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July 25, 2017
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  • jules

    i have had done some work with assessing product performance claims in a non-cycling area. the shenanigans that can and do go on with manipulating tests and testimonials – you couldn’t make it up. i’m not saying that’s always the case, or here, but as soon as i read that the supplier paid for the test i don’t bother reading further.

    • Karl

      Yep. Not my area but I found Ben Goldacre’s “Bad Science” fascinating (and a little depressing).

  • Sean

    Does anyone else find it funny that it supposedly works better than most doping products. Seems like Mr Miller is the only one getting enough oxygen to his brain. Nothing but a bunch of bro-science. I wonder if a certain broker will stop by here and promote their products, I mean spam…..idiot.

    • jules

      what do you really think Sean?!

      • Sean

        I don’t trust them.

  • Manning Thomson

    What I really want to know is how much extra power will I get if I use the turbine in combination with my power balance wristband?

    • jules

      hard to say, but your auras will shine more and your chakras will strengthen.

      • Sean Doyle

        I just want to know if they used an active turbine and a placebo turbine in the A/B grade test group. 3.7% is small enough to be a mental kick.

    • Michele

      You have to wear 2 wristbands – one on each arm.

      Otherwise you’ll just ride around in circles.

    • Wecandobetterthanthis

      lol :)

    • JBS

      Surely for optimum benefit you should wear wristbands on your ankles?

      • Dave

        I say why not both?

        That chunky BMC concept drawing yesterday looked like the large section around the bottom could have fitted an energy polariser for good measure.

    • Alan

      Depends on whether you use oval chainrings.

    • Bert Olio Olio

      What if inserted a hologram up my nostrils?

      • Sean

        It would open them up even better.

  • Tim

    Most exercise physiology textbooks will tell you that in healthy humans, the main limiting factor in oxygen metabolism is cardiac output (how much blood you can pump around your body). The Oxygen-carrying capacity of your blood is also a significant factor (hence the popularity of EPO and blood-doping), and also peripheral factors like how awesome your network of blood vessels is, and enzyme activity within muscle cells, and “exercise economy”. In fact, the ability to get more air into your lungs is a fair way down the list. The reason you breathe heavily during exercise is mainly to blow off waste carbon dioxide, not because there’s not enough oxygen getting into your blood. So unless you breathe out mainly through your nose, I can’t see how sticking something up your nose would help.

    • Sean

      Most people breath through their noses during time trials.

      • Tim

        Which indicates that they’re not desperately in need of more air in their lungs.

        • Sean

          I was being sarcastic

          • Tim

            Oh, sorry, carry on then!

    • My3Cents

      Well written Tim. We get more than enough oxygen in the lungs but it is how the body metabolises that oxygen in the blood. It is all about the blood and this product is pure snake oil.

    • IamStrava?

      Exactly what I learned in school and told all of my overzealous coworkers. I hope none of them bought one…

    • inopinatus

      You came dangerously close to sharing one of the most closely-guarded TT secrets there, Tim. Keep the truth, brother.

  • MBB

    Many, many confounding factors. The power increases demonstrated in the RideWiser “trial” could be due to training effect of pervious sessions, concurrently training outside of the trial, supplements and diet, fatigue levels during initial testing, psychological stimulation, and placebo effect of wearing the device versus not wearing it.

    A large placebo-controlled trial with baseline performance comparisons is required. I too usually stop reading when I hear the trial is “sponsored” by the manufacturer. An independent, university-based study would probably answer the question. Now, who’s up for a PhD?

    • MBB

      *previous

    • Turbo Ted

      I can’t imagine anyone wanting to dedicate their PhD years too “Does plastic up your nose improve performance? NO.”

  • Considering I breath out of my arse during big efforts, I am looking forward to Matt’s test of the back door version of the Turbine.

    • jules

      for obvious reasons, it has already been strictly prohibited by the UCI. however, a UCI-legal alternative is available, which is a pre-ride procedure based on inserting a water hose up your rectum and.. you get the idea.

      • Michele

        No true Jules.

        The UCI have approved rectum breathing devices. You just need to buy the UCI endorsed sticker – costs 6,000 Swiss Francs. The sticker must be visible whilst your ride, and must be within 5 centres of the device. Refer to UCI document
        20042003 No. 375 – RULE 22.22

        • jules

          yes i read that too, but the rule places limits on cryptosporidium exhaust levels that no atmosphere-vented rectum breathing device has been able to meet in practice. and no one wants to use the ‘closed loop’ system..

          • echidna_sg

            marginal gains – sounds like the perfect Sky training adaption technique.

          • Michele

            Easy fix Jules.

