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Thread: Powercranks

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    Default Powercranks

    So there are a couple of powercranks for sale at price points that are making me think of trying them. In particular, I'm thinking of putting them on my commuter bike which is a Trek 750 and gets me the 2 miles to work each morning. I could also put them on a foul-weather bike (which would then be my commuter).

    What do you all think of them?

    I've heard I'll probably see the most benefit of them with running. but if I can get an extra bit of a workout getting to and from work any reason I shouldn't?
    Andy

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    Default Re: Powercranks

    I know that people use them outdoors, but I can't imagine it. I've used them on a trainer, and that's hard enough. They're basically like doing one-legged drills, except with both legs at the same time. If you get them, I would try them on a trainer first before you ventured outdoors with them.
     

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    Default Re: Powercranks

    Ditto happycampyer. Though I did take them outside a couple times. If you have a LOT of riding a fixie on the road you might be okay. They *will* kick your ass.
    DT

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    Default Re: Powercranks

    Great, thanks. What's to be gained from them fitness and technique-wise?
    Andy

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    Default Re: Powercranks

    Thatís a good question. You learn a lot about your pedaling technique, and you definitely work out your hip flexors. Try this experimentódo single-legged drills on a trainer, but instead of, say, one minute on, one minute off, go until exhaustion on each leg. How long can you pedal on each leg (and each leg probably has a different exhaustion point)? Two minutes? Thatís basically what youíre doing with PowerCranks, except that you are doing it with both legs simultaneously.

    I stopped using them because it was too fiddly to disengage/reengage the cranks. I also donít bother doing single-legged drills anymore, so there is that.

    The flip side is, the hip flexors are relatively minor muscles that fatigue quickly, especially compared to the quads or glutes. You need to be careful not to injure yourself by over-stressing them, so if you get the PowerCranks, build up your time on them slowly. If you just slap them on and go out for a ride, you are in for a big surprise. Even clipping in and out is a different experience with them, because thereís nothing supporting your legs.
     

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    Default Re: Powercranks

    Adam Myerson swears by them and has posted some training protocols. It might be worth scouring his social media stuff from the winter.

    Adam Myerson on Instagram: “For all of you freaking out about the photo of the Powercranks in my story yesterday. It’s been huge for me to spend 2 months in the…”
     

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    Default Re: Powercranks

    Another ditto of everything happycamper wrote.

    Naively my first attempt was an outdoor ride, chose to do a simple ~5 mile loop to quench my curiosity. I turned around after less than a mile, not even out of town, and barely made it home. Eventually worked up to flat ~25 milers, but that was at my peak during racing season. They now reside on the trainer both my wife and I use. I ride 180 cranks so bought 180 Powercranks, probably not the best idea for me (hip flexors, aging body).

    I can't tolerate my old school trainer for more than an hour, so adding the Powercranks really add value there. They do work if you are sufficiently fit and committed.

    In all honesty I can't imagine putting them on a commuter and enduring stop and goes, unpredictable conditions and being knackered at the end of the day yet still having to pedal PCs for 2 miles.
     

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    Default Re: Powercranks

    Quote Originally Posted by donevwil View Post
    I can't tolerate my old school trainer for more than an hour, so adding the Powercranks really add value there. They do work if you are sufficiently fit and committed.
    What adaptations do they help you to produce?
     

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    Default Re: Powercranks

    Great feedback, folks, thank you. Looking to give them a shot.
    Andy

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    Default Re: Powercranks

    I always said I will pay good money to see a guy on a fixed-sprocket recumbent starting a ride on them
    Andrea "Gattonero" Cattolico, head mechanic @Condor Cycles London


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    Default Re: Powercranks

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrevich4 View Post
    Great feedback, folks, thank you. Looking to give them a shot.
    Let us know what you think once you've spent some time on them.

    To defspace's question above, even though it wasn't addressed to me, I'll give my 2c. Just as you can get a more compressed workout on a trainer than on the road (because you never coast, etc.), using PowerCranks is even more intense still. After one has done even 10 - 15 minutes of single-leg drills, one notices immediately when one clips back in with both pedals how one's pedal stroke has smoothed out, and the extent to which one's recovering leg is assisted by the driving leg. PowerCranks are like that, but on steroids. And if you can build up to doing longer workouts, you will develop your hip flexors in a way that you couldn't otherwise.

    One thing to consider might be to warm up on a bike with fixed cranks, switch to another one with PowerCranks to do your workout, and then switch back to one with fixed cranks to warm down. Stopping to disengage and reengage the cranks in the middle of a workout is pita. If you are indoors, maybe have the fixed-crank bike on rollers, and the PowerCrank bike on a trainer. Or, if you are really adventurous, try the PowerCranks on rollers!
     

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    Default Re: Powercranks

    People like to dog on Powercranks because the owner of the company is a nutter and oftentimes users ride them in nutty sorts of ways.
    But for specific training in a controlled environment they can be a useful training tool, especially if you have leg imbalances or weaknesses.
    Start on the trainer- Limit use to a couple days per week.
    You don't need to progress to 5 hour days or anything like that- In fact if you do, they may negatively affect your riding from the fatigue.
     

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    Default Re: Powercranks

    I used them for about a year some 10 years ago. At first they were ungainly but worked up to using them everyday for all my training and commuting. You get used to the ergonomics of using them. I could sprint and and jam up hills standing up and ended up racing on them as well. I can't honestly say whether they helped or hindered my riding. Didn't keep enough notes or have anything to properly correlate performance.
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    Default Re: Powercranks

    Winter project anyone? DIY powercranks
    Brian McLaughlin

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    Default Re: Powercranks

    Gattonero, is that even possible? My little brain is having a hard time even thinking about that one. Put me in for 10$ US.
     

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    Default Re: Powercranks

    Quote Originally Posted by Bewheels View Post
    Winter project anyone? DIY powercranks
    Wow. Those look sweet. Much better than 2015 onward Campagnolo.
    Andy

    RAI Reporter: "Did you have it in mind to go for the win today?"
    Eddy Merckx: "Why do you ask me that? Why do you think I'm here? To watch the others win?"

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