How Do I Know if My Flywheel Power Score is Actually…Good?
An investigation for all my Type-A friends out there.
It’s no secret that Flywheel draws a rather Type-A crowd. On every bike, there’s a screen that quantifies your effort throughout the entire workout, and afterwards, you can look up your stats in your online Flywheel account. Flywheel was practically made for those people who were excited to bring home their school report cards as kids.
Flywheel makes of-the-moment comparisons between yourself and other riders accessible through their Leader Board — at different intervals throughout the workout, they show the top riders up on a screen at the front of the class. And then, since Flywheel logs all of your ride stats in your online account — including an overall “Power Score,” which is calculated with a combination of your speed and resistance — it’s also easy to track your own improvement overtime.
While I’m all for focusing on your own self-improvement and not worrying about what other people are doing, I’m also a total Type-A nutcase. I’m that chick who loves being graded, loves seeing effort quantified in numbers, loves seeing how I stack up against others. I mean, I’m one of those people who gets mad if she accidentally forgets her Fitbit at home, if that gives you any idea.
So when I dismounted my bike after a Flywheel ride on Sunday night, you’d better believe that one of the first things I wondered was: How’d I do? On my walk home, I pulled up my Flywheel account and saw that my Power Score had risen by over 20 points since the last time I rode — from 281 to 302. I could also see my class ranking — third overall.
Okay, well that’s cool, I thought, still feeling vaguely dissatisfied. It was cool to see I’d beat myself and placed high in the class, but I still wondered: Is my Power Score…good? I didn’t mean “good for me” or “good for this class.” I wanted to know, across the board, among all Flywheel riders everywhere: Is a 302 score objectively good?
And so — because I’m a nutcase, remember? — when I got back to my computer, I started Googling: What’s a good Flywheel Power Score? Are there national rankings? A Reddit board where people post their times, so I can compare?
Sadly, my Googling wasn’t very successful. I found articles that made reference to scores, but no database where I could view the Best Power Scores of All Time. For a minute, I wondered if the fact that this isn’t readily available on Google just means I’m actually the craziest of all.
Still, I had to know. I took it a step further, and emailed Jackie Dragone, Flywheel’s lead instructor for the Philadelphia market. To my Type-A soul’s disappointment, Dragone broke the news to me: That larger, universal database of Flywheel scores doesn’t exist.
I didn’t come away empty-handed, however. Dragone did provide a helpful benchmark: “250 is an excellent goal to set to start,” she said. “250 is not easy at all and likely what you will get if you follow the low-to-mid range of exactly what the instructor says. From there, you can challenge your torque and RPMs to better your score.”
Dragone also explained that Flywheel classes are supposed to function as interval training. Meaning: you’re supposed to give yourself time for recovery throughout the class — powering through all 45 minutes at the highest resistance and speed isn’t necessarily the goal. Thus, for those getting Power Scores upwards of 350, Dragone explains, those people are probably not taking the time to recovery during the class.
So did I find the answer I wanted? Well, kind of. It would seem a score between 250 and 350 is the target for an objectively “good” Flywheel Power Score.
But I also got an answer I wasn’t looking for: it’s really not about being the best — no matter how hard that is for my Type-A side to accept. Rather, it’s about being the best version of yourself by improving a little bit every day.
As Dragone said to me, “Nothing is really good or bad — it’s an individual journey.”
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