            Just need to incorporate fart zones on the parcours. I’d suggest 10 to 15 kms after the stage’s feed zone.

            Problem Solvered.

            • Dave

              Maybe an integrated taser could be included in the UCI-approved devices to automatically penalise riders who fart outside the appropriate zone.

    • Wecandobetterthanthis

      gold lol :)

  • Shane Miller

    Comparing the Turbine to TT bars!? Thanks for the lob shot right into my court.

    I would have gone the route of comparing it to caffeine in regard to the % of ‘claimed’ performance improvement… and not going head to head with the well known laws of aerodynamics.

    The effectiveness of TT bars can be tested by anyone, anywhere, any time…. Even with nothing more than a stopwatch and somewhere to ride. There is no disputing this. (My races with/without TT bars and everything else the same is about 45-50 seconds over 10km at the same power).

    Now, the effectiveness of the Turbine is still yet to be independently determined? Isn’t that what companies do before they go to market? That alone makes me suspicious.

    RNO can do whatever they like with their upcoming sleep apnoea products, and I wish them well in that regard. Just don’t think you can walk into our sport and take us all for a ride.

    • jules

      beautifully put. the notion of launching a product and then attempting to use others to help legitimise it by proving its benefits is dubious. that’s not to say it can’t work, but it gives an indication of a company’s strategy.

      • krashdavage

        Cash in while they can. Fair enough.

    • Sean

      Perhaps you’re not good enough at time trials to notice any difference.

      • jules

        that’s probably it..

    • Arfy

      Perhaps they could run an independent test with CT readers. Oh no, then they couldn’t charge $29.90 for the privilege!

  • Simon A

    On Tuesday when riding with it, found that it felt my nostrils were more “open”, but whether it improved my performance? No idea.

    Very annoying with a runny nose on a cold morning, that’s a scientific fact right there.

  • echidna_sg

    I’d like to see any cyclist including froome et al ride a stage with their mouth taped shut so we can see how well it works (or not).

    What a load of…

    put me under heavy effort on a bike, on a run, doing weights… I breathe primarily through my mouth – as do all of us.

    • Sean

      That is completely ridiculous. You can’t tape people.

      • echidna_sg

        go on, lets make it fair and tape up wiggo and froome, one with a turbine, one without and see how long they last in the bunch on a stage.

        • Michele

          A more interesting [and beneficial] experiment for all, would be to tape up the better halves of Messrs. Froome and Wiggins.

          • Dave

            Taping their other halves’ Twitter accounts would be even more beneficial.

    • RacingCondor

      My thoughts precicely. I’m sat here trying to inhale through my nose and mouth at the same time and it just doens’t happen.

      I’ll believe the 6% gain if tested riders were just breathing through their noses but that would probably mean they were also riding <100 watts so it's irrelevant to competition.

    • You CAN ride taped up, and I DO tape up my athletes as part of my breath training program for elite and amateur cyclists here in France.
      You have a better gas exchange when you are breathing through the nose, and you can lower your heart rate at max efforts when you have warmed up correctly.
      You don’t ask a new athlete to run up a mountain at 100%, so neither would you go straight off breathing with the nose at 100% – its just stupid.
      We don’t do this on baby mountains either, I live and train on the Col d’Eze, and ride La Madone regularly, so it obviously IS possible.

      • Yes indeed. I’d like to add to this.

        Do I support this product? I have no opinion, but out of curiosity I’d like to give it a go. But nose breathing as much as possible? To the hilt.

        Breathing through the nose (as stated in the article) warms, humidifies and filters the air which is great for health. It is functionally optimal.

        It’s also good for performance.

        One thing not mentioned here that I can see, is that oxygen absorption by the blood is indeed related to haemoglobin, but is actually determined by the amount of CO2 in the body and blood (Bohr effect). The more CO2 in your system, the better the O2 exchange. It’s counterintuitive to the idea of getting more air in.

        Over time, breathing with a restricted rate (via disciplined training) and volume (via the nose and diaphragmatic eccentric control) can increase oxygen exchange! The less air/o2, the more CO2 buildup in the body, and the more effective the O2 exchange. But we’ve gotta get used to higher levels of CO2 of course. Initially its physically uncomfortable and emotionally challenging.

        Yes nose breathing is hard under higher intensities and if you’re blocked up. But it is optimal. It gets down to how much we can train and raise our threshold. The evolutionary literature suggests mouth breathing as additional support during “physiological emergency” ie. riding very fast on a bike. But ideally, this is done on top of a “nose breathing majority”.

