Power Meters - what make(s)?

17 messages
05/11/2012 at 12:03

Any of you good cyclist types got advice on buying a power meter for training? OH wants one for Christmas.

FB? Cougie? Anyone?

Cheerful Dave    pirate
05/11/2012 at 12:31

It depends to an extent on what he's going to do with it.  If he wants one unit that can be used in several bikes, then a wheel hub one such as powertap is more convenient to switch between bikes than a crank-based one.  On the other hand, if he uses one bike with different wheels for training and racing, then a crank-based system such as SRM would be best.

The Garmin pedal-based system seems to give the best of both to me, but I've not seen many reviews of it.

05/11/2012 at 13:14

Thanks Dave. He mostly uses his Litespeed with Mavics for training and a Cervelo P3 for racing, with disc wheel if the terrain is appropriate.

Doozer.    pirate
05/11/2012 at 13:53

The Garmin based system hasnt been releaced on general sale yet due to issues with robustness.  They are being used on pro bikes but they only last a few months at the moment.

My advice would be to go for SRM if money allows, there is a reason why they are the most used.  Quarq give a cheaper options to a crank based system, an nowadays most are ANT compatable so no need for specialist head unit if you already have and ANT device.  Using crankbased means you dont need to replace wheels etc, I just go to LBS to swap it over - a 5 min job for them

cougie    pirate
05/11/2012 at 13:56
I'm a luddite Wolfie. I don't even have a bike computer on the bars now !
05/11/2012 at 14:29

likewise - no power meter.  I'd rather spend the money on enjoying myself....

TheEngineer    pirate
05/11/2012 at 16:46
Doozer. wrote (see)

The Garmin based system hasnt been releaced on general sale yet due to issues with robustness.  They are being used on pro bikes but they only last a few months at the moment.

This has been pushed out to Q1 2013, possibly Q2, according to the Garmin earnings call last week. Polar offer a Keo power pedal as an alternative, but this uses a proprietary communication protocol (W. I. N. D.) and thus isn't compatible with anything other than two Polar cycle products - even their triathlon offerings do not support the necessary protocol.

In short, until Brim Brothers get their act together, you're left with a choice between wheel (racing or training, pick one) crank, or hamstrung pedal based system. I was hoping for Vector to arrive before Christmas, but sadly no joy. 

If you opt for crank, the lower end of the price spectrum is occupied by power2max, who've been going for a couple of years now and seem to get pretty good reviews. All communication is ANT+ and the units are supposedly pretty accurate (and you can calibrate and zero them at home). SRM are the gold standard still... but if you're going to splash out that much you have to ask if it's worth the extra £1k+...

Edited: 05/11/2012 at 16:47
cougie    pirate
05/11/2012 at 16:50
fat buddha wrote (see)

likewise - no power meter.  I'd rather spend the money on enjoying myself....

If it was good enough for Merckx and co eh FB ?

05/11/2012 at 17:28

Hey, Cougs/FB - I'm a dinosaur myself, don't do well with techie stuff, hubby does (or thinks he does). Believe it or not, I still have and use the very first mobile phone I ever bought eons ago. I've been given a new camera and an Ipod - no idea what to do with either one! I'd be totally lost with a power meter.

Doner Kebab    pirate
05/11/2012 at 18:38

you take photos with the camera and listen to music, now known as mp3s, on the ipod


sry - couldnt resist that 


05/11/2012 at 20:39

oh ha ha ha - now tell me how. The Ipod keeps telling me I need to input a valid email address but then says I must have at least one capital letter in it. I don't have a valid email address with a capital letter!

Doner Kebab    pirate
05/11/2012 at 21:06
Make a temporary one xxxx@hotmail.com
05/11/2012 at 21:25

Litespeed with Mavs as his heavy horse for winter ploughing.... Cervelo P3 with a disc for sunburning... now it's a Power Meter for Chrimbo, no less! What's the sketch Wolfie... doesn't he need socks or hankies??

06/11/2012 at 09:25

Hahaha - he has so many socks the drawer doesn't shut properly. But I'm sneaky - he knows that his costs this year have been so high what with tri racing, and  the Channel relay swim and all, he will never ever be able to tell me any race I want to do is too expensive!

 I've a Trek for ordinary riding and my tri bike is also a P3.

Already warned him we won't be able to afford this stuff once we're both retired.

06/11/2012 at 10:05

I've liked my Quarq.
Its been interesting to see how all over the place my power is, (ie I have massive spikes all over the place when I should be riding smoothly for triathlon....) and if you are into that data analysis thing then its nice to see changing power over time.

Its also pretty humbling to see how much the power falls off over a long ride deaspite the heart and head saying I am still going well.......

There are a couple of good books well worth buying as well...

  • There is a new bopok by Joe Friel - I got it as a download for £6, looks a nice introduction
  • then there is the 'training and racing with a power meter' - thats a bit more advanced.

The downside of a powermeter is you do need to go do some tests, ie 1 min, 5 min, 10 minute, 20 minute max efforts........  They hurt!!!!

Also while I like my quarq, it does not like rainy weather... mines just coming back after a waranty issue.......

SRM are apparently bomb proof, but look v pricey


06/11/2012 at 10:11

one ? IW - what benefit does John think he's going to get from a power meter??  and let's cut to the chase - he's not exactly a spring chicken - so all I can see is a law of diminishing returns on this.  you'd be better off spending the grand or so for a meter on enhancing his pension contributions!!  sorry to be blunt but to me, having a power meter makes no practical sense once you get to a "certain age".   

but if you want to spend the money on one, that's your call, but I certainly wouldn't.

06/11/2012 at 10:43

Absolutely FB - I would personally never buy one for me, I agree with your "law of diminishing returns" and as already said, I'm not even slightly technically minded (that's a euphemism for useless with gadgets). Don't even have a Garmin and it's so long since I've used my HRM that it has died. I'll use my powers of persuasion on LJS to divert him from this idea.



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