Spin bikes are designed to help you lose a considerable amount of weight. However, you also need to know how to measure watts on a spin bike to carry on with your cycling workouts.
Now, if your spin bikes already have the software to measure the watts, you won’t have any issues measuring the power generated while cycling. However, if your spin bikes have no such software, you need an intelligent trainer to help you get these power data.
In this article, we’re going to look at the wattage of various spinning bicycles, including some dedicated racing models. This will give you a good sense of the wattage you can expect to be pushing when you’re in your spin class or a spin bike-specific group workout class.
How to Measure Watts on a Spin Bike?
Now, if you want a power meter for the spin bike to measure the watts, then there’s no need for you to measure since your power meters are going to show all the readings.
However, if your bike doesn’t have a power meter and you wish to exercise indoors, you will indeed require some kind of power data and a proper guide to fix the bike problems.
So, to solve this problem, there are intelligent trainers to collect the power data for you. These high-end yet pricey trainers will elevate your indoor routine to new heights.
To begin, they include an integrated power meter. Power and cadence data will be transmitted to your computer, smartphone, spin bike, or training app via the power meter.
Moreover, these trainers monitor power at the back wheel, and they’ll measure the power (in watts) from both legs. This will give a better calculation of the power.
There is no left leg measurement here; just power is measured! However, it improves when used with any indoor training application; these trainers can send feedback directly to your pedals.
The effects of a hill, draft and other factors are felt in real-time, exactly as the indoor training app intended (also known as an Ergometer mode.) In essence, the trainer controls the resistance of the spin bike.
This also simplifies structured training. Once an interval-style workout is programmed into this training app, these smart trainers will automatically alter the wattage between intervals to ensure that your workout is perfectly matched. All you have to do is concentrate on the pedalings.
Efficiency (W/Watts) on a Spin Bike
If you were to perform a watt-for-watt comparison, then it would be best to make sure that the watt-powermeter that you are using is accurate.
Like most metrics, a spin bike watts calculator or watt-powermeter is accurate only if it is being measured in watt-seconds. In other words, if you were to measure the power that you produced during a sprint, for instance, it would take a 2-second snapshot of your power meter and compare that to the power that you generated.
To measure your watt-power, you must first use the power meter that is reporting the power that it’s able to measure. For example, if the power meter reads that you produced 10,000 watts during your sprint, you must then ride 10,000 watts as if you are trying to accelerate as fast as possible to that same power (it will not actually do that but that’s an irrelevant detail).
That’s a lot of physical activity to do, so don’t expect to just pick any power meter out of the box and go for it. You have to go through a brief test on it before you’re able to move on to the next step.
Once you feel like your power meter is being measured accurately, then you can start to use it to measure power.
Rule of Thumb
As a rule of thumb, I generally recommend that you use the power meters that are built into the base of your wheels. The good news is that it is possible to use power meters built into the wheelset that doesn’t ride directly on your crankarms, which is where you usually want to ride them.
It’s best to stick with these types of sensors because the sensors actually touch your crankarms, which is more accurate than having the power meters mounted to a separate, non-involved part of your crankarms.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you need to use the power meter that is built into the base of your wheelset. This means that if you have a power meter built into the pedals and it reports 2,000 watts of power when you’re actually only pedaling for 1,500 watts, then you can’t perform a watt-PowerMeter test on it because it will not give you a true measure of your power.
If you’re looking to create a watt-power-scale to show your power and compare it to others, then you can use a wattmeter that is installed directly on the bottom bracket of your wheel. The advantage to this is that you can see exactly how many watts you’re pedaling against the resistance of the road.
Cadence vs. Watts
Cycling cadence mainly refers to the rate at which your pedals turn when you’re riding your spin bike. Watts relates to a precise unit of power that you can raise or even reduce when riding your bike. Although many indoor spin bikes will track your cadence and watts, each one exposes a unique part of your overall body strength and cycling.
Watts is a unit of measurement used during cycling to describe the amount of power produced while riding a spin bike. Increased wattage generated during a riding session increases your speed and your force and acceleration.
Although your cadence is strongly related to your wattage production, they are not synonymous. It’s because your cadence varies throughout the ride; the wattage produced is a total figure that takes into account the intensity and duration of your cycle.
These benefits riders, especially those who are trying to increase endurance and stamina throughout these long races.
Cadence is the rate you turn the spin bike pedals. Concentrating on increasing your total cadence will increase your bike speed and decrease your race time. Indoor cycling is often conducted on a flat track, but spin bikes can simulate uphill and downhill riding.
So, because of this, your cadence will usually fall between 50 and 65 revolutions per minute (rpm). Maintaining a steady cadence improves your racing pacing and helps you maintain consistent speed through your exercise.
Check out these 5 Best Magnetic Spin Bike Under $500 if you’re on a tight budget!
Spin Bikes and Possible Cautions
Indoor cycling is a kind of cycling that involves riding a stationary bike. These spin bikes feature handlebars and weighted flywheels for riding. Wattage and cadence are both critical components of indoor cycling.
Counting watts may be more critical for indoor cyclists to develop their strength and endurance. Moreover, increasing the cadence will help you improve the acceleration and speed of your spin bike.
Indoor cycling is a high-intensity cardiovascular workout that can surely help you improve your fitness, endurance, and stamina, but it is also essential to carry out these exercises safely.
Consult your physician to ensure that you are healthy and fit enough to use these spin bikes. Moreover, staying hydrated while cycling is critical to avoid fainting or dehydrating. You should also cycle in a sufficiently cool and ventilated room.
Spin bikes can surely be one of the best methods to reduce weight and stay fit. However, you also need to know the amount of power generated when carrying out these exercises, which helps you progress in your cycling. So to get a proper measure of the watts of your spin bike, you can always use an intelligent tracker if there is no built-in software to measure the power.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Can you put a speed sensor on a spin bike?
Ans: Yes. To install a speed sensor on a spin bike, you’ll want to open the back panel on the frame. Then, you’ll want to pop a tiny flat screwdriver-style bit into the hole in the back of the bike, below the power meter, and slide it down the length of the stem on either side of the power meter, until it reaches the speed sensor on either side. It shouldn’t be able to turn or tilt. Once the speed sensor is in place, slide the other side of the stem back onto the bike (this is basically where the power meter should go on your spin bike). Using the flat screwdriver bit on the other side of the sensor, reinsert it into the hole, and screw it back into the bike. That’s it!
Stephanie Ferland is an ex-gym trainer whose goal is to help people to achieve their desired fit body by doing effective exercises. She is also the founder of FitGirl Nation and a corporate wellness expert who’s crafted some of the world’s most popular workouts. With just nine and a half years of experience as a professional fitness trainer, Stephanie is often called a “Fit Celebrity.” Meet Stephanie and find out the 3 reasons why she never misses a workout!