        Is it practical? Can it be done at maximal intensities? What the performance ROI? Well for me it all gets down to what any individual believes is worth exploring, as well as their ability to integrate it effectively and efficiently within their overall performance and training program.

        If you want to read some really good stuff or do some great work in this area, this guy is a colleague of mine, a Naturopath, a world class level paddler and a pretty cutting edge practitioner in both health and performance here in Melbourne/Torquay: http://www.timaltman.com.au/breathing-dynamics/

    • Mark Blackwell

      funny you should mention that, but Chris Froome raced the prologue of the 2012 TdF with his nose completely blocked… he forgot to take out his nose plugs and didn’t even realise until well after the event. He finished 11th.

      https://twitter.com/chrisfroome/status/219108679331483648

  • echidna_sg
    • Sean

      I’m not following your logic because my brain is starved of oxygen, all this tapping away on my keyboard has me deep in my AT zone. Surely the founder isn’t a neighbor of Dustin Hoffman.

      • Dave

        It’s not the first time we’ve suspected your brain is starved of oxygen.

        How would you like this power band I’ve got here?

  • To be fair to the participants, if you have never thought about breathing before then go and chuck in a breathing aid you can be forgiven for not noticing a difference or for throwing the apparatus out altogether.

    Nose breathing is as much like any form of training; HR zones and intensities is necessary, if not vital. Ramping up HR while breathing with the nose is similar to a TT warmup; calculated HR intensities and signs of adaptation before moving to the next.

    The issue I have with the Turbine is that they do not provide these intensities or an introduction to training and racing using either the nose solely or in rotation with the mouth. They could do much better with this, and its a shame to see.

    From my own experience there are specific loads any cyclist is capable of supporting while breathing with the nose, but to progress further than this and maximise the load while reducing HR takes work and calculate HR intensities.

    • Air Head

      tldr; It is all about correct breathing, not the Turbine.

    • Wecandobetterthanthis

      What’s wrong with using your mouth to breath?! Ludicrous.

    • Hamish Moffatt

      Why is nose breathing important? Compared to breathing through your mouth, your nose has apparently warmed and filtered the air, and it limits the rate. But either way it’s your lungs doing gas exchange. Please explain?

      • Mouth: When we breathe with our mouth we breathe more frequently, and exhale roughly 40% of the O2 we just inhaled – an innefficient hyperventilation.

        Nose: When we breathe with the nose we breathe more slowly and exhale roughly 5-10% of the O2 we just inhaled – overall more efficient.

        – When training and racing, mouth breathing is more fatiguing, dehydrating and stressful than nose breathing and an athlete will end up with a general HR higher than a nose breather.
        In terms of racing success, it is an overall picture of faster recovery, reduced illness and injury that increases the long-term speed and endurance of an athlete.

        Note: Around 3 weeks is the amount of time it takes to get used to nose breathing for most athletes.

        • Hamish Moffatt

          Can you cite some research on the above? It’s potentially interesting but not at all self-evident.

          • I’m not keen to get involved in a research citing flamewar that will leave us with a tldr response from CT readers.
            On the other hand, its easy to try out – I have copied and pasted from a previous comment on how to start.

            – Think of your jog as increments of 5 minutes where you steadily build your breathing and speed with the nose.
            – For cycling purists the same can be done on a hometrainer set at 110 – 120 Watts

            Follow the steps below all while nose breathing:
            1. Walk for 5 minutes focusing on SLOW breathing (12-14 breaths per minute)
            2. Start jogging at a steady pace
            3. Slow down to a walk and slow the breath again to 12-14 breaths per minute
            4. While breathing slowly start jogging again and maintain the slow breath rhythm
            5. Speed up until you feel you want to start breathing with your mouth then slow down until you can breathe with the nose again – stay at this pace for the duration of your session.

            Start with 20 minutes, then the following week up to 25 minutes, the week after that 30 minutes and you will generally find your av. speed is higher and your av. HR lower.

            • Hamish Moffatt

              Without meaning to be argumentative, what I read from your response is that there is no research showing any benefit to this.

  • To back this up, here is a simple exercise using jogging to start the process of using the nose:

    – Think of your jog as increments of 5 minutes where you steadily build your breathing and speed with the nose.
    – For cycling purists the same can be done on a hometrainer set at 110 – 120 Watts

    Follow the steps below all while nose breathing:
    1. Walk for 5 minutes focusing on SLOW breathing (12-14 breaths per minute)
    2. Start jogging at a steady pace
    3. Slow down to a walk and slow the breath again to 12-14 breaths per minute
    4. While breathing slowly start jogging again and maintain the slow breath rhythm
    5.
    Speed up until you feel you want to start breathing with your mouth
    then slow down until you can breathe with the nose again – stay at this
    pace for the duration of your session.

