Stages Cycling - UCI WC DH - Leogang Power Competition Winner

Jul 7, 2016
by Pinkbike Staff  
Stages Cycling Leogang contest page

You were given 3 riders (Gee Atherton, Rachel Atherton and Taylor Vernon, all of the Trek Factory DH Team), with 3 power output options each.

Actual Output Results:
Gee Atherton - 1965
Rachel Atherton - 1343
Taylor Vernon - 1654

The winner for this round is Summit Bike Club and MJ had this to say about winning a brand new Stages Power Meter:

bigquotesI lead the Summit Bike Club, a junior development organization based in Park City, Utah and will use the Stages power meter on my Pivot LES to learn more about my riding, which will give greater insight to instruct the kids. - MJ

Stages Cycling makes power meters for all types of riders. Power meters are a training tool that helps cyclists get the most from their training, you may be surprised but many of the riders you follow through Pinkbike’s race coverage use Stages Power to maximize their performance. In Leogang, Stages Cycling collected samples of Max Wattage from the Trek Factory DH team. Max watts are a metric used to quantify sprint power.

Stages Cycling prize

Stages Power meter, valued up to $649.99 USD. (Saint M820 Stages Power meter pictured.

Thanks to Stages Cycling and stay tuned for 2 more contests from them this season.


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  • + 12
 A bit serious answer, if you want.

Competition failed just from the start, because
1. it wasn't said for what time average was power. It's really important, especially for stages.
For example, data from my stages for 2015: 1sec: 2133, 5sec (here and later - average): 1300, 10sec: 1217, 30sec: 782
You see, it's totally different.

2. you can't use 1sec, because it's wrong. That's why: you have power meter only for your left leg, standing sprint cadence in xc/dh is below 90. So power meter just don't have enough data! You will see your max power, if you will go with high cadence (100+) and will fast switch to the low cadence sprinting. Stages will think that now you have great power with old high cadence and will boost your figures.

That's why 1sec power means nothing.

Minimum, what's really means something is 5sec average power, but Gee don't have it at the level 1965, because its 24watts/kilo for him. Its Chris Hoys best level or higher) And more than that, for Chris it would be on a track. Its much harder two show your best power on dh/enduro bike because of the suspension non-circular soft style of pedalling (in comperison to road of track bike).

Will tell more about some statistics and power measurement if you want)
  • + 3
 You're totally right. These values feel wrong so i checked the tech info (
It looks as if they average the force of one pedal turn. Since only one leg is measured, they double the force.
The provided formulas look very strange to me. The power of a drive shaft should be calculated P=2*pi*F*r*n. I wonder why they use the gravitational constant g - makes no sense here.
In Addition, strain gauges in bridge circuit, probably wheatstone bridge, can easily cause wrong values. In highly dynamic cases, the evaluation isn't very reliable.
  • + 1
 I did some calculations.
Assumptions: r=0.17m, 1 pedal turn per second n=1/s, P=1965
It takes constantly 188kg on the pedal to get this enormous power. In reality the force/mass on the pedal is not constant so it gets a bit tricky ...
The torque is the cross product Fxr. Assuming a vertical force on the pedal, the torque will be T=F*r*cos(alpha). Because of the 2 pedals the torque is T=F*r*|cos(a)|, where |x| is the abs function. The average value of abs(cos(a)) is the integral from 0 to 2pi divided by 2pi, which is 0,637. So the average mass value Mave=188kg is 63,7% of the maximum value. So my conclusion is that the maximum weight on the pedal has to be 295 kg.
I wonder how a 70-80 kg person should bring nearly 300kg on the pedal!
  • + 1
 @Pr0Sasch: It's possible, because you use the other leg and arms to make more pressure to the pedal. So it's possible. On a track for world champ) Nothing bad about Gee, no doubt he is a great athlete. it's only about figures.

