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How to analyze a MTB ride with Strava, TrainingPeaks and BrakeAce

I’ve lost track of the number of MTB rides that I’ve analyzed.

It’s in the thousands.

My first ride analysis software was Power Agent. This was a free software that came with PowerTap hub-based power meters. I must admit that in 2008 I really had no idea what I was looking at, but it was a good start.

Good old Power Agent! It was not bad at all 🙂

See, before this, we didn’t have ‘ride data’. At least not any that was affordable to my poor ass.

What we did have then, was HR monitors. I had heard of units that could be uploaded to the computer, but I didn’t do that or have the option. All I could really do was see my HR at the time, then see my average between button pushes. It wasn’t high tech and it didn’t really do much.

But between 2008 and 2010, I became hooked on power meters. By 2011 I had a disc PowerTap for my MTB. The next year I had the first Quarq MTB power meter.

The rest is history.

Still loving that prototype power meter!

But then what?

Well, we knew for a long time that power meters weren’t the end-all be-all for MTB.

After all, there is this massive component of MTB, broadly called skill.

Pedaling doesn’t win MTB races outright.

I mean, yeah, it definitely is priority in XC, no doubt. But in DH, it’s possible to win a World Cup race with no pedaling at all. What gives??