    Start with 20 minutes, then the following week up to 25 minutes, the week after that 30 minutes.

    This
    is excellent for asthmatics and athletes returning from injury.

    • echidna_sg

      Reducing intensity/stopping exercise when you feel the urge to breathe through your mouth is a limiting factor commonly used to prevent over exertion during rehab… I’m not sure using a device that might give you a few % points more air through your nose will change that.

      I hope nobody tells the AIS and every sports medicine place I’ve seen that their VO2 max sessions are clearly wrong as they normally limit the victim to mouth only breathing.

      • Air Head

        Upvote and high five for the VO2 test reference!

        • Sean

          Clearly has no relevance to this product.

  • krashdavage

    About as effective as Power Balance?

    • Michele

      I like.

      Do they come in other colours? I reckon a polka-dot band for the KOM jersey would be quite appropriate.

      • echidna_sg

        not only in colours, but high end fashion brands too…

        • Sean

          That suits you, lookin very speedy.

  • CC

    Nah – only Dyson understands turbines. Case closed.

  • Brad

    It’s a load of crap and I place it along side the Power Balance band. The people who spruik it are paid to do so. Don’t waste your money.

  • Paul

    I have used the turbine. Not on a bike but I use it while jogging. I have no doubt it improves my breathing through the nose while I run. Breathing through my nose also helps me with my stride – I tend to get a bit wobbly and lose my form once I’m mouth breathing. maybe that’s just me, and maybe it’s all in my head, but quite frankly I don’t care.

    • Sean

      Awesome you just debunked common sense.

      • Paul

        Thanks Sean…just trying to offer a response to the actual question posed at the end of the article.

        • And please don’t be discouraged from doing so. Thanks for your views Paul.

  • Dennis Disclosure

    If anyone was wondering about the Tweet from Baden Cooke, he is Chris Froome’s new manager. Cooke is on the Rhinomed payroll. Froome or Team Sky don’t appear to have chosen this product because of the marginal gains or science.

  • Henry

    I have actually ordered it… I have very narrow nasal passages and am hoping this will indeed help my breathing… however it is yet to turn up! I ordered on the 12th August and seeing your article reminded me mine hadn’t arrived! So I called them and, after a few terse words, they’re Express Posting a pack to me tomorrow for the weekend… I’ll let you know how they go!

  • Bracksy

    If you can’t breath well, then maybe cycling is not for you. Only a matter of time before the weekend road warriors are all sporting one.

  • nic_3

    I heard that turbines were made from recycled Power Balance hologram bracelets.

    • nic_3

      scratch that – just saw others have already made the same comparison!

  • pervertt

    I’d better buy a few pairs. It’s hayfever season.

  • Alan

    What lazy journalism. Paraphrasing is not the same as investigation. This steaming pile of garbage does not pass the smell test. Have you ever tried to ride hard with your mouth closed, Matt? Also, consult a dictionary and compare the meanings of “tact” and “intact.”

    • Why do you see this as being lazy Alan? I thought Matt did a terrific job at looking at all the angles without this blowing into a 6000 word research paper. I saw firsthand how many phone calls and the scrutiny went into all the answers given here. It wasn’t a cut/paste job from the Turbine website, I can assure you.

      Keen to hear your thoughts on how this could have been done better.

      • jules

        i may sound like i’m kissing arse, but CT does an excellent job of reviewing products in a balanced manner. i’m not surprised he/they are offended by accusations of shoddiness or bias. it is clear they are at pains to present multiple perspectives on any issue or review and let the reader draw their own conclusion. this is best practice journalism – an approach which the more established and mainstream media regularly falls short on. it doesn’t surprise me at all how CT has grown to become an authoritative cycling website. certainly not by listening to baseless accusations such as this.

        • Sean

          Completely agree, this is clearly one of the best cycling websites.

        • Michele

          Nicely put Jules.

          Having done media work in pro cycling, I also am aware of the difference between when a product is being pushed on you and when a product forms the basis of an article.

          Case in point: Froome obviously has a professional relationship with Turbine. Check out his twitter feed. One example:

          https://twitter.com/chrisfroome/status/502495001398743040

          I have little doubt Baden Cooke, either through an association with Turbine, or maybe [?] with Froome direct, tweeted the post as featured above for commercial purposes. That has become a very big thing on twitter.

          Check out the controversy the SA Tourism board had in paying ‘celebrities’ for tweeting how much they’d like to go to a tourism location:

          http://mumbrella.com.au/satc-exposed-for-paying-celebrities-to-tweet-about-kangaroo-island-87137

          In all my time reading CT I have never felt a published piece is just product placement. [Yes, I am aware of the commercial interests CT has with other brands; they make this known].

