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Old 11-12-12, 07:15 PM   #1
sstang13
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Garmin Edge 500 / Power Meter

So I've been looking at the Garmin Edge 500 for the past few days as my training for the winter has a lot to do with heart rate and watts and cadence. I've mainly been reading this review: http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2009/11/g...th-review.html

Now I like everything about the 500 that I've heard as I have never actually seen one or used one. I also have been wanting one for a while but I was able to save the $300 and keep my crappy cyclocomputer for now. I thought that the 500 was expensive, $300 is a lot for a cycling computer! But one of the things I wanted most was the power meter. I would love to know my wattage, FTP, max HR, max wattage.. all those numbers, and to be able to open another door who's matt I'm stepping on right now (I know, awful metaphor, but I tried ).

One thing that I just leanred is that power meters come in hubs, wheelsets, and even bikes!!? I mean, I thought it was something way simpler, but apparently the lowest you would have to pay just to figure out your wattage on a ride (and during!) is like $1000...I now realize that the Garmin isn't the 'expensive' item here.

Am I wrong here, or do I have to pay $1000, for a power meter? If I do, that's a huge bummer because I really want to have a power meter but I don't have the money to pay for something that costs so much! Is there anything out there that costs about $100, or around that price that can give me power output. Even if it is only power, I'll still buy a Garmin for the HR, cadence, etc. I just want something to read my power as I ride. It'll help out my training, and my winter base riding depends on it.

Any feedback is very much appreciated as I am sitting on the top of the fence of what to do here.

Ps. I know every item isn't $1000 but they're still all so expensive (hundreds of dollars).

Plus I have no familiarity with stuff in this part of cycling so any info is appreciated and if I am wrong on anything above, please let me know. Thanks!
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Old 11-13-12, 11:51 AM   #2
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Go back to the dcrainmaker blog and read his reviews of different power measuring systems. I think your least expensive option is find a used but good condition powertap hub and wheel. A wired sensor will be cheaper than wireless, but wireless will let you use any of the cyclecomputer/head units that support the ANT protocol. IMO, the Edge 500 works quite well in that role (and as a cyclecomputer without power). If you can find someone in your area who has CompuTrainers, that is a good way to get a feel for riding with power info and compare it to HR data. I know a lot of people who go that route - indoor riding on a CompuTrainer for power-based training over the winter, and correlate their power to HR and RPE for riding outdoors.
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Old 11-13-12, 12:15 PM   #3
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You should be able to get a used, wired PowerTap on ebay or slowtwitch classifieds for under $400. You won't have GPS but you don't need that for training.
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Old 11-13-12, 03:26 PM   #4
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I tried to go back to dc rainmakers power meter review but they were either still over $1000 or just hard to find (I don't know the names of them) I only found three reviews total. Plus, if I get a wired powermeter would I be able to get it to display as it would on the garmin? I don't weant so much to use the data after my rides to train better, I have a coach for that, but more so to see how I am riding, at that very moment (ie. sprinting, on a hill, pulling etc) And if so I would have to mount another cycle computer for it on my bike correct? Thanks for the reply.
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Old 11-13-12, 03:30 PM   #5
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You can still download your data from the Powertap little yellow computer (LYC). It just won't have your location. I routinely look at my files and don't have any problem identifying particular hills. It's usually fairly obvious when your power goes up and your speed drops.

Pros all use SRMs and most use the SRM computer which doesn't have any GPS. There's nothing wrong with it but it isn't necessary.
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Old 11-13-12, 03:36 PM   #6
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But I will get that data ON my ride right? So like on mile 3 of a 5 mile hill lets say, I can check out how many watts I am putting out at that moment?

Also I found this but is it a power meter, or just a front wheel? http://www.clevertraining.com/p-5438...heel-only.aspx
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Old 11-13-12, 04:56 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by sstang13 View Post
But I will get that data ON my ride right? So like on mile 3 of a 5 mile hill lets say, I can check out how many watts I am putting out at that moment?

Also I found this but is it a power meter, or just a front wheel? http://www.clevertraining.com/p-5438...heel-only.aspx
It's just the matching PT front wheel, not the rear with PT hub. The photo is wrong.

Yes. With the PT control head, you'll get distance and power recorded as a function of distance and time. If you know your route you can lay it out in Strava or RWGPS or similar site and get the map based elevation as function of distance along your route. The Garmin adds the ability to record your actual route and elevation along with power which you can than upload to a data aggregating site.

