Should I buy the CS600 w/ power?

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by MattQ, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. MattQ

    MattQ New Member

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    I am looking at buying this PM for my tri-bike. I am on a budget and have race wheels so this is my only choice.. Is it worth it? trustworthy? Or should I save my money?
     
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  2. MattQ

    MattQ New Member

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    56 views and nothing c'mon peoples
     
  3. Terry Ferguson

    Terry Ferguson New Member

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    Search. It's been covered many times (and way to deep). It will require correct set up to work correctly and the only way to find that is also to Search. If you are not willing to do this, then the answer is 'no', don't buy one. Power is not yet plug-n-play. - TF
     
  4. jcjordan

    jcjordan New Member

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    I have been running the CS600 w/power now for about 8 months and love it. No problems with drop outs or spikes and good reliable readings. Even had the chance to compare it on the same ride with a Power Tap hub and they were both coming up with the same reading (give or take a watt). It does have a slight delay to the power reading of about 1/4, but that's hardly noticeable.

    The best thing is unlike SRM and Power Tap you don't need to recalibrate it every three months. One of the down sides to the benefits of accuracy that you get from these units. I know the guys at the AIS recalibrate there SRMs every 3-4 months and if you are not a sponsored rider they charge about $200 to do the service. If you own a Power Tap you are stuck having to send it back to the US for service.
     
  5. jmocallaghan

    jmocallaghan New Member

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    I've been running a CS600 now for close to a year. I had to send one power meter back for replacement and Polar had it back to me within three weeks. Overall, I am very satisfied with the meter and find it works just as well as the SRM and power taps. If you've got multiple wheelsets then I highly recommend this.
     
  6. MattQ

    MattQ New Member

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    thanks for the input.

    Oh, and I have read all the older posts too. thanks for your plug and play advice...
     
  7. jmocallaghan

    jmocallaghan New Member

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    My CS600 has been rocking pretty strong now for over a year. Love it. I had one power meter pick up that went south but Polar had it replaced w/in a week. Truth is all power meters I've seen, seem torequire servicing for one reason or another - SRMs for calibration, Power tap bearings get shredded, etc. So, when you hear about one or another needing to be serviced, look beyond that because all seem to. The plus of the CS600 is that it is pretty accurate at everything above 2 seconds. The 1 second power jumps do not work well when you pipe then thru cycling peaks which is basically the end all be all of power analysis (although Polar's software is very good in a different manner). Likewise, the Polar allows you to use multiple wheel sets and if you're racing, that's worth it's weight in gold.
     
  8. vetboy

    vetboy New Member

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    Mineworks fine. I too had to send one back - turns out the seal broke and water got in. Replaced without questions and is working great. I have not compared it to another type of meter, but it does seem quite consistent.


    Good luck
    Joe
     
  9. BtonRider

    BtonRider New Member

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    I purchased one of these and went around and around before I finally gave up on it. Very small differences in alignment, gear selection made significant differences in power readings. I got a 10% difference in power between the small and big ring. That's the difference between a 20min all out effort and a 5min all out effort. If you plan to use power to pace yourself during a time trial, the meter has to be reliable!

    After spending weeks trying to get reliable results I sent the F%[email protected] thing back. Don't waste your money. Save up and you can usually get some good deals on the PowerTap. It's worth the money.
     
  10. vetboy

    vetboy New Member

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    I also get a different reading between big and small ring - but on the trainer only (ie at same speed and cadence, power jumps as much as 100watts! when I move to the big ring). I have not noticed the same effect on the road.

    Just curious, what were you using to compare to when deciding there was a 10% difference between rings. For me the power jumps around too much on the road for me to make that determination?

    I have not compared my cs600 to another meter on the road, but for my size and weight, the numbers make sense. Not so on the trainer.

    Joe
     
  11. orbeaonyx

    orbeaonyx New Member

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    Please could you tell me your opinion about Ciclosport HAC4pro plus?Is the power display accurate?
     
  12. BtonRider

    BtonRider New Member

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    Well I should start by saying it was AT LEAST 10% difference. Between some gears, the difference was even greater. I used the trainer for making the comparison. It's the only way to have a controlled environment for the comparison. I went back with Cycling Peaks and analyzed periods of time where I maintained the same speed (by adjusting my cadence). I took the average of a few repeats. If the speed is the same on a trainer between gears, so is the power output. The bike/meter doesn't know you're not on the road.

