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Old 03-05-08, 08:51 PM   #1
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Power Meters, Bikesnob, PowerTaps, and SRMs... the conundrum

As Bikesnob pointed out, there's an obsession with PMs these days.

I've been back in the US for a few weeks, and have spotted power meters on every group ride that I've done. So far, I'd say that one of the riders actually merited it, and the rest were window dressing. :shrug:

At risk of joining the BSNYC club of scorn, I've been hemming and hawwing about getting a power meter for years. One of my best friends has been using a SRM for 6 years. This was initially a practical decision on his part: there are no group rides of note where he lives. I've seen first hand how much stronger he's become.

So, the quandary: powertap (used) soon, powertap (new) soonish, SRM sometime in the future.

Here's some snippets from an exchange about PTs and SRMs with my friend:

Quote:
Originally Posted by friend
I would NOT buy a Powertap, just not reliable. I saw the box of spares the <pro team's name removed by me> mechanics have to carry with them. Better to save the money up and buy an SRM when you can afford one, you will not regret it.

New wireless SRM's on their way too, so you may pick up an older version cheaper...Competitive Cyclist were doing a great price.
next email, after i mentioned i'm looking at deals on ebay

Quote:
Originally Posted by friend
USED?

Man, you are crazy.

How do you work guarantee and everything?

You will go through hubs like there is no tomorrow. It is not even a nicely made hub, and you should see the internals....

I did not save up and buy <SO's name removed by me> an SRM because I like shelling out loads of cash....
I'm thinking go cheap, try and find a PT for +/-750 now, and save for an SRM in the next year, or two.

So... fellow RBR, any thoughts on this matter?

Last edited by botto; 03-05-08 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 03-05-08, 08:55 PM   #2
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I would go with the used ptap for now, save up for the SRM-keep an eye on slowtwitch, and when you get the srm, sell the Ptap.
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Old 03-05-08, 08:57 PM   #3
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Think of the consequences man! You wouldn't be able to rip on those with a powermeter if you were part of the fold. First Waterrockets, then you... I mean we all saw Pcad's coming, but, but... What would Bongo say?
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Old 03-05-08, 08:57 PM   #4
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I have two PT's and sometimes they do give funny readings or drop out, but this is probably something like one minute or less per hour of riding. As long as it gives me consistent readings and I am fine with it. The sooner you get it the sooner you can train with power. That being said, if I had the cash I would get an SRM. PT's hold their value well though especially if you get a used one. Chances are you could get most of your money back when you move to the SRM.
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Old 03-05-08, 09:00 PM   #5
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Used is no problem, in my experience. Saris has excellent customer service.

As I've mentioned before, buying used and selling used has only small net loss. Personally I think I could sell a PT for $100 more than I'd buy it for, but I'm patient on eBay.
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Old 03-05-08, 09:01 PM   #6
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Think of the consequences man! You wouldn't be able to rip on those with a powermeter if you were part of the fold. First Waterrockets, then you... I mean we all saw Pcad's coming, but, but... What would Bongo say?
I have no issues with people who have PMs.

My problem is the slew of tedious graphs that bombard the forum.
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Old 03-05-08, 09:02 PM   #7
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Just get SRM to begin with. If you don't get PT now you already have ~750 towards SRM.
Just curious who do you think actually "merits" a powermeter?
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Old 03-05-08, 09:02 PM   #8
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Used is no problem, in my experience. Saris has excellent customer service.

As I've mentioned before, buying used and selling used has only small net loss. Personally I think I could sell a PT for $100 more than I'd buy it for, but I'm patient on eBay.
ok, therein lies the main question: what happens when the battery dies on a used PT hub?
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Old 03-05-08, 09:04 PM   #9
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I have no issues with people who have PMs.

My problem is the slew of tedious graphs that bombard the forum.
I don't really either, but can't even begin to justify the purchase for myself.
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Old 03-05-08, 09:06 PM   #10
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ok, therein lies the main question: what happens when the battery dies on a used PT hub?
I take the covers off and put in new batteries, back on the road in 10 minutes or so. Don't know if it's changed on newer PT's.
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Old 03-05-08, 09:08 PM   #11
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ok, therein lies the main question: what happens when the battery dies on a used PT hub?
What do you think happens? The elves come and replace it during the night?


You replace the battery!!!
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Old 03-05-08, 09:10 PM   #12
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I take the covers off and put in new batteries, back on the road in 10 minutes or so. Don't know if it's changed on newer PT's.
Pretty much the same except you have to use a tool to twist off the cover.
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Old 03-05-08, 09:12 PM   #13
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I bought a used PowerTap (BDCheung's Old One) and it has been flawless. I've went through 1 set of batteries et all (hub, chest strap, computer) and I've been using it for 2800 km's (1700 miles) on top of however many miles BDCheung put on them so they shouldn't be a problem. Batteries were easy to find at a local store and breeze to replace.
For the wheel itself, if you go PowerTap I'd go with a bombproof rim. I have mine on a Velocity Deep-V and have had no truing troubles.
I have gotten the occasional drop out as mentioned, it happens about once, maybe twice a month, and is a 1-2 second blip where no data shows. It's really no big deal for me.
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Old 03-05-08, 09:13 PM   #14
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botto, I don't merit a PowerTap for sure, but I did get one as a gift. I'm still working on testing, as my riding has been very sporadic. I see it helping me this year with both my fast group rides and TT's, time will tell.

