Power Meter Advice
I am considering the purchase of a power meter but had a few questions.
1. Is it really worth it? I train by HR now, is it really that much more effective?
2. I live in San Francisco and have a hard time finding outdoor rides to do for base miles that don't raise my HR into zone 4/5 (Darn hills . . .). Most of my base training is done on a trainer. How helpful is it to have the power measurement on the road from a Powertap Vs just having a trainer with power measurement?
3. If I decide to go with a meter instead of a trainer with power(Cycleops PowerBeam Pro), any thoughts on a Powertap Vs a Polar CS600? The thought of the extra weight on the rear wheel sucks, but I probably won't even notice it . . .
Thanks for any and all insight!
1. That depends on how serious you are about training and racing. I think very few people would tell you that a power meter is a bad idea if you are racing.
2. Having just power on a trainer is not going to help you much, especially if your trainer work is mostly base miles. Power meters really shine when you use them to do your intervals and race with them. If all your outdoor riding is without power you are missing out on a lot of valuable data.
3. From what I've heard, the polar is a huge pain to set up and is not entirely accurate. I currently have a powertap and am very happy with it, but will be getting a Cinqo as soon as possible. My rear race wheel hasn't been used since I picked up the powertap, I think it's feeling neglected...
Good advice. RE: the weight; I didn't notice any difference in the ride when I threw on my PowerTap wheel. I've heard the same thing about the Polar. The PowerTap on the other hand is dead simple. I've heard of a lot of issues w/ the Garmin/PowerTap combination, but when using the PT head it's rock solid.
Originally Posted by jmechy
Most of the issues with the Garmin/Powertap were actually just issues with the Garmin/Any Power Meter. Garmin has released upgraded firmware, so most of these issues have been fixed.
Originally Posted by DaveG
1. It isn't necessary of course, I mean people do just fine without them, but it has helped me a great deal. IMO it is totally worth it.
2. One thing that a power meter is helpful with is pacing during training. I've been able to use it to keep myself from jamming up hills when I should be taking it easy. Hills don't have to be hard, you can still do "base" on them as long as you have a good idea of what your effort should be. One problem with HR is that it doesn't respond quickly and it's easy to push harder than you realize and jack your HR up. But with power you know immediately.
3. The polar one by all reports is ok, but doesn't deal with short durations (e.g. a sprint) well. Also they can be kind of difficult to set up.