    On the road you have to worry about slight changes in the road grade, wind, draft, etc. (Did your wheel spin when you hit that pothole?, Did you maintain your power when you went around that turn or down that hill?) The real world has too many variable to say one repition is the same as the other and maintaining the same speed does not necessarily mean the power output should be the same. That's why I rely on the trainer for the comparison.

    If you have a decent trainer, and the power meter shows a 100W difference between rings there is a serious alignment problem.
     
  13. vetboy

    vetboy New Member

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    If you search around the net you will find that polar power meters (cs600 and the previous 700 series watt meters) and trainers don't go together. Polar themselves will tell you that on a trainer, their meter may not be accurate. They do insist (and it's been my experience) that on the road, the numbers are correct. There are a few theories as to why (and I am certainly no expert, just relaying what I have read). Something to do with the natural vibrations created in the chain by the road that are not present on the trainer. I've also read that trainers may set up there owner vibrations that interfere with the sensor.

    If you think of the power sensor as an electric guitar pick-up and the chain as a string, the string needs to be "plucked" by the road vibrations. After being "plucked" the sensor picks up the chain vibrations under load and figures out the watts.

    Anyway - I disregard the power info on my trainer, but I believe the numbers when on the road. If the trainer thing is a problem for you, better to get another meter.

    Joe
     
  14. BtonRider

    BtonRider New Member

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    That's interesting. I hadn't read that before. However, I would suspect the vibrations it's dependent on should be based on the chain, gearing, and pedal stroke. If it's based on the "natural" vibrations of the road, your power readings will be different between a chip-n-seal road and a freshly paved piece of pavement. If it is affected by road vibrations, then I suppose the absolute value of the power measurement might vary between the trainer and the open road. However, I'd expect the difference between gears to be the same regardless of the scenario.



    It sounds too convenient to say, "Don't compare our product in a controlled environment, because it just doesn’t work there. But trust us it works when you're in an unreliable environment that can't be measured." It may be true, but it's very suspect.
     
  15. vetboy

    vetboy New Member

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    Don't misunderstand - it's not based on the vibrations of the road but rather vibrations on the road "pluck" the guitar string. If you think of a guitar string before being plucked - it's under tension but the pick-up gets no signal because there is no vibration. The tension and guage of string (ie your power and the chain density) determine the freq of vibration (hence tone) after being plucked. The pluck (ie road vibration) itself does not determine the resulting tone (power reading).

    If you've ever seen Eddy Van Halen put an electric drill in front of the pick-ups of his guitar, you'll understand what I think the trainer does to the power meter. The trainer sets up a vibration which competes (or influences) the vibration of the chain and confuses the power meter.

    I too was somewhat skeptical, but I really don't see the power jumps on the road that I see on the trainer. When I go to the big ring on the trainer, my power usually jumps by over 100watts - no question I would notice that on the road. Also, for my size and racing ability, the numbers I get on a road ride make sense. Not so on the trainer.

    Joe
     
  16. goodboyr

    goodboyr New Member

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    Well,.......... I've got a CS600 power, with a Cycleops fluid 2 trainer and its pretty well spot on with the power curve that is published for this trainer. I know some have been having issues with a subset of the gearing, but for all useable gear combos, mine is ok. So, I guess it depends...............
     
  17. vetboy

    vetboy New Member

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    Yeah I certainly have read of many who have no probs with the cs600 on a trainer or rollers (including a guy on RBR who evaluated the polar for velocity nation). For me tho - not so lucky. I have a KK road machine and the power jumps are wild even in the usable gearing. Last night I was in my 39-14 doing about 29kph and reading power in the 170. Switched to my 53-21, same speed and power jumped into the 260's. This is the second power module I've had so I can't even say it's my particular meter. Must be something about my trainer. In any event, I don't see jumps like that on the road.

    Joe
     
  18. RChung

    RChung New Member

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    You could do laps on a short loop (or out-and-back) course with a small elevation change. Do a couple with each chainring, then compare the virtual elevation profiles against the altimeter.
     
  19. vetboy

    vetboy New Member

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    Here's my example from last night's 20 minute interval. Dark blue line is speed, light green is cadence, dark green is power. Notice that the speed is very constant, cadence anywhere from 75 to 85 depending on gear and power jumps from 170 to over 300 depending on gear. Remeber that for my KK trainer, power remains constant if speed remains constant so power should be very constant for the whole interval - instead it jumps all over the place depending only on gearing.

    Joe
     
  20. BtonRider

    BtonRider New Member

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    You're assuming the more wildly variable parameters are perfectly reproduced, (i.e. wind and body position). On a trainer, you eliminate the significance of these parameters.
     
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