“It’s numbers with their imperfections versus bullshit” – Nate Silver via British Cycling
Cycling Power Lab models cycling and triathlon performance by applying mathematical/physics models to real world athlete, course and environmental data with the goal of answering many of
the performance related questions aspirational bike riders should be asking in sporting events increasingly decided by marginal-gains. Our philosophy of cycle sport is based on the numerical,
scientific approaches required to win bike races (including triathlons) in the modern era.
“It’s as hard as any other climb. They all go up hill, they’re all tarmac, it doesn’t matter what names are on them, you go uphill on a bike. It doesn’t matter where you are, it’s
just a name really at the end of the day.” – Bradley Wiggins on the significance of the Tourmalet.
"It's hard not to be romantic about baseball. This kind of thing, it's fun for the fans. Doesn't mean anything." - Billy Beane (General Manager - Oakland Athletics)
Cycling Power Lab exists to take the "bullshit" a.k.a uncertainty out of cycling and triathlon in the way that the broader field of “Sports Analytics” has revolutionised field sports such
as baseball and soccer. The way we see it success in cycle sport is defined by numbers – times, speeds, gradients, power, weight, and aerodynamics – no mythology required. We cut to
the scientific realities underpinning the sport and present these as hard facts. Whether you’re interested in training, goal setting, pacing strategies, or race analysis these facts -
via our tools and analysis - will serve you well.
“If you can’t deliver a certain level of power or performance in training then the chances are you’re not going to be able to do it in competition.” – Chris Boardman
This whole idea of measuring watts and people knowing what they can do, that's it. Whether it's an SRM, Quarq or Powertap they are using, people know what they can do for 2 hours, what they
can do for 4 hours and they put it there and leave it there. Anytime above that they know, and we know, that ultimately they're going to pay the price - it's a math game." - Lance Armstrong
The science of cycling is overwhelmingly centred on rider’s power output, for good reason. The sum product of a rider’s physiology serves to deliver power to the pedals. Maximising
athlete’s sustainable power output is just part of a good coach’s job. Meanwhile the power at the pedals, relative to weight and aerodynamic properties defines the speed a rider
realises in a certain race. This is the realm of physics and “speed theory”. We're convinced that the most valuable tool a cyclist or triathlete can own is a power meter and we make no apologies
for heavily promoting them.
“That which is measured improves. That which is measured and reported improves exponentially.” – Thomas Monson via Joe Friel.
"You wouldn't bake a pie if you didn't know how hot the oven was. Power output tells you what you're really doing when you're cycling." - Allen Lim
"Power is a bullshit free zone." - Garth Fox (Sport Scientist to Michi Weiss)
We believe that a numerical approach to training and race preparation, founded in power and aided by power meters, is a demonstrably better way to approach competitive bike riding.
Always knowing your level, estimating your competitor’s level, and setting quantifiable goals maximises efficiency. Meanwhile event modelling improves certainty and quantitative
goals have a habit of being met.
"Riding a bicycle fast is largely about one's ability to produce power to overcome aerodynamic drag and gravity." - Robert Chung
"Maximise the power you can produce, minimise the power your have to produce." - Jim Martin
"After an unexpectedly poor performance at nationals due in part to higher-than-expected aerodynamic drag, I began to wonder if perhaps I had made the wrong [frame] choice." - Andrew Coggan
Aerodynamic drag is so hugely important in modern cycle sport that we're convinced everybody should be studying it. We devote large parts of this site to explaining it and techniques that can be
used to measure it. We take an applied approach to the aerodynamic qualities of components, studying the real world impact of publicly available aerodynamic drag data. Aerodynamics on the road isn't
an exact science but - as Nate Silver says - it's numbers with their imperfections versus bullshit...