Thoughts on the Cycleops Powercal.

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by maydog, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    With Christmas on the way, my loved ones are looking for gift ideas. Cycling is a big part of my life and I expect to get a few cycling related items. I am pretty well set as far as gear goes, but I lack any sort of power measurement equipment.

    The Cycleops Powercal HRM is within a gifting price range. Its cost is less than twice of a regular ANT+ heart rate sensor. I have researched it some and I am aware of its limitations as it is not a true power meter. My assumption is that it is calibrated toward the average cyclist, in terms of age, weight and height; I am a permanent clydesdale. I am wondering how useful it could be as a tool to measure relative power output and use it to start more power oriented workouts over the winter.

    Anybody here use one?
     
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  2. fluro2au

    fluro2au New Member

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    It doesn't work. Not even close. Paul
     
  3. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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  4. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    Thank, I have looked at that one already.

    I know it won't be useful to determine my absolute output - but thought it may be helpful in determining overall training load. Right now I just have a HRM and GPS coupled with Strava. With these tools, I have been able to track some improvement over time by using some choice segments.

    I figure that this is just a sophisticated real time heart rate analysis that lends it self to more of a power based training scheme. Or is it just a gimmick?

    Opinions are appreciated, but actual use experience and data are more helpful. Thanks.
     
  5. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    There's no doubt that the calculations used by Powercal make a number of assumptions, but I'll bet it'd be a better tool than Strava's power "calculation". With regular calibration it'll likely be fairly decent but will have a large variance in the data than crank or hub based devices. How much that variance will be is undetermined. I think it'd be good enough as a relative measure, certainly for someone just starting out w/ power training that isn't concerned that their intervals have to be done within ±5 watts or summat.
     
  6. tomw1974

    tomw1974 New Member

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    If you want to track your training load within about 20% accuracy (about the same as strava, which at least bases its power on grade), then it will meet your requirements.

    The biggest problem is that without a real power meter, you don't know how to calibrate the unit. Is it reading too high? too low? Correct some times and not others? You may as well just train with heart rate, which at least has known tendencies.

    At least the iBike pretends to have physics behind its calculations.
     
  7. fluro2au

    fluro2au New Member

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    Hi Maydog,

    I've used HR, the powercal and also a PT.

    On Training Peaks the training load (PMC) is quite accurate with just a HR monitor, especially if you are Time Trialler, triathlete. If you are more of a punchy rider who does crit, shorter raod races than HR will be less accurate on TP.

    Try training peaks and HR for a while. I think you only have to pay $120.00 PA for the premium account and you can start track your CTL, ATL and TSB accurately.

    Paul
     
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