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Quarq Cinqo vs. SRM PCV Decision

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Old 07-05-10, 02:38 PM
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karebare
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Quarq Cinqo vs. SRM PCV Decision

(sorry to WW and Fair Wheel Bike forum users for cross posting...)

I'm considering the jump to crank-based power (currently Ptap user).

Any help from knowledgeable people would be greatly appreciated.

Option #1 - $1600 USD
Cannondale SiSL crank - brand new
SRM PCV (wired) - 2008, but just got new batteries/service

Option #2 - $1750 USD
SRAM S900 BB30 crank (Force-level rings)
Quarq Cinqo Saturn
Garmin Edge 500 bundle

My thoughts, but would love to have yours:

Option #1 is lighter, cheaper, and a better crank, but it's also wired and the head unit is two generations old and requires an annual trip to Germany. Option #2 is wireless and US-based, but is more expensive and uses the inferior crank.

I'm having trouble deciding which is the better overall package for the price (money is tight on this project), and don't have any personal experience with either power meter. Thanks for any help.
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Old 07-05-10, 03:39 PM
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ridethecliche
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Option 1.

The wired units are very reliable through any conditions as long as you tape them properly. Just use a chain watcher. The headunit requires a trip to colorado.

If you want to change batteries yourself and not pay for the maintenance, then quarq.
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Old 07-05-10, 07:02 PM
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king-tony
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After owning both I'd say the Quarq although you could get the 975 and the weight would be similar. The 500 is lighter than the PCV, the mounting brackets are the same, the wiring harness and tape are extra weight and you will still need a wheel magnet. I netted 85 grams coming from a Dura-Ace PCV to the S975/%00 bundle. I prefer the overall operation of the SRM, but they are winding down support for the wired units and the non user-serviceable batteries get old and expensive. I do like the ability to calibrate the SRM. Both have pretty good support, but SRM's solution over the last few months has been to upgrade to the wireless version regardless of the problems I have had. The SRM is great, but you have to consider the wired versions are nearing end of life from a support perspective and parts will get hard to find. Battery changes are taking longer and longer and they are getting much slower in answering e-mails and telephone calls.
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Old 07-05-10, 07:36 PM
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I say Quarq, but in full disclosure, I'm biased.
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Old 07-05-10, 08:02 PM
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Hm. I went through this debate internally. I have one BB30 SRM SI set up with two sets of arms/chainrings. I was considering moving to Ant+ Sport and going Quarq. But without the income I had a few years ago, I couldn't just buy it. So I've been thinking about it.

I saw a chance to pick up a second SRM spider (wired), PCV, BB mount kit, charger, download cable. In other words, the whole thing minus BB, chainring/spider, and arms (which I already have). It cost me $875 so nowhere near what a Quarq and a head unit would cost (I have to pay retail since I have no contacts). And right now cost is a big consideration.

Balancing that against the Quarq (where I'd have to buy a new head unit, and I'd only have one of each), I decided that I'd get the second wired unit. That'll go on my second (yet to be ordered) Tsunami.

When the battery dies in the head unit, I'll see if there's a way to hack it and replace the battery.

When the battery dies in the crank, I'll follow the hack that's online somewhere that shows how to replace the battery.

My battery is basically dead in my original spider (Powermeter) so I'll probably send it to CO. I'll hack it when they say they won't work on them anymore. I'll send one of the two head units as well.

cdr
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Old 07-05-10, 08:22 PM
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king-tony
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I had a similar setup. 2 SRM's and if one went down I had back-up. My problem was that I went to a BB86 frame and the wired version no longer worked. Again, I like the SRM product, but they want to see the wired units go away and have no trade-in program.
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Old 07-06-10, 06:45 AM
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So, if I understand correctly, you can send the units to SRM's office in Colorado and skip Germany altogether?
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Old 07-06-10, 06:49 AM
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I send them to Colorado, head units and cranks.
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Old 07-06-10, 07:45 AM
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I have a wireless SRM and I would go with the Quarq. It will be easier to replace the batteries and WAY cheaper, and you won't have to buy an extra wiring harness to swap between bikes.