The only problem is that stages can't measure 1sec power properly (and it's not a problem out of this post, because Stages is really nice at 10+sec measurements and that's appropriate for all of us).
In the topic we had competition about exactly that - 1sec power. Which is something like randomizer.
  • + 1
 I think that you guys are too bent on the equations rather than understanding the quick burst power these guys have and use. In DH, the power only needs to come from maybe even less than one pedal stroke. They are going really fast to begin with, in a really high gear. Max power for a DH racer is not going to be a 5 or more second average. Max power is peak, not an average.
  • + 8
 To put that into perspective: Nino Schurter's top output on his last race was 1212w, while top riders on the Tour de France hit about 1400 max during an all out sprint.
  • + 9
 Yep, I'm pretty skeptical of those numbers
  • - 1
 for all we know it could have been a 30 seconds test for the trek riders.
  • + 1
 No, Im pretty sure Peter Sagan hit 1,800 watts during the final sprint for stage 2.
  • + 10
 To be fair, these results were pulled from their max output at Ft Bill, a ~5min effort all up. Nino's racing is over an hour long while the Tour riders have been racing for ~5-6hrs by the time they put the power down for their final sprint. Near impossible to have both ridiculous power and endurance. Plus they'd all physically be much smaller than Gee so while outright power might be less, it's not as important to them as power to weight.
  • + 1
 But you're right, 1965....... ?
  • + 1
 Yea but you realize that guys in the tour have to ride for up to 5 hours at a time. In a DH race, they drain themselves in less than 5 minutes. Also, I'm not surprised with those numbers because downhillers train mostly on weights. They train to put out that kind of wattage.
  • + 1
 Could it be from some kind of compression? I have no idea how the guages work practically but I have no problem seeing that peak forces from compressions pn fort bill to be unreasonably high. Seeing as the cranks usually turns a little when hitting stuff could that give of readings?

Although I dont think its strange that Gee could put down more power than a XC or road cyclist, neither bike is nowhere near as good to stand up and smash the pedals. Especially considering that Gee probably spends a bucket load more time training for hard short sprints.
  • + 1
 @johan90: no, compression from downhill doesn't matter for stages. It's even much harder to show your usual power on dh bike on a real track.
  • + 2
 Not uncommon for a Tour De France sprinter to be well over 1600.
  • + 6
 C'mon, we all know Rach's power output is 1965. Wink
  • - 1
 she could kick any ones butt when it comes to power outage, i think they skewed the numbers to not make Gee or Taylor look bad.
  • + 2
 Stages, any more info on power the durations those power numbers were for? C'mon, you guys are a data generating company. Give us a little more than just a single number.

No doubt these are strong folks, but I'm willing to bet these are the highest data point recorded, or at least just 1 second averages. Any shorter than 5 seconds and it should be considered noise in the signal.

So how about it? What were the 5 second bests and what did they average for their race runs?

  • + 1
 Average for race runs are really low because of pedalling time on the course, it can be below 100w/race (power meters don't count forces of standing on the pedals, pumping i the turns etc.)

For sure agree about the rest.
  • + 1
 The G-800 Model-101 Atherton Terminator has power outputs that make tour de France athletes look like little girls, what did you expect? But I also don't see how they can accurately separate compression forces over bumps, jumps etc with this gadget!?
  • + 1
 Because it also tracks cadence with power output. The data used is from when one is pedaling.
  • + 0
just have a look. I dont see Gee with legs like this. that figure is definitely not accurate. I guess it depends on the resolution of the power meter readings. imagine screaming downhill generating serious impulses as you hit obstacles and then putting in a couple of revolutions of the crank......downhill is not the right place for power meters
  • + 0
 Bulk and size have nothing to do with power output. Muscle density is where it's at. The most powerful short bursts will come from WC DH racers when it comes to cyclists. It's what they train for.
  • + 3
 Man whose chased by angry dog can get easily over 2000. Tested Big Grin
  • + 2
 still the same question 1965 what. Peanuts per second?
  • + 1
 So what do i have to do now?!

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