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Old 08-03-16, 10:26 PM   #1
Relik
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Powertap P1 pedals on the track

my apologies if this has been discussed before..
i'm thinking about the powertap P1 pedals as they seem ideal for someone who rides a different bike just about everyday.. but i'm a little worried about pedal clearance on the track.. does anyone know if they will work ok on the track?
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Old 08-04-16, 04:26 AM   #2
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A bit hidden, but discussed briefly in the following topic. From initial comments I've seen it appears to work okay with a few caveats.

Garmin vector on the track?
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Old 08-04-16, 12:34 PM   #3
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Picking a power meter for the track is more about avoiding features that will annoy the hell out of you than it is buying some "killer feature".

Easy swapping from bike to bike is a killer feature.
Left and right power measurement is a killer feature.

Don't buy those if they come with a deal-breaker like taking 3-8 seconds to wake up. Missing 8 seconds of a standing start effort is a lot...even if it's a pursuit effort. The start is very important. Most new racers screw up and go out too hard. This will show up in the first 8 seconds.

In my opinion, the "Gold Standard" power meter is the WIRED SRM Power Meter using the PowerControl 5 wired head unit.

....

OK the "Super Gold Standard" is the SRM Wired Scientific model, but that's super hard to get and super expensive.
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Old 08-04-16, 01:54 PM   #4
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not sure where the waking up problem comes from.. i've been using the vector pedals for sometime and they work fine.. before i get on the track, i wake up the pedals and turn the head on and then start the timer before i get on the track.. the bike could sit for 20 minutes, doesn't matter; once i start rolling, i get data.. never had them go back "to sleep".. do powertap P1 pedals act any different? my main concern is the pedal clearance.. the P1s have a battery compartment on the bottom.. it looks like i'd be ok but maybe someone has used them on the track and can confirm clearance isn't a problem.. i have 3 bikes i use regularly so 3 power meters would be too expensive for me..

https://www.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=...act=mrc&uact=8
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Old 08-04-16, 04:38 PM   #5
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Saris is a relatively small company. Why not just contact them and express your concern. I've contacted them regarding their head units and spin bikes and been able to talk to someone technical almost immediately. They were very friendly and helpful.

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Old 08-04-16, 06:20 PM   #6
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In my opinion, the "Gold Standard" power meter is the WIRED SRM Power Meter using the PowerControl 5 wired head unit.

....

OK the "Super Gold Standard" is the SRM Wired Scientific model*, but that's super hard to get and super expensive.
*Double reed switch. I was lucky and bought my wired Scientific SRM off ebay.com for only $1100 years ago, but is only a single reed switch unit.
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Old 08-04-16, 06:33 PM   #7
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*Double reed switch. I was lucky and bought my wired Scientific SRM off ebay.com for only $1100 years ago, but is only a single reed switch unit.
You can have a second installed. I've been to SRM's North American HQ and they still service old hardware. The hard part is to get the firmware in your head unit to look for 2 reed switches. Not sure if they phased that out or not. I heard that they did.
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Old 08-05-16, 04:19 PM   #8
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Saris is a relatively small company. Why not just contact them and express your concern. I've contacted them regarding their head units and spin bikes and been able to talk to someone technical almost immediately. They were very friendly and helpful.

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yup... powertap got back to me about use on the track and i also asked about float, and they say:

" We redesigned our pedal body last year to accommodate for this type of use.
Zero degree might just allow you to have a better racing platform. Just my opinion on the matter.
Track racers are using them."
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Old 08-05-16, 05:26 PM   #9
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Awesome. That's good news.

