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November 2nd, 2016, 07:05 PM   #1
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Need a formula....

Since this is my first post, a little preface about me. I'm a materials science major with a minor in chemistry so as far as pure mathematics goes I've taken differential equations and that's where it's stopped. Lots of chemistry and engineering classes for the application of said math...but for pure math DE is where it's stopped. So I'm competent enough to be able to understand most of what would be thrown at me in this case. So now on to my issue....

So my bike shop is trying to set up a "power to weight" (simply put) leader board. The idea came from watching a Porsche wipe a Camaro out in a stoplight race despite having a huge HP deficit. Showing that if the Camaro lost some weight, he'd be a bit more efficient....which is the name of the game in cycling; having the most power with the lowest weight. This will also show that having a lower weight bike isn't as important as people think, but body weight and fitness level is since the bike is such a low percentage (also very simply put) of rider + bike weight. But more importantly, if you can put out more wattage, it doesn't necessarily matter how much you or your bike weigh.....which is again where fitness comes in....trying to find that intersect of power:weight

So I need help getting a number. That number is what will be used to place a person on the leader board. There will be two leader boards:

1. A short pure power segment
2. A longer aerobic segment

The defining criteria:

Weight of the rider
Weight of bike
PR time through a particular Strava segment (a gps software)

They don't necessarily need to be the same formula although that may be impossible. Also I'm assuming weight of rider and bike will typically be one value, but for the sake of being able to break this down and explain it to customers, it's probably best to have both rider and bike weight and show "well if your bike was x pounds less, you can see what this will have on your final value.." This information could be EASILY dissected if a person had a power meter installed on their bike, you could just look at the wattage they produce at a given time during a segment, their current weight and use simple math to see power to weight ratio. However this isn't quite as interactive with customers, not all customers have power meters, nor does it make them want to improve any and build a little camaraderie amongst eachother....

An example would be me and my business partner. He can make it up this steep hill in 16 seconds and weighs 147 lbs including bike (130 lbs and 17 lbs respectively). I on the other hand am 205 lbs with bike (178 lbs and 27lbs) but am only 1 second slower....so power wise, I have significantly more peak power production than he does....you don't need a power meter to see that. I want to be able to put a numerical value on that. Conversely, if we string it out to a longer segment he completes it in 55 seconds whereas I'm sitting at 1:42....so obviously he destroys me in that metric. And that would be the second board showing "well, Nate has more power in the sprint....but he gets annihilated in the longer section...where the bike and/or fitness/bodyweight come into play....if you lost 5 lbs of body weight and all other things being equal, this is what your new value would be..."

I have no problem explaining the math to somebody as to how we arrived at the value or being able to input the formula into Excel (for the most part so it can be calculated instantly,) but we need something that is fairly concrete where you can put a number on something that is real world results based, whether you lose weight, lower your bike weight, or get better fitness, there's a measurable number/metric. I THINK I have a formula, but I just wanna hear what anybody else comes up with as my simple metric doesn't seem to reflect much for the longer segments (aerobic) which is why I was thinking there could be a different formula for the aerobic than the sprint one.

Thanks a huge ton in advanced.

Last edited by NateE; November 2nd, 2016 at 07:10 PM.
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November 3rd, 2016, 12:58 PM   #2
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Nevermind...pretty positive I figured it out...thanks though.
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