Riding in the Rocktown Cycle Studio has been a blast. I have ridden trainers in the past at home but I have struggled to make myself do the workout and time my own intervals (also, magnet and fluid trainers are noisy). At the studio I can socialize and sweat with friends. We share in the hard work and motivate each other (and listen to awesome music and watch cool videos).
In ergometer mode, workouts are based on percentages of the rider’s one hour best effort. So 100% is the hardest you can do for one hour. The display shows a graph with duration from left to right, and the height is intensity. All I have to do is pick the workout, click start, and pedal at a somewhat steady rhythm. The software and smart trainers do all the thinking. As you pedal along the graph, the bars or ramps get taller or shorter as the trainer adds and removes resistance. My pedaling cadence (RPM) changes a bit as I fight the hard efforts or coast into my recovery. In ergometer mode you do not have to shift because the trainer calculates the resistance based on your cadence. At a given power output you can pedal faster and the force will reduce. If you pedal slower the force will increase but the power stays the same. If you slow down too much you may feel like you’ve run out of gear on a steep hill until you spin it back up). Ergometer mode is great to target specific intensities that boost metabolism and increase fitness.
Course mode is a simulator mode. I can upload local ride GPS files, pick far off mountain climbs from the Tour of France, or create my own Death Climb course with 30% grade walls. Like riding outside I can see what lies ahead. As the graph line goes up so does the elevation. The slope of the line represents the percent grade (there are downhills…sometimes). In this mode shifting of the gears occurs just like riding outside. It will also let you know if you don’t have an easy enough climbing gear. The software uses your body weight and bike weight to calculate resistance for percent grade. If you have an event coming up that has some steep climbs and you want to know if you have the right gear ratio you can test it out on the trainer using a gps file or programming in the max grade. It is usually too cold for me to ride Reddish Knob from late October until late March. In the studio I can ride it year round and with climate control. I feel this is a great tool to build confidence for newer riders, or those that think they don't climb well. Course mode can be used for route recon, self-paced workouts, and simulated races (drafting is built in).
The best thing about Rocktown Cycle Studio is that everyone is working at their own level. One rider can be cruising in the flats with the wind at their back while the other is hammering away prepping for the World Championships.
If you haven’t given the studio a try, the first class is FREE. Check out the schedule here.
- Coach Adam Williams