More charts

6 August, 2012 by David Johnstone

There are now two more charts on ride pages to go with the power curve.

Image showing force vs. cadence chart

The first of these shows the relationship between the force on the pedals and cadence (and I think it’s the prettiest chart on the site). Each dot represents one second’s worth of data. This chart is divided by the grey lines into four areas (or quadrants):

  • The top right is high cadence and high force. Sprinting will put points into this area.
  • The top left is low cadence and high force. Accelerating from stationary in a big gear will get points here.
  • The bottom left is low cadence and low force. Recovery rides and soft-pedalling in a bunch will be largely in this area.
  • The bottom right is high cadence and low force. A time-trial will generally fall into this area, as will spinning on rollers.

This chart is useful to visualise the neuromuscular demands of a ride. Here’s a more thorough article about the interpretation of this chart.

The grey lines are drawn so that the vertical line is at a cadence of 80 RPM (by convention) and the horizontal line is at the force required to generate FTP (functional threshold power) at 80 RPM. The yellow line indicates FTP (which is why this line and the grey lines all meet at the same point), so all points above it (or to the right) are above FTP.

Here’s few technical points on these charts:

  • The y-axis is assuming the bike is equipped with 175mm cranks. If this assumption is incorrect, the y-axis labels will be slightly wrong. This shouldn’t affect the interpretation of this chart, but if it’s an issue, get in touch.
  • Since bike computers store numbers like cadence and power as integers despite being continuous variables in reality, jitter has been added to make the chart look more natural. That is, if all the cadence values are integers, the points are noticeably stacked in columns. Adding a random number between -0.5 and 0.5 fixes this issue by making the chart look more natural without affecting its accuracy.
  • Points are not shown when the power is zero.

Image of a histogram

The second new chart is a histogram that can show either power, cadence or heart rate. It currently always displays the power with intervals of 20W, and heart rate and cadence with 5 BPM/RPM intervals. Zeroes are never shown.

Both of these new charts will also show the current selection when a selection has been made on the main graph (or when a lap has been clicked on, or when the power curve has been clicked on).

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