Power Tap wheelset or build from a Power Tap hub?

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by pcapetown, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. pcapetown

    pcapetown New Member

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    Hi to all,

    I am considering going down the power route for road training and racing as well as indoor training. I am unsure whether to buy an off-the-shelf Power Tap wheel from Cycle Ops or to buy a hub and build from there.

    This is what my Cycle Ops dealer/supplier has recommended: 46mm G3 Carbon Wheelset.

    http://www.cycleops.com/en/products/power-meters/power-packages.html?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage_images.tpl&product_id=808&category_id=27

    I don't need the Joule GPS as I have a compatible Garmin Edge 500.

    How good are the Power Tap wheels? Has anyone used this one? The dealer says that while they can build with Zipp, Mavic, FF etc, the wheels cost more and are of lower quality as they cannot achieve the same stiffness.

    Has anyone else had this dilemma? What did you do? What was the result?

    Also, does anyone have any experience of buyinh a Power Tap wheel or hub second-hand?

    Safe cycling

    Peter
     
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  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    That's a very nice wheelset and if you're talking your first power enabled wheelset your other question about a do everything wheelset makes more sense. Same caveats apply in terms of tire wear during training and tire and tube choices for do race & training wheels but if it gets you into power it makes a lot more sense to run one set.

    I disagree with the feedback you've received about inferior 'less stiff' wheelbuilds. Many qualified builders build onto PT hubs and there's nothing inherently inferior about the wheels they build. For the same spokes, rims and spoking patterns a good third party builder will do at least as good a job as the folks at Cycleops. A good local builder who builds to meet your weight, riding style, and local road condition needs will almost certainly do better and if you don't go with full carbon rims like those Reynold's linked you'll almost certainly come in at a better price point.

    A set of HED Belgiums laced onto a PT hub would be a killer do everything wheelset or if you want to go a bit deeper a set of HED Jet 4s would be awesome as would a number of other really good rims. Take a look at some of the Wheelbuilder PT offerings: http://www.wheelbuilder.com/powertap-packages/ or talk to a good local builder that has built onto PT hubs (they do have a couple of unusual things like swapped drive side, non drive side spoking an flange issues that aren't hard to deal with but ideally your wheels aren't the first PT wheels the builder has built).

    In terms of used, yeah I've bought (a long time ago so not current models) used PT wheelsets and have had very good luck going that route. I know others who have as well. Sure there's always a risk buying used electronics but PT hubs tend to be pretty robust and Saris will take care of you for reasonable charges if you do need a repair.

    Good luck,
    -Dave
     
  3. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    I am a big fan of do it all wheels and truly believe while there are certainly weight and aerodynamic differences between hoops, the marketing folks have led us to believe, albeit falsely, they will dictate our race results. And while aero benefit should not be discounted in a bona fide TT (Zipp claims their 404's will yield a 70 second gain over box section rims over 25 miles) or at the elite racing levels, in an amateur road race where much time is spent in the pack, the difference will not be that big.

    And after all the hoopla (get it?) the science tells us weight is not that big of an issue after all.

    That said, the Belgium C2's with PT hub have all the makings of a great do it all wheel. HEDS C2 aero data shows similar gains over 25 miles to Zipps 101's vs. a classic box section rim, -30 secs, which make them a bona fide aero wheel, just a shallower aero wheel than most are familiar with but which true to the moniker "all around wheel" also have them less suceptable to cross winds and being alloy sport favorable wet weather breaking over carbon counterparts.

    And if you build them up with 32 spokes in the rear, they will be plenty stiff.
     
  4. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    The Jet6 rim is only a few grams heavier than the 4 and would definitely be one to look at as well. HED have just announced the Ardennes + which is a 25mm wide alloy rim rather than their standard C2 build at 23mm. As with the regular Ardennes wheels, there's likely going to be a PowerTap option. Their new high end wheel, the vanquish, is also 25mm wide.
     
  5. pcapetown

    pcapetown New Member

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    Much thanks to all who posted above :).

    I guess another approach ...... What if I waited to see if I need a power meter? Could I simply buy a new wheelset - and then at a later date change to a Power Tap hub?

    Peter
     
  6. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    Have you considered a crank based PM?

    I started with Powertap and still use a Wheelbuilder PT Kinlin wheel for most of my training, but I had an opportunity last year to get a slightly used Quarq cheaper than a new PT wheel because I wanted more flexibility to use different wheel sets on my TT bike.

    Now that I have been using the Quarq on the TT bike for a number of months I really like it and I do like it as Dave mentioned on your other thread concerning training wheels and racing wheels. With having a crank based PM you can keep the race tires fresh if you wanted and use a cheap set of "training wheels" that you don't mind to beat up, use in bad weather or not fear damage from a crash.

    For a couple hundred more a crank based PM may give you flexibilty in using various wheel sets. Those sorts of things we each have to weigh out based on budgets and goals.
     
  7. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    And prices are coming down - $1600 for a new PM crank.
    http://www.quarq.com/quarq-riken-10r

    When (and if) Garmin ever releases the Vector pedals, they may want to consider re-pricing if cranks are now entering this $$ range.
     
  8. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Power2Max has crank based PM's in the $1300 range ($900-ish for the PM spider assembly if you supply them with the cranks). You can change the batteries on your own and can change the chainrings without issue. I think if Polar and Garmin want to be competitive in the PM market, they're going to have to bring the prices down quite a bit.
     
  9. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    I would seriously consider a Power2Max and in fact I was all set to make the purchase after trading some emails in preparation for the order. They had just made an upgrade to the weather sensitivity issue and users were stating some good things about the upgrade. P2M is gaining some loyal customers much like Quarq did in those first years.

    The only reason why I did not get the P2M was I got a slightly used Quarq for $1K. Next time around I am looking at P2M when my PT hub fails and based on my luck with Powertap it may fail sooner than later.
     
  10. pcapetown

    pcapetown New Member

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    Thanks, yes. There is the option of a Quark or similar system and that is a good option as (for the moment!) I have only one bike. Unfortunately, everything in South Africa costs about double that in the USA or Europe ......
     
  11. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    You could consider making a purchase through dealers in other countries that will ship to South Africa, countries in the EU or North America. Likewise you might consider having a friend in the EU, North America, or some other country make a purchase for you of something you can't get in South Africa or perhaps something priced more cheaply than can be found in South Africa. As an example, it's quasi-common for some cyclists in Australia or New Zealand to purchase kit from dealers in the UK or elsewhere to avoid the steep cycling kit prices in the Antipodes.
     
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