Last edited by Looigi; 11-13-12 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 11-13-12, 05:09 PM   #8
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That's where it beats me, I struggle deciding between going Garmin 500 with a wired power meter to save money or to go a wireless power meter and use the LYC.. I'm most likely going to get a garmin though, I like the set up and the overall computer and what it has to offer much better. Plus I need the cadence/HR.

Ps. Do you know of any websited that I can find power meter for cheap on? Such as eBay, amazon, and slowtwich classifieds?
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Old 11-13-12, 05:39 PM   #9
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There are always PTap hub'd wheels on Ebay, and I've never logged on to see a shortage of SRM cranks etc. I would reccomend eBay and maybe a 2nd hand PTap hub if you have the means to get a wheel built, may workout cheaper than getting a complete wheel with the hub.
What are peoples experienced with non-GPS meters? (SRM/PTap). I mainly train on the velodrome, so GPS is pointless, just see a bunch of circles.

Note; would it be practical having a crankset over a hub for me, I regularly train on two bikes (Track/Road) and two hubs is well... Pointless and expensive. (No, it wouldn't bother me switching cranks around once a week.)
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Old 11-13-12, 06:49 PM   #10
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I like the set up and the overall computer and what it has to offer much better. Plus I need the cadence/HR.
The powertap also provides Cadence/HR.
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Old 11-14-12, 05:56 PM   #11
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-- why are you bothering reading a 3 year old review?
-- you should be asking your coach what measurement tools you need, since you have a coach
-- if you are not interested in reviewing your power data after the fact, and your coach isn't asking you to get a power meter in order to review the data or to train at specific wattages, you do not need a power meter. If you want one, fine, but you don't need one, so stop whinging about how much they cost, that is how much they cost
-- you can rent a powertap wheel and head unit if you want to try it out and measure your e-wang

(edit, yeah, I'm grumpy right now. deal with it.)
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Old 11-14-12, 06:43 PM   #12
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-- why are you bothering reading a 3 year old review?
-- you should be asking your coach what measurement tools you need, since you have a coach
-- if you are not interested in reviewing your power data after the fact, and your coach isn't asking you to get a power meter in order to review the data or to train at specific wattages, you do not need a power meter. If you want one, fine, but you don't need one, so stop whinging about how much they cost, that is how much they cost
-- you can rent a powertap wheel and head unit if you want to try it out and measure your e-wang

(edit, yeah, I'm grumpy right now. deal with it.)
1) Didn't know it was 3 years old, he updates his reviews. Plus I'm sure majority of the content on the review hasn't changed enough that it shouldn't be read at all.

2) Good idea, it is hard to talk to him because I live an hour away but I will try to email him and see how it goes.

3) I never said I wasn't interested in that, I simply stated that I don't want a power meter that ONLY has the after stuff, because I would like to see my power as I ride. My coach never said that I needed one yes, but I beleive he expects us to have one because he's very professional at what he does and takes his coaching seriously, so he expects the same back, and the least we could do is give the same respect back. Plus all of the workouts I recieve say things like: Warm up 20min @150 watts, Ride for 1 hour at no more than 75% of max HR. Cadence 100RPM +. Cool down 20min @150 watts. So I believe I need one. And I was never whining, I know that cycling costs a lot and that nothing is just pocket change value, it's the same throughout many sports, and I've played a lot, so I know. I was simply asking if there were any alternatives to the high prices, and got some nice responses talking about deals and getting used wired PT hub...things I never really knew about. Btw, Thanks for the responses everyone, they helped..

4) Thanks for the nice responce, I may look into that.

Dealt with. I only try to be nice as I too do not like whiners or rude people that try to troll forums and take serious questions from people seeking help as a joke. If it's just because you're grumpy, then I do not mean to be rude, but that's just what I think. Thank you.
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Old 11-16-12, 03:10 PM   #13
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A new product that I saw at Interbike might be the answer.

http://www.stagescycling.com/

Again, not cheap but you retain your current wheel set up. The price on the home page can be misleading as the price ramps up based on crankset compatibility.

It also appears that they are not yet available, but you could probably contact the company for an ETA.
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Old 11-16-12, 09:50 PM   #14
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A new product that I saw at Interbike might be the answer.

http://www.stagescycling.com/

Again, not cheap but you retain your current wheel set up. The price on the home page can be misleading as the price ramps up based on crankset compatibility.

It also appears that they are not yet available, but you could probably contact the company for an ETA.
This is great! And well I've read the page and by the sounds of it it seems to be well worth its price! For example, everything is wireless (even updates!) and there's not even any zip ties or magnets. Also that its is an easy 15 minute setup, just having to replace the crank arm. Thanks for this.
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