I bought a new 2.4 wireless, and it as worked flawlessly except one cold ride in the rain where it dropped out for 2/3 miles. While I love a deal, I wanted new for the warranty and the new PT's seem to be performing much better then the pervious versions. I also wanted to support my new LBS, so I paid through the nose.

The final kicker was software, since the Saris software runs on a MAC, I wouldn't need to run windows on my MAC or use an old PC. Saris just announced a new update that really looks good.
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Old 03-05-08, 09:16 PM   #15
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Not sure how many sets of wheels you use regularly but the SRM is more accomodating, easily moved between bikes, and based on everything I've heard and read from various users, less quirky and more reliable. Pay the freight and don't give it a second thought.
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Old 03-05-08, 09:21 PM   #16
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I've been eying a PM as well. An SRM is way out of my legue for cash flow, the Quarq looks very interesting from the standpoint of open source and developing your own programs for that thing.
The ergomo power meter I find appealing, since it goes into the bottom bracket and can be used with different cranks it seems.
The power tap seems to be the most cost effective solution to get decent training with a power meter.

I'll wait till next year.
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Old 03-05-08, 09:22 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irish pat View Post
What do you think happens? The elves come and replace it during the night?


You replace the battery!!!
Let me rephrase my question: what happens vis-a-vis the PT warranty?

Are they a 'no questions asked' company?
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Old 03-05-08, 09:22 PM   #18
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My used Power Tap works fine so far, and that's in the dead of winter with freezing temps, which it doesn't really like. Pcad, however, remains a poseur with a Power Tap laced to a Zipp 404 rim.

Nothing wrong with that boys. After all, Bike Schwag is its own reward. Hell, it's worth it just for that b. Worry about whether you'll actually use the stupid thing later.
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Old 03-05-08, 09:23 PM   #19
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They have never asked me if I was the original owner. They have sent me replacement components (computer) with no compensation.

Honestly I've never had better customer service in my life than Saris.
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Old 03-05-08, 09:25 PM   #20
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Not sure how many sets of wheels you use regularly but the SRM is more accomodating, easily moved between bikes, and based on everything I've heard and read from various users, less quirky and more reliable. Pay the freight and don't give it a second thought.
How is the SRM more easily moved between bikes?.... Doesn't even seem possible...
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Old 03-05-08, 09:25 PM   #21
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As Bikesnob pointed out, there's an obsession with PMs these days.

I've been back in the US for a few weeks, and have spotted power meters on every group ride that I've done. So far, I'd say that one of the riders actually merited it, and the rest were window dressing. :shrug:

At risk of joining the BSNYC club of scorn, I've been hemming and hawwing about getting a power meter for years. One of my best friends has been using a SRM for 6 years. This was initially a practical decision on his part: there are no group rides of note where he lives. I've seen first hand how much stronger he's become.

So, the quandary: powertap (used) soon, powertap (new) soonish, SRM sometime in the future.

Here's some snippets from an exchange about PTs and SRMs with my friend:



next email, after i mentioned i'm looking at deals on ebay



I'm thinking go cheap, try and find a PT for +/-750 now, and save for an SRM in the next year, or two.
So... fellow RBR, any thoughts on this matter?
I'm actually speechless. It is if I had just discovered that Klimpt, Close or Johns had begun to believe that painting by numbers was true art. I'm sure there is a benefit...but will the world ever be the same. Doesn't the world need hungover Euro cyclist with inherent skills on race day to keep purity in the sport.

Sorry Botto...It sounds so Armstrong. Must be the PBR and American junk food that has you looking at Power Meters.
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Old 03-05-08, 09:27 PM   #22
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Let me rephrase my question: what happens vis-a-vis the PT warranty?

Are they a 'no questions asked' company?
No problems. In fact, if you have any trouble with the hub the first thing they usually tell you to do is replace the batteries! No warranty issues or anything like that. The battery compartment is separate from the other electronics so there's no chance to fudge anything.
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Old 03-05-08, 09:29 PM   #23
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How is the SRM more easily moved between bikes?.... Doesn't even seem possible...
You buy a second harness, move the control unit, unscrew a bolt or two and and move the cranks. After you've done it once it takes all of, oh, roughly...5 minutes.
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Old 03-05-08, 09:30 PM   #24
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No problems. In fact, if you have any trouble with the hub the first thing they usually tell you to do is replace the batteries! No warranty issues or anything like that. The battery compartment is separate from the other electronics so there's no chance to fudge anything.
and if there's an electronic issue?
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Old 03-05-08, 09:32 PM   #25
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I'm actually speechless. It is if I had just discovered that Klimpt, Close or Johns had begun to believe that painting by numbers was true art. I'm sure there is a benefit...but will the world ever be the same. Doesn't the world need hungover Euro cyclist with inherent skills on race day to keep purity in the sport.

Sorry Botto...It sounds so Armstrong. Must be the PBR and American junk food that has you looking at Power Meters.
sorry to disappoint, but i'm a lazy trainer. i need group rides to push, and that's sometimes inconvenient.

besides, i've been using a HRM since 1990, so it's not as if i'm a total luddite, just currently out of touch.
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