Cycleops Pro PT300

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by zamboni, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. zamboni

    zamboni New Member

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    Thinking about getting this model for my wife any feed back and advise would be appreciated.
     
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  2. PaulMD

    PaulMD New Member

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    I have mine now for four weeks. It's a good indoor trainer. The feeling is good (road like) and you get a powertap powermeter with it. Plus it is a durable indoor trainer.

    A negative point compared to ergometers is that you have to adjust the resistance with a knot. Short intervals at a specific power is difficult to reach, the resistance is or to low or to high. But for 5 minute intervals or longer I don't have that problem.
     
  3. Jim R

    Jim R New Member

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    I almost bought one of those recently but then realized that you can buy a Kurt Kinetic trainer and a Powertap for the same price. Then you can train on your actual bike and also have a power meter for outside use. That seemed like a "no-brainer" decision for me anyway.
     
  4. J-V

    J-V New Member

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    knob :)

    We got ours for Christmas, and both my wife and I are loving it. For the first time she is actually doing something other than reading a book on the trainer, and she is setting specific goals and seeing progress. She could never understand how every spring we hopped on the bikes and she couldn't climb, but I have a feeling she's going to be harder to keep up with this spring.

    There are several threads on the boards about the 300PT, including my 300PT/Mt. Diablo thread. As others may chime in and tell you, the other options are the Computrainer and the Velodyne, neither of which I'm familiar with, but both of which require you to mount your bike. We wanted a stand-alone indoor cycle that would get both our bikes out of the basement, and most spin bikes just weren't quite 'cycling-specific' enough for us. The 300PT seems to be targeted at cyclists, not spinners; you can mount your own pedals and seat, etc., and it looks more like a bike than a spinner. It takes all of 30 seconds to move the seat and handlebar settings between users (we have stickers with our settings right on the seat tube and 'stem'). The thing is rock-solid for doing shorter, peak-power intervals; I hated the way the bike/trainer combo moved all over the place when standing.

    As far as riding the 300PT goes, it has a few quirks, but the Product Manager at Saris seems committed to continually striving to make the product as good as it can be. One niggle I have with it is the brake cable routing not being internally-routed through the handlebars (left side). If you pull on this cable (hook a finger on it accidentally, etc.) while riding, the resistance will increase, as you are somehow (slightly) effectively tightening the cable, which increases the force of the pads on the massive flywheel. It's not so hard to avoid so it's really not a big deal, but they screwed up on the design; the cable could just as easily have been internally routed, like the resistance knob cable is.

    The only other issue I have with it is the resistance knob design. Being a mechanical unit isn't optimal compared to the electronic designs of the Computrainer and Velodyne, as it is imprecise, and can change over the course of a long interval (presumably due to heating/expansion of the brake pads, per Saris). Also, if you use the brake, the resistance after releasing it is slightly higher than before using the brake. I've learned to adapt to these quirks after a month+ of use, so it's really not that big of a deal, but the implementation could have been better. [There is basically a 'mixing unit' underneath the water bottle holder where both the brake and resistance cables meet, so that only one cable is necessary going back to the brake pads.] Also, the computer console unit is a bit 'elementary', and could use an interface redesign to make the time more legible for intervals, but this is minor, and will be fixed with the next firmware update.

    The 48-lb. flywheel contributes to a road-like feel that I've never experienced on any trainer before. Even my cycling buddy who positively hates trainers became instantly addicted, and offered that it felt more like the 'real thing' than he could imagine was possible.

    Anyway, as far as what this thing has done for my training (in combination with 'The Book' and 'The Thread'), I can't say enough. I've made more progress in my climbing capabilities in a mere 6 weeks than I typically make in an entire summer. The PowerTap seems to work fine, though Saris' PowerAgent 7 software is pretty poor; I just haven't moved to CyclingPeaks SW yet, as we're waiting on an Intel iMac before I go that route.

    Anyway, hope the input helps.

    -J\V

    PS: Here's one of the more detailed reviews I found when I was at the stage you're now at:

    http://pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=4528
     
  5. zamboni

    zamboni New Member

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    Thank you all for your input & feed back and this would help me to make a decision on the selection, first I've looked at LeMond & Cycleops but at the end I think Cycleops clearly is the best choice for a stationary bike.
     
  6. PaulMD

    PaulMD New Member

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    Hello Jef,
    Heating/expansion of the brake pads is not the reason you have to lower the resistance to stay at the same power. It's because the powertap is becoming inaccurate when the flywheel heats up. It's such a big problem that after an hour with 300 watts on average (according to the inaccurate powertap hub) you will produce 300 watts at the start but at the finish you will produce 250 watts while the powertap says 300 watts... The powertap is off by 16% due the heat problem.

    I am sorry to tell you...
     
  7. J-V

    J-V New Member

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    Have you heard back from Saris yet? My post-ride torque reading doesn't drift the way yours does, it's fine. Try this: after your next ride, touch the flywheel down by the PT hub. Not very warm, is it? Most of the heat on the flywheel is near the outer circumference, where the friction is being generated by the pads.

    You have a defective PT hub... I am happy to tell you! :)
     
  8. PaulMD

    PaulMD New Member

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    The heat at the flywheel where the friction with the brakepads occur is (by feel) almost the same as at the flywheel around the powertap hub. :confused::confused:

    Maybe there is a little difference but both feel pretty hot after one hour. Hmm, I have to buy a special thermometer.
     
  9. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    Most metals being a good conducter of heat, that makes sense.

    You might check with a vacumn pump supplier to see if you can obtain some temperature-sensitive stickers. They change color at specific values, and are used to monitor pump performance/function.

    There are also non-contact infared thermometers, but I'm not sure if they'd give an accurate reading off the shiny surface of a flywheel (at least I assume it is shiny).
     
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