Which power-meter?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by j[email protected], Feb 13, 2006.

  1. Hi,

    I am considering getting a power meter, so I am evaluating my options.
    I have made a list with what the pros and cons are for me for the
    different ones I am aware of. They are all expensive, so I don't list
    that as a con for each one.

    PowerTap
    pros: a few models in different price ranges.
    cons: I'd like to use for trainig and racing, so 2 hubs would be
    expensive.

    SRM
    pros: allows any wheel
    cons: I like my 195mm cranks, the longest SRM is 180mm.

    Polar
    pros: bike spec independant, altitude measurement.
    cons: lots of wires, fiddly install, can't calibrate by standing on
    pedal, silly watch type head unit (why isn't it shaped like a bike
    computer?)

    So what should I get? I am leaning toward the Polar despite it's issues
    for the transportability.

    Suggestions?

    Joseph
     
    Tags:


  2. Chalo

    Chalo Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    >
    > PowerTap
    > pros: a few models in different price ranges.
    > cons: I'd like to use for trainig and racing, so 2 hubs would be
    > expensive.


    Why not one PowerTap wheel for both, and a normal wheel as a backup?

    Chalo
     
  3. Andrew Price

    Andrew Price Guest

    Joseph wrote -

    > I am considering getting a power meter, so I am evaluating my options.>


    You could also consider the ergomo bottom bracket measuring device - see
    http://www.bicyclepowermeters.com/

    My lbs guy told me -

    1. The ergomo only measures power on one crank and interpolates what the
    power is on the other - the SRM 4 way system is more accurate in that
    regard.
    2. After evaluating all the available power measurement systems the body
    responsible for training cyclists in New Zealand chose SRM - your budget may
    vary.
    3. For a stationary ergo, you can get a much simpler and cheaper measurement
    of relative levels of power by recording cadence and resistance levels and
    watching if you can improve on either or both over time. If you were
    mathematically inclined you could probably calcualte the watts being
    produced in varying gears at varying cadences if you are into absolutes as
    opposed to relativities.
    4. Likely that power sensors will evenutally be built into crankets over
    time ("The Next Big Must Have Thing") if they can get round the SRM patent
    or licence it cost effectively.
    5. You may want to check how difficult the accompanying software is to use
    or interpret - the native powertap software is not so great - suggest look
    at something like http://www.cyclingpeakssoftware.com/index.html
    6 You see a LOT of secondhand polar power measuring kits for sale in ebay
    etc - suspect they may not be universally loved.

    best, Andrew
     
  4. Ron Ruff

    Ron Ruff Guest

  5. Andrew Price wrote:
    > Joseph wrote -
    >
    > > I am considering getting a power meter, so I am evaluating my options.>

    >
    > You could also consider the ergomo bottom bracket measuring device - see
    > http://www.bicyclepowermeters.com/


    That looks pretty nice. Suits my desire for equipment independence.

    > My lbs guy told me -
    >
    > 1. The ergomo only measures power on one crank and interpolates what the
    > power is on the other - the SRM 4 way system is more accurate in that
    > regard.


    Do you know how it interpolates? Does it just guess?

    > 2. After evaluating all the available power measurement systems the body
    > responsible for training cyclists in New Zealand chose SRM - your budget may
    > vary.


    If I were happy with cranks <=180mm I'd go for the SRM too, I think.

    > 3. For a stationary ergo, you can get a much simpler and cheaper measurement
    > of relative levels of power by recording cadence and resistance levels and
    > watching if you can improve on either or both over time. If you were
    > mathematically inclined you could probably calcualte the watts being
    > produced in varying gears at varying cadences if you are into absolutes as
    > opposed to relativities.


    I am most interested in maintaining a given output while riding.
    Testing on a resistance trainer can be fun, but it's not really what I
    am looking for.

    > 4. Likely that power sensors will evenutally be built into crankets over
    > time ("The Next Big Must Have Thing") if they can get round the SRM patent
    > or licence it cost effectively.
    > 5. You may want to check how difficult the accompanying software is to use
    > or interpret - the native powertap software is not so great - suggest look
    > at something like http://www.cyclingpeakssoftware.com/index.html
    > 6 You see a LOT of secondhand polar power measuring kits for sale in ebay
    > etc - suspect they may not be universally loved.


    This is true. I think the finicky-ness of the Polar is too much for me.
    The whole issue of variation from gear to gear sounds like a problem I
    don't want to deal with.

    Thanks for the tip about the Ergomo. Now I just need to find an extra
    $600...