I still think that waiting several seconds for them to start recording data can be a deal-breaker. If you aren't used to analyzing track power files you may not know that the first few seconds of any timed effort is important. It's not like road riding where the first few seconds mean nothing in a 45 minute crit or a 3 hour training ride.
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Old 08-06-16, 01:57 AM   #10
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You can have a second installed.
Thanks for the information. I knew some could have the circuit board changed to a wireless one. Hadn't thought about changing the track SRM circuit board and add a second reed switch.
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Old 10-24-16, 03:38 PM   #11
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yup... powertap got back to me about use on the track and i also asked about float, and they say:

" We redesigned our pedal body last year to accommodate for this type of use.
Zero degree might just allow you to have a better racing platform. Just my opinion on the matter.
Track racers are using them."
Did you end up getting the pedals? I'd like to hear your impressions.
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Old 10-24-16, 06:42 PM   #12
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Did you end up getting the pedals? I'd like to hear your impressions.
thanks for asking.. i was considering a follow up so i will..
yes, i got them and i'm quite happy with them..
i put batteries in, screwed them on my cranks, turned on my edge 1000 and there they were.. started pedaling and i had power data.. couldn't be easier... both the edge 1000 and edge 510 find them every time which is more than can be said for the vectors..
it's true that they go to sleep after i think 5 minutes and it takes a few seconds to wake them up.. so, if you're doing a standing start, then spin the crank a time or two before putting the bike in the starting gate or you'll miss the power for the first few seconds..
i like that it is so easy to switch from one bike to another so i use them on three different bikes..
it was interesting i thought that both the vector and powertap pedals were telling me that most of the time, my left leg was producing more power with the exception of when i got over a 1000 watts, my right would then contribute a bit more than 50%...
bottom line: i'm happy and would recommend them
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Old 05-01-17, 01:51 AM   #13
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thanks for asking.. i was considering a follow up so i will..
yes, i got them and i'm quite happy with them..
i put batteries in, screwed them on my cranks, turned on my edge 1000 and there they were.. started pedaling and i had power data.. couldn't be easier... both the edge 1000 and edge 510 find them every time which is more than can be said for the vectors..
it's true that they go to sleep after i think 5 minutes and it takes a few seconds to wake them up.. so, if you're doing a standing start, then spin the crank a time or two before putting the bike in the starting gate or you'll miss the power for the first few seconds..
i like that it is so easy to switch from one bike to another so i use them on three different bikes..
it was interesting i thought that both the vector and powertap pedals were telling me that most of the time, my left leg was producing more power with the exception of when i got over a 1000 watts, my right would then contribute a bit more than 50%...
bottom line: i'm happy and would recommend them
Hey there so just verifying if you spin cranks couple of times before start you have 5minutes to use and if you do you won't lose any data from start or first few seconds?
If so I don't see any problem in using these really
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Old 05-01-17, 07:49 AM   #14
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I can't speak for P1 pedals but when I first read this thread I assumed the loss of data at the start referred to time lag of power meters reporting data - not so much the sleep-then-wakeup delay.

OK - these numbers are from road use not track: My P2M Type-S crank meter has chronic lag - like it starts reporting 4-5 secs after (I believe b/c it is slow to sense cadence). My Powertap G3 hub is better but still has 2-3 secs lag. My [non-scientific] 2016 SRM is around 1-2 secs as well.

So for standing start where the cadence is super low you'd only be able to see the first "average" of power number after the power meter trips/detects the second revolution (averaging torque between first trip of the cadence sensor and the second).

So... what I am trying this time is the Stages Track Dura-ace arm. It also reports torque w/ no lag at 64Hz on BLE to a phone app. It reports [average] power as well via ANT and BLE once it has detected circular velocity. For those first few seconds you can determine cadence (and thus power) from looking at the phase of course. When these efforts are closer to static efforts though I wonder if "power" is the right way to measure them. Obviously, once spinning then yes - power is the ultimate measure of work.

The main reason was that it was a quarter of the price of the SRM/PC8 setup . Yes, it's left-only, but as a masters racer there's nothing actionable I am going to do about discovering a leg dominance (old dog, new tricks). Main goal is to use it as a pacing comparison tool so repeatability, instant response [and price!] were key.
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Old 05-01-17, 08:15 AM   #15
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Yes, it's left-only, but as a masters racer there's nothing actionable I am going to do about discovering a leg dominance (old dog, new tricks). Main goal is to use it as a pacing comparison tool so repeatability, instant response [and price!] were key.
SRM doesn't measure leg dominance either.