The biggest reason I would suggest going with the Quarq is because of being able to use a Garmin. With my 705, I can set it up so that average power is on the same screen while doing intervals but with my PVCI, I has to rotate screens to get to average power and then go through 3 more screens to get back to instantaneous power.
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Old 07-06-10, 07:49 AM
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I'd get the SRM. Nothing beats those Cannondale cranks.
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Old 07-06-10, 07:52 AM
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there's a long thread discussing SRM versus Quarq with some pretty detailed info about a month ago.
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Old 07-06-10, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by brian416 View Post
The biggest reason I would suggest going with the Quarq is because of being able to use a Garmin.
Plus if yours falls off you can usually find one at the side of the road.
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Old 07-06-10, 11:09 AM
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I was lured in by wireless as a previous SRM user and a current quarq user I would go with option 1. I have no qualms with the quarq, it works ok and is lighter. My complaint is the Garmin head unit. It flat out blows. Anyone who thinks they are great has never enjoyed the pure functional greatness and simplicity of the SRM PCV.
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Old 07-06-10, 11:17 AM
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I'd pick option 1, the cranks are amazing and the SRM is the gold-standard.

That said, they are being phased out, service isn't as responsive, and at some point you will no longer have service from SRM. (so, there are some downsides) Also, if cost is a factor, consider the life-cycle cost, it will need to be serviced a few times over the course of its working life.

I just got a new wireless PT w/ a garmin a couple of weeks ago, but only because it was 1/2 the going price of a used wired SRM. I still thought long and hard about the choice, but given your choices between the Cinqo and the SRM, I'd take the SRM and PCV 95% of the time.
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Old 07-06-10, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by jrennie View Post
I was lured in by wireless as a previous SRM user and a current quarq user I would go with option 1. I have no qualms with the quarq, it works ok and is lighter. My complaint is the Garmin head unit. It flat out blows. Anyone who thinks they are great has never enjoyed the pure functional greatness and simplicity of the SRM PCV.
This. Garmin is great if you want a bunch of really useless data along with the stuff that matters. Along with the feeling you've got a laptop strapped to your stem I'd pick the PCV or higher over the Garmin option (which is available to SRM wireless users if you are so inclined). Given the price point the OP has presented I would go with option 1. Mainly because SRM has a long and solid track record as a company. I've been down this road before with ergomo (which, when I bought them was a doing quite well) 18 months after buying three they were out of business. Not saying Quarq will do the same but SRM has been rock solid for many years, it's a proven product with long solid track record.
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Old 07-06-10, 11:26 AM
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Also, for those that time and time again say SRM is so much more expensive over the life time of the unit for battery replacement and calibration I have this question.
Do you take your bike to the shop to have the cables replaced? Chain replaced? Bars taped?

If you are a bike racer you probably do all of these common repairs yourself and they all take longer than it takes to replace the battery or calibrate an SRM unit at home. There are several great step by step utilities for dong so. Apart from a major hardware failure the srm doesn't ever need to go back to Colorado.
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Old 07-06-10, 11:33 AM
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Can the SRM be used with Quark or it it only the other way around (Ant+ can be used with SRM, but SRM can't be used with other Ant+)?

What are those of us using Garmins and trying to train with power missing out on by not having the PCV?
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Old 07-06-10, 12:01 PM
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You are not "missing out" on anything. I use a garmin 500 now. The SRM head unit is just easier to use and cleaner. While the wireless SRM headunits do use ant+ they are not compatible with the quarqw or powertap. The crank will work with any ant+ unit but the headunits only work with the srm crank.
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Old 07-06-10, 12:40 PM
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If the 500 is a laptop and the PCx is small, then I really need to rethink my 705.

Actually I've been thinking about the 500 for a while.
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Old 07-06-10, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by El Diablo Rojo View Post
I've been down this road before with ergomo (which, when I bought them was a doing quite well) 18 months after buying three they were out of business.
Not recommending the Ergomo, but for those already with the system and after some support, they appear to be back trading... http://www.ergomo-systems.de/
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Old 07-06-10, 06:52 PM
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I have an srm da pcv wired (on system six). Option 1 looks pretty good to me.
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Old 07-06-10, 06:56 PM
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El Diablo Rojo
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Originally Posted by Dalai View Post
Not recommending the Ergomo, but for those already with the system and after some support, they appear to be back trading... http://www.ergomo-systems.de/
Basically the same website with some minor changes. My ergomo's were in the shop more than they were on my bikes. Too bad because I really liked the head unit.
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Old 07-06-10, 09:41 PM
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I'd heard the same good things about the Ergomo head unit from other previous users too El Diablo Rojo. Pity about the rest of the unit, espcially with the design revolving around BB's where crank design has moved on...
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