          If I wanted to read about cycling on a site that continuously runs a ‘second agenda / has vested interests etc.,’ I wouldn’t be on CT. I would simply replace the T with an N and go there.

    • Air Head

      Ladies and gentlemen, we have identified a RNO shareholder!

      • Sean

        What makes you think that?

      • We offered a full disclosure statement at the end of the article.

        • jules

          i think he may have been referring to Alan.

          • Ah…a little slow and defensive before morning coffee.

          • Sean

            I understand that, was just wondering why he thought Alan was a shareholder. I got the opposite impression. In any case, i’ve seen their sock puppetry in action, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they do drop past here and post nonsense.

            • Sean

              ops I should pay more attention to the threading :-)

              • Michele

                You need some coffee Sean! Some of that good stuff from Rocket-Espresso from Milano.

                A grander caffeine hit you will not find!!

                [Kidding everyone else].

                • Sean

                  Great idea, I do feel better after a few gallon shot of Rocket-Espresso from Milano.

    • velocite

      Well, I thought this was a groundbreaking post. Not only did it provide some useful commentary and information – I went from ‘not really interested’ to ‘really not interested’ in the product, it also became comedy central, very enjoyable comments from the usual offenders!

    • Karl

      I couldn’t disagree more strongly. One of the more balanced pieces of journalism I’ve read for a while. Balanced and detailed without being overly lengthy.
      Matt, Wade, it is beacuse of the quality of writing on articles like this that I check in with CT everday. Keep up the good work.

    • echidna_sg

      Alan, you are entitled to your opinion, but given there are circa 90 posts to date of which the majority are either disparaging or taking the proverbial p155 out of the product, I think its pretty evident that CT is prepared to let the public state its viewpoint. Try that on CN or similar and see how far you get before the mods arrive…

  • gonzo

    After all these years of abuse for my massive schnoz, finally some good news- it could be where I’m getting 6% of my power from!

    • echidna_sg

      dont forget there is still another 6% just sitting there waiting for you to get once you add one of these do-dads!

      • Sean

        How much ganz in total? There has got to be a multiplier effect, i’m sure a marketing study will show it.

        • echidna_sg

          good question – will he get an extra 6% on the 6%, or 6% + 6%? Reading between the lines, I’m sure the marketing dept would make it 6% + 6% = 16%!

    • dubonab1ke

      Have they tested this product on elite snot rocketeers – i would blow this thing out and on to the road in the first five mins of my ride and my $29

  • Dave Christenson

    Looks like Shannon Rowbury was using a Turbine during this dramatic finish in the 1500m, at 1:34 there’s a shot where you can see it:

    http://universalsports.com/video/2014-diamond-league-final-zurich-simpson-wins-diamond-league/

    I use breathe right strips from time to time, especially when the allergies kick up and they seem to help. Not sure about the claims of getting extra watts from the Turbine but the breathe rights at least provide a bit more comfort in breathing when my nose is stuffed up. Would give these a go for sure but are they reusable? $30 for three is a lot of cash if they’re not reusable.

  • brucegray

    hmmm… listen, how about CT do more stories on strategies that have the greatest impact on performance, which coincidentally are the ones most readers don’t do well! i.e. optimal training, optimal diet, optimal bodyfat%, better bike handling! Every time I see an article on a product like this, I think why do crit and road racers chase gains from something like this (or some new weight weenie product) when they are carrying 15+% bodyfat, have 30+mm of spacers under their stem, do most of their riding in Zone1-3, are not in bed before 1030pm, drink booze most nights.

    It’s fine for Froomey to chase a psych edge from a marginal (at best) product such as this, cos he is doing all the big stuff right. But punters from the burbs?! Though I suppose humans are not rational, and boys who like to race less so! :)

    Articles I’d like to see – a meaty story on smart weight loss by an AIS qualified sports dietitian, training for crits by an AIS coach/sports physiologist.

      • brucegray

        kewl. only read the first one so far….got bogged down in the comments!
        always room for more detail I suppose and updates. I understand topic of the year amongst the pros is a dietary approach to reducing race associated inflammation and increasing nitric oxide. salmon and beetroot are old news. ..kale and yellow watermelon are the latest I hear. Something I’d be interested in hearing from Mr McCubbin is the association between Exercise Induced Asthma and caffeine. Several elite sports staff I’ve worked with over the years recommend it, and the literature supports a mild effect. has a longer half life than ventolin.

  • Boris
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