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Powertap Decisions (HELP!)

Old 02-11-09, 10:23 PM
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captnfantastic
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Powertap Decisions (HELP!)

I am planning on getting a powertap in the next month or so (thank you tax returns).

Competitive cyclist has a great deal HERE

I don't care if it's wired or wireless.

Problem is I have a pair of AC420's that I love.

The PT hub for my AC's (24 hole) is $900.

I was planning on racing with the PT (mostly crits)... do a lot of people race with them or use them strictly for training? I could still race with my AC's I guess and no PT, or I could race on the mavics with power... would I see much difference in performance?

To add to the equation: I am going to buy a cross bike this summer. I would like to use the PT with that too (I would just buy a second receiver). AC's couldn't handle cross abuse but the mavics could.

What do you think?
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Old 02-11-09, 11:57 PM
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The AC 420s are ridiculously strong wheels, in my experience which includes riding them with a 30lb backpack all over some of the worst roads in the country, occasionally at high speeds. 8" frost heaves are no joke, but the wheels were unaffected. Also, the 420s are much more aerodynamic than the Mavics, enough to make it worthwhile to use them.
If you get a wireless PTap, you will only need a second $10 mount for your 2nd bike. If you get a wired PTap, you will need a second $70 wire harness kit (cheaper if you can wait for a used one on eBay).
I suggest that you a (new or used) SL (wired) hub, if you can find one.
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Old 02-12-09, 12:06 AM
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If you know how to interpret the data (read: you are smart or you have a coach who is), power data from a race is of HUGE importance to identifying your abilitites as well as blunders made (or conversely your weaknesses as well as the things you did right). The difference between rear wheels will be very little aerodynamically, and will likely be trumped by the data you obtain. Race and train with the powertap.
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Old 02-12-09, 06:38 AM
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I race my PT, and it hasn't slowed me down enough to affect my results.

If I had an AC420 and no PowerTap, rebuilding the AC is EXACTLY what I would do. If I could just get my hands on one of those rims! (for the price of a rim). Do it.

Note that with 24h, you can do the triplet lacing pattern with a 32h hub. You'll have 16 DS spokes and 8 NDS spokes. It will look like a Fulcrum rear wheel, and it's a cool way to go. I think it will make a 24h rim as strong as a 28h because you double the NDS spoke tensions. You can put some tangential angles on the NDS spokes (or radial, really), and go 2x on the DS, and it should be great. I've done asymmetric lacing on PTs before and not had any issues (with a big rider).
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Old 02-12-09, 08:49 AM
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Now that I've used my power meter through two weeks of racing, I'll say that having for the race has been very useful. Looking over the data I was able to see how the racing correlated with the training, what areas I still need to work on and identified some mistakes that I made. I was able to incorporate some lessons I learned into last weekend's race and get a better result, and looking through my data from the race I saw that I raced much better to my strengths.
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Old 02-12-09, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by captnfantastic View Post
I am planning on getting a powertap in the next month or so (thank you tax returns).

Competitive cyclist has a great deal HERE

I don't care if it's wired or wireless.

What do you think?
CC will sell you the PowerTap Comp hub for $549. It's 32h-only, but you can do what WR said.
That's the way I'd go.

(And did go; I ordered a Comp hub that I'm going to lace to a DT Swiss RR 1.2 with 32 DT Competition spokes. Light weight isn't a priority here for me.)
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Old 02-12-09, 08:57 AM
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aside from TTs where I think powermeters should be illegal because they're like cheating, i've seen minimal benefit of racing with a powermeter. data afterwards is a nice diary of the race, where efforts were expended and what not, but honestly I already know those things without a graph. goes double for crits.

I guess the value of the data would be that you can use it for WKO+ or raceday training software, and without it you're metrics will be off for tracking your training.

sounds like you can have the pt built into your 420s for $900, that isnt bad if you really like those hoops and want to train as well as race on them. otherwise, just get the comp cyclist deal if you're really looking for a power meter, train on that wheel and race on your 420s.
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Old 02-12-09, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
aside from TTs where I think powermeters should be illegal because they're like cheating, i've seen minimal benefit of racing with a powermeter. data afterwards is a nice diary of the race, where efforts were expended and what not, but honestly I already know those things without a graph. goes double for crits.
I think it goes without saying that someone that is more experienced would see less benefit. For me I'm still trying to learn what works and what doesn't and so far I do believe it is helping...

Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
I guess the value of the data would be that you can use it for WKO+ or raceday training software, and without it you're metrics will be off for tracking your training.
That's important for me for now as well.
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Old 02-12-09, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
I think it goes without saying that someone that is more experienced would see less benefit. For me I'm still trying to learn what works and what doesn't and so far I do believe it is helping...



That's important for me for now as well.
me too, that's a forever process. a guy I used to talk with on the internets would say that he'd been racing for 33 years at the elite level and still learned something new nearly every race.

admittedly, I know I dont use the power meter or the data it provides to anywhere near its full potential and data analysis should probably be more important for me than it is, but I think I just process stuff a little differently than the normal power meter user.
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Old 02-12-09, 09:15 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
aside from TTs where I think powermeters should be illegal because they're like cheating, i've seen minimal benefit of racing with a powermeter. data afterwards is a nice diary of the race, where efforts were expended and what not, but honestly I already know those things without a graph. goes double for crits.

I guess the value of the data would be that you can use it for WKO+ or raceday training software, and without it you're metrics will be off for tracking your training.

sounds like you can have the pt built into your 420s for $900, that isnt bad if you really like those hoops and want to train as well as race on them. otherwise, just get the comp cyclist deal if you're really looking for a power meter, train on that wheel and race on your 420s.
Not that I care much, but I don't get it. A powermeter really doesn't, you know, give you extra power. You know that, right?

