Ciclosport HAC5 Power Meter - any info?

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by RidwarePhil, Feb 5, 2007.

  1. RidwarePhil

    RidwarePhil New Member

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    Hi,

    I have seen the web page for the HAC 5 HRM from Ciclo and see that it measured power.
    Has anybody tested / used one or know how the power emasurement is achieved? Will the power work in the turbo or is based on weight, speed and gradient?

    How good is the HAC 4 does it work better than the polar models?
    I am currently using a polar system and becoming increasingly dissatisfied!

    Any advice please
    Phil
     
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  2. NomadVW

    NomadVW New Member

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    Everything I've heard from most dissatisfied HAC, Polar, iBike users is that they remain less than completely satisfied until they switch to a power meter that actually measures torque somewhere ala Ergomo, Powertap or SRM, instead of measuring something else and making power estimates.

    YMMV
     
  3. walser

    walser New Member

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    Don't know about HAC5, but the "power meter" on HAC4 is useless. It predicts power output based on input of speed, weight and perhaps temperature, i.e. useless. Never tested it against my powertap though. Perhaps it's ok on very steep hills.

    Apart from the power feature, HAC4 is good. But nothing compares to a real power meter.
     
  4. Thom_y

    Thom_y New Member

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    Phil,

    For someone waiting to hear more details regarding the new Polar CS600 system, could you tell me what you don't like about your current Polar... Thanks.

    lawrence
     
  5. RidwarePhil

    RidwarePhil New Member

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    Thom_Y

    The current polar system should in theory be good......

    From my experience even with a good understanding of how it works and a lot of patience the current system is very difficult to set up and still doesnt work 100% properly.

    I want a power meter that works on the road and on the turbo.
    - polar doesnt work well on the turbo due to vibrations in certain gears where the power jumps by 50 - 100%!! As the new system is based on the same measurement principle I think it will have exactly the same problem. For me I ride the turbo a lot - so its currently an expensive paperweight!

    It needs to record reliably
    - polar mount is hard wired and continually looses contact with the watch resulting in loss of miles etc. I think the new system will work ok here as itit is wireless.

    These are known problems and have been well documented on here I thoiugh I could solve them and make it work but am still struggling!

    I am currently deciding what to buy. I cant really justify a powertap but since I have purchased this system I have spent more time trying to make it work than training

    Cheers Phil
     
  6. vadiver

    vadiver New Member

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    I have a 436M, the power is deduced. I ride a Fortus trainer with power output. Although the two numbers are different, the power reading on the 436M is real close to the same regardless of I am actually riding on the road or the "road course" I put into the trainer's program.
     
  7. Tom Anhalt

    Tom Anhalt New Member

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    Everything?...really. Can you explain to me then why after riding for over 3 weeks with both a Polar and a PT Pro on my bike, I still can't decide which one I want to keep?

    BTW, No power meter "actually measures" torque. They all measure some physical effect and infer a power reading.

    All that said...and having had experience with a CM436M (HAC4 without HR) the "power reading" on the Ciclosport models is for entertainment purposes only. It's actually somewhat surprisingly good on relatively steep climbs, but with a display increment of +/- 20W that's sampled every 20s, you can see why I said "entertainment only".
     
  8. Tom Anhalt

    Tom Anhalt New Member

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    Can't help you much here with the current system. I don't know, move to a nicer climate? Works for me ;)

    But, since Polar's been aware of the problem for the last 3-4 years, it would be one hell of a screwup if they introduce the CS600 system without having done their homework on this problem and should have it "licked". I'm giving Polar the benefit of the doubt on this one until shown otherwise.


    That's an easy one. You need to make sure the strap is nice and tight and also to give the watch a nice "side to side" shake before starting out to make sure that the pins are well seated in the backside of the watch.
     
  9. vadiver

    vadiver New Member

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    This would make sense.

    Long steep climbs get better sampling. The hills are about the only time I felt the reading was accurate. Everything else seemed off, both high and low. When I purchased it I thought it would be nice. After using it a few rides I realized the power function was not accurate and I never really used it since. I figured if I ever really cared I would get a real PM. In the mean time I just compare gearing, time, and HR at the top of known climbs to measure improvement (not real analytical but suits my current needs fine).
     
  10. JTE83

    JTE83 Member

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    You have to be very accurate with the chain data you put in the Polar or else you will get very bad power readings. You can't get by estimating these. And the large cogs / big ring combos results in erroneous high power readings. But in my workout speed range of 17 to 22 mph the power reading seem to be very accurate (a 39 / 13 gear?).
     
  11. RidwarePhil

    RidwarePhil New Member

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    Cheers for the comments guys;

    It sounds as though I should save my pennies and not invest in a HAC5 after all as the power is just inferred which won't work on the turbo.

    Re the polar system I have just invested in a new battery for the power kit to see if that makes a difference. I will also try tightening the strap and wriggling from side to side prior to riding!!!

    Dont get me wrong I like the polar concept and when it does work correct (small ring all gear combos it works well. it even works in 10, 11, 12 and 18 (on a 9 speed system). It suffers in the 13-17 range which I think is due to vibration. Its a real shame as this is where I will do most of my interval work.

    Regarding the calibration everything has been measured and weighed and doubled checked exactly as the polar instructions ;-)

    Cheers Phil
     
  12. Tom Anhalt

    Tom Anhalt New Member

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    Oops...IMHO, the polar instructions are a bit confusing at times. Here's the lowdown.

    1. ABSOLUTELY take a physical measurement of the chain weight. I just replaced a DA 9 speed chain last week and discovered that the actual weight of a 116 link chain had gone down to 290 grams. When I replaced this chain last year, the DA chains had weighed 297 grams. The "official" chart shows the 9 speed DA chain weighing 304 grams. That's a HUGE difference.

    2. Take an accurate measurement of the chainstay length (center of axle to center of BB).

    3. Make sure that the chain, in every gear combo, ALWAYS passes over the top of the power module in an area ~1 in. square centered on the "middle" mark on the module. That's where the "bass guitar pickup" is located inside the module.

    4. Make sure that the chain is NEVER more than 25-30mm vertically from the top of the module case in your largest usable "big-big" gear combo. Personally, I shade more towards not being further than 25 mm, even if it means that some "small-small" combos end up with the chain rubbing the top of the case. It won't hurt the case...and I shouldn't be using those gears anyway due to cross-chaining.

    5. Replace the cadence magnet with a strong, rare-earth type magnet. Either attach it to the back of the pedal spindle or glue it to the side of your crankarm. This will allow for greater clearance to the module and more reliable triggering of the crank signal. No crank signal, no power calculation.

    That's it. No need to worry about "centering" on the chainstay or levelling of the unit. Follow the above, and you'll get reliable power readings. This won't necessarily "fix" some of the trainer behavior, but it may help. The on-road readings will be rock solid.

    Hope that helps,
    Tom
     
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