    Joseph
     
  6. Chalo wrote:
    > [email protected] wrote:
    > >
    > > PowerTap
    > > pros: a few models in different price ranges.
    > > cons: I'd like to use for trainig and racing, so 2 hubs would be
    > > expensive.

    >
    > Why not one PowerTap wheel for both, and a normal wheel as a backup?
    >
    > Chalo


    That's an idea. I am starting to lean that way. The power measurment is
    mostly for racing and TT's. I'm not really sure how I would incorporate
    power training into my program anyway, other than occasional spot
    checks and position/equipment testing which could be done on race
    wheels.

    I wish the PowerTap had an altimeter!

    Joseph
     
  7. M-gineering

    M-gineering Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    > Andrew Price wrote:
    >
    >>Joseph wrote -
    >>
    >>
    >>>I am considering getting a power meter, so I am evaluating my options.>

    >>
    >>You could also consider the ergomo bottom bracket measuring device - see
    >>http://www.bicyclepowermeters.com/

    >
    >
    > That looks pretty nice. Suits my desire for equipment independence.
    >
    >
    >>My lbs guy told me -
    >>
    >>1. The ergomo only measures power on one crank and interpolates what the
    >>power is on the other - the SRM 4 way system is more accurate in that
    >>regard.

    >
    >
    > Do you know how it interpolates? Does it just guess?


    I managed to duck all the pretty girls appearently needed to flog this
    product, and a salestype confessed when pressed that they just assume
    that the right leg is equal to your left leg. Nothing clever, just
    straightforward multiplication. I lost interest.






    --
    ---
    Marten Gerritsen

    INFOapestaartjeM-GINEERINGpuntNL
    www.m-gineering.nl
     
  8. [email protected] wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    > I am considering getting a power meter, so I am evaluating my options.
    > I have made a list with what the pros and cons are for me for the
    > different ones I am aware of. They are all expensive, so I don't list
    > that as a con for each one.
    >
    > PowerTap
    > pros: a few models in different price ranges.
    > cons: I'd like to use for trainig and racing, so 2 hubs would be
    > expensive.


    Have a wheelbuilder make the wheel a good one to do both. The hubs are
    so heavy, making a 'race' wheel doesn't make sense. Altho all power
    meters have the good and others, Powertap seems the best for the $.
    Polar is very unreliable. Ergamo is another option. A BB based system.
    They say they have improved the BB but the one I installed had the BB
    bearings go south in about 2 weeks.
    >
    > SRM
    > pros: allows any wheel
    > cons: I like my 195mm cranks, the longest SRM is 180mm.
    >
    > Polar
    > pros: bike spec independant, altitude measurement.
    > cons: lots of wires, fiddly install, can't calibrate by standing on
    > pedal, silly watch type head unit (why isn't it shaped like a bike
    > computer?)
    >
    > So what should I get? I am leaning toward the Polar despite it's issues
    > for the transportability.
    >
    > Suggestions?
    >
    > Joseph
     
  9. Qui si parla Campagnolo wrote:
    > [email protected] wrote:
    > > Hi,
    > >
    > > I am considering getting a power meter, so I am evaluating my options.
    > > I have made a list with what the pros and cons are for me for the
    > > different ones I am aware of. They are all expensive, so I don't list
    > > that as a con for each one.
    > >
    > > PowerTap
    > > pros: a few models in different price ranges.
    > > cons: I'd like to use for trainig and racing, so 2 hubs would be
    > > expensive.

    >
    > Have a wheelbuilder make the wheel a good one to do both. The hubs are
    > so heavy, making a 'race' wheel doesn't make sense. Altho all power
    > meters have the good and others, Powertap seems the best for the $.
    > Polar is very unreliable. Ergamo is another option. A BB based system.
    > They say they have improved the BB but the one I installed had the BB
    > bearings go south in about 2 weeks.


    My "race" wheel is going to be a Zipp 404 that I don't want to get
    chewed up riding in the rain, sand, etc of lots of everyday rides. I'm
    leaning toward just having the Zipp with a PowerTap and normal
    training/every-day wheels.

    Joseph
     
  10. [email protected] wrote:
    > Qui si parla Campagnolo wrote:
    >> [email protected] wrote:
    >>> Hi,
    >>>
    >>> I am considering getting a power meter, so I am evaluating my options.
    >>> I have made a list with what the pros and cons are for me for the
    >>> different ones I am aware of. They are all expensive, so I don't list
    >>> that as a con for each one.
    >>>
    >>> PowerTap
    >>> pros: a few models in different price ranges.
    >>> cons: I'd like to use for trainig and racing, so 2 hubs would be
    >>> expensive.