Is a HR monitor "cheating"? How about a cyclo-computer? They can all be used for pacing, which is all one does with a powermeter in a time trial. A powermeter can also be a disadvantage; if your performances are getting ahead of your training, you might be prompted by the powermeter to hold back too much instead of going out harder and risking blowing up to get a PR. Ultimately all a powermeter is is a performance monitoring system. People think that all this power number stuff has made things so clinical and predictable, but really, it's still all about your legs, lungs, and heart.
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Old 02-12-09, 09:22 AM
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^toungue in cheek statement - but as a pacing tool HR/speed/etc. isnt even remotely close
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Old 02-12-09, 09:24 AM
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An example of how the data was useful in my last race, I attacked and was solo for a few laps and then was joined by a few riders that bridged up but was ultimately pulled back. Looking at the data showed that it was one of my highest efforts for a 5 minute period, slightly higher than I do VO2max intervals at (but lower than my peak). To me this shows that I fully committed, which is something that I was still mentally having trouble with, and something that I clearly did not do the previous week. Since I don't have a lot of experience it is hard to know what that feels like, being fully committed like that (since of course you don't get rest intervals ) so it was useful to see the contrast in the data.
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Old 02-12-09, 11:53 AM
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If I will be able to lace my ac's on 32 hole hubs then that will bridge the price gap between the wheels. My only concern now is the durability of the ac's in a cross atmosphere... come to think of it training/racing for cross with a PT might be a little overkill...?
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Old 02-12-09, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
^toungue in cheek statement - but as a pacing tool HR/speed/etc. isnt even remotely close
Not tongue in cheek. HR is perfect for pacing - should be pretty much directly proportional to power output in a TT. Watts is better because it's measuring what's actually on the road, but if you know your body, HR is just fine. If you know the course, speed and a clock are all you need. Watts are just easier is all. Training is all about getting to know your body. If you are having a bad day and cannot keep up your FTP in a TT, it's no good having a powermeter on your bike. You'll just get discouraged. Better to just have heartrate and go gonzo. You won't have the "you suck" numbers in front of you, and if you start feeling better mid-race, you'll do what you do without the "you suck" numbers holding you back mentally.

Point is that the person who knows their body and how it responds to stress and what it feels like to pace yourself throughout a time trial will do better than a person chasing a number on a computer screen. A powermeter is much more useful as an analysis and recording tool for training purposes than a limited role as a pacing tool. IOW, powermeter = not cheating.
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Old 02-12-09, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by captnfantastic View Post
If I will be able to lace my ac's on 32 hole hubs then that will bridge the price gap between the wheels. My only concern now is the durability of the ac's in a cross atmosphere... come to think of it training/racing for cross with a PT might be a little overkill...?
One note, Saris poo-poos the asymmetric lacing all up and down. That said, last year's Slipstream wheels were often laced asymmetrically, and those guys put down more power than us. Also, all the prominent online wheelbuilders sent them out 1x NDS/2x DS as a default configuration. So, the hubs are fine with it.

One valid concern is that the NDS spokes can't be radial, because the torque is applied to the left flange first, and transfering it all through the hub shell might cause problems. If you're somewhat tangential on the NDS spokes, then it should be fine. I'd have to draw it out on paper to see the pattern though.
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Old 02-12-09, 01:25 PM
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Get the open pro powertap.

Why?

1. You can use them in a cross race
2. Minimal power loss over 420's
3. Bombproof for training
4. Easy to rebuild season after season
5. 420's can serve as backups or race bling if you feel the urge to not use power
6. You can sell the powermeter just as you bought it and still have a matching wheelset without having to rebuild it to a normal hub
7. You will save money
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Old 02-12-09, 01:26 PM
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sorry, I mean DT no open pro... =)
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Old 02-12-09, 01:34 PM
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DT RR 1.2 is even better for durability.



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Old 02-12-09, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
One note, Saris poo-poos the asymmetric lacing all up and down. That said, last year's Slipstream wheels were often laced asymmetrically, and those guys put down more power than us. Also, all the prominent online wheelbuilders sent them out 1x NDS/2x DS as a default configuration. So, the hubs are fine with it.

One valid concern is that the NDS spokes can't be radial, because the torque is applied to the left flange first, and transfering it all through the hub shell might cause problems. If you're somewhat tangential on the NDS spokes, then it should be fine. I'd have to draw it out on paper to see the pattern though.
Understatement of the year.
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Old 02-12-09, 02:21 PM
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Slipstream wheels were often laced asymmetrically, and those guys put down more power than us.
Speak for yourself!

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Old 02-12-09, 11:45 PM
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I found an old thread and waterrockets commented on how powertap hubs, incorrectly tensioned, can explode? http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=442811

So I am leaning towards getting the Mavic wheel PT now, I wouldn't want to potentially ruin a $600 hub just to save a few grams and a few bucks. I will be going from 870 to 1240 grams... I am probably not good enough to tell a difference. The AC wheel with PT will weigh a little more than the stock wheel.
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Old 02-13-09, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by captnfantastic View Post
I found an old thread and waterrockets commented on how powertap hubs, incorrectly tensioned, can explode? http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=442811

So I am leaning towards getting the Mavic wheel PT now, I wouldn't want to potentially ruin a $600 hub just to save a few grams and a few bucks. I will be going from 870 to 1240 grams... I am probably not good enough to tell a difference. The AC wheel with PT will weigh a little more than the stock wheel.
True, but I was quoting Saris. I've never seen or heard of even one problem with a PT due to a lacing pattern. On the phone though, the guy did say "it could explode."
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