It's hard to believe that Best Bike Split started a little over 3 years ago. When Rich and I were discussing the very beginning of the idea on the Cycling Time Trial Podcast recently, Rich brought up a great point that I had almost forgot. When I tell the story of how BBS got started I often forget one of the major “ah ha” moments when we knew it could be something very useful to cyclists and triathletes.
We were of course excited to see how close the early model predictions were coming to actuals and learning how athletes were using it for race planning (as made very popular by TJ Tollakson), but what excited me the most was implementing the actual race day execution of the plan. Rich had reminded me of something I saw on slowtwitch.com that really sparked the idea that BBS could be hugely beneficial on race day and as we announce our integration with the Wahoo ELEMNT I can finally say that our initial vision for BBS is complete.
Once we had a working model in July of 2013 and were able to do time predictions we thought "well that is cool, but what can we do with this thing?" It was around that same time that a slowtwitch.com post popped up with this photo of Tony Martin's 2013 TdF Time Trial race preparation cue sheet. As you can see it goes into specific detail on every section of the course. We thought what if we could provide this type of prep and specific power targets to all riders without the need for a professional scout team.
Unlike professionals who tend to pace themselves extremely well (potentially even more so now with the help of BBS), time and time again we see that age groupers and amateurs have the most to gain from proper pacing and strategy. It is one thing to have a detailed cue sheet like Tony Martin’s but it’s entirely different to actually put it into action on race day.
The first thought of course is just make an app for that, but there are several obvious problems with mixing phones and races so the best way forward was to get the plan to the head unit. We started by integrating race day power target alerts into Garmin Edge units via course files similar to what RideWithGPS has done for turn by turn, but when we caught wind that Wahoo was planning a stand alone bike head unit we were extremely interested in working with them to provide a better user experience.
Earlier this year we started an API effort to allow select partners to link to BBS and pull athlete's race plan details into their devices. We have had a great relationship with the people at Wahoo and were very eager to work with them on the Wahoo ELEMNT integration. As a true integration an athlete with an ELEMNT can link their BBS account and pull race plans into the device to use not only on race day, but also as as an advanced simulation when paired with a KICKR. When running a BBS simulation on the ELEMNT with a KICKR the resistance will reflect the gradient, wind conditions, rider/equipment weight and estimated aerodynamic changes across every section of the course while showing the athlete the same Target Power and Speed goals they will see during the actual race.
Test ride after ride I just couldn’t get over how awesome it was to see my BBS plan in action. As a former type-a triathlete it was actually exciting when a new power target popped up and I could work on pegging the number till I turned the corner into the wind or hit a hill with the accompanying new power target. I even discovered new ways to use BBS as a training tool. Last week I had a goal TSS for a workout but no formal ride structure prescribed. With a known course in mind I ran a TSS model in BBS for the course, loaded the plan and headed out for the ride. When the ride was done I was within one point of my TSS goal for the workout. While I would obviously not use this for every workout it was great to know exactly what I needed to do on the course to hit my goal.
The ELEMNT integration really achieves what I had envisioned 3 years ago as the ultimate way to implement a race day plan. That being said we will continue to expand to devices interested in working with us because we want all athletes to be able to share this experience. For now though these past two month of testing Power and Speed Targets with the ELEMNT has been so exciting that I’m thinking it’s time to dust off the Tri bike and get back on the race course. At the very least I’ll know I have my Best Bike Split loaded and ready to go.
Achieve your goals following your personal race plan during the race with Best Bike Split Power and Speed Targets on the Wahoo ELEMNT. Race targets update throughout the race corresponding to your rider/bike settings, the specific course and weather conditions from your Best Bike Split race plan. Don't leave your race plan at home on race day! Put your race plan front and center on race day.
When you pair a a Wahoo ELEMNT with Best Bike Split integration to your KICKR you can pre-train any Race plan with the most accurate simulation available. Unlike most programs that purely simulate a course's elevation change, the BBS simulation factors in elevation change, wind effects, expected rolling resistance, rider/bike weight and rider specific aerodynamic drag that changes based on the wind and course conditions.
Check out our FAQ page for additional information on Wahoo ELEMNT & KICKR Settings.