PT Advice Requested

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by Yojimbo_, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. Yojimbo_

    Yojimbo_ Well-Known Member

    Apr 17, 2005
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    Hi Gang

    I've been enjoying the discussions about power for quite some time now, and while I think it won't be much more than an expensive toy for me, I am starting to seriously think about getting a Powertap. I have a few questions if you don't mind sharing your time and experience.

    Here goes.

    Wired or wireless, and why?

    What wheel would you suggest I mount it in? (I weigh 160 lbs and currently ride on a 20 spoke Kysrium Elite with an Ultegra 10 speed cassette).

    I also have an 8 speed bike that I use on my trainer in the winter - is it possible to interchange the cassettes so I can use the powertap wheel on both bikes?

    Used or new? Any specific years / models to avoid?

    I have read various posts saying that the batteries don't last all that long. Is that true, and are the batteries easy to change out?

    I've heard about problems in wet conditions - have these been fixed in later models?

    What sort of lifetime does one get out of these things?

    That's all I can think of. If you have any other advice, please post it.

    Thanks in advance for your responses.

  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

    Oct 3, 2006
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    Personal choice, but I'm riding wired SL versions basically because they cost less and wires don't bug me.
    Again there's lots of options but the DT Swiss setup is good as is the typical Mavic or Zipps or American Classic, or whatever you like and can afford.
    Yes, the shimano freehub body will take 8, 9, or 10 speed cassettes possibly requiring the spacer supplied with the Shimano cassette (I use the spacer on cassettes with an 11 tooth cog since the PT hubs don't have the extra notches that are milled into the Shimano "compact" series hubs).
    All of mine are used, most off of ebay. No lemons yet. I'd stay away from the very old PT basic or old version of the PT Pro (no carbon cutouts in the hub). They're no longer supported by Saris so repairs could be difficult and they're a lot heavier. Whether you go wired or wireless you can get a CPU with the 2.4 GHz heartrate receiver. It's definitely more reliable if HR is important to you. Frankly I have one of those CPUs with its coded HR strap but rarely wear the strap and don't care whether I ride with the older CPU or the new one since all the other functions work fine on the older SL model CPU.
    The older CPU seems to go through about two batteries per year, my hub batteries typically last a year per set. The newer 2.4 model CPU shows "Low Bat" a bit too often but seems to be a false alarm most of the time as it tends to keep on working when the message clears after startup. But that's one reason I tend to ride with the older CPU, no "Low Bat" messages whether or not they're genuine.

    Batteries in the CPU are really easy to change with a typical quarter turn battery compartment. Hub batteries aren't much more difficult although the clever molded hub cover can be a pain to remove even with the supplied hand tool which doesn't offer very positive grip. Still it's a fast and simple operation to remove the cover, pull out the battery carrier, swap out two hearing aid cells and slap the thing back together with a bit of grease to assure a good weather seal.
    AFAIK this was a problem in the older models. I've been caught in a lot of rain storms and haven't yet had water trouble with any of my PT SL units.

    Good luck,
    P.S. Be sure to set aside $100 for a copy of CyclingPeaks WKO+ it's much better than the standard PT software.