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Old 02-02-08, 02:26 PM   #1
chainzawz
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When should one invest in a power meter?

Hey all,

I plan on racing soon for the first time (maybe this year maybe next year). Anyways when should one invest in a power meter? Do I need one now or should I wait until I get into it?
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Old 02-02-08, 02:39 PM   #2
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Either way would work. If you've got an extra 500-1000 laying around, get one. If not, then get Allen/Coggan's book, read it in your off time, train your ass off and be ready to rip it up next year.

Either way, get the book and learn as much as you can. It is an effective tool, but it won't just magically make you faster. You (or a coach) need to understand what info is coming out of it and how to apply it to your training.
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Old 02-02-08, 02:47 PM   #3
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If you buy used, and decide you don't like it, you can sell it for about what you bought it for. I say the sooner the better.
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Old 02-02-08, 03:42 PM   #4
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If you like data, like uploading stuff to your computer, and you can afford it, then you can buy one.

I use a standard HRM when not using my power meter. It's more simple for base type miles but for measuring fitness levels the power meter is more useful.

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Old 02-02-08, 03:44 PM   #5
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thanks for the replies all, guess I will look into getting one. Just hope I can find one cheap enough!
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Old 02-02-08, 03:55 PM   #6
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Read the book first. If it makes sense and you don't get half way through and throw it across the room in disgust, shouting "to hell with this crap, I'm going for a ride!", then go buy the power meter and software.
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Old 02-02-08, 04:31 PM   #7
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haha alright
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Old 02-02-08, 07:07 PM   #8
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Read the book first. If it makes sense and you don't get half way through and throw it across the room in disgust, shouting "to hell with this crap, I'm going for a ride!", then go buy the power meter and software.
Highly recommended! "Training and Racing with a Power Meter" is an excellent book. I bought it about a month before I actually got my Power Tap. Read it cover-to-cover several times before and after getting my PT. Then, I bought a copy of TrainingPeaks WKO+ software and started to manually insert my trainer ride data from my cyclocomputer (I still didn't have my PT). Then, I finally got a PT and what a difference! My trainer rides have become very focused and specific. And, with limited time, this is very important!
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Old 02-02-08, 07:48 PM   #9
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Thanks for the replies all. My local Library has the book available so I will give it a read through. Will probably end up purchasing it!

Anyone know where I can get a wheelset with a PT?
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Old 02-02-08, 07:50 PM   #10
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Thanks for the replies all. My local Library has the book available so I will give it a read through. Will probably end up purchasing it!

Anyone know where I can get a wheelset with a PT?
eBay, or Slowtwitch (http://forum.slowtwitch.com/)
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Old 02-02-08, 07:53 PM   #11
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I didn't read the above, but you should invest ASAP, but only after you've invested in a coach.
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Old 02-02-08, 08:17 PM   #12
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Thanks all, I will have to keep a look out for some deals!
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Old 02-02-08, 09:00 PM   #13
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I didn't read the above, but you should invest ASAP, but only after you've invested in a coach.
I have a coach and our plan for the coming year utilizes HR monitor training....I may enter a race or two this year, I hope to anyway for the fun of it, but after this annual plan is completed I'll start training with a power meter for next years full race schedule.

I just have too much to learn and too far to go. I don't need another variable, such as the power meter, at this stage of my training. Bear in mind that I am a 50 yr old beginner.....Your mileage may vary.
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Old 02-02-08, 09:49 PM   #14
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I didn't read the above, but you should invest ASAP, but only after you've invested in a coach.
Sorry, but you don't need a coach in order to effectively train with power.

Sure, you might not get every last possible watt out of your body, but I don't think that's particularly important to a rider in their first season of racing.

Not only that, and this certainly isn't the case with everyone, but I've seen plenty of people that seem to think that having a coach is a substitute for hard work. Quite simply, they don't push themselves nearly as hard as they could, and justify it by saying that they have to adhere to a plan. When, in fact, that plan was skewed from the start because they didn't know just how hard they were truely capable of going.

I believe in coaching, and will probably get a coach in the next year or two, but probably through my team. But I think that the proliferation of "coaching" has deluded people into not appreciating the value of hard work. Any track and field fans will make the parallel to the lack of depth in high school racing in the 90s, due to "coaching" and science telling people that an interval rich program was the way to speed. Kids running intervals 3x a week in addition to racing, that sort of thing. Resulted in the worst decade in American HS distance running in history.
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Old 02-02-08, 10:25 PM   #15
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IMO, as a user of both a coach and a powermeter, the best investment a racer can make for their training is in coaching. A coach helps you realize what hard work actually is, and a good coach will help you learn how to ride and race your bike properly.

Best thing I've done since I started riding a bike was to start working with a coach, and I think for a new racer, it's a much, much better use of your $ than a device for measuring your workouts. If I only had $500 to $1k to spend on training expenses this year, I'd use it for coaching before buying a watt meter 100 times out of 100.
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Old 02-03-08, 12:17 AM   #16
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Read the book 1st!!

It's the cheapest of the 3 (power meter, coach, book) and you'll 10x the return on your "investment" in a PM or coach.
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Old 02-03-08, 05:06 AM   #17
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Don't know when I'll get a powermeter, but on those recommendations I've just ordered the book
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Old 02-03-08, 10:58 AM   #18
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My opinion is a little different from most here, but I'd say the time to invest in a power meter is about your 3rd season of racing. Bike racing is just a hobby, and is therefore just about having fun for most of us. (Side note: If you go out and win 3 of your first 5 races, and go on to do the same in the 4's and 3's, then you might be Pro material and you can disregard my opinion.) The thing that makes bike racing the most fun is getting better. In your first 2 years of racing you will see huge improvements no matter how you train. When you start to plateau is when you should get a coach and/or power meter. It will help you keep improving, and therefore keep you from getting bored and moving on to something else.

Feel free to read the Power book and any other training books right away. I've read most all of them (and I don't have a power meter, yet).
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Old 02-03-08, 01:43 PM   #19
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get a power meter directly before your first cat 5 race... at a time when you still think you have what it takes to be the next lance... that way you'll only have a few rides on the hub, and it'll go for a good price on ebay when you sell it, after realizing getting beat by the lowliest ranks of lycra clad jocks just isn't for you...
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