FAQ's

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What is CycleOps Virtual Indoor Power (VIP) Training?

The CycleOps VIP Hub is a new power-based indoor cycle training centre situated in Rivonia, a stone’s throw away from the Sandton CBD, Bryanston and Morningside. At the CycleOps VIP Hub we get you out there in here with HD video content from world famous routes such as the Tour De France and Giro D’Italia to name just a couple. Utilizing the CycleOps Pro 300 Indoor Cycle with built-in PowerTap technology and our unique VT Fitness training app, you train according to your personal power zones (determined when you sign up), but in a fun-filled group environment.

A variety of user-friendly training programs for various purposes have been developed by the country’s leading coaches at Science2Sport for those who do not have a personal coach – otherwise your personal coach’s programs can be seamlessly integrated into our system.

For those who prefer individual sessions, we also offer the VVIP Personal Training Hub where there are no set session times – ideal for those long solo efforts or one’s own bespoke training sessions and routes.

The VIP Hub offers in-house shower/change facilities and a pause area complete with wi-fi and top quality espresso machine for socialization or cooling down before hitting the road. Of course, since your session is automatically uploaded into TrainingPeaks.com within seconds of being completed, you can also review it immediately with us or wait for detailed feedback from your coach.

How does Power-based Training Work?

Most cyclists familiar with heart rate based training will know that heart rate measures the body’s response to effort without actually measuring the effort itself. There are various limitations to training with heart rate alone including lag time (especially to short, intense efforts), variations in heart rate according to age, temperature, level of fatigue, general health, hydration and level of fitness itself. This makes it difficult to always know what heart rate ranges are best to train in.

The power measurement technology used in CycleOps VIP equipment allows us to measure power (as a proxy for effort) accurately and instantaneously as you ride. Modern power training systems such as the world-standard Training Peaks system (our partners) have developed highly successful training methodologies based on riding in different ‘power zones’ to achieve different training and recovery objectives as part of a holistic program. This allows for much better training and recovery management than heart rate, time, speed or ‘gut feel’ alone.

The generally accepted power zones utilised by Training Peaks and most other systems are classified as:

Recovery: low intensity riding that aids recovery from previous high intensity efforts.

Endurance: medium intensity efforts that develop cardio-vascular (aerobic) systems

Tempo: higher intensity efforts that approach the limits of aerobic endurance

Threshold: high intensity efforts that test and exceed aerobic limits

Max 1: sub-maximal efforts that develop anaerobic and neuro-muscular systems

Max 2: extreme (short duration) efforts that develop strength and anaerobic capacity

How does the VIP Hub incorporate Power Training Methods?

Each VIP member undergoes a 30 minute assessment workout during which his/her key power parameters are measured and his/her personal Power Training Zones determined. These training zones reflect the range of power outputs he/she needs to ride at to achieve the level of effort required for a given session or segment of a session. These levels are based on the Training Peaks zones of Recovery, Endurance, Tempo, Threshold, Max 1 and Max 2.

A variety of user-friendly training programs for various purposes have been developed by the country’s leading coaches at Science2Sport for those who do not have a personal coach – otherwise your personal coach’s program can be seamlessly integrated into our system.

The Science2Sport program incorporate various mixes of the 6 training zones into workouts graded as either ‘green’, ‘blue’, ‘red’ and ‘black’ (similar to the grading of ski slopes), the colour broadly reflecting the purpose or objective of the workout from easy (designed primarily for recovery/endurance) to extreme.

How does VIP cater for people of different abilities and levels of fitness in a group environment?

Our VT software allows each rider to ride at his personal power zone, even in a group class. This ensures that every rider in the class is riding at a similar level of effort based on her/her own capabilities. As members develop and improve, power zones are adjusted (about every 6-8 weeks), ensuring that the training ‘bar’ is set progressively higher and you achieve best value for the time spent on the bike indoors.

What makes CycleOps VIP Training different from a 'spinning class'?

By using the interactive VT app and HD video content on our TV monitors, we provide a structured and entertaining training option with a definite objective and purpose and detailed, accurate measurement of effort, power, energy consumption and heart rate in an environment that realistically brings an ‘out there’ ride ‘in here’. Within each workout grade (whether green, blue, red or black) there are a variety of route and music options, ensuring that members never get bored with the ‘same old’ ‘same old’ video or sound content, but are still able to meet defined training objectives.

Do I need to bring my own Bike?

No! Our CycleOps Indoor Cycles have an infinite setup range, so you can exactly match your existing setup. For first-timers or those interested in optimizing their riding position, we can perform a scientific bike fitment with the ErgoFit system. Your key bike-fit parameters are then recorded on your membership card for your future reference. Of course, if you’re wedded to your trusty ‘steed’ then the VVIP studio offers the option to ‘bring your own bling’ along.

Do I need fancy shoes?

Ideally yes, since cleated shoes are a key component of developing an efficient pedalling technique, which is best developed in a safe indoor environment. But our bikes are equipped with Shimano dual sided pedals – flat on one side and cleats on the other – so you can train in your running shoes while you consider your options. Once ready, we are able to offer a wide variety of shoe upgrade options and cleat set-up.

Do I need to book in advance?

Bookings on our on-line platform are essential to make sure you select the right session from the four colour-graded options available on our rolling fortnightly program, and to reserve a bike for your session, either in VIP or VVIP. If you wish to train in VVIP then you will need to select the required number of 1 hour sessions you wish to train for.

What age to join?

18 years or older, based on CSA rules.

What should I bring to a session?

We recommend a bottle of water, a small sweat towel for use with training, shoes, padded cycling shorts (not vital but recommended) and personal toiletries to shower afterwards.

Should I eat before my session?

Ideally yes, an hour and a half to two hours before the session – for those targeting weight loss we can advise a nutritional program alongside your training program. But for some sessions (notified on the calendar) a pre-ride fasting period is sometime required.

Is the software easy to use?

On joining, you will be given a username and password for our VT Fitness app, which allows the software to upload your workouts to your (free) Training Peaks profile. We will also provide basic training in the use of the app, which thereafter is both intuitive and user friendly.

Could I use the software at home?

Our VT software is proprietary for group environments but there is a home version – CycleOps Virtual Training that has similar features and functions but more options. The CycleOps Virtual Training systems is available separately on a subscription basis, as is the Training Peaks Premium package (see separate T’s and C’s)

How long is a session?

A typical ‘block’ is 60 minutes, allowing 10 minutes for preparations and warm-up before a 50 min group session. In VVIP there is no time limit to time in the saddle, however use of the bikes will be allocated per hour i.e. if you want to do a two hour session you will have to book a bike for the entire period and will be charged accordingly.

How often do I need to do an FTP test?

Your Functional Threshold Power (FTP) (which allows us to calculate your training zones) will change during your training, according to power output and heart rate. This value will be monitored as the program advances and your training zones modified as required.

Do we have Beverages?

Yes we do! We have a dedicated pause area that includes a self-service facility and caters for coffee and tea lovers alike. There are also fridges and water coolers for cold drinks and wi-fi access for those who choose to linger before hitting the road.

Is the equipment hygienically cleaned?

Each is requested to wipe his/her bike down after their session with the cloth and sanitizing spray provided, but our cleaning staff will monitor and step in if needed. The bikes will be deep cleaned twice a day by our own staff to ensure compliance with Health and Safety standards.

Is there secure parking?

Yes, the premises have a gated and boomed exit, 24/7 on-site security and armed response.

Is there security for my valuables while I train?

Yes.