PowerTap vs. PowerTap Pro



padawan

New Member
Dec 23, 2005
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I'm about make the leap from HR training to power taining. Since I'll get in trouble for taking out a second mortgage on the house, I think the SRM and even the PowerTap SL are out of the question.

I would be interested in hearing from those who have experience with both the standard PowerTap and the Pro.

Is the Pro worth the extra $200? If so, what features do you think makes it worth the extra $$?

Also, I've heard complaints about the analysis software. As a power newbie, will the software that comes with a PowerTap be sufficient or should I assume I'm going to want to spend additional money on something like CyclingPeaks.

Cheers.
 

RapDaddyo

Well-Known Member
May 17, 2005
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I have a friend in my riding group who asked me this exact question. Like you, he is cost-conscious and is still recovering from laying out $2500 for a new bike. These darn things are expensive. I look at the SRM and think, "Hell, I could buy any frame I want for that kind of dough." I have a PT SL and the advice I gave my friend is to get a PT Pro. The main reasons are: (1) the hub-independent cadence sensor and (2) the CPU capacity. I hope somebody will correct me if I am wrong, but my recollection is that the PT does not have the hub-independent cadence sensor and that its CPU has less capacity. Now, why do these two features matter? The cadence sensor matters because the hub cadence sensor caps out at ~150rpm IIRC, whereas the crank cadence sensor goes to 200rpm. Maybe that doesn't matter to you, but it matters to me. Secondly, the hub can send spurious data from time to time. With an independent cadence sensor, this is no more than a slight inconvenience to me because at any point in time I am actually riding by cadence while monitoring power and cadence stays rock solid even if watts and speed get a blip of bad data from the hub. As to the CPU capacity, I keep my computer set for the shortest recording interval because I want the detail for my post-ride analysis. With the PT Pro and SL, you can store rides of a pretty long duration even on the shortest data recording interval. My owner's manual says that my computer can capture 15 hrs at the shortest data capture interval, vs. 7.5 hrs and 3.5 hrs for the PT Pro and PT models respectively (if I am reading the chart correctly). I wouldn't have a problem with 7.5 hrs, but I would regularly exceed the 3.5 hr capacity of the smallest CPU. Whichever one you choose, I'm sure you'll enjoy riding with power. And, you can take the savings over an SRM and buy yourself another bike.
 

beerco

New Member
Nov 8, 2003
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padawan said:
Is the Pro worth the extra $200? If so, what features do you think makes it worth the extra $$?

The pro's memory capacity and interval features are better than on the standard (I own both). To me, cadence is not important so that feature of the pro is lost on me.

If you really want to go cheap, buy used. So far I've got a PT/OP wheel, a PT/Hed Alps wheel, standard computer, pro computer and enough harnesses for all of my bikes and spent right around $1000US.

oh yea, the PT software is junk, definitely budget the money for CPS - it's the best.