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Main goal is to use it as a pacing comparison tool so repeatability, instant response [and price!] were key.
If that's really true, I'm here to tell you that you can do that with a head unit, speed sensor, cadence sensor, and (optional) HR monitor for maybe $500

Seriously.
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Old 05-01-17, 09:45 AM   #16
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I ended up buying these pedals just recently. I have called Saris and they are great with answering questions. Yes, the pedals will wake up after spinning the cranks and are good to go for 5 minutes for a standing start. The app is a work in progress. Right now you can view advanced pedal metrics on the phone in real time and review it - on the phone. An upload to the cyclops virtual trainer site will give you L/R balance but not the advanced metrics. When connected via bluetooth (to the phone) they record power 40 times per second. My issue right now is most headunits only connect to power meters via ANT+, which is slower than bluetooth, and ANT+ only allows one pedal to send all the data. Powertap set up their bluetooth so that each pedal sends data separately. The app with any individual pedal data is iPhone only, Strava and Wahoo Fitness should work with bluetooth on android but I have not tested this yet.

The ANT+/BTLE differences aside, I feel like the company is working to improve compatibility for getting more data a priority and would buy them again. As far as issues with track clearance or problems at the highest levels - Nate Koch has commented that he uses them, a Six Day racer travelling Europe would have definitely put them through the wringer. DCRainmaker's review is good and the comment thread has a lot of talk, his comments help keep things a bit level headed. https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2015/08/...ls-review.html
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Old 05-01-17, 09:49 AM   #17
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I'm here to tell you that you can do that with a head unit, speed sensor, cadence sensor, and (optional) HR monitor
I am learning that [again old dog, simpler tricks] but at least I saved some money for my "pat on the back" number
I will say it is much more work to interpolate effort/work onto a once-per-second speed delta and then factor in the whole ^3 air resistance thing. And yes, I'll prolly just be lazy and look at the power plot.

Maybe power meters are really only for the domain of training in zones. I do know precisely how many beer calories I am allowed each day though.
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Old 05-01-17, 10:00 AM   #18
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I think the bigger issue is that we (trackies) get hand-me-down tech from the road world and try to adapt it for our needs. For example, the first few seconds of a 45 minute crit or 4 hour road ride are not important at all. But, the first few seconds of a Kilo or 4K can explain the outcome of the event.

I really don't think that the power meter manufacturers (including SRM) take that into account.

Left-Right leg differences sound great from a marketing perspective ("This is why our power meter is better than theirs. Ours can do this, theirs cannot." But at the end of the day, no coach/rider looked at that data and made a training or tactical decision based on it. So, what that in mind, it's a useless metric. They may as well measure what color socks the rider has on

Barometric pressure would be much more useful to measure (seriously).
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Old 05-01-17, 10:08 AM   #19
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I am learning that [again old dog, simpler tricks] but at least I saved some money for my "pat on the back" number
I will say it is much more work to interpolate effort/work onto a once-per-second speed delta and then factor in the whole ^3 air resistance thing. And yes, I'll prolly just be lazy and look at the power plot.

Maybe power meters are really only for the domain of training in zones. I do know precisely how many beer calories I am allowed each day though.
Don't dis yourself. Pat on the back numbers are great. They help measure progress (or regress). I think the key is to know what the metrics mean, why they are important, and what metrics aren't.

Also, if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, it does not make a sound

...meaning, if we don't analyze the data, then there is no data and the money spent on the metering equipment is wasted.

Which reminds me of a guy that had a power meter on his road bike. He rode/raced it several days weekly but never even downloaded the data. He pretty much just used it as a clock to let him know when it was time to turn around and head back home He bought it because everyone (and marketing) told him he should have it.

edit:

The thing is, most people don't need a power meter even if they analyze the data. 99.9% of power analysis is looking at the charts and saying, "Yup...that's what happened. That's where the wheels fell off." You already know what happened.

Also, the metric no one wants to talk about is Power/Weight. Power is sexy. Power/Weight is... let's change the subject
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Old 05-01-17, 10:13 AM   #20
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I think the bigger issue is that we (trackies) get hand-me-down tech from the road world and try to adapt it for our needs. For example, the first few seconds of a 45 minute crit or 4 hour road ride are not important at all. But, the first few seconds of a Kilo or 4K can explain the outcome of the event.

