Good option for Power only?

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by Jakana, Jul 28, 2004.

  1. Jakana

    Jakana New Member

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    I have the Polar S725i HRM/Computer and absolutely love it. I am using it for speed/cadence/hr/etc., but I haven't purchased the Polar power adapter.

    From what research I've done, I don't think I want to use the Polar power adapter. However, all the other options I've found are full-blown cyclocomputers (SRM, Power Tap, etc.). Is there a good device out there that measures only power? I hate to purchase another full-blown computer when I already love my Polar S725i. However, the more I've gotten into analytical training, the more I want a good power measurement device.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. TTer

    TTer New Member

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    Unfortunately for accurate power measurement, the options are SRM, PowerTap, and Ergomo. The other options aren't accurate, and to be honest I would not waste my time or money with them (might as well just stick with HR). The Polar is not accurate, and the Ciclosport HAC4 just estimates power based on speed and the rate of ascent (from the built-in altimeter) which is way-off if you're riding into/with the wind.
     
  3. steve

    steve Administrator
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    I agree SRM, PowerTap, or Ergomo are the go, the polar sofware looks alot better any tho.
     
  4. tmctguer

    tmctguer New Member

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    i think you have to determine what your accuracy needs are, coupled with your budget. take me, for example...........i am a recreational cyclist, but not a slouch. i rode for 10 years without any sort of HRM device, just a simple Cateye speed/cadence/trip meter.

    in january of this year, i decided i wanted to bring my cycling fitness to a new level. i purchased a Polar HRM (one of their cheap models). i was so impressed that i started researching what additional features i might like in a HRM. the Polar s720i really appealed to me, especially with the software that it comes with. so i took the plunge. i really loved how it got me focused on fitness zones.

    so i kept reading up on cycling fitness, bought The Ultimate Ride, and Cyclist's Training Bible. i became convinced that power was a good source of measuring fitness gains, plus the use of power allowed me to work out a training program that suited my needs.

    then it was decision time............do i ante up and buy an SRM or a Power Tap? do i go with the Polar power unit?

    after reading all the reviews i could find on the web, i decided that for my level of cycling (i don't race, i just ride intensely for and by myself), i would add onto to my Polar "investment" and use their unit.

    i can't personally vouch for the accuracy or inaccuracy of the unit, as i don't have a laboratory to measure and confirm such things. but i will say that as i'm pedalling down the road, up hills, doing intervals, riding tempo pace, or climbing repeats..............it seems to give me a reading that is indicative of the work i'm doing.

    is it 100% accurate?? is it 90% accurate?? beats the heck out of me.

    does it give me a measure with which to perform workouts? does it give me readings that tell me how much work i am putting into my ride? absolutely.

    frankly, if i knew that whatever "inaccuracy" inherent in the Polar unit was the same over all my gears, then the error would be somewhat irrelevant to me. what i mean is if the unit is 10% off in all gears i am turning, then the error is consistent. however, if it is more accurate in some gears than others, then it is a little more problematic because my wattage on a climbing repeat drill in gear A is not as accurate of my wattage than a steady state interval in gear B. but then again, i'm not competing..........so do i really need a scientifically accurate measure??? ignorance must be bliss, because i don't think i do.

    all told, i've got approx. $250 in the HRM and $200 in the power unit. at the time i bought the power unit, Powertaps and SRM's were going for much more than $200 (even used), so i saved a bit of cash and made only an incremental investment.

    someday, i may dump my Polar system and go with another brand. but for now, it meets my needs.

    good luck in your decision.
     
  5. Randybaker99

    Randybaker99 New Member

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  6. upstateSC-rider

    upstateSC-rider New Member

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    Don't forget the poorboy (my) version of power-training. Get a good trainer that has a power-curve chart and transpose the numbers for the power you want to train at in the chart.

    For example, check out http://www.cycleops.com/products/fluidsquared.htm## then hit "comparison chart" and on the chart hit "view power curve". As you can see on the chart, if you want to train at 300 watts then that's about 19mph. I think putting this chart into Excel and plotting points would be more accurate.

    It's good for a start plus you get a trainer for when the weather is nasty and it's consistent.
    Good luck.

    Lou.
     
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