We spoke to Chief Test Engineer of the Great Britain Cycling Team, Adam Bonser, and asked him exactly what he loves so much about the InfoCrank.
The Great Britain Cycling Team has over the last 20 years become one of the most dominant and decorated nations in track cycling through their endless obsession over the details. They have left very few stones unturned in their ceaseless quest for a performance advantage, whether that be via rider nutrition, strength and conditioning programmes, training protocols, race clothing or the development of some of the world’s fastest bikes.
One thing common to every area of potential improvement is the reliance on data when forming or adapting their methodology. It’s as crucial as ever to understand the key metrics and to be able to appreciate how causation works in every case. Data is the key that opens up complete understanding and nowhere is this truer than in the case of rider power output.
Verve and British Cycling have been trusted partners since 2015. They have worked together on understanding how much data is enough when it comes to analysing performance and they have collaborated on the first ever track InfoCrank, which was designed to meet the team’s exacting requirements. Not only did the data need to be truly accurate and based on true measurement of the two component parts of power; torque and cadence, it also needed to be repeatable, high-frequency and ultimately reliable.
However, it’s not only the data that needs to be spot-on. When you’re running a programme with over one hundred professional cyclists you need to get the other stuff right too. We spoke to Chief Test Engineer of the Great Britain Cycling Team, Adam Bonser, and asked him exactly what he loves so much about the InfoCrank.
Here are Adam’s top seven features of the InfoCrank:
1. Dependable accuracy.
This is key for us. When you’re working with the best of the best of the best, close enough isn’t good enough. We identified the InfoCrank in 2014 as being the right tool for the job and nothing has changed in the last 9 years. The guys at Verve set the bar very high from the get-go and when you couple the unrivalled accuracy with the option of High-Speed data it becomes an easy choice.
The performance gain here has been two-fold. The InfoCrank gave us accurate, reliable and consistent data available for training for the first time.
And in the long-term – it has allowed the development of a database of all riders who pass through the programme that can be reliably compared over time. We now have a database stretching back over seven years with data from all Olympic Games and Paralympic Games champions. This means we are also able to identify trends to recognise potential talent earlier than before.
2. Left/Right isolation.
There’s no point in measuring one leg and doubling the number, this isn’t how the human body works. The InfoCrank offers true left and right independent measurement, and all at High Frequency too, should this be required.
3. High and unrivalled sample rate.
Many wireless cycling products use Ant+ to transmit data. Ant+ works at 4Hz (meaning it transmits data four times per second), and only then one message is a power number. This means that you only get one power number a second at best, so if you are pedalling at over 60 times a minute, entire pedal rotations will be without a power number. The InfoCrank measures at 256Hz – meaning it transmits data 256 times per second – and therefore ensures a steady stream of power data that doesn’t require you to fill in the blanks.
4. Simple mechanics.
This is crucial. Easy to install, set-up and maintain. Just ask one of our team mechanics whether or not this matters. When you have over 250 bikes to maintain it makes a huge difference!
5. Extensive app and ability to really dig into the data.
It’s no use having a power meter with excellent measurement capabilities without being able to extract and analyse the data. One great thing about Verve is that they offer an end-to-end solution and have developed an app that works seamlessly with the InfoCrank.
6. Customer support.
We run a huge programme and stress-free support matters massively to us. The customer service we receive from the team at Verve is impeccable, we cannot fault them!
7. Great battery.
When used properly, the InfoCrank has one of the best battery lives of all the power meters we tested. We know the IC2 has taken the step of moving to an even better battery in the CR2032 and we cannot wait to get our hands on them!
So, as you can see, what matters to the most successful track cycling team in the world of the last 20 years are precisely those things that should matter to anyone who chooses to use a power meter in their race and training efforts.