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Danny Hart and his SRAM 'Power Cranks'

09:46 29th February 2012 by Dirt HQ

More news from the SRAM testing session in San Romolo, Italy.

Word from Alan Milway, World Champion Danny Hart’s Fitness Coach:

“I thought you might be interested to see these new BlackBox Quarq Power Meter cranks that have been fitted to Danny’s downhill bike that are currently being tested in Italy. I spend a lot of time testing and monitoring Danny’s power output and effort levels in the lab and also at the races- last season we had a GPS unit hidden on the bike to collect various data from his race runs. His heart rate trace from Champery World Champs is fascinating…says a lot about his how his fitness contributed to that run.
These cranks measure power output during a race run, which will help our understanding of his performance, effort, bike set-up and fitness, and will help us in training too. Although power meters are nothing new in road cycling or track cycling, they are new into downhill as far as I know and will really help us improve training and hopefully performance.”

Jon Cancellier, SRAM BlackBox Program Manager added, “The BlackBox Quarq Power Meter began as a conversation with Danny at Interbike last year. He and his coach were interested in using power to help him in his training and he asked if we could make one that could fit on his DH bike. After talking with the boys at Quarq, they were super excited to have the opportunity to work with the World Champ and bring power to DH. They were able to come up with a power meter that while based on a standard CinQo, is in fact a one-off design mated to a X0 DH crank arm. One of the exciting parts of working with the BlackBox athletes is being able to take special requests from the riders and make them a reality. Hopefully these cranks will bring a new level of training and information to DH racing.”

More in Dirt 122, out end of March.

  1. Tom_

    I swear my heart rate was higher watching the live stream than Danny’s was during his run!!

  2. Martijn

    Now I really want to see danny’s hart rate was during his race run you cant tease us and not share ;)

  3. ting tong

    what a load of nonsense. its well known that heart rate lag doesnt give a great idea of performance and in DH with so much adrenalin contributing to HR levels, its a very basic and pretty much useless tool. power is where its at but more interesting data would show power loss from the pedals to the back wheel

  4. torico

    what a load of nonsense. its well known that heart rate lag doesnt give a great idea of performance and in DH with so much adrenalin contributing to HR levels, its a very basic and pretty much useless tool. power is where its at but more interesting data would show power loss from the pedals to the back wheel

  5. dirt dodger

    seems like internet trolls know more than global specialist companies again huh. I love the web, I am constantly learning shit from people like you.

  6. Notapro

    Don’t forget the “balls” factor on DHart’s runs when quantitating performance

  7. David

    It’s a Glory sir… there is no power loss from the pedals to the back wheel :P lol

  8. Big_Tim

    Notapro – do you know where you get a ballometer to fit your testicles to measure the “balls” factor?!

  9. rob

    And what makes you think that they are only interested in power output to heart rate? maybe heart rate monitoring in ‘adrenaline’ sports is useful for other reasons… trying to control your ticker through breathing might open up performance increases elsewhere…..

    ..a semi fair point though. if you could slam a power meter into the rear hub and measure difference between input/output, that would surely be interesting for all rear sus bike design.


  10. F

    Tell us the power readings!

  11. cool hand luke

    big tim, you just use a vernier caliper

  12. James

    Agreed, this is pretty pointless, almost as pointless as Rockshox 20kg battery powered shock warmer…

  13. tim grant

    power testing is useful. Because it means the rider can train more effectivly and the bike companpies can make a more effective bike. It works in road etc, so it’s only sense to use it in dh racing. balls is only part of the overall deal. you need skill, abilty and fitness to get close to the top. anything else is a bonus.

  14. Torico

    I didn’t dispute power being useful, I use a power meter myself. I disputed hr bing useful due to the lag that is common with hr monitors. Hr hasn’t really been seen as a good training aid fro quite some time now. For training a power meter on a dh bike is quite interesting and my point was that fora manufacturer seeing the power difference between the pedals and the rear wheel could provide some intersting data . I guess I was cyclical of e article when a respected manufacturer opens the article talking about hr which to me shows a lack of credibility and I iniitially see this for just being a lousy press release with not a lot to say. So the next bit talsk about Danny using a power meter on his bike…jeez big shock therr. Cyclist uses a power meter , crikey you could go to any club 10 in the county and see masses of power meters. Using it on dh bike well yeah why not, it could show some stuff but more to the point it gives us something to talk about so job done.
    How about some power readings with a 29er down fort William versus a 26, now that would be interesting!

  15. Torico

    Apologies for all those appalling typos

  16. rico


  17. John

    Torico I don’t think the power readings of 26/29er down fort william have anything to do with the size of the wheels on the bike. It would be interesting to see how much power is lost though through suspension bob on different designs. Although I expect a few manufacturers would be reluctant to have the results of a test like that published.

  18. DaveO

    So why not stick a power meter on his road bike and leave the DH bike alone.

    There is no strain gauge clever enough to measure awesome.

    The next clever application of electronics will be a a shock that can “learn” a run and tune the rebound and compression damping on the fly…

  19. WillieW

    SRM has a DH power meter for both Saint and SRAM cranks, saw Aaron Gwin racing with one in Fontana a few weeks back.


  20. Jamie

    Don’t get me wrong…. I know downhill racers pedal, but really not THAT much right?…. Training … sure. Power meter it up! Racing, not so much. Plus his huge balls might get in the way. Training, skill, talent, and practice is what wins races in my mind. Not having some silly meter on your cranks.

  21. raddog

    If I was his trainer I’d just put fake ones on. The results would always be “The power meter said you weren’t pedalling fast enough”. That Brendan could do with a set of those too.

  22. Notapro

    @big Tim- never mind…they probably don’t make calipers that big. He whips to probably get em out of the way. A curse for most just inconvenience for a few . I heard Danny doesn’t fall it’s just that the ground gets out of his way.

    Power meter on dhart is like a click track on keith moon. What kinda nerd would want to know?

  23. Torico

    Power readings would show for a given speed on a similar bike, less power needed for a 29 if we are to believe the hype. I assume xc riders have done this research

  24. DTM

    Wow, didnt know the keyboard professors we out in such numbers. Perhaps you professors might like to apply your massive brains to the fact that Danny Hart is much faster then any of you, and his trainer clearly knows how to get the best out of this athlete athlete as well. Until any of you are world champion, or have trained a world champion, please bear in mind your opinions are worthless at best.

  25. Notapro

    Well, that’s it isn’t It’s the Internet…opinions are rampant and that’s all they are DTM. Relax, captain obvious.

  26. james

    5bolt xo cranks must be a once off??

  27. woody booger

    Maybe at least a “twice off”, riding w/ a SRAM engineer last weekend and he had the same setup on his big enduro bike. Was keeping the watts low when climbing so as not to roast the legs too much for the DH!!

    Logical progression, training w/ power is much more useful than just HR.

  28. Götz

    According to Newton’s Law a powermeter mounted to the bike measures the forces the bike gives back to the rider, not what and how the rider handles the bike. Collecting this data is of course of analytical value and together with collecting his torque data will become an indispensable tool when it comes to comment on the rider’s fitness as well as on the quality of the bike he uses.

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