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How many folks race with a Powertap?

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View Poll Results: Which races do you use the Powertap wheel for?
I use my powertap for every single race.
10
41.67%
I put the race wheel on for high-priority races.
7
29.17%
I use my race wheel for every single race.
5
20.83%
My Powertap wheel IS my race wheel.
2
8.33%
Voters: 24. You may not vote on this poll

How many folks race with a Powertap?

Old 02-25-07, 03:49 PM
  #1  
DrPete 
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How many folks race with a Powertap?

Well, after coming into a little unexpected cash and getting a great deal on a wheel, I'm trading up the Polar power meter for a PowerTap SL laced up to a 32H DT RR 1.1 rim. Nothing fancy, just a good basic wheel.

I'm curious to know what you guys do--I'm sort of thinking that I'll definitely keep the PT on for B and C races and all training rides, but put the Fulcrum 1 back on for the A races. Problem is, having that power data from the big races would be cool. Is the data worth more than the advantage gained by a lighter/more aero wheel?

(edit) What I mean with option #4 is that the wheel is otherwise built up like a "race" wheel, i.e. Zipp, AC, Hed, Bontrager, etc.
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Old 02-25-07, 03:52 PM
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I'll use my PT wheel for everything but the most intense uphill races. The weight of the wheel isn't that big of a factor, and you get your best data from races.
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Old 02-25-07, 03:55 PM
  #3  
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I put it on when I feel like it.

Generally about 75% of my races and all of our training crits.
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Old 02-25-07, 03:56 PM
  #4  
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I wasn't quite ready for all the data during my first TT and I ended up totally blowing it...so I will probably do 50/50 with a PT or my carbones during races. I don't think I'll be doing many solo flyers and I'm not yet good enough to pace using my PT, so I'll probably use the Carbones the majority of the time.

I actually did far better during my practice TT run using perceived exertion than pacing using the PT. Strange I know...I also know that it was 100% user error.
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Old 02-25-07, 04:01 PM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by branman1986
I wasn't quite ready for all the data during my first TT and I ended up totally blowing it...so I will probably do 50/50 with a PT or my carbones during races. I don't think I'll be doing many solo flyers and I'm not yet good enough to pace using my PT, so I'll probably use the Carbones the majority of the time.

I actually did far better during my practice TT run using perceived exertion than pacing using the PT. Strange I know...I also know that it was 100% user error.
Interesting point. I see bdcheung's approach that all the data are useful, but then I also see that it would be easy to get wrapped around the axle with all the numbers during the race. I mean, do I really WANT something telling me that I'm about to run out of matches?

Perhaps the happy medium would be to slap some duct tape over the PT on race day.
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Old 02-25-07, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by DrPete
Interesting point. I see bdcheung's approach that all the data are useful, but then I also see that it would be easy to get wrapped around the axle with all the numbers during the race. I mean, do I really WANT something telling me that I'm about to run out of matches?

Perhaps the happy medium would be to slap some duct tape over the PT on race day.
I put electrical tape over the Watts line when I'm riding for fun, so that I can still see things like speed, HR, cadence, etc.
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Old 02-25-07, 04:05 PM
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you can also just turn it to max watts, or put it in your jersey pocket
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Old 02-25-07, 04:11 PM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by branman1986
you can also just turn it to max watts, or put it in your jersey pocket
But I'm not getting the 2.4. Too rich for my blood, even with the team discount, and they seem to still have problems.

The max watts idea is a good one, though...
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Old 02-25-07, 04:15 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by DrPete
Interesting point. I see bdcheung's approach that all the data are useful, but then I also see that it would be easy to get wrapped around the axle with all the numbers during the race. I mean, do I really WANT something telling me that I'm about to run out of matches?

