Pedal Smoothness and Torque Effectiveness
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  1. #1
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    Pedal Smoothness and Torque Effectiveness

    I've been playing with the Wahoo App and it gives me Pedal Smoothness and Torque Effectiveness numbers. The ranges I'm getting are
    PS: 14-18

    TE: 49-70

    Looking on the internet, it seems that these numbers are on the low side of the normal range. Should I work on raising them? If so, how would I adjust my training to do that?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Are those numbers are when you're at "threshold" power? or at some easy effort or super hard effort?

    Anyway, pedal smoothness isn't a good indicator of your ability, nor is it an indicator of something that needs improvement. It's not something you should spend too much time dwelling over.

    As far as torque goes, I don't know what those numbers indicate as I don't ever look at my torque figures. What you should be concentrating is wattage. But let's say you do want to improve torque, then do some lower cadence work at threshold or 110% threshold, and when I say "lower cadence", I don't mean 60 rpm, I'm talking about 10-12 rpm lower than what you'd normally do at threshold. So if your natural threshold rpm is 85, then shift into one higher gear that allows you to do 75 rpm, at the same or slightly above wattage. At higher wattage and higher torque, you'll recruiting more fast twitch muscle for sure, so don't expect to last too long.

    This is just my opinion, but I'm just a weekend warrior.
    Maybe Alex can chime in here once he reads this, Alex is a coach so he knows this stuff a lot better.

  3. #3
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    The high end is at threshold. The low end is more relaxed riding.

    As I work on my power, I also think about using my power effectively. No sense in being strong and sloppy.

  4. #4
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    The thing is, we're not (at least I'm not) sure if these parameters are the result of increased wattage, or (vice versa) if they are the impetuses to increased wattage. I'm hoping Alex will chime in soon though as I'm curious to hear what he has to say

  5. #5
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    I use a wahoo and obviously have the app. But I don't see anywhere TE or PS. Where are you seeing them?

    But TE refers to how much you are pushing in the down part of the pedal stroke (P+) vs. the up part of the stroke (unweighting P-). 60-100% are common with 100% being good or all power was used to push the pedal in a positive direction.

    Smoothness is how the power is delivered throughout the entire pedal stroke. It's calculated from the average power/maximum power of the P+ and P- above. 10-40% are common with 100% meaning you are delivering power to the pedal all the way around the stroke.

  6. #6
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    High cadence pedal drills will help the smoothness numbers if you decide you want to improve them. You can't pedal at 150rpms without pretty smooth pedalling or you will be bouncing on the saddle. I get about 21 on the left and 23 on the right side which I think is typical.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodys737 View Post
    I use a wahoo and obviously have the app. But I don't see anywhere TE or PS. Where are you seeing them?

    But TE refers to how much you are pushing in the down part of the pedal stroke (P+) vs. the up part of the stroke (unweighting P-). 60-100% are common with 100% being good or all power was used to push the pedal in a positive direction.

    Smoothness is how the power is delivered throughout the entire pedal stroke. It's calculated from the average power/maximum power of the P+ and P- above. 10-40% are common with 100% meaning you are delivering power to the pedal all the way around the stroke.
    There is nothing to support 100% TE (as you describe it) as being good or better than a lower value. Indeed it's actually likely to be less effective due to the unnecessary recruitment of less effective/efficient muscle groups.

    I don't know the app or device used to come up with these values but if it's from a Wahoo trainer, then pretty much all bets are off in any case as the strain gauges are downstream of the bottom bracket where it is not possible to distinguish torque application from each leg.

    As for smoothness, it's individually variable. Using the definition above in a study by Coyle et al it was shown that on average, more powerful riders (i.e. elite national level) have a less smooth pedal stroke than other riders (i.e. elite state level).
    https://www.researchgate.net/publica...ng_performance

    As for pedalling intervention techniques, in reality these are unlikely to have much performance benefit. That which you naturally acquire through riding lots is going to be optimal. But get a good bike fit.

    An example:
    https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/4d2...5102dddf96.pdf

    but there are more recent stuff. Look up work by Jim Martin for example, or his lab.
    Some pointers in here:
    http://wattagetraining.com/files/JMa...gTechnique.pdf

    Here's a review article from 5 years ago:
    http://ro.ecu.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent...t=ecuworks2013

    Another study by Kautz et al:
    http://www.fitworkscycling.com/uploa...gtechnique.pdf

    There's lots of research to absorb on this.

    In summary I would not pay too much attention to these numbers, and focus instead on other training fundamentals which matter far more.


    If anyone is interested in pedalling metrics, then at least consider those which are more likely to have merit / value as described here:
    https://irp-cdn.multiscreensite.com/...%20Metrics.pdf

    Note that such metrics are only available from certain measurement devices.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_Simmons/RST View Post
    There is nothing to support 100% TE (as you describe it) as being good or better than a lower value. Indeed it's actually likely to be less effective due to the unnecessary recruitment of less effective/efficient muscle groups.

    I don't know the app or device used to come up with these values but if it's from a Wahoo trainer, then pretty much all bets are off in any case as the strain gauges are downstream of the bottom bracket where it is not possible to distinguish torque application from each leg.

    As for smoothness, it's individually variable. Using the definition above in a study by Coyle et al it was shown that on average, more powerful riders (i.e. elite national level) have a less smooth pedal stroke than other riders (i.e. elite state level).
    https://www.researchgate.net/publica...ng_performance

    As for pedalling intervention techniques, in reality these are unlikely to have much performance benefit. That which you naturally acquire through riding lots is going to be optimal. But get a good bike fit.

    An example:
    https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/4d2...5102dddf96.pdf

    but there are more recent stuff. Look up work by Jim Martin for example, or his lab.
    Some pointers in here:
    http://wattagetraining.com/files/JMa...gTechnique.pdf

    Here's a review article from 5 years ago:
    http://ro.ecu.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent...t=ecuworks2013

    Another study by Kautz et al:
    http://www.fitworkscycling.com/uploa...gtechnique.pdf

    There's lots of research to absorb on this.

    In summary I would not pay too much attention to these numbers, and focus instead on other training fundamentals which matter far more.


    If anyone is interested in pedalling metrics, then at least consider those which are more likely to have merit / value as described here:
    https://irp-cdn.multiscreensite.com/...%20Metrics.pdf

    Note that such metrics are only available from certain measurement devices.
    I don't use nor reference PS or TE as I posted above.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodys737 View Post
    I don't use nor reference PS or TE as I posted above.
    Just for clarification, I was really just using your post as a trigger for a PSA, not as a specific comment in reply to you.

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