Racing with PowerTap?? (Opinions)

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by SR2525, May 11, 2006.

  1. SR2525

    SR2525 New Member

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    Please provide your opinion. I am thinking about a PowerTap SL for a race wheel. How many of you are racing with the SL? Also how many of you think it may be too heavy? Thanks,
     
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  2. shawndoggy

    shawndoggy New Member

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    Shoot, I'm racing with a 32 spoke PT pro. And when I TT, that's with a CHaero cover over it. I'm such a data joneser (and for TTs the PT is invaluable for pacing), that I really don't like racing without it.

    A 24 spoke SL hub laced up to a nice carbon rim would be sweet, and it's really doubtful that a couple hundred grams will ever cost you a race.
     
  3. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    I race with a PT SL and wouldn't want to race without power, even on a hillclimb (where weight matters most). But, I think the answer to your question is the infamous "it depends." In this case, it depends on your races and your power relative to the field. If you are racing in flat RRs and crits and if others are dictating the pace, then I don't think it adds value because your objective is to hang onto the lead group as long as possible and knowing your power isn't going to affect whether you can or can't hang on. And, if you hang on to the sprint finish, you can't make use of it there either. But, I think it is of huge value for all other events - TTs, RRs with long climbs and all mass start races where you are one of those dictating pace.
     
  4. mr_mojo

    mr_mojo New Member

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    count me as another PT Pro racer with 32 spoke Open Pro rim...after doing the math on analytical cyclist it just doesn't make that much difference. I do run an aero front wheel. The data's too good to not have...
     
  5. BlueJersey

    BlueJersey New Member

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    Racing with a power meter is more like for post race analysis. Why you won or lost the race that sort of things.

     
  6. AndROOb

    AndROOb New Member

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    I use a PT SL laced to an old Zipp 440 rim. I only do TT's and I find it great for pacing, and also for analysis later.
     
  7. palewin

    palewin New Member

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    Yet one more person (me) who races with an SL/Open Pro 32-spoke wheel. Similar to BlueJersey, I use it for post-race analysis, hardly ever look at it during a race (unless I'm pulling in a breakaway and want to control my effort - but unfortunately I'm not frequently pulling breakaways...). Since most of the weight is in the hub, I don't think the SL is a disadvantage, except possibly on very hilly courses.
     
  8. Krazyderek

    Krazyderek New Member

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    Chalk another one up for the powertap standard hub. I use it to record races to help with post race analysis. Helps me know exactly how hard attack's where on that killer hill, or the exact wattage we were cruising along the flats for 20 minutes. Helps gear your trainning so you know what to focus on, and what wattage to aim for in your trainning, like getting your LT wattage up to the cruising speed on the flats. Getting your 3-8min interval wattage up to the wattage the pack was climbing at. Etc.

    Also, my bontrager aero lite PT wheel is a bit stiffer and more aero then trainner wheels, ksyrium elite's. So i actually don't train with power all the time, I do once a week just to check things, but if you ride the same route then it's easy to know what wattage range you're in by watching speed and remember what wattage goes with what speed on which parts of your route. For long endurace rides, i go by speed (flat flat course) and HR only.
     
  9. jws

    jws New Member

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    Definitely use it, I say. The info is invaluable, because you usually get the best data from races.

    The SL is maybe 200g heavier than a typical alternative. So if your total weight is, say 100kg, that's 0.2% difference which translates to 0.2% speed lost and only on the steepest of climbs. On the flat, the differences from rolling resistance, acceleration, and friction are all negligible.

    That 0.2% speed lost means that on a climb that takes 16:40(1000sec), you'll lose 2sec!! If system weight is 80kg, that'll be 2.5sec!!
     
  10. peterpen

    peterpen New Member

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    Jeez, somebody's gotta play devil's advocate!

    (disclaimer: I use my PT SL for the vast majority of my races. In fact, I've used it for all dozen RR's I've done this year, even my two targets.)

    BUT, sometimes I don't use the PT for crits b/c I don't want to toast the wheel in a crash and don't really care about that data.

    AND, I'm having a set of 'target race only' wheels built that will be aero and sub-1200 gms. (all my target races are hilly.) I think there's something to be said for rolling up to the start line, knowing you're using every possible advantage. The placebo effect is very real - arguably more real than saving 200g. :p

    FINALLY, I'm only in my second season racing and I don't want to become overly reliant on my PM. I want to pay attention to the flow of the race and listen to my body, not be checking a computer. While I tend not to look at watts anyway during races, for target races I also don't really need the file to geek on afterward. I'll know if I met my goal if I'm on the top step.



    blah, blah, blah - I bet I end up using the front wheel from my new set a lot more than the rear. ;)
     
  11. Alex Simmons

    Alex Simmons Member

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    Race with it, train with it, record everything. One day I guarantee you'll be really glad you did. A good SL wheel is not heavy, and since the mass difference is at the hub, it's no big deal.
     
  12. Spunout

    Spunout New Member

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    You also don't want to be overly reliant on a sub-1200g set of wheels to get you across the line ;)
     
  13. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    I race a PT Pro/Open Pro 32 rear setup. I've wished it was more aero, but never regretted the weight.
     
  14. shawndoggy

    shawndoggy New Member

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    Here's the thing though -- and I'm speaking from experience from doing the same thing last year -- as you get ready for those target races next year you are really going to want to be able to see what you did in the target races. Big races will always (or better stated, are much more likely to) result in your best performances. Knowing what your 5 and 10 minute power benchmarks need to be for a target race is really valuable, especially as you get ready next year.

    Yes, while you are in the race your power output doesn't matter... you finish well or you don't. But as you are preparing for a race, knowing what you are going to need to do is pretty valuable.

    That said, still haven't decided whether to run the PT wheel at the target races this year myself.... :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
     
  15. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    What do you think the difference in your NP would be between, say, a well-rested 60 min FT performance test ride and a ~60min target ITT ride? I almost always overestimate the boost I'll get from adrenaline and determination.
     
  16. shawndoggy

    shawndoggy New Member

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    Speaking from my own personal anecdotal folk-science (are you getting the picture that I'm limiting this statement to myself?) experience, I've seen numbers in the shorter durations that are 3-10% better in competition than when I'm slogging out intervals by myself. For instance, in a training race on Tuesday, I saw 320W 20M NP. The most I've done recently in a 20M interval (contstant power) is 290W.

    Honestly I've never tried to do a 40K TT/60 minute constant power test by myself. Those efforts (again, for me, can't generalize to everyone) take a very special state of mental commitment to hold the watts. As stated in the other thread, my goal for the District TT this year is 295. I am very doubtful that I could motivate myself to hold that power for that long outside of competition. I think I probably could do 280, though. Mental... it's all mental (FOR ME!).
     
  17. jws

    jws New Member

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  18. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    I think this is an important relationship to understand for TTs. Granted, mass start races are different because you have the direct effect of the other riders on performance. But, TTs are much more like performance tests because it's a combination of our fitness and our will power. Sure, we have the occasional rabbit to chase down, but we can't depend on that. And, I think there is a wide variation in this attribute (max power in a target race vs. max power in a performance test of the same duration) from rider to rider. The reason it's important to understand is that we pay a price for being wrong either way.
     
  19. shawndoggy

    shawndoggy New Member

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    Actually, I tend to depend on the rabbit BEHIND me. Fear of getting caught is a significant motivator.
     
  20. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Me too, but I envision a bengal tiger.
     
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