Perhaps the happy medium would be to slap some duct tape over the PT on race day.
Or you could just disregard the numbers during a race...
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Old 02-25-07, 04:16 PM
  #10  
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yeah, that's probably what I'm gonna do...strange I didn't think of it until you asked...but that way if you *did* do a solo flyer, then maybe you could switch it quickly back to wattage and try to pace off it...
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Old 02-25-07, 04:19 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Squint
Or you could just disregard the numbers during a race...
If I weren't weak-minded that would be a great way to go.
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Old 02-25-07, 04:21 PM
  #12  
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DrPete. Though I use an SRM, I think you will find that the weight worry is silly. You aren't going to be climbing for 5+ hours, so don't sweat it. Use your power meter for everything.
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Old 02-25-07, 04:30 PM
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I only use mine for training so far. I might for some of the bigger races this year.
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Old 02-25-07, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Squint
Or you could just disregard the numbers during a race...
I could see using a powertap during a training race or a TT, or a race where you know you'll be going off the front and want to keep your effort constant, but generally I find numbers distract me and are detrimental to my performance. I don't use a speedo because then I try to keep myself going faster than a given speed instead of just trying to go faster than everyone else. I don't even use a HRM, because when I look down and see my HR is at 190 I panic, which sends my HR even higher. Perceived effort is how I roll.
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Old 02-25-07, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin
I could see using a powertap during a training race or a TT, or a race where you know you'll be going off the front and want to keep your effort constant, but generally I find numbers distract me and are detrimental to my performance.
I think most riders who've trained with power for a few years see much greater value in the data for post-ride evaluation than in controlling ride efforts. That said, the most valuable data will come from races - the best predictor of performance is performance itself. Aside from usually providing the highest values for mean maximal power over durations, this data gives the most direct indication of what performance is necessary to be succesful and what a rider's weaknesses are in the events that rider does. Race data is also needed to validate and tune the performance manager in Cyclingpeaks to better plan and time periods of maximal performance. I don't think it's possible to get the most out of training with a power meter without collecting and examining race data. If you find the display distracting, as others have written, tape over it and wait for the download to look at the data.
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Old 02-25-07, 05:02 PM
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I'm not sure what I'm going to do. Using the PT Pro on a DT RR1.1 hasn't hurt me yet - but thats only been on flat/early season races. I don't think I'll use it if I go down to Dahlonega to see if I climb better 27lbs lighter than last year...but other than that I'm probably going to use it for all my races.

If I've got the legs to get up to the 2s this year or next, I'll probably suck it up and lace an SL to a 404 or something along those lines, and race on that rig.
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Old 02-25-07, 05:03 PM
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How do you "tune" the PMC?
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Old 02-25-07, 05:07 PM
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I should use my PT wheel for these early season races, but I haven't yet. I may use it this weekend for the Saturday race which is a B priority race for me. I haven't used a computer at all this season for the races, I think knowing my numbers during a race was distracting me.
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Old 02-25-07, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by bdcheung
How do you "tune" the PMC?
You can adjust the short term and long term time constants. In WKO+, they appear under the options menu for the performance manager chart.
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Old 02-25-07, 05:09 PM
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What conditions would warrant a shift in either constant?
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Old 02-25-07, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by bdcheung
What conditions would warrant a shift in either constant?
If peak performances for durations of interest, e.g., peak 5 second power for a sprinter, peak 20 min power for a time trialer, doesn't match up with peak values for TSB. Now exactly how this match-up is evaluated and when and how to adjust the time constants have to be figured out by each user. Most people I know, just look at the plots and see how well things improve with adjustments to the time constants. At the other extreme is the method of determining time variable time constants based on testing over specific distances described in one of the Busso papers cited in Coggan's article presenting the performance manager.

Long discussions of this over at the Wattage list.
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Old 02-25-07, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by asgelle
If peak performances for durations of interest, e.g., peak 5 second power for a sprinter, peak 20 min power for a time trialer, doesn't match up with peak values for TSB. Now exactly how this match-up is evaluated and when and how to adjust the time constants have to be figured out by each user. Most people I know, just look at the plots and see how well things improve with adjustments to the time constants. At the other extreme is the method of determining time variable time constants based on testing over specific distances described in one of the Busso papers cited in Coggan's article presenting the performance manager.

Long discussions of this over at the Wattage list.
i think i need a coach
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Old 02-25-07, 05:25 PM
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I'm so kicking myself. Hunter Allen was in town giving an all-day seminar on power training 20 minutes from home and I didn't go because it was like $100. Dumb move in hindsight...
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Old 02-25-07, 05:41 PM
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I climb. No PM for me, PT, or otherwise. I do use an SRM on the TT bike (I plan on selling it and switching over to an Ergomo), and I find it very helpful in keeping a constant and consistent effort in longer TT's.

I suppose if you're giving half-tailed efforts in training, then race data might be useful. But I haven't seen anything revelatory in the few races I've used my powermeter.

If I was using a Powertap I'd much rather pick a wheel that will suit the course then have some data to review afterward.
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Old 02-25-07, 05:45 PM
  #25  
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I am so glad we are both getting one of these around the same time because I get to take advantage of all you asking all my questions for me.

I plan on using mine all the time. I am not going to be too concerned with looking at the display during races so I dont really see a need to take it off other then aestetics.
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