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Peak Torque

by Carl Brewer last modified 2011-04-19 01:42

How hard do you really have to push

There's an age-old question in track sprint, and it's this : "How strong do you have to be?" or variations on that. Why do we care?  Because, unlike our roadie and to a lesser extent track enduro cousins, we have to push very hard indeed for a few pedal strokes to get up to speed, on what may be a pretty large gear.

No commercially available power meters give the full picture.  Powertap, SRM etc do not report peak torque in a useful way - they report averages (but measure everything, if you know how to ask them the right questions).  Averages for torque are  nice to know, but don't really answer the question.  Peak torque is how strong you are, and that's a very interesting figure to know.

I've been lucky enough to be involved in assisting a study being done around these parts which is looking deeply into the torque requirements of sprint cycling.  It's been very interesting so far and we're lucky to have some very fancy torque measurement equipment available to test some of the squad riders on.  I might even get a go on the thing myself if I'm lucky and they want to get some junk data from an old guy who's broken at the moment!  But anyway, it's proving to be very interesting indeed.  We might even be able to answer the question at the end of it.

Interesting times!


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