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View Full Version : Why no numbers on the resistance dial?



murphs
05-05-2007, 08:25 PM
I think it would be better if the resistance dials had numbers or at least some type of markers on them. Here's why.

Let's say we do a climb, then a flat, then another climb. Wouldn't it be nice to know where your resistance level was during the first climb so you could return to it? Also, I sometimes have my students increase resistance for a short interval and then ask them to return to the previous resistance level. It would easier for them if they were on say a 5, moved up to a 7, then returned to 5.

The only problem with this, as I can see, is that some teachers might be tempted to start calling out numbers for resistance levels. Of course, this would be a big mistake since everyone has different bikes and different levels of fitness.

What do you think?

wh8sox
05-05-2007, 09:00 PM
Not sure about all the bikes, but we have the old Star-Trac Spinner bikes and they are all over the place. Sometimes half a turn is nothing and on some bikes you are climbing with a 20pmh headwind. Buddies have told me that you can adjust the unamed ugly (kaiser) bikes for what ever sensitivity you want so I am guessing this is a common problem.

Better to listen to your body and do what you feel is right....then you get into the whole RPE/MHR debate as a coach.

If it feels too easy turn it to the right.

Cheeze
05-05-2007, 09:31 PM
In a perfect world it would be ideal to have "numbers on the knobs". But the resistance application is far from perfect. Depending on: the age of the bikes, how often they're ridden; maintanence, pad wear, etc - every bike and every pad is different. It would be difficult to start every bike for every ride at resistance 0. A turn from 5 to 7 with a properly maintained pad is going to slap more hurting into your legs than one that is "shinned up" or broken down. On many bikes 85%MHR resistance requires turning the knob 1-2-3 times around. Subsequently IMHO it just isn't practical to use numbers. Plus (in Spinning) there is no competition.

Now if we could only get someone to put a power meter on an indoor bike.

Just my Slice of Cheeze

Cannondaleguy
05-06-2007, 06:31 AM
I teach 35 people on the kaisers... (UGH!!!!)
there are no two in the room that are calabrated the same with their straps.

Each time i sit in an orginal spinner schwinn or star-trac, they feel like and glove and I instantly get my cadence and rythym going.

I've been told that these bikes do not have numbers because of the issue of each one being calabrated different because of maintenance and use, therefore giving each rider their own 'option'on where they should be within a resistance range....

:rolleyes:

Pink
05-06-2007, 06:38 AM
I think it would be better if the resistance dials had numbers or at least some type of markers on them. Here's why.

Let's say we do a climb, then a flat, then another climb. Wouldn't it be nice to know where your resistance level was during the first climb so you could return to it? Also, I sometimes have my students increase resistance for a short interval and then ask them to return to the previous resistance level. It would easier for them if they were on say a 5, moved up to a 7, then returned to 5.

The only problem with this, as I can see, is that some teachers might be tempted to start calling out numbers for resistance levels. Of course, this would be a big mistake since everyone has different bikes and different levels of fitness.

What do you think?

When I am asking them to add resistance & then return to their base climb, I tell them to look at the knob (only teach on Schwinns & Star Tracs) and note where it falls before making the change. Then they can return to it. Seems to make the best of an imperfect situation.

keifer
05-06-2007, 07:31 AM
I totally agree with what's been said before ... there's no way to keep all of the bikes the same to have the numbers mean anything ... no wonder people ride the same bikes as they get used to how that particular bike feels ... although where I teach we actually move the bikes around every week so people think they are getting the same bike but no one has said anything which is probably due to the fact that we do weekly maintenance and after 3 years they still look brand new ... I usually tell my participants to remember how much of a turn 1/8, 1/4, 1/2 they add on and when they back it off to make the same adjustment back.

BlueRider
05-06-2007, 08:31 AM
I do not think that having numbers on the resistance dial would work very well. If you had numbers on the dial, the resistance on every bike would still vary. One reason is the pads. As the pads begin to wear, it may require more resistance. Another factor is the riders RPM, power, etc. Give your riders the freedom, and let them figure out their own resistance based on the terrain, rpm’s and the feel.

amybatt
05-06-2007, 04:09 PM
Not just the fact that the bikes are inconsistent in their resistance, but compare a student who is an avid outdoor cyclist and who does spinning in the off-season to stay in shape with your not-so-fit newbie or your older casual student who is just doing this for an hour of raised heart rate once a week....a resistance of "7" on the knob to each of them is going to be drastically different and affect each of them differently. That 7 may be just coming off a flat road for the cyclist, torture for the newbie and a moderate climb for the casual folks. I feel it's more effective to have them dial in what feels like a 7 to them and work from there.

patriciac
05-06-2007, 05:28 PM
I could see where some kind of power meter would be nice so that individuals could see where they are now and how much more they may need to gear up to work a little harder.

The revmasters that I teach with have cadence and milage on the pilots but that doesn't tell resistance. The bikes also take lots of revolutions on the knob to get the pad to go all the way down to the wheel.

Unless students are wearing heart monitors while riding, it is hard for some to tell if they are working harder on one round than another. That is why I encourage the use of heart monitors.

SpeedyChix
05-08-2007, 05:40 AM
I think there is no way you can have numbers on the resistance knob/lever. Part of the beautfy of indoor cycling/spinning/etc. is that you can take elite athletes and somebody who is brand new to exercise and teach together.

I sometimes do what you're describing OP, go up a hill, do something else, return to that hill, etc. When I know I'm going to do that, I try to encourage them to get a visual on the resistance knob is so that they can return to it quicker the next time. Of course, during the ride, that sweet spot may change for them too....

During the warm up, one of the things I always do is ask participants to get familiar with the resistance on the bike they're on today. I explain how differently the bikes break in/wear/etc. I also ask them to take into consideration what they want from the ride today, blah, blah...

SpeedyChix

raptor
05-08-2007, 11:48 AM
I used to try to include such calibration in some of my rides and still do it a little bit. I got in trouble for putting little stickers on the all-black knobs once. The new Spinners with the fancy logo on the resistance knob make it easier for a rider to get a feel for where the knob is or was on their bike.

I've decided that the "problem" of not knowing how hard you were riding ten minutes ago, in order to return to that same effort level now, isn't a big deal. We get a fine workout out of the ride without that detailed knowledge.

Lynn

EuroD
05-08-2007, 01:04 PM
Ditto to what everyone has said so far. Also, people get hung up on numbers which can be a detriment to their goals, challenges and achievement. Participants forget that they may not feel the same all the time, tiredness, illness, injury, etc. If they don't hit their 'numbers' they become demotivated. We have monitors on our bikes and they get fixated by how many miles they went on Monday as opposed to Wednesday. It drives me nuts because the focus will be different, and that is not always understood.

I refuse to have this conversation with my riders anymore and just ask whether they felt they put in the effort they wanted - Yes, well you met your goal for today. No, stop fixating on numbers because your own expectations will lead you to only failing yourself.

britspin
05-09-2007, 10:42 AM
The new Keisers have a 'gear' number on their readout computer...as well as power, cadence, time & wait for it...distance. Everything you never wanted to know. Now watch the teaching by numbers teachers go!