Power Play

So I think it’s fair to say that 2020 hasn’t exactly gone according to plan, correct? To date this year I’ve had a holiday to Cyprus cancelled, the Giro has been ‘postponed’ as has the Etape du Tour (unlikely they will go ahead this year in my opinion) and it is looking highly unlikely that Ride London will happen either. That’s pretty much a full house for my cycling events this year.

To brighten the gloom of a long, event-less year I decided to take the plunge and invest some of the money I have saved from these cancelled trips on a power meter. I’d toyed with the idea for a little while and had spent many an hour watching YouTube videos and reading articles on the different types but had resisted due to my lack of knowledge around power based training…..that plus the fact that it seemed a little excessive for someone whose main cycling trip consists of a slow, leisurely roll around the lanes of Kent! The cancellation of the trips made previously unavailable funds available though so which one to pick; Pedals? Crank? Crankset? Left and Right? There was a lot to consider!

I settled on going the full hog, a complete crankset changeover as I wouldn’t need to switch between bikes all that often (if at all) and I chose the Stages Power Meter on an Ultegra chainset. This, however, was to present a new challenge that I had not considered! Specialized bikes use the BB30 bottom bracket rather than a 24mm one that Shimano use, hence the brand using FSA cranks, so I also had to buy some adaptors that would convert the bracket to the correct size for the Shimano cranks. That wasn’t as straightforward as it would seem as descriptions weren’t exactly clear but, thanks to a couple of forums, I found the Wheels Manufacturing BB30 to 24mm Crank Spindle Shims.

My bike with the original FSA cranks

So, on the back of internet advice, my shopping list increased to:

  • Stages Cycling Power Meter G3 LR Ultegra R8000
  • Wheels Manufacturing BB30 to 24mm Crank Spindle Shims
  • Rubber mallet (highly recommended purchase!)
  • 10mm Hex Tool


Now I’ll admit that this task filled me with a little trepidation as I had never removed or replaced a crankset before. I’m slowly building up a knowledge of bike tasks but this struck me as one where I could really balls things up! Undeterred, I began the process of removing the old FSA cranks from my bike and it was there where I nearly gave up almost instantly as the crankset just wouldn’t move through the bracket, even with some pretty heavy handed encouragement with the rubber mallet! I was on the point of conceding defeat when ‘one last whack’ seemed to dislodge the crank and I was finally able to remove the offending article.

Following a good clean and re-grease, the shims and new crankset went on pretty easily. I did have to remove the adaptors a couple of times to ensure that I had the correct spacers on that would allow the crankset to work freely and not hinder the front derailleur or any other mechanism. Also, worth remembering where you had the chain before doing this, it took me a while to remember I’d shifted to the small ring before the install so the derailleur looked completely out of sync! I was surprised at just how easy the installation was, the calibration of the power meter was a straightforward affair with the Stages app and equally easy to sync to my Garmin with a little ride round the block

The new power meter crank went on fairly easily!

Now, it is all a question of learning what to do with this new piece of equipment! Training Peaks had a very good blog on the subject so I am going to use that as my inspiration!

Training Peaks – How To Get Started Training With Power

I have also created an account with Training Peaks and am currently enjoying the trial period for their Premium service. There looks like a wealth of data to get my head round, it’s certainly a thorough platform!

Training Peaks activity summary

The new addition looks great on my bike, interested to see where this will lead me next….

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Even the photos have got a little bit more technical!


4 Comments on “Power Play

  1. Enjoy the numbers, but don’t get too bogged down in it. You’ll probably notice how hard it is to keep a constant power outside. Every little gradient change, direction change, road surface change, wind change, has an effect! Much different to using power from a smart trainer indoors. Great for pacing hills and headwinds once you know your limits.

    If you like a good read, Training and Racing with a Powermeter is worth a buy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks!
    Yeah I’ve already switched to normalised power based on things I’ve read but have got the 3 sec average on m display so I know what I’m doing on efforts. It’s been interesting so far but I’m not planning to completely geek out on it!

    Liked by 1 person

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