I really don't think that the power meter manufacturers (including SRM) take that into account.

Left-Right leg differences sound great from a marketing perspective ("This is why our power meter is better than theirs. Ours can do this, theirs cannot." But at the end of the day, no coach/rider looked at that data and made a training or tactical decision based on it. So, what that in mind, it's a useless metric. They may as well measure what color socks the rider has on

Barometric pressure would be much more useful to measure (seriously).
Track starts is about the only area where I could actually see L/R info being useful. I'm not sure whether the P1 offers it, but Pioneer notes power output at various phases of the pedal stroke. This could be helpful for determining the perfect position for your pedal at your start.

Of course, a stop watch and lots of practice could probably help figure all that out too.
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Old 05-01-17, 10:26 AM   #21
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Track starts is about the only area where I could actually see L/R info being useful. I'm not sure whether the P1 offers it, but Pioneer notes power output at various phases of the pedal stroke. This could be helpful for determining the perfect position for your pedal at your start.

Of course, a stop watch and lots of practice could probably help figure all that out too.
I'll bite.

What other pedal positions would you consider besides this one? :



Further, if the crank is set vertically up and down and a top tier rider applies 2,500W downward on it...the bike will go nowhere

The crank is a lever. The best mechanical advantage for any rider is at 90 degrees to where the power is coming from. In this case, it's the glute/hip/leg/foot. This is why the pedals are set not at 90 degrees to the horizion, but 90 degrees from the rider's hip and leg.

Like this:


Not this:
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Old 05-01-17, 01:03 PM   #22
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Everyone is slightly different. While the top position you posted might be perfect for you, for someone else, 5mm higher or lower might be better. Also, one may think that starting with their left foot forward is better, but they actually end up putting out more power with their right foot forward? But again, you could probably also figure this out with a stopwatch.
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Old 05-01-17, 01:38 PM   #23
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Everyone is slightly different. While the top position you posted might be perfect for you, for someone else, 5mm higher or lower might be better. Also, one may think that starting with their left foot forward is better, but they actually end up putting out more power with their right foot forward? But again, you could probably also figure this out with a stopwatch.
Yes, everyone is slightly different. But, physics is the same for all of us Changing the angle is not better.

There are 2 very good reasons why most pros (and everyone under them) use left foot forward:

1: The bike will track in the direction opposite of the foot that is forward. This isn't noticeable when rolling at normal or high speeds. It's very noticeable during the standing start.

2: The track is already pushing the rider towards the infield. So, at 0MPH, if you start with the right foot forward you will track to the left PLUS the track is already pushing you to the left what happens is that the bike wants to dive to the apron and you have to fight that.

So, if your left foot is forward, then at 0MPH you are pushing the bike up track countering the angle of the track pushing the bike down track and it makes keeping the bike upright easier, especially if you are riding a really big gear and/or riding a track with steep straight sections.

Fuuurrther.... Max power doesn't even come until maybe 75M away when the torque band and the cadence band meet a sweet spot around 120RPM coming out of turn 2.

And if you are really talking about torque, and not power, then the best torque happens when the lever is at 90 degrees to that which is applying the force (see physics)

Your thoughts?
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Old 05-01-17, 01:46 PM   #24
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I don't really have any other thoughts. I'm just speculating on how we could use L/R balance, and standing starts seemed like the only place I could find it actually being applicable.

But you make a good argument why that is not the case.
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Old 05-01-17, 04:31 PM   #25
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L/R differential IS useful for standing starts, but not in the way you would think. Most people (about 99%) are actually pretty even in power output for the first 5-10 strokes. They may have a weaker leg, but both legs are usually maxing out in the push/pull that comes right off the start. Where people start to get funky is right after this, when more co-ordination is needed to accelerate, coupled with riding through the banking. This is where many people will back off with one leg to try to "maintain balance" as they go through the bank. It's usually the inside (left) leg where people back off. If you have a PM that tracks L/R differential you should check this out.
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