First ride: LeMond Revolution with Power Pilot

As some of you know, I’m a huge fan of the LeMond Revolution trainer. It has a solid base and a realistic feel — and it’s the only trainer I’ve ridden that accurately simulates acceleration. Yesterday I did my first session with the accompanying Power Pilot computer.

More details to come, but for now:

Semi-disclaimer: I did not pay for the Revolution trainer. I did pay for the Power Pilot.

What is it?
The Power Pilot is a computer designed to work with the Revolution trainer. Setup was quick and easy: A speed sensor bolts to the trainer, a magnet goes on your crank, a cadence sensor goes on your chainstay, a heart rate sensor goes around your chest and the console goes on your stem, bar or front tire. I entered the date, time, wheel circumference (for speed calculations) and elevation (for power calculations), and I was ready to rock.

The Mighty S-Works Tricross – basic ‘cross setup with Specialized Lo Pro Mag flat pedals — did the honors.

LeMond Power Pilot for Revolution trainer

What does it do?
A skim of the user manual indicates the Power Pilot does pretty much everything:

• Time
• Cadence
• Heart rate
• Power
• Speed

The Power Pilot records workout info. You can upload and download workout data.

I did the quickie install and got to work.

The ride
This is one of my typical trainer protocols. I’m always trying to improve/maintain my threshold power, and I like to mix in some sprints for those occasional races.

• Warm up 15 minutes. Start easy and work up the effort to just below threshold. Throw in some bursts to wake things up.
• 5 minutes at threshold – Start with a sprint from a dead stop. Play with bursts.
• 2 minutes easy
• Repeat for a total of five threshold intervals
• A few sun salutations
• Kiss wife and play with babies


Lemond Revolution trainer

• Stoked on the power meter! Not only does it help you control your intensity and gauge your Awesome Power ™, it shows very clearly how subtle changes in your pedal stroke affect your wattage. I am all about getting more wattage from my perfectly average aerobic engine.

• It’s amazing how hard it is, mentally and physically, to sustain red vs. orange effort. The power difference might only be 25 watts, but it’s a whole different world. The Power Pilot is going to help me spend more quality time at red. That way, I can kick all your asses in orange. Ha.

• I’ve been counting revolutions. The cadence sensor is way more pro.

• Seeing all the data – time, cadence, power and heart rate — all in one place is super rad. Nerdy, yes, but rad. I’m getting ideas for semi-scientific tests where I compare different pedals, cadences and other variables.

• As far as I can tell, the Revolution with Power Pilot is the ultimate battle station.

Personal records
I’m recording them here so I can keep track. Also, when you blow them away you can post your Awesome Power ™ in the comments.

• Threshold pace: ~250 watts, 50×17 100 rpm or 50×15 90 rpm.

• Max cadence: 161 rpm, sitting in 34×17, flat pedals.

• Max power: 1,252 watts, standing in 50×17, about 150 rpm, flat pedals. Sprint #3 was the best.

Goals: Faster and stronger for longer. Is that too much to ask?

More info – writeup of the LeMond Revolution trainer – Revolution trainer page – Power Pilot page

Thanks to Eric Stobin at LeMond Fitness for helping make this happen. I shall dedicate my masters Super D and pump track world titles to you.

Indoor braaap!


Know more. Have more fun!

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4 replies
  1. Marc says:

    Hey Lee,

    I’m interested in one of these, but some reviewers complain about it being very noisy–I used to use a Blackburn fan trainer and it was loud, I changed to a fluid trainer and never looked back. Your thoughts?

  2. leelikesbikes says:

    Yes, it is loud. I ride in the garage or, now, my home office. The noise makes it harder to watch TV or listen to a self-help tape, but that’s not what I’m focusing on when I’m on the trainer. The babies aren’t waking up, and The Wife isn’t complaining.

    I think if you’re training steady-state pedaling a fluid trainer is fine. If you also want to train acceleration, I don’t know of a better solution than the Revolution. I’ve ridden all sorts of trainers, and I really like the feel (and sound) of the Revolution.

  3. Feldy says:

    what does elevation have to do with power? Does it correct for what it thinks your sea level power would be? I’m not sure this makes sense.

  4. leelikesbikes says:

    Hey Feldy,

    The Power Pilot adds wattage for mountain man toughness.


    The trainer’s resistance comes from 1) the heavy flywheel resisting acceleration and 2) the big fan pushing air. The elevation setting adjusts for reduced air density at higher elevations.

    The temperature sensor also adjusts for air density.

    Make sense?

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