Wednesday, February 15, 2012

CycleOps 400 Pro - Guest Post - Stefan Irion

With classes filling up, and the season cranking up, an impressive addition to the studio has been the 400PT bikes in the front of the class.  These are a little different as they have an electronic tension mechanism, instead of the knob tension to get resistance.  It takes a little instruction to use it effectively so we asked Stefan to break down some basics for everyone.  

Here is Stefan's first impressions of the 400PT from his own posts on IrionMan.

Having fun on the Cyclops 400PRO

I was riding the new M2 toy 400PRO in this mornings class  at M2 and I thought I share my thoughts, well knowing that this was the last time I rode the thing (because you will all jump on it now). 
While it appears to be similar to the 300 in physical appearance, the resistance dial is a mere dummy and you control the wattage using the little joystick on the right of the Joule head unit that you never used before. Pressing it down cycles between 'gear', 'target grade' and 'target power', while nudging it up or down moves the set value up or down (you guessed that). M2's recommended warm-up is on 'gear', where a higher number indicates an easier gear. I would find a sweet spot and then go up 2 (easier) for the cadence and down 2 (harder) for the stand. 
Moving into the main set of intervals it's pretty simple. Put it to 'target watts' and dial in the watts you estimate you can hold. Note that the unit will make you overachieve this target by about 10-15 watts on your average (ie you set it to X watts and you end up averaging X+15watts). A clever trick is to keep the 'gear' in a high gear so that when you come off a hard effort you can push down on the toggle switch and it becomes easy to pedal/rest. This works great, but there is a slight delay in ramping up and down and it's a bit tricky for very short intervals (ie 20s). Also the watts you are actually pushing fluctuate quite a bit (set point X, will make you push X +/- 20 watts), you can either like this as a rode-like feeling, or hate it. Your choice. I like it.
Overall fun experience, give it a try

There are currently four 400 Pro's in the studio, so feel free to try them out. 

1 comment:

  1. I had a run with 400Pro a few days ago. It is the perfect training machine but I want to add a couple of comments to this nice post:

    - Do not use it if you are not willing to put some GOOD work on: the Target power option can take a big toll on your legs and if you are not ready for some serious pain.... use it another day.

    - The Target power will force you to keep your current wattage steady and slightly higher. Dont go below target (see next point)

    - Average power is not as important as steady current wattage performance (per interval): I have to admit I am really bad at keeping a solid number without bouncing +- 50watts from time to time. On a standard bike the average number will be just fine but on the 400Pro a +50 watts effort, even for just a few seconds, will make the bike decrease the intensity to -50 to counter balance the pace, your legs will fly for a few seconds until the target base watts gets restored... which will make you feel miserable again.... eventually you will jump on the pedal and go +50 again...etc etc... the elastic experience will take its toll trust me!