    >> Have a wheelbuilder make the wheel a good one to do both. The hubs are
    >> so heavy, making a 'race' wheel doesn't make sense. Altho all power
    >> meters have the good and others, Powertap seems the best for the $.
    >> Polar is very unreliable. Ergamo is another option. A BB based system.
    >> They say they have improved the BB but the one I installed had the BB
    >> bearings go south in about 2 weeks.

    >
    > My "race" wheel is going to be a Zipp 404 that I don't want to get
    > chewed up riding in the rain, sand, etc of lots of everyday rides. I'm
    > leaning toward just having the Zipp with a PowerTap and normal
    > training/every-day wheels.
    >
    > Joseph


    You surely know what works for you, but: if you get a race-only wheel
    with a power meter, as soon as you realize that training with power is
    great, you would also realize that you cannot/don't want to use your
    nice wheel on training, except maybe when the weather and the road is
    perfect.
    The big question is: do you get a bigger benefit from a nice race-only
    wheel or from a power meter available all the time? (If you have the $$$
    for two power taps or an srm+a zipp, then no problem).
    I know what I would answer, but it's just me.

    Francesco
     
  11. Francesco Devittori wrote:
    > [email protected] wrote:
    > > Qui si parla Campagnolo wrote:
    > >> [email protected] wrote:
    > >>> Hi,
    > >>>
    > >>> I am considering getting a power meter, so I am evaluating my options.
    > >>> I have made a list with what the pros and cons are for me for the
    > >>> different ones I am aware of. They are all expensive, so I don't list
    > >>> that as a con for each one.
    > >>>
    > >>> PowerTap
    > >>> pros: a few models in different price ranges.
    > >>> cons: I'd like to use for trainig and racing, so 2 hubs would be
    > >>> expensive.
    > >> Have a wheelbuilder make the wheel a good one to do both. The hubs are
    > >> so heavy, making a 'race' wheel doesn't make sense. Altho all power
    > >> meters have the good and others, Powertap seems the best for the $.
    > >> Polar is very unreliable. Ergamo is another option. A BB based system.
    > >> They say they have improved the BB but the one I installed had the BB
    > >> bearings go south in about 2 weeks.

    > >
    > > My "race" wheel is going to be a Zipp 404 that I don't want to get
    > > chewed up riding in the rain, sand, etc of lots of everyday rides. I'm
    > > leaning toward just having the Zipp with a PowerTap and normal
    > > training/every-day wheels.
    > >
    > > Joseph

    >
    > You surely know what works for you, but: if you get a race-only wheel
    > with a power meter, as soon as you realize that training with power is
    > great, you would also realize that you cannot/don't want to use your
    > nice wheel on training, except maybe when the weather and the road is
    > perfect.
    > The big question is: do you get a bigger benefit from a nice race-only
    > wheel or from a power meter available all the time? (If you have the $$$
    > for two power taps or an srm+a zipp, then no problem).
    > I know what I would answer, but it's just me.
    >
    > Francesco


    I guess since I don't know much about how I would train with power I am
    underestimating it's benefits. My racing consists of essentially
    exclusively time trial type events, so I am concerened about
    maintaining a constant sustainable output. All road races I ride are
    just for training, so I just ride them how I feel and wouldn't worry
    about power. It would be nice to have it all the time, of course.

    I contacted SRM and they seem to be telling me they can make 195mm.
    That would be nice, but I'm not sure I want to be tied into the 195's.
    Ideally I'd like to experiment a bit with crank length. So then I lean
    toward the PowerTap again.

    Hmmm...

    Joseph
     
  12. Jay Beattie

    Jay Beattie Guest

    "M-gineering" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > [email protected] wrote:
    > > Andrew Price wrote:
    > >
    > >>Joseph wrote -
    > >>
    > >>
    > >>>I am considering getting a power meter, so I am evaluating

    my options.>
    > >>
    > >>You could also consider the ergomo bottom bracket measuring

    device - see
    > >>http://www.bicyclepowermeters.com/

    > >
    > >
    > > That looks pretty nice. Suits my desire for equipment

    independence.
    > >
    > >
    > >>My lbs guy told me -
    > >>
    > >>1. The ergomo only measures power on one crank and

    interpolates what the
    > >>power is on the other - the SRM 4 way system is more accurate

    in that
    > >>regard.

    > >
    > >
    > > Do you know how it interpolates? Does it just guess?

    >
    > I managed to duck all the pretty girls appearently needed to

    flog this
    > product, and a salestype confessed when pressed that they just

    assume
    > that the right leg is equal to your left leg. Nothing clever,

    just
    > straightforward multiplication. I lost interest.


    You fool! Don't duck pretty girls who are willing to flog
    you! -- Jay Beattie.
     
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