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What is the standard protocol for a maximum power test? Is it the peak number you can generate, best average for 5 seconds, or what? You do the test with a rolling start? Cadence matter? I see people stating their "maximum power of 1200 watts," etc., but I'm not sure what that means. Thanks.
 

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Fixed said:
What is the standard protocol for a maximum power test? Is it the peak number you can generate, best average for 5 seconds, or what? You do the test with a rolling start? Cadence matter? I see people stating their "maximum power of 1200 watts," etc., but I'm not sure what that means. Thanks.
IIRC, the Coggan book outlines protocols for testing power over various durations. I would assume for any short duration power measurement a rolling start and cadence do matter because you're going to produce very high powers at relatively high rpms. IOW, if you're overgeared you will not produce anywhere near your maximum power in something like a 5 second test.
 

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Fixed said:
What is the standard protocol for a maximum power test? Is it the peak number you can generate, best average for 5 seconds, or what? You do the test with a rolling start? Cadence matter? I see people stating their "maximum power of 1200 watts," etc., but I'm not sure what that means. Thanks.
If you mean to compare yourself to the power profile, it's 5s power. IIRC, I've seen a 1330 max on my PT in the past but 5s is always less (1250ish being the best, though now I'd be hard pressed to push 1K).

For me the best numbers are always attained from a full spun-up sprint. Roll downhill to flat in the big ring and go. Some have reported getting slightly higher numbers by sprinting into a slight grade (think rollers... spin up going down, start sprinting like mad at the bottom and try to stay on top of the gear for as long as possible up the other side). I'm good for about six of these in a session and then I bag it and go home.
 

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You really have to get the cadence up to get a higher number. My highest power was 1648w in a 39x17 at a speed around 29mph. So you can either press the pedals harder or pedal faster...the second is a lot easier to do....
 

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The Flash said:
You really have to get the cadence up to get a higher number. My highest power was 1648w in a 39x17 at a speed around 29mph. So you can either press the pedals harder or pedal faster...the second is a lot easier to do....
Cadence or gearing is not directly relevant. Power output basically only depends on weight, gradient, wind, and speed. For example, using the bicycle power calculator http://bikecalculator.com/veloMetric.html it appears that, assuming a rider weight of 165lbs and bike 22lbs, to output 1648W to achieve 29mph requires a 9.5% grade (assuming no wind).

Also, it is clear that rider a bigger gear will allow greater power output up to a point. That is why top track riders use bigger gears to do flying 200m TT (about 50x14 I believe). They go slower but not by very much, using training gears like 50x16. Road sprinters will record lower maximum power output but use bigger gears usually 53x11 so pedalling much slower yet still recording respectable power output. Bigger gears mean more speed which is essentially equivalent to power, given the same terrain.

-ilan
 

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ilan said:
Cadence or gearing is not directly relevant. Power output basically only depends on weight, gradient, wind, and speed.
You are forgetting several elements in the equations of motion for a cyclist but the big one you've left out and which usually requires the most power is acceleration. One does not need a hill in order to generate high power. One simply needs to accelerate as hard as they can.

ilan said:
Also, it is clear that rider a bigger gear will allow greater power output up to a point. That is why top track riders use bigger gears to do flying 200m TT (about 50x14 I believe). They go slower but not by very much, using training gears like 50x16. Road sprinters will record lower maximum power output but use bigger gears usually 53x11 so pedalling much slower yet still recording respectable power output. Bigger gears mean more speed which is essentially equivalent to power, given the same terrain.
There seems to be contradictions in that paragraph. Explain how a bigger gear will allow a greater peak power output.

Track sprinters produce greater peak power simply because:
- their fibre type composition is typically different to a road sprinter (trackies have a higher proportion of fast twitch muscle fibre)
- they are not required to develop the aerobic endurance engine required to ride a 200km stage before the sprint. The aerobic development training required to develop such an engine, by its very nature, reduces a rider's ability to generate peak power.

Track sprinters dedicate training to the development of maximal power for the duration of their event (i.e. very short).


For the OP - to answer the question, we need to know what you are intending to test for? If it is peak/5-sec MMP then there are a number of considerations.
 

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ilan said:
Power output basically only depends on weight, gradient, wind, and speed. -ilan
You're ignoring fundamental properties of muscle that constrain the velocities at which peak or near maximal power can be produced. Physiologically, muscles produce their highest powers at relatively high velocities (in this case corresponding to a high cadence) and relatively low forces.

Consequently you will never produce your maximum power when overgeared, and in fact will probably do best in gear that you nearly spin out.

Look at Shawndoggy's post, you want to be in a situation that allows you to "jump" at a very high cadence if you're trying to reach your peak or near maximum power.
 

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Dwayne Barry said:
You're ignoring fundamental properties of muscle that constrain the velocities at which peak or near maximal power can be produced. Physiologically, muscles produce their highest powers at relatively high velocities (in this case corresponding to a high cadence) and relatively low forces.

Consequently you will never produce your maximum power when overgeared, and in fact will probably do best in gear that you nearly spin out.

Look at Shawndoggy's post, you want to be in a situation that allows you to "jump" at a very high cadence if you're trying to reach your peak or near maximum power.
While that's true, it isn't easy to do. Indeed it is more likely a rider will replicate peak power from doing regular standing starts (assuming they know how to do them properly). Sprint from speed as you hit a hill is a good one.

Indeed, for the first handful of seconds in a standing start (before fatigue sets in at around 6 seconds), pedal force and pedal velocity has a linear relationship and this relationship is not affected by gearing.
 
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