Power is one of the most meaningful evolutions to ever break onto the Spinning® scene. When power crank technology became affordable and accessible to all who love the Spinning® program, it gave fitness fans at all levels the ability to truly measure output, track progress, and get after those goals in a big way—whether riding at home or in class.
But if you’re wondering what the heck it means to ride with power and why it’s such a big deal, we got you. It’s actually kinda simple, so let’s get right into it.
What Will You Gain from Riding With Power?
Riding with power means that you truly know how much work you’re doing. Sure, that puddle of sweat is a clue that you didn’t just phone it in. But your power output (watts) is the actual amount of work that you’re putting into the pedals. That work comes from two variables: cadence (how fast you’re pedaling) and resistance (how much you turn that knob to the right). Many people are surprised to learn that those super-fast pedal strokes don’t actually amount to a hard effort unless you combine the quick cadence with enough resistance. But how much is enough? That’s where the power reading comes into play. No guessing, no estimating.
|Your power in watts is the key to knowing when you’re working hard and when you’re letting the flywheel do all the work. |
When it comes to weight loss, there are big benefits of riding with power. If you’ve ever tried to lose or maintain weight, you’ve probably paid attention to how many calories you burn with exercise, right? And maybe you’ve noticed that different apps, machines and watches give you vastly different calorie expenditure numbers. That’s because those devices use some type of formula to estimate calories, and the estimates are only as good as the data that goes into the formulas, which often is “meh.” But when you ride with power, the crank measures kilojoules (kJs), and for all practical purposes, there’s a 1:1 ratio between kJs and calories burned. In other words, kJs and calories are basically equivalent, and when you ride with a power crank, the power that’s measured gives you accurate, not estimated calories burned.
How to Get a Bike with Power
If you are shopping for a home bike or a whole studio-full of bikes for your facility, there are Spinner® bikes available that come equipped with power cranks.
If you already have a bike or bikes, you can turn most non-power Spin® bikes into power bikes by adding a SPINPower®Crank. They’re made by 4iiii (pronounced “Four Eyes”) -- a pioneer in sports technology, and makers of one of the most accurate power meter products in the world. There are two models of SPINPower® Cranks. The SPINPower® Performance Crank is for home bikes and the SPINPower® Studio Crank is for commercial studio bikes. Nearly all Spin® bikes sold today are compatible with SPINPower® Cranks, so the first step is to determine which crank you need.
|Home Bikes: The SPINPower® Performance Crank is compatible with these home Spinner® Bikes: A1, A3, A5, P1, P3, P5, Elite, Blade, and the 25th Year Anniversary Johnny G Spinner®|
Studio Bikes: The SPINPower® Studio Crank is compatible with these commercial Spinner® bikes: Ride, Shift, Rally, PRO and NXT
Once you have your SPINPower® crank you need to install it. The power crank goes on the left side of the bike. If you have a standard crank on the bike that you need to remove first, there’s a special crank removal tool for that purpose. The power crank owner’s manuals provide step-by-step, illustrated instructions, and you can also find demonstration videos for both types of power cranks on the Spinning® Support YouTube channel. The basic steps are: 1) place the power crank on the axle; 2) secure it with the bolt; 3) attach the pedal to the crank.
Calibrate Your Power Crank
The SPINPower® Crank Connect App for iOS and Android is a simple tool that allows you to check the battery status and calibrate your SPINPower® Crank. (The same app works with both home and studio cranks.) Download the free app, and open it on your device while standing near the bike. The app will walk you through a few easy calibration steps, and it takes less than a minute.
Pair Your Power Crank to Your Favorite App or Bike Computer
So now your SPINPower® Crank is installed and calibrated, and you’re ready to ride! The power crank will send out a Bluetooth® and ANT+ signal that you can pair to a variety of apps and computers, depending on how you ride.
If you’re a home rider: Check out ourRide at Home page to learn about the Spinning® apps that pair to your power crank and deliver robust metrics. You can also unleash your racing spirit and ride with Zwift!
If you own or run a studio: Mount a SPINPower® Studio Computer on each bike that has a SPINPower® Crank. Riders who come to class will hop on the bike, and instantly see their power, cadence, distance and calories without the need for any setup or pairing. They have the option to connect a heart rate monitor with the press of a single button. There’s even an interval function that complements the instructor’s coaching, allowing for extra creativity and engagement in class. Think time trials, sprints, power test and even relays!
Ready to make a move and ride with power?
Whether you’re a home rider or studio owner, get into the power game and you’ll be on the road to the most effective, results-oriented training experience. Get started with a new bike or add power to your existing bike, and then pair up with the app or computer of your choice.