Physical training and mental conditioning are essential to become a better cyclist. However, aimless training will hardly be effective at improving your cycling skill. At most, it will increase your stamina and endurance.
Significant growth can only happen when you train to target your weaknesses and amplify your strengths. With the use of gadgets and tools that provide accurate data and insights on your performance, you can create a training plan that will effectively yield results.
Here are four must-have gadgets that will help improve your cycling.
1. Heart-Rate Monitor
Heart-rate monitors are popular gadgets among fitness enthusiasts. This gadget is also useful for cycling training to find your zone and make every session count.
With the use of a heart-rate monitor, you can determine your resting and maximum heart rates. Training can be made more effective by hitting the right zone to reach your goals. For example, if you’re aiming to burn fats, it’s enough to ride at a pace of 60 to 65 percent of your maximum heart rate.
It follows that the greater your goal, the higher the standard of maximum heart rate you need to keep while training. Typically, high-intensity interval training will require you to ride at 94 to 100 percent of your maximum heart rate. The heart-rate monitor is not the most accurate training tool as external factors, like emotional distress and stressful situations, can affect a person’s heart rate. Despite this flaw, it’s still a valuable tool to direct your training. You can always use a heart-rate monitor in congruence with the next gadget, which is more accurate and objective.
2. Cycling Power Meter
When it comes to tracking cycling power and performance, power meters are the most precise tools to use. This gadget uses strain gauges to measure the power you generate with every pedal. That data is then analyzed and transmitted to a cycling computer to provide insight on the rider’s performance.
Using the information gathered by the power meter, you can determine the right amount of intensity needed to make training more effective, accurately judge your tapers and peaks, and improve your pacing.
3. Smart Bicycle Trainer
For dedicated cyclists, neither rain nor snow can stop them from getting on their bikes. No matter how gung-ho you are about cycling, you shouldn’t challenge the wrath of Mother Nature—you’re almost always going to lose. If you’re that dedicated, you may as well get yourself a smart bicycle trainer.
A smart bicycle trainer looks like your typical bike, except it only has one wheel in the front. Meanwhile, the back is a turbo trainer with sophisticated mechanisms that gather data on your ride. Because it’s a smart trainer, it can connect to your smartphone or computer via an app in which you can change training settings, increase resistance, or set a riding profile.
With this gadget, you can work on improving your ride all year long, no matter the season.
4. Smart Pedal
If you want a GPS tracker and fitness tracker in one device, then the smart pedal is the gadget for you. Bicycles thefts happen frequently in urban areas, so the smart pedal was built to track stolen bicycles and get them back.
But that’s hardly the only thing the gadget can do. The smart pedal also doubles as a basic fitness tracker, which can record the rider’s speed, route, incline, and even calories burned.
You can access these pieces of information using an app and keep better track of your activity and, most importantly, your bike.
Boost Your Cycling Performance
Training is vital to improve your skill, but unstructured sessions can only help you to a certain degree before your performance stagnates. To increase your riding speed, power, and experience, you should use tools that can direct your training in the right direction. Hopefully, the gadget listed above can provide you with the data and insights you need to achieve your cycling goals.