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Do you Train for MTB? if so, what do you use HR monitor of Power meter?

HOME FORUM RIDING FEELS GOOD FORUM TECH TALK Do you Train for MTB? if so, what do you use HR monitor of Power meter?

This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Neville Park 2 years, 2 months ago.

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    Neville Park

    Zwift got me hooked.
    I love metrics and the fun of progressing those numbers … then finding strava premiums fitness/freshness and power curve is neat!

    So, i looked at power meters for MTB.
    Seems like lots of options for power meters … but not many that are protected from damage.
    Also … $$$!


    Do you train for MTB?
    If so, do you train with a HR or Power meter or both?
    What power meters does the community use (or not use)?
    What head unit do you use? Garmin, wahoo, cateye?

    Seems like Stages is baller. RF/Easton cinch spindle also seems very appropriate.

    Thanks for any and all input, much appreciated!



    I think a lot of the value of the power meter and heart rate monitor using the stationary bike or riding more consistent surfaces like the road gets lost in the inconsistent nature of mountain biking. Because the former are controlled or fairly controlled environments intervals become measurable in ways I’m not sure they’d be measurable out on the trail. That’s only a feeling though, I suppose you could segment individual sections of climb/descent/flat for comparison by attempt, but I’m nearly certain that isn’t going to translate to effective training.

    I guess my questions would be what are you looking to get out of the metrics and will tracking them out on the trail actually be effective and useful?


    Neville Park

    Hey @blurredlines – i hear what you are saying

    Seems like most enduro pros run a HR monitor and power meter., and i am sure the XC people must (look at their legs .. i mean watt makers!)

    to me i would like to know two things out on the trail:

    1) a measure of input from me to my bike (power meter)
    2) a measure of the stress or effort i am being subject too from those inputs to the bike (hear rate monitor)

    Not that this will help “train” in the traditional sense of intervals and threshold rides etc.
    These metrics (if consistent) will let me post-analyze my efforts to then go nuance sections differently and become a stronger riders overall…

    kinda like riding with someone else and you both excel at different parts of the trail but still with the same segment time overall.



    I always got the impression that in the case of enduro racers these were tools used specifically to manage the transition stages. Monitoring and maintaining a reduced level of effort to maximize recovery time to be as fresh as possible for the timed descents just seems smart when you’re not on the clock vs. are on the clock.

    I can see both of these being super effective in managing your effort in the sense of staying below an effort level where you’re just nuking yourself with little benefit, or being able to identify those spots where cranking up the watts up and over a climb has the potential for a windfall of recovery time on a descent.

    I guess the most interesting thing to me would be the comparison of gains on the trainer vs real world gains on the trail.

    As far as the kit goes I’ve been using the Garmin Edge 520 for a couple years and I’ve got nothing to complain about, it does what I wanted/needed it to do and it stands up to the cold well. The rest would be new to me, though I think I’d go heart rate first and see if I actually use the data before I dump a load of cash on a power meter.



    I bought a road bike a couple of seasons ago and I try to get out on it as much as I can before the trails dry out. I consider myself a mountain biker’s mountain biker, but must say, I do see the enjoyment of road riding, and it’s a great tool for getting in killer shape. As soon as the trails are dry though, screw that. I’m riding dirt. Something about cars passing me at 100 km/h doesn’t sit well. I feel like the spring road riding gives me my base and the punchy nature of mountain biking helps build power.

    Otherwise, I try to keep up some strength in the gym and I stay flexible (deep squats, hip flexibility stuff, yoga).


    Neville Park

    @blurredlines – yep 100% agree with the above and thanks for the note on the 520, appreciate the info

    @atom – sounds about right .. the outdoor season cant come soon enough

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